If you had anything to do with the Full-Gospel/Charismatic movement or with the health and wealth gospel movement, then I’m betting you remember the wave of teachings about positive and negative confessions.
In simplest terms, we were taught that our words had power, both negative and positive words. To make a negative confession would be to ‘agree with the devil’ about whatever negative thing was going on or possibly could happen. To confess sickness or poverty would be like saying we agreed with its existence in our lives.
A positive confession though, could turn this around into a faith statement putting things back in line with God’s will. This is based on the belief that God wants only good for us, so instead of speaking negative things, we were to turn them into positives in faith so that God’s will for good would come to pass.
Preachers would often use Romans 4:17 as their basis for this teaching that reads, “(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.”
Of course, they left off the context of the scripture, because it doesn’t work if you keep it.
We as believers were thus instructed to speak things that aren’t as though they are so it becomes a faith statement. It is this teaching that was so instrumental in teaching me to lie to myself and to others.
In practice, it goes kinda like this. You wake up one morning with a sore throat…
Negative Confession: “Oh no! I have a sore throat. Ouch!”
If you say that out loud to a fellow believer, you’ll probably get whacked across the knuckles with a bible. (Just kidding about the physical assault. Typically it’d just be a verbal one.) :o.
The correct approach to your sore throat is this….
Positive Confession: “Thank you Jesus for your healing power and blessing me with a healthy body and throat!”
My senior year of High School, my friend and I opted out of the senior trip to the Bahamas in lieu of driving ourselves to Jesus ’80, a Christian festival held down in Florida. You might say, “Way! What were you thinking?! You missed the Bahamas!??”
But I’ll tell ya, we had a BLAST! We packed our happy butts up and headed down for 3 days in the sun to hear artists like Amy Grant croon her sweet little ditties, and watch faith healers like Benny Hinn heal the sick.
I’ve included a video I found online of this festival. Brought back some serious memories! Check it out at the end of this post. Somewhere in that crowd was little me and my friend, raising our hands to Jesus in praise!
We were so excited about the festival. For the drive down, we’d created a big poster and put it in the back windshield of the car that said,
We were mighty proud of our sign and the sentiment behind it that communicated our dedication to our destination! After five hours worth of driving we’d arrived! Ready for a Holy Ghost experience, par excellence!
We parked in the big field among the other festival goers with our big sign proudly displayed in the back. But when we got back to our car after a day of hobnobbing with God and His children, we found a note on the front windshield of the car that said,
I remember we were both so mad! It crawled under my skin that someone would take the time to ‘correct’ us with a word swap that really wasn’t any more or less negative than what we had! I ripped the paper into pieces wishing the writer would show up so I could give them a piece of my mind! Not very Christian of me, I know. Oh well.
Here’s the video clip of Jesus ’80! Whatta hoot!