I understand why one might hate Kanye West.
His ego is obnoxiously large. He has compared himself to Jesus and Mohammad Ali. He has said his greatest regret is that he can’t see himself perform live. And there was the whole Taylor Swift VMA fiasco. Ugh. I’m embarrassed to admit I like him.
But I like him.
From “Power,” to “Stronger,” to “Can’t tell me Nothing,” I could call out a dozen fantastic songs off the top of my head. Have you listened to “Good Morning?” Have you given “Homecoming” a spin? “Heard ’em say,” is one of my all time favorites.
I’m not interested in seeing him live. My opinion: the voice is terrible. This is no Freddie Mercury.
He is an artist, though. A true beast in the studio. Check “Mercy,” “All of the Lights,” or “Love Lockdown.” He has 55 entries on the Billboard Top 100.
I might not like his arrogance, but in my mind, he’s one of the great artists of our time. I may not like the guy, but he deserves credit for the body of music he’s produced. He just sounds good. A lot.
I feel the same about Jesus.
Don’t misunderstand, Jesus is no pompous ass. Yeah, the son of God claim is bold (Kanye-esque?), but the resurrection trick, street cred with prostitutes and followers who died horrible deaths to further his legend and grace, still compel me to spin Gospel records. “Turn the other cheek.” Heard of that? It’s good stuff. Call me a sucker.
Have you read the “Sermon on the Mount?” Seen Matthew’s “Lillies of the Field?” Heard the story of the “Good Samaitan?” John 4:8 is one of my all-time favs.
I know it seems I’m playing fast and loose with the sacrifice of the lamb of God. And Jesus. Let me explain: the music of the Bible has always spoken to me, but like Mr. West, the well from which the hits spring is contaminated.
The Bible is chock full of errors. It’s embarrassing, really. If you’re not familiar with the long list of contradictions in the Bible, here’s a collection, and a few questions to ponder: Is God good to all or just a few? Is Jesus God? Who bears the sins of the father? The Bible contradicts itself on these questions and more depending on where you look.
And then there’s all the horrible junk in the Old Testament. From bizarro death penalties, to slavemaster’s rules, to testing Abraham by telling him to kill his son, the picture the Good Book paints of God ain’t pretty from where I sit. And I forgot to mention the impossible stuff such as Moses’ age and Noah’s special water ride.
All as embarrassing as a Kanye West headline. To me.
I get why someone wouldn’t believe. Why would God kill his son? Why would the fate of my eternal soul rest on whether I believe an unbelievable story and/or worship a cruel father-God? I can’t argue with you, unbeliever. You win.
Albert Einstein knew the universe was an orderly place. His theory of relativity continues to give mankind a glimpse into the beauty and reliability of the forces that hold and shape our world. And we know our universe is expanding: the Big Bang Theory isn’t just a TV show. What if God was the Singularity, and life was born from His sacrifice? What if he’s not the parental type per se, but is a gentle force like gravity, ever propelling seeds to flower and stars to burst open. Looking to the night sky, I feel humble, grateful.
Sometimes when I’m at church listening to a Kanye record, I feel connected to the real G in the sky. I know the flaws of the package that carries the message, and this message, all too well.
Ah, but the hits. I keep coming back for more. There is something to this beat.