The major proponents of the “covering” doctrine in modern times mostly trace their roots back to Watchman Nee’s book “Spiritual Authority.” While Nee was a neat and insightful writer, we should keep in mind that the second generation became a cult under his disciple Witness Lee so there must have been some error mixed in there! The Shepherding Movement was the first major group to take up the teaching, but even with the failure of the movement in the 1980’s, it keeps a life of its own. John Bevere’s book Under Cover is the most recent and popular restatement of covering theology. And all throughout the Charismatic church this kind of mentality lurks around.

When you are in a group that teaches submission and authority or “covering”, the Scriptural support seems overwhelming throughout the Bible. First there is the shocking instance of Korah’s Rebellion in Numbers 16 ends with the Earth opening up and swallowing them alive! Miriam and Aaron rebel against Moses authority and Miriam is struck with leprosy. David refuses to “touch the Lord’s anointed” in his long trials with Saul, and the Scripture is hard on Absalom who rebels against his father. The teaching follows that we need to treat unjust authority like Saul in the same way that David did. We want to be Davids not Absaloms right? 

Jesus himself says that “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing.” He praises the Roman centurion in Matthew 8:9-10 after he says “For I too am a man under authority.” The logic goes that if Jesus was submitted to leadership, how much more should we be submitted to leadership?

Then in Paul we find that “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.” and that “whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God.” Our pastors are authorities set up by God, and so if we resist them, we are resisting God himself. And finally looking in to 1 Cor 11, we find a hierarchy setup: “the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” You need to get into line with the submitted order of the universe. God is a God of order after all right? Finally in Hebrews 13:17 we get a direct command “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls”

These are just some of the explicit examples. Once you take up the authority worldview, you will find it throughout the Scripture. The foibles of the Patriarchs for example can be explained in terms of their relationship to authority. This teaching must be true then right? Those who teach this doctrine are correct in identifying a Scriptural pattern of authority and order. Both the interpretation and application of this pattern are wrong, however.

First of all, the Bible does not teach unquestioning obedience to leaders. In fact, the Bible is full of examples of God calling his people to confront unrighteous leadership. Jesus is the foremost. He was basically put to death for his confrontation with the Pharisees. They were the duly established authority of the time. He called them “snakes”, “hypocrites” and a “brood of vipers.” Essentially he was confronting authorities which were in disobedience to God, to re-establish God’s proper authority over all. If Jesus is our example in this as in everything else we should be ready to have a show down with authorities that are in disobedience to God. The apostles took this to heart. In Acts 4:19 and 5:29 when ordered by the duly establish authority to obey, they say “We must obey God rather than men.” There could hardly be a clearer Scriptural precedent. If someone is telling you to do something that you believe is wrong, do not do it!

The Old Testament examples are misconstrued as well. Moses was ruling a theocratic Kingdom, speaking to God face to face, and receiving the Ten Commandments. Which of your leaders do you think possesses the same kind of authority as Moses did? David’s refusal to kill Saul does not detract from the fact that he was not submitting to or obeying Saul. He fled from Saul. In fact, he makes one of his famous statement “I will not touch the Lord’s anointed” statements when Saul finds him in a cave where he had run to. Had he submitted to Saul completely, there would have been no King David, because Saul would have succeeded in killing him. And what about the other examples? Jehu is anointed by God to wipe out the ruling dynasty. So are basically all of the judges.

Finally, let’s look at the only Scripture in the New Testament which really talks about “covering” in an explicit way: 1 Corinthians 11. The hierarchy that is setup there, far from supporting submission relationships is one of the strongest statements against it. In verse 7 it says that “a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God” If we really believe that this passage is about a hierarchy of personal submission, which is questionable, then this passage is teaching that the man should not submit to other men, because the “head of man is Christ.”

