Kanye West - Jesus is KING

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Logan

Puritan Board Junior
There are at least two approaches in this thread:

1. I'll disbelieve his confession until proven otherwise.
2. I'll cautiously accept his confession until proven otherwise.

One is pessimism, the other optimism. Perhaps it is a money-grab (although I suspect being a Christian is far less lucrative endeavor than he's had up to this point). However, it seems charity wouldn't assign these motives until proven. I know next to nothing about Kanye West and probably will never listen to his music but shouldn't we believe all things, hope all things? Can we at least be cautiously optimistic and not engage in speculative suspicion (e.g., "it seems like...he's probably...I hope it's not the case but...")?

Perhaps next week will prove those suspicions correct, but I'll be cautiously optimistic for now and assume the best.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
So, are you saying that the bar that validates a person's conversion is understanding (even in a cursory sense) the doctrine of election, for instance, or being eligible for membership in a "truly Reformed" church?

We all agree that the broadly evangelical are deficient in their faith; yet most of us (I think!) would still grant the possibility that they have been converted. I think that it is safe to say that this is the camp in which Kanye would be aligned (his Calvinist pastor/friend notwithstanding). Do we still judge him according to the precepts of a "truly Reformed" church? Or do we extend the possibility that he may be included among the converted - yet broadly evangelical - Christian community?

I know *absolutely* nothing about Kanye or his profession, so I am only affording charity to one who claims to be a Christian. I agree with those who have said that his fruit will demonstrate his sincerity. I just wonder if you are setting the bar a bit high for a (potential) new convert.
Again it really is of no practical import to me whether he is or not. I am merely responding to those who have used this album and some recent statements as reason to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is converted. I don't hear anything on this album which convinces me that he is. He's not regularly attending a Biblical church. My concern is the standard by which we judge a profession of faith as worthy of acceptance and I'm concerned that the standard being applied here is far too low.

I accept that one does not need to have a thorough understanding of all Biblical doctrines to be converted. But, again, what is said on this album strongly suggests he has erroneous views on these doctrines. And when one applies for membership of a congregation he is examined as to his doctrine and experience. A mere suspicion that the applicant is converted is not sufficient for him to be granted access to the Lord's Table.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
I am surprised this is being compared to a session receiving members. Apples and star fruit. Nobody is arguing here that West is in fact regenerate. All I, for one, am simply trying to say is that we have just as valid grounds for assuming the veracity if his profession as not. And we should avoid making either pronouncement, positive or negative, at this point.

I am not debating this further, certainly not with someone who will throw insulting stones at everyone in this forum, like accusing them of having a “low bar” theologically and such, but then cry foul the moment he is opposed.

I’m out.
Again the criticism was made against those who dared question whether he might actually be converted because we didn't think a hip/hop album called Jesus is King is sufficient evidence of conversion. I have just responded. It is all very well and good to say that qualifications for being accepted as a member is not the same as being converted or not. But if our churches would not accept him as a member then I really don't know what profit there is in just assuming he's converted and broadcasting that for all to read. The harm that can do to the witness of the church is far greater than any harm done to Kanye West's conversion, or non-conversion.

If I can be accused of putting too high a bar I can certainly accuse others of putting the bar too low. The point of a debate is to determine who is right. If you're going to leave the debate because you don't like me criticising your position then there's not much debate to be had. You might not like me "accusing" others of having a low bar theologically, and I may be wrong in that "accusation". Or I may be right. And if I'm right then I'm right whether you're offended or not.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Yes. It is our duty to "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

If I am going to err on one side, it will be on the side of charity. If, God forbid, the man proves to be a hypocrite, so what? I daresay I probably know less about the lives of most of you on this board. We have had men and women shock us on this board over the years as you have sadly seen. As for other celebrities, did Dylan's apostasy wreck the church? Certainly not. The Lord Jesus reigns and is sovereign, which is what allows us to follow the 9th commandment even when it doesn't seem expedient.

