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February 6, 2020

The NAR Charismatic Call to Turn Church into a Chaotic, Demonic Free-for-All

By Anthony Wade

A long biblical rebuke to the NAR call to scarp how the bible says church should be done...


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Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." -- Matthew 9:17 (NIV)

One of the goals of the NAR is to literally change the way the bible outlines church to be. They will say that people are bored of such church. They will say that people are clamoring for a new thing. Their thing. That they want power and majesty. They want some elusive sense of revival. That they want a free flow of the Holy Spirit. While this all sounds pious the truth is that they abhor church as usual because it still relies upon the bible as the final arbiter of truth. The NAR relies upon experiential Christianity which elevates our personal experience to an equal or surpassing level of scripture.

Do not be deceived! This is the end times plan for Satan. To grow the apostate church while compromising the true followers of Jesus Christ. It is this apostate church that relentlessly pursues this dominionist revival. It is this apostate church that is constantly attacking those who rely on scripture and insist on doing church as such. It is this apostate church that will lead the world into the end times one world religion. How else can people buy their latest books? With this as our backdrop, let us reason together once more through the above linked article from NAR preacher, John Burton, who will again make the argument that we need to stop doing church as usual and stop doing it now.

'"I just can't sit through one more church service!" This is the cry of our current remnant generation. Pastors, are you listening? My wife and I were so excited to reconnect with a couple of friends yesterday. This couple has been invested in the prophetic and in the local church as powerful regional leaders for years. We spent the evening talking about the state of the church, and how the new wine simply must come, yet the church is far from ready. One of them simply stated, "I just can't sit through one more church service!" Such a simple statement, yet it resonated powerfully in my spirit. I can't either. This afternoon I talked on the phone with another regional leader, a pastor who is more done with church as usual than any I've ever met. He's longing for God to identify like-minded pastors and leaders who are absolutely desperate for reformation and revolution in the church. He's crying out for revival and he is discovering it's challenging to find remnant leadership--fiery, broken and hungry pastors who no longer care about growing their church, adding programs, gaining notoriety, raising funds or seeking after "success." His passion is to connect with others who are done and undone and longing for a pure, holy move of God.' -- John Burton

Yeah that feeling you are having in church that makes you feel like you can't stand to sit through another service? That's called conviction. The church does not need reformation or revolution. It just needs the Gospel. Apostate pastors crying out for more apostasy is unimpressive. Make no mistake. What Burton is advocating for here is to have churches become like Bethel in Redding California. To have lunacy rule the house of God and call it a move of the spirit. While we are at it; stop with the new wine references! This comes from the teachings of Christ highlighted in the key verse above. This is about a contrast between salvation by grace, the new wine, and works, the old wine. You cannot mix the two! That is the point! It is a pretty important part of the Gospel and Burton and his Charismaniacal compatriots miss the point in pursuit of their butchering of what church services are supposed to be. They want people shouting in unintelligible gibberish. They want random people pretending they can prophesy. They want people rolling on the floor and barking like dogs. God does not want any of that but Burton is all in.

People Are Leaving The Church in Droves. Research by Ryan Burge, an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, reveals: In the early 1970s, about 38% of Americans attended church nearly every week or more. A third rarely or never attended church, while the rest attended once in a while. That all changed in the early 1990s, when the rarely/never attending category began a slow and unmistakable climb. Today nearly half of all Americans attend church once a year or less, and only about a quarter attend on a regular basis. A similar number attend once in a while. I believe the bottom line is that a growing number of people see little purpose for the church. To them, the value of participating is greatly diminished. Why even go? The last thing we need is a natural, logical solution to this problem. I believe it's critical that we function as the church, and gathering together as the ekklesia is commanded in Scripture. However, more programs, minor tweaks, practical adjustments or gimmicky ideas is not what is needed. And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24-25). We need a full deconstruction of today's model. Full-blown reform is required. Today's powerless, predictable, boring church service simply must go.

