The obsession with Angels

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MARGARET adores angels. She has a home full of little porcelain angels, angel books, angel lapel pins, angel night-lights, angel ear-rings, CDs of angelic music and angel perfume that boasts it is “heaven scent .

She says she’s not very spiritual. She doesn’t believe in God, only angels…and kittens and flowers.

Angelmania is a modern phenomenon – and a marketer’s dream come true.
More than half of Americans, according to a recent survey, believe they are protected by a guardian angel.

In Australia, about 28 per cent believe in angels – in particular young adults and women – despite the Western world becoming increasingly secular. In fact, the present fascination may be the result of a deep spiritual malaise.

“Our society has become less and less comfortable, and people turn to supernatural means when natural ones don’t work,” says Peter Kreeft, author of A Hundred and One Questions About Angels.

“These are times of fundamental change, comparable to the Renaissance or the transition from Roman to medieval society. ”

Contemporary culture angels, like fluffy kittens, are non-threatening symbols of hope.
Indeed, the supernatural biblical beings that initially terrified the shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem 2000 years ago, and caused the likes of Moses to tremble, seem a different breed to the insipid otherworldly boy scouts embraced by the pop culture.

The Renaissance artists led the way by painting angels with feathered wings, dazzling golden haloes and white flowing robes. It is an image that has stuck

The Bible has more than 300 separate references to angels – awe-inspiring spiritual beings who delivered spiritual messages and warnings from God, and sometimes saved believers from death and serious injury.

The ancient Egyptians and Greeks also believed strongly in angelic intervention. The word angel is derived from the Greek word for messenger – angeloforos.

Angels are portrayed as extremely powerful images in the three main monotheiestic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Judaism, in particular, has always proclaimed the power of angels in elevating the material world to higher spiritual realms, and of bringing heaven closer to the earthly existence.

All three faiths portray angels as beings linked directly to God or, in the case of fallen angels, to Satan. In Heaven, according to monotheistic belief, the angels will be lesser than us.

Why then, in an increasingly secular world, is there such a renewed interest in angels?

Part of the attraction is that you can pick your own meaning. Angels can be whatever you want them to be and although they are still somewhat religious, they are not embarrassingly so.

Gabriel Fackre of the Andover Newton Theological School in Massachusetts, blasted the pop angels.

“The reports of their presence have consistently to do with their usefulness to our needs and wishes. On the other hand, biblical angels have a priestly office, a psalmic turning of the eye of faith in the direction of the divine glory.”

The poet Daisey Verlaef said: ” You’ll meet more angels on a winding path than on a straight one.”  And so it seems.

Maybe it’s best just to keep in mind one of the New Testament’s simplest commandments: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

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10 thoughts on “The obsession with Angels

  1. ‘Angel’ has become synonomous with objects of endearment. Images of ‘angels’ in pop culture are adorable, child – like creatures. We call someone an ‘angel’ out of endearment. You’re right that it doesn’t really reflect tge angels in the Bible. I couldn’t imagine those angels being oooohed at like we do now.

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  2. The New Testament condemns the “worship of angels” .
    “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind” (Colossians 2:18)

    There is however a question as to whether the word used here in fact means “worship”. The word used is simply the common word for “religion” (θρησκεία thrēskeia, Acts 26:5, James 1:26,27) not the word “worship” (λατρεία latreia, cf. verb form in Acts 7:42) used of God or pagan deities. This leaves open the possibility that what Paul meant was not actually Christians who bowed down and literally worshipped angels, but a wider range of uses perhaps including:[6]

    invocation of angels
    excessive interest in angelic hierarchies [7]
    conception of angels as mediators

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worship_of_angels

    According to Psalm 8:5 God made us “a little lower than the heavenly beings” . But the Bible also says that in heaven we will be higher than the angels, because then we will be like Christ. Who we are told was above the angels but was born into a lower state so he could experience death, whereupon he was raised above them again. As will those who enter heaven.

    Angels are God’s messengers, implements. You do things by means of implements, emails, gestures, etc., but I give you the credit, not the means. To God then goes the glory of the actions of angels

    Interesting that in Exodus 23:20-21. The LORD says he will send an Angel before the Israelites, and warns them to obey the Angel’s voice, and that the Angel “will not pardon transgressions” because the LORD’s “name is in him”.

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  3. Gabriel is the leader of all the angels and holds a very high position in Islam. He is referred to as the holy one.

    Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel-for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by Allah’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,-
    Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.

    — Quran, sura 2 (Al-Baqara) ayat 97-98

    We believe the Holy Spirit referred to in the new testament to be Gabriel.

