Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Does 21st Century Holiness Look Like?

Heb. 12:14 ~ "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

Since these days, we can all say that we've come a long way. I was on a message board recently with some other fellow COGIC believers and I posed the question, "What does 21st Century Holiness look like?" I didn't get too many answers but the ones I did get went like this:
  • "I believe holiness is not something you put on but something you live. It's a lifestyle"
  • "I believe that holiness is about what you consider to be wrong and right, what may be holy to one may not be holy to another."
  • "There's a lot of people that look holy but yet have evil hearts and are mean."
Although I would agree that holiness does not begin with the flesh or clothing, I would also quickly iterate that holiness does not exclude the flesh or clothing and personal appearance. Now, as you can see these conversations are essential and highly emotional.

A Little History Of The Modern Holiness Movement:

John Wesley (1703-1791) had one of the greatest influences on the modern holiness movement in America. Wesley, an Anglican minister, is said to have had the greatest influence on the Methodist movement was a product of the 18th Century Second Great Awakening which began in Great Britain. Wesley along with fellow Evangelist George Whitefield, were dynamic evangelists that taught that the believer was to represent the God that they served by separating themselves from the world and sin. Calvinism eventually was the diving line between Wesley and Whitefield causing Whitefield to develop the Calvinistic Methodist movement.


One of the tenets that made Wesley's teachings unique was that he contended that a Christian could be made "perfect in love." This love would mean, first of all, that a believer's motives would be guided by the deep desire to please God. One would be able to keep from committing what Wesley called, "sin rightly so-called." By this he meant a conscious or intentional breach of God's will or laws. A person could still be able to sin, but intentional or willful sin could be avoided. A person would also avoid sinning against his brother because of this perfect love. This doctrine became known as sanctification. Many of the roots of his teachings were also found in the doctrine taught by Jacobus Arminus which he adopted while in college against Calvinism and Calvinistic teachings that were most popular at the time.


During the Third Great Awakening (1858-1908) teachings on holiness and sanctification, although popular, had swayed toward "sinless perfectionism" which taught that an individual could maintain a perfectly sinless life in this present world through ultra-sanctification. These doctrines were prevalent during the emergence of Pentecostalism in 1904, at what would become known as the Azusa Street revival which was led by one William J. Seymour (Pictured Above).

One of the greatest adherents to the holiness message was Baptist minister Bishop Charles H. Mason who would be the eventual founder of the Church Of God In Christ (1897 as a holiness church and 1907 as a Pentecostal/Holiness church) which is the countries oldest and largest Black Pentecostal/Holiness church in the United States.

As stated, holiness was generally taught and accepted by a wide array of individuals. Movements against slavery were birthed out of the holiness church and the early Free Methodist movement. Teachings of maintaining holiness took on various forms from place to place. There were teachings among white holiness adherents against certain clothing, jewelry, and materialism that existed in the day. Among black holiness believers, the emphasis was more on spiritual and moral aspects of holiness. This variation of emphasis was partially due to the fact that blacks in general did not have access to the material diversity of whites and therefore were not as effected by material choices of what was considered sin.

Social welfare changed however, doctrines changed and developed along with it. The old church held strict views against materialism and "worldly appearance" Women were especially the target as to avoid material appearances and associations with prostitutes and persons of ill repute. Therefore, to paint nails, deck hair, and wear short and low cut dresses were symbols of Jezebel. The red light was a symbol of an available prostitute in certain locations, therefore holy men and women in particularly were told not to wear red. Flesh was to be hidden or covered as much as practically possible. Stockings were a must, and there were no sleeveless items for the truly sanctified. Opened toed shoes were outlawed and jewelry besides wedding rings and essential items were highly discouraged as being worldly and secular. As women began wearing pants in the early part of the 1900's, holiness churches began to respond with anti-pant wearing messages, suggesting that feminists were trying to usurp and undermine male authority and the biblical message of gender separation and distinction. Men were discouraged from wearing tight suits and having long hair. Conks and perms were worldly and only for slicksters, and hustlers and of course sexual immorality and impurity was not honored or named among the true holiness believers. Now we have singers who make gospel albums, have babies outside of context of marriage, call themselves holy ministers of music and claim to be holy. Well they eventually do get married when it's convenient for them to do so but they confess to Queen Oprah that they were secretly porn addicts I suppose in effort to purge the soul. Is this 21st Century Holiness?


