Kanye West may have come to Jesus but some Christians aren’t buying the born-again “Yeezus.”
On the eve of West’s new gospel album “Jesus Is King,” which is expected to drop in one form or another this weekend following his latest “Sunday Service” performance, the online Christian community has revived its sermon against the 42-year-old rapper’s co-opting of their culture, New York Post reported.
Hundreds of hellfire-haters are firing up the Twitterverse but the controversy about West’s invocation of religious imagery in his work has been around since the early 2000s, critic and self-proclaimed Christian Charlene Kaleina, of Connecticut, tells The Post.
Kaleina, 68, says her faith is constantly mocked “because of the strange and weird behaviour of people like this man.”
“He may be trying to understand Jesus in his own limited way and we cannot judge another’s soul,” the commercial real estate professional tells The Post. “People who follow Christ sense something is not right with this scene.”
The Post has reached out to a West spokesperson for a response to critiques such as Kaleina’s.
Online, hundreds of the faithful felt the album title alone was blasphemous.
” ‘Jesus Is King’ is trending on Twitter,” writes another critic who identifies as an Adventist. “They’re talking about the self-proclaimed god Kanye West, who is a mere man.”
Others argue that West whose famous friends describe as a born-again Christian has made past statements that show his heart cannot possibly be in the right place, according to the news report.
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“The way he talks about women in his other/recent albums, I’m sceptical he knows the gospel,” writes one Twitter critic. “I am much more willing to believe Chance [The Rapper] is born again than Kanye.”
There is also the problem of inclusion. Kanye’s “Sunday Service” is invite-only, which is a big problem, according to Premier Christianity magazine columnist Tobi Oredein.
“My major issue with Kanye’s Sunday Services is that they appear to be exclusive clubs for the rich and famous,” Oredein writes.
“The average person can’t visit — instead, we’re kept at arm’s length merely watching on screens. A church — or any gathering led in Christ’s name — should be open to everyone.”
Kanye’s church also seems to be more of an ad campaign for his music and fashion brand, Oredein says: “He’s employing a choir of people who are not only singing his songs but are all dressed in his apparel.
“Is Christ really at the centre of this gathering? I’m not sure he is.”