I made this logo in illustrator (pictured above) and cannot for the life of me figure out how subtract the lines from the black text so that I can place it onto different backgrounds without having the lines show up. I attempted to use pathfinder to do this but, it doesnt work. I believe this has something to do with the fact that they are just lines with a stroke on them. Can anyone please help me??
You most likely need to expand the strokes, then the various pathfinder tools the get exactly what you need. From your question you seem to be familiar with the pathfinder options so:
Select the stroke lines you need to change. Then under the effect menu, go to path then outline stroke. From there you can use expand appearance, making them fill and not stroke.
After that the pathfinder tool will work as it should.
If not select all and try expand or expand appearance on the whole thing.
Lastly you may have a layer issue. So open the layer window and play with that.