John Burton, a Missouri-based “prophetic messenger and revivalist” formerly associated with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, is telling conservative Christians that they should be ashamed of responding to the coronavirus in fear.
Charisma posted a column Wednesday morning by Burton, “Why Aren’t Christians Willing to Shame Satan’s End-Times Assaults?” originally published at The Stream a week earlier under the headline, “Christians are Being Embarrassed by Coronavirus.”
“We have authority over all the power of the enemy,” said Burton, who called the social-distancing strategy urged by public health officials “embarrassing” to Christians:
People are refusing to travel, canceling vacations, rejecting invitations to public gatherings, hiding away at home and waiting for the world to end. Yes, this is absolutely embarrassing and is no way to represent our mighty healer!
We need an awakening of bold faith. It’s time for God’s people to rise up in the face of the enemy, with fire in our eyes, and cast him out. We fear none other than God, and we will, as a unified army, assault the darkness and laugh at the threats. You are in this army, mighty warrior. Take your stand and let the world see you are fearless, relentless and full of the fire of the Holy Spirit!
Burton said American Christians should be ashamed of showing more intense interest in the virus than in the fact that so many of their compatriots are bound for Hell. “This fear that’s causing supposed blood-bought followers of the most powerful being in existence to absolutely freak out over a minuscule chance that they might be touched by a flu-like illness is ridiculous when compared to their concerns about eternity,” he wrote, saying that Americans have a far greater chance of going to Hell than of dying from the coronavirus.
“Those who don’t know Jesus, who have rejected His leadership and lordship, are in grave danger,” Burton wrote. “We shouldn’t be surprised when trouble comes, and though we have an advocate, those who have said no to God do not.”
“We must intercede for them; we must war on their behalf,” he wrote. “Messages of awakening should be sounded night and day. They are not in a safe place.”
Like other religious-right leaders, Burton hopes that the virus will turn out to be an evangelistic opportunity. He prayed that the crisis will be just what “the lost” need “to turn to Jesus in full force.”
Burton is a frequent contributor to Charisma. In 2014, seven months before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, Burton wrote that God had “suddenly and powerfully revealed a clear, easy-to-understand strategy that will, without question, stop the fast-moving gay agenda in its tracks.”