|Kanye West (AP photo)|
Earlier this year he announced to a fellow rapper that he was now born again after initially turning to God in 2016, when he was hospitalized and ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In September 2019, he announced that from now on, spirituality would be his only true theme, and that he would no longer be producing secular music. In October 2019 he announced that he had been saved. Meanwhile, he had begun holding star-studded events known as the "Sunday Service" following the release of his album called Jesus is King. He has even applied for a trademark on the name "Sunday Service". Kanye seems to be the leader of these exclusive events that typically have A-list celebrities in attendance, revolve around music, and sometimes include informal prayer.
Recording spiritual music is nothing new for him. His 2013 album Yeezus included the song “I Am a God." In case you don't see what's wrong with that song title, I need to let you know that Kanye is not a God and we are not gods. (For more on this, please see my article, Are We Really Little Gods?)
|Kanye West (Rolling Stones photo)|
Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) News had headlines about Kanye on a daily or near daily basis in October and November 2019. If you do a search on "Kanye West" on that site, you will find 75 results, many of which appear to be articles they have written about him. While I didn't read the articles (except for a couple of them), the headlines (in my opinion) often made him appear to be the one who would save this generation with his Sunday Services; and based on the headlines, at times it seemed as if some people might have thought that he could single-handedly reach the whole world for Christ. The Christian media need to be careful not to put him up on a pedestal, as if he is the savior of the world or the Messiah of this generation. It's a mistake to put anyone up on a pedestal, because it will lead ultimately to their destruction, if they allow you to do it.
According to the news reports. thousands of people were flocking to his Sunday Service performance, and thousands of people even reportedly got saved at one of those shows. There's nothing wrong with people getting saved, as long as they truly did get saved through repentance and faith in Christ. And Kanye does speak about a lot of things that are biblical like the love and fear of God, grace, repentance, and being set free by Jesus Christ. He also says that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be granted eternal life. He also says that the only superstar is Jesus. That's all well and good.
However, there are numerous red flags that you need to be aware of, and sadly none of them were raised by CBN News. In November 2019 he appeared on stage with prosperity preacher and mega church pastor Joel Osteen for an interview in front of the Lakewood Church congregation. During that interview, Kanye said that the Lord is now going to use the cockiness and arrogance, for which his fans have always known him. Since cockiness and arrogance are sins, God cannot and will not use those sins for His glory. Kanye also referred to himself as "the greatest artist that God ever created." That would be pride, which is also a sin in God's sight.
When a man seated in the crowd off-stage was speaking while Kanye was speaking, he stopped and publicly asked the man to stop speaking, because Kanye said that when he is in certain "streams of consciousness," he must not be distracted, in order to allow God to speak through him. He then asked that every single person in the church auditorium, which holds over 16,000 people, be completely silent while he spoke. In my thinking, the term "streams of consciousness" is basically New Age terminology, although it does have other usages, so Kanye's use of it could indicate some mixture there.
In his closing prayer, Kanye also referred to Joel Osteen as "one of the strongest voices in the Christian community," who "has led hundreds of thousands of people to Christ." He referred to Osteen's words and mission as being anointed. If you have listened at all to Osteen, you will know that he preaches a Christianity-light, prosperity gospel message. He keeps it positive and doesn't want to offend anyone or appear to be judging them by preaching against sin. This is contrary to the Lord Jesus and His apostles who definitely preached against sin and offended plenty of people along the way.
Kanye told Osteen that when he was at UCLA hospital for a mental breakdown, he was sitting there drawing a picture of a church, and writing "to start a church," which apparently meant that he felt God had called him to start a church. So while some may not be sure if "Sunday Service" is a church or not, we at least know that Kanye thinks he is supposed to start one.
The problem is that if he is in fact a new believer, the Scripture clearly warns against such a person being an overseer of a church. Paul the apostle warned "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil." (1 Tim 3:6, NIV).
The Sunday Service choir wears a uniform from West’s Yeezy clothing line, which seems to be a direct form of advertising. His fans can even purchase “church clothes” from his website, including $50 socks that say “Jesus Walks,” and $225 hoodies that say “Holy Spirit.” Our Lord taught against this sort of merchandising in the Church, as I have written in my article The Sale of Christian Music and Art -- A Robbers' Den?
