“He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, ‘Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.’” (Psalms 105:14-15 KJV).
As a life-long conservative Pentecostal churchman, this scripture was/is quoted to me repeatedly. It is always used in the context of; do not question nor speak against those “over” us in the Lord, regardless of what they are doing or how they are doing it. In a system called “Theocracy,” you would have thought the Bible said, “Touch not mine appointed.” However, is everyone that has been appointed by man, been anointed by God? Are they today?
There is a danger of dishonoring God’s anointed people. The Lord honors those who serve Him. When we honor Him , He will honor us. The Lord honors those who love Him with all their heart. The Lord honors those who have faced shame and humiliation in their lives. He comforts them with a double blessing. He will honor us in the presence of our enemies. When we are humble and walk in the fear of the Lord, He will honor us.
If you believe in the Priesthood of all believers, isn’t every Christian anointed? Doesn’t that make all of us God’s anointed? The Christos was the “anointed one,” and Christians are likewise anointed. What about dishonoring them? The whole act of the chrism underscored this simple fact. And why not: if Jesus Christ dwells in us and what we do and have in this life that is of value is from and of God, then we too are partakers in his anointing.
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” (Hebrews 3:14 KJV).
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1-2 KJV).
The Lord wants us to honor His messengers. When we welcome and honor His servants (that’s right, Jesus came to teach servant-leadership), we honor the Lord Himself. The Lord will surely reward us for all that we have done for His people. We must be careful not to dishonor or mistreat the Lord’s servants as the Lord will be displeased by that and we may have to face painful consequences for dishonoring His anointed messengers.
The problem arises when the text is used to prevent proper observation of what is anointed and what is not. Even God’s peasants can tell when red flags appear. When a leader speaks one way one day and another way tomorrow, when church business is done in secret (darkness), when politics rule the business of the church, when all measurements show decline, when leadership is imposed thru fear and intimidation, it is time for a closer look at the “anointed” one.
If you have watched Christian television recently, you may have noticed a very well known preacher, usually under attack for financial dealings or moral failure, who invokes this verse to stop any kind of criticism or action against him or her. Since their ministry is successful, they are “anointed,” with the implication that we aren’t and thus have no right to question or criticize what they are doing. How do we know that this or that minister is a leader, and thus deserves some kind of “special treatment?” This goes to the whole problem of authority in the church.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)
There is no New Testament support to the idea that anointed people are beyond reproof on either side of eternity.
The sooner we get back to the Biblical concept that the anointing is the common property of all those called by the name of Christ, the happier we will all be and the more fruitful the ministry of the church will become.