Claiming to be a Christian – but He is Not a New Creature in Christ
Kanye West, one of the world’s most famous rappers – we will not call it “rap music” nor call West a “singer” – a global megastar to addled youth, a foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed narcissist, and husband of Kim Kardashian, now claims to be a Christian.
It is always a wonderful thing when anyone is truly converted to Christ. Even the angels in heaven rejoice over a sinner who repents (Lk. 15:7, 10), and Christians are to rejoice as well. But this does not mean we are to ignore what the Bible says and just take at face value the “testimony” of every person who claims to be a Christian. Yes, we are to rejoice when someone is converted – but true conversion results in a radically changed life. When the Lord regenerates a person, enabling him to repent and believe savingly in Christ, that person is translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13)! The change is greater than that of night to day. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Kanye West now says he is a Christian. What are the Lord’s people to do when such a claim is made? They are to test the claim by the fruits produced (Matt. 7:16-27)! A new creature in Christ produces good fruit. His old life has passed away, all things have become new, and he now seeks to live a holy life to the glory of the Lord.
So then: does West’s claimed conversion pass the biblical test? Is he a new creature in Christ? Have old things passed away, and all things become new in him? Has he been translated from Satan’s kingdom to Christ’s kingdom, from darkness to light? Tested by biblical standards, Kanye West, alas, is not a Christian. He says he is. Huge numbers of his fans believe he is. But he isn’t.
One does not become a Christian by saying, “I am a Christian.” Anyone can make that claim, and millions do. But saying I am a Christian no more makes me one than saying I am an airline pilot makes me one. It is not something that becomes a reality merely by saying it! One does not speak it into existence. One only becomes a Christian when the Lord makes one a Christian, by regeneration of the Holy Spirit and true conversion to Christ. There is no other way! And this mighty work of the Lord will show itself in the good fruit it produces. Kanye West produces no such fruit. Therefore he is not a Christian.
Yet despite there being no biblical evidence that the Lord has drawn Kanye West to Himself by His irresistible grace, such is the state of professing Christendom today that his false “conversion” is being praised by all kinds of spiritually blind leaders of the blind. It is absolutely shocking to see the gross spiritual darkness of those who dare to claim to be “Christian leaders”. They may be leaders in various institutions falsely called “churches”, full of unsound doctrine and ungodly practice, but they are not even members of the true Church, let alone leaders in it.
The Fruit is Rotten to the Core
Consider this man, Kanye West, and his lifestyle:
He lets his wife, Kim Kardashian, dress like a harlot, her body photographed from every possible angle, clothed and unclothed. “Modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9) means nothing to her, and yet he isn’t troubled by this.
He continues to speak and behave as a worldling. He even boastfully claims (and this is after his supposed “conversion”, be it noted!), “I am unquestionably the greatest artist of all time.” So much for humility.
Then there is the company he keeps. There’s something very, very sinister about it. A mere eight days before he went on the stage at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church to perform his so-called “Sunday Service” concert, West was performing at a hip-hop festival called Astroworld. This was run by Travis Scott, who is foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed, and devil-inspired (just like West). And at the very same festival, another iniquitous “singer”, Marilyn Manson, sang a song entitled “Antichrist Superstar”, and burned a Bible in front of the cheering fans! Yet what did West say or do? Nothing. It didn’t worry him. He participated as one of the main performers at the event!
If anyone thinks this man is a Christian, he is as dead in his sins as West is in his.
And still on the subject of the company he keeps, there’s Joel Osteen:
The Heretic and the Rapper: Joel Osteen and Kanye West
Roping in the obnoxious, oily, self-serving heretic Osteen to endorse him is like getting Bill Clinton to endorse Fidel Castro: Clinton may have been slicker, with a better wardrobe and a more rehearsed fake gleaming smile, but at heart both were the same. Osteen is a religious charlatan, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the devil’s own “angel of light”. The Bible calls the believer to separation from the world, from the people of the world, and from false professing “christians” (Psa. 1:1, 2; 1 Cor. 15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14-18). West has separated from none of these.
