HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

Now let’s make some necessary distinctions. Everything you say is technically a declaration. Declare is an English word and there is nothing sinful or unscriptural about it. If I say “I’m going to work now”, that is a declaration. I declared my intent to go to work. There are many such declarations in the bible. The difference is that for most of us, declaring my intent to go to work does not actively cause me to get to work. My intent to go to work together with my effort to drive myself there is what gets me to work. Declaring that intent has absolutely nothing to do with it – it is not the active cause that results in the effect. “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” is a declaration, but saying so does not make me the righteousness of God. It is Christ’s atonement on Calvary that makes it so. So there is nothing ever so special about a declaration. Every praise to God is a declaration – God is great. But saying that he is great does not make him great. He is great on his own, and in fact that is why I say it. It is not so because I say it. I say it because it is so.

This is an important point that illustrates the differences between people like myself and the “decree and declare” movement. I believe that declarations are not causative, but they believe that they are … especially when coupled with decreeing. They decree something to be so, by saying it. Then by declaring it, they cause it to happen. Of course they understand that it’s not happening by their own power, but by God’s power and authority that resides in them. For example, “I decree and declare that the job interview will be successful and the job will be mine.” That’s a typical prayer. So why not just pray “Lord I petition you to give me a favour in this job interview and that I will be hired for that job.”? There are some subtle differences. The first one appears to have more authority. And also the second one appears uncertain if it is God’s will for you to have that job.

On the less extreme end, most decree-and-declarists are just using vocabulary that they learned from others. That is, when they pray “I decree and declare that this job is mine”, they mean in their hearts exactly the same thing as “Lord I humbly recognize your sovereignty and petition you to give me this job in accordance with your will”. It is just their terminology that is conditioned to the only Christian environment they have ever known. In such cases, I don’t really have an issue. I do have an issue, however, with the more extreme variants, the ones who actually believe they have more authority that what God gave them, and those who seem more interested in their own will than God’s will.

Author: Godfrey Gregg