If I had been interviewed shortly after my own conversion ten years ago, I probably would have been less theologically astute than what I've heard out of this brother's mouth. I will count him as a brother until I have cause to believe otherwise. That is what charity and the 9th commandment demand. In the meantime, I hear him speak of sin, repentance, and Christ as King. Things other Christian celebrities rarely do in their guarded allusions to their faith.

He might prove to be a hypocrite. So what? Let the Lord deal with that in that case. I am not his elder. I am not in his home either. In the meantime I will rejoice as the angels in heaven do when sinners repent. And, for whatever it is worth, my brother Alexander: I doubt many of us would qualify to be members in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, much less Kanye West. So, I'm not sure that is a particularly helpful measure.

Most churches (including my own) simply require a credible confession of faith along with baptism and an assent to submit (not subscribe) to the doctrines of the church. Other than the issue of the nature of the sacraments (baptism in particular), this isn't a huge bar for a child of God, even new converts. For instance, in the RPCNA, members don't have to believe in a capella exclusive psalm singing. Just to submit to it and not quarrel against it.

Now, I don't listen to Kanye's music and probably won't other than curiosity. He is drawing the ire of the liberals and the ungodly and is standing in the face of it, by (I believe) the grace of God. Let us just pray for the man. He has enough grief coming from the enemies of God. Let us encourage him to grow in holiness and godliness and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. I pray his conversion is genuine. It does no good to question it when the man speaks of sin, repentance, and faith - even through at times, the less than perfect words of a new believer in Christ. I said far worse when I was first converted. I shudder to think at the judgment I would have received from those in the church if I wasn't converted in a relatively 'safe' and in an obscure environment.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I realise that the discussion has moved on somewhat, but if you do not have access to the Twitter video that I linked to earlier, here is a permanent link to Kanye's video on localism. There is also a brief video of him talking about repentance on FB. I do not know if it is available anywhere else.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
There are many Roman Catholics whose profession of faith is far more orthodox than Kanye West's and who regularly attend church. Should we give such individuals the benefit of the doubt and accept them as converted, as brothers and sisters in Christ?
 

My Pilgrim Way

Puritan Board Freshman
I have more questions about Mr. Tyson (the one who is not a new convert) like why he would allow Kanye to fly him to his home in WY every week for a bible study for him and his staff? Should discipleship be done on our own terms or in the context of a local church? I cannot think of one pastor that would do that for me. God is no respecter of persons.
 

Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

Puritan Board Freshman
I realise that the discussion has moved on somewhat, but if you do not have access to the Twitter video that I linked to earlier, here is a permanent link to Kanye's video on localism. There is also a brief video of him talking about repentance on FB. I do not know if it is available anywhere else.
That FB video shows he understands the faith and repentance.

He is a larger than life celebrity that has lived his entire career in a world we can not possibly understand, and yet I strongly believe that God has redeemed him out of that life and I gladly call him brother.

He still has a lot of maturing to do as we all have had to. Certainly looking at his past he needs to learn humility, and looking at what has become of this thread, I think we would all do well to examine our selves and see if there isn’t any elitist pride clouding our sense of humility.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
That FB video shows he understands the faith and repentance.

He is a larger than life celebrity that has lived his entire career in a world we can not possibly understand, and yet I strongly believe that God has redeemed him out of that life and I gladly call him brother.

He still has a lot of maturing to do as we all have had to. Certainly looking at his past he needs to learn humility, and looking at what has become of this thread, I think we would all do well to examine our selves and see if there isn’t any elitist pride clouding our sense of humility.
It is rather astonishing. I suppose several here have had quite nice and tidy conversion experiences and ended up in a Reformed church their first day of new life, able to recite the Shorter Catechism. Praise God for that!

But it wasn't my experience. I was in a megachurch where discipleship was basically "find the closest person who seems like they know the Bible". I had no concept of ecclesiology.

I even visited a couple of churches that had women preach the prosperity gospel, while I was trying to make sense of what the Lord was doing with me and went along with the only Christian friends I knew at my work place. If someone got a video of that and put it on Facebook, who knows what I would have been called.

