Controversial US rapper Lil Nas X has been criticised by some Christians following the release of his latest song. But Lindz West believes we are too quick to judge the faith of high profile people

Lil Nas

Source: Masoz John / Flickr

I recently came across a video interview with the rapper Snoop Dogg where he advised Christians to “stop being so judgemental.”

I think he has a point. “Open your arms,” he continued. “Open them up for the worst sinner…I don’t care what he’s done…let him in…and when you do do that, that’s half the battle, because now you’re doing God’s work - you’re not judging somebody, you’re allowing them to get their spirit right and to repent…and maybe they come out to the altar and get born again. But don’t close them out before they come in ’cause of what they been doing out there…they can go back out there and get that!”

It’s one of the most refreshing statements I’ve heard from someone of Snoop Dogg’s status. And given what has happened to another US rapper, Lil Nas X, in recent days, it seems this message needs to be said. 

Lil Nas X has been the subject of criticism from Christians online after he posted this:

Apparently some felt he was “mocking” God. This is partly due to his past work, which has included explicit and sexual content, as well as references to Satan. 

In response, Lil Nas X expressed confusion, saying: “This really is crazy because all I did was post a song about asking God for hope when you feel hopeless, and y’all are acting like I posted a video of me burning a church down and peeing on a nativity scene.”

He may not be perfect. He may have many flaws. But Lil’ Naz X has openly said that he is searching for something.

As Christians, our job is simply to lead people to Jesus and let Jesus take care of the rest. Throwing stones at celebrities online is unlikely to bring them any closer to God! 

Welcome home

My kids are chosen (ie adopted) and every time they see their old foster carers, their faces light up! They recognise something in the person that opened up their home to them, loved them and prepared their little lives to be handed onto us, their new forever family. 

Our job is to lead people to Jesus and let Jesus take care of the rest

As an evangelist, I see my role as being similar to that of a foster carer. With open arms and an open house, my job is to get people ready for the forever family that’s just gonna love on them. The Church.

Responses to the Gospel

With my band, LZ7, I find myself performing and talking in schools all over the globe, speaking life, purpose and hope over the next generation. The response to the gospel is insane. We see 90 per cent responses at our end-of-week gigs, with thousands of young people going through our discipleship resource The AAA Pass and going on to be discipled in local churches. Music is the catalyst that reaches them, speaks their language and gives me a platform to speak Jesus from.

During one recent tour, in which we spent three days in one school, 700 young people showed up, and we had to build an area for the 200 parents who also wanted to come to the show. They filled the balcony, with their Gin and Tonics in flasks, while the young people swarmed the mosh pit.

In two seconds, the Holy Spirit can achieve what we try and make happen in 20 years

I preached the gospel and asked people to respond by switching on their phone lights. You should have seen the lights go on - it was breathtaking! More than 650 young people said: “Yes!” to Jesus.

I then announced that I’d return to the venue the same time the following week. No band, no lights, no smoke machines, just me. I was expecting maybe 100 kids would show up, but over 400 came. Why? Because we spoke their language, we welcomed them into a safe place called home, we led them to Jesus who says: “You’re my boy, you’re my girl…with all your cuts, scars, attitudes, opinions and mess. I came because I love you.”

Is it my job to judge, to throw an opinion and to close the door because someone is too dirty? No, it’s not. It’s my job to love, speak life, speak Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in their hearts that only he can do.

The heart of the matter

Lil Nas X could be in a very similar position to that kid in year ten, on a Monday morning at 9:30 am, at the start of a journey with God. Who knows his heart? Not me, and not you. We should let the Holy Spirit do what he does best, quietly speaking to his heart, allowing him to come to Jesus as he is, letting him know that he’s loved and accepted.

I believe that, in two seconds, the Holy Spirit can achieve what we would try and make happen in 20 years. So the question is, are we going to let God do his work by always keeping the door open, or will we shut it because someone doesn’t meet our standards?

Surely it is our job, as the Church, to keep the door open. Who knows what God’s gonna do next?