What is the author of Hebrews really teaching us when he tells us to “obey your leaders and submit to them,” then? The elders of Christ’s church are the defenders of the flock. They are set in place to defend us, and they take many blows from the enemy in their effort to protect us. Becoming an elder means you are willing to take this heavy responsibility on. We must respect their God-given authority to run the church. If you are not an elder in the church, then it is not your job to lead the church. If you start leading the church without authority to do so, you are in rebellion. This is far different from saying that elders have the right to tell you what you must believe, or what you must do. They have the right to lead the church, and if you participate in that church, you have the responsibility to follow their leadership. If you can not follow, then you can find another church. Most churches that teach “covering” however will try to make you feel as bad as possible for leaving, and usually do not have real elders, just one powerful leader and people that derive their authority from him. In this way they are dangerously similar to cults. Unhealthy church leadership always extends beyond the church and into your private life. By praising you when you do or believe what they say, and condemning you when you do not, they exert authority that they have not been given. It is your responsibility to take back the authority that God gave you over your own life. Anyone who tries to rule your conscience but you is out of line!

Because of the hierarchical worldview of these leaders, they will see anything that is not submitted to their system as being in rebellion. Whether it is another church, a para-church group, or just an individual. If they are not in a hierarchy of submission, then they are not “under cover.” Do not let this keep you from obeying God. Just like every system set up by the enemy, it gains its power from fear and intimidation. If they can scare you into thinking you are in rebellion then you will stay regardless of what kind of terrible things happen to you. Eventually you will either start to behave the way they want you to, or you will become a wreck.

20 thoughts on “The Covering Doctrine

  1. An interesting post as usually. Clear and concise! (Well nearly)

    I have been in a ‘shepherding’ church before which was very heavy handed and it stiffled the people in the church as the elder in question tried to force one size fits all onto the church. which then split. I am still in that church with the side that sided for want of a better phrase with the elder. Who has moved on but left a trail of devistation behind him.

    However on ‘covering’ I think we need to make sure that whatever we do in the name of our church is covered by the eldership. By which i mean they have agreed to it, and are willing to help / support it.

    So for example i am about to start a new mens ministry in our church. I have spoken to the elders in depth about it. They understand where the call has come from for this ministry, they understand its aims and how I plan to work towards them and they are in full support of it and are happy for it to come under their covering IE been seen as a ministry of our church.

    If they had said no and they were unhappy about it I would not have gone on and do it. As i Know that this is the church Father has called me to and that i must work within the framework the elders have set up.

    The other thing we MUSt be carefull of and aware of is that sometimes Elders see something in our lives that is ungodly, sinfull and evil. They have EVERY right to speak into our sin and we must allow them to do it. Often we do not like this as the elders are touching a sore spot in our lives and we fight against them. We often use words like controlling, interfearing etc to describe their actions but infact they are doing what Father has called them to do. Be loving shepherds of the flock.

    Shepherd is a word we should associate with good leadership in the church, unfortunately it has been hijacked and used now as a negative.

    A good shepherd (like ouor Jesus) loves the flock and leads the flock. It does not chase around after them but they Follow him out of love and respect.

    Anyway thats my 10p worth as we say in the UK.

    http://www.beatthedrum.wordpress.com

  2. Drum, Thanks. I agree completely that the elders lead the church and as it relates to the function of the church we need to be submitted to them. No question. I hope that came across in my post.

    I think where it gets tricky is when we get into the details of speaking into someone’s life about sin. In general, I think problems arise when someone else takes charge of fixing your character. The Holy Spirit through your conscience has to take that role. Anyone speaking into your life, needs to speak to your conscience, and should err on the side of “hands off.”

  3. Great point to raise. Maybe I should do a follow-up post on Biblical Correction. Because I definitely see confrontation as a part of a healthy Christian community, in accord with Col 3:16 When I say err on the side of “hands off” what I mean is that when I have an issue with another member of the body, I pray for them, and pray through the issue before I jump in. Sometimes God will deal with it or provide an opportune moment or way for it to be dealt with positively.

    What’s important to note about Col 3:16 is the mutuality implied by the entire section. In this passage admonishing is one of the things we are doing communally along with forgiving and singing hymns! It’s not presented here as a hierarchical function which flows only downwards. So in a healthy church the elders create a climate where people feel comfortable speaking to them about something that came up too.

