Kanye West, Church Signs, and the Shallowness of Faith

Last week, I saw a church sign that simply said, “Jesus is King.”

Yes, I said to myself. Here is a church that is proclaiming the truth of Christ and forgoing the need to be clever; that tells it like it is; and is using its sign to proclaim truth in its simplest form. I thought, “That’s refreshing. I would like to attend a church that has as its mission statement, Jesus is King.”

Those thoughts came in a about two seconds before it registered that this church was posting the title of Kanye West’s latest album. Then, my heart sank. I quickly remembered that this church’s usual sign messaging is worthy of its own Pinterest board for Bad Church Signs. Their signs usually amount to something like this: Tweet Others as You Would Like to Be Tweeted or There Are Some Questions That Can’t Be Answered By Google. The church had gone from spouting off lame pop culture meets religion slogans to a great spiritual truth simply because some celebrity had a religious experience.

I think what bothered me the most is that this church and many Christians seem to need a celebrity to give them permission to proclaim the good news of Jesus. As if validation for our beliefs and life can only come from a person with millions of followers on Instagram and influencer next to their name in a sentence or holding a position of power in politics.

I have no doubt that God is working in some way in the the conversion of Kanye West and the platform that he does possess. But the last time I checked, God’s kingdom doesn’t advance on hype and quick media fixes. Jesus is not Lord because Kanye West has proclaimed him such or because a certain person was elected to office. Jesus has already been inaugurated and has already taken office at the right hand of the Father.

So before you champion the next celebrity that makes a big religious splash remember who your Lord is, what he did for you, where your allegiance lies, who you are committed to follow and the great promises that are being fulfilled for you. Live out those promises, announce those beliefs, proclaim Christ is King for what he has done for you and is doing for you. Don’t be a copy cat or a ride the back of trends but be rooted to the name that is above all names, Christ our King.

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