book review

Should you name it, claim it?

Dag Heward-Mills is a Ghanaian Minister based in Ghana. He is a prolific author, speaker, evangelist, and claims the title of an apostle. He has a huge following and the author of this popular book.

A missionary photocopied this entire book and I was one of the many people who received a replicated copy. I thought it was a good read because it was about the goodness, power, and blessings that God desires for us. Then it became troubling as I read towards the middle part of the book.

Prosperity Gospel

The book begins by relating faith with what your heart desires – mostly receiving wealth. Prosperity gospel is antithetical to the true gospel message and the clear teaching of Scripture. This teaching comes from the misinterpretation and misunderstanding of some Scriptures, and, at its worst, it is a completely heretical teaching that has the characteristics of cultic doctrine.

But only a tiny portion is questionable

The supposedly “best part” of the book where you declare and make all sorts of pronouncements is summarized into these personal pronouns – “I, me, and myself.” Then you are advised to declare things that are opposed to the teaching of Jesus.

Excerpt: Page 65 “Cursing the enemy”

“You are to declare that those who sow lies against you shall reap confusion, hatred, and death… the neck of my enemy is broken

Why would I wish hatred and death to an enemy, and why would I declare that their necks be broken? We are to bless our enemies and not curse them with ill thoughts. (Romans 12:14)

Biblical cursing?
A Pastor has a habit of cursing places they rented. He would judge the place by declaring “no one will ever rent this place again because the owners evicted God’s worker.” He justified his action by saying, “I was cursing an unbeliever.”

Perhaps he was using Psalm 109 as a reference where King David “cursed” his enemies. Although it sounds evil, King David was asking the Lord to do exactly what God had said he would do to the proud and wicked (Exodus 34:6-7; Job 40:12; Proverbs 15:25; Jeremiah 50:32; Isaiah 13:11).

But didn’t Jesus say to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and bless those who persecute you? (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27; Romans 12:14). If you are like this Pastor who declares “ill” to other people, ask what your motives are in invoking God to rebuke and judge people. Remember, whatever measure you use will also be used against you (Matthew 7:2).

Excerpt: Page 66 “Self-worth”

“Those that despise me will bow down before me”

Allowing someone to bow to demonstrate their humility does not make sense if you are a Christian. We are called to be humble like Jesus (1 Peter 5:5-6), why should anyone bow before us, even if the intention is to seek forgiveness? Even angels would not allow anyone to bow before them because it allows them to be worshipped (Revelation 22:9).

Excerpt: Page 67 “Becoming Wealthy”

“People admire my house every day; in my house, the garages are filled with the latest and best types of cars in the world!”

Jesus taught and demonstrated that we are to live simple lives, away from the love of wealth. To begin with, why would we need the latest and best types of cars? The Bible tells us not to seek these things (Matthew 6:32). These declarations are in total opposite of God’s commands. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself…” (Luke 9:23). We must be careful of what we claim in Jesus’ name. “… a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15)

God sees our intention

A missionary claimed and declared “We have a megachurch… we have our own church building” (page 71). However, a member of their church so a vision that their church closed down, and it did. Why this after they fasted, prayed, demonstrated immense faith, claimed and declared expansion?

Our motives no matter how sincere can have intentions that are ultimately self-serving. Declaring something that ultimately is not seeking God’s glory alone is actually undermining His grace. God evaluates our motives (Proverbs 21:2) and He will not hear those whose heart is filled with pride (Job 35:12).

A true Christian are not to seek after these things
I am an advocate of the movement “Speak Life” and believe that we should hold on to the promises of God, declare what is good, and claim His eternal promises. However, we must be careful in putting God in a box.

Albert is the Editor-in-Chief of J15. He is a graduate of Asian Studies and an undergraduate from the Asian Bible Seminary and Trinity College of Music. He has been a Christian for almost thirty years and is happily married with three lovable teenagers.


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