Kanye West Announces Presidential Run 2020
Rapper Kanye West announced over the 4th of July Weekend that he’s planning to run for President in 2020. He says that it’s not a publicity stunt or a prank. However, recent reports detail that he is in the midst of an episode related to Bipolar Disorder. He was diagnosed with this disorder in 2018.
Shawn Bolz has been following Kanye for some time and actually prophesied years ago about West’s radical spiritual transformation. Here are Shawn’s thoughts…
Shawn: During a time when I taught classes on spiritual gifts I said, “Prophecy is really when you see people from the heart of God – people who God intended them to be not just what you and I see at face value. Kanye West today is someone we can all look at and have judgment about but God could call him a prophet. What if he actually gets saved within the new few years -which is what I see – and he starts to lead a revolution or a reformation? What would our hearts be if we saw him get saved and actually walk with Jesus?How would you feel if you saw that and remembered that you had judgment for him before?”
This moment was captured on video and widely distributed because people saw it after the fact and realized they had judged for him prior to his conversion.
Interviewer: What has it been like to actually watch this play out years later. I know you attended Kanye’s Jesus is King Concert and got to see with your own eyes the work that God is doing through him with the gospel.
Shawn: Totally, we have so many friends that are surrounding him right now. There are wonderful believers around him.
He went through a period of time where a lot of the Christians in his life (prior to his salvation) were talking to him about faith. Last year right after Coachella he had a conversion experience where he actually invited Jesus to come into his life. Kanye has Christian roots in his family as well. His father was friends with Ron Kardiashian and Ron Kardanishan had supported some of the Jesus people movement to form Vineyard Churches. He was almost like an advisor to churches. There is a spiritual rooting in his background and he didn’t start walking in it until now.
So if we look at how he has gone from hosting the porn hub awards to leading crusades for Jesus one year later we get Holy Spirit whiplash!
Interview :He had been vocal about his faith but also about his struggles: among them his bipolar disorder diagnosis. What is your message right now to those watching Kanye as he’s announcing this run for president during a bipolar episode.
Shawn: Firstly, he is a new believer. Secondly, he has mental illness on top of that. Mental illness is such a stigma at large in the church. Us Evangelicals don’t’ always understand people’s struggles and even villainize people because we relate it to their morality or their christendom – saying “Hey you had a break, that means you’re disqualified now. We accidentally hurt people who are wounded or going through stuff. Bipolar Disorder is not a small diagnosis and if he is having an episode right now that means we need to have compassion and actually exercise our Chrisitan principle of love. Just because he’s standing next to Joel Osteen doesn’t mean he is Joel Oseteen. He’s a wonderful man that’s on a journey and this is only the beginning.
Interviewer: The way Jesus built his church shows us that our flaws definitely don’t disqualify us from being used by God. What do you think we should be watching for from Kanye?
Shawn: One of the big things is that he’s a genius artist, he’s a creator, not just in a typical sense but he does things well. This is why he’s a billionaire and why he’s been able to maintain his marriage and family and make it a priority in the midst of a really unusual career. I even think this political campaign is part of him expressing his creativity against racism and other things. He’s trying to stand up and use his voice in a way that really impacts society and culture. He’s always been that way and now that he’s a christian I think he’s going to be even more edgy but not necessarily edgy for the sake of edgy. When he proclaimed he’s running it was because he wanted to see Christ the center of our nation rather than because he thinks he’s the most awesome man for the job. He made broad statements for his faith when he said he wanted to run. He hasn’t done anything as far as applying or taking steps towards running. I think we can look forward to a man who’s going to push the envelope a lot and is going to be using his voice and his heart to see what Jesus could do in our generation
Interviewer: Mental illness is something that many many people struggle with especially as our country and the world face this pandemic. Kanye is not the only one struggling. How has God been encouraging you during this season of Covid?
Shawn: I think Christianity is allowing popular psychology and therapy and even neurobiology and neurotherapy to no longer be a dark matter in the church. The church is actually looking at it and saying, “These are tools that can help us to thrive. Jesus said we’re going to live a life that is abundant and to do that you actually have to bring tools into your life – both the bible and also life skills and psychological skills. I’m seeing people who would never have gone to a therapist now that are willing to go online. We have friends who are therapists who are overloaded because they have so many people trying to come to them right now since the struggle is real.
Depression is real and there’s all these issues that people weren’t willing to look at but now the pain is just right. There’s a message in Christinaity that it’s okay to struggle but struggle towards Jesus and get the tools you need. I’ve been really encouraged by how many people have been taking on not only discipleship in the sense of their spirituality but also discipleship in your life – how to deal with boundaries and depression, mental illness. We’re in a recovery mode right now. I think we’re allowed to be weak in the church. I think people from the top leaders have been sharing about their struggles – Rick Warren and his struggle with his son and all the way to Christine Cain and some of the struggles she’s had. You hear these struggles and I find myself in their story. it’s’ okay to struggle. It’s just what you do with it that’s important..
I think we’re in an important time. A golden era in mental health. The church is going to become an onramp to it rather than being resident and saying “go to a prayer room and get healed,” which doesn’ happen you actually need real skills and people to process these issues with you. It’s a beautiful time to say, “I am weak and I’m struggling. Help me.”
Interviewer: Is there anything else that you feel like is important to point out as we close here?
There’s a lot of entertainers who are walking out their salvation. So we’re talking about Kanye who is the most sensational but there are a lot of others one as well. People, like Chris Pratt who just opened up a faith based family studio and is starting to work on projects. He’s newly married and expecting a child. Justin Beiber who is also very sensationalized, and others who are believing they’re hearing from God and connecting to faith in a real way. They’re trying to see Christianity developed in a way that actually enhances culture.
The government has tried to tell us that the church is not essential. Thankfully Trump has said that we are. You have these wonderful enterainters getting saved, some politicians getting saved and they’re walking out their faith. They’re proving that Christianity is essential and they’re proving that we are going to see that it doesn’t just affect the church but it affects the world, poverty, homelessness,mental illness, and all these areas. When you have people using their platform for that I want to celebrate what they are doing. We often hear what htey are doing wrong or what is breaking down in their lives but if we are Christians can believe the best for them and pray the best for them because they are on such a high lampstand. We need to rally for them in our hearts with prayer.
Interviewer: So true and you mentioned at the beginning of our interview about getting to see God’s heart for people through what He speaks to you. I think that the way He is working through the entertainment industry right now clearly shows God’s heart for the younger generation. He wants to reach them where their attention is.
Shawn: One of my good friends, Rabbi Jason, went to Kobe Bryant’s Memorial service. He told me, “Shawn it was like a revival service and the presence of God was so thick. Only somebody who is a Daniel in that industry could have hosted something that honored God and honored Kobe with all these mainstream celebrities.
Things are happening behind the scenes that have never happened before. We need to believe and have faith rather than only look at what is going wrong. Look at what God’s doing and celebrate