  4. I went to a Heavy Sheparding church for 4 years. I got into a fight with one of the elders and he wanted to shame me and ex – communicate me from the church. I sent him 4 e – mails at work 2 of which had swear words in and he told my employer. I may be fired. Okay, Christians shouldn’t swear but who says “elders” now have a right to interfere with your livelihood and try to take that away? The church is part of NCMI. I had suspicions about it being a “cult” now because of this thing at work I know it is.

  5. ‘ Spiritual authority’ This is one of the books that was used as a foundation for the Shepherding movement back in the 80’s.-here are specifics;

    Below are a few statements in this book that I don’t see New Testament support for.

    Page 22-23 under “First Lesson a Worker Should Learn Is Obey Authority”: We are under men’s authority as well as having men under our authority. This is our position. Even the Lord Jesus on earth was subject not only to God but also to other’s authority… A Christian worker ought to know who is above him. Some do not know who are the authorities above them, hence they do not obey. We should not be occupied with right or wrong, good or evil; rather should we know who is the authority above us. Once we learn to whom we must be subject, we naturally find our place in the body.

    Page 71 under “Be Fearlessly Subject to Delegated Authority”: People will perhaps argue, “What if the authority is wrong?” The answer is, If God dares to entrust His authority to men, then we can dare to obey. Whether the one in authority is right or wrong does not concern us, since he has to be responsible directly to God. The obedient needs only to obey; the Lord will not hold us responsible for any mistaken obedience, rather will He hold the delegated authority responsible for his erroneous act. Insubordination, however, is rebellion, and for this the one under authority must answer to God.

    Page 180-181 under “To Be in Authority Often Means Loneliness”: In learning to be in authority we ought to be sanctified before brothers and sisters. Many legitimate things we cannot do and many lawful words we cannot speak. We must be sanctified both in words and in sentiments. According to ourselves we take a certain attitude, but among God’s children we will be sanctified. Even our fellowship with brothers and sisters must have a limit beyond which we will neither be casual nor frivolous. We should rather lose our liberty, we rather will be lonely. Loneliness is the mark of authority… The opposite of holiness is commonness, not sin. To be sanctified is to be different from others….The sparrows fly in flocks, whereas the eagles fly singly….To be in authority requires restraint; one must sanctify himself. Others may but you cannot; others may speak, but you cannot….You may feel lonely and miss the fervor of the crowd; nevertheless, you dare not mingle with the brothers and sisters in joking and jesting. This is the price of authority. Unless we sanctify ourselves like our Lord we are not qualified to be in authority.

    Page 182-183 under “To Be in Authority Requires Restraining One’s Affections”: I will show myself holy among those who are near me.”…There is a much severer discipline applied to them than to the people in general…. As has already been mentioned, the opposite of holiness is commonness. Holiness means that others may, but I cannot. What the disciples may do, the Lord does not. What other brothers may do, those in authority cannot do. Even lawful affection needs to be put under control; otherwise death can be the consequence. The people of Israel died because of their sins, but priests may die because of not being sanctified….Those who serve are anointed by God. They should sacrifice their own affections, denying even legitimate ones. All who would maintain God’s authority must know how to oppose their own feelings, how to lay aside the deepest of their affections towards their relatives, friends and loved ones. The demand of God is exacting: unless one lays aside his own affections he cannot serve God. He who is sanctified is God’s servant; he who is not sanctified is a common person.

    Page 184 under “Sanctified in Life and Enjoyment”: It is therefore a matter of enjoyment. Others may enjoy, but we cannot. Others may rejoice in pleasures (for wine speaks of rejoicing), but we cannot. People serving God are under discipline that they may be able to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean…. The higher the office, the stricter the demand. The degree of nearness to God becomes the degree of His demand. Of him to whom God entrusts more, the more will He demand. God especially concerned with whether of not His servants have sanctified themselves.

    Page 185 under “Authority Is Based on Sanctification”: Authority has its foundation in sanctification… You cannot represent God if you maintain very liberal and loose communication with the people. The higher the authority the greater the separation.

    Page 191 under the chapter “The Conditions for Being Delegated Authorities”: To be in authority is costly; such ones need to be sanctified from the rest and be ready for a lonely life…. As soon as one becomes too common, he is dropped from the work. His usefulness is gone, and his authority is lost.

