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Angels: You Can’t See Them but They are Real

Sometime before the Christian God created the world, he created angels. Created higher than humans, angels are God’s gofers — doing whatever God commands them to do. Angels are sexless beings, spirits that cannot be seen unless they take on a corporeal (i.e. human) form. The most famous angel in the Bible is Lucifer (Satan, Devil, Beelzebub, Dragon, Serpent, Abaddon, Morningstar). Lucifer, along with one-third of the angels in Heaven, rebelled against God. The rebellion proved to be a failure. God cast Lucifer and his followers out of Heaven. These fallen angels (demons, devils, unclean spirits) made earth their home. According to the book of Job, Lucifer, called the accuser of the brethren (Christians), still has access to Heaven. He’s considered the god of this world, the prince and power of the air. Lucifer walks to and fro on the face of the earth, looking for people whom he may fuck up (devour). Some day, Lucifer will once again wage war against God. This war will fail, just as the last one did. After Lucifer is defeated, and Jesus renovates — what a great show for the Home and Garden TV channel! — the heavens and the earth, Lucifer will be cast into the Lake of Fire — the final home for Lucifer, fallen angels, Christopher Hitchens, Steven Hawking, Steve Gupton, Bruce Gerencser, and all (billions and billions) non-Christians.

I typed the previous paragraph from memory. It’s been fourteen years since I preached my last sermon, but the vestiges of a lifetime of serving Jesus live on in my mind. I can’t remember what I did an hour ago or yesterday, but religious beliefs learned over the first fifty years of my life live on. Some days, I wish I could have a Men in Black mind wipe, erasing all the religious nonsense that clutters my mind. Other days, I am glad I still remember this stuff. Thanks to a lifetime of reading and studying the Bible, I don’t have to spend much time researching Bible verses or Christian theology. I may be an apostate reprobate, but Christianity lives on in my mind.

Ask Evangelicals about what Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus believe, most of them will tell you that these groups are cults, sects that believe all sorts of crazy nonsense.  When asked if their beliefs are just as crazy, Evangelicals will take offense, saying that their God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — is the one true God, and there is nothing bizarre, fantastic, or foolish about Christianity. After reading what I write next, readers are invited to decide whether a room should be booked for Christianity at an insane asylum.

Evangelicals believe that there is a spiritual dimension all around us. We can’t see or hear what goes on in this dimension, but it is as real as the Twilight Zone. How do Christians know this spiritual dimension exists? The Bible, on more than a few occasions, speaks of this dimension. Christians are already used to believing in an imaginary God, so it is not a stretch for them to believe in the existence of a non-corporeal spiritual dimension.

Evangelicals believe that this spiritual dimension is inhabited by Lucifer, fallen angels (demons), and heavenly angels. Day and night, God’s angels and Lucifer’s angels fight one another. Think of it as an endless MMA match. According to the Bible, non-Christians are influenced and controlled by Lucifer and his minions. These fallen angels can and do possess humans, causing them to do all sorts of abominable things — you know, like voting Democrat. Evangelicals are fond of blaming Lucifer and fallen angels for much of the evil we see in the world. Never mind the fact that the book of Job teaches that Lucifer can’t do anything unless God gives him permission to do so. Remember that the next time an NRA-loving Republican senator blames Lucifer and his followers for a mass shooting. Lucifer may have pulled the trigger, but it was God who gave him the order to fire.

Lucifer also tempts, corrupts, influences, and leads Christians astray. While most Evangelicals don’t believe fallen angels (demons) can possess followers of Jesus, they can and do oppress them. In fact, the more godly Evangelicals are, the more likely they are to come under demonic attack. Charismatics, in particular, have wild imaginations when it comes to Lucifer and his influence over Christians and non-Christians alike. Spend an hour or two reading the CHARISMA website and you’ll come away wondering how the whole lot of them haven’t ended up being locked up in padded cells.

I am sure many Evangelicals believe that I am under the influence of Lucifer; that I am more than likely demon-possessed. Maybe I am, but just remember that if I am, it’s Jesus’ fault. He’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He holds the world in the palm of his hands. He possesses the keys to life and death. No one, according to Evangelicals, is born or dies before God says so.