In a discussion with Joel Osteen at his Sunday morning “church service” in Houston, Texas, before 17000 people, Kane West said, “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.’” And: “Jesus has won the victory. Because now, now I told you about my arrogance and cockiness already, now the greatest artist that God has ever created is now working for Him.” And this is the man being held up by religious fools the world over as the latest “convert” to Christ!
West told Osteen: “I know that God has been calling me for a long time. The devil’s been distracting me for a long time. When I was in my lowest point, God was there with me and sent me visions and inspiring me.” The problem with this is that the Lord no longer sends visions. There is no need for them, as we have the written Word. Only a very few people ever had visions, and they were God’s prophets and then various Christians in the apostolic age. But not afterwards. Faithful men of God did not have visions. John Wycliffe didn’t have visions. William Tyndale didn’t have visions. Nor did John Gill. Nor did Arthur W. Pink. But rapper Kanye West, so he says, has had visions. Even though he is preaching a false gospel, utilising the devil’s “music”, boasting of being the greatest artist of all time, joining with some of the most demonically-inspired “singers” in the world today, and showing no signs of being a true Christian at all – even so, we’re supposed to believe the Lord has given him visions, just because he says so.
When West praised Joel Osteen for his “ministry”, Osteen quipped in response: “When you’ve got Kanye defending you, you’ve made it man.” It may have been a quip, but if so it was only half in jest, because this is how Joel Osteen and all the other megastar charismatic preachers survive – by feeding off the world’s praise. They live for it. And with a mask of humility they revel in it. If he was a true man of God, Osteen would have been urging West to truly repent. But the one is as blind as the other.
False Prophet Shawn Bolz: Kanye West Has “Moments of Clarity”
Another religious huckster, Shawn Bolz – a man whom his followers believe to be a “prophetic minister” – revealed just how much he was devoid of the gift of prophecy, even assuming for the sake of argument that this gift is still given, which it’s not. After attending the first Kanye West concert after the release of West’s so-called “gospel” album, Jesus is King, Bolz made the breathtakingly stupid claim that at least 2000 people made “decisions for Christ” at the concert!
Bolz’s typically Arminian statement, “decisions for Christ”, is bad enough: salvation is not by making a “decision for Christ”, as if the power to become a Christian is in a man’s own hands and will. Salvation is of the Lord alone (Jonah 2:9)! Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit alone (Jn. 3:3, 5)! And to those whom the Lord regenerates, He grants the gifts of repentance and faith in Christ. The true Christian is born of God, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of men (Jn. 1:13) – not by a “decision”!
But then to claim that an estimated 2000 people “decided for Christ” at the Kanye West concert, is to go from shockingly bad to just so very much worse. Even if we could overlook the Arminian error of “deciding for Christ” – and we can’t overlook it – 2000 converts is only a thousand short of those converted on the day of Pentecost when Peter the apostle preached (Acts 2:41)! This would make Kanye West’s concert one of the greatest evangelistic meetings in all history!
It is ridiculous. It is absurd. It is a devilish lie. Those young people “deciding for Christ” at his concert were not truly converted to Christ. This much is absolutely guaranteed: within a few short weeks or months, the vast majority of them will be right back to how they were before that night. This is the usual result of all Arminian “outreaches”, and even more so when it is not from preaching even the Arminian gospel, but from a rap “music” concert! Let it sink in: a rap “music” concert! We are expected to accept that West, with rap “music”, is accomplishing what faithful servants of the Lord in this day and age, preaching the true Gospel of the grace of God, are not seeing occurring under their ministries, simply because it is a day of small things, and true conversions to Christ are rare in these times.
Firstly, one must be a Christian before one can truly evangelise. Kanye West isn’t a Christian. Secondly, biblically-based evangelism is not carried out by music – not even truly good and uplifting music (and West’s “music” is not music at all, it’s rap). The Lord Jesus did not evangelise by music. The apostles did not evangelise by music. The only God-ordained means of evangelism is the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. Nothing else. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18). “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).
Various pop, rock and other “music stars”, over the years, have professed conversion, such as Alice Cooper and Bob Dylan, among others. But were their conversions genuine? No. “But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (see 2 Pet. 2:20-22). In time they all went back to playing their devilish “music”.