It is obvious to see where holiness came from and how it has been taught throughout the years. Some complain that these sort of teachings were bondage. I would offer when these teachings are contrasted to the devastation of sin through fatherlessness, drugs, alcohol, extra-marital pregnancies, illicit affairs and such the like, which category of items are really bondage?

It is also easy to understand why some traditions of old were generally accepted among holiness believers, but today, there are many individuals who claim to be holy but appear to be anything but holy. "Playa garb" and worldly associations have crowded the sight of and vision of the 21st Century believer. This further leads to the question, what does 21st century holiness look like?







Now we have sistah Diva's that represent 21st Century holiness. There also is no age boundary for this Divaship
For the 21st Century the holiness look is top tier and age is no factor and certainly youth is in. In fact youth is so in that we now offer 60 year olds that look like 20 year olds and the dancin' is "off da hook"


Low ryda and baggy pants, once a symbol of prison garb is now a symbol of the 21 century believer and is supposedly representative of 21st Century holiness.

Unfortunately, hip-hop, gang signs and other symbols define the believers of 21st Century holiness. They say that they have taken up the cross but they still offer the signs, moves, ways and attitudes of the world from which they came. This doesn't even mention the earring wearing and "zoot suited" preachers who appear in their pulpits as if they were either going to or coming from a health club . Is this holiness for the 21st Century?


Biblical Exposition:

1 Sam. 10:17- 22 ~ 17And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh; 18And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you: 19And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands. 20And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken. 21When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found. 22Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. 23And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.


It was the during the call of Saul that we see the first King of Israel hiding himself "among the stuff"


STUFF appears in KJ 15 times in the sense of movable property. It is retained by RSV in Joshua 7:11, where Israel is said to have taken some of the things to be devoted to destruction, "and put them among their own stuff." Elsewhere RSV uses "goods" (Genesis 31:37; 45:20; Exodus 22:7; Luke 17:31), "baggage" (1 Samuel 10:22; 25:13; 30:24; Ezekiel 12:3, 4, 7), "household furniture" (Nehemiah 13:8). "Stuff" appears once in the sense of the material out of which something is or may be made, and is retained by RSV: "the stuff they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more" (Exodus 36:7). In addition, RSV uses the word 36 times for various textile materials, notably those for the making of the tabernacle, as described in Exodus 25–39 and Leviticus 14. "Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together" reads in RSV: "You shall not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together" (Deuteronomy 22:11, compare Leviticus 19:19). ~ Ronald F. Bridges and Luther A. Weigle, King James Bible wordbook [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.



The "stuff" represented a place that Saul was both familiar and comfortable with. A place in which he had his "baggage" or what he needed in life to survive. He was taller than everyone else but he lived lower than anyone else. He was hidden among the "stuff" The "stuff was his desires and place in life.


It is amazing that people of God would rather live among the "stuff" than live free for Christ. Paul in admonishing the Judaizers stated in Gal. 5:1 ~ "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." The Judaizers certainly believed in Jesus, but they also believed in the old ways of ceremonialism and ritualism as found and described in the Old Testament. They were quick to say "we need Jesus" but they just as quickly said, "we need the law too"



Holiness Interscets At Multiple Needs:


Many times because of the "needs" of people they advance themselves in the world at the expense of righteousness. I once had a friend who just couldn’t let go of the relationships he had established in the world and that loss became his spiritual death sentence. Almost 15 years later, he’s still suffering because he loved the world more than he loved God.


Yes, holiness is birthed within the heart of the believer and it is a lifestyle, but holiness also covers one’s actions, deeds and presentation. Do we make mistakes? Of course, imperfect people make plenty of mistakes, that’s not what we are talking about. We are talking about loving the world so much until IF God said to leave it or certain aspects of it you have a hard time and go the other way.

