This young woman uses the oils. She enjoys them in her bath, on her skin, and diffused in the air around her. However, she does not believe that they imbue people with spiritual powers.
“I am a Christian,” she said. “What some people claim these oils do for you is done for me through Christ and the Word. Period.” Once she began to list the claims, and once I did my own research, I have uttered a hearty amen.
So what do they claim? The following is only a partial list, and remember, each of these things is supposed to be “spiritual,” so, for example, when it lists “strength,” it means spiritual strength, not muscular strength. Keep everything in that context.
Myrtle—ability to forgive
Juniper—sincerity and enlightenment
Chamomile—spiritual awareness, inner peace
(www.mauldinfaily1.wordpress.com, “mama bear musings”)
This isn’t even half the list, but it contains most of the “spiritual blessings” these oils are supposed to impart.
Some people also ascribe “magical” powers to essential oils. Magic? Yes, as in potions to protect you and grant you good health and good luck or to put a hex on one’s enemies. This is exactly how the pagans used oils in ancient times, as indicated by many of the Bible verses that condemn the practice of such “magic.” Remember too, that most of the verses used to claim Biblical authority for using “essential oils” at all are referring to plain old olive oil, the stuff you and I cook with. Yes, other oils are mentioned by name, but with the exception of the table of incense in the tabernacle and the Temple, I could find none used in the worship of God. (Please show me if I am wrong.)
Before we get to this matter of spiritual benefits, let’s clear up a couple of other things. Proponents of essential oils say that they were used in Biblical times and were even found in King Tut’s tomb. Let me quote: “…aromatic materials were used in Biblical times…but these materials would not have been essential oils, at least not by today’s definition of being steam distilled products.” Steam distillation was not even invented until the 11th century, over 2000 years after King Tut’s death. (www.weedemandreap.com, “10 Essential Oil Myths vs Fact” by Dr Robert Pappas)
Others lean heavily on the fact that the wise men brought frankincense and myrrh to the house where the toddler Jesus was living in Bethlehem. Besides these gifts having more to do with the nature of the Messiah as the future king, priest, and sacrifice, it probably financed, along with the gold, the flight to Egypt the poor, newly married couple had to make to save their child’s life. And, as quoted above, it wasn’t even the same thing as those two materials today.
As for the “magical” properties, I seriously hope I don’t have to say much about that. Those things are condemned in both the Old and New Testaments not just as sins, but as “abominations to the LORD.” No Christian should ever believe such things or use these oils in that way.
For those spiritual properties, let’s examine the scriptures. In no particular order:
2 Cor 5:17—God has made us new creatures in Christ (regeneration)
Rom 12:5—we have unity in Christ (and many more passages)
2 John 1:3—we have grace, mercy, and peace through God and Jesus Christ
2 Cor 2:17—sincerity shows when one speaks in Christ
Phil 2:1—encouragement and comfort are found in Christ
Eph 3:12—we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him
Eph 1:18—Paul prays for our enlightenment, in this context, in him
1 Pet 1:22—we are purified by our obedience to the truth
Gal 5:22-26—the fruit of the Spirit (love , joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) comes when we put to death the deeds of the body and are led by the Spirit, a very good definition of spirituality.
And should anyone still be doubtful, Eph 1:3—God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. “Every” should cover anything I missed in the lists above.
If I need these oils in order to be able to forgive someone, why didn’t God make sure I knew about it in His Word? In fact, He does tell me that if I do not forgive I will not be forgiven, so this is a serious matter. If I need some sandalwood in order to have unity, why weren’t the first century Christians told to find some and use it? Their unity, Jesus said, would make the world believe. Are we consigning people to Hell because we don’t have any sandalwood in our assemblies? If I need parsley for purification, surely God would have told us that it wasn’t just the blood of Jesus that purified us. I think you can probably see my point by now.
When the Jews started relying upon horses, chariots, political alliances and false gods, God destroyed them. I think you can add essential oils to the list if they are being touted as “necessary to purification and spirituality.” Even if we believe they just “help,” we are on dangerous ground. When God supplies something, it’s enough.
If you enjoy using essential oils in your own home, please do so. I enjoyed passing them around and smelling them. And it certainly was an eye-opener to me about how generous those wise men were with their gifts. One ounce of frankincense (that’s 2 tablespoons) was listed at $97.00. I believe they brought Jesus far more than that (and remember it was NOT exactly the same thing).
But if you claim to be a disciple of our Lord, you need to be careful what you believe about these things. You owe it to Him to make sure that your companions do not tar you with the same brush as those who make unscriptural claims. They need to hear that while you may enjoy these oils you worship the Creator, not the creation.
Do not undermine the all-sufficiency of Christ by claiming that these oils can do for anyone what he does for those who are “in him.” It’s nothing less than blasphemous to say that “essential oils” can impart the same spiritual blessings that He can.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Heb 13:20-21