And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, - Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)
John Burton has been a pastor for the past 22 years. He has watched the infiltration of the purpose driven church heresies and the seeker friendly schemes of church growth warp the body of Christ. He has also watched as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) has spread like a cancer throughout the body. He has done more than watch. He has welcomed, participated and benefitted from these changes. Somewhere in the middle there he anointed himself a "Prophetic Apostle" and started to write about further changes he intends to inflict upon the apostate church he has helped create. The above link is to a recent article where he reveals the next plans for the NAR. This is part two of the review of these plans, which Burton will be releasing in an upcoming book, "The coming shift in the church away from senior pastoral leadership: The Coming Church."
The first half dealt with the common foundational lies of the NAR. They believe that the church should be focused on some kind of culture war and be outward focused. They believe sheep should feed themselves and fend for themselves. Basically, they believe the opposite of how God intended His church to operate. The focus of this book however is to set up the false authority paradigm that the NAR was built upon. In Burton's hellscape vision, he sees churches not run by pastors but rather by apostles, because apostles were listed first in the key verse, I kid you not. The problem with that is the apostles are all self-declared. Yet this is what Burton and the NAR have been pushing all along. To end the church as Christ intended. I am not saying they are aware of this consciously but the end result is a church without shepherds, where the sheep are deployed as seasoned theologians into situations they cannot handle and are not called for, all to advance the growth goals of the purpose driven and seeker friendly models. This will lead to millions of false converts and millions of believers falling away. We pick it up here in Part Two with Burton citing what he views as support for the notion of apostles coming first. Let us reason once more.
"Apostles and Prophets are Coming. Prophets announce, among other things, the coming governmental order and apostles bring the order.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 (ESV) 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
These offices are listed in order of importance and function in the church.
Life Application Commentary: Paul specifically ranked them as first, second, and third to show their prime importance above all the other gifts.