Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Don't Touch God's Anointed?

The pastor told my mother, "Marian, I am the only person in this church God speaks to." He taught people that he was God's anointed leader in the congregation. Their responsibility was to obey him - even if he was wrong. 

When I studied the concept of spiritual abuse for my doctoral research, I discovered one often misused Scripture passage in abusive, manipulative settings is the Old Testament verse to not touch God’s anointed. 

Many times this verse has been quoted to keep a toxic leader from accountability. This is a misuse of Scripture, taken out of context: "Do not touch my anointed ones" (1 Chronicles 16:22). They think, "I am a man of God who proclaims His truths, so you have no right to correct me. I'm above all that. I am the one who corrects you." The fact is we all need reproof. Such "wounds are trustworthy," says Solomon. 

The New Testament teaches that every Christian has an anointing available to them, as opposed to the Old Testament, when an anointing was reserved for select leaders over the people - like priests, kings, and prophets. John wrote, "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth" (1 John 2:20 NIV).

Paul described the reality a different way in the book of 1 Corinthians: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV). Today, in the New Covenant, the anointing, the indwelling of God, the presence of God us invested into every individual believer as well as the people of God collectively.

We should be careful how we treat every child of God - not just a select few.

Ken Boa writes how God’s people got into trouble in the Old Testament when they “trusted in human power and ingenuity rather than relying on the One who had gotten them this far in the first place. They found out the hard way what happens when you trust a person to accomplish what only God can do.”

Don't be deceived or manipulated to follow or protect a leader displaying punitive behavior in the name of "not touching God's anointed." B
ook after book on spiritual abuse say that line is used repeatedly in unhealthy situations to “protect” the abusive leader. 

Image used courtesy of Pexels

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