Critique of THE PROTESTANT'S DILEMMA by Devin Rose

Chapter 23 - Anointing of the Sick

Page 149: In the anointing of the sick, a priest or bishop anoints the sick person with blessed oil and prays over him for the Holy Spirit to heal his body and soul. Although it is rooted in Scripture, the Reformers ended this practice, curiously giving different reasons for the decisions.
Note: Methodology is not important for the healing of people.
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. John 9:1-7.
Note: Should we use oil or clay or both or neither?

Pages 149-150: Martin Luther argued that since people who received it during his day were typically on their deathbed, and most did not recover from their illness, it could not be a true sacrament. (If it were, he reasoned, God would heal every person who received it.) As we have seen, he also rejected the book of James (in which can be found some scriptural support for the sacrament) as uninspired, and even when he assumed for the sake of argument that James was canonical, he nonetheless believed that an apostle had no right to “create” a sacrament. He also claimed that the Gospels make no mention of it.
Note: Methodology is not important for the healing of people.
And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. Acts 28:8-9.
Note: Should we use oil or hands or both or neither?

Page 150: John Calvin followed Luther in rejecting this sacrament, though he gave a different reason for doing so: he believed that God no longer worked miracles through his ministers. This type of theory falls into a theological category called dispensationalism, which divides up history into different periods, or dispensations, to try to explain why God has seemingly worked in different ways over the course of the centuries.
Note: Healings dramatically tapered off during the apostolic era.
No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities. 1 Timothy 5:23.
Note: Apparently, Timothy could not get healed as he had frequent infirmities.

Page 150: The vast majority of Protestant churches today do not practice the anointing of the sick. They reason that, because the Bible does not record Christ explicitly commanding its usage as he did for baptism and the Eucharist, anointing cannot be a sacrament and is at best an optional practice that a church could choose to do.
Note: Healings dramatically tapered off during the apostolic era.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. Do your utmost to come before winter. 2 Timothy 4:19-21.
Note: Apparently, Trophimus could not get healed to continue with the Apostle Paul.

Page 151: Martin Luther made an error in assuming that the person’s physical recovery was the vital component of the anointing he received. Instead, the sacrament is meant first for the spiritual health of the person, especially for those persons who were soon to meet God (note Christ’s priorities toward the seriously ill in Matthew 9:2-7). In claiming that the Gospels don’t mention the sacrament, he ignored or embarrassingly missed Mark 6:13, where Jesus sends the apostles out, and they anoint with oil to heal sick people.
Note: Jesus Christ healed to fulfill prophecy and declare Himself as the Messiah.
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21.
Note: Physical healing should never be the focus of any Christian ministry.

Page 151: We see clear evidence elsewhere in Scripture of the apostles administering the sacrament. For example, James 5:14-15: “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” The biblical witness and the historical practice of the Church from the earliest centuries in both East and West confirm that this sacrament was apostolic and instituted by Christ. Yet the Protestant Reformers rejected it, and all of Protestantism followed after them.
Note: Jesus Christ healed to fulfill prophecy and declare Himself as the Messiah.
And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Matthew 11:2-6.
Note: Physical healing should never be the focus of any Christian ministry.

Page 151: Calvin’s dispensational theory is almost without anything to recommend it. It is arbitrary, without foundation either in Scripture or Tradition. It is startling that one of the most influential men behind Protestantism could so cavalierly dismiss one of the seven sacraments of the Church using only his made-up theory to do so. And yet his opinion has continued to influence Protestant theology even down to our day.
Note: Wanting to be healed could actually be against the will of God.
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Note: Physical healing should never be the focus of any Christian ministry.

Page 152: When I was an Evangelical Protestant going to a Southern Baptist church, my pastor gave a sermon in which he recounted his experience of being asked by a hospitalized church member to come and pray over him and anoint him with oil. The church member explicitly mentioned James 5 as the biblical precedent for the request. My pastor said, “Sure enough, I looked it up, and it’s right there in the Bible just like he said. So I didn’t really know what to do, but I went to the hospital and took some oil with me, and then, well, I poped him!
Note: Wanting to be healed could actually be against the will of God.
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:7-10.
Note: Physical healing should never be the focus of any Christian ministry.

Page 153: If Protestantism is true, then anointing of the sick is not a sacrament. Catholic and Orthodox Christians have been smearing oil on sick people’s heads for centuries in futility, erroneously believing the biblical passages that say it will forgive their sins.
Note: Forgiveness of sins comes through faith in Jesus Christ not oil.
So I said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:15-18.
Note: Physical healing should never be the focus of any ministry.