The flowery message goes as such:
To the hustlas, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
To the victims of Welfare for we living in hell here hell yeah
Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know he hear me when my feet get weary
Cuz we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models we rap we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that's the way yall need Jesus
So here go my single dog radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won't get played Huh?
Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I'm dreaming about
Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out
There has been much respect given to West for pinpointing the ills of the music industry which considers the word "Jesus" to be profane and offensive while all other lewd and inappropriate language is permissible. This is the spot on truth and it needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Proving himself the "trailblazer" West's song has done tremendously well in spite of its content. I even read recently that "people" have compared Kanye West to Mel Gibson in that West fronted $1 million of his own money to produce three music videos for the song in order to generate more popularity. I suppose that infers that West is spreading the message of Christ through his song. My next question is, what message would that be?
When the small start-up company "Teenage Millionaire" came out with the infamous "Jesus is My Homeboy" t-shirts, they were all the rage. While these t-shirts were less popular among young hip hoppers than they were among urban hipsters, it is certain that few if any donners took great personal and spiritual connection with the suggestion Jesus was anything more than a regular man in the Bible. The agnostic young adult population in particular took such a liking to them that the shirts became one of the hottest items of the year. Even celebrities were spotted wearing the shirts right along with their hip Kabbalah bracelets (to further add to the confusion).
Whereas I too once defended the concept behind the t-shirts and the etymology of the word "homeboy", on a grander scale of things, my tune may be slightly changing in light of the fact that we must examine such things against the backdrop of a culture that is hostile and arrogant towards God and what it means to serve him. The "agnostic young adult population", are those, many of whom are my peers, whose actions clearly dictate that they exist in some state of limbo as to whether or not their life is their own. There is a certain degree of action that comes along with the belief that God is who He says He is. That "belief" is severely hindered by a watering-down of the identity of God (and subsequently, our own identities). One of the manifestations of this takes place in the music industry.
There is the general belief among many artists that it's okay to live one way and drop in the name of Jesus al a carte. We've all heard the award acceptance speeches over the years:
"Yes I know I just took most of my clothes off and shook my butt on the stage while singing and simulating dry sex on the dance floor, but thank you God, the head of my life for allowing me to make this album and blessing me with my talents."
Then there's my personal favorite which goes a little something like this:
"First I want to give honor to God for helping me to make this album which diametrically opposes everything moral or righteous and allowing me to continue to make money in spite of my filthy lifestyle, DUIs, arrests, and complete and utter disregard for human life. I love you Jesus."
Meanwhile, we sit on the sidelines and applaud these people like they're doing big things for the name of Jesus. The Stellar Awards nomination committee didn't think so. They pulled "Jesus Walks" off the list of songs nominated for a gospel music award when they found the rest of West's album objectionable in content.
There is a fundamental problem with "Jesus Walks" and "Jesus is My Homeboy" and every other pop culture fad that attempts to water down the person of Jesus Christ. The message is faulty in that the Jesus presented requires nothing of the individual. It takes little effort on our part to acknowledge that Jesus is our friend, our homeboy, and walking with us every day. That is a given. If it weren't so, we'd all be dead by now. But Jesus never told us to wait for him to come walk with us. Instead, He asked us to walk with Him. Big difference.
Tastes more like cough syrup next to the sugar-coated message that's so popular in a song like "Jesus Walks".
Walking with Jesus requires something of the individual. No one in the Bible ever encountered Jesus Christ and remained the same. Their countenance and their lifestyle changed drastically. I know mine did. We continue to spread a misleading message to a dying culture when we make it seem as though Jesus is just another concept at the "Pick 'n Grab Store". Jesusfreak one day, bedroom freak the next. Jesus at the club? Jesus on the side? Jesus on the half shell? Baked, fried or broiled? This choose your own Jesus recipe stuff is killing people off.
I'm sorry, but this fluffy stuff is not going to be what gets this generation from where we are to where God needs us to be. Does Jesus love the world? Absolutely. He loves pimps, hos, prostitutes, corporate extortionists, murders, liars, thieves, adulterers, and even I. But God's intention was that we would recognize His love, repent (change our way of thinking), and live our lives in a way that pleases Him. We crucify Jesus every day when we fail to properly acknowledge His sacrifice. This isn't a game. People are dying and it's going to take more than some shallow messages of Jesus that stroke us and make us feel better about our sin and lack of obedience.
Yeah Jesus walks, but will we walk with him?