Monday, November 18, 2019

The Father, Son, And Kanye

Instead of rapping with such hits as "Runaway," "Flashing Lights," and "Jesus Walks," Donald Trump supporter Kanye West should have covered the country hit written and sung by Mac Davis (below) in 1989. And he was being tongue-in-cheek. Yet on Sunday the Houston Chronicle reported

Kanye West may have found God. But he’s still brandishing his trademark cockiness.

“Jesus has won the victory because now the greatest artist that God has ever created is now working for Him,” West said onstage Sunday at Lakewood Church.

The rapper spoke onstage with Joel Osteen for about 20 minutes, his first of two appearances at the megachurch. He’ll return at 7 p.m. to perform songs from his “Jesus is King” gospel album with his Sunday Service choir.

Admission was free for both events but tickets were required for the evening’s “Jesus is King” — A Sunday Service Experience at Lakewood Church. They were made available at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and were gone in minutes.

Of course they were, because at (so many of) today's megachurches, there always is a big market for the humility demonstrated by West at the nation's largest church, displayed when he so humbly declared

All of that arrogance and confidence and cockiness that y’all seen me use before, God is now using for Him. Because every time I stand up, I feel that I’m standing up and drawing a line in the sand and saying, ‘I’m here in service to God, and no weapon formed against me shall prosper,’

Well, no, because someone in service to God does not have to say (and would not say) that he is "here in service to God" because it would be demonstrated by his (or her) words and actions. 

To provide perhaps favorable context, however

West has mused on God and religion throughout his career: 2004’s “Jesus Walks,” 2006’s “Anything” with Patti LaBelle and Mary Mary, 2012’s “New God Flow.” And his statements have often been direct.

“Even though I’m a man of God/My whole life in the hand of God/So y’all better quit playin’ with God,” he raps on “I Am a God” from his 2013 album “Yeezus.” Some saw that title as sacrilegious narcissism. Looking back, it was more about West’s internal struggles with who he is and what he believes.

"So here's a few hating ass-niggas who'll fight you and here's a few snake-ass niggas to bite you," the man of God remarked in the song. Admittedly, it all could have been an internal struggle of someone mentally unstable. However, on "I Am a God" he maintains five times "I am a god," which doesn't sound much like Paul's admonitionto the Philippians, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." It also seems out of tune with the First Commandment with its pesky little detail about the existence of one and only one god, then, now and forever.

You won't be surprised to learn that prosperity preacher/snake oil salesman Osteen is one of West's fans, and told the rapper "You said more in 60 seconds than I say in my 30-minute message." It's something David Hannum warned people about in reference to P.T. Barnum. In 150 years ago, as the Donald Trump phenomenon illustrates, there always is a market for hustlers and swindlers.

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