THE REV. DUKE TUFTY, Unity Temple on the Plaza: According to legend, a guardian angel has never been a human being. The angel’s primary objective is to protect a particular person assigned to them, help that person avoid spiritual missteps and be saved so they can go to heaven.
Some religions say that a special guardian angel is assigned to a person when they are baptized, and others say they are assigned only to those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
This would indicate that God assigns guardian angels only to Christians, a point I take exception to. I don’t believe God distinguishes between or judges differently Christians from non-Christians.
If guardian angels do exist exclusively for Christians that would mean 70 percent of the world’s population would be discriminated against and get short-shrift. Bad God.
Doreen Virtue, an expert on the study of guardian angels who has written many books on the subject, believes everyone has a guardian angel. She also makes the distinction between a guardian angel and a spirit guide, which is a loving being who has lived on the Earth and comes back to comfort and give advice to good friends and family members. If this is true, good God.
This brings us to whether bad people have guardian angels and/or a spirit guide. I would say yes because they are the ones who need spiritual direction the most.
Every soul is worth saving and every person needs support from the divine, especially when they have wandered off the path of righteousness.
THE REV. BOB HILL, pastor emeritus, Community Christian Church: Portrayed and praised in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, theologically proclaimed by Jerome and Horonius of Autun, guardian angels are affirmed by Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim and Zoroastrian traditions.
Whether they’re piously described as “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14) or affectionately depicted like George Bailey’s angelic aide Clarence in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” guardian angels provide hopeful assistance in unaccountable ways and in the most unexpected moments.
A main underpinning of the experiences we describe with the term “guardian angel” is this: We are not alone in our struggles. We have help from beyond.
Sometimes such help is wondrously manifested in encounters we cannot rationally explain. Sometimes such help is mysteriously conveyed through the hands and hearts of those we meet in the flesh.
A corollary underpinning is like unto the first: Whether we recognize it or not, God wills good for all human beings.
The key, of course, is whether we welcome the help and the holy intention.
These possibilities are up to each person’s conscious prerogative. A third, crucial underpinning is this: Guardian angels are not merely extensions of our will, doing what human beings want, fetching us what we desire, accommodating our every manipulation.
Rather, they remind us of the best in ourselves and in others, even when we have forgotten that we or anyone else ever had a best self. In this sense especially, even the most hard-hearted can receive angelic help. Good or bad, what is required is humbly acknowledging one’s own neediness.
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