Kanye West’s move from saying “Jesus walks” to confessing “Jesus is King” has divided Christians.

Some are overjoyed that such a prominent figure has made public turn to faith. Others are more hesitant, taking the “let’s see if this sticks” approach. Kanye himself expected the latter, singing on his new album, “What have you been hearin’ from the Christians? They’ll be the first one to judge me. Make it feel like nobody love me.”

While some believers want to wait and see whether his faith is genuine, we don’t find much evidence for this strategy in the Scriptures.

The early church in Acts had its share of surprising transformations and celebrity conversions, which stirred a range of reactions. But ultimately, the text points to acceptance over distrust. It also emphasizes the importance of perseverance for these unexpected converts.

These accounts suggest that with Kanye, there is room for the church to rejoice without suspicion, while also pleading for endurance and mentorship in the faith.

Paul’s Sudden Transformation

Paul represents the first surprising conversion in Acts. He was killer of Christians, but then Jesus appeared to him. Understandably, Paul’s conversion is met with some hesitation and fear. Some readers today may take this response as a case for wariness when someone does an about-face. Ananias questions whether he should go to Paul when the Lord comes to him (Acts 9:13-16). The crowd in Damascus is amazed, wondering what has happened (9:21). In Jerusalem, the disciples were afraid and did not believe he was a disciple (9:26).

Each reaction is different based on context. But it helps to consider their concerns in light of the ...

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