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