Kanye West; a sign of things to come for faith artists
Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Kanye West has been turning the world upside down of late. In a recent interview, he talked about his new church and some things he had in mind as he embarked on now serving God.
I am genuinely excited for him and his family but I have some concerns. Knowing the desire of one first coming to know Christ to serve the Church, my hope for him is that he doesn't relinquish his place on the entertainment mountain to do so. Stepping away from influence as an artist would not only be devastating for him, but also to a generation of believing artists that are waiting for a sea-change in their favor.
First and foremost, Kanye needs to do what he does best while growing as a bible believing, Holy Spirit filled, Christian. Kanye needs to give himself to the plans God has for arts and entertainment. He needs to stand in the authority and world-wide influence he has as a strong Christian artist and believer. Preach it; yes! Say the truth through the lens of Christ; go for it! But do it from where you are. The last thing he should do is step out from his place in entertainment and try to be something else.
Artists of faith have been shunned by the world and unsupported by the church and I believe Kanye marks a renaissance in the arts for believers. After the success of Mel Gibsons: The Passion of the Christ in 2006, when the church finally decided it was okay to engage in entertainment again, rather than empowering their artisans, we saw the rise of churches themselves attempting to remedy what was becoming an increasingly depraved culture. Rather than supporting and empowering artists like Mel to do what they do best, they again attempted to commandeer the medium of film and television to make converts and build congregations.
There is nothing wrong with 'making converts and building congregations' per se, but that is the work of the church - not arts and entertainment. There has been little love from the church toward the entertainment business. After the success of Mel's movie, the church embarked on what I believe was the next iteration of Christian television; where pastors and teachers use the medium to prioritize their sermons over story. This birthed a new 'faith-based' sub-genre that is now known only for it's low-budget, cringe-worthy television programs and movies. The church had no desire to engage in the business of arts and entertainment fully, rather they produce their content outside any established industry, avoiding sustainable models and infrastructure that people in those industries require.
The faith genre we see today is not the work of Christian artisans called to serve entertainment at all, but the work of the church, however well meaning, and the reality for artists of faith has devastating. The choice for artists of faith called to arts and entertainment has been limited. The faith artist has been kept poor and without influence, robbing the culture of life enriching, soul transforming art as the lifeblood of our culture - and the results are clear.
It is my strongly held belief that God is about to correct the injustice inadvertently inflicted upon His artisans and I believe KANYE WEST is the sign of things to come. I see a future where faith artists will no longer be relegated to the sidelines or forced to work in the Christian ghetto. The reality is, that the church has failed the culture and now it's time for the artists of faith to claim back their divine authority and engage the dying mainstream culture with divine creativity.
I am not denouncing the church I love, and serve, no! But I am saying there needs to be change - there has been injustice and the correction is on it's way!
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