Month: October 2019

Jesus Is King – Kanye West

Jesus Is King – Kanye West

I never imagined writing the following, but God has a way of doing things far beyond our own understandings. If you haven’t heard, which would surprise me, Kanye West (yes that Kanye) has released a Christian music album. Several friends on Facebook this weekend commented and posted about it. I had to take the time this morning to listen.

The content of the music reflects a change of heart for Kanye. He is not intending to teach deep theological concepts through this album. Rather he seems to be announcing his newfound faith in Jesus Christ. A “Coffee With Jesus” cartoon I saw makes the point the music is not “Christian”, but very much Kanye. The music has the same style and feel of secular music, but the content, the words, show a deep change of heart.

As I listened on the way in to the office this morning, God spoke in a way that “music” hasn’t done for me in a while. It took my spirit back to the beginning and the joy of Christ’s love. My spirit was moved deeply to pray for him and his walk, far beyond the normal prayer for those who are leading. You know the kind of prayer I’m talking about, the “and we pray for those leading” and that’s it? Not this morning, deep powerful prayer was to be had for Kanye West and his family.

God also prompted me to write and help others see the same. Do you pray for those leading the fight in a deep, powerful, and moving way? Or do you gloss over it? Go and listen to Jesus Is King. When you’re listening remember to let it take you back to the beginning of your walk, which is where he is, and let God teach you. Here’s a link to the full album on Youtube.

Our Response to Kanye

I’ve been reading posts and thoughts about Kanye’s conversion. I have noticed in a few of them people seem to claim it’s fake. Maybe not directly or overtly, but it is implied. I want to call on you to not be that person. Paul tells the Corinthian church that no man can claim “Jesus is Lord” without the Spirit. We need to remember that Kanye is very much declaring Jesus as Lord and King. As such we must, as brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for him.

Jackie made a good point on the way home from church yesterday as we were discussing this. She pointed out how often Christians turn on each other. She said that there are going to be people that are watching Kanye just waiting on him to mess up so they can say “see we told you so”. If that’s you, you’re a part of the problem in the Church today. There I said it.

Our responsibility as believers is to be a family, a community, a single unified body, the very Body of Christ. Paul was clear when he talked about parts of the body claiming to not need others. The body of Christ cannot thrive in the way it did at first if we’re all looking to find the fault in another. It’s time that the Church returns to unity, and Kanye may just be the catalyst.

Next Step

Make time today to pray for Kanye West and family. He has chosen to follow Jesus Christ as his Lord in the middle of a culture that despises Christ. He is going to be attacked for his faith, people are going to spit on him and persecute him. We as believers should be praying for his faith to remain strong. Right now, he has the ability and influence to reach MILLIONS of people. The first song on the album, linked above, has just shy of 1.5 million views since Friday.

Pray that God would make Kanye a beacon of light into the darkness. God can do amazing things with anyone, He may well have chosen Kanye to bring revival back to the world.

In Response

In Response

A friend of mine reached out to me about 6:15 or so this morning with a link to a video on Facebook. Many of you probably haven’t seen this video and I am not going to link it here the language is far beyond what I ever care to hear. It is not something that we should be seeking out, it’s only going to cause issues for the Church in Texarkana. I do however want to respond in love for both the two presenters in the video and the Church at large in Texarkana.

This video seems to be focused on one primary goal, to name names of individual church leaders who have either been caught in sexual sin or are being accused of such. If you listen closely you can hear in the presenter’s voices both sincerity toward the situations in the fact Christians should be better and at the same time a disdain for Christians in general. The presenters seem to have the mindset that all clergy and Christians behave this way, but consider themselves as “holier than thou” pretending that it doesn’t happen. I noticed a few things in the very beginning of the video that stand out as red flags on both sides of the argument. These red flags need to be addressed both in respect to the presenters as well as toward those whom are named and the Church at large. 

