Angels of the religion of Hallmark
Hey everybody, after a discussion in HannahTrinity's introductory thread came up, I decided to carry much of it over here.
The notion is that there is a difference in the perception of angels from the religious aspect and the historical aspect to the new-age hallmark idea. Where does this come from?
I feel that there is even a difference in angels between the Old testament and the New testament of the Bible. In the Jewish traditions and lore, Angels were supreme in the events of rendering the Lord's judgment, slaying whole cities such as sources say Gabriel did at Sodom and Gomorrah, slaughtering 187,000 Assyrians in a single night as sources say Michael did, or even delivering the plagues of Egypt. In the New Testament we see Angels as patrons and protectors, as the delivery system for good news such as the Birth of Jesus or the resurrection of Jesus, St. Michael the patron of police and guards, many phrasings and interpretations even state that for every blade of grass there is an Angel coaxing it to grow.
Where does this change happen? Consider the writings and early founding of the church. In an effort to garner new Christians (or cultists depending on the time period), it was a far greater idea to pitch armies of powerful Angels that protected Christians rather than the time honored tradition of deities or celestial enforcers that punished you if you didn't believe the particular religion being promoted at that instant. How cool does it sound to the easily coerced person if they are told and believe that just by joining the Jesus club they get their very own immortal and divine guardian Angel?
This is my viewpoint on a bit of the history and the change in the Angelic symbol in order to be a better advertising campaign, but as for my personal beliefs on Angels. It started by saying that picturing punishments and tortures for specific and heinous sinners might not be a Demonic trait but actually an Angelic trait.
Angels are beings of Order, this is why I believe that angelic intervention is very rare in this world, or any place in the physical plane. I believe that Angels are protectors of Order by stopping outside influences (malevolent supernatural forces) from having effects on those in this plane. If they were protectors of people, then it would be a different story. Additionally, I believe in the importance of preservation of free will, if an outside force or influence were to come into this plane to positively or negatively effect any individual, it is an outside influence on their free will and therefore imposing upon it. Sources within this plane with free will however are absolutely fine, I can exercise my free will to kick puppies and eat babies if I so choose, I have to deal with the consequences of other people's free will after that though.
I believe that Angels are extensions of the divine in that they carry out different functions. A seemingly popular idea I have seen of late is the idea of Angels of "vengeance" being hot tempered and ready to fly off the handle or tear someone apart with bare claws. I think this is a misnomer and a perversion of the idea, in some cases I personally think the individual spreading it is tainted or Fallen and does not realize it, these are few and far between however. An Angel devoted to Vengeance might be one of the more stable individuals, delivering the appropriate measure of divine justice in cool and calculated manner. Think of it as a summary execution rather than wanton slaughter.
I'd love to hear other input on the subject, personal experiences, religious reference or even abysmal hallmark representations (oh if only Chai were here now to insult us).
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