This article has been revised and republished.
This is an article from my favorite guest author. I know this article is going to offend some people who read it, it may even make them mad. Our intention in writing these articles is never to intentionally offend or anger anyone. We are simply trying to share our experiences and sound the alarm to others that may not be aware of doctrines, teachings and philosophies that are not biblical. We believe in Sola Scriptura, scripture alone, that means that the canon of scripture is closed, it is complete and finished. Keep in mind there are a lot of pastor’s that would have a lot to loose if their congregations were told the truth about what my guest author reveals in this article. If you aren’t pledging your allegiance to these pastors then chances are you aren’t pouring your hard earned money into their buckets for all sorts of big ticket items to keep their church palace entertaining. We have nothing to loose by posting the truth but your pastor has plenty to loose, keep that in mind. And for goodness sake don’t drink the Kool-Aid these guys are serving!
By: Clint Baker
Recently I have been revisiting some of the things I learned during my time in a charismatic church that I believe God has opened my eyes to the truth behind them. (First let me state I am by no means saying “that we are not to submit to our authorities”, we should, but I am saying we are to make sure that what we are being taught or asked to do lines up with God’s Word.) This particular teaching that I am writing about today has the potential to be a hindrance to our walk with God. Just looking at the surface of this teaching it seems okay, that is until you look at the underlying details of what it really means. I grew up in a very small church where the sermons and teachings were straight out of God’s Holy Word. I had never heard of this question, “Who is your covering? Or this expression, “your pastor is you’re covering!” I started to hear this phrase a few years ago in a church that my wife and I attended. I just wrote it off as something that wasn’t taught in my little country church or maybe I just hadn’t come across this in the bible yet. It didn’t even cross my mind to do what God’s word tells us to do, and that is “test every kind of spirit to make sure if it comes from God” 1 John 4:1. I didn’t do this because at the same time I was being taught that to test or question the man of God’s teaching fell under “touch not God’s anointed”, which is another unbiblical philosophy that maybe we can contend with at a later time. Both of these come from “The Shepherding Movement, which came about in the early 1970s in an effort to solve the deficiencies of the Christian church, such as disciplining, how to grow in faith, how to pray, and how to live a lifestyle that would be acceptable to God.
Great, right? I would like to think so, but the pastor’s that use these ideas are attempting to take on the role of Jesus Christ , who’s supposed to fulfill that role for us, the pastor would take on the role of the one left behind to teach us “The Holy Spirit”, he would now become the “covering”. This is slowly introduced to the congregation, almost in a cunning way. The pastor “shepherd” would become the spiritual leader of the entire congregation, the counselor, even making decisions for them, if the pastor made wrong decisions or fell into sin the congregant would not be accountable because he or she was being obedient to God in submitting to the authority of his pastor. The congregant would not even be required to leave the pastor’s ministry if the pastor fell into error or sin. It is taught that the shepherd “pastor” is the one who is “appointed and anointed” by God as the authority and since he is the authority, his teachings or counsel are to be followed at all times. People are taught, this by the twisting of God’s scripture, that the pastor is “God’s anointed” and we are not to question his sermons or the decision’s that are being made. Some pastor’s with this concept will teach to trust the shepherd and his so called direct revelation from God rather than the doctrines of the bible, the whole council of God’s word. These pastors clearly don’t adhere to Sola Scriptura, Scripture alone! Remember to test everything!
In New Wine magazine the following statement is made: “Also, as Christians, we do not obey those in authority because they are right; we obey them because they are in authority, and all authority ultimately stems from God Himself.” This was a quote by Derek Prince, “Discipleship, Shepherding & Authority.” WOW! According to this a Christian could unknowingly sin but because they are covered by their pastor and submitted to him they won’t be held accountable for it because of their obedience to their pastor. I don’t know about you, but I want to be “covered and protected” by the blood of Jesus and follow His commands, not a man that could fall into sin or be deceived by the devil. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” That my friends, is what I fear, don’t let this happen, don’t let yourself be destroyed for the lack of Godly, biblical knowledge!
In the churches where these pastor’s use techniques like this, to control their congregation, you will hear statements like “I have been called to this man of God”, or “This pastor was given a special anointing so we must submit to his authority and not question him”, or “The leader of this ministry is who you are to submit to.” What about submitting to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? God tells us not to put our faith or trust in any man but only in Him. After realizing there are pastor’s that use methods such as these to manipulate those in the congregation to follow everything they teach, I realize why God commanded us to only trust in Him, to only submit to His covering and protection. Now, if a pastor is fulfilling his biblical role, he will 1) be a true servant to the congregation 2) teach God’s word in its correct meaning and be humble in response to correction 3) lead in a way that would be pleasing to God 4) Warn and protect his (flock) congregation against false teachings, false movements, false teachers that are used to draw people away from the truth of God’s Word. These are examples of a pastor that we are supposed to sit under the knowledge of, but still allow the Holy Spirit to teach us.
The Hebrew words for covering are: sakak: “to cover or hedge in, defend, join together”, kasha: “to cover for clothing or secrecy, conceal” and kaphar: “to make atonement, to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, wipe it out, annul it, and make it non- existent.” This word in the Old Testament is used with blood covering. All definition’s from the Strong’s Concordance.
So with the definitions in front of us, how can a pastor allow this unbiblical philosophy to be in his church? Which one of these definitions after looking at them gives a pastor or his congregants the right to say that the shepherd (pastor) “Is their covering or protection”? I have even heard the statement made, “You may not get every blessing God has in store for you if you are under the wrong covering or man of God”. If we are saved and under the protection and grace of our Lord Jesus, would this not just be another scare tactic to keep us under a particular pastor or teaching? Sounds a little cultish if you ask me!
In the Book “Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under Authority”, John Bevere teaches that “one should submit to authority of all kinds and that by doing so one is protected by God, even if or when the authority has made a mistake.” This is not Biblical, this can actually lead to physical, leader, spiritual or marriage abuse and the person being abused or deceived will believe they are the ones in error! There are many good points in this book, but this is one of the books used now by these pastors that are using this teaching in the church to help with this control issue they have. This philosophy is dangerous, and misleading.
So with all of this in mind “Who is your Covering?” Is it a shepherd that is using the word “covering” to manipulate you into submitting to his authority, or is it the One and only person who has already paid the ultimate price for you and has covered your sins and sealed you to protect you from the enemy? Christians do need a pastor to help educate them in God’s word, but they need to also take some responsibility upon themselves and use all the tools that God has given them so that the Holy Spirit can teach them correctly. They need to listen to their pastor’s sermons, check their sermons by studying God’s word for their self, pray so that they will spiritually grow in the way God wants them to so as not to be led astray by detrimental or unbiblical teachings. Also recognize that Jesus Christ is our true covering and that God DID NOT appoint any man to take His place, not even your pastor. So again, “”Who is your Covering and who are you called to?”” A man or Jesus?