Take a moment to stand in your front yard or in the middle of your living room. Glance left, right, forward, back, up, and down. According to Evangelicals, all around you is a spiritual dimension filled with God’s and Lucifer’s angels. Sure would be nice to see these angels and not have to take their word for it. If an angel showed up at my bedside tonight with an authenticated message from God, why I might, for a moment, ponder the existence of spiritual beings. I say “for a moment” because if I do happen to see an angel, it is more than likely that I am either drunk or high on drugs.

Rational, skeptical humans know that there’s no such thing as angels. Believing in the existence of such beings is a hangover from our pre-science past; back in a time when the unexplainable was attributed to God, Satan, or angels. We now know better — well some of us do anyway. Sadly, millions (billions?) of people believe that we are surrounded by invisible angels. They have never seen an angel (and if you say you have seen one, pictures or I don’t believe you) but because of religious indoc . . . as I was typing this, my browser crashed. Was this an angel trying to stop me from making fun of him? Anyway, because of religious indoctrination, Christians believe without seeing. That’s the essence of faith. If people believe in a virgin-born, resurrected-from-the-dead Jesus whom they have never seen, believing we are surrounded by angels is not too much of a stretch for them.

Just remember, with FAITH all things are possible.

What were you taught by your parents and pastors about angels and an unseen spiritual dimension? Did you read books such as  Frank Peretti’s novel, This Present Darkness? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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  1. Avatar

    Bruce, I admit I never studied angelology, but doesn’t Hebrews 2:7 indicate that humanity is a little lower than the angels in Christian theology, and that Jesus shared in that humanity (verse 9)? I personally love the idea of angels, but I don’t think any religious person can prove the idea to be true. I even met someone who pretty much disbelieved Christianity yet held to angels, though I don’t the specifics of the belief structure that they held.

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    Karen the rock whisperer

    Growing up Catholic, I had a copy of a famous painting over my bed. It showed a guardian angel watching over two children playing on the edge of a cliff. I hated the thing, but my bedroom was not mine to decorate, and my mother loved it. I was told often as a small child that I had a guardian angel watching over me.

    Now, as far back as I can remember, I have had a fear of heights. Sometimes it’s been a terror of heights, or more accurately of falling off a high place. (I never had any problem being inside tall buildings or flying in airplanes.) So to my young mind, those children were doing something extremely dangerous, and why was that angel just standing there? Why not drag the children away from the cliff edge, or distract them away, or SOMETHING??? So, obviously guardian angels were untrustworthy creatures who couldn’t even manage something as basic as watching out for small children. And I’m gonna feel comforted that one of these is watching over me? Yeah, right.

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    Melissa A Montana

    One of the things that drove me from Christianity was the stories of angels. I was fed a steady diet of stories about angels appearing at just the right moment to save innocent children from harm. When I grew up, my mom gave me a magazine called “Angels” (part of the magazine “Guideposts”) which featured stories about adults who said they saw angels. Never mind that as an abused child, I prayed constantly and no angel ever came to me. Later, when my life was in shambles, I prayed so hard and no angels showed up. In a rage, I finally tossed the magazines. When I ask Christians why I was never helped by angels, I get a blank stare, befuddled mumbling and changing the subject, or the occasional “You drove them away with your hard heart/lack of faith/ it’s god’s will.” I never understand the cruelty of Christians who are happy to blame a 6 year-old for failing to receive help from Jesus or angels. I now find the concept of angels absurd. They seem to be nothing but neutered Barbies and Kens in bathrobes.

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    I think some Christians LOVE the excitement of real live invisible SPIRITUAL WARFARE going on right around them, like a Marvel comic complete with superheroes. It’s exciting for them to imagine in their humdrum days of going to work, washing dishes, and doing laundry. I saw a social media post from a fundy about how important we are that you’ve got God and Satan fighting over your SOUL! I guess that’s a self-esteem boost to think that the Good and Evil ultimate superheroes are fighting over your poor widdle soul!

