A sort of musing-on-words post.
One of the more awkward conversations you can have is the “they’re an angel, now” one with someone who’s lost a loved one—besides the obvious even to me point that you don’t pick a fight about it because that will do more harm than good. I’m still startled at the negative reactions some people have to the word “saint” applied in a non-metaphorical way.
After MDV laid out how the demigod from the latest Disney movie couldn’t be considered a proper big-G god, combined with Dan’s description of Maui as a Polynesian Hercules, I started musing….
Concluded that a lot of Protestants do believe in Saints, as we know them. They just call them angels, and tend to dramatic representations that are much more obvious that they work only by God’s power. (That came by way of envisioning addressing prayers c/o The Almighty. Glowy gold script, bright white envelope. Uh…did I mention I haven’t been sleeping much?)
Look at TV angels, at least in nominally religious programs, and you get:
*and are doing God’s will
*usually with some personal focus related to their life on Earth.
Now, since it’s Hollywood, there’s some created drama about losing one’s salvation after one is already an angel, yadda yadda—because that’s totally what God would do, punish someone for doing the right thing. I can’t complain too much, that trope brought the movie Tombstone into being, and that’s an enjoyable drama, but bad theology.
Not sure how useful it will be, but I thought the observation might come in handy the next time you’re in a situation where you’re thinking: “But angels weren’t ever human!” Maybe they’ll listen if you say “when someone is dead and in heaven, we call them a saint, not an angel.”