"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

I'm a Numbers Guy and 02.02.2022 Is My Number

Istoria's Ministry Headquarters, Enid, Oklahoma
Several weeks ago I announced my intention to retire as Lead Pastor of Emmanuel Enid on February 2, 2022 (next year).

I believe in God's sovereignty and providence so much that I intentionally use the phrase "intention to retire." The LORD could call me home in death before I reach the retirement date. Nuclear war with Korea, a pulse bomb from China, or a societal collapse in the United States may shut the doors of the 501(c)-3 called Emmanuel Enid before I retire in February 2022.

My wife will tell you, "Wade is absolutely the most positive person you will ever meet." In fact, I confess, I am "over-the-top" positive. I have very strong feelings about what is coming for our country (a collapse), but in my mind, it is the "best thing that could ever happen to the United States." 

There is something about national poverty, international wars, and societal desolation that drives people to trust God and not the government. A revival of faith in YHWH occurred in Assyria (Ninevah) during the 9th century B.C. through the collapse of Assyrian culture and the prophetic preaching of Jonah. A revival dawned on the people of Judah in 701 B.C. after the collapse of Judean wealth in the face of national calamity accompanied by the preaching of Isaiah. A revival enlivened God's people in Babylon when they found a renewed faith in YHWH while they served Nebuchadnezzar and the mighty Babylonians as their slaves for 70 years (586 B.C. - 516 B.C.). 

Bad things happen to good people in order that bad people might trust a good God and become His people.

Let's never waste our national sorrows. Bad things are coming for the United States of America, but I've never been more excited to be alive than I am right now in 2021.  I am stepping down next year from "pastoral ministry" in the institutional church so that I might concentrate on cultural and societal ministry in a collapsing nation. 

Wade and Rachelle Burleson
The people of Emmanuel Enid called me to be their "Lead Servant (Pastor)" on Sunday, 02.02.1992. They have elected a stellar Pastor Search Committee that intends to have a new Lead Pastor at Emmanuel Enid by 02.02.2022. Thirty years is a long time to serve a church, but any success we've had at Emmanuel Enid is due to the people of Emmanuel. Last Sunday's Enid News and Eagle article expressed well my feelings for the people of Emmanuel Enid. They are like family to Rachelle and me, and Emmanuel Enid will continue to be our church home. 

My ministry will continue beyond 2022. In 2012, Rachelle and I and a group of friends founded a non-profit called Istoria Ministries. Istoria is a Greek word that means "inquiry" and it is the root word from which we get our English word "history." I believe we must inquire into our historical and biblical past for potent answers to the problems we face today. Rachelle and I are spending the next several months working on the new website, the new building, and the new path the LORD has placed before us. 

After 02.02.2022, I will shift focus. My primary goal will be to write books and to produce weekly video/audio podcasts. Rachelle and I will also continue to periodically teach and upload to the Internet special series on marriage, family, and the Scriptures. My intention is to spotlight issues that are typically never addressed through an institutional church.  I will clearly and transparently address the cultural, moral, and social pitfalls we face as Christians in the United States of America. Of course, one might say that addressing those issues is "the role of the pastor," but in my experience, today's culture dismisses pastors as "irrelevant." 

The message of the church of Jesus Christ is foundational to our society, but our society has fundamentally turned away from the church of Jesus Christ.  Istoria will have a broader social media platform that will allow me to be "unchained" so to speak. That is probably an uncomfortable thought to some who already think I am "unchained." To be candid, I've held back. After 02.02.2022, there will be no "holding back." 

Rachelle and I have purchased a building on the historic U.S. Highway 81 that runs through the heart of Enid, Oklahoma. U.S. Highway 81 is the route of the First Secret Mission of the Civil War, and the old historic Chisholm Trail, which actually should be called Black Beaver's Trail. It is called Van Buren Street in Enid, in honor of United States President Martin Van Buren. The building's address is 801 S. Van Buren. Our friend Darrel Bundy has stepped up big time in coordinating all the remodeling. Brad Classen (KC Electric), David Lawrence and Jason Tyman (Dense Mechanical), Chad Forbeck (E-Towne Properties), Kenny Walker (friend and carpenter deluxe), Clint Watkins (Design), Kyle and Carol Williams (Istoria board members), and a host of other friends have been invaluable encouragement to Rachelle and me in helping us get this project underway.

This is a huge step of faith for Rachelle and me. We are going from "two salaries" to just one (Rachelle's). However, playing it safe solves nothing. We sense God's call and we have said "Yes!" to His purpose for our lives as we live out the last quarter of our lives on this earth. 

All the people of Emmanuel (and Enid) know of my decision, but this little post is to make readers of my blog aware of the changes that will be coming on 02.02.2022.

11 comments:

Debbie Kaufman said...

And I probably shouldn't post this publicly but here it goes. I am so sad you are leaving because I have never heard messages that you have preached since day one of our arrival at Emmanuel as it was your arrival too. You change my husband and my life with your messages, which as you know I would take and study with the Bible for weeks before believing and seeing for myself what you said was what I saw in scripture I just think there is no higher calling than ministry or missions. But you must follow what God has for you and I trust you in that. It wouldn't matter if I didn't. Just wanted the world to know that you are the only minister who taught us God's love for us, not how much do we love God.

