It seems that “buzz” does not begin to adequately describe what has been generated by the profession of faith in Christ from Kanye West. But what I have found a bit perplexing are the questions from some as to whether or not someone like him could actually be genuinely born again.
Mind you, I do not know his heart more than anyone else’s heart. His heart is not the point on that question; God’s heart is the point.
2 Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” When he says all, he genuinely means it. Christ died for a rapper named Kanye just as surely as he died for a guy named Bo Wagner who was raised his entire life going to church three times a week at bare minimum. As I have said many times, there is no more level ground to be found anywhere in the universe than the ground at the foot of the cross.
It is not the convert that is impressive, no matter who the convert is. It is the converter who is so impressive.
Having pastored for more than twenty-two years and done evangelism for even longer than that, I can tell you that Jesus specializes in saving the “most lost” of people. In my church alone I have faithful men with whom my first contact was taking the loaded gun out of their drunken, angry hands, former addicts who are now clear-headed and clear-hearted, and women who are faithful to God and husband after having spent years building a reputation like that of Rahab.
Again, it isn’t the convert; it is the converter.
Kanye’s music has never been the style that I was drawn to, and I doubt if he is going to start utilizing mandolins and fiddles anytime soon. But the fact that God can, for his own glory, reach down and save a person as influential in music (and many other areas) as Kanye thrills my heart. If he is genuinely born again, I rather suspect that he will be the cause of countless others coming to know Christ and being plucked from the burning.
“But what if he is not genuine, and we have gone ‘all in’ on him?”
If it is Kanye we have gone all in on, we are yet again missing the point. It is Jesus and his ability and desire to save that we are to be going all in on. If he is received with open arms by Christians and then later recants and becomes worse than ever, it would still have been right to receive him with open arms, since that is what the Lord wants to do anyway.
The most telling part of all of this, though, is what it says about the prayer life and soul winning efforts of many believers in our day. You see, the only way someone could be surprised at Kanye West getting born again is if that someone has not been praying for him to be saved and has not believed that God could do it.
What about Kathy Griffin, the (to me) not at all funny comedienne who held up the “severed, bloody head” of President Trump? We rightly show revulsion at her actions and her hatred; but has anyone been praying for her to come to know Christ? Would we be shocked and uncertain if she did?
What about shock jock Howard Stern, legendary for the vile, filthy things he says to millions? Is he on anyone’s prayer list for salvation? Would we be shocked and uncertain if he made a profession of faith in Christ?
What about all of our political adversaries, people whom we are quite sure mean to turn this country in Sodom and Gomorrah? Should we fight against them? Certainly. But if we are not also praying for their salvation, we are missing the heartbeat of Christ.
So, welcome to the family, Kanye. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so as you strive to grow in the Lord.