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Anti-Covering Letters
Two Open Letters to the Body of Christ


The names and places of this controversial development are kept anonymous. Anonymity is a viable option, since the apostle Paul did not name the false apostles who afflicted the church in Corinth in his open letters to them. Certainly, those whom the letter was intended for, knew of what and whom he spoke. However, we do know that in an earlier instance, Paul was more open about a controversy in front of the whole church, in regards to the Gentile/Law controversy (Galatians 2:11-21:  When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong... Cross reference to Acts 15:1-2)

It is our hope and prayer that local non-I.C.'ers everywhere are led by the Spirit and Word in regards to keeping their new-found freedom free of corruption, passionately protecting both themselves and others from a return to the errors so silently tolerated in the worst of the I.C.'s.


These two letters concern a certain brother whose initial message from the Lord was to "come out of the system". This brother became more and more popular as a preacher of non-I.C. persuasion. However, as many believers came out of the "system", and were wandering around questioning where/who/what they should do next, this brother changed his preaching and practices to embrace a doctrine foreign to the purposes of Non-I.C.  Afterwards, many of these wandering believers fell captive again.

About 3-5 years ago, this brother began to preach a doctrine of "submitting to authority". For instance, he began to state that women are fully capable of "doing" the work of any of the 5 so-called "ministry gifts....even apostolic work. BUT....they cannot "BE" a prophet, or hold the "office of the prophet" (as it is erroneously called), because this places her in a position "over" men. Furthermore, he suggested that a woman should not deliver a Word from the Lord unless a man who is her "covering" literally stands behind her or with her, watching over her as she delivers the Word.  As is often the case with such things, the "covering" doctrine did not stop there by any means. This brother also preaches that having a "covering" is a requirement for all people. In other words, a "personal pastor", or someone to (quote) "watch over your soul", is a necessity for all believers, men and women.

For over two years now, it has been reported that this brother's preaching has become well-infiltrated with this covering doctrine. Tragically, many non-I.C. believers are following this brother and his band of self-appointed personal pastors or elders.. As they are being sucked into this brother's new "system" of hierarchy, they are earning for themselves a reputation for being cult-like fans of this brother and his teachings.

It has been reported that this brother has been privately confronted by people who were there with him from the beginning. Nonplussed, this brother continues to preach the deception of the covering doctrine in his local area, as well as abroad.

These two Open Letters were written by one of these former friends. This friend had once financially supported this brother's preaching on a T.V. Station. After some heart-wrenching efforts by this friend to address this brother privately about his new found love of the covering doctrines, this friend could no longer justify financially supporting his preachings. The local T.V. station removed this brother's program shortly after the financial support was removed.

These Open Letters are published with the hope that non-I.C. believers will avoid the deception of partaking again of the religious "system" they believe they have left. In keeping with the friend's hopes of reconciliation and gentle urgings of restoration back to the truth, the brother remains unnamed. The friend also remains unnamed.

-Teri Lee Earl
October, 2003


 May 31, 2002

To the called out ones of God,

XXXXX and I greet each of you in the name of Jesus in hope that this letter finds you prospering in health and in your individual gifts and callings by the power and grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

It is our hope that this letter will bring clarity and light to those of you who may have feelings of confusion due to rumors, opinions, and accusations, which you may have heard being expressed regarding some things which we believe God has revealed to us, but are in contradiction to some things currently being taught. It is our prayer that each one of you allow God to "mess with your doctrines," so as to bring clarity, grace, peace, and freedom to your lives.

