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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Shirley Caesar Has Weighed In On The Kim Burrell Controversy. Check Out What She Said.


Veteran gospel singer Shirley Caesar is making headlines again, but not for singing about "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes."

The 11-time Grammy-winner has weighed in on the heated controversy swirling around fellow gospel songstress Kim Burrell’s comments on homosexuality.

According to her, the way to avoid being lambasted online for controversial commentary is to confiscate folks’ cell phones at the door.

“We’re living in critical times now. Now I want to say this to every pastor. The Lord dropped this in my spirit,” the 78-year-old told an audience at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, MD in a clip uploaded on YouTube Wednesday, Jan. 4.

“Any time you want to say something to your church, to your members, collect the phone calls at the door—your cellphones,” she instructed.

Though the pastor of Mt. Calvary Word of Faith Church in Raleigh, NC never directly said Burrell’s name, nor condemned her recording industry colleague’s characterization of homosexuality as perversion and sin, Caesar did offer advice on how to discreetly address church matters not intended for the general public.

“If that’s something that you want to say in-house, you better have the ushers there to get their phones and other people’s phones, too. Get the ushers, the deacons, get all of their phones,” continued Caesar, who recently sparked the viral #UNameItChallenge online, which features people dancing to a remixed version of her 1988 hit, “Hold My Mule.”

Though Caesar initially harped on method over message, she did also offer some biblical perspective for the pastor of Love and Liberty Fellowship Church International in Houston, TX to consider.

 “The Bible says, ‘With loving kindness have I drawn you,’” said Caesar, quoting a portion of Jeremiah 31:3.

Burrell, who was roundly criticized and accused of using hate speech last week, warned gay church members serving in her local ministry that if they did not stop engaging in homosexual acts, in 2017, God’s judgment would bring death to them.

But Caesar, who will this year be a recipient of the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys, broached the subject a bit differently.

Instead of calling out others’ sin, she said, “I come tonight to tell you, all of us have made a whole lot of mistakes.”

After pointing out everyone’s fallibility, including her own, Caesar added, “If walls could talk, if hotel beds could talk”—a thought she didn’t quite finish, which got an uproarious response from the crowd.

Caesar’s point? Be loving in your delivery and remember that we all have sinned and fallen short in some area.

Before moving on with her musical set, the gospel music matriarch with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame said to Burrell, “So if you were going to say something, you should have said it four years ago when our President made that stuff alright.”

Caesar was referencing President Barack Obama’s 2012 revelation that he believed gay couples should be able to marry—a revelation that stunned America and offended many within the conservative faith community.

He has since that time been a very strong advocate for the LGBTQ community.

It is interesting to note, as a resident of North Carolina, Caesar currently lives in the state that has been in a back-and-forth fight with the federal government over non-compliance with a law that eliminated protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The state, which also bars transgender people from using bathrooms in public buildings that do not correspond with their birth gender, has lost millions in revenue.

Though Caesar, a traditional Pentecostal preacher no doubt believes homosexuality is a sin, she also says she recognizes the importance of using prudence before making certain utterances.

“I’m learning now to not speak too fast because once it’s out there, it’s gone,” she said.





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