Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Interview With The Pastor

Recently one of our regular commenters Enochwalked, asked me some rather profound questions. As I was in the process of answering, the Lord said make this a main post so that the church can see. I hope you enjoy this and your comments are more than welcome. Thank you Elder for posing these serious and timely questions.

Enochwalked: What is your "holy opinion" on this article? The Washington Post Condition Of The Black Family.

Pastor Burnett: Well brother, there is a lot that could be said, but I would first say that the breakdown of the black family should not solely be laid at the feet of the black family. What the article didn't address is Johnson's welfare program which was fashioned to give broken families and single mothers incentives for children and conversely for failure of the family. I mean anytime you tell a family they can have so much money permanently (until the child is 18) if they have a child and no father is in the home, what do you expect to see?

Then she didn't mention the failed "War On Drugs" which was a way to get the black youth both under control and off the streets leaving our neighborhoods to slick undercover pimps, bullys and available preachers.

Then she failed to mention the failure of the educational system, during the same period of time, in adjusting and finding ways to educate black youth against the backdrop of their changing culture.

This is what I call the "perfect storm" against the black family and it had all the tools and power that it was designed to have. Why do you think mandatory minimum sentencing still exists even though MOST law enforcement officials know the disparity and problems that it creates? This stuff was designed to do what it did and our families suffer as a result of over 30 years of failed policies and plans and the weak backbone of a extremely weak church who though that it could shout and dance itself through every problem that it experienced...That is and was the problem. Total failure to connect, adapt, change, move and become the clarion institution that would set the pace for change instead of merely responding to others as they make changes.

Where is the black church? Are we in front of issues? Some are. I certainly try to be in my community, but all too often we are second responders IF we respond at all.

So far as unemployment was concerned, one of the major culprit's has been governmental policy. You see in major industrial cities across America, factories got up and got out because it was cheaper to do business elsewhere. This was why some of our black men and families, who were factory workers were devastated and cities began to change. We sill see the effects of this today in places like Detroit, LA, and New York.

So yes the statistics are devastating and very revealing but I believe they are highly incomplete.

Enochwalked: Is SIN the major reason that we have lost the black family--husband and wife structure? We have more prosperity today but we have raised children who are reprobates and do not know the LORD!

Pastor Burnett: Brother sin is the major reason, but as I said there is enough sin in places that caused sin in the streets that we see today. I'm trying to say this, we see the symptoms of the sins that were either placed upon our communities or that our communities chose.

Example, Hip-Hop (which I will be doing a full series on in a very short period of time)arose during the same time period that the black family broke down. Why was it so appealing to the masses of youth? It became the father than many youth never knew. It became the mother that many youth were not familiar with. It was the place, to express, communicate and sound off because people weren't being listened to. It developed it's own culture and part of that culture was to teach and reteach and because converted Muslims saw it as a way to gain an audience the message became mixed with Islam, resurrected Egyptology, Human deism and other ideologies right under our nose.

Some churches simply said turn the music off, while others told the participants and hip-hop aspirants to simply send them a tithe check, but they did not battle the "spirit" within the music or deal with the message itself. We failed to teach and train or even accept young unwed mothers and young men wanting to be gangsta's until it was almost too late to redeem them and their children were too old.
So yes, sin is at the root, but the church and establishment will not escape the judgement of God for their dereliction of duty to defend the weak and poor.
Enochwalked: Who or what failed to bring the Black Family to the conditions we have today ([do] you see this problem in both Black Christians and Black unbelievers)?
Pastor Burnett: Church leadership failed to adequately respond through the development of a message. I'm not talking about a "ministry". Some churches have over 200 ministries for everything and everybody in the church. I'm takling about a general direction and prescribed path for the people, neighborhoods and community to follow.