What exceptionally carnal thinking. People see little purpose for church so you think the solution is to provide them a purpose? How in the world is that remotely biblical? Now Burton is right that we do not need a logical solution but rather a supernatural one. The answer is not in misunderstanding what the word ekklesia means. The answer is always the preached Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is how we grow as Christians into the fullness of the measure of Christ. That is also how the unsaved are drawn by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is the only thing with the power of God unto the salvation of man. It will lead us into greater love and works as a result of being saved. Burton and the NAR always preach this backwards. There is no "spurring on" the unsaved to true biblical love and greater works. The things of God are still foolishness to them. It is staggering to see a supposed pastor quote the biblical truth about not forsaking the fellowship and in the same breath call for blowing it up. Is Burton suggesting that the way Paul outlined church in the New Testament was wrong? Is he suggesting that for millennia, everyone has done church wrong until John Burton came along? Or is he selling the typical NAR purpose driven nonsense that THIS generation cannot be reached merely with Christ's Gospel but that we must design a marketing plan around it? Whatever the rationale, Burton is simply wrong. If the Gospel is preached it can never be "boring" to the saved because it nourishes their soul and spirit. If the saved are listening to what sayeth the pastor regarding some carnal unmet needs that have nothing to do with the cross, well no wonder they are bored!

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.

The Prophetic Is Minimized. "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies" (1 Thess. 5:19-20). I personally believe that churches that don't embrace prophetic ministry are significantly out of line. Without an active, vibrant prophetic culture in the church, it will feel dead, be misguided and it will muzzle those who have a mandate to release critical revelation to the body. A prophetic culture will result in an electric, urgent and supernatural atmosphere that is fueled by a constant spirit of prayer. The body will watch the leadership function from their knees with a tremble in their spirit and will model that lifestyle. Prophetic unction will flow from all, and the release of revelation will powerfully mark the corporate gathering.

With a 65% accuracy rate you better be in constant prayer because misrepresenting God that badly is not a wise idea. Please realize that this is what passes for solid prophecy today. Burton will admit as much. That you can be wrong 35% of the time you claim to hear directly from God and still be considered a solid prophet. What rubbish. Prophetic unction does not and can not flow from all! Do these people even own a bible? The word expressly says that not all prophesy! You cannot teach the gifts of the spirit to people. Only the Holy Spirit decides who gets what gifts and when. Even the overall notion Burton espouses is simply absurd. So God gave us His revealed will in the bible -- divinely inspired. Somehow, this omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe forgot some critical revelation that He is now releasing only to Bob in the downtown Allentown Assemblies of God church this Sunday. No one else will hear this critical revelation mind you. This does supernaturally charge the atmosphere because of all the power you give to the demonic forces arrayed against the church.

Focus on Church Growth. The focus on church growth must cease. The remnant doesn't care about a larger building or a growing population. Of course, they are consumed with passion for souls, but this is the difference between today's typical church strategy and the one today's revival-minded people have adopted. Typical church leaders equate success with a larger crowd. They argue that more people in the church equals more souls in the kingdom. This is not usually the case. It's an immature and unrealistic strategy. The remnant church, however, values the presence of God over the presence of people. They would rather gather together with 20 or 30 firebrands who have been marked by the Spirit of God instead of 500 spiritually curious people. They want the Upper Room 120, not the thousands who were too busy to truly invest. The strategy is prayer-induced revival. When the small group of fully surrendered and sold-out remnant revivalists pray on fire together, they are building a foundation for the harvest. They aren't looking for an extra few hundred people in their meeting; they want the millions! In fact, growing with people who are not raging on fire for Jesus will only result in a watered-down experience where all sorts of compromises are made to ensure the moderates are satiated. Remnant Christians are done with such foolish distractions.

