Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Falling Towers Coming Down Pt. 2

As Continued From Falling Towers Coming Down Pt. 1
Gulfstream G650 $58.5 Million in 2012
Necessary For Preacher Luxury and Ministerial Performance 
In modern times, Pastors and leaders are commended, praised and held in high esteem because they have personal and private jets and expensive cars as opposed to having personal and public commitments to the well being of the body of believers. The member, overwhelmingly of low to moderate income, is pumped and primed to give so that they can be blessed. Then certain expenditures present themselves so that the giving can be seen and made known. For the extremely opulent "ministries" on the other hand, spending what is given is sometimes directed toward the acquisition of private jets, Bahama vacations, luxury automobiles or some other personal cause, which is almost expected by and from some in leadership. For some it's the equivalent of executive privilege because mistakenly, some think that they "are" the church or that they are "the ministry". Only where is that outlined within the bible? What is the biblical mandate, endorsement or approval for such status.

"I need To Take This Trip To Win Souls"

One other thing, then I'll move on because many of my preacher friends get uncomfortable talking about these sort of things: I've heard of more and more pastors and leaders who supposedly go on "missions trips" without their spouses and families. These trips are almost never to places like Bosnia, Croatia or Antartica. They are almost always to places like the Bahamas and Jamaica. What makes it even worse is that many times these pastors only take certain selected members from the church along with them. (Does that remind you of anyone in the news recently?) Nonetheless, in most of these cases all expenses are paid by the church without question. Under normal circumstances that wouldn't be a bad thing, however what we are witnessing is flat out usury and pimpery among some of the leaders facilitated by the natural entity or the physical church itself.


In other words the leader MUST have an expense account or some other method of expense provided by teh church. Why? Because worldly executives have expense accounts. Why can't church leaders? You see, this is where we can identify that the pattern for what we do and allow has TOTALLY deviated from the scripture and has become focused upon man and a word that many think is relegated to the past..."TRADITION". This modern tradition has killed and is killing the church left and right making the focus of attention the natural aspects, benefits and aesthetics instead of the soul aspects.

These "trips" have produced a set of secrecy that God is not pleased with. Not only does what happen in Vegas stay in Vegas, but what happens in Memphis, stays in Memphis...What happens in St. Louis, Stays in St. Louis and the list goes on and on. Since I'm messing with everything else I may as well keep going: 

"Pastor Burnett- The Storehouse Should Have Something"

Christ The Redeemer
Rio de Janerio,  Brazil
If you think that the "storehouse" of Malachi 3 is referring to the church, that's OK, but you need to know that I'm certainly not promoting that one rob the church of all accumulated funds to go out giving it all away foolishly. However, I am saying that too many churches would rather spend millions on a pastor or pastoral benefit, a statue or other aesthetic, before one dime is spent on souls and the real needs of the people.

I would venture to say that in many cases, long before their was a benevolence to the community, (which could also include providing rehab services for drug addicts and vocational life skills training etc), that there was either a pastoral salary, building fund and, or a church payroll. In addition, in many instances, some musician was more than likely being paid to sit on an organ to play. Or some "minister of music" was being given a special offering every Sunday to sing a few songs and coordinate singers to sing. There was probably even the purchase of a pastoral or ministerial home prior to any extension of soul investment into the community. This is not an indictment of any church in particular, it is simply a statement of sick fact that is having serious repercussions producing the results that  we currently see within  the Body of Christ and displayed all on the news and other venues every day. 

A Word About Musical Salaries

Unfortunately, some rationalize their actions saying that we should pay the musicians, because if we don't the world will. Well we can use that sort of weak rationalization to justify any excess and ungodly behavior in the church can't we?. Example: Should we pay the jobless, single, sisters in the church because they "could" become prostitutes and or strippers??? Should we pay the teenage kids because they "could" revert to drug sales for their money? These types of rationalizations don't even make sense. A musician will go secular only if he/she is spiritually weak enough to do so. In other words he/she needs to be ministered to first, if temptation to go secular because of the lack of a church salary to play music is the reason that he/she needs church funds. Here's a novel idea...how about teaching the musician job skills and helping them to get a job??? Ooh, I forgot, that's not "ministry", it doesn't make us feel good and when we have service, he may have to be at work...  

Pastoral Testimony

Some years ago, I was asked by a 20 year member of another church to pay a $500 utility bill to help them avoid disconnection. After I contacted the persons's church, I asked the pastor (through the secretary, because he was too busy to come to the phone) to contribute half of the utility bill for their member and we (I) would pay the other half. After almost 2 days of going back and forth the Pastor told the member that they just didn't do such a thing for the members. I ended up paying the whole bill for the person. That particular person later reluctantly came to our church (as a favor I suppose, she was extremely late anyway) and continued her membership and relationship with the other ministry that contributed nothing to her or her family in the time of need after 20 years of membership.

