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The Popularity Gospel of Kanye West’s Sunday Service

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For months now, Kanye West has rebranded his reputation as a more spiritual musician after comments about being used by Candace Owens. He has launched a series of concerts he calls Sunday Service. But the concerts contain a plethora of gospel music and a number of collaborations. The Sunday Service has been kept under wraps with leaked videos here and there but little is known about how legitimate the faith message is or wants to be. The Sunday Service has garnered criticism for the accompanying high end fashion line with overpriced merchandise. But on a recent Sunday, we got a taste of whether the Gospel is preached at these events with the release of Rich Wilkerson Jr. preached at Sunday Service.

Listening to the Sunday Service, Wilkerson was quick to argue that this was not a concert, this was an “old fashion worship service.” Rather than resembling “Sinners in the Hands of and Angry God,” it came off as a regular, easily digestible, church service. “Praises go up, blessings come down,” Wilkerson said. He goes on to say “Jesus is the anecdote to your trouble.” It was a solid few minutes before Wilkerson read from the Bible. And to my own surprise, he read from John 14.

1″Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ESV

Kanye West’s Sunday Service touched on the exclusivity of Jesus. That’s the Gospel right? Not quite. The theme of Rich Wilkerson’s message was “trust in God.” The result of trusting in God, according to his message was rescue from troubles and hardships. The result of trusting in God, according to Wilkerson was reaching your destination or the destination Jesus has in mind for you. Yet in saying, this he does not assert that trusting Jesus is free of hardship. So what is missing from the message? The need. The need for trusting Jesus is entirely subjective and the result is eternal life, he also read John 3:16.

There’s a great resurrection for all of us, as we put our trust in him, he promises to get us to the other side

Popularity Gospel

Rich Wilkerson Jr. leaves out that which Jesus saves us from. He also leaves out what following Jesus, trusting Jesus, looks like. The Popularity Gospel says you are right and Jesus makes you better. It’s less ambitious than its cousin the Prosperity Gospel and the more adherent to scripture than the Social Justice Gospel, also known as Liberation Theology. For instance the Social Justice Gospel would never have touched upon John 14:6 without a pantheistic premise of Jesus. Similarly the Prosperity Gospel seeks to profit from the congregants. The Popularity Gospels is a marriage of the two heresies, but maintains the main commonality between them: they do not preach about sin.

They do not answer the question: what must we do to be saved? Because there is no saving. Rick Wilkerson’s message at Sunday Service doesn’t save because his message wasn’t the actual gospel. The differences are subtle but therein is the danger of a watered down gospel message devoid of the lifesaving meaning. It’s a brand of Christianity that baptizes believers but does not make disciples. Now, the Holy Spirit is capable of saving even using a watered down Gospel, but that believer is most certainly going to have to take it upon themselves to learn the Bible above an elementary level because a church that preaches a Popularity Gospel will not teach Christianity to the masses.

We have a theologically illiterate society and the danger in not understanding salvation is being led astray. People will claim to prophesy, preach, and cast out demons in the name of Jesus, and he will say “I do not know you.”

Rich Wilkerson Jr.’s Background

He was not a random pastor for Kanye to stumble upon. He was the officiant of the West-Kardashian wedding. Wilkerson is the lead pastor at VOUS Church in the Miami, Florida region. A quick visit to VOUS church website leaves the visitor confused as to what they believe. They list seven core values and the first one labeled “Jesus: is our message” is the only theological value they list. The others are all generic, western cultural values derived from scripture.

The purpose of Vous Church is to share the hope of Jesus. Jesus is our message. We are Jesus people, not religious people. Methods will come and go, yet our me3687iiiissage will remain the same.

There is no statement of faith on their website. His church fails the “website test” test astonishingly, and the likely result of his theological value is embrace of antinomianism, a rejection of morality and repentance. And yet a pastor that has no stated doctrinal beliefs, online, masterfully devoids the exclusivity of Jesus of that which we are being saved from. Kanye West’s Sunday Service did not just host some hack motivational speaker. They employed someone who masterfully preaches the false Popularity Gospel.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

‘Godfather’ star Gianni Russo on Chris ‘Fredo’ Cuomo’s rant

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'Godfather' star Gianni Russo on Chris 'Fredo' Cuomo's rant

When CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was filmed delivering an unhinged rant to a heckler at a restaurant, one of the things many people took offense to was his declaration that the term “Fredo” was to Italian-Americans as the “n-word” is to African-Americans. This has been completely debunked since then with guests on his own show using the name to refer to Donald Trump Jr. But that didn’t keep CNN from backing their guy.

