As I have mentioned in a previous post, my wife’s family is almost entirely Church of Christ. Like many non-Catholic faiths, the Churches of Christ do not believe in guardian angels. They claim there is no biblical proof of guardian angels. Is this true?
Admittedly, the biblical evidence for guardian angels is scant. There is one verse that seems to suggest guardian angels exist. That verse is Matthew 18:10. Here Jesus is speaking of the seriousness of leading a child into sin. His warning is that their angels dwell constantly before the face of God. Hence, one must be careful of offending the innocence of a child.
One might argue that, since there is only one verse suggesting the existence of guardian angels, such most likely do not exist. One argument I often hear is that, since the Bible only mentions guardian angels in reference to children, it is likely that only they have guardian angels.
Again, I understand that there is only one Bible verse that suggests guardian angels; and there is not even one verse that directly mentions them. But we can not reject a belief in guardian angels solely because there is no direct scriptural evidence for them. There is no direct scriptural evidence for the Holy Trinity either, yet no real Christian denies the existence of the Trinity. In fact, there is no direct scriptural evidence for sola scriptura, but that doesn’t prevent Protestants from believing in it. There must be a good reason to accept an “argument from silence”.
The Catholic Church has never allowed women to be priests. Despite the best efforts of so-called “Liberal Catholics”, the Church can never allow priestesses. One argument against this stance is that Scripture does not forbid priestesses, so the argument against it is an “argument from silence”.
Though it is true Scripture does not forbid priestesses, all the evidence points to Christ’s intention that all priests be male. So here we have an “argument from silence” being on safe ground. On the issue of guardian angels, however, the “argument from silence” doesn’t work.
Jesus only insinuates the existence of guardian angels for children. Yet, why should only children have guardian angels? Are we really to believe that adults don’t have guardian angels? I believe that Jesus may not have mentioned adults having guardian angels because there was no need to.
All human beings are subject to sin. We all are flawed. Adults may be wiser than children, but we are still relatively stupid. We make mistakes all the time. Adults are more self-sufficient than children, but are still in need of assistance. So why wouldn’t we have the assistance of a guardian angel? Perhaps Jesus didn’t mention adults having guardian angels because such was simply assumed or already believed by His audience.
Many non-Catholics assume there are no guardian angels because God has no need of them. “God,” the argument often goes, “is almighty. He can do everything Himself. Having guardian angels would be superfluous.”
On the surface, this argument might seem convincing. The problem, however, is that Scripture provides us with many examples of God using angels to carry out His will. In Exodus, God sends the angel of death to slaughter the firstborn of the Egyptians. God sends an angel to ask Mary to be the Mother of God. Again, He sends an angel to warn Joseph to flee Bethlehem in order to protect the child Jesus.
There are many other examples from Scripture where God used angels to carry out His will, or deliver a message. One must ask why an almighty being would do this. After all, God has no need of the angels’ assistance. He could have done all of the above-mentioned things Himself.
It is true that God does not need the assistance of angels. Yet, He uses them to assist Him. God doesn’t need human assistance, either. Yet, time and again, we see God using people to carry out His will. The most important assistance man is called to give God is in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. “Do this in memory of Me.”
Not only does God not need the assistance of angels or mankind, He does not even need our very existence. God did not create angels and men because He had to. He did it because He wanted to! So the argument against the existence of guardian angels from God’s almightiness is not a convincing argument.
To suggest that only children have guardian angels is equally unconvincing, as I have shown. Adults are in just as much need of a guardian angel as children. Adults may not face all the same dangers as children, but the dangers adults face are just as serious. Sometimes the dangers we adults face are more serious than what children face. Hence, it would appear to make sense that adults would have guardian angels. I would submit that humans are not the only things having guardian angels.
In Revelation, God uses angels to dispense punishments upon the earth. Different angels seem to be in charge of different elements inflicting different punishments. Thus, it would appear that different angels have charge over different duties and elements. Some of these elements appear to exist in space. In other words, there seem to be guardian angels, not just over each individual human being, but over other elements as well!
Although no Catholic is required to believe in guardian angels, most do believe in them. In fact, there are many (such as myself) who believe that countries, continents, planets, etc. each have guardian angels. I believe the evidence from Scripture for such a belief is pretty strong. The Bible may not directly mention guardian angels, but the evidence is there. One just has to be willing to look for it. Just like the belief in the Blessed Trinity, the lack of explicit mention does not disprove guardian angels. All of the insinuated evidence taken together, in fact, suggests guardian angels do exist.
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity