Healing of the Sick

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Headcoveredlady, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,
    I would like to hear from other fundamental baptists as to why most do not practice the verses given in James five about praying over the sick by elders and annointing with oil.

    HCL
     
  2. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Because it is sticky. Just kidding :D
     
  3. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm a Southern Baptist boy--and we have in our church congregation 3 people with cancer---2 are terminal, chemo will only prolong their physical lives. We call each other to prayer--the sick folk above in the center of the circle at church--everybody touchin' someone who's touchin' someone who's touchin' someone who's touching the fella above!! We pray for their healing and prolongation of life--we shed tears and in a spiritual way our tears are bottled up in Gloryland!! That's what we do!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  4. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    I am a member of an SBC church, and we annoint with oil.
     
  5. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Having heard before that some IFB churches do not permit the use of Spiritual Gifts I have wondered also how they can reconcile James.

    I have been healed. Friends of mine have been healed. As I see it Spiritual Gifts are alive and well in a number of Fundamentalist churches in Australia.
     
  6. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am glad to hear that some churches do practice this. I know of one Baptist church in my area that does this and they are SB. Mine is more fundamental and it is not practiced, but I tell you we have a very large sick prayer list.

    HCL
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    The command in James is for the ill person to call the elders (pastors) and let them pray over and anoint with oil. If someone came and asked for anointing, I would do it.

    I believe the Lord heals, I just don't believe in the so-called "faith" healers. The emphasises in James, however, is prayer, not the anointing,,,it is the Lord who heals.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. WW2'er

    WW2'er
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great response Jim. I agree wholeheartedly.

    WW2'er
     
  9. Ransom

    Ransom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have read some commentators (Adam Clarke, for example) that said the "anointing with oil" mentioned by James was simply part of the medical practice at the time; it was used as a medicine. Note, for example, the use of wine and oil as dressings in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

    If so, what James was telling his readers to do was to pray for the sick, but not to neglect or denigrate the work of doctors.

    Possibly the application of oil is intended to be ceremonial or symbolic, oil being one symbol of the Holy Spirit. If so, the principle is the same.

    The modern application would be, if there is someone sick, to call in the elders to pray, and let the doctors do their work. It could very well be that if it is God's will to heal that person, he will do so through those doctors.
     
  10. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    When people ask me “Do you believe in healing” I always say yes. I believe God may heal in answer to the prayers of His people. But when folks ask me do you anoint the sick, do you have healing services, do you believe in faith healers? I say no. Of course that raises the question “What about James 5?” James is the book of practical Christianity. He is about "doing" faith. He wants men to be doers of the word and not hearers only. James believes in healing. He is very positive about it, but he is also very practical about it. James is very specific about the who’s, how’s, why’s and wherefore’s of healing.

    In verse 14 he asks: “Is any sick among you?” There are those who are sick, and then there are those who are really sick. The subject of verse 14 fits into the latter category. The word translated “sick” here is “astheneo” {as-then-eh'-o} it means to be weak, and it indicates a very serious physical condition, one who is physically to be without strength, physically powerless. So, when we read “Is any sick among you?” we appreciate the nature of the illness. Here is a person with a life threatening condition, bedridden and powerless. His physical state spells utter hopelessness. He is on the brink of death. We are not dealing with a headache, or the infamous shortened leg, or a backache, we are dealing with a disease that tangible and which, humanly speaking, there is little possibility of recovery. So what now?

    James says "Let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." (James 5:14).
    Not only are they to pray over him, but they are to anoint him with oil. This is where many mistake James words for what amounts to Charismatic or pentecostal practices, because they get the idea that oil has some mystical element to it, that the oil (probably olive oil) is in some way gong to secure a healing. This is not the case.

    How then are we to understand this “anointing him with oil?”

    Some suggest the oil was medicinal - this is a plausible proposition. Often in Bible times oil was used to ease pain and bring physical comfort to the injured. The Good Samaritan “went to him (the beaten traveller on the Jericho Road), and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine.” (Luke 10:34) Speaking of Judah, Isaiah wrote “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment (oil).” (Isaiah 1:6).

    Others, however, see the oil as symbolic of the Holy Spirit. This too has Scriptural support. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek.” Compare that with the baptism of Jesus wherein the Spirit is depicted as a descending dove, and the quotation of this passage by Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth, and we can see the reasoning. Also John wrote “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things,” and added “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1 John 2:20 & 27).

    However, it must be said both these explanations have their problems. Oil may be useful for external ailments such as wounds and bruising, but it is of no remedy for cancer, or heart disease, or broken bones. As for using oil symbolically we effectively create a third ordinance about which the New Testament says nothing elsewhere. Therefore, we need to take a closer look at this word “anointing.”

    The underlying word translated “anointing” is “aleipho” {al-i'-fo} and it indicates the mundane and common word for anointing rather than the sacred and religious word. In other words this anointing should not be viewed as ceremonial, but as practical, as the everyday application of oil was used. The word “anointing” may be translated massaging or rubbing.

    That was how oil was commonly used among the ancients. It was used in much the same way we would use moisturiser, or deodorant or hair conditioner. See Matthew 6:17 and John 12:3

    Considering the common way in which oil was applied, we may safely say then that when James spoke of anointing him with oil he spoke of it in the common sense, and viewed it as a simple medical comfort, rather than as a mystical medical cure. Remember the condition of the patient. He has suffered a prolonged illness. He has been weak and powerless. He had been a long time bedridden, perhaps suffering bed sores. He is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. What better practical way could there be to minister to such a person than to afford him a little physical ease for his discomfiture?

