Charles Simpson

A closer look at shepherding – Cont.

The shepherding movement came as a result of the Jesus People or Jesus Movement. The Jesus Movement was a movement that formed as a result of the Hippies in the 60’s realising that there was more to life than just freedom, and turned to the Lord.
A group of men came together to bring a balanced view to this movement. This was due to the chaos of the Fort Lauderdale Ministry. This group of men thought it wise to create a system where they would mutually submit themselves to one another. This would be a system of accountability. When they had done this they reporting having a supernatural experience that bound their ministries together for life. The members of this group where:

  • Derek Prince,
  • Don Basham,
  • Bob Mumford
  • Charles Simpson

Later on Ern Baxter joined this group and they became known as the “The Fort Lauderdale Five.”
Their teachings where centred on authority, submission and discipleship. They entered a new doctrine into the church where a person was to submit to another person. It was the disciple under the pastor and the pastor under the shepherd. All major life decisions where to be submitted to this person, or mentor. This system might sound nice but it created the problem of the individual Christian having two Masters. The one being man and the other being Jesus Christ or God. Another way of looking at it could be to say that Jesus was the shepherd over the flock and within the flock there was another shepherd that shepherded you personally. What happened though was that given enough time the personal shepherd gained more and more authority over the life of the one being shepherded and Christ lost more and more of His authority in our lives.
In light of the above it begins to make sense why there are so many people out there that are willing to defend a spiritual leader without question. For instance when I point out errors in Rob Rufus’s doctrine people will tell me to stop persecuting a man of God. It is similar that when a false prophecy is pointed out lets say in the case of Bennie Hinn, all his followers will call me a heresy hunter, or tell me to stop blaspheming the Holy Spirit. They never once will stop and say, “hang on a minute, that prophecy was false” or take a look at the bible to see what God thinks of false prophets, or how that are to be expected in the end times.
When a person attends a NCMI church, they will notice a couple of important key words that are likely to enter their ears. The key words are as follows:

  • Covering
  • Covenant Friendships / Relationships
  • Spiritual Family

Regarding covering, who is a Christians covering? I believe the answer is easy; it is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Regarding Covenant Friendships / Relationships and the Spiritual Family. This doctrine is dangerous because if a person is to leave a particular group, or break off a friendship with their mentor, that where breaking a spiritual covenant. This in the eyes of the church, at least at a doctrinal level is the same as divorce. People who are reading this who have left an NCMI church would have noticed that when they left they where basically ex-communicated. People that you have been friends with for years would now not even talk to you. This is the same as the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine of dis-fellowshipping and is a direct result of the covenant relationship doctrine.
This movement is often referred to as something that was, not something that is. Because of the horrendous failure that the Shepherding movement of old had, churches today are very reluctant to associate themselves with the movement. Many churches do however believe the basic principles that the shepherding movement taught.
Within the Charismatic movement there are two branches. The Prophetic and the Apostolic. The Prophetic branch rejects the tenants of the Shepherding movement while the Apostolic accepts the tenants. NCMI falls into the latter.
A short look at some NCMI church website visions and values show you that they are in fact a Heavy Shepherding Church.

NCF Pietermaritzburg: Covenantal relationships
Westside Church: Close, covenantal relationships
Urban Life Church: Building covenantal relationships

In fact all NCMI relating churches fall under the covering of NCMI. It is a great big spiritual pyramid scheme.

NCMI churches claim to believe in the Priesthood of all believes, but you have to wonder if it is a real belief when they have a church structure like this.
As Christians we have a royal priesthood, are able to discern, interpret, as fellowship with God on our own, without the need of a priest. It is the basis of the Reformation and what separates us from the Roman Catholics. As you can see from the diagram, NCMI places people into different levels of spirituality, with everyone under each level being accountable to the one above. What this basically does is re-introduce the Priesthood to the church.