‘Medical science unaware of anointing oil’s efficacy in COVID-19 treatment’
• Pentecostal Practitioners Using Anointing Oil To Mislead Their Followers — Sofola
• Anointing Oil Works, Can Kill Coronavirus — Igwe
The first set of vaccines started being trucked out of plants in China, India, United States, England, Switzerland, Russia, The Netherlands, Israel, Hungary, Brazil, and other locations months after the dreaded Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had buffeted humanity leaving in its trail, deaths in several countries and territories around the world.
As of Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the scourge had led to the death of nearly four million people (3, 893, 798) from a confirmed number of 179, 687, 352 cases worldwide.
However, as the casualty figures continued to rise, especially at the peak of the pandemic, some political and religious leaders across the world started taking some controversial stands on both the origin of the disease, as well as the veracity of the vaccine prescribed by global health authorities.
Some religious leaders in the country were among those that made some of the most outrageous statements about the pandemic.
One of the claims that they made, which drew laughter and concern in equal measure from members of the public was the claim that anointing oil could insulate their followers from the pandemic.
This claim has been punctured by medical experts who insist that anointing oil is no medicament, just as they accuse clerics of using anointing oil to mislead their flock. Interestingly, some religionists are still glued to their belief.
Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Prof Olusoga Sofola, expressed doubt over the possibility of anointing oil destroying the COVID-19 virus.
“As a medical doctor, I do not believe that anointing oil can destroy the COVID-19 virus because it is not scientific. The scientific basis of infection is the entry of the virus through the nose and going ahead to infect body tissues. There is nowhere in this transmission that anointing oil can prevent.”
Sofola, who is also President of the African Association of Physiological Sciences (AAPS), and council member, International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS), added: “As a doctor and practising Christian, I do not believe it is possible. I believe it is part of the ways that these Pentecostal practitioners are using to mislead their flock. There are several stories in the news of pastors that have died following COVID-19 infection,” he said.
On her part, emeritus professor of medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG), and consultant physician, Dermatologist/Genitourinary Physician, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, UNILAG, Yetunde Mercy Olumide, equally denied knowledge of any scientific literature that authenticates anointing oil as a medium that can eliminate Coronavirus. She, however, added that anointing oil could be used to treat diseases.
“I believe in it as a Christian because anointing oil is medicinal. It is also a symbol of God’s power to heal, and symbolic of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit (the breath) of Christ,” she said.
Also, a public health physician and lecturer at the Department of Community Health and Primary Healthcare, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Dr. Modupe Akinyinka, said that “anointing oil is not proven medically…it depends on who is using it, and what it is being used for. If you’re asking me as a doctor, obviously, I will tell you no.”
And for the Medical Director of Golden Lampstand, Mafoluku, Lagos, Dr. Olu Igbala: “It has not been documented that anointing oil can cure COVID-19 or any viral sickness for that matter. And I will doubt it seriously if any medical doctor says that he/she has read any literature where it is stated that anointing oil can cure any viral agent.
But spiritually, those who are talking about it, and encouraging their church members to take this or that alternative are talking from the background of the Bible, knowing that God can cure any sickness. Doctors themselves say, ‘we care, but God cures.’ So, medically, there is nothing like anointing oil having the capacity to cure COVID-19.
“But spiritually, I don’t want to castigate any man who has that level of faith. There are symbols, and men of God, such as Peter and Paul, in the past worked with symbols. And I think God is still the same; He has not changed. Medically, however, there is nothing like that.
“Using anointing oil in a Christian setting, or mantle, such as a handkerchief, or even water are symbols to build up the faith of some members. Also, in medicine, there is something that we call a placebo. If you have two sick individuals, and you give one placebo and the other the real agent that will cure that illness, the person who received the placebo, thinking that it was the original thing could get well because his faith in the drug was strong, even though the drug was more or less a symbol, and did not really cure him.”
In his view, a former head of department/assistant director, Medical Microbiology, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Dr. Remigius Onuado, argued that ordinarily anointing oil is not a form of medicament, but when the Spirit of God directs, it can become a potent medium for healing. To him, there is nothing that God cannot do.
“Do you know that God can use anything to do what He wants to do? Be it water, saliva, or even sand. God is not a Methodist. Science cannot explain, or understand how He works. I am a believer, as well as a scientist, but God’s ways are beyond human comprehension,” he said.
Even though Christy Anyanwu, a member of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), dismissed the idea of anointing oil providing a cure for COVID-19 or any other ailment at that, she expressed faith in prayers and in the word of God.
“Total surrender to God and applying His Word to whatever situation that we find ourselves works wonders. The anointing breaks every yoke, as it signifies God’s presence inside of us, and not a bottle of anointing oil. So, for me, anointing oil for the treatment of COVID-19 is a no, no.”
In countering Anyanwu, Isaac Ibukun Oluwaseyi, a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), expressed belief in the potency of anointing oil, and its capacity to destroy Coronavirus.
He recalled how in biblical times, anointing oil was employed by Jesus Christ, prophets and priests to bring healing to the sick.
He said the consecrated oil is a medium by which the Holy Spirit is released into another person or instrument.
Quoting Mark 6:13 and James 5:14-15 to buttress his argument, Isaac said: “Anointing sick people with oil is referred to twice in the New Testament. Mark 6:13 says: “And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil. James 5:14-15, also says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.
“I strongly believe that anointing oil can kill COVID-19 virus because the Bible, according to Isaiah 10 vs. 27, says, “anointing breaks the yoke.”
But Moagua Ikechukwu of the Kingdom Power Int’l Christian Praying Centre, Ojo, Lagos, begged to differ from Oluwaseyi’s views.
He argued that there is no place in the New Testament where Jesus Christ prescribed the use of anointing oil for healing. “Christ, our perfect example, and the apostles, never used anointing oil for healing during their earthly ministries,” he said.
Healing, he said, is only in the name of Jesus Christ and nothing else. Moagua, who quoted 1 Peter 2:24, which says, “… by whose stripes ye were healed,” said it is only the stripes of Jesus on the Cross that can bring healing to the sick and not anointing oil. He stated that it was when the Holy Ghost left some so-called church leaders that they devised anointing oil as a substitute, just as he doubted the content of the anointing oil used today by some church leaders.
He said: “What is contained in the anointing oil used in some churches still remains a mystery to naïve members of the assemblies. In the final analysis, anointing oil cannot cure anything, least of all COVID-19. It is only faith in Jesus’ name that can cure all sicknesses and diseases. Those who use anointing oil, or drink it can actually bring sickness to themselves. God is too big to reduce His power and anointing to an ordinary bottle!”
While Clara Anolue, a Catholic, believes that with faith, anointing oil can cure Coronavirus, as God is the God of impossibilities, she was quick to add that the outcome depends solely on an individual’s belief.
For Uchenna Igwe, of the Zion Adoration Ministry, Maryland, Lagos: “If you have Coronavirus, and you believe in the power of God to heal you through anointing oil, it will come to pass because there is nothing that God cannot do. Anointing oil is from God. Before I was born, anointing oil had been in existence, so, I believe in its efficacy. During fasting or when you have some physical and spiritual challenges, your pastor would tell you to use anointing oil to pray. Anointing oil works, and it can kill Coronavirus.”