Article By Sarah Harper // EEW Magazine Reporter
While many Christians have called Kirk Franklin’s collaboration with Kanye West inappropriate, the gospel composer has shared a series of scriptural teachings on Instagram in defense of his actions.
The perfectly-timed post directing followers to his Instagram page appeared on the multi-platinum hit-maker’s timeline Saturday, Feb. 13—the same day he performed with West on “Saturday Night Live”.
“Kanye is not me. I am not him. He is my brother I am proud to do life with. No sprints, but Marathons; like most of us are on,” wrote Franklin, who sent shockwaves throughout the faith-based community with his televised performance of “Ultralight Beam,” the new single from West’s album, The Life of Pablo.
“Before one song was released, I was crucified because my brother asked me to take a picture,” said the “Wanna Be Happy?” songwriter, who was roundly criticized after photographs and video footage of him in the studio with West, 2 Chainz and other mainstream rappers hit the Internet.
According to Franklin, who has for years been linked musically to a vast number of Christian and secular performers, such loud cries against his association with the “Jesus Walks” lyricist tells the world “they have to meet certain requirements before they are worthy to kiss the ring.”
The 46-year-old industry veteran continued, “It says people are not redeemable, forgivable or candidates for grace. That my friend is religious. I will not turn my back on my brother. I will love him, prayerfully grow with him. However long he'll have me, and however long the race takes.”
The heartfelt caption posted next to a black and white photo of Franklin and West isn’t all he shared with his more than 100,000 followers.
The contemporary Christian musician also uploaded screenshots of biblical passages and teachings on why Jesus hung out with sinners, how Christians should relate to unbelievers, and whether or not it is right for believers to judge others.
Whatever anyone else thinks or feels about it, Franklin has chosen to see the positive attributes of the 38-year-old G.O.O.D. Music CEO, who, despite being a professed Christian, consistently behaves in ways that contradict his confessions of faith.
Even his newest project is, according to West, “a gospel album with a whole lot of cursing on it”—something many Christians are calling oxymoronic and offensive. But Franklin apparently doesn't view the contradicition the same way.
On SNL, the viewing audience witnessed Franklin’s live version of “Ultralight Beam” on which he offers up a prayer to God.
“Father, this prayer is for everybody that feels like giving up/This prayer is for everybody that feels like they’re not good enough,” he rattled off on the microphone, standing over West’s body sprawled out on the floor. “Everybody that said ‘I’m sorry’ too many times/Jesus that’s why I’m glad you came to give us eternal life…”
To those within the faith community arguing that Franklin should disassociate himself from West, he says, “I'm sorry he's not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace and as I read some of your comments, neither am I. That won't stop me from running. Pray we win.”