    Its about controlling people, legalism, a very dangerious form of fundamentalism

    King George 111 used Romans 13 against the colonists in the revolution. Romans 13 was the bases of ‘divine right of kings’ to rebel against them, was to rebel against God, a nifty arrangement. He was told “If Kings rule by divine right, then let them rule in heaven!”-Thomas Jefferson

    Watchman nee’s book is a return to the authoritarian legalism of ‘kings,’ dangerous, medieval, scary.

    I know who I would agree with, between Watchman Nee, and Jefferson!

    I invite comments;
    Len

  6. I’m sorry, but this whole covering, authority thing smacks of the roman catholic church’s idea of priesthood. In this concept the priests are professional saints, they are holier than the laity, and as the “spiritual authority” in their parishes they are to be courted and obeyed like some little potentate.
    They used to insist on the reservation of the cup (only the priests were allowed to drink the wine) in Holy Communion as a symbol of their superiority, this has since been removed, but I visited a catholic church about a year and a half ago and although the cup was offered to the lay people many of them, more than two-thirds, refused it in deference to the supposed superiority of the priests.
    If we are not careful this is what awaits our abuse of the authority which is after all God given. In other words if God hasn’t clearly given the powers these men insist on, don’t even think about it turn heel and run out the door. Then get on your knees and ask Him to guide you. If you can read and understand scripture, and you can humbly and honestly go before the Lord and listen to what He tells you, then you do not need some religious mucky-muck who doesn’t even know your name to be your go-between with God.

    Seek Him

  7. Thinkingriddles;

    I’m sorry my friend if I gave the wrong impression, I read your post and understood it. I was agreeing with your post and responding to some of the fellows above who were complaining (it seemed) about that sort of environment and yet not leaving it.

    I was unfortunate enough to go to one of these churches for a long period of time. The deal is if you miss the Sundays when they explain their theory of authority you are left scratching your head when a member (a musician) says something like, “I can’t release another CD of our music because pastor so-and-so says I shouldn’t”. The lay person is personally responsible to God for their own deeds and decisions, therefore I don’t see how anyone else gets to make their decisions for them. I do believe in Godly counsel, but this is way beyond that. I am always amazed when someone thinks the Lord wants them to abandon their free will in favor of some self styled “anointed” person.

    This a pernicious problem in the institutional church which I equate with the deeds of the Nicolaitans in the Revelation of St. John, which of course has been a problem in the church for about two thousand years. In the comment above I was trying to put a different angle on the argument against shepherding-covering in a way which most protestant charismatics may not have thought of.

    I apologize if I offended you.

    Nathan

  8. Thinkingriddles –

    Sorry to come in two years late to this thread… only found the site recently. If you’ll forgive what may be a slight digression from topic, I want to comment on something from the first paragraph:

    “While Nee was a neat and insightful writer, we should keep in mind that the second generation became a cult under his disciple Witness Lee so there must have been some error mixed in there!”

    I’m sure you realise this doesn’t actually follow: it isn’t fair to use the misdeeds of a second generation to discredit a person’s teaching. Samuel’s sons did not walk in his ways, and I think it’s fairly safe to say his ministry was authentic! If anything, it’s tragically normal for a second generation to latch on to some novel or exciting element of a movement, make it the foundation of their identity, and take it to extremes. For that matter, the second generation of christians produced some pretty bizarre groups, some of which you could probably call cults (was Diotrephes a cult leader? Maybe). So there must have been some error in what that fellow from Nazareth taught… anyway, that’s quite enough; you get the point. I’m probably over-reacting to having seen this used in earnest as a strawman tactic in heresy-spotting blogs, to be honest. (Whereas I’ve only seen measured and thoughtful articles on this site – which is why I keep reading it!)

    I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill here, mind you – if you tell me, “er, Nick, I was joking, really”, then I’ll shut up and get my coat!

    1. Nick, thanks for your comment. My perspective is this: The fact that his disciples formed a cult does not make all of his teaching irrelevant, but it does highlight specific problems with his theology. The “Local Church” concept that Lee built was simply an extension of Nee’s notions of the local church. Same with the authority concept. In some sense he took the doctrines to their logical conclusion. You might call this the “twice the son of hell” phenomenon that Jesus mentions. Not to say that Nee was “of hell” but to mean that if you teach a bad doctrine, the next generation will be twice as committed to it, and the real bad fruit will manifest.

