Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Angels? Misconception...

Note: I am NOT having a bitter day, I am actually having a really good day. I also am not upset that people have said those words to me. I think I stated that. I truly believe that there are a lot of people out there that believe that people become angels when they die. It isn't just something people say (and if you don't believe it, why say it). Many people do believe it and it is a misconception. It is not Biblical and I was just putting the truth out there. I have had this conversation with people who were stunned to find that people do not become angels when they die. I am not meaning to offend anyone, but this is MY space and this is the truth. I have heard these words thousands of times and I just wanted to explain what angels are and are not. We are talking about my sons here and I want them to be spoken of in truth.

As I have said before, I welcome anyone to challenge my thinking or disagree with me, it is a public blog, but it sure would be great to be able to do it with a personal email that way we could all understand eachother. It just so happens that the people who always have something like this to say are always anonymous.



Ok, this has been a long time coming as those who are very close to me know.

When a person dies, often times people try to comfort the bereaved by saying, well he is an angel now, or well, now you have an angel in Heaven. I completely understand that people mean well by that and I am not offended but at this point I feel led to debunk this MYTH! It seems to be a common misconception across our culture and I feel the need to educate. This is likely to be a less than eloquent post as I am anything but a Biblical Scholar. I do however read the Bible and believe it to be truth. Here is what I have found the Bible to say about angels:

When a person dies, they do not grow wings and become an angel. That is a FACT.

So what are angels you ask?

Let me explain...the word angel comes from the Greek word that means messenger. In short, an angel is a messenger from God. Angels are created beings. They are created as angels, this means a person cannot become an angel. They are NOT gods and do NOT have the power of God. Angels are immortal. In our culture people are so fascinated with the idea that often times it almost seems as though some people worship them, we have angel EVERYTHING, but they are not to be worshipped! We are to worship the creator not His creation.

In the Bible angels are used by God. God sends them to minister to his people, to protect and watch over his people, and to bring messages from God. God guides us from within our spirit and he often sends angels to guide us in the physical realm. We have this notion that they are cute little babies with wings, but if you take the time to read stories of angel sightings in the Bible you will find that they almost always appeared as men, and tall men with distinguishing features at that. Also most of the time when an angel appeared to a person in the Bible, the angel had to spend the first moments of the encounter calming the person down and telling them not to be afraid as their presence was often intimidating and frightening (so likely not a baby with wings).

I guess what I am trying to say is that YES angels do in fact exist. God created them just as they are with a purpose to serve him, just as he created each of us, yet we can NEVER become an angel just as we can never become a frog. People do NOT become angels when they die. Not that that is really a comfort anyway, most people who are grieving don't really want an angel, they want their loved one back. So my plea is that you try to avoid using this cliche when dealing with someone who has lost a loved one. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not out to hurt any one's feelings and if you said those words to me you are among the hundreds, I just felt compelled to tell the truth about what angels are today it has been bugging me for a long time and it was time to let it out! My hope is that someone can learn something about what the Bible truly says about angels. They are wonderful beings, just not reincarnated people!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once again you have opened your heart to us and I thank you.

"... angels do in fact exist. God created them just as they are with a purpose to serve him, just as he created each of us, yet we can NEVER become an angel just as we can never become a frog."

Really glad to hear about the frog thing! Sorry, I couldn't resist a bit of joking.

You are loved.

Anonymous said...

Wow - sounds like another really bitter day. I think people only mean to make something so hard just a little easier to handle, if for nothing else to just remind us how beautiful "life after death" is. I haven't ever been offended by people making angel comments. I have never taken their words and disected them to such a literal meaning. I just always knew they were trying to be a friend.

msharae said...

I'm glad that posted this. I don't think you sound bitter.

I'm sure that most people wouldn't take it so literally, if they heard it a few times or even many times over the course of a few months. But Kristy, I'm sure that you've heard it hundreds it not thousands of times over the course of almost three years now... and I think it's brave of you to speak up and (apparently) step on some toes about it. I think it's part of the testimony of God's faithfulness and blessing in your life, that you can recognize a lie - even a well-meant one - and counter it with Truth.

I bet God is super-pleased. :)

David, Ashley and Noah said...

