“Abracadabra!”: Serious Errors of the “Decree & Declare” Doctrine – Part 1
We usually associate the word “abracadabra” with (supposedly) harmless magic tricks. But do you know its origins? Do you know what it means?
Do you realize that for the same function a magician will say, “Abracadabra!” to pull a rabbit out of a hat, Christians will say, “I decree and declare!” to conjure up their own supernatural experiences?
And no wonder! “Abracadabra” is a real word with a real meaning: “I create as I speak” (Aramaic), or “It came to pass as it was spoken” (Hebrew). If you don’t see the parallel here with the “you have what you say” practice among Christians’ trying to literally speak their wants, dreams and desires into existence, then you refuse to see it, or you’re willfully biblically ignorant.
I don’t mean to be insulting or unduly harsh, but this is serious. There’s just so much “decreeing and declaring” going on in the church these days — just the latest version of the age-old false doctrine of the Word Faith movement that insists “naming and claiming,” “blabbing and grabbing,” “confessing and possessing” and similar “positive confession” in the name of Jesus will supposedly change one’s circumstances. We have to be careful not to practice anything as followers of Christ without knowing for ourselves whether or not we should, and why.
The fact that pastors and television preachers are the ones teaching us to speak “positivity” over our circumstances, as they dangle in front of us enticing carrots of health, wealth and prosperity, is not enough to make the practice okay. We have to think for our own selves so no one can lead us into a cleverly disguised trap — a trap filled with dashed hopes of a better life now, but in reality having no meaningful, eternal impact for saving lost souls or storing up treasures in heaven.
That’s why I want to share with you some of the serious errors of the “Decree & Declare” doctrine. In this Part 1, I briefly show how “decreeing and declaring” is akin to certain false religions, cults and abominable occultish practices. In Part 2, Lord willing, I will look at seven Scriptures that proponents of “decreeing and declaring” use to try to support the practice among Christians, and how they take those Scriptures horribly out of context.
Read through this article and the next with an objective (unbiased) mind. Check me out against the Scriptures offered, but in their proper context. Pray the Holy Spirit will illuminate for you His Word on the subject. If you feel I’m the one in error, tell me in the spirit of brotherly Christian love for the sake of unity in the truth. At the very least, if you read this to the end, consider yourself informed and therefore accountable for what you do with it, especially if you practice “decreeing and declaring.”
“Decreeing & Declaring” is Akin to the Occult
In New Testament times and today, Gnosticism was and is a false, cultic religion that mixes distorted elements of Christianity with mythology and mysticism. How does this relate to the topic at hand? Because an ancient Gnostic sect used the word “abracadabra” as a magical incantation to invoke “friendly” spirits for healing and deliverance.
How many times have Christians, wanting to invoke the Holy Spirit, “decreed and declared” healing and deliverance?!
I suspect a lot of “decreeing and declaring” Christians don’t realize, the idea that our words have power to literally make positive things happen in our lives is not new, and not unique to Christian circles. It’s really just an extension of the metaphysical idea the Gnostics and others have had, that man’s thoughts have power to literally bring things into being. No doubt you’ve noticed, “Positive Thinking” is commonly talked about and advised in various secular fields as well, including medical and mental health, advanced education, self-improvement and business. Furthermore, it is foundational to the teachings of other false religions and New Age movements besides Gnosticism, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christian Science, Science of Mind and Unity, among others.
“Decreeing and declaring” among Christians is very similar to this same principle of “positive thinking” and extends it to the practice of “positive confessing.” Now, “confession” really does mean speaking in agreement with what God has already said. But the problem comes in when the practice of saying what God has said (and when did He ever say to decree and declare cars, houses, wealth, etc.?) becomes like a formula a person puts into practice in order to get what they want for themselves in this life. Christians are being taught and are encouraging others to practice “decreeing and declaring” things and being told that God has to — has to — do it.
The fact that this practice is couched in Christian terms, with “In Jesus’ Name” tacked on at the end, does not legitimize it. It’s still “abracadabra.” Saying things for the purpose of “I create as I speak” or “It came to pass as it was spoken” is a form of divination and witchcraft, which God considers abominable and is clearly something for His people to avoid (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).
If we Christians go around “decreeing and declaring” positive things over our lives the same way a magician says, “Abracadabra!” or a cancer-stricken mind-sciencer says, “I am well! I am well!” or a Buddhist watching CNN (do they?) says, “Inner peace! Inner peace!”, we are disobeying our Heavenly Father. Such utterances and the meditations associated with them are incantations by Godless people. We should want to be so in line with our Lord that we avoid doing anything that looks even close to what they do when what they do is clearly and vehemently forbidden.
In closing this Part 1, I’m reminded of the movie I saw for the first time just today (God’s providence!) called “Now You See Me.” One of the characters said something like this: “Magic is about deception, but it’s designed for entertainment and fun.” Isn’t that part of its deception? To make us think it’s harmless fun? Since when is deception fun? And in the context of serious biblical concerns (versus planning a surprise party), since when is deception harmless? It is no accident that the real meaning of the magic word “abracadabra” is very similar to the “you have what you say” mentality of the doctrine of “Decreeing & Declaring.”
So, stop it.
Please leave your comments and I will reply at my earliest opportunity. Part 2 will look at Scriptures proponents take way out of context to prove “Decreeing & Declaring” is for Christians, starting with Job 22:28 which says, Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways (NJV).