- James 5:14
- "Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing
him with oil in the name of the Lord . . ."
- This passage is used to support the doctrine of "extreme
unction". Extreme unction is described as "the anointing by the priest of those
in danger of death by sickness, with holy oil, accompanied with a special prayer . . . It
is called Extreme because administered to sick persons when thought to be near the close
of life." 1
- The passage in James is no sanction for the R.C. practice for the following reasons:
- Extreme unction is administered only to those who are expected to die, not for those who
are expected to recover, (it is intended as a preparation of the soul for its last
passage). The purpose of the instruction in James is that the "prayer" of faith
shall save the sick. (vs. 15).
- The concern, in the administration of extreme unction, is for the soul. The passage in
James is concerned with physical infirmities. This is indicated by verse 15, "The
prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
- The Roman Church sends a priest. James instructs that the elders (plural) be called.
- Notice that the R.C. teaching on extreme unction depends for its rationale on the
doctrine of the immortality of the soul. When the immortality of the soul is shown to be
non-scriptural, the underpinnings for extreme unction is destroyed.
- Loraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism, (London: The Banner of Truth Trust., 1966),
p. 248. Return