I TOTALLY AGREE, and my husband and I have had this conversation quite a few times. I know that people don't know any better but it slightly irks me when they say things like "he's an angel now". I guess I need to get over it! LOL

David, Ashley and Noah said...

BTW, you don't sound bitter as "anonymous" has said. This is your blog and your feelings. I don't think its bitter to bring up the truth of the matter. It's correcting a common misconception that people become angels. If people believe in God, and Heaven and Christ and Angels then you would think they would WANT the facts straight!

Christa said...

Kristy!!!! LOL. You made me spit out my coffee and laugh with this gem:

"yet we can NEVER become an angel just as we can never become a frog."

Hahahaha!!!!! That's classic.

I, of course, REALLY agree with you on this one. I got this one A LOT during my string of 5 miscarriages, along with, "Oh, at least you can have another one." (Yea, after the 5th time....you kinda don't want to go down that road again....)

I always thought people made the angel comments because a miscarriage is less tangible than the loss of an infant. Less proof of life (even though I saw all of the little flutters via ultrasound), but I guess I was wrong! I think people mean well, and I think they say it because they don't know what to say....but you are right. It's just not the truth, and a simple, "I'm so sorry" means so much more.

Oh, and Miss Anonymous likes to post on my blog occasionally too. Don't sweat it.

Still praying, and thinking of you often. (((HUGS))) I'll be praying for you this summer as another anniversary arrives.

Anonymous said...

Kristy,
One thing I wonder... why do you so "desperately" want another child? will you be happier with 3 children instead of 2 here with you? I ask that because I struggle with the same question, and wonder what you think about it. I have been told not to make a decision either way until at least a year (its been 5 months since we lost our child). I want more children too...but I also wonder why I think I will be happier with more than what I have... I feel like we're "tempting" God a bit or being stubborn if we keep trying...

Laurie said...

Kristy,

Thank you for posting this truth today. I agree with msharae and I believe that God is pleased too. It has always struck me as a fairytale explanation as to why God takes a baby. There is no softening the blow of death's sting. It is just by the grace and mercy of the Lord that you can have hope for joy again in your heart. You are doing it Kristy and I pray for you each day. I can hardly wait for your "gathering" at the end of the month!! There's going to be a lot of healing going on with all of you, I just know it. And the blogs will be buzzing with the greatness of the Lord and what He does for all of your broken hearts. I am praying now for that time ahead for all of you girls. I love you and keep spilling your beautiful heart out here. I learn every time I read.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

M said...

Kristy, I think this is a wonderful post. I agree with it completely. I am probably guilty myself although I never really thought of them actually becoming an angel. I appreciate your honesty as I want to be aware of others feelings on a road I have never been on. I am praying for you! Michelle

asplashofsunshine said...

I had no idea. Thanks for your post. Gosh, I feel like I should have known that, or that the rest of the world should know that. The idea or thought of angels in our culture have always been so cute, comforting, and spiritual, or perhaps that was just my perception. Thanks for your insights.

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

Seems to me that you're often trying to find fault with things people do.

People are trying to help.

Shouldn't that be enough?

If your beliefs and their's don't match than just take things with a grain of salt.

Pretty soon people are gonna stop saying anything for fear of being reprimanded.

Then what? Bet you'll start complaining that nobody cares!

Zac and Jenny said...

Thank you for the insight Kristy!

-Jenny

Becky said...

Kristy - I appreciate your sharing this. I believe as you do. I belong to a triplet forum and many of the women there who have lost one or more of their trips often refer to them as angels. That was kind of a shock to me when I first joined the forum. Obviously I would never say anything contrary to a grieving parent who refers to their lost child as an angel. Thank you Kristy. Your Spiritual insights are a blessing. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I want to say this kindly, so pardon my awkward words... sorry but I kind of agree with some of the others who are stymied as to why this offends you so much. These words (angel babies) are sincerely meant to comfort you, if it's not your belief I think that's okay. Lots of moms who have blogs like yours (even God-fearing ones!) refer to themselves or their babies in terms of angels or angel-moms. But I too find myself second-guessing if whether something I might say (as gentle as a reference to babies being angels!) is going to cause the recipient of my well-meaning words to lash out at me. Yes, I believe in the Bible and my God, but maybe some well-wishers don't (but wish you well all the same!), and I think they would resent (as do I) as being referred to as not knowing any better, as a previous commenter so nicely put it. Guess I won't say anything then. I know this is your blog but you've invited us in, your words hurt too. Sorry, there it is.