John 2:15-17 ~ "15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."


John is simply talking about the world’s system, modus operandi, and benefits that are gained from it. The world rightly expects to find within the believer a standard of holiness and righteousness. Jesus said this,


Mt. 5: 13-16 ~ "13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."


The world cannot see your faith, but they can see your presentation. The saint was to exemplify Christ, the church was to exemplify the body of Christ to the world. By simple analogy we see that policemen are known by their uniform. Even an undercover police will have an identifier in the right company, which he proudly displays. The firemen is know by his uniform. Even the prostitute is known by her dress and if not so obviously her associations. In other words the world even has an order by which it communicates.

It seems that the only ones who do not love the order of God and his kingdom are fringe Christians. Those are they who know for sure that God has brought them. They will tell you quickly, "You don’t know what I been through." As if they have a lock on going through life’s circumstances, but at the same time they are unwilling to respond with the commitment of body, soul and spirit that Christ demands.

The word of God has not changed however,


Rom. 12:1-2 ~ "1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."


The Saint was to be a "living sacrifice". Yes holiness responds to it’s environment and is aware of the environment in which it exists. The standard is the objective word of God not the subjective feelings or perceptions of what one thinks.

2 Cor. 6:17-18 ~ "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

Who are "them" and what is "them" in your life? Physically, mentally and emotionally the believer in holiness touches not the "unclean thing". Only Christ can actualize your ability to live and be holy. Too many use the phrase "holy lifestyle" as a cliché and that is all it has become for some who were raised in holiness.


Thank God for all those who live sacrificially and choose not dwell among the "stuff’ of this world. There will be a great reward. All those men who choose to live and look like godly men instead of pimps and homosexuals, and to all those sistahs who choose to live and look like godly women instead of a bunch of stage show ho’s and lesbians ----GOD BLESS YOU AND PLEASE KEEP THE FAITH.


Well I guess my ministry is officially over now. Persecute me for righteousness sake…it’s OK, I’ll be in good company. So I’ll conclude with this:


Rev. 22:10-21 ~ "10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


Blessed!

18 comments:

  1. Yes everything in moderation!!! I know exactly what you mean but even going beyond the dressing how about keeping Holiness in our services. I mean between tradition and the conformity of the worldly influences on our "Praise & Worship" time (don't get me started) when is God given the opportunity to show up. Whatever happened to "Less of Me and More of God"? Ok I'm going to stop right there cause I got some issues with the routine of "church" as usual just going through the motions and not being able to see the Power of God show up and Yolk's being destroyed because of the annointing!!! Having the form of Godliness but denying the Power there of. I leave service many times just feeling sooo cheated so I can just imagine how God must feel. It's like being the guest of honor but not being allowed to attend or better yet coming to a party for you and nobody even noticing or caring that you bothered to show up at your own party. See I'm getting started let me stop but I just have a yearning to be in the presence of God and to see the manifestation of His Presence through healing of the sick, raising of the dead, deliverance of those bound up in sin, etc. Ok I'm done. LOL

    Your Sis In Christ,
    Sis. Alicia

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  2. Amen!
    Pastor Burnett, when I was converted or as the song says, "I know I've been changed, the angels in heaven have signed my name" about 11 years ago. The habits and the things I did in my early twenties became "dead" to me! The worldly music became "dead" to me. I know, I used to be a hip hop guru in my teens and in my early 20s in college, and ALL of a sudden at the age of 26--GOD took the "TASTE" away from me! Even the way I watched television changed. Complete transformation!

    Holiness means continual transformation and daily being conformed to the image of GOD's Son, the LORD JESUS CHRIST! I am convinced the majority of christian people do not have the HOLY GHOST because if they did--they would show signs and NOT "sin" or "worldly ways"!
    The Comforter's job is not only keep you and fill you but reprove you of sin! Majority of the people you got pictured in this commentary, "they ain't got it! They need to repent and get it right with GOD. Go back to the altar!"