Now, as an elder, I have rarely found nice and tidy conversion experiences. Even those who come to faith in our circles are often wrestling with things and say the wrong things in prayer and in discussions around the lunch table. We learn to be patient and correct gently and slowly.

Once again, Kanye may prove to be a false convert. But charity means that we treat new converts with gentleness and patience. I really don't care that he is a celebrity. All new converts deserve our charity if they have pledged themselves to the Lord's cause. If he crosses back to Satan's side and espouses heresy, then let us know that he was never with us.

But for now I am reminded of the words of our Savior. "And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us." (Luke 9:50).

"We need not lose any of our friends, while we have so few, and so many enemies. Those may be found faithful followers of Christ, and, as such, may be accepted of him, though they do not follow with us. See Mk. 9:38, 39. O what a great deal of mischief to the church, even from those that boast of relation to Christ, and pretend to envy for his sake, would be prevented, if this passage of story were but duly considered!"

-Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1854.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
I was a Christian before I was a confessionally Reformed one. I did not understand much of the Bible; I did not keep the Sabbath, and, in fact, derided Sabbath-keeping Christians as legalists; I was ignorant and confused. It took a few years for me to end up a Reformed Christian. For some people it takes a lot longer. For my part, I shall pray for Mr. West, that he finds appropriate spiritual guidance. Maybe someone here can mail him a Westminster Shorter Catechism. :)
 

Joshua

Administrator
Staff member
From the tone of some replies in this thread, one might think that other brothers and sisters here have said things like:

1. We should welcome Kanye and his conception of ministry because of his great celebrity clout.
2. We should be careful never to -at any time- criticize this professing Christian's words, actions, etc. because it is so very clear to me that he o! so! regenerated!
3. etc.

And yet, no one has asserted such things. No one has justified Mr. West's past immaturity, or current non-scriptural zeal. And, yet, he has expressed a profession of faith, and many of the expressions carry with them marks indicating "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," whether it is him discussing sin, repentance, a new life, a change of heart, etc. though, perhaps feebly, in seed form, yet truly and really (by his profession). And that, in the smallest of principle, ought the be received charitably, while not leaving other responsibilities undone.

I won't speak to the propriety of the "Calvinist minister" who speaks to the seeming genuineness of Mr. West's faith. That could have been handled better, obviously. Of course Mr. West should be under the care of a local session, and not asserting a ministry . . . but are we really surprised in this day of ministerial egalitarianism and the "everyone's an evangelist" mentality that he has taken this up in his new zeal? Is there nothing to be said of that overhauling influence in the visible church today such that Mr. West could not be influenced by it? Of course Mr. West needs better guidance, and let us pray that the Lord so sends such, but for the life of me, the holding in abeyance a charitable esteem of his profession -especially by the sinfulness of his professed pre-conversion life- is incredible.

There is no doubt that all kinds of changes, and corrections, and reformations, and repentances, need to take place for Mr. West. And we have no regeneration goggles by which we may ascertain his -or anyone else's- salvation. In fact, one exhortation to every Christian is heartily and regularly to engage in self-examination to be sure of his own election and -if found wanting- flee to Christ! But must there a public expression of doubtful clouds hang over the man's profession as if we are the court of such? God alone is the court, and -if (and prayerfully when) Mr. West comes under oversight of a session- the watchcare of his soul should be left to those, while the prayers of many support.

1. Nobody (here) is/should be condoning him having a "ministry."
2. Nobody (here) is justifying his quirks, misapprehensions of ministry, or general infancy in a profession of Christ.
3. Nobody (here) is expressing some kind of cultural silliness of exalting him and his actions lately of being a biblically valid platform for ecclesiastical outreach.​

But a disagreement with all of those things -and trust me, I disagree with modern day understanding of evangelism, discipleship, etc. rampant within the visible church- does not warrant forward expressions of doubt of his profession. Only time will tell, and subsequent maturation (or lack thereof), and -even then- only the Lord knows, directing His earthly courts to make judgments in some cases of apostasy, scandal, etc. It seems to me, though, that Mr. West has, indeed, turned a different direction, though not in perfection. But who has?

