Kanye and Playing Favorites

I enjoyed preaching/teaching Sunday’s message. The illustration about the child stuck in a room with a shattered mirror came to me during the first service. Love it when God gives me stuff like that in the moment. I will use that one again.

Here’s the original outline, though I changed the last point to this: We either live under the protection of grace or the certainty of judgment.

I opened the message talking about Kanye West’s apparent conversion to Christianity. That story has generated plenty of tweets and articles, as well as an album that opened a number one on Billboard’s list. Here are four articles that defy provide good information and meaningful insight.

Here are some details about his conversion, from a pastor who is mentoring him.

This is a good reminder of how conversion works, whether a person is famous or not, while this one uses Kanye to remind us how different spiritual development looks in a post-Christian culture.

Meanwhile, this one probably goes to far on the potential impact Kanye could have, but hey, it’s okay to dream. And wouldn’t it be cool if God brought about an authentic, national revival using hip-hop artists to lead the way?

Finally, on the Kanye front, this song has been generating a lot of buzz. It’s called “Closed on Sunday” and starts out like it’s could be a Tim Hawkins-like take on Chik-Fila. But if you follow the words, it contains a really deep message about protecting your family. (It’s also the song we played behind the scripture reading.)

Back to the sermon. I used one quote but didn’t attribute it, primarily because the person I quoted said it wasn’t his. Here is the full thing from Tom Wright, followed by a couple other good thoughts from him that didn’t make it into the message:

“As one wise writer put it a long time ago, the law is like a sheet of glass: if it’s broken, it’s broken. It’s no good saying it’s only a little bit broken.”

“This is part of what James means at the end of the previous chapter by not letting the world leave its dirty smudge on you. The world is always assessing people, sizing them up, putting them down, establishing a pecking order.”

“In every society, unless it takes scrupulous care, the rich can operate the ‘justice’ system to their own advantage. They can hire the best lawyers; they can, perhaps, even bribe the judges. They can get their way, and the poor have to put up with it.”

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