I'm kind of more-or-less asking this because CHRISTIANITY.SE IS GOING TO GET A REAL HAIRCUT soon, but I was thinking about Christian symbols and Jewish symbols and symbols that everyone agrees one and furthermore everyone feels comfortable engraving.

Everyone's Bible's got this in it

Exodus 25:17-22 (NIV)

17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

And even the Jews who 5 seconds ago were prohibited from making graven images of God are commanded to make some sort of "cherubs". So, what would be the reason, if any, for a Christian group today to avoid angels? What's the most nuanced possible understanding of Exodus 25 that could justify an iconoclast who would even iconosmash the Ark of the Covenant

  • 1
    (+1) I doubt if anyone opposes the existance of angels but interesting to see if any do? I actually have the same question about aliens but am not brave enough to ask ;)
    – Mike
    Sep 21, 2012 at 6:23

2 Answers 2


They are not making an idol or a graven image (an idol) of God by putting a cherubim (These are not the heart arrow cherubs) on the Ark of the Covenant. They are not worshiping the cherubims, they are worshiping God.

I have not found a denomination that doesn't believe in angels (see this comparison of denominations), so for what I know of there isn't (This is not including a few people that don't, this is groups).

And to answer your question, there is no reason a Christan group shouldn't believe in angels. Angels are mentioned 273 times in the Bible!

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE!
    – Caleb
    Sep 21, 2012 at 22:12

If God created angels, He must have had a good reason so how can we object to them existing? ;-)

Angels appear in the Torah, but it seems that the Sadducees objected to the idea of angels:

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees' party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”—Acts 23:6-9 (ESV)

A careful reading of the passage, indicates that what the Sadducees objected to was not non-human, righteous spirits, but rather the idea that people would become like angels. They didn't believe in life after death, so they didn't believe people were spirits. The Sadducees where wrong about lot's of things, but they were right that people don't become angels when they die.

Many Protestants, especially those who are suspicious of the Charismatic Movement, de-emphasize teaching about angels. Despite a great many mentions of the word in the Bible, there is surprisingly little solid information about angels. We depend on renaissance art and Paradise Lost for much of our popular angelology. Calvin expressed reservations about discussing the topic:

My care, however, must be to keep within the bounds which piety prescribes, lest by indulging in speculations beyond my reach, I bewilder the reader, and lead him away from the simplicity of the faith. And since the Holy Spirit always instructs us in what is useful, but altogether omits, or only touches cursorily on matters which tend little to edification, of all such matters, it certainly is our duty to remain in willing ignorance.—Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book I, Chapter 14, Section 3.

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