Bob Dylan, decades ago, claimed to become a Christian. He then started using his concerts to “evangelise”, and he produced a few so-called “gospel” albums. But he could not “evangelise” with them (even though he thought he was). Now if Bob Dylan couldn’t do it’ – and he couldn’t, and for the very same reasons – Kanye West can’t “evangelise the youth” with what he rather optimistically calls his “music”.
And did Dylan return to his vomit? Yes, he did. And so will Kanye West, unless the Lord truly saves him.
Shawn Bolz said of his attendance at the Kanye West concert, “What we got was a hybrid of a Gospel Choir concert and a Billy Graham type of outreach.” He saw nothing wrong with this, yet there is the word he used: a hybrid. A hybrid is a mixture of two very different things. How can something which is a hybrid be the pure, unadulterated Gospel of Christ? As for being like a Billy Graham outreach, all I can say is: Graham was no true evangelist either, so this is not surprising. See the evidence in my article about Graham.
Bolz listened to the interview West did. He stated that West was unquestionable truly converted, even though he added immediately, “He [West] still has some deep emotional struggles which came across many times in the interview like when he said, ‘I am unquestionably the greatest artist of all time.’” No, this is not a “deep emotional struggle” – it is sin. It is arrogance, it is pride, it is a lie, and therefore it is a great sin. Let’s call it what it is. “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips” (Prov. 27:2).
Bolz then stated: “People might even say after some of the more recent interviews that this is just another part of the mental illness that the media has reported. After all, just a decade ago he did claim to be the Messiah.” Even though we must reject the false psychological term of “mental illness”, the fact is that West is a very, very strange man indeed.
Then came this gem from Bolz: “But Kanye is having so many moments of true mental and spiritual clarity.” Moments of spiritual clarity? And we’re supposed to accept this man’s “conversion” as a genuine work of the Holy Spirit? If all he has are moments of mental and spiritual clarity, what about the rest of the time? And why is he being given a platform to “preach” and supposedly “sing” a “gospel message”? Would any man, claiming to be called as a minister of the Gospel, be accepted as such if he only had moments of clarity? Yet we’re just expected to accept that a man who has moments of clarity is going to evangelise the youth of the world?
Just how abysmal is the state of professing Christendom today?
Does Shawn Bolz even hear himself? Here comes his version of the “fruit” supposedly being produced by the “Christian”, Kanye West (and incidentally he slips in Kim Kardashian as well, as if she too must now be accepted as a Christian?): “On top of this, his desire to bring about sustainability and community is coming out where he has purchased several thousands of acres in Wyoming to start a campus for his clothing and shoe brand where it goes from seed to market from one campus. His whole desire is sustainability as well as bringing jobs back to America. He, along with his wife, Kim Kardashian who is studying law, wants to impact the incarcerated community and help people to have opportunities when they get out of lockup. This type of compassion for the Earth, for prisoners, and for people, doesn’t come from a man like Kanye, it comes from Jesus who is recreating that very man, and he is the first to admit that.”
Oh, where to start? Let’s just plunge right in:
First: “sustainability”, “compassion for the Earth”, are nice-sounding “Green” terms, immensely popular in radical environmentalist circles, but these things are nowhere spoken of as fruits which the Lord produces in a man who is converted! This is pagan earth-idolatry, not the Gospel of Christ.
Second: he spent a portion of his considerable fortune buying thousands of acres in Wyoming, but for what? For some good Christian charity? No – for his clothing and shoe brand! It’s still all about Kanye, then.
Third: yes, helping prisoners when they leave prison is a noble cause. But unless Mr West can get his wife to change her ways before she sets foot in a men’s prison or for that matter in a halfway house when they leave prison, those men will be impacted more by lustful thoughts about Kim Kardashian than anything Kanye West may be doing for them!
False Prophet Johnny Enlow: Scrambling Kanye West’s Name Gives Us “Waken”! (Huh?)
