Kanye West’s reunion with a higher power has played a big role in the rollout of his new album Jesus Is King. Despite assumptions that his Sunday Service events are an appropriation of Christianity and the gospel, his pastor wants everyone to know Kanye’s intentions are genuine.
Speaking to the faith-based podcast Pure Flix, Adam Tyson discussed ministering to Kanye and how the entertainer was radically saved before they crossed paths.
“We talked the first time [for] about three hours. And I spent about three hours just going through the gospel, make sure he understood clearly about the atonement of Jesus Christ, that God is holy, that we are sinners, that Christ came to die in the place of sinners, that by repenting and believing in Him, we could have eternal life,” he said after Kanye attended the pastor’s Placerita Bible Church in Newhall, California.
“And he’s like, “Hey, man, I told you I’ve been radically saved. I believe that message, and I want to get that message out to the world.”
There’s no denying Kanye’s history with the gospel. After creating classics like “Jesus Walks” and sampling Christian artists in the past, his praise pivoted to the obsessive when he began declaring himself God. His intent was questioned this time around. Just before the public display of his faith, Kanye faced a bevy of criticism for his support of President Donald Trump and the now-infamous “slavery was a choice” comments.
Tyson goes on to explain how Kanye became radically saved from his sins.
“‘Kanye, what happened five weeks ago?’ He’s like, “I was just under the weight of my sin. And I was being convicted that I was running from God. And I knew I needed to make things right. So, I came to Christ. I came out of darkness into the light,'” he said.
“And that’s where I said, “Hey, let’s talk more about that.” So, when we met for that first meeting for three hours is where we just kind of really talked about, what does it mean to be a Christian? What is the gospel? And I just opened the Bible, and we worked through it all. And he was like, “Amen. I believe every verse, everything that you said, is what I believe.”
Their weekly bible study sessions in California were uprooted to Cody, Wyoming where Kanye purchased a ranch. Tyson is also apart of the creative process of Jesus Is King, with Kanye condemning the use of secular tropes like curse words in his music.
“If somebody cusses in his presence, I’ve heard him say a couple of times, “Hey, man, you can’t cuss when you’re with me. I’m a born-again Christian.” Who’s gonna say that if they’re not meaning that they want Christ to be exalted in all that they do?[He told me], ‘From now on, all I want to do is serve Christ. I want every song that I sang, to have part of my testimony, to include the gospel, and to include the element of worship to our great God. That’s what I want to do.'”
Tyson has a say so the recordings of Jesus Is King, by helping the artist with lyrics that only relate to the Bible.
“Where I’ll hear a song in the studio, and I’m like, ‘Hey, man, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say right here. This to me is a little fuzzy. What are you trying to say?'” he explained. “And he’ll tell me what he’s trying to say. And I’ll be like, ‘You know, well, I don’t understand it. Maybe you could say a little differently or be careful here.’ You know, it’s not like I’m writing the song. It’s all of his work. He’s the complete creator, creative kind of guy. He’s the musician. I’m just making comments the way I see it. And then how to articulate the gospel more clearly. And yeah, how to include the component of worship, which was his idea.”
The album hasn’t been released yet but Kanye has continued his Sunday Service experience across the country.
Read our insightful piece on Kanye’s journey, Kanye West, ‘Jesus Is King,’ And The Unspoken Bipolarism In Between here.