In 2001, Thomas Nelson published Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority by John Bevere, a book which promotes Bevere’s teaching on authority, submission and spiritual covering. The book has been a best seller and has been translated to over twenty languages. Some reviews viewed Under Cover as the modern adaptation of Watchman Nee’s Spiritual Authority.
This book could be viewed as a modern adaptation and application of Watchman Nee’s Spiritual Authority. It contains helpful truths on respect, honor and obedience to authority… However, the fatal flaw of the book continues the pervasive view in the body of Christ of the improper power flow of authority from God to the leader and then to the people. It is paternalism all over again, failing to distinguish jurisdictions and the differing nature of authority as well as leaving out the proper bottom-up lawful appeals process in each governmental institution, with virtually all discernment left at the leadership and hierarchy level of governmental control. – Paul Jehl, TNT Church
The main focus of Under Cover is teaching on obedience to ‘delegated authority’ and the spiritual covering it provides. Once a believer submit and obey to pastoral authority, it guarantees protection from God. But failure to submit and obey the pastor places the believer out from spiritual covering of God. This book tells the readers that to disobey the leader, even when the leader is wrong, is to disobey God because the leader is always in authority and God the ultimate authority. Clearly, this book by John Bevere is a manual for spiritual abuse.
John Bevere, I believe, is a sincere man of God who intends to encourage God’s people with biblical truth; however, on this subject I found his handling of Scripture a bit misplaced in some instances. He tends to rely heavily on the traditional ideals of positional leadership and authority, which are popular among most of those who teach “covering theology.” While Bevere’s handling of the subject is perhaps a bit more graceful than some, it is still primarily the same ol’ traditional view that is backed by scarce biblical support. In fact, one has to rely principly upon Old Testament texts to really push this view of leadership because the New Testament pattern is so different. The concept of “church covering” is not even found one time in the New Testament and Jesus, in fact, told His disciples NOT to serve His body as “authorities” who were over them, bearing titles and having men address them as such (Luke 22:25-27; Matthew 23:8012). — Nobody777 (Amazon)
This is one of the most abusive and manipulative teachings under the classification “Christian literature” that I have ever read. While the idea and importance of submitting to God’s inherent authority is indisputable, the agendaized, one-sided presentation of it is categorically false. In this book Bevere neglects to teach the full council of God as represented by Christ in his resistance to the religious authority of His day. — R. Cason (Amazon)
This is not a Biblical sound book, the author tries to “prove” his points with scripture but often twists the scriptures and often takes them out of context. This is the number one book that controling and manipulating Pastors give their members to get them into fear and obey them more than God. Hans Kronbck (Amazon)
Bevere promotes an unbiblical view of authority that will only feed the present day error of the clergy/laity system. — Seeking Disciple (Amazon)
And just like Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee, any church that requires this books should be look twice.