KANYE FACTOR

Lk. 13:20,21 – Jesus taught them another parable: “How can I describe God’s kingdom realm? Let me give you this illustration: It is like something as small as yeast that a woman kneads into a large amount of dough. It works unseen until it permeates the entire batch and rises high.

Since everyone else is throwing in their two cents worth I thought I might as well join in at my own peril. For the old timers I want to remind you of another very public conversion of a very public influential figure by the name of Bob Dylan. All of us Christians were so excited when someone of his influence came to Christ. For those that are too young to remember, Dylan had a huge influence on society through his music. His anti-war message was espoused by an entire generation. His conversion was quite public. He recorded two overtly Christian albums; SLOW TRAIN COMING, and SAVED. Here is where the problem came in, new Christians are often compromised when they are thrown into the public and commercialized. That’s what happened to Dylan. Seeing Christian leaders use and manipulate his celebrity for their own benefit stumbled him. Today I am not sure he still considers himself a Christian. As far as Kanye is concerned just let him be. Let him just be a young Christian. More than that puts his faith in a precarious position. The testimony of Kanye can be very powerful, it can be like the yeast in today’s verse. Here is how the notes in the Passion Bible explain this.

“The meaning of this parable is that something small can impact and penetrate something great. It is the pervading influence of virtue and truth that is highlighted here. A transformation takes place when the hidden yet pervasive kingdom impacts every part of culture and society around us.”

I personally believe Kanye’s testimony is valid. Hopefully Christians will not try to manipulate him or his story. The testimony of conversion from the life he lived can stand on its own. Being delivered from the hedonistic lifestyle and culture Kanye West helped to build is enormous and is sending shock waves through society. Here are some words from Dylan after his conversion, this is for all of us, even Kanye.

Might be a Rock-n-roll addict

Prancing on the stage

Money, Drugs at your command

Women in a cage

You may be a businessman

Or some high degree thief

They may call you doctor

Or they may call you chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Yes you are, you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Well it may be the Devil

Or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

CATASTROPHE AND THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD

CATASTROPHE AND THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD

…those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Lk.13:4,5

We are all struck with amazement and fear by the recent earthquake and tsunami that brought such destruction and heartbreak to the people of Japan. So many questions flood our minds when we see events like this strike so suddenly. Inevitably, some will say that Japan deserved this catastrophe because of their non-christian culture, just as they spoke about New Orleans after Katrina. The scriptures speak differently. Jesus pointed out a disaster that had happened in a nearby community to where He was teaching. He clearly stated that Siloam was not worse off than anyone else, all of us are in a fragile state. All of us, if justice was served, lie in peril of losing everything we have. Only by the mercy of God do we stand everyday, in a moment it can all be removed, and someday everything will be removed all across our world. These tragedies are only the initial birth pains, preparing for the main event.
How should I respond when I see such destruction? First, I should remember how fragile our life is, everything we prize in this life can be gone in am instant. The electric power can be gone, the internet can vanish, all communication lost, properties swept away; our lives are extremely fragile. Secondly, I have to remember that I live everyday by the mercies of God. It is only His mercy that keeps our country safe, our lives and nation can be brought low in an instant. Thirdly, I should pray for the people of Japan. In moments like these, people can make eternal decisions, we should pray for awakening to come upon these precious people.
Finally, all of us should be humbled. We stand back in silent amazement at the power in God’s creation. We bow down in reverence, and yes, fear at the coming wrath of God that will shortly be released on all mankind. Just as Jesus said, “just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be the the days of the Son of Man”. Most of the time we take these events in stride, we continue as if nothing happened. That is a dangerous way to live. The people of Noah’s day did not heed his warning, the results of their bad decision was catastrophic. Today, the doors of the ark are still open, let us run into the open arms of our Lord. That is the only place of safety in these troubled times.