09Dec/08

The Covering Doctrine

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?  Continue reading

04May/08

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Church Structure

In the devil’s first attempt to set up his kingdom on earth, what does he build? A tower. A tower in Babylon (Babel). Now, in modern parlance, a tower is usually thought of as a vertical structure like the Sears Tower, but the ancients did not possess the technology to build tower’s of this kind very high, so if they wanted to build a something tall, they built what we would today call a pyramid. It is not surprise then, that in Egypt, the type of evil in the Old Testament, and of power in the ancient world, they would build massive pyramids. Most likely they were continuing the pattern passed down from their ancestors in the Babel experience. It is no surprise then too that we find this pyramid imagery associated with various demonically inspired groups.

Looking at this “tower” what can we learn about the structure of the devil’s Kingdom? Ever heard the term “pyramid scheme”? In a pyramid scheme, the people at the top benefit from the people at the bottom, in successive layers of financial gain and deception. Such systems are really not businesses, they are wealth transfer systems, where the people at the top take money from the people at the bottom, and the people in the middle get a cut for making it happen. What is remarkable is that every demonic system works just like this. There is only one stone atop the great pyramid (at least originally), yet the base covers 13 acres! As a system, then many many people can be controlled and exploited by a single individual, ultimately, spiritually, the devil. Thus the devil is always trying to set up systems like this.  Continue reading

24Apr/08

The Shepherding Movement

This is one of the most important and most controversial chapters in the recent history of the church. If you are charismatic, then whether you know it or not, your church and movement were impacted by either accepting or rejecting Shepherding teachings.

Here is the basic context. At the height of the cultural revolution of the 1960s, some hippies started getting saved. Soon, through the powerful anointing on Lonnie Frisbee and the organizational skills of Chuck Smith, this became a major movement now known as the Jesus People or Jesus Movement. The Spirit of God literally swept the youth of the nation from coast to coast as kids who had left their parents for “freedom” found it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.  Continue reading