Friday, December 11, 2009

Do you believe in angels?

Every once in a while, the thought of angels comes to my mind. I don't really watch that many movies or television programs, so sometimes I read or hear something about angels that makes me think, "Huh? Where does that idea come from?"

For example, some people have the idea that when babies or children die, they enter heaven and become angels. A friend that used to live in my town, loved angel anything. I think she was the first New Ager I met, and in fact up to the time of meeting her, I had never even heard of New Age. I only remember being surprised that she was so enthralled with angels even though she was not a Christian. Earlier this year, I heard from another one of my friends that her young daughter says she has been hearing angels. So, I have been on the lookout for what it is the Bible tells us about angels. Dr. Ron Rhodes of Reasoning from the Scriptures, spoke about the angels on my favorite radio program!

I went to the On Demand section of Issues, Etc. to download a paper by Dr. Rhodes, "Close Encounters of the Celestial Kind: Evaluating Today's Angel Craze." I am a Lutheran, not a Calvinist, but I think the conclusion the writer gives is worth pasting here:

God's angels act to carry out only God's commands. There's not a single Bible verse that portrays an elect, holy angel of God acting independently from God. Psalm 103:20 makes explicit reference to God's angels "who do his bidding, who obey his word."

Because only God sends angels on our behalf, our focus of attention must ever be on the God who sends them. God's holy angels do not seek praise or worship for the things they do. In fact, they discourage it and point to God as the only one worthy of worship (Rev. 22:9). The apostle Paul flatly condemned the worship of angels in Colossians 2:18. God Himself explicitly commands that only He is to be worshiped (Exod. 20:5-6).

This leads us to the single most important point of this article. In the words of John Calvin, "As God does not make [the angels] ministers of his power and goodness to share his glory with them, so he does not promise us his help through their ministry in order that we should divide our trust between them and him." Indeed, Calvin says, the angels "do lead us away unless they lead us by the hand straight to him, that we may look upon him, call upon him, and proclaim him as our sole helper; unless we regard them as his hands that are moved to no work without his direction; unless they keep us in the one Mediator, Christ, that we may wholly depend upon him, lean upon him, be brought to him, and rest in him.

I'm certain God has some guardian angel(s) around me. (Those incidents could be blog topics for another time!) Yes, I believe in angels, but my faith is in Christ.

* Forgive me for not including links to make it easier to find the article on your own. If you like, please use the Issues, Etc. widget to the left to search for the program. Or, if you are interested, let me know and I'll find the program for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do believe in angels.

Like you, my trust is in my Lord.

But no doubt in my mind that the Lord uses angels for His purposes.

I like the new look of the blog, R.L.!

Nice job!