You and Rachelle have been good friends as well. I will never be able to express my whole heart adequately, except to say, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wade Burleson said...

Debbie, that means the world to us. Thank you. We pray for you daily. Your husband, Merle, is with the LORD. We will join him soon.

Paul D said...

very exciting Wade. I left Enid just as you were arriving and I feel confident that I missed out on some good stuff under your leadership.

I commend you for the guts and conviction it takes to do what you're doing.

thanks
Paul

Dennis Nunn said...

Wade, your articles on Istoria Ministries blogs have encouraged, enlightened and challenged me. I share your opinion that collapse of the U.S. is just a matter of (short) time. I look forward to reading more from you. I will be praying more for you.

RB Kuter said...

I CAN'T WAIT!

I have really enjoyed all of your blog posts but there has obviously been a shift in your focus since you first let the cat out of the bag that you would be leaving the ministry role of pastor of the church. It has been great and my, how our nation, and the church, need to hear insights such as you have been providing.

I really am going to pray for you and wife, Rachel. As my Aussie friends say, "Good on ya'!" for being obedient.

I'm excited about our future as Jesus followers too and look forward to the amazing journey God has in store for us. Gonna' be amazing!

wayworn wanderer said...

April Fools?

Lissa Roberson said...

Wade, I can only imagine the collective gasp that came from Emmanuel Enid when you made your announcement. I know there will be grief and mourning over your departure from the pulpit. HOWEVER -- God has prepared a ministry that is absolutely critical in these times. Everything: Your pastorate at EE, your IMB trusteeship, and your local civic involvement, all serve to equip you for what is in store. I couldn't be more excited.

I'm floored at the Cultural Revolution that is taking place in the USA. I'm following it with great interest and concern, praying for discernment and understanding.

I want to share a link from World magazine that led me to a book I'm now reading, Live Not By Lies. The premise is that America will undergo a VOLUNTARY transformation into a soft totalitarian society. The transformation is well underway, seeing as we have ceded many personal liberties already as a result of pandem-management. "Cancel Culture Cave-in" is eerily reminiscent of forced confessions and self-denouncing that prevail in another totalitarian country... one that is eager to help speed America's demise.

https://world.wng.org/content/the_threat_of_therapeutic_culture

I will not end my post with a fearful tone. We have nothing to fear and everything to celebrate! God will awaken American Christians from a complacent slumber. We will learn to trust Him and not government. We will see Him work in ways that were not previously possible since we neither "required" nor asked for Him to.

Jesus is risen! Hallelujah! Have a blessed Easter.

Lissa

Ramesh said...

Thank you Wade for everything

Especially the preaching on Romans

Lot of the time we talk the church lingo but understand so little of anything

Thank you 🙌

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You told Debbie her husband is with the Lord. Praise God!

All translations of Luke 23:43 have the same in meaning as the NLT: “And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Those that believe no one goes to heaven until the Resurrection, put the comma in the wrong place: “I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

Christiane said...

Hello WADE,

I'm with the ones who are sad to see you leave the ministry of your Church, but for reasons known to yourself and for reasons known only to God, you have chosen this path for now. I 'see' you returning to the ministry in time, as I believe that this calling is now 'a part of who you are' in this world and is, by its very nature, something that is precious and irrevocable. Maybe that comes from my Catholic background or maybe from the words of sacred Scripture 'thou art a priest forever', but like it or not, your life by your servanthood to Christ has been holy to God, and something of that will not fade away and be lost to the world that needs His servants so desperately.

I'm grateful that you mentioned the passing of Debbie's husband, as I wanted to say to her that I am sorry to hear of her loss. I am praying for her in the way of my faith and I know that you have helped her, as you helped me with my loss last year. That kind of 'helping' is a blessing to people who grieve, WADE. I will not forget that help or fail to give thanks to God for it. Debbie is in good hands with you as her minister and friend. I wish for her to be comforted in the way that only Our Lord can provide, through His peace and strength, which remains through the grief that is holy to God.

The future? I do not think 'the culture wars' are productive, no. I look for the people of God to employ the 'fruit' of the Holy Spirit in their attempts to reach out to those who suffer and who are 'wandering without a shepherd'. WADE, you know about the 'fruit' of the Holy Spirit. You will not forget what you know. My prayer for you is what it has been: that God preserve you from all evil. For some reason, you have made your decisions and I respect your need to do this, but when you come to the crossroads, choose the direction that requires patience and kindness and humility before all else, and in that humility before the Lord, you will find protection from evil. You have my on-going prayers, and thank you for supporting Debbie and so many others who needed comforting. That gift of comforting is a part of 'who you are' and will remain.

God be with you, Wade Burleson.

I write this on Good Friday of 2021 before the beginning of my three hour vigil.

Bob Cleveland said...

I recall your moving that the SBC begin a database of those credibly accused of sexual "trespasses" in the SBC, and it was rejected. And I now look forward to your offering such things to the entire Ekklesia, without any limitation as to denomination or particular group of believers.

It will be interesting watching how God gives increase to that!!