What happened? She was a victim of the "psychomanipulation" that often occurs in the modern institutional church. This manipulation is a mind twisting reality that the truth of what the church is and should be isn't being presented within the context of the the corporate organizational structure that is supposed to represent and preserve the biblical paradigm. Her aligence, in the absence of any reciprocal effort, was to a a name, a group of people and ultimately a persona that convinced her over the years that she was "somebody" as long as she kept her association with that particular group. In her world no matter how bad she is treated or overlooked, the Lord would have to tell her personally to leave before she realizes that the group she has been a part of has rejected biblical mandates and violated scripture and doesn't care about her or her well being. In fact, none of that mattered to her. Her standing and association with the group was so important that she didn't care about the humiliation that she suffered in the process of being associated with them. The group violating scripture WAS NOT a good enough reason for her to leave the church! Scriptural violations are a far gone consideration. This is a tower that has arisen in the institutionalized notion of church that must fall and is falling right now.  

You see, the sad thing is that if a person isn't delivered truth, and does not avail themselves to the truth, forsaking all else, they will fall victim to a cultic and paganistic mindset and understanding of what the "church" is and what the church should do, be and look like, totally oblivious to the fact that "the church" is not a building, nor is it found or established within or among a group of individuals who have not made scripture the foundation and standard for what they do and believe. 

Take A Small Assessment
Indulge me for a minute on this one:

By what standard do you gauge the success of a church?
A- Membership or Sunday Attendance/ Number Of Ministries Or Programs
B- Pastoral Ability To Deliver A Message/ Popularity/ Charisma
C- Attractiveness of the Edifice/ Location
D- The Biblical Alignment, Depth, Quality, Spiritual Growth & Lives Of The Attendees
E- A, B, & C
F- D Only    
Many of us, would say "D" is what makes a church successful, but the reality is that many of us would not have D in absence of A, B, C or some combination of A, B, and C. We think a church is successful when it is both biblically centered and is well attended, or has a nice edifice, or a popular of charismatic pastor, preacher or leader and maintains biblical alignment. Once again if D is mixed as a combination to determine a standard of "success", then the standard of success has changed from a biblical paradigm, to a earthly and worldly, man established paradigm in which there is no hope and ultimately no lasting deliverance. However, many of our people have been duped and hypnotized by in modern times by what we have called "the church".

Zion, What's The Matter Now?

The problem is that we want programs for our children that will keep them "interested" (which is another way of saying free-babysitting services) We want a popular pastor, whom everyone from the Mayor to the Governorer and even the President of the United States has on speed dial. And, of course, many of us will do anything to say that we are a part of that multi-million dollar complex and edifice with an astounding bank loan and monthly mortgage that would make your head swim. Usually that multi-million dollar loan is secured by the not guaranteed contributions and tithing dollars of the faithful, and in some cases the materially intoxicated and seduced faithful.

Why would I make such a startling accusation? Partially because of these easily observable facts:


The church that is limited to the paradigm of  organizational preservation (regardless of denomination/non-denomination etc) is not dedicated to the mission of Christ in its fullest. The "preservationist" church has seen its leaders be indicted for crimes, settle lawsuits out of court that center around ministerial impropriety and sins, and  deliver their illicit lovers and illegitimate children to the congregation without shame or remorse. Many of them dare the congregation to condemn them for their acts, claiming that "we all have sinned!" which is a message not used to express the grace and mercy of God, but a message used to manipulate the mind and control the critiques of the observers who plainly see what they see.

Among this elite leadership, there are rapists, molesters, homosexuals and pedophiles who continue to do what they do as if they had never known Christ in any fashion. Many of them have never known Christ and try to use Christ and his word as a means for their ungodliness and immorality. There are ministers that consistently and without fail, espouse false doctrines such as material prosperity, date and time eschatology, gay inclusion, and other heretical and sensational beliefs such as gold dust and angel hairs or feathers. 

Then there are those who's only mission is to gain another salary, benefit package, or collect another offering from the church. Oftentimes the lines of demarcation are confusing and good people have inadvertently gotten caught up in the redefinition of the church through this post modern,  flesh directed, institutionalized and self fashioned church. Some  impregnate and give STD's to their members, live an undercover gay lifestyle, go to jail for refusal to pay child support live separately from their spouses under the pretense of a happy marriage,  and do their ungodly deeds with the endorsement of the organizational church because of the money that they can amass and put together. 

