Monday, 22 February 2016

The Paranoia with Angels

I find it funny how some Christians become so paranoid when another Christian speaks about Angels. Angels have become taboo within Christian circles even to the point where if one speaks about an experience or a sighting or even asks a question, the first words out of their mouths are "You got to be careful when it comes to Angels." But why say that? What is this fear to acknowledge or to speak about Angels; and God forbid, even to mention that you may have seen one.

The New Testament is riddled with believers seeing and interacting with Angels. It wasn't some voodoo mysterious thing that needed to be feared. It was rather common place in the church. Do a word study on "Angel" in the Book of Acts and you'll see what I mean. Even the testimonies that come out of church history reveal some startling angelic intervention stories where one can clearly see God's hand in protecting and providing for His people. I even have a story of my own. You want to hear it? 

Five years ago, I worked for a company that imported instant noodles. I had planned a "Taste Demo" of these noodles at a Spar store in Mdantsane. My assistant for the day was a Xhosa speaking lady who would translate to the hopeful crowd (If you didn't know, instant noodles was a new concept within lower income black families and so this was the market we were trying to penetrate.). I had no hope in heaven of communicating in Xhosa to the customers on why Instant Noodles made financial sense to their household or on how to prepare them. Hence, my Xhosa speaking lady was a make or break for my "Taste Demo". I transported my portable stove, my table, my electric leads, my pots and my instant noodles to the store. I was half way setting up when I received a call..."Ahh, Ross, hi there. I won't be able to come to your taste demo. I'm stuck in another meeting that won't be done for another three hours." And just like that...BAM! My Xhosa translator was not coming.

I called a brother of mine and explained the situation. He said "Don't stress. Let's pray." I was worried. I was panicking. I didn't pray much. He asked for angelic assistance in his prayer. I took no notice. I was more worried about how I was going to "wing" this.

I had everything set up. I was cooking my noodles. I was preparing my samples in little cups for customers to taste and the crowd was building. I began to give the samples out one by one while trying to explain what they were and how I was cooking them. I might as well have spoken Martian. They had no idea what I was saying. Just then, out the corner of my eye, I saw a elderly black woman come from the side. She looked at me dead in the eyes while smiling and confidently made her way to the front where I was standing. She took my hand while smiling at me and turned to the crowd of customers. She then began to speak in Xhosa and explain to them exactly what I was doing. I stepped back and carried on cooking my noodles and she carried on promoting for me. This carried on for just over half an hour. I didn't get her name. I didn't get to chat with her. I didn't even see where she went. As the crowd became less and less, she stepped down and disappeared. It was only a few minutes later did I realize that God had saved my hide. He had provided me with divine assistance. To this day, I believe this elderly lady who spoke for me was an Angel. Could she have just been a friendly person who saw the panic all over a young white guy and decided to help out? Could have. But I don't think so. 

The funny thing is that 90% of the Christians I tell this story to, don't buy it. But why not? Why are we so paranoid to believe that God would actually answer a prayer and send an Angel to serve one of His sons? Why do most Christians automatically default to unbelief in a divine intervention where Angels are concerned and rather rationalize it with a human answer? Are we scared of being deceived? Has too much New Age nonsense crept into the church that we'd rather side with conservatism when people share weird stories about supernatural beings? Cool. Fine. I understand that. Valid concerns. But let's admit it and understand why. 

The truth is no Christian denies Angels. But there is a tendency to avoid the subject because we just don't know what to believe. I get that. I really do. But let's admit our paranoia and talk. Let's chat about it. Let's openly talk about the reasons. Angels are real. They serve God's purposes. And one of those purposes is for them to assist the heirs of salvation. So they are around. Let's not be afraid of the fruit cakes who are obsessed with them. Let's talk openly, let's ask the questions and let's enjoy the gift - because that's what they are - let's praise God for sending His Angels to help and to protect as God's kids.

Let's quit the paranoia.

1 comment:

  1. 20 References to angels in the book of Acts alone.

    And yet no reference to experiences of angels in any of the epistles or the rest of the New Testament until Revelation.

    I wouldn't question whether angels exist or whether they still intervene on behalf of God for His saints. I just wouldn't call experiences with angels...normative.

    There has been a lot of heresy brought into the world through claimed visitations by angels. Muhammed claimed angel Gabriel gave him the Quran and Islam was born. Joseph Smith claimed an angel visited him and Mormonsim was born.

    There are two extremes to be cautious of, not just one. One extreme is to think angels don't exist or that they disappeared. The other (which I think is far more prevalent and dangerous) is an unhealthy infatuation with angels (which I used to have) where you expect them at every turn and idolize Michael instead of Jesus.

    Some good questions asked in your article though.