Cancel Culture: Why We Shouldn’t Cancel Kanye West
Social media has exploded because rapper Kanye West has released a new Gospel album. The album is entitled Jesus is King and Kanye has also recommitted his life to Christ. Many observers of the star’s life are very angry because his choices seemingly make little sense.
West broke off into the music industry as a slightly off beat, yet super talented young man in the early 2000’s. Kanye was well loved by many and quickly gained the respect of the music industry with his talents and early success.
Kanye seemed like he was on top of the world for a period of time, but there were also incidents of public outbursts that left many scratching their heads.
West did some outrageous things publicly that made fans question the star’s sanity. In the last few years, many people have been appalled by his choice of spouse, his support of President Donald Trump, his public beef with former friend Jay Z, and his public mental break down.
So when West released his Gospel album recently, it was followed by much criticism. Many people doubt the sincerity of the rapper’s walk with Christ. What is most shocking is that many of the people who are criticizing West’s efforts are Christian. This harsh criticism of Kanye has been birthed from cancel culture.
Kanye and Cancel Culture
Since the rise of gossip blogs, reality TV, and social media, the lives of many people in the spotlight have become more accessible. Social media has also created a new forum for complete strangers to gather online to discuss the lives of more popular strangers. This unique opportunity in history has created the concept of being “canceled”.
Singers, athletes, politicians, actors, and even people with more than 5,000 followers on Instagram are getting “canceled” left and right. Being cancelled means that fans stop supporting a person based on something unsavory they said or did.
Kanye was canceled last year for calling African American slavery “a choice”. As a matter of fact, West has been canceled on numerous occasions for many statements he has made recently.
The question isn’t if cancel culture exists. We know that cancel culture is a very real construct in this digital age. However, is it ok to cancel people? Especially those people who are serious about changing their lives.
Why We Shouldn’t Cancel Kanye West
I believe we shouldn’t cancel Kanye. As a matter of fact, cancel culture shouldn’t exist at all, because human beings have the God given right to change. In the Bible, God shows us that the people he uses are usually the people we expect the least.
Peter was Jesus’s apostle, but he was a rough neck guy. Peter had more public outbursts than Kanye could ever dream of. He denied Jesus three times, he cursed, he cut a man’s ear off, and as a Jew he really didn’t want to associate with the Gentiles at all. However, the Christian church was birthed through Peter’s dedication to Christ.
Next up is Paul. Paul started off with many wrong ideas. As a matter of fact, Paul was a persecutor of the early church and had many people killed for preaching the gospel of Christ. In all of his flaws however, God used Paul to eventually preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Paul later penned most of the New Testament.
These illustrations of people changing for Christ is not mentioned by accident. People change and when God touches a person’s heart, they can totally become new and be used for God’s ministry. Without Peter there would be no Christian church. Without Paul only the original Jews would have received the gospel or Christ, not people like you and me.
I think the problem with this whole Kanye matter is he isn’t like TD Jakes or Joyce Meyer. Where these great ministers became visible after they were saved, we are seeing Kanye West at the beginning of his journey. The world has basically seen West at his humanly worst. Because of this fact, many people are stuck on the old version of Kanye instead of the new version who is after Jesus’s heart.
If you are truly a believer of Christ, however you must understand that if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. It is wrong to still condemn Kanye based on his former actions when God has already forgiven West of his past.
Give Kanye a Chance
I’m a fairly good judge of character and through I will not be bumping Jesus is King like Tamla Mann’s album, I believe Kanye is sincere.
Kanye has many good ideas and the more he grows in Christ the deeper that relationship will become and the fruit from his life will be exactly what God wants. Instead of canceling this young man, I think it is important that we pray for him on his Christian journey so that he might receive all the wisdom and structure God calls of him.
In many of his past records, we see that Kanye has always had a love for God. Most notably in his 2004 single Jesus Walks, West expressed his desire for Christ in his life. In a recent interview, the rapper expressed that he had a yearning to live a Christian life, but no one would really show him the way.
At this point, West is still learning the way to intimacy with God, as we all are. The only difference between our struggles in our walk with Christ as we grow in maturity is West is living his journey out publicly.
Let’s give Kanye some grace. I believe he is really on to something that could potentially change the world.
Remember this scripture as you go:
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7