Paula

Emily said...

I totally agree on the whole angels thing.

But mainly, I just want to tell you that you're heavy on my heart tonight and I'm asking God to rest His mighty hand on your heart tonight and to let it be still for a little while. Sweet dreams are my request for you tonight, precious friend.

Dani said...

HI,
I 100% agree with you. I applaud you for posting this. It seems the world today is getting to where no one says what they think they just cover it up. That is why there are so many conflicts and such because people just bottle it up inside and never discuss it. Thank you for reminding me of this. I have never really thought about it before. Oh and to the "anonymous" peeps. Have you ever lost a child, let alone 2? Do you know what she is going through? If you haven't then why do you post things that are so degrading and rude to someone going through something like this? If you have then how would you like for someone to say something like you have said to her? And I don't know if you are a Christian or not but maybe you should think before you post stuff like that on other people's blogs. I don't think it is very uplifting. Just my opinion.

Thanks again for the great post,
Dani

Cathy said...

Kristy, I want to say I am sorry. I know I have made this reference with the best of intentions. I wish I could say I had more Bible knowledge but thank you for enlightening me. Cathy & Annabel

Carlton and Aimee Weathers said...

Oops, I posted my comment in the other post below this one. I truly thank you for this post! I have wanted to say all these things in a post on my blog too!

The Pittsburgh Hites said...

Hey Kristy,
No matter what the reason or excuse, if people agree with you or not, this is YOUR blog, and it is YOUR point of view and no one has the right to tell you differently.
I loved your blog today. Working with NILMDTS, all babies are "angel babies" and whether or not they can be angels, it helps(most) of the parents to cope to call their precious little bundles of life "angels" For them to think that they have a higher purpose in heaven, i think, pulls some parents through.
Who wouldn't want to think of their loved one looking down on us, relaying messages from heaven to the rest of us down here? For most, i think this is an easier pill to swallow. We then have something to associate our loved ones with. Not just,huh, what happens now? Leaves a lot left unsaid and for the masses, it's just easier to accept.
So even though we know that our loved ones can't really be angels, we would still like to believe that they are. Look at what angels represent in our world. Beauty, peace, and love. Who wouldn't want those things associated with thoughts of their lost loved ones?
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with you for not wanting to think of the boys as "angels" but for the most part, our culture finds comfort from angels, and i'm hoping that most people were just trying to offer you comfort!
I know you hear it SO many times, and i know if it was a pet peeve of mine, it would drive me batty as well. I do though love a good debate, lol, so i thought i would throw my two cents in.
So poo poo on those that say you are bitter, you have your right to a point of view, and keep blogging!! If they don't like what you're saying, they can read someone else's blog!(just not mine)
It was GREAT seeing you over the weekend, and i hope you are getting ready for a GREAT vacation!! I said great a lot...okay, tired and rambling now!
Love, Ging

Anonymous said...

Kristy,
I wanted to write to you. I have read all of the letters in this blog entry. One of the many "Life Lessons" I have learned is that not everyone will agree with you. I think that I can understand what you are saying. These people mean well but they are not helping you. So you are reachig out to them to explain why.
I am praying for you each day.
Amy

Anonymous said...

Webster's definition of the word angel:
Greek 1) a messenger of god, a supernatural being with greater than human power.
2) an "IMAGE" of a human figure with wings and a halo.
3) a person regarded as beautiful, good and innocent.

DIFFERENCES: (Webster vs Kristy

1) no difference, same as
your biblical definition.
2) same as the figurines you
received as loving gifts of remembrance which you posted online.
3) unborn, newborn, toddlers, teens, adults, grand-parents. We all believe this of
our loved ones that have passed.

Your beliefs seem to be that of a
biblical nature only, while many of
us live in the real world where Webster defines what we are taught
daily. Know that there are mothers
just starting this painful journey of loss and they may be believe in
Websters version. Every persons reasoning is their own, we must just be respectful of each other and not just ourselves. We do & believe what is necessary to survive and that deems no-one as
ignorant so do not be critical if
everyone does not see eye to eye, it will never happen. For the record, I too believe in God, just on my terms.

