"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. -- Matthew 6:5-6 (ESV)
The staunch NAR dominionists want to destroy church as we know it. Some of the cause seems noble enough resulting in the apostate church taking hold of mainstream America. The problem is replacing one apostate system with a different apostate system is no solution. Only a return to the true Gospel will do. Today's deep theology is any heresy is heretical. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. The enemy of my God and His Gospel is always my enemy. The NAR dominionist sees a church that is wildly out of control with charismania, abusing the gifts of the spirit, a false prophetic paradigm and a move away from pastoral leadership into the C. Peter Wagner vision of false apostles running the church. One of the staunchest of the staunch dominionists is John Burton who fancies himself a prophetic messenger and revivalist, revealing how neck deep he is in this heresy. The above link is to his latest piece, where he shows no shame in trying to capitalize on the COVID confusion to push his NAR agenda. Let us reason once more together:
"This should be the shock to the system pastors need, or the next pandemic just may take the church out. You'd expect the church to respond very differently than the world in the midst of crisis. Sadly, this hasn't always been the case. Social media is filled with freaked-out Christians who are absolutely terrified, spending their energies seeking out natural solutions to a supernatural situation. The fact that they can't disinfect their hands has sent many into a frenzy. Something is terribly wrong, and church as usual is no longer an option. If ignoring, minimizing or seeking a natural solution to a demonic threat brings relief, don't presume you have won the battle. The entity is merely resting alongside you, thankful his foe has refused to fight. The response is a glaring indictment on the church, and without question, the church must not ever be allowed to go on as usual. This pandemic may be the catalyst to reformation for which the remnant has been crying out." -- John Burton
This is a dangerous and stupid position. Faith is not the absence of reason. It is amazing that people who are quick to cite Romans for obedience to authority so quickly abandon it when it suits their ungodly agendas. If you want to see what Burton is speaking of take a look at Rodney Howard-Browne's Central Florida mega-church who thumbed their nose at science and continued to meet this past week. Browne, the man who preaches drunk in the spirit theology and refers to himself as a holy ghost bartender, claims that he cured Florida of the Zika virus and will do the same with coronavirus. In other words, not only is he a rank heretic but he is a demented one as well. I agree that the church should respond differently and I am even willing to say they should pray for the sick but to do so with blatant disregard for what science says about the virus is as moronically stupid as the churches that handle snakes because of Mark 16. Burton's call for "we must never allow church to go on as usual" is the exact same call he has made in multiple articles prior to COVID, which means he is merely using a worldwide pandemic that will potentially kill millions of people for his own twisted ends. Truly depraved.
"The Church Isn't Ready. "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7). In an age when so many believers are merely concerned with their personal eternal security, and so many others are sitting back waiting to be raptured before the trouble comes, it's clear that the church is far from ready for the end-time waves of crisis that are crashing down. Global traumas like the coronavirus very well may play a part in determining the wheat and the tares. Who will rise up in great, unmovable faith, and who will shrink back in fear? Those who know God will respond very differently than those who are mere pretenders. "The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits" (Dan. 11:32b, NKJV). So the question for pastors and every believer in the midst of trial is, how can we prepare? Yes, there are natural precautions we should take. There are spiritual reactions that are necessary too. Many are suggesting adopting house church/small group models. That very well may come into play, but that's a functional shift. There are spiritual shifts that are much more important. Here are ten ways every church must respond." -- John Burton
I agree the church is not ready but Burton cannot see that he is a major reason why it remains unready. Gospels contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ make it unready. Preaching a NAR false signs and lying wonders dominionism make it unready. Burton is so singularly focused on the heresy he has bought into that he cannot even properly exegete the word. The wheat and the tares is a parable of Jesus explaining that there will be unbelievers in the church along with true believers and while we must point out false teaching to hope that some may see the light and be saved, we are not to judge the salvation of anyone. These false converts will be determined by the reaping angels who are instructed to take out the tares first and burn them. Cross reference this with Matthew 7:21-23. These people who clearly are churched are the tares the parable speaks of. God does not need the coronavirus to know who the tares are. To Burton, the tares are those who will not follow his theology. Let's examine the first five of the ten things he believes churches "must respond." He is saving the second five for another article.