    And verily we gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty), and we supported him with the Holy Spirit.

    — Qur’an, sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 87

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    • Sura 16:102 and Sura 26:192-194 says Mohammed’s call was issued by the Holy Spirit who appeared to Mohammed. According to their teaching he is the angel Gabriel who also appeared to him in Sura 2:97 (also called the angel in 19:17). In other places in the Koran he is God’s own breath, Surat al-Hyjr 15:29, and the divine inspiration The Bee 16:2.
      Surah 21:91:
      “And (remember) her who protected her private part. So, We blew in her through Our Spirit, and made her and her son a sign for all the worlds.”
      Surah 66:12:
      “And Maryam, daughter of ‘Imran who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her Our Spirit, and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and His books, and she was one of the devout.”

      The Holy Spirit is the agent that created life in Mary’s womb and also brought life to Adam.

      The Holy Spirit was who created life in Mary’s womb and brought Adam to life.

      Allah also created life in Mary’s womb and brought Adam to life.

      Therefore, one of three things is true: either the Holy Spirit is identical with Allah, or Allah has a separate co-creator, or one divine God creates life, and the Holy Spirit shares in that divinity.

      The Spirit cannot be Allah, since he describes himself as a message-bearer. The Spirit be a separate co-creator, since the Qur’an also affirms that God has no partners (Surah 4:116).

      Therefore, the only option left is that the Holy Spirit shares in the Divinity, because only God creates.

      But the problem gets worse than this. Let’s flip over to Surah 58:22:

      “[Believers] are such that Allah has inscribed faith on their hearts, and has strengthened them with a spirit from Him.”

      Very Biblical phrasing here.

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    • We must not confuse the works of the angels with the role of the Holy Spirit.

      The role of the angels and the role of the Holy Spirit are very different even though they are companion roles in our lives by assisting us to build the Church and in establishing the Kingdom of God where we live. The difference lies in that the role of the angels is to administer material affairs. The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the mind of God and to make Jesus known. Matthew 4:11 shows this distinction clearly; Jesus was “led” by the Spirit, “taught” by the Spirit, and “filled” with the Spirit, but He was “defended” and ‘fed’ by the angels….. Flame Ministries Int.

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    • In other places in the Koran he is God’s own breath, Surat al-Hyjr 15:29, and the divine inspiration The Bee 16:2.

      Surah 15:29

      And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration.”

      refers to Adam not Jesus pbut. God fashioned Adam with his own hands. On a side note, Iblis refused to prostrate to Adam pbuh out of pride and was thrown out of paradise.

      The bee 16:2

      He sends down the angels, with the inspiration of His command, upon whom He wills of His servants, [telling them], “Warn that there is no deity except Me; so fear Me.”

      This lines up with revelation being revealed through angels.

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  4. What is ‘New Age’ Religion?

    What exactly is the New Age? Impossible to narrow down, the New Age is actually a vast smorgasbord of beliefs and practices. Each New Ager fills his tray with whatever assortment fits his appetite. All is liberally seasoned with self-centeredness. It’s really a Have-It-Your-Way religion – thus its modern appeal.

    The typical New Ager believes:
    God is in everything (pantheism)
    All things are one (monism)
    Man is God
    Mind creates reality
    One’s own experience validates the truth

    New Agers do not believe in evil. Therefore, they do not accept man’s problem as separation by sin from God. Instead, they believe that each of us has forgotten his or her own divinity. Therefore, the New Age solution is to seek “higher consciousness” through meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, diet, crystals, channeling. spirit guides, and more. Each of these diverse practices has the same purpose: to awaken the god in man.

    A true understanding of New Age practices makes one thing clear: Eastern practices cannot be blended into Christianity to produce something better. New Agers are Universalists, believing that all paths lead to God. They fault Christians for being intolerant and narrow-minded. But God’s word anticipates this: “Enter the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13, NIV)

    Most New Agers hold Jesus in high regard, believing Him to be a great spiritual teacher, or guru. Many study the words He spoke, although they put a different spin on them.

    New Agers are in a lot of confusion. That’s because they haven’t found the Truth, but only what fits into the spiritual perspective they have constructed. As in the Garden of Eden, the lie has never changed. But neither has the Truth.

    http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-is-new-age-religion-and-why-cant-christians-get-on-board-11573681.html

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    • I can agree with much of this, and have found two things, mainly. Each adherent believes they have more of the ‘Truth’ than most others, and they can be quite dogmatic about their beliefs.

      On the other hand, some of their thinking can be found in the writings of some of the Church Fathers, not to be lightly dismissed.

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