©00 The Media Desk
The footprints of an Angel are love. And where there is love, miraculous things can happen.
--Angels In the Outfield, 1994 Disney Productions.
And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the LORD saw it and was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David looked up and saw the angel of the LORD standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown. David said to God, "Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? O LORD my God, let your hand fall upon me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people." 1 Chronicles 21 : 15 - 17
Drop the term 'angel' into a Bible search engine and you get back roughly 300 references in either the NIV or KJV.
Do the same with an Internet search and you'll return, on the magnitude of 23,000 times that many, Seven Million occurrences.
What's going on?
To see what Levite thinks of angels in general and the public's continuing fascination with them in particular, it broached the subject. And was immediately treated to a tirade that covered everything from the people in the berets that ride the New York Subway and the ones in Nazi helmets that ride choppers and hogs to chubby little babies with wings and lyres and a gorgeous woman on a TV show with a spotlight in her hair.
"There is no way the Angel that was destroying Jerusalem looked like Roma Downey." Levite said.
First off, the angel with the sword was a male. It says that point blank in Chronicles.
In fact, he continues, Every reference in the Bible, not just the Old Testament, but in the Entire Bible that refers to an Angel of the Lord, or of the Devil too for that matter, is either neutral in gender, or is male.
Levite has seen 'Touched by an Angel' a couple of times, usually to hear Della Reese sing, and neither her nor Ms. Downey could pass for a male anything.
But he does kinda like the guy that plays the Angel of Death. "Nice Touch," grins Levite.
"But isn't it a good thing that the show does tell people about God?" The Desk asks.
"Yes... and No. Mostly No."
If it carried forth the Gospel message, it would be wonderful. However, all it does is say that God loves them. Which He does...
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3 :16 KJV
That's the whole point of the New Testament. In fact... The Whole Bible.
Yes. God Loves us. ... but ...
Sure, that's kinda like HIS job. We are His creation. He Loves Us. He gave us Life, and food, and a job, and even a silly TV show to watch. BUT!!!!
There is another side to that.
He loves us... But He has commanded that to return to Him from the mire of sin we call home we have to do it through the only two ways HE has set up.
The first is by keeping the LAW. Every rule in the Law of Moses. One transgression of any part of it and you are guilty of breaking the Entire Law.
Even David, the Man After God's Own Heart couldn't keep the Law.
Only one man has, and they crucified him.
.... they crucified Him.
OK, God Loves Us. Maybe He even sends an Angel to prevent you from doing something stupid. But that is not enough to get you a ticket to Heaven.
Maybe you even believe in Him....
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.
James 2 : 19
Maybe you love Him, and worship Him and ....
"Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 7 : 21
"You mean hanging an Angel plaque on the wall has nothing to do with the Gospel?" Levite uses his lousy falsetto.
No. In fact, it could be looked at as devoting yourself to False Gods.
It's simple: Angels are NOT to be worshipped.
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!"
Revelation 22 : 8 - 9
But the Word hasn't slowed anybody down in over a thousand years.... Why start now?
Everyone needs something to believe in. --Angels in the Outfield
"Well... sort of." Levite shrugs.
That's one of the arguments used in support of the Marian Cult in the Catholic Church.
The 'Immaculate Conception of Mary' first appears in the Middle Ages. The Assumption of Mary wasn't made an Article of Faith until the 1950's. So evidently the First Century Church considered her a very special woman, sure, but not somebody worthy of adoration and worship.
The Roman Church does all sorts of dances to say they don't actually worship Mary. Just as people claim they are not idolizing angels. Yet even in their own official documents, they attribute various things to her that, in Scripture, are reserved for the Savior.
Ahem... [Levite assumes the 'blessing the masses' pose used by the Pope]
The Immaculate Conception
490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son". The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 1985 www.vatican.va
A 'splendor of an entirely unique holiness'? What exactly does that mean?
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3 : 22 - 24
The Apostle Paul could have said... 'for all have sinned, except Mary the Mother of Jesus' or something like that. But he didn't. The Virgin, whether the Mary Worshippers like it or not, was a Jew. Of the household of David, sure, but a Jew nonetheless. As a Jew, she had to keep all of the Law. Period.
