Sunday, August 17, 2008

The following excerpt is from Frank Viola’s Who Is Your Covering? He also covers this topic in his latest book Reimagining Church. The entire last half of the book addresses attitudes and beliefs concerning leadership in the church today. It is refreshing in comparison to the political maneuvering and manipulation of those building apostolic networks and empires.

Of course, people rarely recognize that this is what is at the bottom of the issue. For it is typically well clothed with Biblical garments. In the minds of many Christians, “covering” is merely a protective mechanism.

But if we dissect the “covering” teaching, we will discover that it is rooted in a one-up/one-down, chain-of-command style of leadership. Within this leadership style, those in higher ecclesiastical positions have a tenacious hold on those under them. Oddly, it is through such top-down control that believers are said to be “protected” from error.

Of course, the real problem with the “God-denomination-clergy-laity” model goes far beyond the incoherent, pretzel logic to which it leads. The chief problem is that it violates the spirit of the NT! For behind the pious rhetoric of “providing accountability” and “having a covering,” there looms a system that is bereft of Biblical support and driven by a spirit of control.


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