There are two false and very dangerous teachings that have emerged from the ‘positive confession’ teaching that I talked about on Friday the 25th. They are the “Decree and declare it” and the “Name it and claim it” teachings. This morning, I will talk about why I think the ‘Decree and declare’ teaching is not supported by the Bible. On Friday October 16th I will talk about why a proper understanding of the Bible is opposed to the ‘Name it & Claim it’ teaching and movement.

 

So first, "What does it mean to decree and declare?"

 

What I think the practice of ‘decree and declare’ something involves is to powerfully speak it into existence. This term has its roots in Pentecostal/Charismatic roots and is similar to the ‘positive confession’ teaching that I spoke about last week. Those who practice “decree and declare” claim that is someone decrees or declares something, then it will happen. “Declare” means to speak, often out loud, a fact. “Decree” means to give an authoritative command. Kenneth Hagin, a leader in the Word of Faith movement, in his online teaching series, “You Can Have What You Say,” writes, “You can have whatever you say…You always get in your life what you believe for and what you say”

 

Like all false teaching, this movement claims to be biblically based in that it uses support from the Bible. They say that since people are made on the image of God according to Genesis 1:27 then it is only logical that we, like God, can speak and make things happen. They teach that the Bible spoke things into existence so therefore those with faith can do the same. People who are involved in this movement or follow it’s teachings will use the formula and make statements like, “I decree and declare that I will be healed from my sickness” or “I decree and declare my family will be healthy and well provide for.” What they are doing is replacing prayer by decreeing those things to happen.

 

It is true that according to the Bible that we are made in the image of God. However, being made in the image of God does not mean that we have the same abilities that God has. It does mean that we share, though imperfectly and finitely, in God’s nature, that is in those characteristics that we can share. Characteristics like life, personality, truth, wisdom, love, holiness, justice. By sharing these characteristics with Him it means that we can have spiritual fellowship with him, not in the sense that we are equals. So, being made in the image of God means that we can reflect His attributes not that we can do the things that only God can do like speak and then things exist.

You might hear someone who has been taught to “decree and declare” say loudly before a road trip: “I decree and declare God’s blessing on this journey and this vehicle, and that it will remain in good mechanical shape!” By saying this, the person may truly believe that this declaration added to God’s power and authority within them, will guarantee a trip free from trouble.

 

The problem is that, even though we can declare things, no matter how true they are, will not cause those things to happen. There is the further danger that when we go around declaring things, we are actually putting our will over God’s will. But that is not what the Bible teaches. In Luke 11:2, Jesus said, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. And also, in Luke 22:42 Jesus put Himself under God’s will when He said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Now I am not sure that the “Decree & Declare” people know it or not, but when they use these ritualistic sayings they are saying things that are very similar to magical spells.

The ‘decree and declare’ teaching says that there is something special and powerful that is associated with our thoughts and our words. When we think of something and then “declare” it, then that alone will change our circumstances and result in blessings. Many times, it is expected that these blessings will arrive in the form of prosperity and healing.

Unfortunately, for these people, there is nothing in the Bible that says we can use certain words in order to manipulate our circumstances and cause things to happen as a result. The teaching that we can repeat the “decree and declare” formula and that it will bring positive results is a false teaching that will lead unsuspecting Christians into the occult.

Instead of using these formulas to obtain things, we should pray to the Lord in humble submission to His will. This is the teaching we find in God’s Word. In Matthew 26:42, Jesus prayed on the night before His crucifixion, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” We should not be trying to manipulate or force God by calling into existence anything we want. No, we should trust in our Heavenly Father who “knows exactly what we need even before we ask Him!”