It was one year ago when Beyonce’ decided to have her MASS service (she is professed Methodist– “More spiritual than religious”) in the Grace Cathedral. Nearly one thousand people attended the San Francisco treat.
Now, the newest mega-Pop Star to ride the Jesus train into Hollywood is the famous rapper Kanye West.
His new church is one of self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. Of necessity, it must be disassociated from mainstream Christianity where the local church is dismissed for its shameful misgivings of biblical orthodoxy and truth of scripture. But also, where White Supremacists claim to have roots and where White slave owners cozied up to Jesus as well.
This past Easter Kanye and his entourage self-promoted themselves all the way to the Easter cross at the Coachella Festival, Indio, California.
It was here that the message of Easter was demoted, repackaged for retail and promoted as “a healing experience” so that the Muslims and Jews (every faith is invited) would not be offended. And yes, the cross, death, burial, and resurrection (Easter) of Jesus Christ are all yet still HIGHLY offensive to Jew and Muslim alike.
It was here that Kanye Merch had a fine, profitable Easter day. Heavenly clothing: YEEZY’s “Sunday Service” collection is available now, with prices ranging from $50 USD for the socks, to $225 USD for the crewnecks.
Who is Kanye? Who is this man who has nick-named himself, “Yeezus”? (now “YE”)
He was born in Atlanta, Ga. (1977) and raised in Chicago.
With over 100 million records sold and 21 Grammy Awards he has established himself well in the currents of Pop Culture. He went as far as to self-proclaim himself as “the greatest living pop star on the planet”. (Perhaps this is why he and Donald Trump see eye-to-eye?)
“YE”, as he is now called by personal preference, claims to be Christian, but not the traditional Christian, or the type of Christian that would believe all the bible, much less preach it. He joins with Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Meyers, White, Murdock, Poppoff, Copeland and all the rest of Prosperity-Health and Wellness Millionaires and the Retail-Jesus pushers while adding his own twist and flavor.
What happens when wealth and wellness are promoted as certain ingredients to and for all who would name Jesus as their own? What happens when the Jesus who had no home or place to lay his head inspires a brand of disciple who demands earthly riches as proof of this Jesus’ existence and reality?
You get these slimy Jesus-Lotto crooks who prostitute Jesus and the Gospel to their financial advantage.
You get greedy, carnal followers who send in their money to these clowns for a return on their investment.
You get rich if your faith is strong enough. It’s called “Seed-Faith” and wouldn’t you know it—Seeds be money!
You get this new Jesus, custom designed by the user to fit their market.
You get a church who buys their lotto tickets on a week-by-week basis so as not to be losers in the world.
You get more imitation of the real by professional fakery.
You get a dead church spiritually, yet alive to sales, human effort and presentation.
Only a designer as talented as Kanye, and as entrenched into a culture of crude could conjure up this Jesus he describes. From His Yeezus Album:
“I just talked to Jesus
He said, “What up, Yeezus?”
I said, “Shit—I’m chillin’
Tryna stack these millions.”
I know he the most high
But I’m a close high
Mi casa, su casa
That’s our cosa nostra
I am a god, I am a god, I am a god.”
What happens when people are intensely connected with rumor, feelings, tabloid headlines and prosperity than the actual words of the Christians bible?
We get new gods-a newer approach to religiosity. And in America, money (lots of it) must be close at hand. And did I mention votes and popularity in politics? Does anyone believe for one minute that President Trump invited Kanye “YE” West to the White House to promote his latest Rap song?
We get a new class of people who adopt this new superior title:
“SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS”
This has become the prefered mantra that accomplishes three things.
1-It allows one to criticize and deny the Jesus of the Orthodox Christian Church while maintaining a benign association.
(lest one be accused of bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia and the like)
2-It opens the door for collaboration in religious ideologies. It waters them all down to a palatable mush so that consumption, though still distatefull, is yet harmless.
3-It champions relativism (Truth is what I feel it is-despite objective biblical truth)
The formerly Christian God then may be be “safely” re-created in man’s image. This God must be as a butler or maid-servant. He must work the fields on our behalf so that our pockets are lined. Suffering, sickness and poverty be damned, I become the master and He my servant. Now that this is accomplished, I can spew all the guttural, rotten, foul and base language imaginable. (Because I am spiritual–not religious)
Every person, when being confronted by the truth of Jesus’ gospel, will have a reckoning. That reckoning can either go the way of:
Self-promotion and compromise or
Self-denial and discipleship—
THE BIBLE SPEAKS:
“Don’t love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever.” (I John 2:15-17)
If Kanye, Beyonce’ and the plastic Jesus of retail America have their way, the Jesus of the bible will remain deleted from their guest list—He’ll have to pay like the rest of us if He wants a T-shirt, socks, or autographed posters at the next Coachella or Catholic Mass sales event.
JESUS SPEAKS ON WEALTH AND MONEY
A Rich and Important Man Luke 18
“18 An important man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?”
19 Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Respect your father and mother.’”
21 He told Jesus, “I have obeyed all these commandments since I was a young man.”
22 When Jesus heard this, he said, “There is one thing you still need to do. Go and sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” 23 When the man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich.
24 Jesus saw how sad the man was. So he said, “It’s terribly hard for rich people to get into God’s kingdom! 25 In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.”
26 When the crowd heard this, they asked, “How can anyone ever be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.”
28 Peter said, “Remember, we left everything to be your followers!”
29 Jesus answered, “You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or wife or brothers or family or children because of God’s kingdom 30 will be given much more in this life. And in the future world they will have eternal life.”