Has Kanye Lost His Jesus Complex and Found Christ?

Has Kanye Lost His Jesus Complex and Found Christ? by KATE SHELLNUTT for Christianity Today

The rapper attributes his turnaround and creative inspiration to godly obedience.

It’s been 15 years since Christianity Today reviewed Kanye West’s debut album, The College Dropout—quoting verses from “Jesus Walks” and other God-tinged tracks, while warning that the release overall is “far from pious, with an array of expletives and lyrical undesirables.”

“One wonders why West so adamantly makes a case for Christ in ‘Jesus Walks,’ yet quickly dismisses him via duplicitous party rhymes,” wrote Andree Farias. “The answer is probably in the album’s liner notes, where West openly declares that he’s not where he needs to be, despite still being on God’s side.”

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Christian fans have asked questions about Kanye’s relationship with God over and over since then (as they do with many other celebrities who reference faith in their work and interviews). What does it mean for him to make a “gospel album with a lot of cursing”? What’s up with the Yeezus nickname and Christ imagery? Is Kanye’s discussion of his spiritual life sincere or just part of an act?

For followers of Kanye—who’s now also a designer, shoe mogul, husband to Kim Kardashian, and friend of President Donald Trump—the questions around his Christianity have compounded lately.

While Kanye has referenced God and Jesus throughout his career, back to the “Jesus Walks” days, the 42-year-old has begun to make more overt remarks about God’s work in his life and ventures, including his much-talked-about “Sunday Services,” weekly gatherings for family and celeb friends to fellowship and sing together.

Plus, he’s publicly discussing topics like the role of the church, passages of the Bible, and obedience to Christ.

“As always with Kanye, it’s hard to discern with precision where he’s at,” said Cray Allred, a Christian writer, podcast producer, and hip-hop fan. “While he has moved away from relying so heavily on gospel sampling in his music (an early trademark of his sound), Kanye seems to feel much more like an insider to Christianity now.”

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