    This would be entirely in keeping with the whole tenor of James epistle. See James 2:14-18

    It would have been hypocrisy to pray over the sick, to exercise faith concerning his condition yet afford him no practical assistance of any kind. Now we come to verse 15 and 16 and to the phrase “the prayer of faith.” The Charismatics, by practice, make this verse to teach “the prayer of enough faith” shall save the sick. They make faith, which they understand in terms of positive thinking and imagineering, as the criteria for healing, but, God never works in quantities of faith - he is not so much concerned that we have enough faith, but that we have a Biblical faith.

    The phrase “prayer of faith” infers submission to God’s Word and God’s will, believing that God can heal, but accepting that He might not choose to, that He might accomplish some Sovereign purpose in our lives. However, if it is God’s will that a healing should be secured, then we can rest assured that the prayers of the elders will be answered by healing and the diseased and weary brother will be raised up. It is the praying and not the anointing which secures the healing. “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up.”

    There is an element is this whole procedure we must not overlook and that is the element of confession. Notice ; “And if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:15). Here too the Charismatics often read a sense into this part of the verse which is simply not there. It says “IF he have committed sins,” not “Since he has committed sins.” Sickness cannot always be associated with personal sin. Remember the question of the disciples concerning the man born blind? “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). And how did the Lord answer? “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:3). So we can safely say that not all sickness is due to sin.

    Having said that, it is true to say that some sickness is due to sin, and in particular due to sins against the body of Christ. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” (1 Cor 11:30). So it may be a Christian is laid low because of his sin and contempt for the church of God. In such a case there needs to be a frank and honest admission of this, and confession with the elders. If sin is at the root of the sickness then the confession and forgiveness of sin will certainly accommodate the physical healing.

    Perhaps we would have been aided in our understanding of the passage had the translators of the Bible added the word “therefore" between verses 15 & 16 so as to read “And if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” Now James adds “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” In effect James, ever desirous that we should be practical in our faith, calls us to live pure lives and maintain pure relationships, and praying sincerely that we may secure the healing of and mercy of God for those who are laid low.

    So in summary, why do we not anoint the sick with oil? Because we understand this, not as a mystical act, but a practical help.
     
  11. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know this is off topic, I'm sorry, but don't allow spiritual gifts? That sounds odd. Or do they just mean the charismatic type gifts? When you consider all the spiritual gifts at work in a church seems real strange.
    missionary
    helps
    service
    exortation
    teaching
    intercession
    pastoring/shepharding/nurturing( does not necessarily mean the 'pastor' of the church, but one who leads and nurtures a group).
    Too many people/churches have allowed the fear of something looking charismatic(never considering that their interpetstions of those gifts may eb wrong) to blind them to the spiritaul gifts(the ability to accompish what God wahts you to do outside of your own abilities) God has given them. Seems a real shame.

    We also have a large sick prayer list, or those just needing prayer. But they aren't all members of our church. We have a reputation in our town, if you want to get well, get on the horse cave baptist church prayer list. ANy healing or the lack of are all God's will, He either heals or HE doesn't which ever acomplishes His purposes.
     
  12. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, thanks for all of the thoughtful responses. I agree that many have used this verse for wrong reasons and teach that they themsleves actually heal when Only God can heal.
    But, to me the verses say we are to do this when someone is sick. I am wondering why we can't just take it like it says and do it.

    HCL
     
  13. Ransom

    Ransom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the main problem with doing what it literally says (i.e. smearing the patient with oil and praying over him) is simply that it confuses practice with principle.

    However, this is a question of interpretation. Taking the passage at face value and doing it - i.e. anointing and praying - is better than doing neither. The point James is making is about practical faith, not medical practice or "faith healing."
     
  14. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    Brother Moore!!!

    Amen!! And Amen!!

    Your Southern Baptist preacher friend(on this side of the "Big Pond!!)

    Blackbird
     
  15. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    We anoint and pray as per James 5. Think there is a corporate energy (as well as any medicinal help from oil and of course spiritual help from the prayer) and therapy from "touch".

    Don't want to get far afield and into some mystical "touchy-feely" mentality, but you all DO know about such energy.

    Ask some teen on a date about the energy from simply touching or &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;gasp&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; holding hands. Every cell of our body has energy. :eek:
     
  16. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob Griffin,
    Are you serious? Does the healing come from the touch or is that part of it? Or are you joking? Because to me it seems to indicate that the healing comes from the faithful prayers and obedience.

    HCL
     
  17. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Please reread my post. I was careful to say that the medicinal aspect of oil, and the prayer aspect of GOD healing is what counts.

    But don't DISCOUNT the energy in a human touch. That's all I'm saying. Christians shy away (or openly RUN) from such contact as "evil". But it is simply the way God made us.

    Sounds like YOU need a touch. Com'on, here's a cyber-hug for you, friend!! [​IMG]
     
  18. Headcoveredlady

    Headcoveredlady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    oh, thank you dr. bob. i see what you are saying now.
     
  19. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been to various healing meetings and instances where people have been annointed and the like.

    I have been fortunate to have been physically healed on two occasions. One was after beng prayed for by the Elders and annointed. The other was when an Ethiopian Evangalist was touring Australia. He called out those who wanted to be healed and I went forward. I had been in a car accident and had a huge lump on my head. He prayed for me and as was witnessed by the congregation. that lump reduced to nothing there and then. I had to then cancel my sick leave and return to work!!!

    Having said that there have been occasions where healing has not come physically. when the disciples were healing people Paul had his thorn in the flesh and Timothy his sick stomach.

    People have the attitude that the Holy Spirit is some type of magical force that turns on and off like a tap. You could not be more wrong. With this attitude it is doubtfull God would perform miracles.

    The problem as I see it is that some people have prayed for healing or seen somebody else not healed and have given up. Every time we are sick we should ask God for His healing. Even on the way to the doctors. Imagine what God might do if we simply asked?
     

Share This Page

Loading...