We've already observed that that was impossible.
Mary. As a Jew under the Law, was condemned by that Law. No fancy language by Pope Pius the Anything can change that fact some eighteen hundred years later.
In Hebrews, the writer says that Christ was tempted, as are we, yet was the one without sin. Hebrews four. Mary is not mentioned in that passage.
'Well, that's all fine. Mary was a human woman. What about Angels?'
Let's look at some of what we know about them:
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"
Revelation 7 : 11 - 12
So they are messengers, soldiers, guardians (Psalm 91 : 10 - 12. Later quoted by Satan to Christ), and caretakers (Matthew and Luke 4).
But they are not objects of veneration, even though at times, they were worshipped. Yet then we fall back to where the angel told John to only worship God as they do.
Why would people become so obsessed with them that they would actually forget who they were working for?
In the show 'Highway to Heaven' the fact that the angel was on 'a mission from God' (to quote the Blues Brothers) was more of a running joke than a statement of faith. In the current show 'Touched by an Angel' they break 'the Prime Directive', so to speak, by telling the people they are angels on a mission.
In Scripture, angels could show up in uniform so there was no doubt, or they could conceal their true nature and appear as regular people. The New Testament even mentions this in the famous 'angels unawares' verse in Hebrews 13.
"... it cooould happen." Angels in the Outfield
Well, yeah. It could. And it probably does.
But the bottom line is still this... They are Created Beings.
Created Beings that Worship God and Him Only.
OK, the angels have a convention. They fill the Baltimore Convention Center up. Standing Room Only! Thousands of them, wearing name badges and eating crab cakes and annoying the locals trying to take pictures next to the old submarine. And what do you have?
A crowd at the National Aquarium. A dull night at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Something to lead the Six O'clock news with. But that's all.
It's still not worthy of one minute of Worship.
Levite snickers. "When they leave, ask the waitresses if they tip good."
Why then the billions of dollars spent yearly just in America on angel pins, posters, cards, earrings and all the rest? The Desk Asks.
Couple of things.
Have you noticed that the majority of angel devotees are women? Think about that while we go into a couple of the other aspects of angels that are exploited for fun and profit.
The angels seen in the email greeting cards with the cute little poems are never the ones with the gleaming sword threatening destruction on Jerusalem. Neither are they the Michael that strove with the Devil over the bones of Moses (Jude). Or the ones with the bowls of wrath from Revelation.
The popular angels, while usually female, are the nurturing protective variety.
They keep away evil, ward off disease, and watch over sleeping children.
Angels. In Modern America, have taken over the jobs of the traditional Mother and Father in the home.
The roles of parents in our society have been whittled away...
"It takes a village to raise a child" Hillary Clinton's speech writer
... to the point where parents are no longer allowed to parent. The Government has taken over the job of warning your children to not play with liquid drain opener and to stay away from construction sites. Now the State deals with 'that talk' and making sure the kids learn to spell their own names.
So if the Mother and the Father can't do it... and all evidence points to the fact that the Nanny State is a monumental failure... who can?
Well. Let's draft angels to do it.
Angels never go on strike like the all powerful teacher's unions. They never get caught with their pants down like politicians. They can't be brought up on abuse charges like parents. They don't leave town at the last minute like baby sitters.
They never demand overtime or call in sick.
They are all wise, all caring, powerful beings that only have our best interests at heart.
In short. What Parents and Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles used to be for us... Angels are now.
No it isn't all just Hillary's fault. Even the Junior Senator from New York can't claim that one.
It goes back further than that, and indeed, is far too complicated of an issue to lay solely at the feet of helpless parents, overbearing bureaucrats, rabid liberals, social do-gooders, and the teacher's unions.
The angel craze is a symptom of the social ills of our country. Not a cause.
Although some would say that a country that has forgotten God and gone off half cocked to worship lessor beings would suffer from the social ills we have in spades.
Put the Angels in their places....
We started this in Chronicles, let's end it there.
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
2 Chronicles 7 13 - 15
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