Among leaders in some streams of the Church, something called “the anointing” is sought after very fervently. It is believed that this “anointing” sets the leader apart from the ordinary, enabling them to minister in supernatural, often spectacular ways which few others can. This naturally draws crowds to come to their meetings to receive God’s blessing. Along with that of course can come fame and wealth.
Some of these “anointed” leaders have fallen.
In current world headlines we can see a parallel: the college admissions scandal. The following—with our interspersed notes—are excerpts from the Fox News article “Were Lori Loughlin and other college admissions scandal parents driven by this behavioral disorder?“ by psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.
“This scandal has made me wonder – do great wealth and fame contribute to grandiose, narcissistic and antisocial (sociopathic) behavior? Is there something about being in an elitist environment that encourages questionable, dishonest behavior at best, and unlawful behavior at worst?”
Our note: “The anointing” can put a leader into that elitist environment—which instills a sense of self-importance, entitlement and privilege.
“What links these 50 college-gate people together is they all have achieved a certain level of elevated status (either real or perceived) which appears to have instilled a sense of self-importance, entitlement and privilege.
According to psychiatrist Dr. Robert Millman, with whom I briefly worked, there is a psychological phenomenon called “acquired situational narcissism.” He believes this type of pathological narcissism can be triggered and induced in adulthood by celebrity, wealth and fame.
There are many successful people who don’t have this character disorder, but those typically affected are billionaires, movie stars, famous authors, politicians, and other powerful figures. Sufferers from this disorder develop grandiose fantasies, lose their former ability to empathize, and in general act like classic narcissists.
Acquired situational narcissism most likely occurs when becoming powerful, famous and rich amplifies existing narcissistic traits. The adulation that comes with these privileged positions is frequent, and the inner circle around these people tends to mute criticism and provide biased and filtered feedback.
Note: “The anointing” can bring adulation from those in the Church.
Situational narcissists may have acted diplomatically and sensibly at one point in their lives, but over time they developed an egocentric personality as they gained a measure of external success. The narcissist believes that he or she is superior to others and therefore untouchable.
Note: “Touch not the Lord’s anointed!”
Situational narcissists are typically unaware or unconcerned about how their actions impact others, and possess several of the following qualities: they have a superiority complex; present different faces to different people; see others as superior or inferior but rarely as an equal; are entitled; can be devaluing.
Note: “Anointed“ leaders can act very differently in public then they do in private.
While most are not “bad” people and actually suffer from feelings of insecurity and self-doubt like the rest of us, they work hard to maintain an outward veneer of superiority.
Note: Anointed” servants of God are of course not “bad” people, but….
For those situational narcissists who lose their way, short-term glory is replaced with long-term self-destruction and failure, as they eventually become victimized by their own egocentric inclinations, as we saw in the case of the college-gate 50.”
Note: “The anointing” on a servant of God can make him or her famous relatively overnight—without having first paid the price of decades of serving in humility, of hard work and faithful diligence to the correct dividing of Scripture. But the end result can be self-destruction and failure.
In the New Testament there is virtually no support for the emphasis on a special “anointing” given to a privileged few to minister to others in some supernatural fashion. For a study on this issue based on a close examination of the Scriptures, click on the link below.