    This "Change" is done by the Spirit of Grace and Renewal and Regeneration and some of it, the LORD proves us to see if we will LET GO of the former things..past lifestyles, habits, bondages which were why we were sinners.

    I'm with you on this 21st Century Holiness--We do not have It(Holiness) as a whole in the church because the World is in the Church and the Church is in the World. The majority of the black Church is still married to the world and its ways and as you called it correctly, "Stuff". And we know that this sin/leaven has taken over the black church, black gospel music--as the old saints say, "from the pulpit to the door!"

    The book of Nehemiah and Ezra(You and I are modern day Nehemiahs and Ezras) relates greatly to this 21st century generation. The walls and foundations--spiritually as well as naturally have been destroyed! And GOD's people are in Babylon spiritually & naturally Today!
    Not only did Nehemiah and Ezra rebuild the foundations, but they proclaimed to the "children of the captivity" to DIVORCE their heathen wives and to not give their children to heathen marriages. True Christians must DIVORCE themselves from the World and Its Ways! I am not telling converted Christians to divorce their unbelieveing spouses--that is not the case today, but divorce ourselves from the ways of the world. Look at what Ezra 9, especially verses 10-14 AND does not this book SPEAK to us today.

    The Church(black or white) in America has fallen and been taken captive by the world! The Church in America is not "Salt" or "Light"! The Church is not the "Head" today but the Church is the "Tail" now! We must repent! All of us! I know and believe once the Church repents--the power and the glory of GOD will come back into the Church-Amen!

    GOD bless You mightly Pastor Burnett and I pray GOD raises you up to National Prominence to proclaim righteous truth and restore the foundations in COGIC as well all the Church(black and white) in America as a whole.

    Sincerely
    Elder Grover W. Stephens, Jr.
    AKA EnochWalked
    Gws.Jr@comcast.net

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  3. Sister Alicia and Elder Stephens,

    Thank God for both of you and all of you that are looking and wondering how to comment on this topic.

    For Saints like you and G. craige and Elder D.L. Foster and others, this is a difficult thing to do. I mean, it seems that we're talking to a generation of people who either don't know or have never been taught the "difference" that Christ makes in the life and lifestyle of the believer.

    I'm on to some additional information from Arizona that I'm looking at like, "I can't believe this"...I'll formulate the contents today and send it out asap.

    I have an email list that I am compiling in addition to the blog so I can blast and forward emergency information regarding the condition and status of the church.

    If anyone would like to be on that list please either let me know through commenting here or contact me directly at Dunamis1@netzero.com

    God bless you greatly and please continue to let people know aboyut this voice.

    Pastor Burnett

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  4. As always, you hit the nail on the head Pastor Burnett.

    As far as I'm concerned, this generation hasn't been "taught" the difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy. Anything goes in the "church" today, just have love in your heart and you are alright...what a lie from the father of lies himself!

    We are to be peculiar people, in this world, but not of this world...not friends with the world or otherwise we're enemies of God.

    My prayer is that God will continue to raise up His remnant to stand bold and go forth in the power of the "real" Holy Ghost, not these fake signs and wonders that people are chasing today with a "man" on the throne, and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    The real saints of God know that they must decrease so that He can increase, and yes, live a lifestyle that holy and pleasing unto Him. One need only to read the bible and learn what real holiness is in the sight of God, unfortunately, most modern day "christians" view holiness from a secular standpoint.
    Sorry ladies, Beyonce is not a form of holiness for "real christian" women, no more than Tonex is for "real christian" men.
    (Yes I went there!)

    Stay blessed Pastor Burnett and yes, add me to your email list.

    In His name,
    Sis Mrs. Amey

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  5. Godlysoldier~ "As far as I'm concerned, this generation hasn't been "taught" the difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy."

    [Sister I will agree, but what are these people preachin'? I mean we got these churches larger than ever but what is goin' on? Social gospel is more important than truth?]

    Godlysoldier~ "Sorry ladies, Beyonce is not a form of holiness for "real christian" women, no more than Tonex is for "real christian" men."