      On the other hand, a good doctrinal tree bears good fruit. If you take good doctrine to its logical conclusion good things should result. What you want is “twice the son of heaven.” If someone takes your doctrine to it’s logical conclusion, even better things should result. Failure to recognize this basic principle was I believe the folly of the Shepherding movement itself. In the 70’s they apologized for all of the wrongs done under their ministries, but they explicitly denied that it was stemming from their doctrine. Yet anyone who has tried to put the Sheperding doctrine in practice has recreated the exact same problems. They should have tweaked what was wrong in their doctrine instead.

  9. We live in a day and age where everyone seems suspicious of everything and everyone. I know, I have been there at various times in my life– and with good reason.

    Authority and submission is a topic that can conjure up all kinds of responses, the cause of this wide range of responses is due to peoples various “brushes” with misuse of authority and submission within the church systems. Having said this– I have also come to realize that this is how God designed his Church to operate. While Watchman Nee’s teachings can be seen as rather radical in nature, he definately was tapped into something that much of the world today lacks, and that is the Spirit of the living God. He speaks from a position of the heart…..period. His desire was like that of Christ– to do the will of God. He had no other motivation in his teaching. Like David, he was a man after Gods heart. I realize that this is a matter of opinion, however, as you read through his teachings and ask God to reveal the truth inside of them, it becomes apparent.

    Authority in the right context is not meant to be constricting by nature, and when it is used properly it is the most liberating and freeing thing that one can ever experience within the Church. Submitting to those whom God has placed over you can lead to wholeness and grace that beforehand had seemed to escape you in your walk with Christ. (Of course this depends on the hearts of those in authority) are they submitted to God in a way that shows that their heart is to do his will not matter what the cost? This is the key to accessing Gods authority and walking in it. This is the most important credential in determining who is to be the “shepard” of your family. God is building a Church in the earth today that he promised from the beginning, it is happening now! We are beginning to see the character of God in men in the earth today. I know because I have been witnessing it in the lives of those that I brush shoulders with everyday.

    If this type of Church seems to be an impossibility in your mind, ask God to show you where one exists and he will. God has always been a God who wants to be discovered and he is revealing himself to those in the earth today like never before. If this is your heart and you haven’t been experiencing this type of community in your church, ask him to lead you to it and he will.
    The key to discovering what GOD is building in the earth today is the heart… if you have a heart that wants to know him and his ways more than anything, He Will Respond! guaranteed.

    1. T – You’re obviously in pretty deep. I hope you repent and get out.

      It is a false dichotomy to suggest that either one is submitted in the way that Nee recommends or one is not submitted at all. This is what posts like yours imply. In fact, you can have a healthy and proper respect for authorities without practicing shepherding style submission.

      The problem with Nee and the teachings that follow from him is that they substitute the will of a fallen man for the will of God. The idea is that God will speak “through” your leader, but that is contradictory to the Bible… Heb 1:1-2 — In the former times, God spoke through mediators, but in these last days he has spoken through his son.

      Furthermore, shepherding or not, these kinds of unilateral authority systems always create problems where “absolute power corrupts” Finally, usually the accountability above the person who is in charge you is imaginary.

      1. Thinkingriddles – are you more concerned about me….or being right?

        I mean no disrespect toward you or your beliefs, but do know that judging from your response to what I said you do seem to put a premium on being right.

        Have you asked God lately if indeed what you are giving your heart to is truth? Do you want to see even…or are you content to assume that the God you know today in your heart is truly God. Have you asked God to show you more of him lately? God is so much more than who we assume that he is, based on what we’ve known of him thus far in our lives. Truth is truth it does not need to be defended it can be stated and left alone– it does not need our help to become what it is on its own.

