Theologically Sound. Culturally Relevant.


Why we are right to be skeptical of Kanye’s conversion

This is a topic I have wanted to address for weeks, especially since I documented how the Sunday Service promoted the Popularity Gospel with Rick Wilkerson Jr giving the message that presented Jesus in an idolatrous way, using soteriological passages to convey a message of self-improvement rather than salvation. Since then, however, there has been evidence of Kanye being a legitimate Christian. Evangelical Dark Web publication, Pulpit and Pen, are very optimistic that Kanye West has been presented the whole and true gospel by those who are reputable to minister. Others allies under the umbrella of the Evangelical Dark Web, in recognizing the aforementioned optimism reported that Kanye West was giving a message in which he affirmed Mormonism, Catholicism, and TD Jakes are gospel presenters. Then there’s the recent article published by Pulpit and Pen:

Kanye West has reportedly come to Christ after stepping foot into a California church affiliated with John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church. Everyone seems skeptical of the conversion – and rightfully so. But signs of glimmering hope continue to be seen from the artist and performer.

Submitting the lyrics of his latest album to his theologically sound (by all accounts) pastor, having decent gospel presentations by qualified men at his “Sunday gatherings” and announcing his retirement from secular music all have people hopeful. However, comments he’s made about Mormonism and his wife’s recent ‘baptism’ in a false church have others equally as nervous.

As reported on Apologia Radio, Adam Tyson – the pastor at Placertia Bible Church – explained that Kanye was prepared to reject the genre but Tyson explained that it could be used for God’s glory. We pray that Pastor Tyson isn’t getting in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work in Kanye’s life.

Much of these are hopeful signs; however, there is not a biblical case for Kanye West’s Sunday Service if he is indeed a new follower of Christ, even if he is concerned about producing theological accurate music. He is a new follower. He was a particularly notorious unChristian man before lately from his sacrilegious music to marrying a plastic pornstar. For these reasons, we have a healthy, biblical I would argue, skepticism over his salvation. With Kanye’s past brought up, let’s take a look at the Book of Acts.

19and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, 20and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
Acts 9:19-22 NASB

We see here that Saul is giving his testimony after being saved. This is not quite the same as leading a worship service or church.

26When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 28And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. 30But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus
Acts 9:26-30 NASB

So Saul’s conversion was met with similar skepticism and for good reason. But the life of Paul was not a rapid process. Paul received Christ on the road to Damascus, between 33-36AD. His first missionary trip would be about ten years later. Paul’s letters and canonical teaching would come after that. Does Kanye have to wait 10 years to preach and host worship services? No. But he needs to become spiritually mature first.

1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
1 Timothy 3:1-7

In the case of Kanye we have a man who is married to someone who doesn’t claim to be saved nearly to the extent as he does. Jesus talks about pitting family against each other, and this marriage predates Kanye allegedly knowing Christ, fulfilling His words. Nevertheless we can debate his qualifications for ministry standards when he is not so new and green in his faith. Whatever ministry capacity we would say Kanye is currently undertaking, leading worship services that at in recent months were not Christian and teaching to his audience, these are not activities that should be undergone by new converts. Pulpit and Pen reported that this is the counsel that Kanye West has explicitly been given.


JD Hall continues:

I am perfectly willing to concede that Kanye may brush off his Biblical counselors, jump back into a Hillsong-style Christianity, and become some kind of weird hip-hop antichrist. I am making no definitive claim that I know his conversion is real.

However, I also know that if all you can do is voice concern and not be hopefully optimistic that God can save the chief of sinners, we might have more hope that Kanye is saved than that you are.

Hall gives this warning prior to pushing and praying for optimism. Now, I do not expect someone new to the faith to have the Bible memorized and know the passages we have just gone through. But he has received this counsel from those who do. So if he continues to ignore this counsel and preach affirmation of Mormons and Prosperity Gospel preachers, we are right to question his faith and act accordingly.

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