Monday, April 5, 2010

#137-The Anointing aka The Force

It's a really good day up here. The weather is stunning. And I am considering myself on a one day sabbatical because baseball season basically gets under way today....

If there is ever a post here on SAL that is about syntax it will be this one....

Apostolics love the "anointing." In fact, we have many claims about the anointing, and dear reader, I would be leading you astray if I was to tell you I would be examining our cultural understanding of anointing and then applauding the very understanding. Rather as you have come to expect, I, your amateur blogger for now will investigate the common held beliefs regarding the topic at large, and then proceed to deconstruct these myth traditions in hopes that we may leave this very website with a more informed understanding of what the anointing is, and in that process be encouraged.

I would estimate 4.3% of all apostolic sermons focus on the anointing. 

Myth #1: The Anointing runs top-down from the pastor then to the congregation
We love using the story of Aaron's anointing and how the anointing oil went from the crown of the head down to the feet to justify our top-down authority structure as biblical. 

Truth: Paul says the only one that is to be the head of the body is Christ himself in 1 Corinthians 12 basically invalidating the argument at it's head (literally). So the idea that the anointing runs top down is only existent in one old testament story which never makes claims to have any theological implications. Further in light of the new testament revelation of Christ at the head of the body, there is then no superior part of body other than Christ.

Myth #2- The Anointing is temporal

We love hearing singers who were anointed in their singing last night.

We need to pray the anointing on.

Bro. Kropawhitz sure was anointed last week in his sermon.

Except there is nothing to suggest within the old or New Testament that the anointing is revocable or rather restricted to certain times (such as when a song is sung or when a preacher preaches). The anointing is rather irrevocable and is a lifelong calling. You may elect to not follow that calling, but the anointing is still present and should not be used to describe a feeling.

I John 2:27-"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you,

Luke 4:18-"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed," 
                                                              -Jesus (4 B.C.-29 A.D.)

The above describes the religious mission Jesus was called to, and thus anointed for. It is not that he had a really good night of preaching and saved a few poor people and had a few miracles, and thus could be declared to really "have the anointing" that night." Rather, this would be his lifelong mission.

Myth #3: The Anointing is a Feeling

Very similar to myth #2, but slightly different. In this regards, we may commonly hear "I really felt the anointing tonight."

Which biblically, you are literally saying,
"I became more objective in my understanding of God's irrevocable call on my life tonight." But that is not at all the context we are referring to "feeling the anointing about the sermon."

I think in this regards, what we call "anointing" is actually just feeling a strong impression of the Holy Ghost.

Myth #4: We must pray the Anointing On


Myth #5: Preachers and pastors are the only truly "anointed and called."

Please, for the love of God, if you think this is true, find that thought in your brain. And then immediately find your way to a neurosurgeon and show him the place where this false belief exists in your head, and ask him to extract it immediately.

In this regard, the anointing becomes more like "the force" that is only bestowed on some of the specially called amongst the good guys. And then you can wish "the force" to be with certain people. Also, if you remember in Star Wars (if you have seen it), the dudes keep on saying to Luke that the "force is very strong in you." Similarly, we have this concept that the anointing can be very strong in certain speakers. But we must not confuse the feeling of strong impressions of the Holy ghost in someone's ministry as demonstrating that someone is more or less anointed based on this feeling/discernment.

Except, once again, we are confusing hollywood with the bible.

The reality:
Aaron was anointed for the position of high priest. Newsflash, we belong to this same royal priesthood (I peter 2:9). Meaning, upon conversion, we have the same anointing of Aaron himself. this is never limited to "men of God" and those in "ministry." It's for your pastor, you and me, and the Sunday School teacher who seems to always be in some kind bad way with her temper.

And note, our "anointing" no longer comes from the top-down mechanism that was prevalent in the old testament (think Moses to Aaron, or Samuel to David).  Rather, as Acts 10:38 has God anointing Jesus with the Holy Spirit, now we are anointed through the reception of the Holy Spirit through Jesus himself (II Corinthians 1:21-22).

The bad news: Most of our understanding of "the anointing" depending on how you were raised was probably wrong. The Good news:
We are all anointed!

Lastly, on our facebook page, we are having a contest, suggest SAL topics and the ones that get liked the most will get written about sooner.

Also I went about this post from mostly memory from a study 4 years ago. So it's liable to be wrong at parts. So please do proper study with due diligence and make sure to call me out where/if I am wrong. I am not so much into the business of proving myself right and everyone else wrong, but rather a business that makes us think and study and ask questions.


  1. Great post. I have heard sermons preached so strongly about the power of the pastor and falling at his feet, you'd think he was the one who died and saved everybody at Calvary. Its also amazing that amount of power we have given to the pastor considering the word pastor is only mentioned 1 time in the NT.

  2. You know what is funny to me, we hold the gift of pastor so far above any other gift. It is just a gift like any other. Where is the 5 fold ministry in our church's? People always got to have a king just like the israelites in the OT.

    This is what Corinthians 11:3 doesn't say: But I would have you know , that the head of every man is his pastor, the head of every pastor is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God

  3. Joel, good post. One I need to reread again to get an opinion. Maybe a better description for our apostolic "annointing" would be "quickening"?

    "I really felt the quickening of the Holy Ghost!"

    Yes, I suppose that could be apostolically correct.

  4. completely agree Jeff...

    I think our wordage is off. It's not that we are doing anything manipulative with our use of "anointing" but rather we have done it out of a cultural demand for a word to describe the occasion of feeling of the Holy Ghost. Anointing is a biblical word so it's very easy to use it for the missing word of our experience.

  5. I felt my help coming on while I read this blog.