Just Read The Headlines...This is NOT The Church!

Critics suggest that blogs and bloggers are doing the church a disservice by pointing out many of the issues I name in this article and in my blog and will name in my upcoming book dealing with the issue. Although, the criticism is another post which I will gladly undertake shortly, all one has to do is look at the news. Over the last few years we've seen bishops beating their wives, pastors claim that they are gay and God is OK with it, tele-evangelists divorcing their spouses and remarrying like changing socks, gospel music personalities redefining secular to appease themselves, and even clinging to secular artists and imitating secular personalities in their music. We've seen churches (organizations), once dedicated to the premises of holiness and righteousness, align themselves with the homo-affirming right, selling themselves and individuals attached to them for political associations and popularity among the heathen.  

If all that that weren't enough, we also have many within the Body of Christ (or at least so they say) that defend the actions of individuals like these, minimizing the works and deeds of unrighteousness, equating sins to "setbacks" and "wrecks", claiming that their obligations to friendships and partnerships supersede the clarion call of biblical accountability. There are multiple thousands of individuals who continue to support these type of people and their excesses with their dollars and attendance without shame or even bothering to check the details.

In part, I believe that that is why the Tower Of Babylon is falling yet again. The Towers of sin, self, social and political gain and seduction of the institution that has hijacked the name "church" and established itself as a God authority. 

Conclusion

Matthew 16:13-19 ~ "13-When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14-And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15-He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16-And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17-And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18-And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19-And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

The church is a living, breathing, entity. It was given life by and for Christ and by and for him alone. The church was built upon the rock of the Messiah, not Peter the man as some have interpreted. The "keys" that men were given were the keys that Jesus is both the author and provider of eternal life and that without the preaching of his message that noone can live or come to repentant faith. 

We should know that the size of the institution or organizational church is not the problem. Just as large numbers don't assure that God is in the mix, a small number of persons is not an indication of such either. In fact a small or a large number of persons can either be a blessing or a curse upon the community. The organizational structure of the church is less of a problem than what the church has been reduced to and how it has been used and misused by men. Unfortunately, even though Jesus drove out the money changers long ago, we've disregarded his direction and made it a den of thieves again. We've created and erected a shrine to our own impotence.  A tribute to our desire for significance and importance. We have forgotten that the called out people of God are the Temple Of The Lord and that THEY are the church. 

1 Cor. 6:19-20 ~ "19-What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20-For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

We have forgotten that without the Christ that hung upon the cross and without the people that Christ died for there is no church. We have also forgotten that the church, those people who make up this living organism, does not belong to us. The robes, hats, collars and garments do not make the church. The councils and assemblies do not solidify or add to the idea of the church. The aesthetic does not make the church. ONLY Christ has instituted this organism and only upon him can we and it stand. 

I'm Catholic, I'm Lutheran, I'm Anglican, I'm Baptist, I'm Church Of God In Christ, I'm Apostolic, I'm Methodist, I'm Assembly Of God, I'm Church Of Christ. I'm Disciples Of Christ, I'm Word Of Faith, I'm Evangelical, I'm Reformed, I'm Presbyterian and the dreaded, I'm Independent and I'm Nondenominational! 

OK

I'm a child of the King, the Most High God, the one and only who can call me out of death and into life. I AM a servant of Jesus! It's at that point, that one is in the church and the church is in us. That's what it's all about.

Blessed!  

8 comments:

  1. Amen! This is Awesome Pastor Burnett! It is the truth. Do I have permission to read your commentary at my church or anywhere the LORD sends me.

    EW

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  2. Amazing discernment,..ive been studying for 27 years,..ill always be a student,...the rabbit hole is very deep", At the very bottom of it is the Apollyon (Satan) pulling All the strings".

    Tony

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  3. “Critics suggest that blogs and bloggers are doing the church a disservice by pointing out many of the issues I name in this article and in my blog”

    If it is not pointed out on these blogs and articles, then how else is all to know that not all are corrupted and are looking for an advantage to exploit the masses, and those ignorant of the knowledge of The LORD?

    The damage has been done by those who pimp or corrupt the message;

    Jud 1:12
    These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
    Jud 1:13
    Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

    But their judgment awaits, nonetheless!

    It is incumbent that we become educated in the ways of The Lord!

    Pragmatism seems to be what has gotten us to this point as well as the unlearned pushing their agendas’ when it comes to what they think leadership may deserve as a payment for what they say and how they say what it is that they say on Sunday’s!