Another of the many false teachers jumping on the “Praise Kanye West” bandwagon was one Johnny Enlow, described as “a social reformer, international speaker, spiritual mentor, and author of The Seven Mountain Prophecy, The Seven Mountain Mantle, and Rainbow God.” Yet his fawning adulation of West shows utter spiritual blindness. Calling his article “The Kanye Awakening: Jesus is King”, Enlow gushed, “Undoubtedly the most unexpected and heartwarming story presently being played out on the front stage of culture is the spiritual awakening of Kanye West and its subsequent ripple effect of thousands upon thousands coming to Jesus.” With breathtaking stupidity, showing himself to be a false prophet, Enlow wrote: “[Donald] Trump and Kanye now represent a ‘one-two punch’ from Heaven, working strategically under the sovereignty of He who is King. These are two major trump cards Heaven is playing, and they will be joined by other major trump cards yet to be fully revealed and released.”
Certainly Donald Trump is an instrument in God’s hands, in the same way as other kings and leaders have been throughout history; but he is no more a true Christian than West is. Oh, and just to be clear – no one in Heaven plays cards.
This deceiver writes further, “Kanye West is, as sometimes self-reported, perhaps the most successful recording artist ever. He has won 21 Grammys, had so many #1 hits and sold so many records (over 100 million) that it is almost impossible to keep up. He is truly a creative genius and has written and produced many hits for other tops stars as well.” Incredible, isn’t it, how these so-called “christian” leaders are absolutely star-struck by worldly fame. Enlow’s gushing praise is worthy of a lovesick teenage girl with posters of Kanye West adorning her bedroom walls, but hardly appropriate language for one claiming to serve the Lord. Does he condemn the “music” of West and the other “top stars” he mentions? Does he know what these people sing about? Has he any idea of the filth, the abominable nature, of this “music”? He’s too busy telling us what a genius West is, and about all the worldly trophies he has won, and how many records he has sold. The Grammys are given to the offscourings of society, “music” stars with filthy mouths, sex-obsessed, grotesque. As for the number of records he has sold, this proves nothing other than that the youth of America and the world are in serious, serious trouble, morally and intellectually. They are so dumbed down that they cannot see this junk for what it is. Their stupidity has turned Kanye West into a very, very wealthy man.
In this world which is so opposed to Christians and Christianity, where Christians in the West are now a small remnant and under ever-increasing threat, Kanye West, claiming now to be a Christian, manages to rake in multiplied millions of dollars. It is all too obvious that his support is not coming from true Christians.
Enlow then wrote: “Over the last several days, the Lord has impressed upon me that Kanye’s deceased mom has a significant role in what is playing out before us.” Whoa! His deceased Mom? She “has” (not “had”) a significant role? Oh, yes, Enlow says: “I believe it greatly pleases his mom, who I have seen in vision incessantly talking to the Father about her boy. She has known for a long time that he was supposed to change the world in a positive way.” This sounds like the deception of a spiritualist medium!
Here we go again: visions. This time of a dead woman talking to the Father in heaven. It’s easy enough to claim to have seen a vision like this, but all we have to go on is his say-so. Yet great numbers will fall for his lies. He went on – if the reader can bear it: “In the uniqueness of God and the unusual way He speaks to me, if you take ‘KANYE W,’ remove the Y and scramble the remaining letters, it becomes ‘WAKEN.’ Once the Y is removed (the ‘WHY?’) and things get unscrambled, the nation and the world can now ‘WAKEN.’” And he calls this lie an “unusual” way for God to speak? It’s not unusual, it’s nonsense! God has never spoken this way to anyone, not even in biblical times when He actually spoke to prophets and gave them direct messages. He isn’t doing this today, even in straightforward, plain language, let alone in convoluted word games like this! What needs unscrambling is his jumbled understanding of God. His God is not the God of the Bible – of that we may be certain. His is a scrambled-egg theology.
Wrapping up his gobbledygook “visions”, Enlow stated: “Kanye is just a man, but he is another ‘David’ for such a time as this. There are Goliaths to be slain and he is already addressing Jezebel in his music – the ‘Goliath’ of Hollywood…. I see a big, golden broom over Hollywood sweeping out corruption and compromise, and it is going to be relentless. It seemed outrageous ten years ago when I first gave a prophetic word that Hollywood would become known as ‘Holy-wood.’ Suddenly it is not so unimaginable.” Grabbing onto the coat tails of West, Enlow has just made it all about him.
