The church is not a house of teaching or a house of evangelism or a house of friendships. The very purpose of the church is prayer! It is a house of prayer for all nations! If someone in the church is resistant to the call to pray corporately, they can't consider themselves to be a functional part of the church. This is a huge problem! In today's church very few live a lifestyle of prayer. In fact, most pastors don't either! Leonard Ravenhill said: Pastors who don't pray two hours a day aren't worth a dime a dozen!" -- John Burton
Burton is correct that we should be a praying church although Acts and the Pauline letters reveal that it should certainly be a house of biblical teaching. He is also correct to say that most churches today are simply not. Even "Prayer Meetings" are often just mini-versions of the Sunday service. The comical thing here is that Burton fails to see where he is responsible. He supports and embodies the three movements that have led the church to become apostate to being with! The purpose driven church has turned prayer into a mockery where we petition the Lord for everything we think we deserve without appreciating anything He has done. The seeker friendly church growth schemes stay away from prayer so as to not over-spiritualize the service and scare away the goats we are trying to recruit. The NAR has embraced word faith and other heresies that reduce prayer to an exercise in usurping the power of God.
"Mark 11:15-18 (ESV) 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
We are in a Mark 11:15-18 season in our nation. In that situation, the people were using the church for personal gain. They had expectations of personal benefit. They entered the church with the expectation of leeching off of it, of using it, and leaving with more than they entered with. This is a defilement of the church! The call is to go into the church with the expectation of leaving with less than we enter with! We bring an offering, a sacrifice! We minister to God! This is critical! Pastor led churches more easily seek to give people what they expect out of the church. Now, please understand me. Pastors are God ordained! But, when they function outside of their appropriate governmental position, it brings disorder. The same would be true of any of the offices. You probably don't want a prophet trying to nurture people! Thank God for pastors!" -- John Burton
What absolute garbage. Do you see what he is selling here? That pastors who run their own churches are functioning outside of their governmental positions. Mind you he pointed to no scriptures to support this notion as he has just made it up. He is right that the church mentality these days is what can the church do for me or give me but he again cannot see where he is to blame! This blessing mentality is at the heart of the perfect heretical storm we have been talking about. That aside, he also goes far off the rails here in insisting that expecting God to show up at church is somehow a defilement. Yes we worship God but we do not minister to Him. He ministers to us. I agree we should not operate within this blessing mentality the apostate church sells but Burton's notion seems to be an overcorrection.
"The House of Prayer
In the coming church, everybody will pray as their primary ministry! Yes, everybody! This means a great offense is coming as suddenly those focused on their own expectations and who are resistant to the call to prayer will have nowhere to go! The governmental order in the church will require a mass exodus of uncommitted, unwilling hearts as intercession takes first place again. This type of dramatic shift requires the skills of an apostle to pull off." -- John Burton
The skills of an apostle, really? So it takes an apostle to ensure a mass exodus of sheep from the church. Even if they are deemed wrong somehow they are only reflecting what they were taught. Burton seems positively giddy about getting rid of so many sheep. That is the training of the purpose driven church that embraces blessed subtraction. I am also leery of the zeal here as it seems misguided. I agree that prayer needs to be more focused and a spiritual discipline that should be taught but Burton sounds like he wants every church to mimic the IHOP model, which we was extremely unbiblical. The bible says to not pray in demonstrative ways. Because IHOP got so enraptured by 24-7 prayer they delved into eastern mysticism and soaking nonsense. With the NAR mindset guiding Burton, I would stay clear of this notion he has here.