What is the requirement for communion with the Lord? Perfection. Who alone has secured that, by necessity being both God and Man, with two entire distinct natures, but in one person forever? The Lord Jesus Christ, the alone Mediator of the new covenant. Psalm 24 asks this:

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?​

Then it proceeds to answer:

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Have you signed up with your own filthy rags to get that? Not me. The Psalmist continues with good news:

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
And, while it is true that if the Lord shouldst mark iniquities, none can stand, it is equally true that there is forgiveness with Him that He may be feared. Is any able to judge in such a short time whether Mr. West has not shown himself forgiven by possessing such fear? I would dare not such so quickly. If there are marks for such -albeit mixed with error- does this not speak of a direction? It is wise not to say "O, clearly, he is regenerate!" But we do not say that infallibly of anyone, even our ministers! Of course, anyone, I suppose, is free to have their own estimation, I just do not understand the holding in abeyance a charitable esteem of his profession, when there seems to be a clear change of heart . . . again, only time will tell, and -that- not infallibly.

Clearly, Mr. West's "evangelistic" efforts, even if in sincerity, are not biblically lawful. I would be the first to express such to him, had I opportunity, and yet that should be done with gentleness and respect. Clearly, Mr. West doesn't have it altogether, and no amount of charity can justify anything a man does wrong, but how would we be corrected? Would the first salvo be to accuse someone of not having a true profession? Or, rather, would it be to esteem such an one as a brother, press to him his duty, pray for him, correct him according to place and station, and show that kind of sacrificial love that is required between man and neighbor?
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Can anyone recommend any literature dealing with the subjects of conversion, spiritual maturity, and charitable judgment?

One I thought of was Rosaria Butterfield's book Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. She discussed in there that conversion doesn't result in everything changing immediately.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
From the tone of some replies in this thread, one might think that other brothers and sisters here have said things like:

1. We should welcome Kanye and his conception of ministry because of his great celebrity clout.
2. We should be careful never to -at any time- criticize this professing Christian's words, actions, etc. because it is so very clear to me that he o! so! regenerated!
3. etc.

And yet, no one has asserted such things. No one has justified Mr. West's past immaturity, or current non-scriptural zeal. And, yet, he has expressed a profession of faith, and many of the expressions carry with them marks indicating "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ," whether it is him discussing sin, repentance, a new life, a change of heart, etc. though, perhaps feebly, in seed form, yet truly and really (by his profession). And that, in the smallest of principle, ought the be received charitably, while not leaving other responsibilities undone.

I won't speak to the propriety of the "Calvinist minister" who speaks to the seeming genuineness of Mr. West's faith. That could have been handled better, obviously. Of course Mr. West should be under the care of a local session, and not asserting a ministry . . . but are we really surprised in this day of ministerial egalitarianism and the "everyone's an evangelist" mentality that he has taken this up in his new zeal? Is there nothing to be said of that overhauling influence in the visible church today such that Mr. West could not be influenced by it? Of course Mr. West needs better guidance, and let us pray that the Lord so sends such, but for the life of me, the holding in abeyance a charitable esteem of his profession -especially by the sinfulness of his professed pre-conversion life- is incredible.

There is no doubt that all kinds of changes, and corrections, and reformations, and repentances, need to take place for Mr. West. And we have no regeneration goggles by which we may ascertain his -or anyone else's- salvation. In fact, one exhortation to every Christian is heartily and regularly to engage in self-examination to be sure of his own election and -if found wanting- flee to Christ! But must there a public expression of doubtful clouds hang over the man's profession as if we are the court of such? God alone is the court, and -if (and prayerfully when) Mr. West comes under oversight of a session- the watchcare of his soul should be left to those, while the prayers of many support.