    God’s way still works we must return to doing things in accordance to the biblical mandate, and not go with the latest willy-nilly thoughts of the latest new convert with that big ole tithe!

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  4. My God, Pastor Burnett, there is so much here to holla "preach, preacha", I dont even know where to start.

    I was so relieved when you wrote

    THIS IS NOT THE CHURCH!

    What we are seeing is the Tare Temple Church where everybody wants to be somebody and Jesus is just a prop we use to get money, Inc.

    The hirelings, wolves, thieves and false teachers are having one of their finest hours prepping the sheep for the slaughter.

    As for me and my blog, we WILL continue to cry aloud and spare not. Those who have an ear to hear, will hear and take heed. Those who dont, wouldnt do it if Jesus himself paid them a special visit.

    Yet, the true church remains unbowed still assaulting the gates of hell and prevailing under the power of the Spirit.
    Truly these are the best and worst of times.

    PS: the story about the $500 utility bill was soooo close to home. I've done that before and it was astonishing to me after you help people who are in these mega rich churches who care NOTHING for them, they will go right back and declare how "blessed" they are under Pastor so and so's ministry.

    Learned my lesson and will NEVER do that again.

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  5. Elder,

    Thank you my brotha. I figured that one out. What they do is front...See they want to 'pretend" and go through the motions that all is well and that they are "blessed" on the level of others in front of their church, while they receive help from others. This is a learned behavior, because it isn't normal.

    Either way, it's because their mind has been seduced by the material aspects of the modern "church". The "keep up with the Jones" mentality that has blinded the individuals and caused them to build this structure that God has condemned and judged as a work of the flesh found wanting.

    It is the strength that is being hit where they said they were the strongest that God is making small work of. It was them that said they were above all others. It was them that said that they had received honor from the Lord through material wealth because they were more trustworthy and able to shape nations better than others. They forgot that the Lord raises up one and setteth down another for his own personal pleasure.

    They proceeded with an element of "control" that GOd didn't not give them. They built and erected the very idols that were destroyed before them and now, they are in the teeth of the true Lion of Judah...What will they do and how will they escape?

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  6. Fella told me that he would be our musician if we could pay him a certain amount...I told that fella, look, they don't even pay me to deliver the word, what makes you think you'll get a a regular token for playing teh organ or keyboards?

    What has made the musician seek salary first at the cost of any doctrine? The leader could teach almost anythign, but as long as he can pay a salary, some musician will be happy. This is what leads to Tonex's and such the like.

    Teach these guys the gospel and teach them what it is to be saved and led of the Lord first. Then if they have a conviction and call to the ministry they'll do all they can to render their service. The modern approach considers everything but GOd. For shame.

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  7. Hello Supt.
    Just a quick thought, I am an organ player and a bass player. For me personally, I do not require money to play. However, with the amount of time, expense (gotta buy the new music) there is nothing wrong with paying someone to play(work man worthy of his hire). However just as the leader would be discerning in who you let preach they must also be in who they have as a musician. Speaking from experience, I learned how to play bass when I was fourteen. There were a lot of opportunities to use my talents in other arenas. Perhaps it was because my father was the pastor I didn't (until I was saved). Again with the amount of work, personal practice, learning new songs, choir rehearsals etc. most people would be surprised at how much work it is. It can be four to ten hours per song just to learn it depending on ones skill and complexity of the song. Sin is what causes the Tonex's to do what they do. To answer the question of what would make someone play no matter the doctrine. They would treat it as a job, that person is telling you they are a hireling.
    Be Blessed

    RS

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  8. Preach! Awesome assessment!

    I am a church musician, and I play for free. I have never asked for a salary nor will I. I play because God told me to. Yes there is a lot of time spent praying and rehearsing and buying of music, studying the Word, but that is the life of the believer anyway. (minus practicing and instrument)Who does not practice how to communicate the message of Jesus Christ weather through witnessing or music? Why are we entitled to a salary?

    I think a little bit for gas when a church knows that the musician is struggling or as the Lord directs is sufficient. I won't even take that! Why?

    Because praise and worship can happen WITHOUT a musician! We are only another tool the Holy Spirit can use in a service. Musicians and instrumentation are NOT the definition of praise and worship!!!!!

    Let me stop; I could literally go on about this for days! LOL!

    This quote from your article is so on point:

    In part, I believe that that is why the Tower Of Babylon is falling yet again. The Towers of sin, self, social and political gain and seduction of the institution that has hijacked the name "church" and established itself as a God authority.

    The name "Church" has been hijacked indeed! So has the name "Christian"! That is why we will be given a new name in Glory!

    ReplyDelete

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