Anointing with oil

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Anointing with oil

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:24 pm

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.


Listening to the radio this morning, I caught part of a study on the Alistair Begg Truth for Life program on the above text, anointing the sick with oil.
https://www.truthforlife.org/broadcasts/2017/02/9/if-anyone-is-sick-part-1-of-2/

I wonder, what are the thoughts of those here concerning that practice?

Thanks.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:26 pm

I'm aware of people for whom it has been quite meaningful, but for me, I am not comfortable making that part of my approach to ministry.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Haruo » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:26 am

I've had it done once, in a service at Japanese Baptist Church, by the Rev. Dr. Paul Aita. I don't recall whether this was the text, though it may have been. In any event, all in the congregation who had any ailments for which they might wish prayers were invited to come forward and be anointed. I don't recall what words may have been said over me, nor what the specific ailment was (it was probably at least a decade ago). It was a fairly powerful experience at the time, and I'm sure did me no long-term harm.
Thou anointest me with oil;
My cup runneth over.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby William Thornton » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:43 am

I'm generally with Dave on this. The interim pastor in one of my churches, non-baptist background, routinely used oil. In fact, he would leave a couple of vials of oil on the communion table for instant access. Don't know if he got the oil from a confirmed miracle worker or not. I dispensed with the practice.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Haruo » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:00 am

In a typological way it aids in becoming one with Jesus, the Messiah.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Rvaughn » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:18 pm

Thanks. I'd like to ask Dave and William wherein your discomfort lies. Do you associate such a practice with miracle workers, faith healers and such like (especially since Willam's comment "Don't know if he got the oil from a confirmed miracle worker or not")?

I've seen it done once. It was in a home and what I would call quite "low-key" (nothing in the "signs and miracles" genre). The person who did the anointing was a Southern Baptist pastor, and we went because the person being anointed -- and dying of cancer -- was our friend. We attended because of our friend connection, so I don't really know anything about the background of the SB pastor (as in whether he might have had a charismatic background or something like that). All in all, this was approached mostly as a prayer service and the anointing as symbolic -- not perceived as medicinal, magical or miraculous.

Also, how do you view the James 5 text itself?

On the subject, Morgan Edwards included it in the prototype church manual in 1768, but his references to it among the German Baptists suggest it might not have been that common among the Regular Baptists. He certainly believed in it, though.
http://baptistsearch.blogspot.com/2016/08/customs-of-primitive-churches-anointing.html
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:20 am

The abuse of anointing in regard to healing and healers makes me wary. Not a few people in my churches hold stock in some faith healer charlatans. Oil for medicinal use is one way of looking at James. I have orthodox, mainstream friends who will use oil occasionally because it conveys in their view a more powerful and serious belief in God's healing power in response to prayer.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:40 am

I have tended to only use annointing when someone requests it, which has happened maybe only two or three times in my ministry.

I do anoint confirmands at their confirmation. For the fun of it, I use oil I bought in Jerusalem.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Sandy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:28 pm

Noting this text is in James 5, and not seeing anywhere else that anointing with oil is part of healing, not something that Jesus himself did, I'm wondering if James is putting a symbolic or a cultural context into this statement. I never saw it done in any of the Baptist churches I ever belonged to. I did experience it myself in a CMA church, which offers it after every service as a testimony to the fourfold gospel, one aspect of which is Jesus as healer. I tend to think of it in the same way I do washing of feet prior to communion, as more of an illustration than a requirement.

With medical skill now available, which is something I believe is a gift from God through the natural process of learning and discovery, I think the idea of faith healing in a miraculous sort of way is something that is rare, and has a specific spiritual purpose behind it. I certainly don't discount prayers when there is a need, nor divine intervention in healing. I've been healed from Cancer, with no doubt that God was behind both the medical processes and the encouragement that was so necessary during 18 weeks of chemotherapy.
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Re: Anointing with oil

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:10 pm

The Book of Worship of the United Methodist Church has services of healing and at least one of them has anointing with oil as part of the service. I've never done this service. But then again, I've only been a United Methodist for seven years.
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