About three years ago, God began speaking to us about the importance of loving the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:10,11 states that those who don’t love the truth will be deceived and that God will even send a powerful delusion in order that they be so completely and totally deceived that there would be no possibility that they could believe the truth. Truth is an interesting thing. There is no need to defend it. If something is indeed true, it can be scrutinized, challenged, dissected, inspected, etc. and it will not be diminished one iota in the process. In fact, close investigation of truth simply serves to reinforce and establish it for what it is. There is no one on this earth who is not deceived in some areas. We don’t know we’re deceived because, of course, that’s the nature of deception. Anyone who claims that he is not deceived is self deluded and the most deceived of all. When the Spirit of Truth reveals to us a truth which we’ve previously believed to be a lie, or a lie which we previously believed to be truth, we’re instantly faced with a decision to make: to change or not to change. If we love the truth, we will change. If we don’t love the truth, we’ll continue on a path which leads away from the high calling of Eph. 4:12-16; however, we’ll no longer be deceived, but instead, will be in rebellion to the Spirit of God. There are many things which war against our changing, such as pride, fear, traditions, reputation, etc. You each know there is a high price to pay because you’ve paid a price to get where you are now. Our lives should look like a zigzag of change in pursuit of truth, not a flat line. I pray that God will put within each one of us an ever growing love for the truth and a craving to follow it wherever it leads us.

This love of the truth, which God has been speaking to us about, has lead to a tremendous change in our lives. It seems as though God has been having us put all of our doctrines to the test and several have failed miserably to pass the scrutiny. Our intent in writing this part of the letter is not to "win you over." Our intent is that you be challenged to allow the Spirit of Truth to give you revelation. What does the Bible say? Put the following doctrines, as are presently being taught, to the test: tithing, the one man (personal) pastor, women in the Kingdom, and the whole covering doctrine in general. Take these things before the  Lord. Like the Bereans, search the scriptures for the biblical basis of any and all of your beliefs. For instance, did you know that the Greek word, kephale, which was translated head in 1Cor. 11:3 and six other places, never meant authority over, but actually means source of life? Has it occurred to you that Abraham only tithed once and it wasn’t even his "stuff?" Check out the word used for office in 1Tim. 3:1. The word doesn’t even exist in the original text. It’s an invention by the KJV translators. Ephesians  4:8 calls apostles, prophets, etc., gifts to the Body, not offices over the body. Jesus said we can judge a tree by it’s fruit . Judge the fruit of the particular teaching: does it infuse righteousness, peace, and joy in you? Does it emphasize the priesthood of each believer or does it subtly promote the hierarchy of a thinly veiled clerical caste system? Look at your wife. Is she thriving in the Lord, full of joy, confidence, power, and life? How about your marriage? Listen to that still quiet voice. Is there a gnawing sense inside of you that says, "something just doesn’t seem quite right", or is there a sense of confirmation and agreement with the Holy Spirit? Does the doctrine bring fear or faith in God? Is it manipulative and controlling or are you free to be led by the Spirit according to the Holy Spirit? Don’t be afraid to question anything and be wary of anyone who discourages your examination of any teaching. The only thing you have to loose is the bondage of deception, and you have everything to gain!

That said, let us go another direction. Many of you have heard about the tragic fire XXXXX and I experienced in our home on Jan. 31, 2002. A young man, 16 years old, lost his life as a result. Now XXXXX and I are aware that it has been spoken by some, that the fire was God’s judgment against me because I was rebellious and “got out from under my covering.” Let me assure you, God has not spoken that to us! On the contrary, we have both felt the peace of His presence and the love and great care of our loving Father. Although a great number of brethren responded immediately with a marvelous outpouring of love, we were confused because of the deafening silence from other parts of the Body of Christ, many of whom are some of our dearest friends. Slowly, we began to understand what this was about. No one was to interfere with God’s discipline of me, lest they get hit by the "lightening bolts" God was throwing at me. I’m not surprised that this conclusion was reached by some who are very disturbed by what God has shown us regarding the above mentioned doctrines. I find it curious that neither before nor after the fire, was I ever admonished or told by any of these, that I was rebellious, or in sin or that this was God’s judgment and that I needed to repent.

None of this has caught God by surprise however, as He has been patiently preparing us for this experience for several years, but most intensely since August of 2001. He has spoken to us in several different ways and with absolute clarity of how important relationships in the Body of Christ are to Him and that we are not to break relationships because of doctrinal differences. That leaves us in a dilemma. How do we have a relationship with brethren who do not wish to reciprocate? I guess God will have to work that one out.

