I’ve launched a new website: CoveringAndAuthority.com

It is called CoveringAndAuthority.com.  Over the last few years I’ve grown more and more concerned about a specific kind of teaching about authority in the church.  The teaching itself is a moderated version of the doctrines of the Shepherding/Discipleship movement in the 70’s and 80’s.  It took awhile before Christians outside the charismatic realm started caring about it.  Today we have the New Apostolic Reformation growing and there is very little online about their teachings that follow a similar line.

I’m deeply concerned because this theology is very destructive.  In this theology the authority of church leaders is equated with God’s authority.  Those who disobey their pastors are considered to be disobeying God.  Rebellion against church leaders opens Christians up to demonic attack and delusion.  To get a quick run down on the theology check out Covering Theology 101

What concerns me the most is how the gospel itself is reshaped.  Faith in God becomes faith in God’s authority as represented by God and church leaders.  Grace is no longer God’s unmerited favour but the empowerment to obey.  Salvation is no longer found in grace through faith, but by confessing and doing the will of God. 

Your feedback, comments, questions, objections and links are welcome.

  1. #1 by Calvin on December 25, 2008 - 1:55 pm

    Hmm… sounds a lot like pre-reformation catholicism.

  2. #2 by Toni on December 31, 2008 - 1:20 pm

    I could never understand why you took such an odd stance against me when I mentioned the idea of covering and authority a couple of times here – now I see why (and also why I didn’t understand what you were getting at). While there is a certain ‘rightness’ to a fair bit of CaA101, I can see how it has been taken a step (or several) too far, and how it’s open to abuse. The harvesttime movement in the UK went through a period of ‘heavy shepherding’ in the 70s and 80s before that came to bits.

    I would maintain that when applied with grace and relationship in order to set people free and to build them up, covering and authority is helpful. But when it comes down to measuring ones salvation against the degree to which one is obedient to human authority then it’s just looking for a chance to shipwreck.

    FWIW we’ve become involved in a new fellowship (we felt called to go there, and are gradually disentangling ourselves from the church we helped plant in 1991). Many of these guys are not English, and come from a culture surrounded by un-fettered chaos and corruption. As a result, many of them have built a stern, authoritarian church culture in order to help them walk with integrity through all the distractions and maintain their identity. It feels stifling after the grace and freedom we have know as part of a community church.

  3. #3 by Barb on January 7, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    I cannot applaud you more for the site. Thank you so much for it. I hope that many are spared the hurt that we experienced in such an abusive system. I have linked to it on my blog.

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