        By the way I have repented and it led me to where I am today.
        Thank GOD

    2. In my experience with the sherperding movement the men of God seek to replace the task of the holy spirit by doing his job. They talk about a very narrow minded veiw of fruit being salvation and totally missing the fruits of the spirit out. This is becuase if they taught peace, gentleness and kindness to one another they would look bad as they usually end becoming angry when things dont go their way or someone disobeys becuase they are on a powertrip and do not realise. It reminds alot of the pharases, thet always thought they were more holy than others. Its spirtual pride. The other point to make would be that every church involved in the sheperding movement is very money focused, the pastors are usually wealthy as they promote a materilistic life that jesus never taight. It is exactly the same as the faith healing situation where people are asked to give more money to be healed. They just preach the more money you give god will bless you and prosper you as if you could by gods blessing as if it was a prostitute. Jesus in nearly every chapter warned against materilism and giving to the poor. If jesus was so concerned with money being given to the church he would have said it. In fact the only time Paul mentions giving to the church was to the poor church in jeruselem. In my experience in these churches the poor are told there not giving enough or dont have enough faith and are told to sort themselves out or a called blood suckers. Also there are massive amounts of sexual sin as most people in those types of churches are broken and everyone has there guard up as there is such a strong reporting structure. People start resorting to that to feel love as they are extremly hostile enviroments. Its a alot like the Nazi mind cotrol camps. Another issue i have found is the pastors themselves are totaly brain washed as they came through the same system when they were at a vunerable point in their life and now their pride wont allow to see through what is really going on. Also they have never been on the otherside they have only ever been in the system and can not understand why people are against it. To them its hidden rebellion to us we can see straight through the lie. These people are blind and naked and claim to be warriors yet are scared of satan he is everywhere to them, if something goes wrong its satan its all you ever her. There is no real victory becuase they have brought the law back into the church a veil has blinded there minds and they are missing out on gods true freedom not submission to a sinful man but freedom from the law and its burden of guilt and shame. They somehow think there is a standard they should live up to. There isnt, it is becuase of freedom from the law and guilt. That we can overcome our sin and be humble. All this movement does is destroy peoples lives spirtually speaking. Sadly they will get there harshest wake up call becuase they think they are so right. There is not doubt they are sold out for a movement but its like what paul said 1st corinthians you can do everything you want but if you dont have love it means nothing. Even there perception of love comes down to obdience. Watchman Nee was in to new age teachings and anyone who has done there research properly would know that his teaching is total error. The truth is that its the holy spirit that constrains not man. God will justify the people that have been hurt by the movement. I mean i have never heard of so many people being hurt by one movement as this one i mean its insane and they dont take one shred of resposibilty. There teaching is also heavily rooted in latter rain as they beileve that they are ruling on earth now and ushering gods kingdom by subduing man! Again another false doctrine as god said subdue the earth not man. They are taking false authority and insulting the spirit of grace and exalt themselves before man and god will humble them before men. I know its long but somone needs to expose them and stand up for the weak christains that are being used and absued everyday and we put up with becuase we are christains. Jesus definatley taught expose people like this.

      D

  10. Like one who takes a dog by the ears is the man who meddles in… etc etc. So, like an idiot, here I go…

    I’ve met one or two people, and read one or two others, who (like “T”) basically take a stance that might be paraphrased “if you were spiritually pure enough, God would reveal to you that I’m right”. I’ve yet to find a way of engaging in any kind of meaningful conversation with them. There’s nobody alive who could not, on paper, teach me something, but I’ve decided lately to invest only in those relationships in which both sides are expecting to learn.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch –

    The tiny seed from which the whole Shepherding Movement eventually mushroomed, as you’ve documented, Thinkingriddles, was a relatively simple desire for mutual accountability. I know no evidence that this desire was other than an honest one. I think the general consensus in this thread is that they were mistaken in replacing the “one another’s” of scripture with a one-way hierarchy. But may I suggest there’s a deeper problem behind this? Namely: the way in which a possible solution ossified into the solution. Grace disintegrated into law.