1. Nobody (here) is/should be condoning him having a "ministry."
2. Nobody (here) is justifying his quirks, misapprehensions of ministry, or general infancy in a profession of Christ.
3. Nobody (here) is expressing some kind of cultural silliness of exalting him and his actions lately of being a biblically valid platform for ecclesiastical outreach.​

But a disagreement with all of those things -and trust me, I disagree with modern day understanding of evangelism, discipleship, etc. rampant within the visible church- does not warrant forward expressions of doubt of his profession. Only time will tell, and subsequent maturation (or lack thereof), and -even then- only the Lord knows, directing His earthly courts to make judgments in some cases of apostasy, scandal, etc. It seems to me, though, that Mr. West has, indeed, turned a different direction, though not in perfection. But who has?

What is the requirement for communion with the Lord? Perfection. Who alone has secured that, by necessity being both God and Man, with two entire distinct natures, but in one person forever? The Lord Jesus Christ, the alone Mediator of the new covenant. Psalm 24 asks this:

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?​

Then it proceeds to answer:

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Have you signed up with your own filthy rags to get that? Not me. The Psalmist continues with good news:

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
And, while it is true that if the Lord shouldst mark iniquities, none can stand, it is equally true that there is forgiveness with Him that He may be feared. Is any able to judge in such a short time whether Mr. West has not shown himself forgiven by possessing such fear? I would dare not such so quickly. If there are marks for such -albeit mixed with error- does this not speak of a direction? It is wise not to say "O, clearly, he is regenerate!" But we do not say that infallibly of anyone, even our ministers! Of course, anyone, I suppose, is free to have their own estimation, I just do not understand the holding in abeyance a charitable esteem of his profession, when there seems to be a clear change of heart . . . again, only time will tell, and -that- not infallibly.

Clearly, Mr. West's "evangelistic" efforts, even if in sincerity, are not biblically lawful. I would be the first to express such to him, had I opportunity, and yet that should be done with gentleness and respect. Clearly, Mr. West doesn't have it altogether, and no amount of charity can justify anything a man does wrong, but how would we be corrected? Would the first salvo be to accuse someone of not having a true profession? Or, rather, would it be to esteem such an one as a brother, press to him his duty, pray for him, correct him according to place and station, and show that kind of sacrificial love that is required between man and neighbor?
This is all very well but instead of urging caution and saying he might be on the right path, people have made unambiguous statements that he is a brother in Christ. This is a man who a year ago was hosting an awards ceremony for a pornographic website and whose fashion label designed the clothes for the event and sold this merchandise from his online store. This is a man whose music has consistently over many years contained graphic sexual imagery and profanity. Has he publicly disavowed all that? Has he asked for his past music to be withdrawn from sale? Does he even attend a church? (Have you seen any footgae of his "sunday services"??)

With such a long and public history of unChristian behaviour surely it is necessary to show a little more caution before declaring someone a brother in Christ just because they have released one album which has a Christian theme. For one thing it is very dangerous to encourage someone to think they are converted when they are not. If Kanye West is truly seeking he should be encouraged to continue seeking and to start attending a Biblical church immediately but should not be given false security.

Yes those who have influence with him should be encouraging him to perform his duty, to be praying for him but they should not be giving him false hope, they should not be making unambiguous statements which are not warranted and they should not be giving the impression that a few tweeks here and there are all that are necessary. This conversion apparently happened at least a few months ago. Why has he not started attending a Biblical church? Why is his "pastor" seemingly encouraging him in his pagan displays that he calls "sunday services"?
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
He has said that he will not perform his old music (at least not to the same lyrics). He has said that his old life consisted of p0rnography addiction and that the Lord is helping him break it. He has said it torments his soul the way his wife parades her body. That he argues with his wife about their daughters and their wearing of makeup, etc. That from now on, his talents will be used to promote the gospel.

And if evils were in his heart a mere year ago, then praise God for the work that He has done in this man's life to turn him around so quickly! Brother, don't be suspicious of a mere year's time. Rather, praise the God that can make a universe out of nothing in the space of six days! I praise God for reclaiming sinners. Not the sinner.

I remember in my own conversion: the Lord broke longterm strongholds of sin in an instant when my mind and heart were transformed by the power of the Spirit. I praise God for that. I still remember it.

