Kanye West is running around recording gospel albums, teaming up with Joel Osteen, and talking about his love of Christ every chance he gets. But his religious fervor is not without criticism. West was called out for holding invitation-only Sunday services, and acting Kanye West-like, rather than Godlike. "He's employed 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?" Tobi Oredein wrote in Premier Christianity magazine.
West discussed the judgements surrounding his faith in a new interview with Vogue, saying it's okay when humans fall short of being godlike. "A lot of times, people try to point out the flaws of people who are Christian. But always remember, Christians are not Christ. We fall short. We all fall short of the glory," West told Vogue. Nobody's perfect. Not even Kanye West.
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West then made a basketball analogy, comparing Jesus to Michael Jordan. "It's like, there's a lot of people with 23 on their backs, but there's only one Jordan. You can't really compare most people with 23 on their backs to Jordan at all," West told Vogue.
West even acknowledged his own shortcomings when it comes to his faith. "I'll tell you what, when I don't apply grace, I don't get the results I'm looking for. Everything must be done with grace. That's one of the things I pray for—and I need to pray for more," he told Vogue.
This isn't the first time West addressed what people think of the way he expresses his beliefs. West alluded to judgement from the Christian community on Jesus is King. In the track "Hands On," West raps, "What have you been hearing from the Christians? / They'll be the first one to judge me / Make it feel like nobody love me."
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West says religion has changed him. "I thought I had it all figured out," West told Vogue of his old life. But finding God has changed "everything, my ego," he says. He also told Vogue, "The true principles of Christ can and will make you a better person."
West may not be a perfect Christian, but he's trying. He also told Vogue he's making it a point to surround himself with people who are going to raise him up and make him a better Christian. "You can pick your influences," he said. "I sought out to have Bible study, and to be around other Christians who could keep me accountable."
Taking West's Michael Jordan analogy one step further, just because you might never be as good as Michael Jordan doesn't mean you shouldn't play basketball. Striving to hit a standard doesn't mean someone has gotten there, and they shouldn't be judged for that.
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