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Has God changed Kanye West's tune?

Yes, the American rapper's new album could be the fruit of a heart that's been ‘sold out’ for Jesus

Earlier this year, American rapper Kanye West declared that he was a born-again Christian. Rather than celebrating this news, many Christians, myself included, were concerned that this was all a hoax or a massive publicity stunt at best.

Then, at the end of September, I heard that Kanye would now only produce gospel music instead of the secular music he became famous for. Again, my initial reaction was yeah, right – a man who mocked Christ and made music about all sorts of profane things, could be saved and would only produce music that glorified the name of Jesus?” 

It was almost as if I had forgotten about the miraculous transformation of the man in Acts 9, who once destroyed all those who called upon Jesus’ name, but then encountered Him, had the scales removed from his eyes, and preached and planted churches in His name. This same man happened to write a large chunk of the New Testament. Just as I had doubted Kanye’s conversion based on the fruits of his old life, the disciples were afraid of Saul, who would later be popularly known as Paul, and did not believe that he was a disciple (Acts 9:26).

Why did I and many others find it so hard to believe that God could radically change a man like Kanye? The answer to the question, Could God really save him?” is Yes, of course!” My initial doubt was challenged by my faith in Jesus and His redemptive power. John 3:16 reminds us that because of God’s love for us, Jesus Christ died for all of people. 1 Peter 3:18 categorises all those He suffered and died for as unjust”.

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If I couldn’t believe that Christ could save a sinner, what does that say about my own salvation? And what hope do I then have for those who haven’t yet encountered or accepted Christ? Do we sometimes doubt the power of Christ to save and redeem the lost? Do we sometimes think that God is too small to change even the hardest of hearts that have been turned against Him? The reality is that no heart is too hard or too far for Christ to reach.

After much anticipation, Kanye released his highly anticipated album Jesus is King on Friday, 25 October. These songs are filled with declarations of his new life in Christ, reminding me that I should rejoice over his repentance instead of judging him based on his past mistakes. 2 Corinthians 5:17 assures us that Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” In Luke 15:7, Jesus says that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Rather than judging the things of old which have passed away, let’s pray for and show brotherly love to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith (Romans 12:10).

My favourite song on this album is God Is’, and this is due to the lyrics: You won’t ever be the same when you call on Jesus’ name, listen to the words I’m saying, Jesus saved me, now I’m sane” – the power of a declaration of faith in Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross, paired with the personal testimony of salvation and transformation. According to the words in Romans 3:21 – 26 and Ephesians 2:8 – 9, we were all wretched sinners before Jesus took our place and God forgave us of our sins, and before we had faith in Christ and accepted His gift of salvation. When preaching on false prophets in Matthew 7, Jesus states that by their fruits you will know them”. This album looks like the fruit of a transformed life and a heart that has been sold out’ for Jesus. 

Less than a week after its release, this album is being listened to by millions around the globe. It’s not only widely talked about in Christian circles right now, but everyone is saying that Jesus is King”. Let’s pray that this album does many great things – including encouraging Christians to be bolder in confessing the kingship and lordship of Jesus Christ. May it also spark desire in the hearts of all who listen but don’t know Him, to seek the risen King in whom we have faith and serve.

About the author

Beulah recently graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA Liberal Arts degree, but because no one ever seems to know what "Liberal Arts" is, let's just say she studied Sociology and Politics with a little bit of Biblical Hebrew on the side. She has had experience serving within Christian student societies and enjoys regularly helping out with the children's ministry at church. Beulah recently started learning the Korean language, and now spends much of her free time watching "Hello Counselor" or cheesy K-Dramas. Beulah will be starting the Teach First training programme in June 2020, and is excited to begin her journey into teaching and education.

See more from Beulah Olisanekwu

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