Yeah how can people just go every Sunday and preach the Gospel? How horrible! Realize that is what Burton is complaining about here. That he does not believe the pulpit is designed for the preaching of the Word! He thinks it should be like a bully pulpit from which to speak the carnal politics of man. He is sorely mistaken and egregiously wrong. John Burton needs to repent of his false theology of dominionism and get back to the eternal matters of the kingdom. Listen, I am with him if all a church is focused on is growth through the purpose driven growth models. He acts however as if there are only two choices -- the NAR and Rick Warren but the bible says they are both heresy! All you need to see to realize how whackadoodle his theology is we see in the notion that pastors must have a prophetic voice or they do not have a ministry. This is supported by ZERO scriptures and in fact that bible teaches these are separate gifts. Can someone in a pastoral ministry also have a gift of prophecy? Of course but the notion that they must is absurdly unbiblical and pure NAR code-speak. Now for the seven reasons he thinks pastors stay silent in our wicked culture. I am going to summarize some because there is much overlap:
"1. Fear of man."
It's embarrassing that there is so much fear of man, that pastors today are working overtime to keep the peace instead of calling people into a place of urgent response to a threatening, deadly spirit of the age. The sword will divide, and those who are bound by fear of man will keep that sword in their sheath, if they possess one at all.
"2. Fear of loss."
Today we have pastors who are wordsmiths instead of prophets, people who are experts at framing their words in such a way that no possibility of offense or disagreement is there. They are keenly focused on being balanced, avoiding controversy and developing a happy, encouraging atmosphere in the church that helps ensure there is no loss. People remain in their seats, money keeps coming in and everybody is happy.
"3. They have no prayer life/prophetic unction." -- John Burton
Sigh. The sword divides because the Gospel message is divisive. Many do not want to hear they are a sinner in need of a Savior. Many would prefer to continue being their own god. That is why the sword divides. Not this mumbo jumbo political nonsense. Now I agree that many would prefer to tow the politically correct line and not offend anyone in their church by taking political sides but those are apostate churches to begin with who will not bring the Gospel for the exact same reason. Fear of man or loss are essentially the same fear and while I agree they do not belong in the pulpit the answer is not to turn it over to the ways of the world. The third reason is just arrogant. To assume that people who disagree with you must somehow not pray as much as you is staggeringly prideful.
"4. They misunderstand the governmental purpose of the church. "Ekklesia: A governmental gathering under apostolic leadership." I have long been frustrated at the misunderstanding of the purpose of the church that is epidemic today. The key, foundational purpose of the church is to be a house of prayer for all nations. Further, the ekklesia is a governmental gathering. Under apostolic leadership, the church is called to be a governing force in a city. Sadly, many pastors and people presume the church to be little else than a place to meet together, to sing and learn and to involve themselves in various ministries, programs and projects. Of course, there are many supplemental ministries and projects that are absolutely appropriate and valuable, but they can never supersede the primary call--to pray and govern. Pastors should absolutely be responding to the crisis in the land, as they are the ones who have been commissioned to do so! They have been authorized, ordained, anointed and given a mandate to invade the darkness and command in the Spirit!" -- John Burton