The Standard November 6, 2019
When a person whose life has appeared largely at odds with Christian values proclaims a change of heart and a new-found faith in Jesus Christ friends and family might watch with raised eyebrows, waiting to see if transformation actually occurs. When a major celebrity, previously known for excesses and wild living announces this drastic turnaround, many on-lookers express skepticism that the changes will be lasting. Jesus taught that there were different responses to the good news of the kingdom of God.
“Then he [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13: 3-8) “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13: 18-23)
Kanye West is among the most critically acclaimed musicians of the 21st century. Since 2004 when his debut album was released over 140 million West records have been sold worldwide. For years Kanye rapped about sex, money and power with graphic lyrics. In 2013 West, nicknamed “Ye” or “Yeezy,” released his Yeezus album. In it, he proudly compared himself to Jesus. One song was entitled “I am a God.” He sang about his power and how people should serve him. He became like his own pagan deity. In the past few months West has been struck by how backwards and wrong his attitude was in acting as if he were on par with Jesus. He says that he has been radically transformed.
Kanye told the pastor of Placerita Bible Church, “I was just under the weight of my sin. And I was being convicted that I was running from God. And I knew I needed to make things right. So, I came to Christ. I came out of darkness into the light.”
Two weeks ago Kanye released his first-ever gospel album and has dominated social news with interviews and promotion of the Christian message and his new style of music.
On Jimmy Kimmel’s show West said, “You asked me last year did having a daughter change my life and I’ve completely turned around from where my perspective was last year to where it is now. I feel like there’s so few individuals in the position like mine to be able to give their opinion and stand up and say, ‘This is what family is about.’ I feel that God is using me and using the choir and using my family to show off… We’re in complete service to God.” “Would you consider yourself to be a Christian music artist now,?” Kimmel asked. “I’m just a Christian everything,” West replied. “Everything.” Comparing himself to Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar Kanye West says he once mocked God. As Christians, we know of God’s power to change lives drastically and can pray that this is an example of seed falling on good soil.