    [THANK YOU my sister I almost forgot about the Jezebel and the gay blade. I don't care, the boy is TWISTED worse than a bowtie donut.

    Thank you sister and stay strong. Send me youe email to dunamis1@netzero.com.]

    God bless.

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  6. LOL Pastor, a "twisted bowtie donut" that's a pretty good description of that poor, misguided and deceived soul.

    And yes, this is the day and age of "relevance and religion" rather than a "real relationship" with Christ.

    If you are taking the model of the "world" to try to teach from the pulpit and simply slapping a "Jesus" title on it, then what you have is a weak, watered-down, compromised message that has no sustaining power of the Holy Ghost that will cause someone to pursue a life of "Holiness unto the Lord."

    Truth, which is the Word of God, is no longer the foundation for this new apostate, social gospel message of "love and inclusion."

    It grieves my spirit over the state that the modern day church is in. My passion is to pursue holiness and a real relationship with God through His Son Christ Jesus, by the way, which is STILL the ONLY WAY to get to the Father.

    Too many thieves on the lose now that are trying to come through some other door. Us true Saints know that "Jesus" is THE ONLY DOOR.

    Pray for me Pastor as I pray for you to continue to "contend for the faith"

    Blessings,
    Sis Amey

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  7. Sister Amey,

    Of course during my travels I come across a lot of things and I often hear some other preachers exposition on certain topics and I'm really not a critical person, I usually try to encourage as much as I can...

    However, I asked you the question, what's going on in the pulpits? and I think I found part of the answer.

    I witnessed a Pastor say, "I don't preach against sin in this church because you already know what sin is."

    I couldn't hardly believe it. I mean I see the Osteen's that have been asked point blank why they don't preach against sin or mention sin and we've all heard their excuses...

    But I see that if these ministers at a neighborhood level are afraid to preach against sin because they feel it'll drive membership away, they're not in the ministry for HIM, they're in it for them....

    My wife just about fell out of her seat and I was soured in my spirit for the preacher and his church.

    What has happend? Have we reduced the church to a mere social and personal empowerment gathering?

    All in the name of "attracting" members? I mean, I have preached hard for about 10 years now and we've had ebs and lulls in membership, but one thing I can say that I've done to the best of my ability is deliver the FULL counsel of God to the people everywhere I've gone.

    I guess the "new" church thinks it's strategizing can build the church without the truth being preached or told.

    Forget the theological points for a minute, we are in trouble somebody call JESUS 911! ---LOL!
    This is truely amazing.

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  8. Pastor B, you are an extremist.

    Just like Phineas, Aaron's grandson who in numbers 25 in act of zealous righteousness kills a prince of Simeon and a Midianite princess. He was not given an offical notice by the bishop or the chief apostle.

    He was actually praying at the gate of the tabernacle when he was suddenly imbued with a spirit of holy zeal and righteous anger.

    He was consumed with the honor and obedience to the will of God. He saw rampant and widespread rebellion and he saw that it stood to wipe Isreal out. Today, he would be a religious fanatic, an extremist.

    Yet God honored his zeal by declaring that the priesthood would never leave his family. God honored his zeal by halting the plague of death on Isreal.

    Just one man.

    Is what Phineas saw and what we see today any different?

    It is in this spirit of righteousness that we have to go after these wicked spirits that have hijacked holiness and put up another sign on the door.

    They demand that we be silent and accept them while they attempt to drive the car over the cliff. I am sick of being told by church folk "dont judge".

    The disobedient contemporary church is is a death spin and only those with enought zeal to take on the immoral princes and their illicit concubines in the world will get the attention of God to stop this plague upon us.

    I salute you as a man with courage and faith enough to eschew titles, positions, favoritism and ecclesiastical ladder climbing and the likes to save our church from thieves and robbers.

    Be encouraged as never before!

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  9. That's deep Elder Foster...many people don't want to go there because then we start dealing with the righteousness of God. When we look at Num. 31, we ask the question why does God authorize the killing of the youth?

