I am reading this book, Letters from Spartanburg, which is a collection of letters that Arthur W. Pink penned to a dear friend when he was writing his very important book, The Sovereignty of God. I have found some really fascinating insights in this book on different subjects. Last night, for example, I came across the letter in which Pink is telling his friend how he disagrees with the author of the book they are currently reading and discussing together, and writes, “I feel like that this book will call for a brief (article) reply… A reply is called for in the interest of truth.”
So, just like Pink here, I think that another article about the oily business is pertinent, for the sake of truth.
On my first post, No Other Gospel: Why Oils Are Not for You, I wrote about the heart of the problem: the whole world of oils is becoming a false religion that encourages people to use oils to deal with issues that in the Scripture we clearly see we are to deal not with oils, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God and the grace that we have in Christ to mortify sins that will never die if we apply particular oils to our wrists.
Then I wrote a follow-up post, Slippery and Oily Slopes. In this one I veered a bit from my original post, not because I was shying away from what I wrote in the first one and tried to soften my view. No, if you read it again, you will see that I started it explaining that I was going to address some questions that had been raised.
On this second article I also focused on the danger of not seeing that the lady who is selling you that one oil, belongs to a company that has core values, core principles, and a mission, a company that rewards her (with more money) if you buy three more oils, and then rewards her even more if you also become a sales lady.
I read some comments of people disagreeing with me here saying that we would not agree either with the vision, mission, and purpose of most of the companies from whom we buy our stuff, and yet we still get our lattes from them. True. The difference here is that when I but a latte from them, I am not being asked to embrace their vision, mission, and purpose. I am only asked to handle my beverage with care because it is hot. And, they don’t ask me to start selling lattes to others, which I appreciate.
The most renown companies that are marketing oils for physical, emotional, and spiritual health, are structured as multilevel companies. They are shaped like pyramids. And if you pour gallons of oil on the side of a pyramid and try to walk carefully on it, you will notice that it is almost impossible to get a hold of the rails and there are no stoppers to be found around. You buy one oil, and the company has trained these sales ladies to sell you the next oil, and then the next, and then they will proceed to warn you of the toxic ways you are eating and doing laundry, which means that you will need to buy more oils, and then you are in. Without giving much thought, you are, all of a sudden, part of the community, part of the company. And when you are part of the company, you will have, by necessary consequence, to embrace the company’s vision, mission, and purpose.
So that is why it does matter -a lot- that you to consider all these things before saying yes to going on a hike on the oily pyramid.
Now we are on this third post that you owe to A.W. Pink. And as in my previous post, I will address some other concerns that have been raised by dear Friends and thoughtful readers. And then give you some more food for thought.
In my previous posts I was careful to include many links to the statements and product descriptions that the company from whom most of the people I know, who are in the business of oils, belong. I encourage you to click on those and read and judge for yourself if I am misreading or misrepresenting what is written there.
One more concern that has been raised is that by writing about this, I am adding one more reason to cause unnecessary division among the church; that maybe those who are not using oils will now feel more righteous than the ones who do, and will start looking down on them. Well, the answer is that if that is that is the case, then those who feel more holy because they never ever use oils like the others, will have to deal with that sin themselves. And the only way to deal with any kind of sin is repenting and believing on Christ’s perfect work.
Another question I have received: Do you have oils in your house? Yes, I do, I have bought a few of them on different stores (never through people) because I love their smells, but have never let the sales lady explain to me what they are for. I always warn her, if you try to explain what benefits I will get if I use this oil, I will not buy it. They never know what to do with that.
I want to give you one more piece of meat to think and pray about. I want you, as a Christian, to consider that there is a more potent way to give your soul emotional and spiritual support than the way that the oils offer.
If you have read all your Bible you have noticed that the root of all kinds of sin is unbelief. Unbelief has different ways to manifest itself. It can show up dressed up like fear, anger, bitterness, ingratitude, etc. And unbelief likes to talk to us and make us doubt what God has said. For example, envy will say something like, “I don’t believe that what I have and where I am is God’s lot for me, so I envy your life.”
Oils offer you a way to deal with these bad emotions (which in reality are manifestations of the sin of unbelief that we all struggle with), and the company says that there is scientific evidence to confirm that their oils will indeed help you and give you great support to deal with those bad emotions or feelings. But, here is what I want you to think and pray about, Christian Friend: why use oils when there is a more potent and sure way to deal with these sins (manifested through our emotions)? We don’t have to re-invent a new way, or a better way when the Bible is clear, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you” (Please read Colossians 3, a super important passage here) and, “…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Rom. 13:14), and this, “..do not be anxious about anything, but let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Paul to the Philippians)
Unbelief says, “No, what those passages say cannot be enough. I must do something else.” So we try to add all sorts of other things, including oils that promise emotional and spiritual support, to help God deal with these bad attitudes in us, which at the root are sinful habits, sinful inclinations from our old nature. Unbelief will try to convince us that prayer cannot possible be enough to stop worrying and stop being anxious. What will we do then? Whom will we obey?
So, Friend, please, I want today to encourage you to choose the most potent and sure way. Choose God’s way to deal with fear, anxiety, anger, envy, ingratitude, discontent. Put to death these sins; by the grace of God it is possible, and put on Christ. His work on the cross is finished and is potent. By His blood we have been redeemed and have been made free. Let us live then like people who have been set free, and let us not put ourselves under the yoke of something that promises what only God can give. Do not believe the words of Unbelief, but trust the Lord!
One last thought. In Hebrews 3 (please consider reading Hebrews today) we read the strong admonition, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin...· (emphasis mine).
I emphasized two things in the passage above that are related among them: unbelief and deceitfulness of sin. See the connection? Unbelief is many times manifested in ways that are deceitful, hard to discern, hard to see. Unbelief’s natural response will always be, “No, that cannot be true. I am not being deceived.” So be suspicious of yourself when you hear those words playing in your mind.
Now about the exhorting part in the Hebrews passage. Yikes. That is a hard one, right? For example, try exhorting others to consider if the whole philosophy behind the oil movement is deceptive. Hard thing to do right? Now add to that one more layer of complexity: this oil thing is an important means of financial gain for many. To see how difficult things can get when money is involved read Acts 19:21-41
Thanks for reading, dear Friends. Praying that the Lord will direct our hearts to the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thess. 3:5)
Under His sun and by His grace,