Thursday, July 20, 2023

“Touch not mine anointed!”

Russell Moore, in his column today, on "How to Tell If You’re in a Cult":
.... There are many signs of this, but one I’ve found to be dead-on is this: If somebody says, “Touch not mine anointed!” in a controversy and they’re talking about the leader instead of Jesus, you’re probably in an authoritarian cult.

The passage—from 1 Chronicles 16:22—is a song of David about God’s protection of Israel when they were small in number and “wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another” (v. 20). David sang that when the kings of those nations tried to come against God’s prophets, God said, “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

That language of anointing applied formally to kings and priests and informally to prophets. Oil was poured over their heads, as it was with David when he was marked out to be king. The oil itself was the less significant aspect of anointing; the greater aspect was the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In the New Testament, Jesus came as the Messiah or the Christ—literally “the Anointed One.” He is the ultimate Prophet, the ultimate Priest, the ultimate King.

We are to respect and support in every good thing the pastors and leaders God has given us. But I’ve never heard a good shepherd say about himself or herself “Touch not mine anointed!” to shut down accountability.

Usually, those who misuse the passage this way are actually saying, “I’m in charge here; obey or to hell with you.” That’s not anointing—at least not the kind that has anything to do with God.
Russell Moore, "What Happens When Both Sides Secularize," Moore to the Point, July 20, 2023.

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