What arrogance. First of all, he is right that the focus on numerical growth needs to cease and stop being equated to success. No argument there. Instead however, the focus needs to be on the Gospel for the growth of the sheep and the salvation of the goats. That is not what Burton is advocating for however. He again falls back on this experiential model of church where he envisions people "harvesting" while on "fire." Let me translate. Burton does not want people reading their bibles. He would prefer that the people would run through fire tunnels until they are knocked down.

No Supernatural Activity. A church without signs, wonders and miracles, without dreams and visions, without the glory of God, is a church without a strategic, powerful and supernatural prayer culture. A prayerless church is no church at all and remnant believers refuse to waste their time with such a humanistic endeavor. I hear about people scrutinizing churches that are functioning in the supernatural. I have often suggested that churches that do not operate in the invisible realm where the wonders of God manifest should be questioned. Why is God not moving in your midst? As we cultivate a prayer-infused church where everybody prays with tongues of fire and prophesies and contends against the darkness, we'll have a church on fire that is driven by the winds of the Holy Spirit. People are so hungry for this, but it is exceptionally rare to find a church that flows this way.

Another hallmark of the apostate NAR church is false signs and lying wonders. Bethel boasts glory clouds and gold dust. Bill Johnson once claimed that angel feathers just started floating down around him at a local diner. We have heard about angels leaving gem stones and gold teeth fillings. These are not powerful churches beloved. They are demonic. The bible says that Satan and his emissaries disguise themselves as angels of light. This focus on the dark supernatural signs are what leads churches like Bethel to form dead raising teams and go grave sucking to absorb residual anointing from the tombs of dead heretics. Burton is not even hiding his desires here to see the church involved in some invisible realm. The true supernatural work of God is primarily found in salvation. That is what follows the preaching of the word. God also still heals people, another supernatural sign. These of course are too boring for John Burton. He insists on seeing tongues of fire! Realize please that the hunger of the apostate church is for more of themselves and these false supernatural signs are always all about us and not God.

Controlling and Restrictive Leadership. Pastors, we must raise up people to outshine us! Get out of the way and celebrate the callings and gifts in others. Allow God to move mightily through them and step aside when God is ready to use them. We need revival churches that are raising up sons and daughters and releasing them into the world. We need revival leaders who will drop the reigns and allow the messy, unpredictable and supernatural to happen. I've known pastors who are completely lost without a perfectly timed order of service. They need to step off the platform and hit the altar and let the Spirit of God rage.

With each passing word, Burton espouses a deeper dive into the demonic. The spirit of God is not messy, unpredictable and raging. In fact, the word says that we have been given a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Once again, the reason Burton has no respect for pastors is he thinks they should relinquish control of the church in favor of apostles and whaddya know? Burton is an apostle! I am all for the church using people and the gifts God has given them but there is an order to God's church. We did not decide this order -- God did. While I agree that perfectly timed services are not good that does not mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Charismatic chaos is not biblical and not of God.

No Legitimate Vision. Why are we even gathering together? What is the vision? What's the point? When many pastors are asked about their vision, they often share their ministry goals. The two couldn't be more different. You may have goals to add a certain number of people to the pews or to build a second campus, but that is not vision. Vision is a supernatural infusion of the impossible. It's the burning purpose of the ministry. It's the very reason the leader is gathering people together. True vision will grip the pastor night and day. It's costly. It's deeply personal yet the body is invited to participate. Revival-minded people want to run with a leader who has had their hip taken out by God, who has no other reason for living than to fulfill their mandate. The vision is alive, burning, raging, all-encompassing and humanly impossible to fulfill.

Uhmm, right, so what was the vision again? Burton's answer is more nebulous than the shared example of ministry goals. Burton just cobbled together some Charismatic power words in the hope that it would sound really spiritual but it just sounded as confusing and out of control as the services he wishes to create. True vision should grip a pastor night and day but true vision must always be the Gospel. God has the vision beloved -- not us. He has given us that vision in His word. There is no need to seek a word elsewhere. There is no need to create chaotic church services where we can hear from multiple people who think they hear from God. not when we can actually hear from Him through His word! This misguided vision nonsense comes from the purpose driven church teachings that convince pastors that they are a vision casting CEO instead of a shepherd called by God.

