- Matthew Castro
Cancel Culture and Kanye West
By Matthew Castro
In a world, where a past mistake may lead to a trial and judgment by the masses, the concept of grace has been lost. Maybe this should be expected in a post-Christian world. More and more people have no knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which offers grace from our sins. Even the idea of grace is foreign. Mercy that is unmerited has dropped from the lexicon of most people today. If you make a mistake, there is no hope of forgiveness. In a woke culture, grace is unavailable only judgement.
Kanye West has made some serious mistakes in his past. His sins include sporting a MAGA hat and disparaging Taylor Swift, but also, he called slavery a “choice” and rapped misogynistic lyrics. Therefore, he has been canceled. Canceled means judged by the masses and sentenced to public shame. As one student said to me this week, when I asked what she thought of Kanye West, “He is trash.” His new found faith in Christ is perceived by many as a transactional trick, a way to cover his sins with religion. This proves the point that redemption is lost in a canceled culture.
In Nicole Ault’s article in WSJ entitled “A Canceled Kanye Begins a Hymn,” she highlighted other individuals, who have attempted to find redemption with the public from their past iniquities and have failed to receive forgiveness. She wrote, “Witness Laurence Fink, the BlackRock CEO who’s in trouble with progressives fro the companies he invests in. He’s hoping his past acts of social responsibility will cover his sins, but it’s not working. Student activist Kyle Kashuv apologized for bigoted remarks he made at 16, but Harvard still pulled his admission offer. When an Iowa security guard stumbled into money and gave it to children’s hospital, a local reporter dug up and published two racist tweets from seven years ago. Canceled.” A world that demands perfection and offers no hope of grace is a cold and dark world.
In Kanye West’s new album “Jesus is King,” he sings lyrics like “He saved a wretch like me” and “I know God is the force that picked me up.” Kanye understands that he is a sinner. He is not defending or justifying his past sins. He like the crowd in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37) cried out “What must I do to be saved” from my transgressions. God’s word pleads back, “Repent and be baptized.” Kanye repented of his sins and put his faith in Christ Jesus for forgiveness and grace. He was baptized and is united with Christ. God does not cancel us even though he is able and worthy to do so. The Apostle Peter wrote “God is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but he is patient with us. Not wishing that anyone would perish, but that all would reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:8). In a canceled world, God’s grace is magnified.
In a social media world, you can’t hid from your mistakes. Pictures, videos, and posts are pubic record. Your past will haunt you, and the world is ready to declare you guilt without any hope of redemption. However, God through his eternal Son, Jesus Christ, offers redemption to the worst of us. The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all our transgressions, and restore us through himself. Kanye West understands this truth quite well. The wretched and trash have redemption in Christ.
In Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov,” Dmitri, one of the brothers, says, “When I fall into the abyss, I go straight into it, head down and heels up. . . . And so in that very shame I suddenly begin a hymn.” Grace is a sweet sound to those who know they need it. We all need the sweet grace of Christ, but only a few cry out for it in our acknowledged shame. Many suppress grace, and chose a jury sit to cast the sentence of cancel to a wretched soul. However, as Paul reminds us in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed form heaven against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” A canceled sentence is on us all for our transgressions against a holy God. Yet in Christ, redemption from our sentence is given to all who would believe in Christ Jesus. Abandon this corrupt generation, canceled culture, and sing “Hallelujah” to the one, who saved a wretch like me.