I would like to share with you a couple of things the Lord showed us as a result of the fire. We had hired a man whose specialty was floor work in homes. We wanted him to remove some glued down carpet in our laundry room. He, his son, and a helper began taking up the carpet. They were using lacquer thinner to dissolve the glue. The father had to leave on an errand, and left his 16 year old son  in charge. We had opened the windows for plenty of ventilation and the  laundry room door to the back yard was open. There was plenty of fresh air moving through to keep the fumes from getting too concentrated. Being January, it was cool and that, coupled with the high evaporation rate of the lacquer thinner, made it even cooler. The young man had brought in an electric buffing machine with an abrasive pad and began operating it on the lacquer thinner soaked floor. Everything would have been ok, except the boy got cold and shut the door, not realizing he had cut off the source of his life in the form of the fresh, cleansing, purifying air. As soon as the door was shut, the volatile vapors began to build up to the point where they were ignited by the arcing of the brushes in the electric motor of the buffing machine. The entire room instantly exploded into a raging inferno. I happened to be in the kitchen which is adjacent to the laundry room.  The boy came staggering out, completely engulfed in fire, and fell down on the floor. I grabbed a rug which was in front of the sink in order to put out the fire on the boy. He died about 18 hours later as a result of his terrible  burns.

One of the things which God showed us is that because the young man got uncomfortable, he shut the door. In doing so, he sealed his fate. We, in the Body of Christ also have that tendency. We want to be comfortable. We want to relate with those who believe the way we do, look the way we do, and think the way we do. We don’t want to be challenged in any way. When God begins to move, to show us something different or to move us off of high center, we resist by closing the door because it’s not comfortable.  When we do that, we likewise have sealed our fate. Without the breath of the Spirit, we will be doomed to whither and die in the lifeless rut we’re in.

Another thing God showed me is regarding my hands. I received some burns on my hands when I was trying to put out the fire on the young man. About 2 days after the fire, I was thinking about my hands. They were both bandaged up and the Lord spoke to me and said "your hands didn’t understand why they were being burned, but your head had a higher purpose than the comfort of your hands." When this is applied to the Body of Christ, we can clearly see that when we go through fiery trials and testings, the “Head” has a higher purpose than our comfort. I believe there is comfort and strength to be gained by knowing that in our trials, God will be glorified and that these trials will, and do, serve the greater purposes of God.

XXXXX and I love you each very much and look forward to the time God will bring our paths together again. May you each walk in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as you fulfill the destinies which God predestined for you.


August 5, 2003

Dear Saints,

I know there are those who will not particularly welcome what I’ve written in this letter and I’m sorry for that; however, I love the Body of Christ and I am drawn to alert her and sound this warning. I refer to the doctrines which have been so skillfully and powerfully taught that we must be “covered by a man” in order to submit to the government of God. I have chosen to place these doctrines under the heading of “Covering Doctrine”. Many of you have been this way before. Others of us were safely protected the first time around. Back in the 70’s, it was called the Shepherding or Discipleship movement. I’m sure that the Israelites saw many signs of their previous passages as they continued on their way, circling the mountain. Take note of the signs. The signs may have been cleverly camouflaged in one way or another, but they’re not hard to see . . . if you want to see. I have observed that there are some who were involved in Shepherding who were the victims of abuse and were not complementary of Shepherding in their descriptions of it, who now are in positions of “authority” and now, it’s all good . . . very interesting. I write these things to alert the Body of Christ, and expose a great deception which has befallen a part of her. I write these things to encourage her to turn away from this deception which is built upon men, and turn back to the Lord. Let me say here at the beginning that we have an enemy whose purpose and drive is to deceive the saints in order to prevent us from entering into and fulfilling our destinies purposed by the Lord. He is a master in combining human logic and reasoning with religion to form a very delicious looking fruit! I hope you will pardon the rudeness, but it’s the most vivid description I can think of: you can spread icing on a cow turd, but it is still a cow turd. There have always been some whose hearts are to lord over others. Let me say that I hope that those whose hearts are to lord over others, are few. I believe that most who are involved in the Covering Doctrine, like I once was, truly believe that this is the will of God and that their hearts are to serve God and the Body of Christ. My prayer is that you will emotionally disengage yourself for a moment and prayerfully and objectively consider the things which I’ve written.