    There are many reasons and we can do an indepth study but the bottom line is that the people (Midianites) had aligned themselves against God and the children suffered because of their insolence.

    Thank God for Phineas and thank God for you too strong and mighty man of God!

    Blessed.

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  10. Yes, what a difference!
    I guess many would say it's Modern Times. Holiness would be setting apart for God's use. It's said that if a vessel had been set apart for the use for God's work that would be the only use for that vessel. In a cave in Israel(I think)there were many peices of vessels, it was said, that whom ever used these broke them so that they would not be used for any thing else. Set apart for God only.
    We should be like these vessels. A big part of us is to show the world that we are his living vessels, that would be in how we act,look,and talk.
    Thanks God bless,

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  11. Beckrl~ That's the problem, too few want to be "set apart for God's service"

    I was talking to a gentleman the other day at a restraunt after our service. He was telling me that he was going to a church where they were really being made to "prosper".

    I didn't burst his bubble but I know that the church doesn't teach holiness and very seldomly even mentions anything on sin and righteousness. It's all about receiving your blessing.

    People have a hard time equating spiritual blessing and growth to prosperity because too many teachers have taught the bible so carnally the average person can't distinguish the difference.

    God told Joshua that IF we keep the word before our faces observing it to DO IT we would have "Good success"

    Some of these people on anti-depressants, in clinics taking STD tests and the whole 9 yeards calling themselves prosperous because they can buy a Lexus or BMW. That's the sad part.

    The church sould be a facilitator for birthing the desire for holiness with the heart of the believer, but I'm afraid it's just easier to have a "your own righteousness" message.

    Thanks and be blessed.

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  12. HI this is Shafarr, Man Elder Burnet that was powerful finally someone taking a stand. I preach this at my college and people get mad at me for saying the truth and they try to blurr the line between righteousness and unrighteousness too many carnal Christians. I mentio0n in 2 timothy where the Holy Spirit through Paul teaches women to dress modestly and they say to me well what is modest? We cannot know what modest is because every culture has their own standard of righteousness and who are you to judge and say anything. How can I refute the non-sensicle teaching of "you can't know what modest is"? I go to a "Christian" School and all the women love to where short shorts and flip flops showing everything that God gave them for only their future husbands to see. I said something so they call me judge mental and I am hated along with any true man of God. This is ridiculous how follow the world on their way to hell.

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  13. Shafarr ~ "How can I refute the non-sensicle teaching of "you can't know what modest is"?"

    [That's a good question and one worth noteing.

    Sunday Sept. 14th on T V show 60 Minutes Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appeared. He holds to an originalist view of the U S Constitution. This view basically holds that the Constitution should be interpreted in light of the original meaning of the framers. In other words, the document is only good in the time that it is written and any changes based on current conditions should be added by amendment.

    His view is that the constitution is a "non-living" document. It doesn't change to accomodate modern invention or problems. Most of the Court however feels that the Constitution is a "living" document and should be interpreted in light of current social and moral conditions. In other words standards will change based on what's acceptable within the culture.

    Each proposition has it's challenges when dealing with documents written by "finite" men.

    Now Jesus said this:

    John 6:63~ "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

    Now what Jesus describes is a "living" Word. This word "living" (Gk-Zoe) essentially means to last forever. If we are to assume that the WORD is to last forever, we would also make a correct assertion in assuming that it will also be applicable forever by the very nature of the one who gave that WORD in that HE was not a man or a mere mortal, HE was and is INFINATE.

    The point I'm making is that the WORD of God is "Living" and is applicable in ALL generations, throughout ALL customs, cultures and societies.

    Now, the danger here is that some would interpret this to say, if something is NOT wrong in one culture then it's acceptable...I believe just the opposite is true...IE: God has set and objective standard and that standard is applicable no matter the customes of each individuals society. It's "living" in the fact that every culture and practice has been taken into account before that word was given.This had to be the case because God saw all the inventions of men and made no exception for them.

    This is complicated, but this addresses the problem you set forth. Culture teaches one thing...The Word teaches another...what do we do?

