Guardian Angel

20131111ikonkaPolska wersja jest tutaj.

Just before the sermon, in the children’s corner, I heard that each child has a guardian angel who stands and protects them from all evil.  I wonder where such teachings come from.

If I were a little similar to the age of an average child, I would dress my cut fingers or scrupulously conceal the bruises and pretend that I was not hurt after falling down from a tree.  Also, many times I wore the scabs on my knees and ankles because I was trying different tricks and not all of them worked first time (some never worked).  If someone then told me about guardian angels, would it be of any practical significance for me?  No!  I might not have been aware of this, but after a while I would figure out these little lies (as well as many others), and removed it from my treasury of knowledge.  Are contemporary kids different than me and could they be pushed with these ideas that later on will prove to have come from thin air?  Do parents see what they are doing?  Or maybe they heard some of these things when they were children and repeated them without thinking what they heard; and they are still not aware of what they doing.

If these parents made some transactions and feared that they might lose some money, would they proceed without caution just because their guardian angel would protect them from all evil?  Certainly not, because no one believes in guardian angels and everyone would be actively involved in ensuring that their assets are protected.  But for children one can tell stories, because none of them would say ‘no.’  Isn’t it so?

If the Bible teaches us about angels, how does it call them?  Where is it mentioned?  Let me remind you that this guardian angel should 1) be next to me at all times, and (2) protect me from everything bad.  I have not seen this and, to the contrary, I’ve had hundreds of evidence that I have not been protected from everything bad.  Some say that my guardian angel guarded me from a lot of bad things that I am not even aware of.  But if this is so, then many guardian angels would protect many criminals from many crimes they would have committed.  But then what would be the point of such a guardian angel who protects me from many things that I do not know about, and does not do anything to protect me from a lot of things that I know?  And what would be the point of protecting criminals from something evil happening to them?  Would they need to be protected from harsh verdicts or body harms?  By the same token I could pretend to be a benefactor for the fact that each day I have not hurt my friends although I could have hurt them.  Unfortunately, if something that has never happened, and there is no evidence that anyone has prevented this from happening, is not proof for or against anyone or anything.

If I had some evidence that someone would be hurt but the guardian angel intervened and the bad thing did not happen, then I could boldly state that guardian angels exist and do something in the lives of people.  But as long as no such evidence is available, and much evidence exists to support e.g. an idea that computers break down and skin is softer than blades, the concept of a guardian angel remains with no support whatsoever.  I am prepared to change my mind about angels if I find that the Bible teaches about them.  If I then cannot come to any tangible conclusions about them, I would have to admit that I do not know how they work, but I would have a basis for the claim that they exist and that it works because the Bible teaches so.  Why do we not check out the supposed doctrine of guardian angels as presented in any Bible (may well be an iPhone Bible)

I have also heard that Gabriel is the only angel whose name we know.  I do not know who and how has come to this conclusion, because we know at least one more angel named Lucifer, which now is called Satan.  He has not ceased to be an angel, though now he is one of a fallen angels who are now called demons.  It is the same as with men — a man who committed a crime becomes a criminal, but does not cease to be a man.  We have yet another angel, which the Bible calls the Angel of the Lord (and his activities are called by theologians a theophany[1]) who always speaks in the name of God in the first person, and not in the third as it is done by other angels or prophets.  None of the three angels mentioned above could meet the conditions of a guardian angel because they would have to be constantly at the side of their guarded people, and yet they are not.

Those who brought out Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah,[2] spent a lot of time in the tent of Abraham,[3] so they could not at the same time be with Lot and his family.  The angel who shut the mouths of lions in the lion’s den was not permanently with Daniel but he was sent by God because Daniel was innocent.[4]  The angel who spoke with Daniel told him that he could not come to him earlier because it was detained for 21 days.[5]  And so these angels also cannot be guardian angels as they did not stand by people’s side all the time.

The Apostle Paul mentions the angels as spirits that attend to those who will receive eternal life.[6] But we don’t know how often these angels attend to each of us, how many of them there are, and whether every person has a distinct angel or one angel can look after many people. So how can one say that everyone has their own angel who is with them all the time?

The psalmist gives glory to God as the one who commanded angels to guard a man who puts his trust in Him.[7]  He also says that the angels will wear this person on their hands so they do not cut their feet on the stone.[8]  Is the psalmist talking about millions of people who never cut their feet on the stones, and those that will trample on snakes, vipers, lions and dragons?[9]  If this is to be understood as description of guardian angels, then none of them attended me in the past; neither me nor my friends.  Unless I and my friends will not be saved and this is why God did not send His angels to guard us, I do not see how the psalmist could talk about guardians angels who supposedly protect every child from all evil.

The angels do not protect anyone all the time.  Even Apostle Paul who deserves the title of being the best of people required several verses to describe some of the disasters that he experienced in his life.[10]  On the other hand, the angels mentioned by Jesus constantly look at the face of God.[11]  How could they at the same time stand by the children and protect them from all evil?

I do not find in the Bible even the slightest basis to infer that each child or at least the best of them have a personal angel who keeps them from all evil.  So where does this idea come from?  Why do people teach it in congregations, and why do pastors not challenge this idea?

Conclusion

Observing the events in the Church one should come to the conclusion that human teachings are treated as if they were more important than the teachings of God; they are taught publicly and approved by ministers.  But the truth remains true — if the Bible does not teach about guardian angels, then who are we to make such claims?

Su-Leng Tan (English version)


[2]      Gn19:16nkjv  And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

[3]      Gn18:6–8nkjv  So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.”  And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

[4]      Dn6:22nkjv  My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.

[5]      Dn10:13nkjv  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days;

[6]      Hb1:14nkjv  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

[7]      Ps91:11nkjv  For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.

[8]      Ps91:12nkjv  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

[9]      Ps91:13nkjv  You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

[10]     2Co11:26–27nkjv  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness—

[11]     Mt18:10nkjv  Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

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