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Do u Believe in Angels???

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by cheer, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I would like to start this thread to know the views from u ladies do U believe in angels????? I read in Chicken soup for the soul also that angels exist. Anybody experienced??? Do share with us[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=+2]Angels: Why We Believe [/SIZE][/FONT]


    <HR>Brett Levy was 14 weeks pregnant when she got an unsettling call from her doctor. A routine blood test suggested that something, as she puts it, might be “severely out of whack”—to the point that her odds of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome had increased to 1 in 40 from the standard 1 in 800. A further test, amniocentesis, would be necessary.
    In the days leading up to that test, Levy recalls, “I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t sleep, or even breathe.” Then, she says, something extraordinary happened.
    “The day before I had to go back in, I was tossing and turning. It was about 4 a.m. I must have been half-asleep, but I felt like I was awake. I felt my dead grandmother come into the room. She told me everything was going to be all right: The baby was a girl, and she was going to be healthy.”
    That’s just how things turned out. “Three days later, I got the results of the amnio,” she says. Everything was fine. “My baby is a girl, and she’s healthy.” The blood problem? It’s a mystery. What isn’t a mystery, she says, is what happened that morning: She encountered an angel.

    Survey after survey shows public belief in angels is as strong as ever in this country. A Harris Interactive poll in November 2005 found that nearly 7 in 10 Americans believe. Gallup reported in 2004 that 78 percent believe, compared to 72 percent in 1994 and 54 percent in 1978.

    It was in the early 1990s that angels truly seized the nation’s spiritual consciousness. Almost overnight, it seemed, these heavenly creatures were everywhere. There were angel festivals, angel craft conventions and angel books by the hundreds. Hollywood got into the act with Touched by an Angel on TV and Angels in the Outfield at the multiplex.

    “It was almost crazy,” says Joan Wester Anderson, author of Where Angels Walk and other books of modern angel experiences. “It was a fad.”
    The craze ran its course. Touched by an Angel ended its run three years ago. The stream of angel books also dwindled. Today, pop culture offers edgier spiritual fare such as The Da Vinci Code and the Left Behind books.
    So the fad may be over, but the faith lives on. Why?

    In spiritual terms, Americans these days seek comfort, a sense of peace, a feeling that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. “We seem to be a culture that believes in God, or something like God, but we have difficulty knowing why we believe,” says Robert Wuthnow, a Princeton University sociology professor and author of After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s.

    Angels can help fill in that blank, says Albert L. Winseman, who oversees Gallup’s religious polling. Belief in them, he says, may “give a personal form and face to something we don’t understand: Why are we here?” The angels’ appeal is strong, since the search to answer that question is increasingly an individual quest untethered from any specific creed.

    “Part of the attraction is that you can pick your own meaning,” Wade Clark Roof, an author and religion professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says of angels. “They’ve become lifted out of the religious context and are available to anyone.”

    To get at the essence of angels, start with the traditional religious texts—Jewish, Christian and Muslim alike. There, angels are real and very present, even at the Creation, according to the Old Testament. They are God’s servants, delivering divine messages and aiding those deemed worthy. To believers, they still play those roles.

    In ancient accounts, angels take different forms. The New Testament book of Hebrews portrays them as beings of pure spirit. But the Genesis story of Abraham says they can assume human form when it suits them. However they appear, they are wise, powerful and incapable of death.

    Throughout the Bible, angels are almost always anonymous; just two—Gabriel and Michael—are named. It’s an example of how much we don’t know about them, despite the best efforts of religious experts across centuries. And the holy texts don’t offer much detail. Sometimes, angels have wings; sometimes, they take on fanciful forms, like the four-headed monsters cited by the prophet Ezekiel.

    The lack of detail may be deliberate on the part of the Scripture authors. The key angel stories always stress the message, not the messenger. When the angel of the Lord appears as Abraham is set to sacrifice Isaac, it’s to tell him that his devotion has pleased God. When Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb of Jesus three days after the crucifixion, an angel tells her that he’s no longer there. And in the year 610, early Muslim records say, the angel Jibreel (Gabriel) appears to Muhammad to share verses that became the Koran.
    Today, few people report encounters of such divine magnitude. Instead, angels now have more down-to-earth duties. Someone is in danger, in pain or ill, or distracted by circumstances. A stranger appears and fixes things. Consider author Anderson’s tale.

    “My son was coming home to spend Christmas of 1983 with us. He and his friend were somewhere in Indiana in the early morning hours of the 24th. It’s past midnight—1 a.m., 2 a.m. The mercury hit 35 below zero. They got lost. Their car died.”
    Then, just as with Brett Levy, when things seemed bleakest, something extraordinary happened, Anderson says.
    “Suddenly, there were headlights. Out of nowhere, a man appeared and asked, ‘Need a tow?’ “ The man took her son and his pal to a friend’s house ten miles away. As the young men stood on the porch, they turned back to the man in the tow truck.
    “When they looked out on the street,” Anderson says, “there was nothing there.”

    Tales like this—a promise in a dream, an unlikely bit of help—come up in almost any gathering. It’s where angels straddle the line between their traditional religious role and something more nebulous.
    That such occurrences are more than random events is a potent idea—and not just because it implies a higher force at work. It also encourages people to believe the best about themselves—that at the right moment, they, too, might be angels.
    “Angels point to our higher natures,” Roof says. “They represent something we’d like to have happen.”

    These experiences are genuine to those who’ve had them, but they raise red flags for some theologians. For one thing, these critics say, contemporary ideas about angels are far removed from their Biblical image.
    “In terms of the Bible, angels are a scary thing,” says the Rev. Dr. Alison Boden, dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. “They can come and scare the wits out of you. They change your life.”
    Russell Moore, dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, agrees. “In Scripture,” Moore explains, “angels are fearsome. Today, they’re a New Age substitute for God.” That, he says, is dangerous.
    Sounding a similar note of caution is David Kinnaman, vice president of the Barna Group, a Christian research company. A Barna report released in January 2006 found nearly 9 in 10 teens, regardless of their religious faith, believe in angels. Many claim to have had personal experience with them; large numbers also believe in—and have personally encountered—ghosts, demons and witches.

    Such belief in the supernatural, Kinnaman contends, is largely fed by mass media. It reflects the fact that teenagers struggle to find differences between good and evil. The fear, he adds, is that young people aren’t getting the guidance they need to resolve their confusion.

    “You need a perspective,” he says, “so that you’re not led astray.”
    Whatever one’s view, it would be nearly impossible to turn back the clock on the modern age of angels. Maybe it’s best just to keep in mind one of the New Testament’s simplest commandments, from Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 2: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007

  2. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    C'mon ladies, really nobody experience abt angel???????

    If yes plz do share with us.

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