    The reason I think it’s a deeper problem is that this legalism is so widespread; “worship” must look like this, revival must look like this, if it’s really the Holy Spirit then he must manifest thus. Maybe the thinking is: all this glorious liberty is too dangerous, because other people out there who aren’t as spiritual or discerning as I am might do silly things and badness might result. So I’d better interpret the rules for everyone else, everywhere; that way we’ll all be safe from error. In reality, of course, the Holy Spirit is not as stupid or scatter-brained as he is sometimes made out to be. OK, maybe that parody’s a bit unfair. But certainly, replacing his leadership with my own doesn’t make the world better or safer. I think it’s really interesting that the council at Jerusalem (as described in Acts) did not seek to maximise central control of the churches, but tried to place as little burden on them as possible.

    Biiiiiiig subject, and it’s midnight here in the UK… any thoughts warmly welcomed over here as usual…

  11. In my experience with the sherpiding movement the men of God seek to replace the task of the holy spirit by doing his job. They talk about a very narrow minded veiw of fruit being salvation and totally missing the fruits of the spirit out. This is becuase if they taught peace, gentleness and kindness to one another they would look bad as they usually end becoming angry when things dont go their way or someone disobeys becuase they are on a powertrip and do not realise. It reminds alot of the pharases, thet always thought they were more holy than others. Its spirtual pride. The other point to make would be that every church involved in the sheperding movement is very money focused, the pastors are usually wealthy as they promote a materilistic life that jesus never taight. It is exactly the same as the faith healing situation where people are asked to give more money to be healed. They just preach the more money you give god will bless you and prosper you as if you could by gods blessing as if it was a prostitute. Jesus in nearly every chapter warned against materilism and giving to the poor. If jesus was so concerned with money being given to the church he would have said it. In fact the only time Paul mentions giving to the church was to the poor church in jeruselem. In my experience in these churches the poor are told there not giving enough or dont have enough faith and are told to sort themselves out or a called blood suckers. Also there are massive amounts of sexual sin as most people in those types of churches are broken and everyone has there guard up as there is such a strong reporting structure. People start resorting to that to feel love as they are extremly hostile enviroments. Its a alot like the Nazi mind cotrol camps. Another issue i have found is the pastors themselves are totaly brain washed as they came through the same system when they were at a vunerable point in their life and now their pride wont allow to see through what is really going on. Also they have never been on the otherside they have only ever been in the system and can not understand why people are against it. To them its hidden rebellion to us we can see straight through the lie. These people are blind and naked and claim to be warriors yet are scared of satan he is everywhere to them, if something goes wrong its satan its all you ever her. There is no real victory becuase they have brought the law back into the church a veil has blinded there minds and they are missing out on gods true freedom not submission to a sinful man but freedom from the law and its burden of guilt and shame. They somehow think there is a standard they should live up to. There isnt, it is becuase of freedom from the law and guilt. That we can overcome our sin and be humble. All this movement does is destroy peoples lives spirtually speaking. Sadly they will get there harshest wake up call becuase they think they are so right. There is not doubt they are sold out for a movement but its like what paul said 1st corinthians you can do everything you want but if you dont have love it means nothing. Even there perception of love comes down to obdience. Watchman Nee was in to new age teachings and anyone who has done there research properly would know that his teaching is total error. The truth is that its the holy spirit that constrains not man. God will justify the people that have been hurt by the movement. I mean i have never heard of so many people being hurt by one movement as this one i mean its insane and they dont take one shred of resposibilty. There teaching is also heavily rooted in latter rain as they beileve that they are ruling on earth now and ushering gods kingdom by subduing man! Again another false doctrine as god said subdue the earth not man. They are taking false authority and insulting the spirit of grace and exalt themselves before man and god will humble them before men. I know its long but somone needs to expose them and stand up for the weak christains that are being used and absued everyday and we put up with becuase we are christains. Jesus definatley taught expose people like this.

    D

  12. I am so glad for this debate it has helped me a lot. I just came out of a church where my Pastor was in error and I He was big on submission to him as the authority God had placed over us. I believe His heart was right at least to start. I watched as he stepped out of love and into pride. He began to preach what was clearly the law. The Lord was faithful to open my eyes and provide the way out.
    It was a little confusing because I saw people healed in his ministry, and yes it was real. He fell into deception. I can see very clearly how powerful the deception of the emeny is. These churches are not much different then abuse in any relationship, and many people are suffering from this abuse. I understand now how cults get started. We all need to pray for discernment and realise anyone can be decieved.

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