Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bugged By An Angel

To my observation, stories of angel visitations have increased quite a bit over the past decade or so. Notable charismatic personalities such as Todd Bently, Bob Jones, Larry Randalph, Patricia King and many others claim to have been personally visited by angels bearing messages from the Lord. In some cases these spirit beings not only deliver spoken messages, but also accomplish other things in the spiritual and physical realms.

You don't have to look very hard before these stories of angel visitations and visions get pretty far out. For example, some of these angels have names such as Emma, Mary, Charlie and Irma (as far as I can tell, Kansas City "Prophet" Bob Jones seems to get visits from more "named" angels than anyone). Others are known by other characteristics, including: Swift, Financial Angels and Healing Revival angels. The infamous Todd Bently even describes one he referred to as: "Hunk of Hunks".

There are even accounts of physical feathers that miraculously appear where angels have supposedly been present. The assumption, I suppose, is that the feathers are shed from the angel's wings. Problem: in the Bible, only the cherubs are mentioned as having wings. These angels appear to be attendant to the throne of God, not buzzing around human beings and molting the occasional feather as they go.

In those instances where the Bible describes human interaction with angels, the angelic messengers are most often mistaken for other humans (albeit, quite remarkable ones!). This is probably why the writer of Hebrews cautions that we may actual have angel interactions of which we are "unaware".

Personally, I'm quite suspicious of the vast majority of today's sensational accounts of angel interactions. Too often, they appear to be little more than spiritual bragging rights for those who can't wait to tell us all about their latest angel encounter. As a believer in the Bible, I am convinced that angels exist and that they, at times, interact with human beings as divine messengers. I'm just not as convinced that any of them are named Irma and suffer from feather dandruff.


Steve Hayes said...

Alsi, God sends angels to us when he wants to tell us something. They aren't at our beck and call.

Bill Faris said...

I'm a little surprised that the messages these angel visitors send isn't a bit more along the lines of: "Quit goofing around with feathers and gold dust and get back to work!"

Helgi said...

What is most disturbing about the theology surrounding these phenomena is how the angels tend to take a place which Biblically is not theirs. One visiting minister, famous for angels, gold dust and jewelery, preached about the role of angels and left one with the question "so what is then left for the Holy Spirit to do?".
Angels bring healing, wisdom and revelation and what I really stumbled over, it is through angels that the gift of tongues is given.

I very much appreciated your post!