The book “Under Cover” by John Bevere is used by many churches, small groups, and cell groups in order to teach believers unconditional submission and obedience to church authority. In many cases, this book is elevated as being more important to read and study than the Bible itself. The book says that God will guarantee protection for you if you submit to and obey a church authority at all costs, because to disobey a church authority is to disobey God. There are no exceptions given.
The book says that if you fail to submit to and obey your church authority, you are removing yourself from God’s appointed protection for your life, leaving you an open target for God’s judgment, curses, and demonic attacks. The problem is that not all church leaders are sincere, honest people. Jesus warned us there would be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Another problem is that church leaders are human and make plenty of mistakes just like we all do, so they shouldn’t always be obeyed. This book attempts to use the fear of God’s judgment and the fear of curses to keep believers from disobeying a leader or questioning anything he/she says, since to even question a leader is seen as disobedience to God. This book take away the believer’s ability and right to think critically and examine teachings for themselves. They must simply accept what a leader says because the leader is the one who said it.
In Acts 17:11, the Bereans were commended for thinking critically and examining things for themselves rather than simply accepting them because a leader said so.
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11
Can you see how easy spiritual abuse now becomes with this book? Since the book states that the leader cannot be disobeyed or questioned, the leader can now do whatever he or she wants, without being accountable to anyone. Believers in the church must do whatever their leader tells them, because disobeying would mean curses and demonic attack.
Church leaders are using the book “Under Cover” to control every aspect of a believer’s life. Believers are told that they cannot purchase a car, change job, date a person, or make any other life decision without their leader’s approval and blessing. Failure to inform the leader of a life decision results in you being told that you are living in disobedience and will be cursed. If the leader does not agree with the car you are buying, the job you are applying for, or the person you want to date, they will tell you that it is not in God’s will for you, even if it is. The leader will oftentimes not even pray about the decision. If the leader doesn’t like the decision, they will just tell you that God told them it’s not right. If you do make that life decision by going against your leader’s words, they will embarass you in church, tell you that you are living in sin, and tell you that demons will destroy your entire life.
Church leaders are using the book “Under Cover” to put believers under oppression by creating a climate of fear in the church. Believers are living in constant fear of being cursed by God because they did not perfectly submit or obey their leader. Church leaders are engaging in corrupt financial, sexual, and spiritual activities and are using the book “Under Cover” to protect themselves from any accountability. The rest of the congregation is left powerless to do anything about the evil in the leader’s life, even if they do suspect it. If they speak out, they are told God will judge them and demons will destroy them for not honouring their leader. If they leave this church, they are ridiculed by their leader in front of the whole church for “abandoning God”. Leaving will result in them being told that God will curse them and demons will destroy them for their decision to leave the church, which is not actually a church, but a cult.
Obedience to God does not always coincide with obedience to another human, even if he/she is a church leader. The truth is that there is no man on earth that is always speaking and doing exactly what Jesus would do if He were here. In fact, church leaders are those most likely to be deceived into thinking many of their own desires and their own inner voices all come to them from God, when they actually don’t always do.
This book is dangerous. We must raise awareness on the severe damage that leaders have done to honest and innocent people’s lives with this book so that it does not keep happeing again and again.