Misplaced Emphasis on Worship. In many churches that consider themselves to be supernaturally motivated, a spirit of prayer has been replaced by a strategy of worship. Emphasis has been placed on an excellent musical experience, believing that it's the highest form of supernatural expression and the quickest route to fulfilling the goal of introducing a spiritual element into the service. A 60-second prayer as the worship team members hold hands in a circle on the platform is usually followed by an hour or so of practice. I'll say this as clearly as I can: A spirit of true worship cannot come without a spirit of fervent prayer leading the way. Some of my favorite worship experiences have been in churches with a single, ragtag guitar playing leader, sometimes with other musicians and sometimes not, who just bleeds intercession. You can see it. You can feel it. They play spontaneously, in the Spirit, with no song list, no script, no karaoke sing-a-longs. Intermixed are songs in tongues, tears of passion, and powerful prayers and declarations. The people are undone, rocking, trembling and deeply hungry as the Holy Spirit whips through them like a mighty wind. Compare this with highly polished, well-orchestrated worship sets with surface-level, manufactured exuberance that any discerning remnant believer can pick up on with their eyes closed and their hands tied behind their backs. Again, no spirit of prayer, no spirit of worship. Period.

Ugh. You had me right up until you jumped off the Charismaniacal cliff again John. I agree the pursuit of musical perfection has often come at the price of spiritual integrity but John Burton's vision of what worship is sounds downright frightening. Worship is NOT prayer. It is NOT intercession. Prayer and intercession, as noble as they might be, are usually self-focused or focused on the needs of someone else. Worship is supposed to be about God. Declarations to God is not worshiping Him. Tongues have no place in worship. Speaking incoherently is not worshiping God. Even if you still think that babble is a prayer language, why are you singing your private prayer language to God in public without an interpreter? Once again, Burton's desire is the most chaotic experience he can orchestrate. No song list? Playing spontaneously in the spirit? I have seen this first hand as a traveling worship leader once was at a local church. She sang for 15 minutes straight one single line -- "If you want a hug from Jesus come into the river." People were "diving" in at the altar screaming they were wet but none of it was from God and none of it glorified Him and that is kinda the point about worship. The people being undone, rocking, and trembling is all about "feeling it" but it is not spiritual in the least. Droning out one chord while repeating nonsense about hugging Jesus in the river is not prophetic nor is it coherent. Burton tries again to sound super-spiritual but prayer and worship are two different things.

Unusual Church. Remnant Christians can't stand one more church-as-usual service. We are done! It's time for unusual church. It's an unscripted, spontaneous, risky, messy, open-ended, explosive and often-offensive environment where God blows in with might. My pastor friend's plea is real. He wants to connect with pastors and leaders who are yearning for an unusual church experience. I do too. My prophetic friends who last night cried out for anything but church as usual are not alone. There are many remnant Christians who are desperate for the new wine. I hear from people all over the world on a very regular basis asking me if I know where they might find such a church, an unusual church on fire. Sadly, I must confess, most of the time I do not. This must change. Come on, pastors: no more church as usual. For real this time.

At least he admits it is unusual. Now if he would only see it is demonic. Do these words represent a God of order? Messy, risky, unscripted, explosive, and offensive? That sounds much more like the devil. Even the referent to new wine in the closing only reminds us how unbiblical this all is. The key verses are comparing the old wine of the law to the new wine of grace and how you cannot mix them. A vitally important part of scripture that John Burton thinks means we can run church service like an out of control three-year-old and call it "new wine." It is very important that if you are a pastor who preaches the Gospel and relies on it alone, that you ignore these demonic calls for change. If you find yourself in a church that is espousing these teachings and you find church service is an out of control free-for all blamed on a move of the spirit I pray that you run out of there as fast as you can. If they try to stop you just tell them you are on fire. They seem to like that.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- February 6, 2020

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.