Two Quick Questions About Angels
Personally, I doubt that. I’ve met people who are “into angels” with bells on, but I’ve never met anyone who is so into them that, if an escaped prisoner turned up at their door, they’d assume it was an angel before assuming it was a person (Acts 12:15). Not many people would be happy moving on to another city because an angel had told them to (Acts 8:26), or saying that unbelievers could see and have conversations with angels (Acts 10:1-8), or attributing the sudden death of a blasphemous ruler to angelic destruction (Acts 12:23), or speculating about an angel from heaven preaching a gospel (Galatians 1:8), let alone using angels to motivate believers to appropriate dress in worship (1 Corinthians 11:10) or hospitality (Hebrews 13:2). My guess is, if we spent more time searching the scriptures on this subject, we’d have more expectation of the angelic, not less. After all, the one group in the New Testament who we know did not believe in angels were the Sadducees, and they didn’t believe in the resurrection either (Acts 23:8-9). So what’s the problem with angels? Why, I wonder, does talking about angels (which the apostles seemed to find quite normal) signal bizarre theology?
Here’s another question. It’s still on the same topic, but I realise it might appear to pull in a different direction to the previous one. It’s this: given the large number of angels who appear in Scripture, what biblical evidence is there that angels are ever invisible? I don’t mean when they appear in a dream; I mean when they appear in the real world, while people are awake. Is there any biblical support for the idea of angels that some people can see, and some people can’t? And if so, where? (By my reckoning, there is only one place where an angel appears and yet cannot be seen by an individual - and the context of the story makes it very clear that this is the exception rather than the rule, and results from sin in the individual concerned. But I may have missed something.)
So there are your two questions for this week. Why do people think believing in angels is wacky? And why do people think angels are invisible? Answers in a paragraph or less.