Rapper Kanye West’s explosive and very public embrace of Christianity has finally come to a head with anticipation building around his upcoming gospel album, ‘Jesus is King.’
But not all Christians believe ‘Yeezus’ is sincerely practicing what he preaches.
This album is his most vocal proclamation of his faith yet, but it’s conception has been foreshadowed for years.
In 2004, West’s debut album ‘College Dropout’ featured a song titled ‘Jesus Walks’ that showed him asking for guidance.
‘God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna break me down And I don’t think there’s nothin’ I can do now to right my wrongs. I wanna talk to God but I’m afraid ’cause we ain’t spoke in so long’
In 2006, Kanye West garnered mixed reviews from fans after he posed for Rolling Stone Magazine (pictured) as Jesus
Two years later he outraged some fans when he posed for a Rolling Stone’s cover named ‘The Passion of Kanye.’
The photo showed him dressed as Jesus, complete with a crown of thorns, and drew complaints it was blasphemous.
At the time, the photographer David LaChapelle told Rolling Stone: ‘I wanted to make it look exactly like the DVD cover of The Passion of the Christ right down to the individual thorns.’
In 2013, West dropped his controversial platinum album ‘Yeezus’ that notably played off the name ‘Jesus.’
The album included a song titled ‘I Am a God’ with similar lyrics: ‘I am a God. Even though I’m a man of God. My whole life in the hands of God. So y’all better quit playing with God.’
West (pictured) has drawn criticism from some Christians who are wary of the use of religious imagery in his music
Back in present time, West’s ‘Jesus is King’ album is charming to longtime fans who have posted about their enthusiasm across social media.
To others, it’s alienating.
68-year-old Christian Kaleina told NY Post people ridicule her faith, ‘because of the strange and weird behavior of people like this man.’
‘He may be trying to understand Jesus in his own limited way and we cannot judge another’s soul. People who follow Christ sense something is not right with this scene.’
On Friday, ‘Jesus is King’ was trending on Twitter and between the fanfare were pockets of Christian’s who found the music venture sacrilegious.
Some Christian Twitter users called out West’s use of religion in his music, calling him a ‘self-proclaimed god’ (pictured)
One user wrote: ‘Jesus is King is trending on Twitter except no one is talking about Jesus of Nazareth, the savior of the world & son of the living God who created heaven and earth.’
‘They’re talking about the self-proclaimed god Kanye West who is a mere man..’
Another wrote: ‘Yes. He preaches “Yeezus” in order to mu$ic.’
Others implied West’s call to faith is a gimmick to attract more album and music sales (pictured)
One woman pointed out the alleged hypocrisy between West’s Christianity and past descriptions of women.
‘The way he talks about women in his other/recent albums, I’m skeptical he knows the gospel. I am much more willing to believe Chance is born again than Kanye.’
One man simply summarized: ‘Kanye West isn’t a Christian.’
One woman compared West’s Christian influences and the way he spoke about women in past works (pictured)
One man simply said: ‘Kanye west isn’t a Christian’
Flack against West’s Christianity has been on the rise as of late with his now infamous Sunday Service.
Pictures and videos of West’s concert like services, full of an ever present choir and service goers watching his every move, have circulated across media since the weekly event began.
Changing lights and an ensemble dressed near identical to West have become staples in the worship, but Kim has explained the service is more ‘healing’ than religious.
Kim Kardashian: ‘There’s no praying, there’s no sermon, no word, just music, and just a feeling — and it’s Christian’
Kim told Jimmy Kimmel: ‘There’s no praying, there’s no sermon, no word, just music, and just a feeling — and it’s Christian.’
‘Everyone that comes understands it’s just a really healing experience with an amazing choir, and amazing messages about love to start off your week,;
Khloe echoed Kim’s sentiments, saying: ‘We have so many friends who maybe feel too judgmental when they go to church or something.
‘When they come here, they feel free and safe, is what everyone says.’
Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Jaden Smith, Justin Bieber and even rapper DMX, who delivered a prayer at one service, have all made appearances.
West’s Sunday Services have drawn criticism for appearing blasphemous and self serving (pictured)
It’s clear this invite-only Sunday Service caters to a certain, high profile crowd – but some Christian’s think that’s the problem.
Columnist Tobi Oredein of Premier Christianity said in a recent article: ‘My major issue with Kanye’s Sunday Services is that they appear to be exclusive clubs for the rich and famous.
‘The average person can’t visit – instead we’re kept at arms length merely watching on screens. A church – or any gathering led in Christ’s name – should be open to everyone.’
She also said the Sunday Service extolled his own music and brand.
‘As I watched these Sunday Services, I also wondered who was being glorified,’ she said.
‘He’s employing a choir of people who are not only singing his songs, but are all dressed in his apparel. Is Christ really at the center of this gathering? I’m not sure he is.’
Staying true to himself, West has continued to forge his own vision by having listening sessions for his new album in Chicago on Saturday and New York on Sunday.
He was also in Detroit on Friday where he teased a new movie and ‘Jesus is King’ for excited fans.
According to Kim, the album will drop Sunday.