When I was a boy I sometimes went on my grandfather’s fishing boat. He fished for herring in the North Sea. He would remind me that some of the crew would be most upset if I mentioned certain words. They believed that saying certain words on the boat brought bad luck resulting in a poor catch! One of the words was “pig”. My grandfather who was a strong believer in Jesus Christ did not believe this pagan superstition.

When I hear preachers in the “Word of Faith” movement, I am reminded of the superstition of these Scottish fishermen. In the “Positive Confession” movement, people are encouraged to write their own ticket with God! They claim that if you speak certain words out loud, you will create your own reality. Earlier this week I heard one of these preachers saying there was no need to get the flu shot! Just claim “I am not going to get the flu.” Name it and claim it! This is superstitious nonsense!

In studying Romans 3 and 4, the frequent references to “believe” and “faith” is striking! Paul is not writing about using some magical words, but of “faith in Jesus.” Saving faith relies totally on what our Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished. We are justified by faith alone. The good news of Jesus Christ is not saying certain words “of faith” to create your own reality, and to indulge your selfish desires. Rather faith looks away from what we do, and looks entirely to our Lord Jesus Christ.

This false and dangerous theology of the “Word of Faith” movement puts ourselves at the center of the purposes of God, rather than trusting our great and sovereign God in all of the circumstances of life.

John Munro

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