    The Word does not adapt to the culture it adjusts the culture. So the Word is living in the sense that it already has built in a standard of holiness and that standard can be seen no matter the cultural norms.

    Hypothetical:

    "Crazy Country" believes in murder as an unpenalized rite of the stongest in the village. It is their cultural norm. The Bible says, no murder. Does the word change to suit the culture? NO. The Word engages the culture as a "living" document in that it is applicable to that culture and speaks against their custom of murder clearly.

    If it was a non-living document we could only interpret the Word in light of what murder meant at the time it was written to the people it was written to. That would be problematic but is exactly how many people interpret the Word of God currently. They feel it's only applicable in the setting in which it was written and everything else are just "lessons" not "commands" for us to follow.

    Therefore, when you are trying to reach individuals with the Biblical message, the first hurdle to cross is the hurdle of relevance. Because the Word is Living and pertinent to today's dress, attitudes, culture etc. we must know that God has already taken the cultural standards into consideration, weighed them and found them defecient.

    Paul said it like this:

    2 Cor. 3:6 ~ "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

    The Spirit gives the "increase to physical life" that's talking about not only an illumination of the soul and spirit, but an effectual change of path for the physical life we live. ie: it applies to what we currently do, say, etc even though it was written years ago.

    Now, I went a long way around the post to encourage you that 1- The Word is applicable today and was given with modern culture in mind without any amendments and 2- As a minister it's your job to illuminate the darkness with words of light not antagonistically, but opportunistically (Wow look at those words-LOL)So the word hold a standard of "modesty" that we can identify through the word even some 2000 years afterward.

    Hope that helps. Get back with me when you can.

    Blessed!

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  14. Thank you for your reply, I know that every culture has to conform to the kingdom culture and that the word of God does not just pertain to the culture or time that that God was giving the law to. I was wondering people say that you can't say what is baggy, is it twice the size you wear your pants or is it three times the size your pants. If a woman wears a robe if she shows an inch of her ankle in some places it is modest but not modest in other areas. In the book of Corinthians it says that men should not have their hair long for it is against nature hoe long is long? People through that at me and I need a refutation. Some things are obvious, tattoos, body piercings and other things. But the little things I need answers to. Thank you.

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  15. Oh yes I know this is off the subject but I read your bio and you wrote a book on why hip-hop can't be holy. I need to get that book I am surrounded by the holy hip-hop following here at eastern university and they love holy hip-hop. I am from the Philadelphia area and the holy hip-hop movement started here which I am a shamed of. I have one thing I have to say I get a lot of "well if your going to say that hip-hop is the devil because of the origins are demonic and the spiritual side is not of God because what we do in the natural has a spiritual consequence. Then do not put on those shoes because they could be demonic or the clothes you got on could be the devil or we are in this building this could have a demonic origin to it that denounces Christ so we can use hip-hop because if you are going to get on one get on them all you have to be consistent with everything.Thank you I know this question was off the subject I saw how you addressed the crossmovemnt on how they dress like thugs so I thought to ask you this question. If you want to personally e-mail me the answer to this question my e- mail is SANE_TJC@yahoo.com. thank you.

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  16. Shafarr~ “But the little things I need answers to.”

    Brother I believe that the answer to the problem is to bring the people to the Love of God. Now, you can argue over little things that we can both agree that don’t represent holiness, but then if a person is not convinced of their own actions, what have you done? Simply tamed the Lion. What needs to happen is a thorough change of heart and mind. When that happens people will be ready to examine themselves and lay down anything that doesn’t pertain to the character of God. The Holy Ghost will convict the hearts and minds. Neither you nor I can become the Holy Ghost or convict the sinner of their sins as only HE can. All we can do is be available.

    So I believe that the little things are answered in the big picture…Is the person really saved? Do they know they are bought with a price? Are they willing to be influenced by the Spirit of God or will they maintain their own sense of self?

