About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Things Into Existence
The Apostle Paul
said that God "gives life to the dead and calls things that are not
as though they were" (Romans 4:17 NIV - 1984 edition).
Why do some Christians use this verse to support their practice of
calling things that are not as though they were?
It's often called speaking things into existence through your
positive confession of faith.
Those who claim to
speak things into existence by their positive confession say that they
call things that are not as though they were.
If they want a new car, for example, but can't afford one, they
call a new car, that which is not in their driveway, as if it were already
in their driveway. They claim,
visualize, or speak, as if they already have the new car even though they
don't have it. I view this
practice as being Biblically problematic as it relates to the verse at
wording of Paul's statement clearly states that it is God who calls things
that are not as though they were. Paul
said nothing about us calling things that are not as though they were.
To suggest differently goes beyond the scope of the text and makes
it say something I don't believe Paul meant.
clarifies that the things God calls that are not as though they were are
Gentile believers. "The
promises come by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed
to all of Abraham's offspring - not only to those who are of the law but
also to those who are of the faith ofAbraham.
He is the father of us all. As
it is written, 'I have made you (Abraham) a father of many nations'"
(Romans 4:16). In other words,
God calls the Gentiles who have faith, those who are not traditionally His
people, as though they were His people.
That is all Paul is saying. It
is poor Biblical interpretation to interpret a secondary meaning to this
verse when there is no hint of one.
Those who use this
verse as a proof text to support their practice of speaking things into
existence are incorporating a humanistic positive confession practice into
their Christian belief system. It's
sometimes called visualizing your desires into reality.
It's what Oprah Winfrey and others like her have been preaching for
years. This practice can be
traced to the later half of the 19th and early 20th century when
metaphysics became popularized in our western culture's philosophical
approach to life. E. W. Kenyon
(1867 - 1948) is often noted as introducing metaphysics into Christianity.
Metaphysics is the
branch of philosophical theory that concerns itself with the first
principles of things; abstract concepts such as existence, being, knowing,
cause, identity, time, space, and other such subjective concepts.
Incorporating such humanistic philosophies into our Christian
beliefs and practices corrupts our Biblical based beliefs.
It's spiritual adultery; no different than Old Testament
Replacing the Holy Spirit in our lives with human effort is something Paul denounced in Galatians 3:1 and 3. "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" Human effort, no matter how it is disguised, disables the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian which in turn destroys what being a Christian is all about.
As much as possible, let the Bible speak for itself. It is God, and He alone, who calls things that are not as though they were. Christians, therefore, trust their God to do as He wishes with them and their lives.