Something genuinely significant appears to be occurring in connection with Kanye West and his ‘Sunday Service’ evangelism events, with “thousands” reportedly responding to the altar call in Baton Rouge Friday evening.
“’Tonight, worship was lifted, the name of Christ was exalted, the Word of God was preached, a multitude prayed together, the Gospel was clearly proclaimed, and an opportunity to respond was given,’ Faithwire’s Lindsay Elizabeth reports Saturday, quoting an Instagram post by a local pastor who described it in detail while attending the event.
“’In a crowd of 6,000 people from all walks of life, all ages, and all races, I personally witnessed over 1,000 individuals accept Jesus as their Lord & Savior!’” the pastor wrote, according to Elizabeth.
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Tonight, @candacebrewington & I got to experience Kanye West’s Sunday Service at @bethany_church in Baton Rouge. If you’ve ever doubted the legitimacy or spiritual impact of this #sundayservice project, simply look at this incredible shot taken by @the.smitan during the altar call. YES, I said ALTAR CALL. 😲 Tonight, worship was lifted, the name of Christ was exalted, the Word of God was preached, a multitude prayed together, the Gospel was clearly proclaimed, and an opportunity to respond was given. In a crowd of 6,000 people from all walks of life, all ages, and all races, i witnessed over 1,000 people respond to The Gospel by raising their hands to accept Jesus as their Lord & Savior! 😱🙌🏾 Say what you want, & think what you want…. But trust me when I tell you – The Spirit of the Living God was indeed present. I danced, wept, stood in awe of God’s redemptive work, & can honestly say that tonight I witnessed a new wave of REVIVAL first hand. #Jesusisking • Isaiah 43:19 “Behold I do a NEW thing. • 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. • #excited #inspired 📸 @the.smitan
If you work on Capitol Hill, this looks increasingly like a movement you need to know about because it could be the beginning of something akin to the Great Awakening that helped prepare the way for the American Revolution.
Kanye West as Canary in the Coal Mine of American Politics
Something that often is lost in contemporary political analyses is the reality that politics is downstream from culture and culture is downstream from philosophy, which is in turn downstream from matters of faith.
That’s why the Kanye West conversion isn’t significant only as a development on the faith front, it has ramifications at multiple levels of analysis. As I noted on HillFaith on October 8:
“Love or despise him, though, West is a major influence on contemporary American culture and that makes him relevant in multiple ways for folks working on Capitol Hill.
“(For one thing, he may be a canary in the coal mine of American politics, telling us in advance of a coming seismic shift in the way Black Americans see things in Washington, D.C. That, as Sen. Bernie Sanders might say, would be huuuuge on Capitol Hill.)”
You can read (or re-read!) that post here.
A Movement Against Political Bitterness, Division?
Speaking of revolutions, Armond White at National Review explains why “Kanye West’s Faith Triumphs Over Political Bitterness.” Here’s just a taste of an important analysis of what’s going on with the rapper and what it means for the public policy brigades across the political spectrum:
“The beautiful essence of Jesus Is King is its non-bitterness. Despite private struggle and public pushback (‘Before the flood, they did the same to Noah’), West has realized a way to avoid and confound liberal media’s trap: the promotion of black bitterness as the core of African-American self-realization.
“Jesus Is King is a spiritual work thanks to its deep feeling — pure expression brought to today’s calamitous social condition. The album rejects any recourse to political solutions. West’s personal movement, and the public convocation of his Sunday Services, is clearly against the politics of division.
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