Since Kanye himself has battled with opioid addiction, he speaks about addictions. He said, "Those addictions are on us even when you are saved and fully delivered. We are all human and fall short of the glory. Christians are not going to be Christ - we are going to follow Christ and be Christ-like and repent for our sins. It's that constant repentance. People who don't accept the Bible don't want to accept that they’re wrong.”
I agree with most of what he said, except the part that addictions remain on us as disciples of Christ, even when we are saved and fully delivered. That is incorrect, and there is no biblical basis for it. Once a person is delivered, they are truly set free.
As Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free....So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (Jn 8:31b-32,36, NIV).
Another concern I have is that he can be seen during his Sunday Service show singing and dancing with his hand over his crotch as rappers typically do. This is certainly immodest and improper for God's holy people, and some might say it is suggestive or even obscene. (See Instagram video).
According to his wife Kim Kardashian, the Sunday Service is open to all faiths and does not include preaching. However, that is more like ecumenism or New Age religion than Christianity. The Christian faith is exclusive. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man comes to the Father, except through Me." (Jn 14:6).
|Kanye West and Family dressed as fly and larvae|
Regarding the music he produces and performs, let me just say this. There are many forms of popular, worldly music, including rap, rock, and reggae, that are commonly used by people to communicate Christian messages. However, God does not condone worldliness and He does not need worldly music to accomplish His purposes on earth. (For more on this, please see my article Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Five Divine Revelations).
Finally, as pointed out by "Now the End Begins," Kanye's Sunday Service performances feature the all-seeing eye of Horus, which is clearly a New Age occult symbol (See here).
Kanye Headlines the Awaken 2020 Event
website, logo, and promotional videos.
The self -proclaimed purpose of the event was to "open the womb for the third Great Awakening in America." Yet the two different promotional videos on the event's site (see here) and on Facebook (see here) had many antichrist, immodest, impure, and seductive images that have no place among God's holy people. The apostle Paul wrote:
"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." (Eph 5:3)
One last thing about the event that was very strange was that Lou Engle was originally listed as one of the speakers for the event, and he is prominently featured in both of their promotional videos linked above. Lou Engle is connected with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), and while he loves homosexuals, he has spoken out against homosexuality as a sin. The event organizer, David Herzog, issued a press statement prior to the event, stating that Engle would not be an event speaker, nor was he affiliated with the event in any way. Herzog stated:
"...we want to make it specifically clear that: Lou Engle is not affiliated with, nor is he an organizer or partner of or a speaker at Awaken 2020...If any of our past potential or current event participants, speakers, and collaborators were affiliated with any such harmful platforms in any way or at any time, we do not support any view points as such. Awaken 2020 is a new opportunity for the Christian community to reset and align its message with respect for the people, especially the youth who are experiencing a time of revival and renewal in the wake of the new works of Kanye West and The Sunday Service Collective." (emphasis added). The focus on Kanye as opposed to Lou Engle is glaringly obvious.
Herzog further stated that he "would like to emphasize that our message is of Love and Unity." Although this event was being billed as a revival and a spiritual awakening, he didn't say anything about repentance, which is central to any revival.
Let's take a step back and prayerfully consider the issues and concerns that I have raised here, remembering the words of our Lord that we must be on guard against false prophets who come as wolves in sheep's clothing. He said:
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Mat 7:15-23)
In these last and evil days, when false prophets abound, let's not be deceived by anyone, no matter how attractive, talented, famous, or sincere they may seem, and no matter how well they can talk the talk. Let's examine their fruit, because by their fruit we will recognize them. In my opinion, Kanye does not pass the simple fruit test of Scripture, but that is something that each person must personally evaluate, and a decision they must make on their own.
'The Only Superstar Is Jesus': Kanye West Speaks to Joel Osteen About Faith and Family
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the Toly Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. Images may be subject to copyright and are used per the Fair Use Act for commentary and education purposes only.
Author's note: I also recommend reading The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Separated from the World, Avoiding Worldly Worship, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music - Five Divine Revelations, New Age-New World Order, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, Popularity of the Gospel, What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?, The Sale of Christian Music and Art -- A Robbers' Den?, and Pope Establishes One World Religion. I also recommend my daughter's poem, The Dazzling Wine of Deception. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org