There has been much talk in the last few years of our culture being post-modern and even post-Christian. In response to this secularizing trend, many Christians have backed off of witnessing to their faith in Jesus, hiding behind slogans like: “Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.” The theory is that everyone is turned off to the gospel, so just love them into the Kingdom. The problem with this, of course, is that the Bible says that truth, not love, sets us free. Love is obviously bedrock foundational in all we do, but not enough. Since the Bible is the word of God, and Jesus the incarnate word of God, and since all of Jesus’ followers since Pentecost have used words… we would be wise to use them too.
The delicious irony in all of this sidestepping and camouflaging of the truth, is that God raises up someone like Kanye West to remind Christians what it is really all about. While churches are all changing their names to generic phrases to sound less churchy, and communicating in the most indirect wording possible to avoid offending anyone, good old Kanye releases an album called: “Jesus is King,” and calls his meeting “Sunday Service.” I love it.
On the day the album dropped, a big bus with “Jesus is King” emblazoned on each side, drove around Manhattan all day blasting the album out into one of the most secularized populations in America. On Jimmy Kimmel, when asked if he was now a Christian artist, Kanye responded: “I’m a Christian everything.”
The lyrical content of “Jesus is King,” is more forceful and direct than any Christian album that has come out this year:
Raise our sons, train them in the faith
Thru temptations, make sure they’re wide awake
Follow Jesus, listen and obey
No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave
All 27 minutes of the album are like this, preaching a powerful Jesus using a lot of words. We who have been Christians for a long time could take a lesson from this.
It is not a time to back down, but to stand up. It is not a time to be subtle, but to be bold. The more post-Christian our culture becomes, the more pronounced our Christian witness needs to be… because no matter what the culture says, Jesus is King.