We say, "daughter/son, get off the street and stop sellin' drugs." But how much money have we spent to help them stop sellin' drugs? I'm not talking about church welfare. I'm talking about creating and developing life skill sets that will on point teach and train these young men and ladies to be free from what they are doing, that will recreate "life" for them and their community. So that's ministry and service. Not jumping on some stage and saying...SAY YES LAWD! Don't get me wrong, I do that and love to do that in the service, but I also do the other and do that first, even when I'm hoarse.
Then look at this, we've got Grammy winning singers and musicians almost everywhere. I want to see the day, where we take that Grammy winnin' set, set up a stage in the heart of a troubled community on a Saturday morning, take turns singing, preaching and witnessing all day until Saturday night and do it regularly without selling tickets, asking for news coverage or any of the other things that come with celebrity. Just do it to serve God. and DON'T collect an offering....uuuhhhoo...That costs money.....
Where we at? We gotta pay da bills...Nothing wrong with that, but I preach hard right now for free and do sing as the Lord gives me utterance--uuhhmm---But when will we really get serious about taking our resource, whatever that resource is, and placing it into souls? Not when the cameras are rolling, but when the tears are flowing...that's what we need and that's what the community needs to see of us.
Enochwalked: Where has the Black Church been on this in the past 10, 20, 30, 40 years? You have been in this longer than me.

Pastor Burnett: Now I ain't that old my brutha...;) but let me show you what I see...
The church has been intoxicated and enamoured with flesh, popularity, seeking cars, houses, boats, prosperity, conference hoppin', following Pastors who are not doing anything for the community or the church but collecting an offering for themselves, getting mortgages that they couldn't afford and callin' it a blessing, comparing their salvation to others so they could have an excuse for weakness, covering each others sins with money and associations, having illicit affairs, emotional upheavals, and total spiritual inconsistencies.

I'm not through...

As my man Melvin at Pulpit Pimps said (regarding T.D. Jakes) they have been "Repositioning themselves further away from God", calling their sins as though they are not what they are, finding new ways to NOT preach the righteousness and holiness of God, seeking singing contracts, becoming motivational speakers, leaving substantive issues at the door, and trying to be as inclusive as possible as not to offend anyone.
I admit, I had elements of some of those things when I started off on my own. I thought being in the crowed was going to build my 10,000 member church. (FYI- I DO NOT have a 10,000 member church) I came to a resolution and conclusion that ONLY God was in control of his church and HE will build it as HE sees fit, and if I wanted to be a part of HIS plan, then all I had to do was take my place and be fit and ready for the Lord's use. I'm glad I made that decision.

Enochwalked: "Can(men of God like us) we turn this around? We may not see it in our lifetime but with the help of God, maybe in our childrens time. I am 37 with 2 sons ages almost 5 and 3 and another due in the spring. I have accepted the fact that my generation is LOST! I am looking to save my children's generation!"

Pastor Burnett: Brother, like Jimmy V said, "Don't ever give up!" and like James Moore sung, "It ain't over until God says it's over." There is great power in standing in the gap, even if you're just one.

Remember Mary and Martha when Jesus came to them in John 11 what did Martha say?

"21-Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."

What did Jesus respond?
"23-Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again."

Then Martha does something that many of us do. Put things so far off in the future until we can't hardly see it. She says,
"24-Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

She talks about a blessing that is beyond her present ability. She equates the resolution of things with the end of the world, which was representative of the Jewish thought of "The last day".
But what did Jesus respond?

"25-Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26-And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"

He indicated that what she was looking for resided in ONE person, and that person was him. Next thing you know Lazarus was outta that grave and the disciples were taking the "death identity" (grave clothes) off of him.

What am I saying? What we need is in Jesus and what we need is here right now. In order to change the church for us and our children it will take some bold steps taken in the trail of the Master as he guides and leads our steps. It's just gettin good now. The righteous will rise while the sinner is revealed and cast out.

To them that read this, if you're not equipped get the equipment you need, leave small arguments for the small minded and most of all stay tuned and stay on your post wherever you may be.



  1. Praise the LORD!

    Pastor Burnett, GOD bless you and I thank you for confirming the answers that were in my heart. Your responses confirm to me that I am hearing from the LORD. We need that witness from others sometimes.

