Street preacher rebukes Kirk Franklin for failing to represent Christ at BET Awards; celebrities push back

Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is confronted by a street preacher in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 15, 2019 (inset). Franklin is seen in his June 23, 2019, BET Awards performance.
Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is confronted by a street preacher in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 15, 2019 (inset). Franklin is seen in his June 23, 2019, BET Awards performance. | Screenshot: Instagram; YouTube

A number of celebrity preachers and singers are coming to the defense of gospel music star Kirk Franklin after he was publicly rebuked by a street preacher for allegedly failing to present the message of the Gospel during a 3.5-minute performance at the recent BET Awards show.

Franklin shared an approximately 4-minute long clip of the rebuke on Instagram late Monday where the unidentified preacher in Jacksonville, Florida, told him, “You’ve got a lot of blood on your hands, sir!” for using his performance time to sing what he called lullabies to the world instead of pointing them to repentance.

“You didn’t stand up at the BET Awards and say ‘hey guys, Jesus is coming back soon and the Bible says in the book of Revelation that the blood will be up to the horse’s bridle because of the blood of the sinners and no one’s warning people. The Bible says your prophets were false because they did not warn you of the sin that leads you to calamity,” the preacher said through a bullhorn.

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Franklin asked, “You didn’t believe that I said Jesus is Lord at the BET awards?”

In his performance of his song called “Love Theory” with singers Erica Campbell, Kelly Price and Jonathan McReynolds, Franklin shared a brief message about his faith when he declared “brothers and sisters, if you believe that Jesus is the light of the world, get up on your feet right now.”

The street preacher argued that he believes Franklin was just playing lip-service to the Gospel.

“That’s not enough sir. The Bible says, ‘If I say to the wicked, you shall surely die and you don’t warn them, their blood is on your hands.' You got a lot of people at the BET Awards, you’ve got a lot of blood on your hands, sir! You’ve got a lot of blood on your hands. That’s what I’m here to tell you,” he continued.

While many apparent Christians celebrated Franklin’s performance at the awards show on social media, some persons argued that Franklin’s performance along with the other singers who are all judges on the inspirational singing competition “Sunday Best,” was a promotion for the competition which premiered on BET on June 30.

During the encounter, Franklin questioned whether the street preacher felt it was the right way to engage someone he felt wasn’t representing the Gospel and the preacher suggested the artist has been listening to the wrong preachers.

“The preachers are drunk with the wine of Babylon. Haven’t you read through the book of revelations? Drunk with the wine,” preacher argued.

“So you’re saying every preacher that I talk to is drunk with wine?” Franklin asked.

“Well if the preachers that you talk to were not drunk with wine you know what they would tell you? When you go to the BET Awards, rebuke, reprove and correct. All Scripture is useful,” he said.

Franklin argued that he only had “three minutes” but the preacher insisted he would have done a lot more with the Gospel in that time.

“If I had three minutes in front of the world, I would tell them that wrath is coming and they better repent. That’s what I would tell them. ‘Cause what you said is ‘keep on singing the lullaby everybody. See you later. Go to Hell. That’s what it was,” he said of the singer’s performance.

“Maybe you didn’t watch the same show,” Franklin pushed back.

“No, no, I watched it. I don’t want to love nobody but you with your nice little Michael Jackson moves. Sir, sir, you need to repent. Those moves will send people to Hell, sir,” the preacher continued.

“My dances moves will send people to Hell?” Franklin asked.

“Not your dance moves but because you’re not doing the right thing with your lips. You honor God with your lips but your heart is far from Him, sir. If you love Jesus you would hate what is evil,” the preacher said, quoting more Scripture.

Franklin then offered to sit down with the preacher and “break bread.”

He agreed to talk further with Franklin but said he would not “break bread” with the singer until he repented.

“Let’s open up the word of God together. And let’s break the Word, like iron sharpens iron. Let’s open up the text,” Franklin said, offering a handshake to seal the agreement.

The preacher agreed to Franklin’s offer but refused to shake his hand, quoting 2 John, insisting that they did not “preach the same Gospel.”

“What you did at the BET Awards was nothing but a sham. I’ll talk with you but I can’t agree with you, sir. When I agree with you I’m saying you are in Christ and I don’t believe that’s the truth. The Bible says don’t even wish them Godspeed. I’m just obeying Scripture, sir. I’m not trying to be disrespectful,” the preacher said.

Relentless Church Pastor John Gray criticized the preacher’s approach as not Christ-like.

“The law. Shame. Judgement. Preachers who attack believers before conversing with them. They all are calling cards of religious system designed to shame a person into submission to other people’s version of god. The Living God manifested Himself through Christ Jesus who dealt with His disciples who wanted to judge and kill,” Gray wrote on the Instagram below Franklin’s post.

“Luke 9:51-56 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village,” Gray continued.

“This is what Jesus thinks about people. You PREACH the gospel and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. But condemnation isn’t from the Holy Spirit nor public ridicule of fellow believers. Also read Matthew 18:15-17.  If the man was truly offended he should have taken the biblical route to address it. Not a megaphone. Some people pick and choose which scriptures to ‘utilize’ depending on their manipulating outcome,” he added. “Keep going Kirk. I’ve never met a man more talented who fights to honor God, his wife and his children-not to mention his calling. And when I was at my lowest you FOUGHT FOR ME. That’s why I after 25 years of brotherhood I’ll never let anyone talk about you.”

Hart Ramsey, senior pastor and founder of Northview Christian Church in Alabama, suggested that he would have “cussed” at the preacher for his rebuke.

“Dude, you're good. I think I woulda cussed him. HIS HYPOCRISY STINKETH!!!! He's stuck in Moses and the Prophets & has NEVER heard of or met JESUS! The LORD sent us to preach reconciliation. He should be preaching mercy but he's consumed with judgment. #Pharisee,” Ramsey wrote.

While several other celebrities such as Priscilla Shirer also showed support for Franklin, many members of the public suggested that it was singer H.E.R and YBN Cordae's poignant performance of “Lord Is Coming” that was the most spiritually awakening moment of the 2019 BET Awards show which was delivered in about six minutes.

H.E.R sang in part:

But do we ever think, of the need for inner peace?
They can't put a price on your soul, don't matter your religion
Right and wrong is something everybody knows
They pick and choose what's equal
Who's good and who's evil
And this is the devil's world but the Lord is coming for his people

We're like Daniel in the den
Surrounded by these hungry lions
Lookin' in the jaws of death
We reach for saving hands
No help will come from men
The Lord is coming

Well, the Red Sea's closing in
There's no safety in almighty horses
Can you feel the drivin' wind?
Behold the crashing waves
The Savior's on it's way
The Lord is coming

The public praised H.E.R. for the song.

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