Touched by TV Angels

If—perish the thought—you believed Hollywood on spiritual matters, then you would believe that angels are humans who died, went to heaven and sprouted wings; that they're little more than nonjudgmental fairy godmothers who poof into our lives, grant our wishes, and then disappear. At least that's the way they've been portrayed over the years. But surprise of all surprises, Hollywood has now given us a biblical view of angelic beings in a series called "Touched by an Angel." But the show's wings may be permanently clipped unless viewers rally behind it. "Touched by an Angel" stars Roma Downey as the angel, Monica, and Della Reese as her angelic supervisor, Tess. Each episode reveals Monica performing her job as a celestial caseworker intervening in the life of a troubled human. In one episode Monica helps an unmarried teenager understand that the most loving choice she can make for her baby is to place him for adoption. In another episode Monica confronts a woman named Megan about her affair with a married man. Megan tries to justify her affair and tells the angel, "He's supposed to be with me. God's made a mistake." But Monica firmly sets her straight. "Wanting to love someone and wanting to be loved in return, these things are good and right," the angel says, "but wanting them from someone else's husband is wrong." Think of it: an attractive network character who says unequivocally that adultery is morally wrong. This is an astonishing departure for Hollywood. After all, this is the industry that gave us "Murphy Brown" and "Rosanne," series that sneered at Christianity and portray Christians as narrow-minded bigots. But having angels confront people with their sins is only part of "Touched by an Angel." The executive producer, Martha Williamson, is a devout Christian. She insisted that the series support the biblical view that angels are servants of God, not heavenly creatures to be worshipped themselves. They're messengers of God who bring healing, protection, and comfort to His people. Exactly as the Bible teaches. The result is a series that explores explicit moral and spiritual choices—and has had a remarkable effect on viewers. Williamson has received hundreds of letters describing how the series has changed people's lives. After the episode dealing with adultery, for example, one woman wrote, "I don't know who . . . this . . . program was supposed to reach but you sure reached me. Once I was the `other woman.' I know now how I . . . offended God and [the man's] wife." That's a fantastic impact for a series to have, but it's one that may not survive. "Touched by an Angel" is now in hiatus. Williamson hopes a letter-writing campaign by the public will convince CBS to bring "Angels" back in the fall lineup. So why don't you write to the address below to declare your support. You'll be helping keep a show on the air that teaches the truth—not only about angels, but also about the character of God Himself. To express your support of "Touched By An Angel," write: Peter Tortovici, President CBS Entertainment Audience Services 524 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019


Chuck Colson


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