    Pastor, the LORD has been sobering me up the past 10 years and especially the past 3 years. The Black Church as a whole IS NOT SOBER...that's from the megaministries to the megawannabe's to the storefronts...but praise GOD--men of GOD like you, GCMWatch, G. Craige Lewis, and Melvin Jones are being raised up to "turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the hearts of the children back to the fathers!" The LORD will have a chosen holy people in every generation! Amen!

    Thank you for the encouragement with the last question, the Spirit is saying to me also...if we faint not, we shall reap! We must endure hardship as a good soldier!
    We are more than able through CHRIST JESUS to TURN the Black Church/Black Family Around! Amen!

    The question to all of us, myself included...ARE WE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE? I am paying the price now and I will not turn back...not now! As the song says, "We've come this far by faith, leaning on the LORD, trusting in HIS holy word, HE never failed me yet...whoa, whoa...can't turn around, we've come this far by faith!"

    I admit that it grieves and angers me to see sheep deceived with the mess that is going on Christian television, etc. etc. Not only that, we in the black Church must make drastic changes and repentance to draw the lost and to stop preaching to each other 52 weeks out of a year. Most of the evangelism and preaching is regurgitated back and forth to believers to other believers! We must grow up and go forth! Amen!

    I talk to a few "keepin it real" unsaved black men...I do not compromise or endorse their sin...but they can spot the real christian from the fake ones miles away. They will never be drawn to CHRIST with the status quo fame, name and claim, pimp-christianity, all they want is your money, and feminized ministries that is so prevalent and "popular". I can see why they are drawn to the Nation of Islam and I heard from a fellow minister who knows strong prison ministries, and the prison ministers say they are losing souls to Islam in the prisons in record numbers because Christianity is not "politically correct".

    On a positive side, many of these street, keep-it-real black men were very very happy to vote(non-felons) for Barack Obama(issues aside). They want to see successful black men "handling their business". They do not want to be part of a pimp game, running women(they are doing that on the streets...they do not want to see that in church) that oh so many see in the black Church. I correct them when I say, NOT ALL Churches and pastors are pimps...You must seek the LORD for yourself while HE may be found and you cannot use the excuse before the LORD that the Churches are not right when it comes to your own personal salvation before GOD. I tell them that GOD has shepherds after HIS own heart, but they must seek them out and GOD will meet them at their point of need! Then I give my testimony. I have seen some men sober up over the 5 years I have witnessed to these guys. I know the LORD is working on them! And they know I am for real!

    It has been prayer and fasting time long before we got in this battle and we must watch and pray for our life for we are truly in serious perililous times...but we must not lose our joy in HIM! One thing I have in my spirit, I know that in the end we who are doing HIS will....not looking for fame or fortune...WE WILL COME OUT ON TOP BEFORE THIS THING IS OVER WITH...I pray that myself and others like You Pastor Burnett live to see and taste the fruit of Holy, righteous, spiritual victory for our years of labor, tears, planting, watering for the Gospel!

    GOD Bless this ministry for teaching and preaching the Gospel Truth of JESUS CHRIST!

  2. Last thing,
    Pastor you said,
    "I admit, I had elements of some of those things when I started off on my own. I thought being in the crowed was going to build my 10,000 member church. I came to a resolution and conclusion that ONLY God was in control of his church and HE will build it as HE sees fit, and if I wanted to be a part of HIS plan, then all I had to do was take my place and be fit and ready for the Lord's use. I'm glad I made that decision."

    Brother, I was one of them too. Thank GOD for delivering us both from our ourselves and our idolatry!

    I wanted to also say on your commentary...Man you preached and teached. Sir, this type of preaching/teaching needs to heard from coast to coast. What I hear coming to me is this:
    The people are starving from a famine of the word of GOD...
    This is what is going on right now in the Black Churches as a whole and really a majority of the Churches in the USA
    Amos 8:11-12 KJVR Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

    There is a FAMINE of hearing the words of the LORD!

    GOD have mercy on us and LORD remember those who have not bowed their knee to Baal! In JESUS NAME!