So, from my perspective, these things in Kanye West's life appear to be the kinds of fruit that come from conversion. Sure, he could be an overly enthusiastic man and the seed cast his way may be plucked away in time. We don't know. For now, he is with us. For that, we ought to rejoice and be charitable.

Sadly, like with many new converts, there is a spiritual battle going on in his own home. That requires some sympathy. He also has been thrust into an environment that is not so healthy ecclesiastically. Is that the first time that a convert has entered an environment such as that?

I can only imagine the raised eyebrows when Namaan returned to Syria with his mule-loads of dirt and helped his master worship in Rimmon's Temple. Or when the Ethiopian eunuch went on his way after being converted through Philip. I suspect the environments these men returned to were less than healthy and yet they had true saving faith.

Kept by the power of God. Not by a Biblical ecclesiology.

I suspect several of us have forgotten or are not aware of what American evangelicalism looks like. Sadly, it doesn't look like a Confessional Presbyterian Church. One day, perhaps it will. But not today.

Anyhow, we'll see what the Lord does with the man.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
I am hopeful for the same things expressed as hopeful signs and professions in Kanye, and concerned for the same things expressed as cause for concern. I would say that both things should be held by all and prayer made for him, and any other suitable action taken if one is so inclined. Kanye is not presently a member of the visible church, as far as I’ve been able to tell. Does anyone know differently? So it’s hard to say if he has submitted or will submit himself to the Lord, until he submits himself to the church. All concerned should pray that he will.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
Where does this concept of a probationary period come from? Discipleship is a process, but is that a condition for being called a "brother"? Is "performing their duty" a condition?

The thief on the cross is a unique case, but certainly he had a history of sin, and yet I accept he is my brother despite having no opportunity for a probationary period.

Saul went about killing Christians and yet the account in Acts 9 leads me to believe that he was immediately baptized and spent time with the disciples there. Shortly after, he was brought by Barnabas to the Apostles and it seems as though they immediately took him into fellowship. I don't see any mention of a probationary period for him, despite his extreme past.

Simon Magus was a sorcerer who "bewitched people". And yet he believed and was baptized and was counted as one of the brethren. His later sin may be an indication that he was not truly a believer but there is no indication of a probationary period for him either.

The Philippian jailer, the centurion, Cornelius; none of them had a probationary period or any indication that other Christians were saying they had to prove their Christianity and perform their duty before they could be considered genuine.

Kanye West has not simply produced one album with a Christian theme. He has made what seems to be a credible profession of faith and until proven otherwise, it is our duty to encourage and disciple him in that profession and faith and to pray for him as we would any other brother.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Why is his "pastor" seemingly encouraging him in his pagan displays that he calls "sunday services"?
Just to clear this up, he doesn’t have a pastor— Pastor Tyler has, because Kanye visited his church and asked him to, been trying to help and counsel him. I think Kanye does his own thing currently and the pastor was trying to help where he could. We don’t know what kind of counsel the pastor gave him but he seems to be a man who believes the gospel.
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
Paul was immediately baptized after conversion and this was true of the other converts mentioned (except for the thief on the cross of course). I know that the evangelicalism of our culture mitigates against new converts being instructed or even believing that baptism and church membership are the “next steps” in their profession of faith. And a man like Kanye steeped in and surrounded by an unhealthy celebrity culture is much less likely to understand that. A question I have is, how does the church understand a profession of faith from an individual who so far chooses to remain outside the visible church? Debate is going on in this thread as individuals, but isn’t it really the judgment of the church that is the issue? And if Kanye won’t submit himself to the visible church (maybe he will at some point, hopefully soon) what does the church think and say about this? I’m genuinely asking; not so much about whether Kanye’s conversion is real but more this question about the judgment of the church in such a matter.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I just heard that Kanye wrote a song about Chick Fil A? That is hilarious.

"Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A. You're my number one, with the lemonade."

