The news has been exploding: Kanye West is born again.
Kanye is one of the best-selling musicians and most-awarded artists of all time. Nearly all of his albums were marked for explicit content. Now he’s singing a new tune: Jesus is King, the title of his latest album, released this October.
In an interview, Jimmy Kimmel asked Kanye, “Are you a Christian artist?” Kanye replied with a smile, “I’m just a Christian everything.”
Notably, becoming a parent sparked this change. An article by Eugene Park for The Gospel Coalition observes,
“In 2013, another moment of transcendence hit Kanye when his first daughter, North, was born (Kanye is now a father of four). Among other things, this life-changing event seemed to trigger a sort of moral awakening for Kanye. Often criticized for his music’s misogynistic depiction of women, Kanye has recently moved away from objectifying women in obscenely sexual lyrics. In the last track of Ye (2018), “Violent Crimes,” Kanye prays: Father forgive me, I’m scared of the karma / Cause now I see women as something to nurture, not something to conquer.”
Families, and especially children, pull us back toward God. Nothing drives men to church like becoming a father. Research backs this up. Mary Eberstadt in How the West Really Lost God and Philip Jenkins in “Fertility, Faith, and a Secular America?” come to identical conclusions—where fertility increases, so does religion. Having children pushes us towards church.
What’s the tie between family and faith?
An article by W. Bradford Wilcox in First Things journal shares that men are 57% less likely to attend church if they are single and childless. He continues, “For men, marriage, fatherhood, and churchgoing are a package deal. [F]atherhood often awakens in men a sense of paternal responsibility that extends to their children’s religious and moral welfare.”
This sense of responsibility certainly rung true for Kanye West. The New York Post says he credited his five-year marriage with Kim Kardashian and becoming a father with changing his outlook on life. Kanye’s song “Closed on Sunday” brings home the family message:
Hold the selfies, put the ‘Gram away
Get your family, y’all hold hands and pray
When you got daughters, always keep ’em safe
Watch out for vipers, don’t let them indoctrinate
Raise our sons, train them in the faith
Through temptations, make sure they’re wide awake
Follow Jesus, listen and obey
No more livin’ for the culture, we nobody’s slave
Based on Kanye’s religious turn-around, one might conclude that the best way to evangelize your neighbor is to support their marriage and family.
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash
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Published November 1, 2019
Topics: Culture Commentary