The “covering doctrine” has been presented as the government of God, and when this doctrine has been “established”, it is said that “things have been set in order”. The broad heading of “Covering Doctrine” (CD) can be broken down into several sub headings, some of which are:

* The necessity of each person to have a personal pastor consisting of one man.
* The necessity of tithing to one’s personal pastor.
* The necessity for a woman to be “covered” by a man.
* The necessity of the 5 ministry gifts in Eph.4 to be “offices”.

For almost 10 years I did my best to implement these doctrines into my life. I both had a personal pastor, and was a personal pastor. I tithed and I received tithes. I also was the “head” of my wife according to this doctrine’s definition of “head”. I even “held the  office” of apostle for a time. About 3 years ago, I began to look closely at the CD as it pertained to the Scriptures. I began to examine the fruit it bore in my life, the lives of my wife and children, and the lives of others. I gradually realized I had been like a baby bird, eyes closed, mouth open wide, eating the sludge of regurgitated hepherdism.

Let me state clearly here that I believe the Body of Christ is in need of shepherds and that there are many shepherds within the Body. Those who are shepherds are shepherds because of the will of God. They are gifts to the Body from the Lord. Shepherds are essential for the care of the local Body of Christ both corporately and individually. In order to comply with the CD’s “one man personal pastor” philosophy, one must enter into a legal contract with a man. Yes it is verbal, but it is still a contract. This contract comes about when we ask a man to “be my pastor” and he agrees to “watch over my soul”. Both parties have contracted with each other. The most glaringly obvious fallacy in this is that there is no biblical basis for this type of exclusive legalistic relationship. In fact, it contradicts the biblical idea of a multiplicity of shepherds. Another fallacy is the assumption that one individual can actually pastorally supply every need that a person may have. This contractual arrangement effectively limits other pastoral relationships within the Body. Not only does this doctrine limit pastoral care of the people, it places impossible burdens on the backs of those who are the pastors. Those who are the pastors and have entered into this verbal contract, carry the full weight of responsibility for the souls of those they pastor. What man can bear that? I only know of ONE who is capable of bearing that burden. The contract one makes with another in the pastoral relationship is a legalistic bondage which fosters dependency upon a man rather than Christ. It is the basis of the hierarchical mediatorial system of . . . yes . . . clergy and laity. One lady, as she was describing a photograph in which she was standing with some men, said proudly, “Here I am with my rulers and governors!” God help us! There have been great expounding sermons condemning the religious hierarchical systems of the institutional church. At least they’re honest and make no pretense nor do they try to hide this fact. We, however, vehemently deny that the identical hierarchical caste system exists within us. We need to listen to our own sermons. We’ve accusingly pointed our fingers at others, yet have blindly fallen into the same religious trap which was set by our common enemy.

The next point is tithing. Because the tithe is so lucrative, tremendous efforts have been “invested” in hats and rabbits, and persuasive linguistic contortions in order to legitimize the tithe today. Like the institutional system’s penchant for “fleecing the flock” of their finances in order to sustain its existence, this “fleecing” through the legal fiction of the tithe, is also the basis for the continuing existence of the covering doctrine. It’s not hard to see how the relationship of the personal pastor and tithing are inextricably connected. I heard it explained by a lady whose husband was “full time”. She said “you get 10 men tithing to you and then you can quit your job and go full time in the ministry.” It’s not rocket science to see that 10 X 10% = 1 full salary. I would hope that we are all full time in the ministry even while earning an honest living at a secular job!

