Kanye West’s, explosive and very public embrace of Christianity has finally come to a head with anticipation building around his upcoming gospel album, “Jesus is King.” Kanye Omari West’s may have come to Jesus but some Christians aren’t buying the born-again “Yeezus.” Kanye West on the eve of his new gospel album “Jesus Is King,” which is expected to drop in one form or another this weekend following his latest “Sunday Service” performance, the online Christian community has revived its sermon against the 42-year-old rapper’s co-opting of their culture, New York Post reported.
Hundreds of hellfire-haters are firing up the Twitterverse but the controversy about West’s invocation of religious imagery in his work has been around since the early 2000s, critic and self-proclaimed Christian Charlene Kaleina, of Connecticut, tells The Post.
Kaleina, 68, says her faith is constantly mocked “because of the strange and weird behaviour of people like this man. He may be trying to understand Jesus in his own limited way and we cannot judge another’s soul,” the commercial real estate professional tells The Post. “People who follow Christ sense something is not right with this scene.” The Post has reached out to a West spokesperson for a response to critiques such as Kaleina’s.
Online, hundreds of the faithful felt the album title alone was blasphemous. ” ‘Jesus Is King’ is trending on Twitter,” writes another critic who identifies as an Adventist. “They’re talking about the self-proclaimed god Kanye West, who is a mere man.” Others argue that West whose famous friends describe as a born-again Christian has made past statements that show his heart cannot possibly be in the right place, according to the news report. Kanye West ‘Jesus is King’ album criticised by Christians details Kanye West’s struggles with bipolar disorder.
“The way he talks about women in his other/recent albums, I’m sceptical he knows the gospel,” writes one Twitter critic. “I am much more willing to believe Chance (The Rapper) is born again than Kanye.”
“There is also the problem of inclusion. Kanye’s “Sunday Service” is invite-only, which is a big problem, according to Premier Christianity magazine columnist Tobi Oredein.
“My major issue with Kanye’s Sunday Services is that they appear to be exclusive clubs for the rich and famous,” Oredein writes. “The average person can’t visit, instead, we’re kept at arm’s length merely watching on screens. A church — or any gathering led in Christ’s name, should be open to everyone.
Kanye’s church also seems to be more of an ad campaign for his music and fashion brand. He’s employing a choir of people who are not only singing his songs but are all dressed in his apparel. Is Christ really at the centre of this gathering? I’m not sure he is.” Oredein concluded.
Alot of Christians really don’t believe ‘Yeezus’ (West’s other name) is sincerely practising what he preaches. This album is his most vocal proclamation of his faith yet, but its conception has been foreshadowed for years, according to DailyMail report. In 2004, West’s debut album ‘College Dropout’ featured a song titled ‘Jesus Walks’ that showed him asking for guidance. “God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna break me down And I don’t think there’s nothin’ I can do now to right my wrongs. I wanna talk to God but I’m afraid ’cause we ain’t spoke in so long”.
Two years later he got some fans furious when he posed for a Rolling Stone’s cover named ‘The Passion of Kanye.’ The photo showed him dressed as Jesus, complete with a crown of thorns, and drew complaints it was blasphemous. Daily Mail reported that at the time, the photographer David LaChapelle told Rolling Stone: “I wanted to make it look exactly like the DVD cover of The Passion of the Christ right down to the individual thorns.” This act alone left a very bad impression amongst Christians as to West’s true motive behind his sudden declaration of being a ‘born again Christian.’
In 2013, West dropped his controversial platinum album ‘Yeezus’ that notably played off the name ‘Jesus.’ The album included a song titled ‘I Am a God’ with similar lyrics: “I am a God. Even though I’m a man of God. My whole life in the hands of God. So y’all better quit playing with God.”
Back in present time, West’s ‘Jesus is King’ album is charming to longtime fans who have posted about their enthusiasm across social media. On Friday, ‘Jesus is King’ has been trending on Twitter. And between the fanfare, were pockets of Christians who found the music venture sacrilegious.