Christian actor Patricia Heaton, outspoken about her Catholic faith and pro-life beliefs, is warning entertainment mogul Kanye West about the difficulties that come with being a believer in Hollywood.
The “Carol’s Second Act” star told The Christian Post she is “definitely praying for” West, who last week released “Jesus Is King,” his ninth studio album, which is chockfull of Bible references and alludes to his newfound Christian faith.
“It’s very hard,” she said. “I think when someone of his stature in the industry and someone who has his amount of fame makes that kind of proclamation, people then really watch and scrutinize everything he does to catch him falling down.”
Heaton went on to say she hopes the 42-year-old rapper is able to withstand the intense criticism he will have to endure. There are those, particularly in Tinseltown, who “want to see him fail at Christianity,” she added.
There have also been plenty of Christians skeptical of the entertainer’s nascent faith. In his song “Hands On,” featuring Gospel singer Fred Hammond, West addresses believers who have criticized his public conversion.
Told people God was my mission
What have you been hearin’ from the Christians?
They’ll be the first one to judge me
Make it feel like nobody love me
Heaton’s warning and encouragement comes from her own experience of having to stay true to her faith despite facing scrutiny for her beliefs. None of it bothers her now, she said, because people are desperate to hear about eternity.
“We’re created for eternity,” she explained. “We’re not created for temporary life. So I feel that even if I get pushback on it, or people think I’m weird or strange, that there’s somebody out there that wants to hear this, that’s craving that message.”
In September, when news of West’s salvation first made news, I wrote about five things Christians should keep in mind when we’re thinking about and praying for celebrities who recently converted to the faith.
Maturity isn’t going to happen overnight (it’s a lifelong process); we shouldn’t expect perfection just because they’re famous; to God, their fame means nothing; we need to make room — as we do for any believer — for mistakes; and we should always extend grace and trust the Holy Spirit to guide them.
There’s no doubt the path ahead will be difficult, but success is possible, as long as West is relying not on his own strength to remain faithful, but by pouring himself into Scripture, immersing himself in Christian community, and continuing to seek discipleship every step of the way.