Some of you may be very familiar with this movement while others may not. It does not reside only in Word of Faith circles. It can be found in evangelical circles, in Christian Science and in New Thought- the new age metaphysics religion. Many people can see positive confession in huge seminars that aim to change the way you think about yourself. My aim in this article is to focus on excessive positive confessions namely within the Word of Faith and Charismatic communities. Later on we will see what words and confessions are truly biblical and beneficial to the Christian community.
“In the beginning…”
Within the Word of Faith camp, every question had an answer and a sequence for the belief system. As I looked for the root of the positive confession gospel, it would be found in several scriptures.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
This scripture is a foundation for the Word of Faith positive confession gospel. Another scripture in Genesis adds fuel to the fire.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Psalms carries a scripture to add
Psalm 82:5-6 (King James Version)
5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
This is the beginning of the “Little gods” doctrine which will act as a stage for the positive confession actions.
Next we see the life of Abraham
Romans 4:16-18 (King James Version)
16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
To add to the “little gods” heresy, adherents were encouraged to also call things in thier lives to change just like God did for Abram before he became Abraham. Funny thing is here that the “stuff”(material possessions and health) that we were expected to speak into existence, had nothing to do with the point Paul was making here in Romans, nor the point God was making through Moses as he wrote Genesis. The life of Abraham was symbolic of redemption for mankind through the physical lineage of Jesus Christ and faith in him.
“You can have what you say“
This phrase is very often used by minister and laity alike. I was actually taught this during my bible school years. Instead of finding the true context of scriptures to establish creeds and doctrines, blanket interpretations would be given to fragmented scriptures without the foundation of the whole scriptures. Thus meaning the bible became essentially what you wanted God to do for you in this life.
The scripture under question is this
Mark 11:22-24 (King James Version)
22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Do consider what it says. And know that scripture also says that If we ask anything “according to his will”,he hears us and we know that we have the petitions we have desired of him(1 John 5:13-15). Multiple times throughout the bible, both in new and old testaments, we are warned about greed, fraud, pride, selfishness, and the like. So logically a conclusion has to be made that “whatsoever things” would not include things meant for our earthly glory or selfishness.
2 Corinthians 4:12-14 (King James Version)
12So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
13We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
14Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
Funny how in five years of being a part of the movement, not once were we ever taught verse 12 or the previous scriptures to get a context. All we were taught was that we were able to speak whatever we believed into existence because God was good, respected our faith, and our words could frame our world. The fault of the movement is that they only feel that part of the scriptures apply. The scriptures referring to life, health, wisdom, prosperity, success, satisfaction, blessing, perfection, were all accepted readily while a blind eye was turned to struggle, affliction, poverty, persecution, hunger, thirst, peril, nakedness, and even pain, which even the Apostle Paul suffered as a follower of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Somehow the idea exists that as “little gods” you cannot be subjected to such. The entire doctrine carries with it an elitist mentality. Does not scripture say that we too are to make ourselves of no reputation, as a servant?
Philippians 2:5-7 (King James Version)
5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
The following verses are all but abandoned from most elitists’ doctrines
1 Corinthians 2
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
In WOF circles, perfection is promoted in every way. It is promoted in speech and confession, in physical and spiritual appearance. It was as if we were trying to impress both God and the world by our piety. While no doubt there were genuine people serving God in the circles, there were also those who, as myself, had mistaken perfection and efficiency for God’s love. How fooled were we.
Romans 16:17-19 (King James Version)
17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
19For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
As stated above, there are many which say they serve Christ, but truly they are in it for themselves.
As seen through just a few short scriptures, the power is not of us but rather of God. We are his servants in thick and thin, no matter what. We are not to try to impress the world, but serve Christ by loving the world. And such should be our motive when we choose to deny ourselves. We must remember that we speak truth in a motive and manner of love.
Ephesians 4:14-16 (King James Version)
14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Notice that we are expected to grow up out of false doctrines then speak truth in love to everyone for the purpose of edification(encouragement and growth in Christ).
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
1 Peter 3:9-11 (King James Version)
9Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
So we continue to see that positive and uplifting speech, is to be used to encourage another person in a motive of love, rather than to determine one’s own spirituality or to fulfill fleshly lusts. It is truly a benefit to be a blessing to the body of Christ with your words.