And actually what he claims is not so unimaginable is absolutely unimaginable, because it is not going to happen. Hollywood becoming “Holy-wood” is like a satanic temple becoming a Christian church. It cannot happen. The Christian’s duty is clear: have nothing to do with the filth from Hollywood. See my pamphlet, Hollywood and the Christian. Enlow’s “prophetic word” was cooked up in his own scrambled-egg theology. David was a true man of God, a converted man. Kanye West is not. The true Church of God does not need a rapper to slay any Goliaths for it. The Lord will slay the Goliaths which stand against the Church by the preaching of His own Word: the true Gospel of Christ, calling men to repentance of their sins and to saving faith in Jesus; and then, being new creatures in Christ, called to holiness of life and separation from the world.
And as the final demonstration that he is a false “prophet”, Enlow wrote: “It is going to become unpopular in Hollywood to not be righteous. Studios will once again request Christian and Catholic boards for pre-approval of their movies” (italics added). Enlow was referring to the days when the Jesuits and the Roman Catholic institution had their Hollywood production code and their Legion of Decency, and controlled the studios with an iron fist. I have written extensively about this in my book, Jesuit Hollywood. But if Johnny Enlow really was a great Christian “spiritual mentor” and expert on prophecy, what is he doing longing for the days of Roman Catholic censorship to return? No man claiming to be a Christian leader is sent by God if he can’t even see that Roman Catholicism is a false religion! With spiritual blindness like this, anyone paying any heed to his scrambled-egg theology is as blind as he is.
Anticipating the “Don’t Judge” Judges
Last point: there will always be plenty of fawning fans of Kanye West who will rush to his defence and scream, “You’re judging! Don’t judge!” If anyone today stands up and dares to say, “That man claims to be a Christian but his life shows that he isn’t”, there are going to be people accusingly pointing fingers as they shake with anger, shouting, “We can’t judge him! The Lord is the judge.” They in fact do the very thing they condemn in others: they judge!
They are the sad product of the kind of shallow, nonsensical, unbiblical preaching so prevalent today. Of course we must judge! Over and over in Scripture we are commanded to judge (e.g. Jn. 7:24; 1 Cor. 5:12; 6:4, 5). And in practice we all judge, every single day, in all kinds of situations – and we have to!
An individual has to judge; so does a parent; a local church; etc. Matt. 7:1 (“Judge not”) is explained by vv. 3-5 of the same chapter. Christ condemns only hypocritical judging– not all judging. See also Rom. 2:1, 3, 21-23.
Kanye West is not a Christian, and the men praising him as some kind of “Christian superhero” are blind leaders of the blind. This is judging, certainly. But it is judging according to the standards of the Word of God. The Bible says such men are not what they claim to be. The Bible has judged them to be liars, deceivers, hypocrites. If then we simply follow the Bible, we are merely declaring the judgment which the Bible pronounces. And that is something every true Gospel minister, and every true believer, must do.
Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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. Gateway News, November 5, 2019. Article: “2000 Decisions for Christ at Kanye Concert: Sean Bolz Says God Busy in Pop Culture.” http://gatewaynews.co.za.
. Faith and Freedom, December 2019 – January 2020, pg. 12. www.faithandfreedom.com.au.
. The Christian Post, November 19, 2019. Article: “Kanye West Plans to Evangelize America’s Youth with Music: ‘No Weapon Formed against Me Shall Prosper.’” www.christianpost.com.
. The Christian Post, November 19, 2019.
. The Christian Post, November 19, 2019.
. Gateway News, November 5, 2019.
. Gateway News, November 5, 2019.
. Billy Graham: Servant of Rome, Not Servant of Christ, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, 2018. Available as a free download from our website: www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. Gateway News, November 5, 2019.
. Gateway News, November 29, 2019. Article: “The Kanye Awakening: Jesus is King.” http://gatewaynews.co.za.
. Hollywood and the Christian, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries (pamphlet). Available as a free download from our website: www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.
. Jesuit Hollywood, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, 2015. Available for purchase from our website: www.biblebasedministries.co.uk.