A while back when I posted on Facebook a question about authority teachers, one person told me that John Bevere’s book Under Cover had taught “church authority” in such a way that that it had nearly destroyed her and her family.

So I bought the book and started reading it.

I saw that the presentation of authority in the book was indeed dangerous and  . . . I might even say craftily presented.

First of all, Bevere spends the first 25-30% of the book establishing that God is the ultimate authority.

Then throughout the book he keeps coming back to examples of God as the ultimate authority, weaving those examples in and through the rest of the book.

But that’s a bit of a non-issue for me, because I already believe wholeheartedly in God’s authority. I want to follow Him wherever He leads and do whatever He says.

The question comes when talking about any people who have or claim to have spiritual authority. Do they actually have authority over the people of God? If so, what does that look like?

Bevere presents the answer to the first question as an unequivocal and resounding yes. You are to be “under the cover” of those in “spiritual authority” in your church. And by the term “spiritual authority,” I mean—and he means—“What I’m telling you to do is what God wants you to do.”

And by “under cover,” of course that means you are to give them unequivocal obedience.

Shades of umbrellas, perhaps?

In true Gothardesque umbrella-style theology, Bevere says, (page 165), “[O]ur judgment will be relative to our submission, for authority is of God. To resist delegated authority is to resist God’s authority.”

Of course his point all through the book is that God’s authority is delegated to the church leader, and as you obey the church leader, you are obeying God.

Here are a few of Bevere’s arguments to drive his point home, and my responses.





This article has now been incorporated into the book Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind: Book 2 Patriarchy and Authority. You can find that book here.




Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.

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