    I thought it was creepy and disturbing when I was a Christian. Plus, I never liked the idea of all these invisible spirits watching me shower or go to the bathroom.

  5. Avatar
    Steve Ruis

    It is fascinating that people do not take a step back and ask: why does an omniscient, omnipotent god need “helpers,” “messengers,” “go-fers” of any kind? Surely the effort to explain a task to a messenger is greater than to accomplish the task himself. And why keep them around, when one can be created with a thought and then dispensed with when the task was done.

    And why does no one notice that every being this creator god creates rebels against his authority. Why do people blame the “fallen” angels and the “fallen” humans and not the inept creator.

    Why does the god that forbade human sacrifice, choose a human sacrifice to lift his curse, a curse, which was just spoken into being? Why does the god create a human by impregnating a female human, rather than create a full grown human as he did with Adam and Eve? Why would He degrade His son with dirty diapers, and all of the other indignities of youth?

    As much fun it is to dissect the scriptures and histories (sic), why do we not look at the whole narrative as ask why does this not make any sense at all?

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    where are these angels when people are abused, hurt etc? it makes no sense at all. from here it is a downhill slide. another mind game. this is why I currently identify as a liberal progressive Christian. but I fear I am on the way out when I become angry w/all this nonsense. thanks for helping me not feel so alone.

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      Mary, you seem to be on the path to deconversion just as I was for years. I also became angry and disillusioned with all the nonsense and all of my pleas to god to answer my prayers were met with silence. Trust me when I say you can let go and when you do you will feel a great sense of relief

  7. Avatar

    Yes, I never understood angels, they seem always to be shown – like in your picture – in long white sheets..and did very little. It seemed obligatory they should all be handsome, have wings and hands folded in prayer in front of them and a halo….but what did they actually do? Every child was supposed to have a guardian angel watching over, and protecting them….but if that were true, many should be sacked, given the number of starving, sick and abused children there are in the world.

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    Yes. This touches on one of the questions I had regarding angels. More specifically Satan, Lucifer and his demons.
    I mean if “God so loved the world”, and “is not willing that any should perish”; than why would he unleash the demon world on us? The Bible says that our hearts are already decieved (Jer 17:9). So why would he make it all the harder to find the truth by putting a devil in our path that is “as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”(1,Pet5:8)? Why does God allow the devil to deceive people? Back in the IFB they would say God did that so people could have the opportunity to choose right over wrong. But again,how could anybody choose the right way if our hearts are supposably deceived to start with going against the master deciever Satan we would lose every time. So it doesn’t make sense.

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    Bruce, I used to wonder about this very issue when I was deconverting…for years I believed in, and taught that there was an invisible spiritual realm that somehow was more real than this.
    When I started thinking about what that really entails, it started sounding ridiculous!
    Are demons/angels/spirits flying around me right now? Am I breathing them in?
    They don’t seem to be affecting me, and certainly are not helping my life in any way!
    The longer I am away from xtianity, the more the Michael Mock rule seems to apply…none of this makes sense!

  10. Avatar

    My Hungarian grandma told me that the shafts of sunlight you see piercing thru rain clouds were angels coming down to earth to retrieve the souls of the dead to take them to heaven.

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    As someone who has always been interested in astronomy, I’ve always been a bit disappointed that the one thing the Christian Bible is devoid of is a lot of astronomy (or astrology). The ancient Hebrew theologians weren’t particularly tolerant of astrology and other forms of wizardry. Not sure where the prohibition comes from, but at any rate, Lucifer in Isaiah and fallen angels is a rare exception. Lucifer is known by modern westerners as Venus (it was originally known by two names depending on if it appeared in the evening or morning sky Hesper and Phosphor/Lucifer).

    While most people aren’t interested in getting up before dawn everyday to watch Lucifer’s rise and fall, it can still be seen. The planet, because it has an inferior orbit to the Earth, appears to rise out of the sun every morning until it slips back to the surly bonds of Earth a few months later.

  12. Avatar
    Cax Afe

    “Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.” This is the natural path for anyone that devotes a bit of critical thought to the idea of religion. Glad to read that you place more “faith” in people than unfounded ethereal ideas.

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