(Kan)Ye or Nay?

Is he in…or not?

Is he for real about Jesus…or is he pulling a fast one?

Is he actually saved…or does he just think he is?

Is he really trying to serve God…or is he just desperate for good publicity?

Is he a baby believer clumsily trying to find his footing…or is he a sleeper agent of the devil looking to make a mockery of the church?

Are all the people who believe he’s truly been converted just gullible, non-discerning idiots?

Are all the people who are skeptical of him just non-compassionate, judgmental haters?

Just so you know, all of these questions are rhetorical. I doubt I could answer them to anyone’s satisfaction. So I won’t waste my time trying. But I have to be honest…I’m really frustrated with how some of my Christian brothers and sisters are reacting to this situation.

It’s as if some are unwilling to even entertain the slightest possibility that Jesus may have actually saved Kanye West.

I understand the need for a healthy level of skepticism in this situation, particularly given Kanye’s “track record”…pun intended. It wouldn’t be very wise to just absentmindedly take his word for it when he says that he’s given his life to Jesus.

But why are some of us so QUICK to dismiss him?

Is the God we serve incapable of saving a man like Kanye? Is God unwilling to sully His holy hands with the muck of Kanye’s past sins? Is God simply not interested in redeeming a guy who indulged in idolatry and called himself “Yeezus” at one point?

I think most believers would emphatically answer ‘NO’. And yet, I believe that’s precisely the message being communicated when so many of us immediately write Kanye off.

And even worse, I get the sense that many are actively looking for that one scandalous headline, that one wayward quote from an interview, that one misstep on Kanye’s part that will prove what they “knew” all along.

What does that say about us? I think it says that we have a bad case of selective amnesia…and an even worse case of subtle hypocrisy.

It’s one thing to be discerning and watch for fruit like Jesus tells us to. It’s another thing to cut down the tree before the fruit even has a chance to grow.

Is Kanye truly saved? I don’t know for certain.

But I would rather patiently hope for the best than loudly assume the worst.

That False Gospel…

“Oh, how we should hate the prosperity gospel and it’s promise of worldly wealth over and above Jesus!

That false gospel insults God as second-rate, a useful steppingstone toward a better job or a bigger house.

The prosperity gospel also robs us, taking our hearts away from the only joy we were created for – God Himself.

~ Ray Ortlund

All About Ourselves…

“The temptation of the devil was (and is) this: ‘Don’t risk yourself on God. Trust your own instincts. Live from within yourself. You need to take control, because you cannot trust God.’

Adam fell for this temptation. As a result, we are now born bent in on ourselves. It feels normal to rest our hopes on ourselves.

We create whole cultures to reinforce our idealized theories about ourselves.”

~ Ray Ortlund

God’s Family…

“Belonging to God’s family is not simply a matter of birth or ancestry as many Jews at the time believed.

They claimed the name of God for themselves but often failed to display his character. The two, however, are inseparable.

Those who are truly God’s children and bear his name, Jesus says, are those who reflect his character.”

~ Ray Ortlund

Upside Down…

“God seems to take pleasure in subverting the hierarchies of the world.

In God’s economy, servants are the leaders, the meek inherit the earth, the poor are blessed, enemies are loved, the humble are exalted, the foolish things shame the wise, those who seek their lives lose them, and those who finish last hoist the first place trophy.

You get the picture.”

~ Drew Dyck

Woke Minds Lament Sin…

“Woke minds require sober thinking, and sober thinking leads us to lament sin’s devastation.

The concept of lament is not popular. We’re not comfortable with it. We like to rush quickly to our praises and hallelujahs.

But God’s Word encourages and allows us to take time to grieve.”

~ Eric Mason

Not A Playful Word..

“Today ‘sin’ is a playful word, associated with decadent desserts and lingerie ads. We see the word ‘sin’ and imagine someone sampling a menu of forbidden delights.

Don’t be thrown by that connotation.

Instead, think of being pistol-whipped by increasingly destructive patterns of behavior, ones that ultimately lead to your demise.

That’s what the Bible means by ‘sin’: enslavement.”

~ Drew Dyck

What Matters Most…

“What matters most to God is not which sins we’ve committed or not committed, or how we stack up in comparison with other sinners.

What matters most to God is whether we’ve bonded by faith with His only Son.

In other words, God’s final category for you is not your goodness versus your badness, but your union with Christ versus your distance from Christ.”

~ Ray Ortlund

Beautiful Holiness…

“Real holiness is not dull, drab, boring, or negative.

Those are marks of man-made religiosity. The real holiness Christ creates is beautiful.

And the holiness He gives will redeem every dirty thing we have ever done to ourselves or suffered from others.”

~ Ray Ortlund

The Dirty Bride…

When men look for a bride, they often look for a beauty queen. But Christ chose the dirty one who needed His cleansing.

The Son Of God crossed the tracks to the wrong side of town, where we all live, to find His bride. We brought into the relationship our messy backgrounds, our ongoing problems, and our shame.

But we can face all of that now because of what He brought into the relationship: cleansing enough for all our dirty guilt.

~ Ray Ortlund

Selfish Creatures…

“Loving others doesn’t come naturally for us.

We’re selfish creatures; we tend to put our needs and interests first. The needs of others? We’ll get to them…if there’s enough time.

It takes discipline to resist this selfish impulse and serve others. It’s hardly a natural thing to do.”

~ Drew Dyck

More Than Good Vibes…

“The gospel, this ‘good news’, is more than just good vibes.

This message has specific content. It can and must be defined, and from the Bible alone.

Every generation must pick up their Bibles and rediscover the gospel afresh for themselves and rearticulate the ancient message in their own words for their own times.”

~ Ray Ortlund

Savior or Sinner?

“Over time, our status—in our churches and in our heads—can grow to an unhealthy level.

It may also cause us to believe the key to successful ministry is always having the right answers and advancing our knowledge and skills so that everyone who seeks our help can receive it.

This need to maintain our position as the expert can, ironically, prevent us from acquiring the quality that the very best Christian leaders possess—empathy.

We are happy to play the role of savior, but we don’t want to be identified as sinners.”

~ Skye Jethani

Let’s Not Assume…

“Let’s not automatically assume that our churches are faithful to the gospel.

Let’s examine whether they really are. After all, ‘Every institution tends to produce its opposite.’

A church with the truth of the gospel in its theology can produce the opposite of the gospel in its practice.”

~ Ray Ortlund

Proactive Self-Control…

“Social scientists define self-control as the ability to resist negative impulses. But when the Bible mentions self-control, it usually has something bigger in mind.

Yes, it involves the ability to resist doing something you shouldn’t. But it also has a proactive element.

It refers to the ability to do something you should.”

~ Drew Dyck