I usually don’t take the time to weigh in on issues like this one. However, it came up in our community group this week, and I have become aware that a number of people in our local church family are wondering about Yeezus and Jesus. Here is my sweltering hot take.

What do I make of Kanye’s faith confession?

First, I look, and I rejoice. I think Patrick Shreiner’s article is helpful in this regard.

Second, I don’t try to judge the veracity of Kanye’s confession. I know this is mind-blowingly counterintuitive in a world where every person, everywhere, at all times, must have an immediate take on every single issue imaginable. I’m extremely comfortable not passing judgment on Kanye’s confession, because it is not my responsibility. Judging the veracity of Kanye’s faith would only be my responsibility under one of these two conditions:

1) If I was Kanye
2) If Kanye and I were members of the same local church

Obviously, if I’m Kanye, the Scriptures implore me to examine or test myself in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5), to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:13), and to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). The Bible is like a mirror, a mirror provided to us by God Himself. We look into it, and it looks into us. As the Spirit reveals, we are called to respond to Jesus. I’ve always loved the line from C.S. Lewis’s, The Horse and His Boy.

“Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.”

Clive Staples wasn’t the Apostle Paul or another writer of Scripture, and I don’t take his words with as much weight. But I do love that line. It speaks to the reality told to us in the Bible, that each one is first responsible for their own response to the truth of God’s Son.

The second context that would give me some form of allowance, even a responsibility, to judge the veracity of Kanye’s confession, would be if I was either a fellow member or elder at a local church where Kanye was a member. I don’t know if Kanye is a member of a local church yet, but I do know he is not a member of the church where I’m a member and an elder. I think this is a point that’s been overlooked in the Niagara Falls of hot takes on the Kanye situation. Many people instinctually blurt out “Don’t judge!” without realizing that in a local church context, we are actually told to judge. In fact, when the Corinthian Christians refused to pass judgment on a confessing believer who was living among them in open and unrepentant sin, Paul called them “arrogant” (1 Corinthians 5:1ff). Additionally, local church elders are charged to “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight” (1 Peter 5:2). Church members are told that their leaders “are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account” (Hebrews 13:17). Jesus said, “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (Luke 6:42).

We are told to judge one another as Christians, but Jesus never intended for Twitter to be the medium of that type of accountability. The New Testament envisions a believer rooting in a local church family, where brothers and sisters in the faith know one another, journey through life together, and are shepherded and cared for by tested, faithful, and qualified leaders who serve the body through the ministry of the word.

What do I do with Kanye’s new album, Jesus is King?

I listen, and I rejoice.

I have been listening to rap since I was about 8 years old. My experience of music has always been more about lyrics than instrumentation, so the genre fits. Admittedly, I am in no way a studied critic. As I’ve listened to Kanye’s album, I have rejoiced at the lyrics. Is it real? I don’t know his heart or his future, but I know words, theology, and the English language. Jesus is preached in this album. Christ is proclaimed. I am not in any way vouching for every single line of every single song, but overall, the lyrics are teeming with Christ-honoring, gospel-centered ideas. I rejoice at this, because of Paul’s words in Philippians 1:15-18:

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice…