Angels and demons

(This post is about actual angels and demons, not about the recent film.)

I just found an old comment from five months ago that I hadn’t responded to. My apologies to Martijn Rep for missing his comment. Mr. Rep asked a question in the thread under From Hindu to Baha’i to Christian:

I learned that at least for some Christians the devil, or various demons, play an important role in this world as real creatures, not just as the individual ego or insistent self. …

This is in fact a doctrine held by most Christians. We believe that there are two types of rational creature: angels and humans. Both have free will and face the choice of turning either toward God or away. The demons are those angels who turned away. Just as angels are real persons, so are demons.

Some Christians make a mistake, though, in the degree to which demons (and angels) play a role in their daily lives. For them, every good thing that happens is due to an angel’s or saint’s influence, and every bad thing is evidence of demonic attack. The Church discourages this superstitious mindset.

Most of the time, when a person thinks a bad thought or does a bad thing, they are acting on their own initiative. We already have an inclination to sin, after all. It can happen, though, that a demon will put an idea into someone’s head. But that’s all a demon can do. He can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. When you get right down to it, it’s your own self that makes you sin.

(Incidentally, the Christian view of angels and demons is different from the Muslim view. In Islam, there are three types of rational creature: angels, humans and jinn. Angels have no free will so they can’t turn away from God. Demons are evil jinn rather than fallen angels.)


4 Responses

  1. Jonah, thanks for picking this up – no apologies needed!
    Blessings, Martijn

  2. This site was just recommended by a new Baha’i friend that I met a few weeks ago. My opinion of the content found here: Outstanding! This article reminds me of one I wrote with the same title and even a similar disclaimer regarding the Ron Howard film. If anyone is interested in reading about my personal experience in learning about angels and demons and spiritual warfare from a wonderful Catholic nun, here is a link:
    (Feel free to repost the article on this site if you like)

  3. While many Bahai’s have mentioned to me that they have a belief in Angels, I’d like to mention that Bahai’s don’t believe in either Heaven or Hell, so I’m assuming that they, like our freed souls, exist behind a sort of veiled universe, alongside us, privy to our meanderings, while the living is usually unaware of their presence… please correct me if this is not true.

  4. Let us pray for all churches in the world to return to the bosom of the Catholic Church, and pray for the salvation of the whole church in the world.

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