Before you criticize Kanye, take the log out of your own eye

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There I was. Transformed.

It felt like I was 8 years old again watching the adult choir perform at Allen Chapel AME Church. I remember looking up, eyes beaming as I felt the stiff robe fabric against my little arms. Would we, the measly children’s choir, ever be as good as them? I wondered.

It didn’t matter. Hopefully one day I’d switch my blue robe out for a burgundy, but it was all about the music. Sweet, sweet gospel music that made me feel the piece of God that dwelt deep within my own soul.

This really is a gospel album, I thought. There was no mistaking that sound. The gospel performance I’d just watched that reminded me so much of my childhood struck such a chord and most surprising of all: it was a Kanye song.

This wasn’t like “Jesus Walks” with the up tempo hip-hop beat. This was flat-out, grandma church hats, anal starch-ironed uniformed ushers, 7 hour long service, praise dancing, real gospel  music. But it was a Kanye song?

The cover art for Kanye's new rap-gospel album, "The Life of Pablo."

The cover art for Kanye’s new rap-gospel album, “The Life of Pablo.”

I could already hear the naysayers.

Who was Kanye to make gospel music? Who was award-snatching, porn star-wifing, constantly controversial KANYE to sing about GOD?

Actually who is he not to? Many a Christian forget that everyone is a child of God. That includes Kanye.

Frankly, I’m tired of uppity, judgemental “church folk” who turn their noses up at the heathens, the sinners, and the wayward. As if they’re better. It’s hypocrisy.

“. . .this is a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing in it.” -Kanye West

 

None of us are perfect

After watching the “UltraLight Beam” performance for the seventh time, I thought it’d better if I scrolled to something else on my Facebook news feed.

I came across a video of Meagan Good and her husband at an event promoting their new book “The Wait.” By the climax of the clip, my jaw was agape.

The couple took a question in the audience and a woman outright said that Meagan Good was being a hypocritical Christian woman because she needed to “cover up.” This brought Good to tears.

the-wait-9781501105296_hr

This woman, a stranger, who knew nothing about Meagan Good personally, was judging her for wearing too-revealing clothing. Now, I’ve discussed the problematic thinking behind slut-shaming before, but let’s stay on topic.

It is very much a Christian virtue to dress modestly and I’m a firm believer in practicing what you preach.

But I also know human nature. Because we’re humans, I know that we will fall short of everything we say we’re all about.

This is not because we willfully choose to go against God and his teachings. It’s because we’re flawed, imperfect humans with a sinful nature.  No matter how hard we try, we will always fall short of spiritual sinlessness.

Every. Single. One of us.

That includes the people who go to church faithfully every Sunday. The preachers, the virgins, the nuns, the priests. The monk who’s never even killed an insect. They have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The scripture does not say “. . .except for Sister Jenkins who’s never missed a day of service since she was 6 years old.”

Then, why? Why do we judge and ridicule and shame our Godly brothers and sisters?

Kanye's infamous line from "Jesus Walks."

Kanye’s infamous line from “Jesus Walks.”

Why do we turn our  noses up and gasp at the prostitute who walks into church? Godly church women gossip about the loose woman who dares show up to Bible study on Wednesday. And Oh! Isn’t Bishop Luke’s son gay? What’s he doing here??

Isn’t church the one place where they should be?

And we wonder why so many people are “sinners” with devilish ways who are worldly and just plain un-Christian. One of the biggest reasons why people turn from God is because of disillusionment with the church.

Instead of recruiting lost children like He intended, you’re turning them away by not being accepting. By not loving. It’s a shame because broken people are the ones who need God’s love the most.

Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Mathew 7:5

God is in all of us. His children include the killers, racists, rapists, liars, adulterers, sexually immoral, and even the hypocritical.

 

Take that stone you were about to throw and heat it up instead. Put it in a water bath. When your lost brother finds his way back, wash his feet in it. Welcome him home. And love him.

 

I’m tryna keep my faith

But I’m looking for more

Somewhere I can feel safe

And end my holy war

“Ultralight Beam” by Kanye West

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