In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, hope is flourishing in the unlikeliest of places. A new breed of church in Los Angeles is attracting young people in droves, and even celebrities have been moved by the message.

This Vanity Fair article, written by atheist writer Joel Stein, is an honest investigation of this spiritual phenomenon.  Stein watched all that was before him with an intellectual curiosity, believing what he saw was genuine.  He was moved, though not yet to belief.  

In other news, Kim Kardashian West reports that her husband Kanye has become a Christian.  “He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ,” she said.

If you have not heard, West has brought a church experience to the Coachella Music Festival and elsewhere that has included New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.  Watch this 12 minute video of a sermon delivered at one of Kanye’s services, so theologically sound it would make Billy Graham proud.  Also, West’s next album, “Jesus is King,” will include gospel songs.  This is not traditional in the sense we might think of it, but it is very Christian. And, the album will contain no profanity.

This newfound spirituality seems to be happening everywhere.  Justin Bieber has begun telling his fans to consider the “unfailing love of Jesus” for their lives.  Chance the Rapper has been known to ask audience members to consider their eternal life as well.  Some celebrity fans described going to his concert as going to church.  There are things happening… we should pay attention.  The secular/sacred divide is a myth.  God is in it all. 

I’ll be paying close attention to this new strain of faith running through our culture, a new Great Awakening.  It won’t look like George Whitefield on horseback in the mid-1700’s. Different times require different messengers and methods.  Maybe it looks like Kanye, Kim Kardashian West, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Selena Gomez, and others, turning away from the false god of hedonism, and to the one true Lord.  Their lives of fame and fortune have proven inadequate without Him, and they are seeking.  After all, the early church was a movement, not an institution.  People met informally in homes and catacombs.  They were seeking the truth about God, often in their own ways.  

Those of us who are already Christians need to have a mature understanding of what is happening.

  1. First, we should support them. 

The apostle Paul defended Gentiles practicing what began as an extension of the Jewish faith, without them having to follow what was then accepted Jewish religious practice.  In fact, that topic dominates many of his letters.  Our application of Paul’s teaching would be to support these new converts in a similar way, and do our part to help them find the truth  Historically, the church only became “institutionalized” after Christianity brought down Rome as the political capital of the world, without a war. Rome became the headquarters of Christianity.

History is cyclical.  And it appears we may be witness to a time when Christianity becomes a movement once again.  We may have people in Hollywood that play a major role in bringing this about.

2.  Second, we should not use their new faith to validate our own.

As we see more and more demonstration of faith in the public arena, we need to be careful not to look to these celebrities to put a stamp of approval on our own faith journey.  (“See?  Being a Christian is cool now!”)  That sort of approach is more of a reflection of our own religious insecurity than real joy at seeing people find God.  Instead, we should be spurred on to integrate our own faith with our daily experience all the more.

3. Third, we should give these people space to explore their new faith in public and to mature in the Lord.  

The Bible tells us that the sanctification process takes time.  I’ve been a Christian now for just over six years, and I often feel I am just getting started.  He’s still working on all of us.  We should not demand that these new Christians automatically emerge as scholars, nor should we elevate them to be spokespeople for the Church.  The goal of the faith-walk centers on a personal relationship with Jesus and learning to hear and follow the voice of the Spirit. We should celebrate their seeking God and, like Paul, pray that they be enlightened and emboldened.  

I, for one, am energized by this new wave of faith in unexpected places.  From the wealthiest and most famous among us to the poorest and most regular, we should all be seeking the True Deliverer in this complicated time, and I am encouraged to see it happening in the least likely places. 

Jason Persse on Flickr: Image Credit

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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