The first red flag for me was very early in the video. The called out the “Church” for the many different offerings that are taken. They called out the tithe, the ministers offering (not sure what this is exactly), the gifts offerings, and others. They implied, if not outright stated, that these offerings were compelled upon the people. This is an area the Church needs to address, as difficult as it is to keep the doors open we must ensure that we are following Paul’s guidance to the Corinthians “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.“ (2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB) Giving to God is to be done in a manner that is cheerful and not grudgingly or out of necessity. The Church as seen by the presenters seems to ignore this guidance of Paul and has been grabbing at their money. The presenter’s statement of this issue immediately caught my attention in the fact that much of this video was likely to center around the money issue, and in fact it does. Whether the issues presented further in the video are accurate or not does not negate this very first issue. This is a situation that we’ve seen time and again in the Church that the unbelieving world sees us as only out to get more and more money. We must be sure that we’re addressing the needs of the people and allowing God’s grace to “provide sufficiency in all things” (2 Cor 9:8 NASB)

The presenters go on to talk about a lady prophesying to one presenter about her father’s death. She claims that a woman told her that God spoke to her and said her dad would recover and be well on one day and the next her father was dead. She claims the same woman approached her and stated “God knows best.” This single act set this presenter down the road toward abandoning Christianity. This is an ongoing issue that must be dealt with in the Church, and I don’t doubt this presenters statement as I too have seen such. This style of prophecy is taught far too often that if you merely speak it will be so, but if it doesn’t happen you were either wrong or lacked faith either way it’s no big deal. In fact it is a big deal, it’s a very big deal. Prophets of God should be tested and tried (1 John 4). This concept has brought many to the point of allowing false prophets to speak as if they’re speaking for God, and when they’re wrong they’re not declared as false but rather they misheard God or were just wrong. We must be careful when allowing prophecy into the Church, it must be tested and tried before it should ever be considered by the masses.

At this point the presenters go on to start naming names of pastors and leaders who are in sinful situations of cheating, homosexuality, and even pedophilia at one moment. I am not going to relist all of the names here as none of this is verified by us, but I do notice one thing about ALL of these names. They’re each pastors or leaders of African-American churches. Considering the presenters are African-American they are likely focusing on these churches and leaders because of their own history of hurt. They claim that each of these names presented to them are coming from their followers and supporters. While that may be true, the way each of these are presented sound a lot like personal attacks. It’s as if the presenters are trying to get back at the Church for their own hurts in the past and now have a list of names they can call out trying to damage the Church in Texarkana. I’m not stating that I don’t believe any of the claims, because I know well that man is fallen and can sin. I do however believe many, if not all, the statements go beyond the truth, but still contain some semblance of the truth. I know pastors and pastor’s wives who have cheated and been cheated on, it happens. Far too often it happens.

As I said in the beginning many times money is brought up. The presenters ask the question on almost every issue of “people of [such and such church/ministry] did you know the money you’re giving is going to buy [whatever sexual thing they could come up with]?” These presenters most likely were taken for what they view as a substantial amount of money in their past. This hurt has lead them away from the Church as they now view the Church as only focused on money. It has lead them to a point of hatred toward anyone who claims to be a minister or leader in the Church. A hurt however many years ago to these women committed by people claiming the Church has lead them to this point today.

Finally, this video is only one of 4 or 5 videos going around Facebook doing this exact thing. These are all churches and leaders within Texarkana. Whether the accusations are true or false, apparently the leaders have likely not abstained from even the appearance of sin (1 Thessalonians 5:22). It’s entirely possible that each one of these accusations is false, but the accusation is out there. These churches are going to be damaged for the rest of their existence in Texarkana. The Church within Texarkana is going to be damaged. Christians in Texarkana are going to be hurt, not physically hopefully but emotionally and mentally. We in Texarkana’s churches need to be ready for any backlash that we may receive as a result of these videos. Pray for each other, love one another.

Bryan