    So far as cultural references, long hair, styles etc. society affords standards that are acceptable within each culture and society and a person knows (if they are convinced by the Holy Ghost) when they are following the culture and when they are representing Christ. We can’t have a ruler measuring hair…or a tape measure measuring length of dress or tightness of pants. That’s not what we are called to do. But anyone saved that has a change of heart will examine themselves. What makes you and I so unique?

    So as I said, SALVATION, SALVATION, SALVATION is the key. Until that happens to people whom otherwise love the culture, anything you and I say will be resisted.

    Shafarr ~ In referencing what the Hip-Hoppers say in response to holiness~ “well if your going to say that hip-hop is the devil because of the origins are demonic and the spiritual side is not of God because what we do in the natural has a spiritual consequence. Then do not put on those shoes because they could be demonic or the clothes you got on could be the devil or we are in this building this could have a demonic origin to it that denounces Christ so we can use hip-hop because if you are going to get on one get on them all you have to be consistent with everything.”

    The Hip-Hop scene is not only demonic because of its origins, but also because of what it CURRENTLY does, says and teaches. Buildings, clothes, and other things can be redeemed and used for alternate and right purposes. We have churches that were once dance halls, etc. The problem with Hip-Hop is that it is an alive culture with specific goals against Jesus, God and the bible in particular. The religion of Hip-Hop is eclecticism fueled by the 5% Nation of God’s & Earths and Islam. The whole neo-soul movement is entrenched with mysticism and anti-Christ messages. This is documentable and NOT speculation.

    Now, most people follow Hip-Hop for the music. I don’t hold that against them. Have you ever heard of the Pied Piper? Same thing the mice followed for the music, but the results are similar, the music leads to other things including destruction.

    I make a convincing case against the “Christian” seduced by the Hip-Hop culture. The culture opposes God and does not honor him. In fact this is the 4th and 6th Principle of Hip-Hop:

    *Fourth Principle

    Hiphop is a term that describes our independent collective consciousness. As a conscious way of life, we acknowledge our influence on society, especially on children; and we shall forever keep the rights and welfare of both in mind. Hiphop Kulture encourages womanhood, manhood, sisterhood, brotherhood, childhood and family. We are conscious not to bring any intentional disrespect that jeopardizes the dignity and reputation of our children, elders and ancestors.


    OK nasty videos with women placing their genitalia all over the men and cameras are respectful and don’t jeopardize dignity? Get outta here…Hip-Hop has not come close to maintaining this principle belief. In addition notice that Hip-Hop defines itself NOT as music but as a KULTURE (culture)


    “*Sixth Principle

    Hiphop Kulture honors no relationship, person, event, act or otherwise wherein the preservation and further development of Hiphop's culture, principles and elements are not considered or respected.”


    Ie: It can’t honor Jesus because Jesus doesn’t honor it.

    So there are a host of issues with Hip-Hop including nasty songs with messages they try to cover up as dances Superman??? Need I say more?

    Now for a Christian to emulate this garbage shows that they either don’t know what they are doing or that they do know and are only concerned to engage in this mess for pleasure and ungodly entertainment. That could be the case and if so they should reconsider their salvation and their allegiance either to God or man and the world.

    I addressed this here because I may do a post on this subject since I haven’t done one yet just on this topic. The 4 cassette series and booklet are available for $20. You can send it to New Bethel Ministries at P.O. Box 6167 Peoria, IL. 61604 You can specify in the check “Hip-Hop Series” Also look up Elder G. Craige’s site for additional information as he does Hip-Hop Ministry full time.

    Thanks and God bless.

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  17. I understand the how's and why's, but when did the church adopt the word "Diva"? This word is taken from Italian from Latin: a goddess, from dīvus divine. So why has it been used by many, especially in the church. I've heard many calling each other diva.

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    1. Cynthia,

      Plainly and simply because the church and church "personalities" have taken it upon themselves to emulate the world instead of draw the world. To them "diva" is a mark or sign of honor and social acceptance. They are known by the "people" ie: the world as one who has achieved a special level of notoriety...It makes you wonder, if the world started calling themselves "Jezebel" would they take that on as a sign of honor too?

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