So, What Is Church As Usual? When I talk about church in this article, I'm mostly talking about the gathering--the local, regularly scheduled church service that most usually takes place on Sunday mornings. Yes, I know the church isn't a building. That drum has been beat to death. The church must gather, and it's usually nice to do so indoors out of the heat or cold, rain or snow. Most anybody who has attended church in the last several decades has a good idea of what it looks like. Greeting, worship, announcements, sermon, prayer, dismissal. Repeat next week. In this context, there are key reasons why so many are leaving the church. It's true that a good number of those are leaving for selfish reasons. They are misguided or simply immature. They are pouting and leaving. There are also many remnant believers who, like my friend so clearly articulated, "can't sit through another church service!" They are yearning for more. They can't handle another perfectly crafted, wonderfully produced, humanly orchestrated mess with just a sprinkle of supernatural flavor for good measure. They are done. Specifically, I believe the remnant is fed up with a few things that should be fixed, like yesterday.
It is important to stop and consider what John Burton is actually saying here because it is a common refrain from the NAR that will only get louder as they try and take over church. Realize that one of the seven mountains of influence as part of their heretical seven mountains mandate is religion. He is saying that bible-based church has become boring. Crudgy old hymns that are scripturally sound and exalt Christ are so yesterday and outdated. Instead let's hear from new artists who sing about how much God wants to be our buddy or wait for the new Kanye song to drop. That's fun! No boring sermons should be in God's house according to Burton. Instead of sermons about how David is a type of Christ we now can be regaled with tales about how we are David, facing down our giants. This is only fitting since NAR teaching is largely centered on the sin of Lucifer, who tried to usurp the power of God. I want to be abundantly clear here. There are two factions in churches today. Those that are saved and those that think they are saved but do not know Christ. The reason why things seemed so much better decades ago is that most people in church were of the saved variety because preachers rarely compromised the Gospel and those that did were largely cultish and easy to avoid. Today, the vast majority of people in church every week are not saved because the Gospel is no longer preached. This is the end result of decades of purpose driven, seeker friendly theories of church growth. The true remnant are those who are saved and the true Gospel is never boring to them. When we actually hear a word from God, we are in our glory because we are being fed. So when John Burton speaks about churched people being sick of church services, he is speaking about the unsaved masses. When you trick them into going to church it becomes harder and harder to keep them. The act of salvation is the most supernaturally awesome move of God and it is relegated to the boring category for those that do not actually know God. Their sense of the "supernatural" is to be demonically entertained through gem stones, gold dust, angel feathers and glory clouds. The saved will not be satisfied until they hear about their God and the unsaved will not be satisfied until they are lying in a convulsed heap on the floor laughing uncontrollably about something they will never remember.
Boring Preaching. Pastors, we can learn what you are attempting to teach us from much more gifted preachers and through brilliantly written Bible resources online. I'm not trying to be cruel; I'm trying to make a very important point. People don't want your regurgitated Bible information forced on them over an agonizing 45 minutes. They want to smell the aroma of the Holy Spirit radiating from you! The real point isn't boring preaching; it's a lack of fire and revelation due to a nonexistent spirit of prayer. When pastors spend most of their time on their knees right in the middle of the furnace of intercession night and day, the flames of anointing and revelation will rage out of them when they stand behind the pulpit. Weeping, groans of intercession, cries of repentance, an uncontrollable tremble and the brooding of the Holy Spirit will mark messages birthed in the prayer room.
That smell you are chasing John is Sulphur and it is not the Holy Spirit. People do not want your regurgitated Bible information? Are you sure you are a pastor? So because one can Google anything these days the role of the pastor must change? I must have missed that verse. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control yet you think He will mark His services with uncontrolled trembling? Once again, realize what Burton is advocating for here. True biblical messages must be replaced with these vague notions of anointing and revelation. Those of us who are saved do not want to hear what the pastor swears was revealed to him -- they want to hear what God is revealing through His word! Weeping, groans, cries, uncontrolled trembling, and brooding are not marks of the Holy Spirit. It sounds more like the Kundalini spirit that infected Brownsville or whatever demon infected Toronto. For the sake of time, I will skip his next point about not having a fear of man because I agree. He seems to hint at dominionist preaching to individual cherry-picked sins, which would obviously be wrong. The Gospel message is inherently one of repentance. Just stick to that and you do not need to stretch out your accusatory finger at the world. He continues:
Tired Order of Service. Disenchanted remnant Christians are longing for church services that start with choruses of intercession, are filled with prophetic utterances and eventually end with decrees and declarations! Eliminate the time for handshakes and Christian side-hugs, the painfully irritating announcements that interrupt the flow of the Holy Spirit, the unnecessarily invasive offering sermonettes and the perfect timing that ensures everything fits within a two-hour window. Pastors, let go of the structure! Open the mic for people to pray with passion! Cancel your lunch reservations! Fill the service with fiery intercession, prophetic decrees and exhortation of powerful truths of Scripture as the Holy Spirit ebbs and flows in perfect violation of human order.
As this mosaic is becoming clearer we must remember that the remnant John Burton is speaking of is the remnant of the apostate church, not true believers. We are assured of this because a true believer does not seek prophetic utterances when they have the word of God at their fingertips. A true believer knows that we do not have the power of God to declare and decree anything. We can hide His word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him but we are not God! I am all for letting go of structure that could hinder the move of the spirit but Burton is railing against far too much. Read Acts 2 and see that the church was meant to be a fellowship of believers. The vast majority of church time is serious time dealing with what God has to say but there is nothing wrong with shaking hands. This is just Burton and the NAR trying to sound more spiritual and pious than they actually are. The advocacy of opening the mic for anyone to pray, intercede, prophesy, or exhort is a dead giveaway of the NAR experiential apostate church. This is a practice that is famous at Bethel and it is a spiritual disaster. Read the New Testament! There is a reason God is a God of order! The order is determined by God, in His word. Not everyone can intercede. Not everyone can prophesy. There is a reason why a pastor is called to lead. The chaos John Burton is advocating for may become the norm in the apostate church but it will never be from the Lord.
No Revival Emphasis. If there's one thing I can discern it's the spirit of revival. I've heard pastors talk about revival, but it's rare to find one who truly gets it. You'll know they don't get it when their revival talk centers on the hopes for their own church to grow instead of contending for a regional outpouring that has little to do with their local church. I believe we need to see prayer and revival centers launch in cities all over the world. These are prophetic centers of intercession that burn continually for a move of God. They couldn't care less if the outpouring is centered on their own ministry or not. Their prophetic and apostolic assignment is much greater than that. Churches and ministries that will draw the disenfranchised remnant are those that are fully devoted to partnering with the Holy Spirit in the region. They have no desire to find a nice local community where they can connect with new friends as they hold hands and sing some songs as they "do life" together. Nope. These are warriors. They aren't in it for the benefits. They are in it to the death, and they are ready to lay it all down for the sake of revival.
This talk about revival and apostolic assignment is straight up NAR gobbledygook. It is demonic beloved. It is based on a false authority paradigm where the new apostles, and John Burton fancies himself one, will take over the church from the pastors. No joke. This much has been already written. Everyone will bow down to the local apostle within their revival center. What absolutely unbiblical nonsense. They view themselves as God which is why they think the Holy Spirit is their partner. The spirit is God and He is my Lord. Get it straight. Look how they mock true church service as God has outlined in His word! Remember they are fighting against true biblical church service that relies solely upon the word of God. They want to replace that with the Charismaniacal chaos we see throughout the apostate church today.