In his book Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority, John Bevere advocates the notion that under an authority which is divinely established, there exists a secret place made of protection, liberty and provision intended for the people of God. 1 Bevere shares personal examples of why rebelling against divine authority becomes the main cause of many hardships people encounter in church. 2 Bevere also imparts that all existing authority is actually ordained by God. 3 In a nutshell, under Cover’s central theme revolves around facts that God is mankind’s only authority.
Thus, He has positioned authority here on earth to which we have to submit to if, we want to receive His covering giving us provision and protection. Whether we accept it or not, we entire our entire lives under an authority appointed by God. Sure, people grow up, leave home, make lives of their own, but according to Bevere, none of these events ease our responsibilities to authority.
4 ——————————– 1. Bevere, John. Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority. New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2. Ibid.
3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 1 The presence of authority in our lives is never ending: parents, guardians, teachers, pastors, elders, congressmen, even the President. Bevere instructs that the key to the idea of mankind’s relationship with authority is in Romans 13:1-2, wherein it says that each soul is subject to certain governing authorities which exist because they are God-appointed. 5 The same verse also states that whoever resists or rebels against that authority also resists the word of God, therefore bringing judgment on their own selves. 6
While Under Cover makes several positive comments about the qualities of Godly, and therefore good, leadership, there are some unbiblical points of view and directives pertaining to submitting to leadership. 7 I believe that these unbiblical items contradict what the Scripture conveys, in that leadership is functional rather than positional. Leadership builds up men, instead of making it subservient. Another point which I strongly object to is Bevere’s ideology that believers have to submit to authorities of their church even when these authorities are errant.
Remember, Bevere said that if one disobeys his leader, that person is disobeying God, too. Thus, Bevere imparts that God will honor a person for submitting to his leader. However, if one rebels against his pastor ——————————– 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 2 or leader, God will consider that disobedience with the same severity as disobedience to Him, because according to Bevere, God set this leader over that person. I don’t remember learning that in the Bible. The apostles always encouraged the followers to obey God instead of man.
I believe that there are some doctrines which Bevere espouses which could be dangerous. In these days, men are considered as heads of church bodies and programs. Systems of authority are stressed over personal relationships, and a need to know Christ and submit to directives from the Holy Spirit. In my perception, Bevere’s unbiblical notion of authority will encourage the current errors in the clergy/laity. Bevere also explains that five gifts to the ministry in Ephesians 4:11 are “offices”. 8 I am deeply convinced that these gifts are merely…gifts, nothing more.
It is Bevere’s position that these “offices” should be obeyed without question. 9 This is contrary to the teaching of the New Testament. In the NT, we are taught to honor those laboring amongst us (not over us), and to heed and follow them the way they the Lord. But if they err, there is an anointing which allows us to determine according to the teachings of the Scripture. Bevere posits that Bereans were wrong in seeking out in the Scriptures to discern whether what they were taught was indeed, true. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 3 People reading Under Cover could possibly come to wrong and dangerous conclusions, although Bevere did incorporate a disclaimer in his book. Telling his readers to obey someone who directs something wrong, and that this reader will receive blessings for doing this, and that the one giving the orders will be accountable, is a misuse.
Bevere, John. Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority. New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001.