A few months ago I discovered a small reddish patch on my wrist, and when it didn’t go away I asked a pharmacist to recommend something. She did, but the anti-fungal ointment I purchased had no effect. Recently a couple of friends gave me some tee tree oil, and also a vial of clove oil. Two things are happening: My spot is beginning to fade, and I smell like a fantastically scrumptious candle.
A lot of women are buying, using and even getting into the business of selling essential oils these days, but it seems to me that a growing number of them are bringing in a spiritual element that has me concerned. Some are convinced that oils applied in strategic spots on your skin or in your home can manipulate energy centers that will heal the spirit. That right there should be a red flag to any Christian believer. Any spiritual element to oils is NOT the Spirit of God, but the Spirit of the Age. More bluntly, the New Age. See Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 27:9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24 on heathen divination and spiritism.
Yes, I know God has already provided for our needs in nature. I’m not saying we should boycott these oils, but I do think as Christians we need to ask ourselves a few questions. When do these oils cross the line? Should we be discounting medical treatments for the promises of these oils, based on another person’s experience?
And here’s another thing: In addition to the sin of spiritual manipulation which God forbids, there is a financial piece of this that Christians are buying into: Pyramid schemes. These are designed to put the focus on how much cash you can make off others you can manipulate into selling these oils under you.
If you are dabbling and dabbing for any spiritual or financial gain, please read this article by Christine Pack and Cathy Matthews over at Sola Sisters blog. It will open your eyes to the concerns we share. Here is an intro and link to the article:
Posted by Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews
For those Christians who haven’t heard, essential oils are big business. Big, big business. Make no mistake: essential oils are the hottest thing going since yoga invaded the church a decade ago. One of the largest and most well known of these essential oils companies is Young Living. Young Living sells its products through Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), a pyramid form of selling that works through networking. (Other MLM companies that might be familiar to some readers are Amway, Juice Plus, Pampered Chef, Herbalife and Mary Kay.)
If you happen to be one of the few that hasn’t yet heard about essential oils, just wait. One day soon your Facebook inbox will blow up with invitations to this or that essential oils home party. If you choose to attend one of these parties, you might learn some useful tips for making nice-smelling homemade cleaning products or cosmetics with essential oils, but you might also be exposed to some very unbiblical concepts about sin, sanctification and illness.
Before I go any further, let me first state clearly that we are not concerned with the use of essential oils in foods, cosmetics and cleansers. We also view essential oils to be, in and of themselves, spiritually neutral. By that, we mean that we believe Christians can use them with a clean conscience and a right understanding of man, nature, God, physical vs. spiritual healing, etc. BUT, we do also want to warn that some EO companies and distributors (Young Living, in particular, which was founded by a professing Christian named Gary Young) use, sell, promote, and teach about EOs using New Age/New Thought concepts and spirituality, specifically in the areas of sin, sanctification and illness, and concepts that are clearly counter to what the Bible teaches on these things.
The area of alternative treatments, in general, is a tricky one to navigate, as we don’t have any desire to throw out all alternative treatments as being bad or unbiblical. What we do want to do is give clear warnings about the dangers that we do see about how some alternative products are marketed, since many of our readers will probably come into contact with some of this thinking, given that alternative treatments, on the whole, have become mainstreamed not only in the culture at large, but also, within the Christian community (and particularly the Christian homeschooling community).
Having said all that, our primary concerns are as follows:
(1) We are concerned when essential oils (or other alternative treatments) are marketed as having spiritual benefits that should only be ascribed to God;
(2) We desire to give clear warnings that the alternative treatment industry, on the whole, is almost entirely unregulated, and to educate others about what the implications of this are; and
(3) We are concerned when Christians choose to partner with, promote and sell products in tandem with companies that are undergirded with New Age/New Thought beliefs (i.e., being “unequally yoked”).
EOs MARKETED AS HAVING SPIRITUAL BENEFIT THAT BELONGS ONLY TO GOD