Do you believe in angels? Chances are that you do. However, you are not alone, for a telephone survey in 2001 found that 77% of Americans believe in angels. Whether you are in that 77% who does believe or the 23% who does not, it can be assumed that you have at one time or another thought about the belief in angels.
Talk of angels exists all around the world; in music, in books, on TV, on the radio, at church, at work, at school, and right in your own home. So what is it about angels that make the whole world listen when they are spoken of? Maybe it is just the power of the name, or perhaps it is the power associated with the name. Either way, there is an aura that is connected to angelic beings.
Angels have been a part of religious beliefs since 1000 BC, when the Zoroastrianism religion first recognized angelic beings. The belief in angels has continued through both mono- and polytheistic religions, though they have different beliefs as to what these angels look like.
In the Norse culture, angels were Valkyries, and are pretty, young women who wore armor all the time. To travel between Heaven and earth, they would cross by the use of a rainbow.
In the Middle Ages, angels were thought to have worn long, draping gowns with golden belts at their waists. They were also said to have carried golden staffs in their right hand, and the seal of God in the left hand.
Most commonly, when a person thinks of an angel, they will picture a woman dressed in a white dress, wings gallantly spread, and a glowing white light coming from overhead. The question at hand is whether this idea is accurate or not. An angel could appear dressed in a white gown with a glowing white light; however they could also appear as a frog or a gut intuition. God created angels so that they could appear in any way, shape or form.
Wings on angels can be both supported as well as refuted by passages in the Bible. In Genesis 28:12, Abrahamâ€™s grandson has a dream in which angels are traveling between Heaven and earth by the use of a ladder, leading one to believe that angels do not have wings. Juxtapose to this however, Revelations 14:6 states "And I saw another angel flying in midheaven..." This suggests that angels fly, therefore, they must have wings.
The subject regarding whether angels have wings or not brings about another debated topic of whether angels earn their wings or have they had them from the beginning. The movie It's a Wonderful Life persuades people to believe that angels are people who have died, and now must complete a selected job to 'earn' their wings. However, during the six days that God created the universe, He also created every angel that exists to this day. The number of angels made during creation is the same number of angels which exist today. Due to this, angels do not 'earn' their wings (if they even have them), but rather have had them since they were first created.
All the angels created were grouped into nine different clusters, each of which specializes in a different area of work. The nine orders, from least powerful to most powerful are: angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominions, thrones, cherubim and seraphim. These orders carry out responsibilities ranging from praising God to fighting demons to carrying messages between Heaven and earth to helping humans with their difficulties and hardships.
The idea of an angel is both magical as well as wonderful to many people. Society embraces the idea that there is a being which is always looking over them and keeping them from harm. The Bible promises us that "o evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come over your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, Lest you strike you foot against a stone." --Psalms 91:10-12
Sarah Bussen is a high school senior
From our archives 5/9/02