Famous rapper Kanye West created a buzz online after videos of his Sunday Service went viral. In the said videos, West, his children and his choir walked on water.
The 43-year-old rapper, businessman and presidential candidate recreated the Bible story in which Jesus Christ and his disciple Peter walked on water.
A positioned platform under the surface of a nearby pond helped West walked across with his 7-year-old daughter, North West and 4-year-old son, Saint West.
West's wife, reality star and businesswoman Kim Kardashian-West was also present but sat on the sidelines and filmed her family and the choir singing while standing in the middle of the pond on the water's surface.
According to Entertainment Tonight, West held both a sunrise and sunset service this week, and he saved his "walk on water" stunt for the sunset service.
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Aside from West and his choir, which performed West's song "Ultralight Beam," controversial Lakewood Church senior pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen was also present and gave a sermon during the gathering.
According to ET, there were other celebrities present that made up the 150 attendees included La La Anthony, 2 Chainz and Monica Denise. Despite the large gathering, the event was said to have been in compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Kardashian-West posted the videos on Twitter on September 6. This is not the first time that the reality star supported her husband's gatherings. The reality star also attended West's gathering earlier this month in Wyoming.
West has been accused of joining and forming a cult and acting as a prophet since he declared that he became a Christian. In 2019, the rapper released an album "Jesus is King" that depicts him as a lonely martyr barred from the Christian kingdom.
West immediately received backlash for using the Christian community and for his turn toward spiritual music. Christians have accused him of commodification and hypocrisy.
However, there are those who supported West, including gospel artists. Many of these musicians believe that even though West's past comments and political stance is questionable, it is still important that a well-known artist with an enormous fan base is relying on gospel traditions to talk about God.
Richard Smallwood, a gospel singer and songwriter, told TIME that the traditional Christian church has always frowned upon anything that is new. West singing about God gives the community the recognition.
In January 2019, the rapper began his Sunday Service performance series in California with the choir group. They performed a combination of hymns and secular pop songs rewritten with Christian themes.
The performances drew skepticism and criticism online. Tobi Oredein wrote in Premier Christianity magazine that the nature of the events is megalomaniacal.
Oredein added that West employed a choir of people who were singing his songs and dressed in his apparel, asking if he really is singing about God or if the event is for West's ego.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ricky Dillar, a Grammy-nominated gospel singer, saw it differently. He said that the service was rejuvenal, inspiring and uplifting. He added that Kanye is a part of the contemporary movement which has revolutionized music.