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What Luther Says

Kanye West: From College Dropout To Christian

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably well aware of Kanye West's very public proclamation that his life is now firmly built upon the Rock (Matthew 7:24-27), and society's backlash and skepticism.

If not, then here's what you've been missing...


Does he always say the right things? Is he the perfect Christian? No, absolutely not. No one is. Not you, not me, not anyone.

Even so, there's not much to argue about with Kanye from a Christian perspective from either of those in-depth interviews, is there? Sure, I don't like the hint of "Prosperity Gospel" nonsense when he sort of makes it seem like his conversion to Christianity automatically added millions of dollars to his bank account, but I would be nitpicking too, because he didn't come right out and say that exactly.

All in all, a majority of what he had to say as a Christian speaking to a largely non-Christian audience was spot on. That didn't stop the controversy from continuing this week though. Here's what I wrote about it on Facebook...

This Kanye West drama reminds me of 2 Peter 3:9 which says, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 
So it is for you, for me, and for all of mankind -- and thanks be to God for that! 
The lost mock and ridicule Kanye while the saved, like Jonah, seem to despise the Lord's mercy, to doubt the power of the very Gospel they proclaim, and also betray the very nature of the Lord and Savior they claim to have a "personal relationship" with, Who they "know" so well. 
It really wasn't any different in Jesus' day and age either was it? "But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, 'Why do you eat and drink with such scum?' And Jesus answered them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'" (Luke 5:30-32) 
Jesus teaches the people that He came to save sinners by leading them to repentance. The "good news" of the Gospel is that, just like Kanye, regardless of your past -- whether you're a notorious sinner or you're a smug self-righteous sinner -- Jesus calls you to a life of daily repentance and His free gift of salvation is FOR YOU. Ah, "but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep" even though Jesus was crystal clear when He plainly said, "my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:26-27). So, "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). However, "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). 
As the Great Physician, "he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5), and so He can and He will give you, by His undeserved grace, by His death and His resurrection FOR YOU, the forgiveness of your sins that He won upon the cross, and our reward being His free gift of salvation for all eternity, for He is "the way, and the truth, and the life" and "no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). 

I like what Christian Rap's best known star, Lecrae, had to say about all of this.

What do you think? I failed to mention it in that first write-up on this subject, but later on I thought about Jesus' own words about our attempts to identify the "true" and the "false" Christians when He talked about the "wheat" and the "tares" and how we are to leave them be and let Him sort it all out on the Last Day.

The Parable of the Weeds 
Matthew 13:24-30 (ESV) He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, "Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

The master does not seem overly upset by what his enemy has done and shows great patience in delaying until the harvest the separation of weeds from wheat. He warns his servants not to judge prematurely by assuming they can distinguish between these plants.

A mark of God's rule is His patience (2 Peter 3:8-15). For us sinners, this is a great comfort and also an encouragement for us to endure evil patiently (2 Timothy 2:24). That's why I'm content with praising God for what we're hearing and seeing from Kanye right now. If I'm wrong, time will tell, and God and His angels will sort it all out in the end anyway.

Look, all I know is that Kanye West sounds like a legitimate Christian more so than many celebrity so-called "pastors" do! I also know that God is using Kanye for His glory, honor, and praise too. Not that God needs Kanye's help by any means, but it is happening nonetheless.

Take, for instance, a guy I went to High School with who is not a Christian. He read my post and commented on it. Sure, his comment was to make a joke out of things, but still. He wrote, "Jesus and Kanye should have a rap battle." To which, I replied...

Ha! Yeah, but something tells me it wouldn't be much of a traditional "rap battle" though since Romans 14:11 assures us that "for it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God'" and Matthew 12:36-37 adds "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." That all adds up to an epic #MessiahMicDrop in my humble opinion.

What do Christians expect or want from Kanye West? I mean, really.

I strongly encourage you to listen to both interviews embedded above from start to finish if you haven't already. It's quite something. The level of humility, self-awareness, and truth that Kanye shows -- Kanye freakin' West -- is crystal clear evidence to me that the Lord has given him a new heart and is working in his life.

It's inspiring for me too. This is the first time I've written and published anything for this blog in several months so thank you, Kanye. Thank you, God!

In a Lutheran layman's terms, personally, I think it's clear that Kanye West went from college dropout to Christian, and he did so by God's grace alone, which is the same grace that's available to you, to me, and to all mankind!

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday Christian, Corporate Healthcare Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as 'an informal Public Journal of sorts' about my own experiences and journey." So if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, "Praise the Lord! Thanks be to God!" but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor. Trust, but always verify. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this lengthy disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to "Confessional Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 6 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but so that I can also repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran B-A-S-I-C-S was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little more "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavily influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical demanding I correct them or take them down entirely, but because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I will defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean by that! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#Trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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