Honesty and Positive Confession
© 1998 Mike Druckenmiller (Sr.)
I wrote the original 'Honesty
and Positive Confession' January 11, 1992. You can read my frustration with the
status quo quite clearly. I was going to do a total re-write. But, after
checking in at a web site that posts David Wilkerson's Pulpit
Series. Specifically David's article: Do You Feel
Like Giving Up? I have decided against any more than a little minor
[Note: The above article was posted on 'The Last Days Ministries' website. The page is no longer available. I am attempting to get permission to post on my site.]
Little did I realize just how deep the effect of this teaching would go on the classical Christianity of today. Or how prophetic my own unheeded warnings would be.
As I look at the dramatic 'Laodecian' influence that has taken hold of even the most devout and spiritual churches I am perplexed as to what course or action to take.
I am convinced that the proof of the depth of the damage is contained in Hebrews 11:6 'And without faith it is impossible to please God, because he who comes to God must believe that He exists [even the demons believe this and they are smart enough to tremble. James 2:19] AND that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.' (NIV) Consider 2 Chronicles 7:14 and James 5:16. Is our either our quantity of attendance or the fervency of our prayer meetings indicative of our faith?
Honesty and Positive Confession
One of the most important songs of the early 90's is a song by Margaret Becker entitled 'Honesty'. The key theme of the song is that God's not afraid of your honesty. And, you know what we should not be afraid of being honest before God. And being open and honest before one another.
One of the worst things that has swept across America, across churches all over, and even in the Assemblies of God, is the doctrine of positive confession. It has gotten so bad that the General Council of the Assemblies of God has had to publish a brochure entitled "The Believer and Positive Confession", it is published by the Gospel Publishing House, Springfield Missouri 65802 the publication number is 34-4183.
Well, just what has positive confession done. Positive confession has accelerated what I will call the urbanization of the church. If you will note that in many urban and suburban communities, people go to their homes, close the door behind them, and seal themselves in their little castles. This happens in the church as well. We go to our churches and say, "Hi Brother, Hi Sister", then we go home and never see one another again all week. Never call each other on the phone. We don't even know if someone is in the hospital until church next Sunday morning... If then.
Urbanization... Now, why is this?
I think there are a number of reasons why the church has become urbanized. I call it urbanized because we are locked behind our doors. We are safe in our own castles and the outside world ceases to exist. In short we are not community anymore. We are not in fellowship.
The new testament church was a church of fellowship. It was a church of community. Not one day a week. Not twice on Sunday. Not once on Wednesday. It was continuous community. The brothers and sisters were inter-dependent upon one another for every aspect of their material and spiritual lives.
It is recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 2, that they had all things in common. As a matter of fact. The only recorded death sentence in the New Testament was when somebody tried to play 'Spiritual OneUpManShip'.
Saphira and Ananias tried get credit for something that they didn't do. They lied to the Holy Spirit, and made it seem as if they had made some great sacrifice. They were trying to oneup their brothers. They tried to look more spiritual then Barnabas.
I will put forth, right now, that positive confession... is the same sin!
Positive confession makes you have to be self sufficient. Listen to me. If you are self sufficient, if you can do it yourself, you don't need Jesus. Why have a church if we don't need one another? Is the only reason to have a church, to save souls? Get them into the kingdom, and then let them rot on the pews? Let them go on with their divorces? Let the military wife whose husband is off defending his country, fend for herself.
Nobody ever knows about the needs because we're self sufficient. We can't share our problems with one other. We have to be positive 100% of the time. Positive, all the time. We can't have a single problem. Nothing can get us down. Woe, if we share that we have a problem, oh, all those smile all the time positive confessors will condemn you, put you down, and make you feel downright unsaved.
Positive confession... I'm not self sufficient. I need my brothers and sisters. I don't need them just on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday. I need them seven days a week, 24 hours a day. If a sister gets sick and laid up in bed, and a brother has to work. He's gone from the house 10 hours of the day to get that 40 hour paycheck. Who's going to care for the kids? Most are already so stretched to the limit that if they had to day care their kids they couldn't put food on the table.
And, yet, the church is so busy being self sufficient we can't minister to one anothers needs.
Urbanization of the church. Positive confession is a curse on the church! You can not confess yourself into anything. (Apart from the confirming witness of the Holy Spirit.) God's mercy is sufficient. We have so misapplied the verses that say thou art snared by the words of your mouth. And, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So much so, ... that we that we feel great liberty to correct a brother who doesn't confess the right thing all the time. It has become set in cement. If you say it, it's got to be the way it is.
And, woe if you've got a melancholy temperament. Or, if you have clinical depression. Don't go to one of our churches. Because, one thing's for sure, you ain't gonna be up to par with the rest of the people out there who are smiling all the time. And, you'll never fit in!
Positive confession has urbanized the church. It has made community non existent. In the new testament church people were interrelating all day long, every day. They knew who their brothers were, they knew them well enough to recognize them out in the market place, or anywhere else they'd happen to pass throughout the week. Isn't it really a shame that half of us, including myself, don't know our brothers and sisters well enough to say hi when we pass in town? We haven't seen one another enough, face to face, to recognize the face away from the church. The only place we've seen that face is at church, in passing, as we rush to our seats, and rush out again at the end of service.
