View Full Version : Anointing with oil

Debby in Philly
02-23-2005, 03:20 PM
The thread on crossing made me think of this one. Are there Baptists out there who occiasionally anoint with oil - perhaps in prayer for the sick, of part of a wedding service?
What are your thoughts on the practice?

02-23-2005, 03:50 PM
I have heard of that being done by some Baptists. I don't really have any thoughts on it. Can't see that it would hurt anything, but not sure that it helps either.

Bro Tony
02-23-2005, 04:07 PM
When we pray for the sick in our church, if they request to be anointed with oil we do it. We remind them that God is the healer, that He is soveriegn. But since in the NT they would anoint the sick we do if they request.

BTW---We always have a time to pray for the sick in our church. Whether the problem be spiritual, physical or mental, if they ask we gather around them, lay hands on them and pray for them. It is a great time of ministering by the whole body. We believe the church should be a place of healing, and the most comfortable place for believers to share their needs. And no we are not Pentecostal, nor do we believe in the "health, wealth, prosperity" teachings.

Bro Tony

02-23-2005, 04:10 PM
I have my own recipes...

James 12:14 is rather clear on this. At least it is according to the Elders of my church.
Preparing the oil is part of my job as sacristan/verger.

02-23-2005, 04:24 PM
mmm ... care to share the recipes ... ?

02-23-2005, 04:30 PM
You'll have to help me with this one, the last time I looked james only had 5 chapters.

02-23-2005, 04:42 PM
That should read James 5:14

It is late and I ought to be going home. I'll think about sharing some of my trade secrets tomorrow.

02-23-2005, 04:42 PM
James 5:
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

14 Is any sick among you? 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:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (KJV 1769)

02-23-2005, 04:45 PM
double post.

02-23-2005, 05:11 PM
I had a preacher give me a keychain with a small metal container with "annointing oil" in it. I put that thing in my glove compartment and forgot about. Needless to say, in the heat, my glove box was abundantly annointed.

02-23-2005, 08:54 PM
But, the rest of the car is not?

02-23-2005, 11:41 PM
There was enough oil to go around for all to be annointed.

02-24-2005, 07:43 AM
I use olive oil as a basis, do not use the best quality, you don't want the patient to smell like a salad. :eek:
I mix in frankincense that has been ground into a powder, you need it to fix the fragrance of other ingredients. I usually add 1 or 2 other substances, lavendel, cardamom, rosepetals, saffron.
Store it in a cool space for a couple of days, stir it occasionally and strain it before putting it in the bottle.
You could also simply use some cheap sunflower oil from the original plastic bottle it was bought in, but for some reason people feel very uncomfortable about the notion of getting anointed with unscented oil from a bottle that reads: for baking and broiling.

Debby in Philly
02-24-2005, 11:43 AM
Now I am concerned.

Some folks make fun of the question, or think it speaks of Pentecostalism, etc. Some take it seriously, and mioque even has the task of keeping the church supplied with the oil.

If it's in scripture, which it is, then why? Especially if it has no "magic" power to heal or bless? We baptize, but most Baptists would say it is only a symbol, and has no efficacy. Yet we require it for membership in most cases. We take communion, which we also say has no efficacy, but take the practice very seriously, none the less, with rules about who can and cannot.

Why then, this attitude about oil?

I guess my question is about the "why" of ritual practice, our choice of which ones to keep and which not, and about anointing with oil in particular. Especially in the light of Baptist doctrine, which says all of these things are but symbolic.

02-24-2005, 12:12 PM
I've done several services in annointing with oil. However you do it is up to you and whatever you use is up to you. The oil itself does not possess any salvific qualities. Notice that the James 5:15 points out that the prayer(s) of faith around this sacred ceremony will lift the person up. The consecreation through prayer of the sick person is an act of obedience and love from the fellow Christians in their community.

There is more to this than simple symbolism. If baptism was simply symbolic than it would have no meaning. No baptism is far more than symbolic for when the person baptized is immersed they do so by stating the good confession of the Gospel. While the physical parts of the ceremonies here (bread, wine...or grape juice, water, oil) are not specially endowed by God with power the hearts of those participating are to give glory to God and show their submission to His lordship.

02-24-2005, 02:21 PM
Debby in Philly

We might not want to talk about foot washin's ...

Debby in Philly
02-24-2005, 02:35 PM
I forgot about that one.

But why do Baptists think anointing with oil has no place in our practice? I've been a Baptist (first ABC, then recently CBA) all my life, and never seen it done, or been asked to participate, until we got our new pastor and assistant pastor last year.

The one time was when the assistant pastor asked all of us deacons to to anoint another deacon who had cancer (and was about to go through very strenuous treatment) while we laid hands on him and prayed.

The other was in a wedding I attended, conducted by our pastor. He made the sign of the cross on their foreheads with oil at the close of the ceremony, with a prayer for their future.

I'm just not used to it, I guess. I know why we baptize, and why we take communion. But why would you want to have this done, if you're sick or getting married? It's the prayers I would want. How does getting greasy help?

02-24-2005, 02:50 PM
Why would you forget about that one?


Debby in Philly
02-24-2005, 03:22 PM
Never been to a foot washing, never heard of anyone in my church wanting to do it, and the ceremony is not commanded in scripture like baptism, communion and anointing.

ABC = American Baptist Churches, USA
CBA = Conservative Baptist Association

02-24-2005, 03:47 PM
Its certainly not the oil that does the healing, but if someone requests it, my husband will do it. It has only been asked once. There is a woman in our church who asked for an altar prayer for a child in the church who was ill. When everyone got down there and started praying, she started putting oil on him and he was scared to death - started screamin' and flailin'. That was a mess.

02-24-2005, 03:49 PM
I went to one FWBaptist Church that anointed anyone that was sick and requested. They got a new pastor and he started anointing by proxy...in other words you could go forward and ask to be anointed for someone you knew to be sick, and the elders and deacons would put their hands on your and pray while the pastor anoited with oil.

My father was a deacon for many years and resigned as a deacon because he didn't believe in anointing by proxy.

02-24-2005, 06:09 PM
It is taught in James 5. There is no healing efficacy in the oil - it is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. What your deacons did, Debby, was not Biblical, because it specifically says the anointing and prayer are to be done by the elders of the church. (I shouldn't say it wasn't Biblical - it's always good when people pray, but it was not the prayer and anointing spelled out in the Bible.)

Debby in Philly
02-25-2005, 09:36 AM
Sorry for the semantic problem here - In my church, the deacons ARE the "elders." That is, those who make decisions on spiritual matters in the church. It was the assistant pastor who used the oil first, then passed it to each of us. I do not mean to debate "who is a deacon" here. That has been covered at great length elsewhere on the BB.

02-25-2005, 11:21 AM
I pastor a small SBC congregation, and I have no problem annointing with oil, as long as the scriptural requirements of James 5 are met (i.e. that the person ask, etc.)
We recently (last Sunday Eve.) had a member ask for the annointing and prayer for his health problems during the time of invitation, and in accordance with the scripture we did so.......
Incidentally, I give praise to God that the next morning he was walking without his cane, was measurably stronger, and his breathing problems have abated.
God Is Good!

Debby in Philly
02-25-2005, 11:24 AM
Praise God for that answer to prayer!

Has anyone heard of doing it in a wedding, as I mentioned before?