P.S. Wings, Halos, Warts, or a Croak, whatever it takes for each of us to get through & survive the day of our journey.

boltefamily said...

Again, I say to you Anonymous, send me an email...

This is MY blog and it is about what God is doing in and through my family. Not about what the world thinks angels are. I am not interested in that. I am here to spread the truth of God's word not the notion that we as humans have come up with to give comfort. The only true comfort comes from God Himself. You can't just pick and choose what you believe about God. Either you believe it to be true or you don't. It is an all or nothing deal. You don't just get to pick what works for you.

At the same time...when I think of your third definition from the dictionary I take that to be like when someone says "aww what an angel." Which again is different than saying my children ARE angels in Heaven. It is more of a metaphor.

It is okay that you don't agree with me. I can accept that. What I have said is truth, nothing more and nothing less. This is my blog and I believe with my whole heart tht EVERYTHING in the Bible is the truth. In fact it is the only truth I would bet my life on. I am not interested in what the worldly views are.

I do thank you for reading and I am sorry that you are offended by my words, but nothing anyone says is going to make me believe anything different from what the Bible says no matter how warm and fuzzy it makes them feel.

Devin said...

Good for you Kristy.

And I agree with you whole heartedly, by the way....

Had someone say to me once, "Jesus just needed another angel in heaven." I felt like saying (of course, I didn't, but I sure felt like it), if Jesus wanted another angel, He could have created one. My baby isn't an angel, you idiot. He is a child, and now he is a child that will never live on earth--a CHILD that will live only in heaven.

Geesh.

And, I never say things like this, but after reading the comments today, I am going to. Anonymous sure has lots of cruel things to say, but is never brave enough to leave their name. If they are so sure of what they are saying, why are they so afraid of people knowing who they are?

Goodness. Haven't people, Christians or not, ever heard of "if you don't have something nice to say to someone, don't say anything at all?" Don't we have enough everyday to deal with as mothers and wives not to spend time tearing others down? I mean, really. It seems ridiculous that people would take precious time out of their day just to come to someone's blog to say hurtful things.

Laurie said...

Kristy,

Keep standing your ground sweetie, it is truth and the truth will set you free. Sounds like you have touched some nerves here in the anonymous world. I love your courage to stand up for the Lord. I am with you girl!

Love and Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

Susie said...

Kristy,
I hadn't been over in a few days, and missed the whole angel discourse, but I wanted to let you know I've been bothered by this as well, and even thought about addressing it as well. Perhaps fear got the better of me. And unfortunately it's one of those "theologies" that had so pervaded our society that it has become difficult to pick truth from lies anymore. My Joshua's not angel. Joshua wasn't an angel when he came to me - despite people saying that, and he's not an angel now. He wasn't "somewhere else" before I got him, he was created and now he's with the Lord. Pure and simple. Healed and whole. But no an angel.

Many blessings Kristy - more power to you for speaking the truth when it's not popular.
Susie, Joshua's Mom
mnssams.blogspot.com

Beth said...

Great post! I totally agree. I lost a baby almost two years ago and it's what a lot of people said to me, "Your baby is an angel now." among other things. I can't imagine going through something like that...really anything without the comfort that the Heavenly Father gives. We don't have to let our imaginations run wild as to what happens after death. Too often we like to sugar coat things to avoid dealing with it. Thanks for bringing this topic up!

CORNISH EVANGELIST BILLY BOLIITHO said...

The Angel of the Lord

In the Summer of 2005, I underwent a life-saving operation and during that time I experienced one of God’s Holy angels sent to protect me. In this very bad time of my life, this angel sat beside me, (about 12 feet high if he stood up), but he just sat there in silence.

I asked him his name, but he did not speak. I said to him, “I know who you are and that God has sent you”. His power was awesome to say the least! I knew no angel of death would dare enter while God’s mighty angel sat beside me, (and by the way, angels do have wings). Bless the Lord Jesus; I now know that no angel in Heaven would want to attract any attention to himself, that is why he did not speak. We must speak to God through Jesus. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them,”
{Psalm 34 v 7}.