Once again, in 2018 and 2019 it is hard to know what news is made-up and what is real.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
A question I have is, how does the church understand a profession of faith from an individual who so far chooses to remain outside the visible church? Debate is going on in this thread as individuals, but isn’t it really the judgment of the church that is the issue? And if Kanye won’t submit himself to the visible church (maybe he will at some point, hopefully soon) what does the church think and say about this? I’m genuinely asking; not so much about whether Kanye’s conversion is real but more this question about the judgment of the church in such a matter.
This has been the main concern to me: how we, as a church, judge this situation. We, here, have no influence on Kanye West as a person. Our views don't impact him. But how we evaluate professions of faith is pertinent to us and to the church at large. My issue has been that leeway is being given to Kanye West that we wouldn't give to individuals in our own church orbit. If someone showed up at church one day and said he had been converted months ago but instead of attending a church he decided to do his own thing would we not be suspicious of his profession? Would we not be very concerned? Would we not counsel that individual to attend church every Lord's Day and to come under the supervision of a session before we started assuming that he was indeed converted and just wait for him to apply for membership? We would wait and see. We surely would not say to that individual: "Well we have concerns about your practice of the Christian life but we definitely think you're saved." That seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

I am unaware of an ecclesiastical category of someone who is deemed converted (officially, by the session) but is not a member of the church. There are those in our churches whom we personally believe are converted but they have not been given the assurance, perhaps, to profess their faith publicly. This is our own private judgment. That said we would, surely, be very careful about pushing them forward too early, or giving them encouragement that could prove more harmful than beneficial. We would want to wait until they were ready to make a profession. However, that person is not considered by the session as "converted". Until they profess faith they are, ecclesiastically, unconverted. Their "profession" is that they don't believe and so they are to be exhorted to believe in Christ. Indeed the session does not pronounce one converted or unconverted but evaluates whether a profession made is credible or not credible. Until an individual makes a positive profession (and it is accepted) their profession is a negative one: they do not believe.

This is the situation we are in as regards Kanye West. Again, whether or not he is actually converted in actually a secondary matter (to us). Rather our focus should be whether his profession is credible or not credible. My personal impression is that he is not converted. But either way I don't see how his profession of faith as it currently stands, coupled with his walk, is one that could be accepted as credible by a session and that is more relevant to us, here.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I just heard that Kanye wrote a song about Chick Fil A? That is hilarious.

"Closed on Sunday, you my Chick-fil-A. You're my number one, with the lemonade."

Once again, in 2018 and 2019 it is hard to know what news is made-up and what is real.
The Babylon Bee is more reliable than CNN - and it is a satire site.
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
My issue has been that leeway is being given to Kanye West that we wouldn't give to individuals in our own church orbit
And this was what I tried to address earlier - he is not in our church orbit. And neither is the bulk of American evangelicalism! You speak of the role of the session - and I agree with you in that regard - but the bulk of American evangelicals would give you a blank stare if you ask them what is a session, does their church have a session, etc. (Just as they would if you asked them about confessions or even creeds).

Our 'church orbit' is light years away from theirs, no doubt. But, again, I (in charity) extend the benefit of the doubt to all who profess to believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior. And I never - ever- base my judgment on who or what they used to be. I know what I used to be and I'm sure many of them never sinned against God as dreadfully as I did (and still do, though, I pray, to an increasingly lesser degree).

I do consider who/what they are now, based both upon their testimony and their actions, but always tempered with the understanding that spiritual maturity, like physical maturity, takes time - sometimes lots of it - and that a converted person may, at times, resemble a sinner more than a saint.

As was noted above, however, the true believer is kept by the power of God - and nothing else. And that power turned a Saul into Paul - and an old "me" into a kainos "me." I pray the same for Kanye. If not, he stands condemned already. If so, glory be to God alone!
 

