EXAMINING THE CONCEPT OF ADMINISTRATION OF ANOINTING OIL: A CASE STUDY OF SOME SELECTED NIGERIAN AIR FORCE PROTESTANT CHURCHES

EXAMINING THE CONCEPT OF ADMINISTRATION OF ANOINTING OIL: A CASE STUDY OF SOME SELECTED NIGERIAN AIR FORCE PROTESTANT CHURCHES

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction

This section discusses the background to the study, bringing out the problem and purpose for which the study is carried out. It also poses some questions upon which the entire research work centers on not living out the limitations of the study and organization of work.

1.1Background to the Study

According to some beliefs, the qualities of divinity can, by anointing are transferred into men as well. In Greek mythology the sea nymph thetis anointed her mortal child Achilles with ambrosia in order to make him immortal. People and objects are anointed to mark the introduction of divine influence, a holy emanation, spirit, or power.Anointing with oil was traditional among the Hebrews as a practice of welcoming someone to their home. It was also common for early Christians to anoint themselves as a way to revive or energize their bodies.[1] But it is an amazing thing to observe the revivals and the religious practices in churches the way wrongly use of the oil nowadays. Jesus did not avoid the sick. Instead he showed them that God loves them, and he healed a great many of them since his Church is not only a community of faith but also a community of life, every individual should be able to discover that in her (church) he has a brother or sister.[2]

Anointing is a cosmic sign related to cleansing and touching in anthropological studies as well as in classical literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Oil, which corresponded to soap (usually with perfume of some kind) seems to have been the most popular substance for anointing. It was used for washing, for athletic events, for religious rites, for designation of special persons. Very primitive religions may have seen the virtue and power of a sacrificial animal passed to the one anointed with the fat of that sacrifice.[3]

In the Old Testament, a person or thing was beinganointed to make it sacred. Moses anointed the meeting tent, the ark, the table, the lamp stand, the altar, Aaron and his sons as priests (Exod. 30: 27-30). But the use of anointing oil in the churches today is alarming and are absolutely eye catching with the big slogans attach to those practices such as “come and experience the power of God”, “come and receive your miracle”, etc.

These show and slogans are put in place to draw people to themselves (pastors) and their desire to help people from whatever oppression they might be experiencing through the use of anointing oil. A majority of these pastors use portions, and they are heavily paid for.[4] They claim that this practice is biblical; and some Nigerian Air Force (NAF) protestant churches are proponent of this practice. They emphasize that the church must be the hand of Christ in all things; Christians are not to be poor, sick, victims of witchcraft, demons or any other thing that is not good for them.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Anointing oil has become an essential part of the church’s concern. And this has brought competition among the protestant churches base on the religious practices that takes place nowadays. It has become a matter of great concern for both the leaders and the followers. Christians in recent times seem to believe more in anointing oil rather than God. People flock to such churches just to attend anointing services and buy oil for their personal use.

Again, most Christian believers turn to believe in their pastor(s) and what he says than to what God Himself has revealed in the Holy Bible. And as such, some of the pastor’s use their understanding of the scriptures to make money from the people in every possible opportunity; and anointing oil seem to be the major source.

1.3 Research Questions

In order to achieve the purpose of this study mentioned below, the following questions were used as pillars upon which the research work dwelt:

1.      What is the dispensational reason for the use of anointing oil?

2.      How is anointing oil relevant to Christendom?

3.      Has anointing oil any spiritual implication when administered?

4.      Are Christians having the right conception about anointing oil?

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The essence of this study is to trace the biblical history and dispensational reasons for the use of anointing oil and how it’s relevant for the church today. Also, it examines the administration of the anointing oil in Nigerian Air ForceProtestant Churches.

1.5 Scope and Limitation to the Study

The focus of this research work is on Anointing oil, particularly on its concept and administration in the protestant churches in Nigerian Air Force (NAF). For this purpose, eight (8)   Churches from Nigerian Air Force Base across Nigeria namely: Kaduna, Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt, Yola, Makurdi, Kainji and Ikeja.Since the law permits only two traditional churches to exist in NAF barracks namely: Catholic and Protestant; against the background of the numerous local churches that exist within NAF throughout the country. Nevertheless, the issues addressed and opinions derived within the purview of the selected churches will represent the overall concern of this study.

Also, a research work of this kind requires enough financial resources and adequate time. However, lack of materials and time resources are major limitations which prevent the researcher to carry out a larger and comprehensive investigation that an academic exercise of this nature requires on the subject matter.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is being carried out towards enhancing the personality and image of the protestant churches in Nigeria with regards to the use of anointing oil. This attempt will disabuse the negative perception Christians have about the use and administration of anointing oil. It is also of great importance and believes that this study shall change the misconceptions Christians have concerning the use of anointing oil.

More so, this research work will be relevant for students in theology, other religious disciplines and the society at large. It will also serve as a resource work for further studies in this field.

1.7Definition of Terms

In order to avoid confusion and misinterpretation, it has become necessary to define some of the terms as used in the study.

Administration:

This has to do with the various activities that are done in order to plan, organize and execute. It is the stages of giving care and treatment to those who take part in the service.

Anointing:

According to M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary defined anointing as the act of rubbing or pouring of oil on an item or human body. Some writers called it “Unction” or “Chrism”. It is also the ridding of persons and things of dangerous spiritual influences. In other words, anointing is the touching of persons or things with a substance to achieve some effect either within the person or thing itself or in the way the community will later perceive that person or thing.

Anointing of the Sick:

This is and should always be remembered to be a care given to the sick to help the sick Christian to live through the time of illness in conformity with the sense of his faith. It should be explained dearly to the sick person that he is to be anointed not because he is about to die as some people think, but because he is ill and the anointing may help him to recover. Family and friends are in the best place to help the sick to understand.

Oil:

This is a thick smooth liquid that is made from plants, animals, minerals, etc and is used for cooking and other specific purposes.

1.8Organisation of the Study

This research work is organised in five chapters:

The chapter one which form the introductory part, deals with the following: Background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, purpose of the study, the scope and limitation of the study, significance of the study, definition of relevant terms, and organisation of the study.

Chapter two forms the literature review. It looked at the relevant literature related to the study.

In chapter three, the research work looked at the research methodology; the research population, research design and approach, method of data collection, administration of instrument, method of data analysis and problems of methodology were discussed.

The chapter four looked at data presentation and analysis. The discussion of this chapter was primarily the presentation of data, analysis of data, test of research question and discussion of findings.

The last chapter contains summary, conclusions, and recommendation. This was discussed as follows: summary of findings,conclusions, and recommendations; after which, the bibliography and appendix were drawn to conclude the research work.


[1]www.christianity.com“How and Why are people Anointed”. Accessed 27/7/2019.

[2] Verbo Divino(ed). I Believe: A Little Catholic Catechism. Germany: Kirche in Not, 2009, p. 136

[3] Joseph L. Cunningham. “Anointing” in The New Dictionary of Theology. J.A. komonchak, Mary Collins and D.A. Lane (Eds). Bangalore: Theological Publications, 2003. P. 22

[4] Personal observation: I happen to participate in an anointing service within which the pastor demanded the sum of five thousand naira for a bottle of anointing oil indicting that he had to import the oil for the good of his congregation.


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