Kanye West: Jesus is King

For Kanye West, the album Jesus is King is a 4. For Christians, this album is a 10 and a much needed reflection.

Christians are throwing down their best zingers on Facebook threads for this album and it’s causing a bit of division. And that’s good. If i don’t say anything else that hasn’t already been said about the album i’ll say this: the division that this album brought on is good.

Average church-going Christians tend to struggle with change. I mean, that’s not really fair to say because people in general struggle with change. But you would think that as Christians, who praise the controversial nature of Christ, would be sort of okay with changing our thinking. The average sermon has the backbone message of “Christ didn’t come to serve you but to change you” and, yeah, that applies to everything still.

So let’s get into to the sources of division. Kanye West was known for being kind of terrible (i said ‘was’ and you should hang onto that as you read on). Not only was he an icon for self-indulgence and pride but he has a pretty well-documented history of diving into controversial things. So you may say the album follows a trend of benefiting from controversy once again. And here’s the thing; if this is your position, you might be right. but what if you’re wrong? Discernment is a valuable quality to the church and a gift from God but don’t confuse God’s discernment with cynicism. God doesn’t ‘call’ you to speculate the validity of someone’s confession. God gave Christians the church, a place for accountability and discernment to go hand in hand. When the church operates as intended there’s no need for that kind of cynicism.

Here’s another point of speculation i’ve seen recently: while the albums themes are spiritual it lacks the authenticity that would be called ‘faith’. And let me tell you that is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. How many Christian movies need to be made before the Christian community can accept we’re putting ourselves into a bubble. I’m including myself here. There’s a bit of fear inherent that comes with being a Christian. It’s common for Christians to feel like not only do you need the answers but you need to sound confident in them. Faith is not blind and that’s a common pulpit phrase but who gets to define faith besides Christ? Faith is a process of growth as well as belief amongst failures and thorough conviction, not to an ideal, but to an ideology.

Also, some people have condemned the album because it’s blasphemous at times. I can’t really argue that as comparing your ‘hard times’ to Christ’s death on a cross isn’t a great message. At the same time plenty of Christian artists do the same so let’s be consistent in who we rebuke.

I don’t know what else i have to say. I think what i hope to say is, Christians, don’t be afraid in your own faith. Discern with discernment and be slow to condemn. Understand music preferences have nothing to do with the truth of the gospel. Christ’s message is stronger than that.

listen to the full album here

inasmuch i am speechless

in each beginning
gravity invites
to dwell amongst the sand and stars
to become like one another
and pull at each of the opposites

it was Abram, directed and removed
at a wall in a desert
where history had yet been proved
to have been more than a line
and like gravity,
Abram now Abraham
forsaken to climb

once again a beginning

Photos by John R. Pepper Inhabited Deserts

importance over penance under forgiveness over ignorance under importance

faith without reason is a miserable choice
and the breath of a deity is a need to rejoice

but why are you so sullen now?
there’s a God who forgives
our need to feel confident
is what vanity is

what blessing hath he left us though?
the dealings of our lives are aptly called an ebb and flow

archaic things that give us faith
just look at love it gives us grace

but, god, oh god, you love defending sacrilege
while culture becomes foreign becomes sinful makes you lack courage

god, you’re so defensive you’re so tender
where honor dies you cast yourself

but you are not a martyr
you’re no savior
just let Him be Himself

pride, immortal poison,
and we drink it
to refrain from doubt
or has He told us death is dead and therefor we should live without

Print by Naoya Hatakeyama LIMEWORKS


the tide that had shift
a poem adrift
icarus give us a sign

a freediving psalm
that screams carry-on
the pressure that mounts underneath


if light is a gift and freedom’s within
i am a man who contends
and in truth i am weary
from these sudden uneasy demands

it’s climbing like water and brine
like waves i froth at the mouth
for the shore with the pine

what a beautiful refrain

so let’s take it all apart
you figured it was at the start
i spent several years behind the wake
it was rough for just a namesake

aaaaaaaaand OH!
we’re past the snow
my chest is covered

i don’t mean to pull alarms
it was richer then to play a part
so i’ll tell you where the cadence ends
watch a feather fallin’ in the wind

dooooooooon’t GO!
the door ain’t closed
it’s undiscovered

my commentary is not forever
this temporary bleeding measure
i’ll tell you where this passage goes

so shadow my history
Spring is a mystery

what a beautiful refrain

i’ve got you on my mind, giver _ 2

_ no. 2
i’ve got you on my mind, giver

i’ve got you inside
i made sure to keep you close
i’ve got a heavy mind
i can’t tell you where it goes

i said it’s blue and red
said i’ve been living like a fool might
don’t tell me how to fix it up
if it’s chrome then it’ll float
if it’s chrome then it’ll float

alright, you’ve put your money up
and it’s on another fortnight

opt for an open road
Lord knows
Lord knows

hindsight, is indestructible
when you’re dealing with a birthright
my mind’s an open road
Lord knows
Lord knows

call it now, yeah, you were right
but you’ve got me on your A-team

you’ve been dealing black and white, giver
tell me where the blessing flows
tell me where the blessing flows