I was in a meeting once where the speaker, in stressing the importance of the tithe, stated that because he tithed to his pastor, he had the right to call him at 3:00 in the morning. Apparently, his pastor is on retainer. On the flip side, stop tithing and see how quickly the “pastoral care” ceases. In many cases, you will find that it is directly proportional to the tithe and if that’s the case, the term “hireling” applies. Then there is the pastor who is at one’s doorstep the day after payday. I know these are extreme examples, but I believe they illustrate my point. We have all heard the attempted rationalization (probably more times than we can count) of why tithing is relevant and necessary today. How Abraham tithed to Melchizedek and, because he tithed before the Law was instituted, tithing transcends the Law and is therefore “obviously” applicable today. Consider the fact that God did not command Abraham to tithe, however, He did command circumcision also before the Law was instituted. We certainly don’t hear that law being promoted! Of course we have Paul to thank for totally disarming the argument in favor of circumcision. He made it perfectly clear that both circumcision and uncircumcision are irrelevant to us today. Consider the fact that tithing is never even mentioned in the NT except where Jesus is condemning the Jews for their legalistic observation of the tithe yet their neglect of the weightier things of the Law. Have you ever wondered why there is not a single directive to tithe anywhere in the New Testament? Not one? Jesus never required anyone to tithe. Peter never required anyone to tithe. None of the apostles required anyone to tithe to them or anyone else. It was never an issue. Never! It’s level of importance was a zero! If it is so important for us to tithe in order that our finances not be cursed, or to keep us from poverty, or to please God, or to “finance the Kingdom”, why were the writers of the NT so absolutely silent about it? Simple . . . the church knew that the tithe was for the Levitical Priesthood who were the mediators between the people and God and offered sacrifices on behalf of the people. They knew that the veil had been ripped in half which separated the people from God. They knew they were now all priests and the mediatorial system had been thrown down by Christ. Tithing was a non-issue, totally of no importance, did not apply then and, for those very same reasons, is completely irrelevant today. Also consider when Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek; he gave from a supply which didn’t even belong to him! As far as we know, that was the only time he ever tithed. Think about this for a minute: Melchizedek was a Priestly King. Who else is a Priestly King? Your pastor? If so, we’re back at Mt. Sinai choosing to have a surrogate relationship with God once again through a priest.

The case for tithing has been carefully built upon a false basis; that basis being that the account of Abraham and Melchizedek is all about the tithe. That couldn’t be further from the truth! This account is about Abraham honoring Melchizedek. He honored Melchizedek by giving him a tenth of the spoils of battle because Melchizedek blessed him. Honoring is not synonymous with tithing! When Levi tithed to Melchizedek while he was still in the loins of Abraham it was the entire Levitical priesthood who tithed! The entire Law of Moses was based upon the Levitical priesthood and it’s place of mediation between God and the people. The Levites tithed to no one. They received tithes from all of the Israelites. By Levi tithing to Melchizedek we are given a picture of the entire Levitical priesthood pointing to, and honoring, the High Priest, our Lord, Jesus Christ. We need to understand the impact of this. The Levites were the most respected, most important, and the highest class of all the tribes of Israel. What they said and did impacted the entire nation. We must see that the whole purpose of this account in Hebrews 7 is to point the Jews to Christ in order that they too, would know and honor Christ! Don’t forget, the reason this letter is named Hebrews is because it is written to the Jewish Christians! This account is about honoring Christ, not tithing to a pastor! Beginning with a false premise always leads to a false conclusion no matter how logical the argument. It has also been widely promoted that “the kingdom will be financed by the tithe.” My question is “whose kingdom?” God certainly doesn’t need our tithe to establish His kingdom and I’ve found no biblical basis for that notion. The tithe, however, certainly will finance the kingdom of the priests, and in some cases very well indeed. The New Testament principal for giving is to hear the Holy Spirit and obey, to be generous with what God has given us, to take care of those who are needy, or widows, or orphans. There is much said in the NT about giving and collections of amounts of money. There were large sums brought to and placed at the Apostles’ feet for distribution to the saints in need. These are all free will offerings! The people gave generously from their hearts according to the will of God!

I’m going to stop here, though there is much more to say regarding the likeness of the Covering Doctrine to the Taliban as it “covers up” women, or the mammoth apparatus of “official authority and power” built upon the imaginary word, office, for which there is no corresponding Greek word in either Acts 1:20 or 1Tim 3:1. It seems the KJV translators had hats and rabbits too. But that is possibly for another time. May the Lord speak to you concerning these things.

A useful link concerning this subject: Covering and Authority by Dr. Klaune Spake

Blazing Trails Too
('initial' dissertations/ leaving IC)
Onward and Upward
(for the trouble spots afterwards)

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