Jeri Tanner

Moderator
Staff member
This has been the main concern to me: how we, as a church, judge this situation. We, here, have no influence on Kanye West as a person. Our views don't impact him. But how we evaluate professions of faith is pertinent to us and to the church at large. My issue has been that leeway is being given to Kanye West that we wouldn't give to individuals in our own church orbit. If someone showed up at church one day and said he had been converted months ago but instead of attending a church he decided to do his own thing would we not be suspicious of his profession? Would we not be very concerned? Would we not counsel that individual to attend church every Lord's Day and to come under the supervision of a session before we started assuming that he was indeed converted and just wait for him to apply for membership? We would wait and see. We surely would not say to that individual: "Well we have concerns about your practice of the Christian life but we definitely think you're saved." That seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

I am unaware of an ecclesiastical category of someone who is deemed converted (officially, by the session) but is not a member of the church. There are those in our churches whom we personally believe are converted but they have not been given the assurance, perhaps, to profess their faith publicly. This is our own private judgment. That said we would, surely, be very careful about pushing them forward too early, or giving them encouragement that could prove more harmful than beneficial. We would want to wait until they were ready to make a profession. However, that person is not considered by the session as "converted". Until they profess faith they are, ecclesiastically, unconverted. Their "profession" is that they don't believe and so they are to be exhorted to believe in Christ. Indeed the session does not pronounce one converted or unconverted but evaluates whether a profession made is credible or not credible. Until an individual makes a positive profession (and it is accepted) their profession is a negative one: they do not believe.

This is the situation we are in as regards Kanye West. Again, whether or not he is actually converted in actually a secondary matter (to us). Rather our focus should be whether his profession is credible or not credible. My personal impression is that he is not converted. But either way I don't see how his profession of faith as it currently stands, coupled with his walk, is one that could be accepted as credible by a session and that is more relevant to us, here.
But Alexander, all the words here continue to cloud the issue, I think. My point is exactly that individuals like you and me continue to offer opinions as to how we should think and speak about a conversion claim like Kanye’s. But what would be the official stance/words of our denomination about it? Individual christians should mimic that and refer to it, I think. Our words as individuals should be mild. I definitely don’t think individuals should say that he isn’t converted; I think if any of us asked our sessions, for example, they would counsel us to hope that he is, all the while recognizing that he hasn’t submitted himself properly to the church to be received as a brother. He’s a victim, in a way, of the disordered state of the visible church. More ecclesiastically sound churches just don’t have as big a voice as the more broadly (and charismatic-leaning) evangelical thought that’s abroad. So he possibly doesn’t even know what’s expected. Hopefully he’s reading his Bible.
 

Regi Addictissimus

Completely sold out to the King
Can anyone recommend any literature dealing with the subjects of conversion, spiritual maturity, and charitable judgment?
To name a few:

Anthony Burgess - Spiritual Refining (Outside of Walter Marshall, this is possibly the best treatment on the topic.)
Walter Marshall - The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification
Jonathan Edwards - Charity and its Fruits (Many would do well to read this.)
Henry Scougal - The Life of God in the Soul of Man
Willem Teellinck - The Path of True Godliness
John Colquhoun - Saving Faith
Thomas Hooker - The Soul's Implantation
Campegius Vitringa - The Spiritual Life
Paul Washer - Gospel Call and True Conversion
Sinclair Ferguson - Maturity
 
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My Pilgrim Way

Puritan Board Freshman
I certainly don't wish to derail this thread, but does anyone know why the church of satan is pleased with Kanye right now? I haven't read any of their material, but perhaps someone has insight.
 

Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

Puritan Board Freshman
I certainly don't wish to derail this thread, but does anyone know why the church of satan is pleased with Kanye right now? I haven't read any of their material, but perhaps someone has insight.
The tweet reads:
Satan is the best friend Kanye has ever had, as he will keep him in business all these years!

— The Church Of Satan

It is a twist on a quote by their founder Anton Szandor LaVey, who said that “Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years.”

The vile claim is that since God does not exist it is the belief in Satan that keeps the Church alive, and now that Kanye is a Christian and will only make Christian music the same applies. I wouldn’t say they are pleased with it, just using his game to promote their cause.

These guys don’t actually believe in Satan as a spiritual being, but rather is a name for societal evils. Of course they are in service of him, just to ignorant to realize it.
 
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