  3. Enochwalked,

    Thank you deeply and sincerely for your contribution and insights. I hope that this will be a blessing to many who are able to read and hear about it. You said this also,

    "I can see why they are drawn to the Nation of Islam and I heard from a fellow minister who knows strong prison ministries, and the prison ministers say they are losing souls to Islam in the prisons in record numbers because Christianity is not "politically correct".

    When we started out at a store-front, our church was next door to what became an Islamic outreach Center (NOI) Man, I preached Jesus and him cricified, studied and found out the significant differences between the Koran and the bible and lived so until their testimony was that they knew that we knew what we were talking about.

    My thing was to live Christianity and not just talk it and to this day, the NOI in this city extends a welcome hand of friendship to us and will allow us to lead them in certain ventures as it pertains to community justice. We gave up no material biblical fact. No politically correct stance. Just the power of God and they respected and continue to respect that.

    All I can say is 2 Chron. 7:14.

    Thank you my brother.

  4. Brothers, I totally agree.
    I admit that it grieves and angers me to see sheep deceived with the mess [/quote]

    I feel you and join in with you to make a stand for holiness.
    Thank you
    God bless

  5. Pastor Harvey I wish there was a way to get some of your preaching and teaching on a CD format. I love your blog and I share it with everybody I know. The church needs to know that there are real brothers out there that are preaching and teaching real true holiness. It's either holiness or hell. And their is only a few even in the Church of God in Christ that is preaching hardcore holiness and your one of those few. Thank you Pastor for being a true man of God. I will be praying for you. God Bless.

    Minister Mike Johnson

  6. Blackwomen Trumpet Blowers,

    I was sorry to see you had deleted your message. I found that it was very insightful and something that others need to see. It was unbelieveable.

    I look to hear from you all again soon.

    God bless.

  7. black church??????? I thought we were one body not a group of bodies that make up one body. There is no asian, black, white, or any other color church. There is just simpl but profoundly one body which is the church. Color is simply dealt with on a fleshly level because God is not concerned of the color of your skin, but moreso the condition of your heart. Yes there are issues still regarding this but none to divide the body of Christ or even be spoken of in service. This was dealt with 40 years ago, and it is nothing more than a distraction to waste our time from preaching the actual word of God and doing the great commission.

  8. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your response, but you certainly oversimplfy all issues and obviously didn't understand the post or just submitted a "knee-jerk" reaction to what you thought was being talked about.

    The post was primarily about the condition of the black famil and the BLACK church that has traditionally ministerd to the BLACK family. This is the reality and a byproduct of sin. Yes we still have seperation of the races and Sunday mornings are included in that seperation. To deny such is a naive position and a totally obtuse assertion.

    You said this: "I thought we were one body not a group of bodies that make up one body."

    We are but that doesn't deny the current truth. Blacks and whites do worship together but by far and large congregations are divided either by doctrine or social class etc.

    You said this:"There is no asian, black, white, or any other color church."

    Yes there is. There are churches that serve Black communities, churches that serve White communities and churches that serve Latino communities. Just like there are foriegn speaking churches that serve their communities there are churches that serve along color lines. Why? because that is the natural market of those churches. This in no way takes Jesus out of the picture, In fact the diversity of the church is it's greatest strength. People such as yourself who try to make the church homogeneous weaken the strengths that every race bring to the service of Christ. You haven't examined the facts, just presented an assertion based on emotion.

    You said: "There is just simpl but profoundly one body which is the church."

    True, but that body has many parts and all parts aren't the same color.

    You said: Color is simply dealt with on a fleshly level because God is not concerned of the color of your skin, but moreso the condition of your heart.

    God is concerned with ALL of us COLOR included. If he weren't he would have made us all the same color. However God knew that certain struggles, understandings and priveleges go along with certain colors in certain areas.God is concerned about our total selves. In that, we are various colors with various experiences. It's offensive for anyone to think that simply because we're saved god doesn't care about what I've experienced and continue to experience because of race...That's a bad abd bogus assertion of you to say that.

    For the churches ministering within black neighboorhoods pastored by black pastors who's members are black, you're a black church BUT still and foremost a Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. That's not a mark of shame, that's a fact and a mark of great gain. The same should be said about a white church or church that traditionally serves white Christians.

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