Nancy Kennedy

First of all, a confession.

I don't keep up with the Kardashians.

Neither am I a fan of hip hop music.

That said, Kanye West fascinates me. (He's a hip hop/rap artist who's married to Kim Kardashian.)

For the past few years, news about Kanye has been popping up as alerts on my phone's news feed.

Just from reading the headlines here and there I've formed a mostly uninformed opinion about him as an egomaniac control freak with a God complex.

In 2016, he released "The Life of Pablo," what he called a "gospel album with a lot of cursing."

Even prior to that -- and after -- Kanye has used Christian themes and imagery mixed with a lot of vulgarity in his music.

And in his "Yeezus" album, he has a track called "I Am a God" -- he caught a lot of flack for that.

In his song, "Jesus Walks," Kanye sings, "God, show me the way because the devil's trying to break me down (Jesus walks with me, with me, with me, with me, with me.)"

That song was nominated for a 2004 Stellar Gospel Music Award.

Lately in the news: Kanye's Sunday Services, church-ish, by-invitation-only gatherings that he hosts at his property in California.

In October, Kanye released his ninth album, "Jesus is King," and he appears to believe it, that Jesus is his King.

And now the newsfeed headlines are asking: "Kanye West -- a Christian?"

Is this more of his delusions of grandeur, like his saying he wants to run for president in 2024? Is this a publicity stunt?

Or could it be real -- and why couldn't it be?

A recent Christianity Today story said the New Testament teaches us not to second guess surprising conversions. After all, much of the New Testament was written by Paul, the man who sought out and murdered followers of Jesus before he met the Lord and had his life miraculously changed.

Kanye himself sings on his new album, "What have you been hearin' from the Christians? They'll be the first ones to judge me. Make it feel like nobody love me."

The truth is, only God truly knows a person's heart. Someone who may "act Christianly" may not be a true convert, but a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

It's true that we're to assess people who claim to be Christians by their fruit, but fruit takes time to grow.

Time will tell whether Kanye or you or me bear the fruit of righteousness.

I can't imagine Kanye's life right now, but I do remember 40 years ago when I first gave my life to following Jesus, the first person in my entire extended family to do so.

My family thought I had lost my mind. They thought it was just a phase. They hoped I would snap out of it.

Yet here I am, 40 years later -- with some of my family members also following Jesus.

The promise is: What God starts, he finishes. That holds true for the apostle Paul, for me and for Kanye West.

When you think about it, the miracle is not that Kanye West might be a Christian.

As my pastor often says, the miracle is that any one of us is.

Nancy Kennedy is the author of "Move Over, Victoria -- I Know the Real Secret," "Girl on a Swing" and "Lipstick Grace." She can be reached at 352-564-2927 or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.

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