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Daily Archives: 5 Jul 2019
In a word, no.
Calvin says (I, xiv, 7): “Whether separate angels are posted to individual believers for their protection I should not dare to affirm as a certainty.—What is certain is that not merely is each of us in the care of one angel, but that the whole body of them with one accord watch over our salvation. It is said of all the angels together, that they rejoice more over one sinner turned to repentance, than over ninety and nine righteous persons who persist in their righteousness, Lk. 15:7. It is also said of many angels, that they bore the soul of Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom, Lk. 16:22.”
—Accordingly Riissen (VII, 34) gives to the question: “Whether any man has his own particular guardian angel, or even one good, another bad” the answer that “it is denied against the Papists”.
Of course individual doctors represented the opposite view, e.g. Bucan (VI, 28) who teaches: “That as a rule to each elect person a certain particular good angel is appointed by God to guard him, may be gathered from Christ’s words, Mt. 18:10, where it is said ‘Their angels do continually behold the face of my Father.’ Also from Ac. 12:15 where the believers who had assembled in Mark’s house said of Peter knocking at the door, ‘It is his angel.’ These believers were speaking according to the opinion received among the people of God.”
—But it was only now and again that belief in guardian angels was represented in the Reformed Church. This is Voetius’ account (I, 900): “There are some of ours who putting their co-religionists in the second place admit as a probable opinion that a good angel guards individual men, or is at least assigned to believers, among whom Zanchius De oper. creat. lib. 3 c.13. And recently the view has been specifically defended by Alsted in the supplement to Chamier’s De eccles. lib. 5 c. 7. Most recently also Vossius pretty plainly indicates his inclination towards this view, lib. 1. De idolol. c. 7. In his notes on Matt. 18:10 (see that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven) Grotius seems to stand for this opinion: ultimately however, he put it aside or left it undecided. Both of them seem to be moved to some extent by patristic authority.
We, however, embrace the view of Calvin (in Instit. lib. I cap. 14, 7 and comm. in Ps. 91 and in Mt. 18) and of other Reformed, who reject the view in question as vain and curious, and we think that something has stuck here to the early Fathers from the Platonic philosophy and the mythological theology of the Gentiles.”
—Mastricht (III, vii, 31) gives an account of the view later prevalent in the Church: “The Reformed believe that the angels as a whole minister to the salvation of the elect, because Scripture attests this, Heb. 1:14 (Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?), Ps. 34:7 (The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him), Ps. 91:11 (He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways) compared with Mt. 4:6, Lk. 15:10 (joy over one sinner that repenteth) 16:22 (angels took Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom).
But they cannot believe with divine faith in single angels appointed to single tasks, spheres, men, because (1) Scripture nowhere says so, nor can it be made known to us from any other source; in fact (2) it rather says the opposite, when it at times assigns several angels to one as well as one angel to several, Gen. 28:12 (Jacob’s ladder) 32:12 (angels who met Jacob at Mahanaim) Ps. 34:7 (The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them) 2 K. 6:16–17 (the chariots and the horsemen of Elisha) Lk. 16:22 (Lazarus); because (3) it paves the way for ἀγγελοθρησκεία; because (4) it means collusion with Gentiles, Moslems, Jews.”
– Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics.
I think of this-
“But you, when you do tzedakah, don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” — Jesus
Do whatever kindness you want. Just know, when you tell everyone about it, I know one thing of you- you have no regard for the teaching of Jesus.
«Genauso ziehen auch die Monopolisten nach und nach alles an sich, und wird ihnen das Wasser nicht abgegraben, so werdet auch ihr mit euren Untertanen ihr Eigentum.» — Zwingli, Wer Ursache zum Aufruhr gibt, 1524