Many of us relate names and faces to a particular location. Unless someone is particularly noteworthy, or we've had enough contact with them, we won't know them away from church. If you aren't used to meeting that brother or sister outside of the church, there is a good chance that you won't recognize them.
Big thing at one time, in a group I was associated with. Was 1800WAHHHH. That is, if you ain't self sufficient enough, if you ain't got the faith, then just call this 1800 number. Because brother, I don't want to hear about your problem. Call this 1800 number, get your help somewhere else, I'm too busy for you.
God's not afraid of your honesty. You can be honest with God, even if the whole church doesn't want to hear it. And, that's good news.
We have put more emphasis on the confession, than on meeting one anothers needs.
Positive Confession. ... You know what else positive confession has done for the church?
There are people who could not go around smiling all the time. Who could not, quote/unquote "Confess the right thing" all the time. So you know what they did? They went into debt to keep up with their 'more' spiritual brothers. And, now they can't tithe! Now, they can't give offerings. They're too busy earning a living and trying to get out of debt to help their brothers.
Positive confession is a curse! It is worse then Saphira and Annanias' sin because it's got the whole church lying to one another! And that is exactly what it is when you come to a brother or sister and your heart is breaking inside, and, you look that brother in the eye, and, you smile and say, "Well, Praise God Brother, How's it going." (As if nothing at all is wrong.) When what you need more then anything else is for that brother to put his arm around your shoulder and say, "Brother, I LOVE YOU, I'm sorry you're going through the valley, what can I do to help?"
Positive confession destroys the Spirit's ability to work through believers to minister to believers.
Positive confession destroys the Spirit's ability to work through believers to minister to neighbors.
Think about it!
Positive confession is the worst curse that has ever come against the Modern American Church. (Because it so easily adapts to the secular and materialistic mind set of the average American.) We keep confessing new testament Christianity, and, we are so far from it that we may never get back to it before Jesus comes.
This is heavy. This is a very serious thing. Positive confession is horrible! We should be open and transparent and honest before God, and before one another. If we can't be open, transparent and honest before one another and before God. How in the world do we expect a drug addict to come to our altars, and get delivered. How in the world do we expect pregnant teenagers to come to our crisis centers and expect them to level with us. How in the world can we expect someone who is in the depths of financial crisis to come and say, "Look brother I really have a need".
Is our attitude, "Well, you ain't been tithing, you deserve to have that need". We must minister to one another. We must know one another. Not in gossip. But, if you know a brother has a need. And, you know another brother who can meet that need. Then get them together.
That's something else Positive Confession has done for us. It's made sharing needs gossip. Because only those less spiritual then we are have needs. (The chief difference between gossip and sharing a need is in the heart attitude of the one who shares the need. If it is with an honest self awareness that 'I may be next' or 'I'd never be so stupid.')
Nobody, not even Jesus himself was up all the time. Jesus got tired. He got weary. He cried, at least twice. And, He got down. Unless you think He was smiling and jumping for joy when he wept over Jerusalem.
Everybody in the church can't be on the platform. But, everyone in the church has a part in ministering one to another. If it's only taking a plate of food over to a neighbor or to another believer, who can't for some reason take care of it himself.
Maybe you've got a sister who is unorganized. Maybe it's all this sister can do to keep her kids from killing one another. Have you ever considered going over and saying, "Hey, can I help you fold clothes today?" I mean you're Mrs. Totally Organized, you're up at 6 o'clock, get the kids off the school by 7:30, and by 9:30 the house is spotless. Well, there are a lot of sisters who can't do that. Have you ever considered that this talent, this Godgiven knack, that you have, could be a ministry.
Not, only could it be a ministry, but this sister is so busy taking care of the kids and trying to get caught up, (which she's never gonna do), that she hasn't got the time to go to the Ladies Prayer Breakfast. You think she could use a little fellowship. You think that there might possibly be some fellowship while folding clothes together. I mean that's just one example.
What about you brothers. Guys got car trouble. Now, he's a kinda, okay mechanic. It's a shame though that the job that would take you fifty minutes, is gonna take him 8 and a half hours and a few broke knuckles. Think about it. That brothers gonna take all day trying to fix a car that you could fix in an hour. And, miss out on any fellowship he might have had at the Saturday Men's Prayer Breakfast.
But, we don't even know one another well enough, we can't even level with one another well enough, to share these needs and these problems with one another. Much less, minister to one another. That's what positive confession has done with us.
Margaret Becker did us a great service, has given us a great gift in the song Honesty.
Oh, Lord bring Honesty back to the church. Let us share openly and honestly with one another, without condemnation, without jealousy, without spiritual oneupmanship.
We each have our areas of Faith and our areas of Weakness. The guy you reject today may have an area of Faith that will get you through an area of your weakness.
May God help us minister to one another. And, may our fellowship, go beyond the walls of a physical church. Because a church is not a physical building, the church is you and I. And, unless and until we have fellowship more frequently than just inside the walls of the church we do not have a church.
May God help us overcome the inroads of the false doctrine of positive confession. It sounds good. Everyone should have a Cadillac. But, it's destroying the church.
NOTE: There is some truth and scripture backing for some of the teaching contained in the Positive Confession teachings. HOWEVER the doctrine as taught is obviously incomplete as evidenced by it's fruit.
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