Kanye West is one of the most controversial figures in entertainment. The rapper, fashion designer, and self-proclaimed genius is not known to shy away from it. He’s also never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, including talking about his faith. In a recent interview with GQ magazine, West talked in-depth about his faith and why Christians must speak about it.
In the interview with GQ, West shared that he’s “definitely born again” and talked in detail about the difference between being judgmental and talking about issues. He also shared his feelings about what it looks like to become a Christian. It’s accepting that other believers will hold you accountable for your actions, something many critics don’t seem to understand, West said.
“They think that all of a sudden, you believe in Christ, so we’re not even supposed to speak up,” West said. “And if we speak up, people will say, ‘Oh, you’re being judgmental.’ And it’s like, ‘Oh, now, because I’m Christian, I don’t even have an opinion anymore?’ I’m Christian, and I still have an opinion. But my opinion is based on the Word.”
Around the time West released his much anticipated and controversial album, “Jesus is King,” he shared that he was done with secular music. He said he would only be creating faith-based music. Andre Barber of the Chicago hip-hop music blog “Fake Shore” shared this in a tweet.
This album, which featured artists like Chance the Rapper, didn’t come without its share of controversy. There were some reports that the album focused more on West than it did on God.
Faithwire covered this controversy, writing, “According to a report from Hits Daily Double, a group of executives with Def Jam Recordings recently traveled to West’s occasional Wyoming home, where – as Variety characterized it – they may have voiced concerns about an album full of Christian-themed songs from West, who is the label’s ‘biggest star.’”
West’s “Sunday Services” were a big success and grew substantially following since they first started indoors with a small group of people. Several videos went viral of West performing Gospel music at these services, bringing many people back to the days of “Jesus Walks,” the fourth single from his debut album “The College Dropout.”
In the interview with GQ, West shared that he was happy with the fact that the Sunday Services were judgement-free zones.
“I feel that the church that most people grew up on as kids had a negative environment. The greatest thing for me, as someone who’s given their life to Christ, is knowing that other people have that as an anchor and a form of healing,” West said.
West expressed that these services helped him with his faith, even declaring that he was “born-again” during one of the Sunday services. West, who is married popular TV personality and socialite Kim Kardashian, said those who are not in service to God are 'in service to everything else.'
“To live inside of sin, it’s going to cost you more than you can pay,” West said. “You don’t want to continue to sin with no repentance. I understand that people feel that I’ve made some cultural sins. But the only real sins are the sins against God, and you don’t want to continue to sin against God.”
West’s newfound faith has supposedly change his entire outlook, including how he feels about his wife, Kim Kardashian West’s revealing wardrobe. In an episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” West talked with his wife about his disapproval of her Met Gala outfit.
“I went through this transition where being a rapper, looking at all these girls and looking at my wife, like, ‘Oh my girl needs to be just like the other girls showing their body off.’ I didn’t realize that that was affecting my soul and my spirit as someone who is married and the father of now … about to be four kids. A corset is a form of underwear, it’s hot, for who though?,” West said.
It was evident in the episode that Kardashian West didn’t take the criticisms well.
“So the night before the Met, you’re going to come in here and say that you’re not into a corset vibe?” Kardashian West said. “You’re giving me really bad anxiety. You knew last night I had really bad anxiety, and I don’t need any more negative energy, and for you to say, you’re now not into me wearing a tight dress.”
He quickly responded, “You are my wife, and it affects me when pictures are too sexy.”
“You built me up to be this sexy person and confidence and all this, and just because you’re on a journey and transformation doesn’t mean I’m in the same spot with you,” Kardashian West said.
While the couple has had their rough spots, Kardashian West has supported the rapper mogul through this faith journey.
“He is my husband, so I obviously want to honor him and what he’s feeling as he’s been going through this life change,” Kardashian West said during an interview on the daytime show “The Real.“
Some have wondered if his “born-again” conversion real or merely a publicity stunt. For evangelicals, becoming born-again is at the heart of being a Christian. It is acknowledging sin and publicly declaring that you need Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. When you are born again, you are changed from the inside out.
Jesus said, “‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again'” (John 3: 5-7). While we may not know, and some may not believe, West has had a born-again conversion, this isn’t for us to determine. This has everything to do with West’s relationship with Jesus Christ. When we become born-again, we are burying our old lives and experiencing a rebirth spiritually. West is an incredible influence in popular culture and has a real platform to reach a new audience of believers. Hopefully, West has truly accepted Jesus in his heart and will help others find Him in theirs.