By G. Brown
Nothing says Happy Easter like Sunday Service… unless it’s ‘Sunday Service at Coachella with Kanye’ which really doesn’t seem to say Happy Easter.
It was slightly reminiscent of what Easter Sunday could have been like for Blacks back in the day… choir robes billowing in the fresh open air atop a plateau as dancers bathed in sunlight worshipped to the sanctified siren of the familiar church organ. No walls, no worries, no sermon of redemption. Instead, there was plenty of music. Chance the Rapper and Kid Cudi were just a couple of the artists who joined in on the Sunday Service performance where Kanye debuted a new song, “Water”.
For many fans, it was indeed a religious experience.
— ஐ (@lateyee) April 21, 2019
But not all fans ranked it up there with the second coming of Christ.
It was a spectacle that left some journalists scratching their heads for the right words to describe it all. Noisey.com called Kanye’s performance, a “strange contradiction” which was “…certainly a testament to Kanye’s power and vanity…”
No one can deny the presence of a heavy spirit imbued the crowd–not the Holy Spirit, but the spirit of capitalism.
Patrons could pick up chicken and waffles or plop down $225 for something more eternal like a sacrosanct sweatshirt or $50 for an anointed pair of “Jesus Walks” socks.
While there Kanye, DMX and other performers seemed sincere in their prayers and encouraging words to the crowd, still, somehow the whole event seemed less like a worship service of an Almighty God, and more like worshipping man and the almighty dollar.
In that sense, Kanye hasn’t strayed from what’s happening in many pulpits across America. According to Pew Research, younger people are falling away from churches and “...are considerably less religious than older Americans. Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today.” And those who are religious have a very different approach to Christianity. They are a far cry from the religious right which still preaches fire and brimstone when it comes to issues like homosexuality and abortion.
Another major turn off for a lot of people when considering religion is the greed and materialism that many modern churches seem to worship. Pastor John Gray was dragged on social media last week for sporting a pair of sneakers that cost 100 times what a pair of those “Jesus Walks” socks were going for. Designer clothes, jets, multi-million dollar sanctuaries, and rock star lifestyles are all factors that are leaving many to question if religious leaders are in the business of saving souls or scamming souls.
When you look at Kanye’s Sunday Service in comparison, is it really any different than what many churches are also doing? But perhaps organized religion isn’t the measure of comparison here. Maybe, we should dust off that old adage that grew out of the church in the ’90s that asks ‘what would Jesus do?’ Pretty sure if Jesus asked thousands of people to meet him on a mount that they wouldn’t need to bring their wallets.