TOUCHEDBY AN ANGEL OR...
Our society has become increasingly aware of the supernatural realm through the psychic network and channeling of Spirits. The Occult has become popularized by movies such as Ghost, Close Encounters, Independence Day, and Lion King. TV programs on occultic phenomenon include the X-files, Sliders, Dark Skies and many others.
Angels recently have become very popular being more than just an ornament on a Christmas tree. Over the last few years they have appeared on the covers of Time, Newsweek and numerous other magazines. Some New Age music is even developed from spirit or angelic contact. Now there are angel magazines, crystals, shirts, stuffed angels, tea sets, key chains, earrings and jewelry with angels on them. Angelic activity is the primary theme on some movies and TV programs. There are Angel websites, Angel Times newspaper and angel seminars for those who are serious enough to learn how to contact their own guardian angels.
A recent Gallup poll found 69% of Americans believe in angels. 50% believe they have had a presence of a guardian angel in their life (Time magazine found similar results 68% believe in angels and 32% have one in their life). There are over 200 books on angels, the majority written from non Christians such as One Hundred Ways to Attract Angels. There are also numerous Christian books on encounters with angels such as The Rustle of angels and a Life Guide Bible studies curriculum on angels. Some Christian books are accurately well written such as All the Angels of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer, Angels Elect and Evil by Fred Dickason, Angels God Secret Agents by Billy Graham and Angels Among Us by Ron Rhodes. Recently NBC aired a special on angels which was quite fascinating, approximately 17,000 people requested this program. Over 2,000 web sites on the Internet are angel related. It is obvious that our generation is intrigued and awed by these "Messengers from Heaven."
"Touched by an Angel" is one of the most popular programs on today (11th in the ratings), many people who claim that their lives have been changed from watching it. This program is centered around three angels, two women and a man. They are on a mission to earth to help mankind out of our messes and spread the message that God loves them.
This program has become a media phenomenon in which they receive 10,000 letters a week with people who share how the show has changed their outlook and lives. John Dye who plays the angel of death says many of these letters are about how people no longer fear death. Recently the cast of this program were hosted as guests on the Oprah Winfrey show. They talked about how the show has changed people's lives. Dela Reese related one story of how she met someone who came up to her and said your show saved my life, "my husband died 6 months ago and I didn’t know how to handle it because I was a wreck, I saw a man on your show having a good time when he died so I related it to my husband." Roma Downey who plays Monica says "sometimes the end is just the beginning. Dela added, " The end is usually the beginning, it hurts so awfully bad when a beautiful life is taken away from us but it never really is taken away." The message being emphasized is that we are not to fear death if you are a good person. We hear continually today about people drawing their erroneous theology from TV evangelists , talk shows are equally destructive. Their influence over America is enormous.
Before I focus on the underlying message or the portrayals that are being promoted, there are a few things that need to be clarified. I happen to agree with the critics that TV needs a face lift, there is far to many programs with a worldly message and the promotion of sin in our society. The message in most shows is to eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we all die. The common denominator for this kind of broadcasting is the philosophy that there really is no God to consider.
In "Touched by an Angel," we have a program that centers upon the fact that there really is a God! What a needed and refreshing message; that He wants to communicate with man and He really cares about us!
The stories are often times emotionally moving with moral lessons that show how we should learn from our mistakes in life. We need to recognize that there is a price to pay when commendable truth is united with an unbiblical message. Instead of upholding the teachings of the Bible, it actually conflicts with biblical teachings, and can be disastrous for those who embrace its message. You see the poisonous theology is everyone who is good goes to heaven. How wrong! All one has to do is reform there life and they are accepted. God loves you, He will forgive you and with His help you can change. All that is required is faith in God. Regardless of the religion people identify with, love is what sets them free.
Let's identify one of the major problems! The audience never out who this God is.
The program sounds Christian on the surface, but look beyond the beautiful music and the emotionalism birthed through the actors, we find a message of universalism! This should not be surprising, since this is the message of the Unity Church of which has some influence in the programs theology. Take for example on a recent episode a little girl tells about her goldfish who died and was flushed down the toilet and said it went to heaven. The mother was disturbed by this but Tess said to her, "that’s all right there’s a lot of ways to heaven."
"Touched by an Angel" is filmed on real location in Salt Lake City Utah. Being in Mormon country does not affect its message, because it is coming from a whole other influence. In real life Dela Reese is an ordained Unity minister who married Roma (who plays Monica on the show) to Davi Ansba. Dela’s mentor is Johnny Coleman, one of the most famous of Unity ministers. As a religion Unity accepts all books of scripture, thinking Christ is within all people and we can all be Christ. Unity denies evil, pain,
sickness, and poverty. Death is not real so it is not to have mastery over a person's life.
God is not a being or a person having life, intelligence, love or power…It does not matter what we call this power." Salvation is believed to be attained by at-one-ment with God and that reincarnation is the provision by the father for humans to obtain immortality. The false and fallacious Unity influence is the sandy foundation for the underlying spiritual message throughout the show, "Touched by an Angel."
Dela has her own church, started in 1983 called Understanding Principles of Better Living. Its logo, a hot-air balloon, symbolizes "understanding the principles of positive thought."…." She describes seeing God, not "in the sky with a beard like Neptune's sitting on a throne watching me", but as one "spirit and he disperses himself in various bodies…. There's a piece of God in you. That's how you can breathe."
Dela certainly has much to say in the way God is portrayed on the program. She believes this show is a God thing and Roma agrees. She states "You can’t say to someone every week on TV that God loves them if you don’t mean it or believe it." This idea has resonated throughout her own life. Each person feels very deeply in the message they are acting out on the show. They Claim that they are merely giving people more information for their choice.
Unita Belk Writing for Angel Times Magazine interviewed Della Reese and asked, "is there anything you would like to share with our readers?" Here's her answer and solution to the problems in the world. "That all of us need to adapt the code: I am one with God, I am one with all men, I am one with all life," answered Della, exposing the universalistic faith that characterizes all proper models for the new global spirituality needed to unify the world. "Until we get there, there will be Bosnia, there will be homelessness…. Until we understand that we are all one, we got a big problem."