Recently, there were pictures and a video of a local megachurch pastor praying over bottles of oil and blessing them, with the purpose of distributing, selling them to his church members. This is not the first time this occurred; a quick search shows a similar video in November last year.

One of my church youth committee members asked, “Legit’ or not?” Is this real, and is the oil really blessed, anointed with power from God?

This reminds me of one of the issues that Martin Luther had against the RC church prior to the Protestant Reformation. Bottles of holy water believed to be blessed by the Pope were being sold to commoners in villages, as a result of an abuse of the local clergy/church and no access to God’s word and biblical truths/teachings.

Acts 8.9-24 records an incident regarding Simon the sorcerer who practiced magic arts and was called “the Great Power of God”. After he believed and was baptized, he observed the apostles laying hands and blessing others with the Holy Spirit, and offered money to have the same authority.

But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! … Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.
Acts 8:20‭, ‬22 NASB

http://bible.com/100/act.8.20-22.NASB

Peter reminded that we cannot obtain God’s power through material gain, and that we all need the forgiveness of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ, as the basis of salvation.

Since Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, God has left us with 2 spiritual resources, namely the Holy Spirit and the Bible, God’s word. We can have direct access to God through repentance and faith, and as the early Reformers affirmed, there should only be 5 solas (from Latin, sola, lit. “alone”):

  • Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone)
  • Sola fide (by faith alone)
  • Sola gratia (by grace alone)
  • Solus Christus (Christ alone)
  • Soli Deo gratia (glory to God alone)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_solae

Praise God for His Word and Spirit, and that we do not need and should not pursue anything less than God Himself. Physical, human objects have no power in and of themselves, and we should be wise and discerning not to be tempted or stumbled to focus on such “idols” or superstitions, that might end up replacing God as the center of our lives.

#askpastortime

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