TMZ caught up with Gianni Russo, a star from The Godfather who told the reality of the situation from three unique perspectives. First, he said it wasn’t a racial slur and clearly referred to the weaker brother, a perspective he understands as a star of the film. Second, he knows the Cuomo family well and couldn’t believe Chris would have said that. Third, knowing father Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York, leads him to believe the elder Cuomo would have smacked his son had he heard him say what he did.

No real repercussions are expected against Cuomo from his employers at CNN.

Here’s a video from TMZ of Russo’s perspective:

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Culture and Religion

Do Omar, Tlaib oppose LGBTQ rights like the Palestinian Authority?

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Do Omar Tlaib oppose LGBTQ rights like the Palestinian Authority

Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib want Israel to be boycotted, divested, and sanctioned. They want the Democrats in the House of Representatives to take Congressional action against Israel. They want to drive a wedge between the United States and Israel. Most importantly, they want Israel to no longer exist, replaced by the Palestinian Authority and a “New Palestine.”

Do they also support the Palestinian Authority’s ban on LGBTQ activities? Do they agree with the anti-LGBTQ tenets of the Muslims organizations the Congresswomen support?

In a society in which the media handled things in an unbiased manner, these are questions the press would be asking Omar and Tlaib following the Palestinian Authority’s ban on LGBTQ activities in the West Bank, an area where Tlaib’s grandmother lives and where she petitioned to visit before declining to do so after Israel allowed it.

The press should ask them if they support the Palestinian Authority’s move against LBGTQ individuals:

Palestinian Authority bans LGBTQ activities in West Bank

The Palestinian Authority banned members of the Palestinian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community from carrying out any activities in the West Bank.

The ban came after the grassroots group Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society (Arabic for “the bow”), which engages and supports Palestinians who identify as LGBTQ, was planning to hold a gathering for its members in Nablus at the end of the month. The group operates both in the West Bank and among Arab-Israelis.

Both Tlaib and Omar claim to be supportive of LGBTQ rights. But they also have a not-so-subtle attachment to the Palestinian Authority and are actively working to put them in control of all of Israel. Does that mean they would approve of their ban of LGBTQ individuals “from the river to the sea”?

While many in America’s LGBTQ community continue to support and often partner with Islamic groups to help their friends in the Democratic Party, others in the community have spoken out against the anti-LGBTQ policies Muslim majority nations impose on their people. This needs to be addressed by LGBTQ leaders; they can’t (or at least shouldn’t) ignore the plight of the international LGBTQ community for the sake of political expediency.

The Palestinian Authority’s ban on all LGBTQ activities in the West Bank should be a point of contention that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib need to reconcile. But they won’t. Mainstream media will bury the story and nobody will ask them how they feel.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Dan Bongino calls out Antifa for what they really are

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Dan Bongino calls out Antifa for what they really are

There’s a strange series of contradictions within the Antifa movement. They claim to be anti-fascist, yet their actions can only be categorized as fascist suppression techniques. They claim to be against racism and misogyny, yet they intimidate any minority or woman who doesn’t agree with them. They pretend to be brave, yet they hide behind masks.

Conservative pundit Dan Bongino knows a thing or two about fighting fascism, stopping bigotry, and being brave. As an outspoken commentator and former Secret Service agent, Bongino has done more to defend this country and promote the proper ideologies we need in order to prevent fascism from ever rearing its ugly head here. He’s also no fan of Antifa.

As he notes, the real agenda of Antifa isn’t anti-fascism. Their name really implies they’re anti-FA – First Amendment. Even as they fight “hate speech,” they do so in ways that are designed to suppress our freedoms to speak. They’re quickly becoming a parody of the old progressive movements, albeit more dangerous today.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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