Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guardian Angels

Recently one of my Global Media Outreach (GMO) contacts, an elderly gentleman in India who is in a Hindu context but is very interested in Christianity and the Bible, asked me about a biblical perspective on "guardian angels" and whether or not we should seek to commune with them (specifically, if we should seek healing from them). I thought my blog readers might be interested in my response, which follows.

Dear Anish*,

It's very good to hear from you again. (It feels like it has been a long time, indeed.) But, I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well.

My perspective on angels (and guardian angels), and our relationship with them, is formed entirely from Scripture (the Bible). I do believe that angels surround us and do the bidding of God on earth. See 2 Kings 6, for example. (One of the Hebrew names for God in Scripture is Elohie Tseva'ot, which is roughly translated "God of Hosts" or "God of the Angel Armies.") And the fact that some angels are assigned to watch over us — and children, in particular — is also clear from Matthew 18:10.

However, that said, I do not believe it is wise to seek to identify and communicate with angels. I have several scriptural reasons for holding to this position.
  1. Nowhere in Scripture are we admonished to seek angels or to pray to them. To the contrary, we are to seek God Himself, directly. 1 Timothy 2:5 says: "For there is one God and one mediator between God and man: the man Christ Jesus." Jesus has the angels under His control: He commands them as He wills ... and He is our go-to.
  2. To the contrary, Scripture indicates that in some cases seeking or listening to angels can be very dangerous, if their message contradicts the message given to us by Christ in the Gospel. See Galatians 1:8 and Colossians 2:18. Paul even said the devil himself masquerades as "an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). The bitter truth is that many cults and false sects such as Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others, have come about because "angels" supposedly delivered a "new gospel" to these sects' founders. But, that Gospel was in each of those cases in direct contradiction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented in the Bible.
So, if we are not to look to angels for healing, who should we look to? One Scripture I think is very clear on this count is James 5:14 ...
"Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord."
An "elder" is a volunteer position of leadership in Christian churches. I have served as an elder in my church. When people in our church have fallen ill, we have encouraged them to let us know, and then we elders gather around them, anoint them with oil and pray directly to God for their healing. They aren't always healed miraculously; but it's clear that if God wills it, they can be healed by this act of faith, and many times they are. I could write many pages to tell you stories about people healed from very serious illnesses, just in our small church alone.

So, telling you the honest truth, my brother, I would encourage you not to seek after "angels" for your deliverance (especially if you are not seeking them through the words and wisdom of Holy Scripture). I would encourage you instead to submit yourself for prayer to the elders of a church nearby you ... and see what happens.

I am praying for healing for you, as well, my friend. Please let me know how it goes.

- Larry

*Not his real name.

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