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While I did draw inspiration from Christianity, this is not about the actual Christian religion. I just use the term "angel" because it helps to understand. In reality, those angels are more like "honorable dead lawyer-warriors".

In my story, there is a deity that is strictly a judge. He did not create the world. He does not pass judgment to people while they are still alive. Everyone goes to heaven, but the bad people have to go to some room of repent to think about the naughty things they did before they go to heaven.

So, what could be some reason that his most powerful believers could temporary summoned essentially his angels to weaken the believers' enemy and strengthen the believers' ally?

The current idea I have is that maybe the believers can only do it in the situation when the bad guys are doing something truly terrible, and the believers could summon angels to help the bad guys lessen their crime. (Essentially, the kind believers want to spare the bad guys from more time in the naughty room, which is why the believers will summon angels to help prevent the bad guys from succeeding at whatever they're doing).

It is very much like summoning a holy court, where the juries are the angels, the believers are accusers, etc. If the bad guys were judged guilty, then they will weaken by a certain amount. Not to the point where they can't fight, but it'd still give the believers advantage.

Is this a reasonable way to justify the presence of angels of a god who doesn't do anything to people until the after those people passed away? What more could I add to flesh out the concept more? Or is there a better way to do this?

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    $\begingroup$ The idea of a winged, suited-up angelic lawyer showing up on a courtroom and crying out loud "OBJECTION" in the middle of a trial made me laugh so, SO hard! $\endgroup$ – T. Sar Dec 9 '16 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ Broke suspension of disbelief as I considered putting on a suitcoat over wings. Maybe Velcro vest/suit harnesses? $\endgroup$ – SRM Dec 10 '16 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ I think you need to read Phillip Pullman's series his dark materials for ideas about angels if nothing else. $\endgroup$ – nigel222 Dec 10 '16 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ Actually don't read the Bobby Dollar series by Tad Williams until after you are finished writing your story, because it contains just that, lawyer-angels on Earth. $\endgroup$ – Nobody Dec 10 '16 at 14:46
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To extend your court metaphor...

Personal counsel.

After a sacrifice, prayer, or equivalent action, an angel comes and advises on matters of the divine. The angel's purpose would be to determine the goodness and righteousness of the person's actions (or actions they intend to undertake, such as before a battle), and if they find your positions promising, they could give a blessing. You can extend this further, with the angel being able to witness an "affidavit" saying that you acted in the best interest of God and his followers, or promise to represent you in court after your death.

Basically, I don't think the angels would conduct their own holy court, I think their purpose would be the equivalent of legal advice, the result being powerful blessings on those who act in God's light, and more reassurance that they will be rewarded in death. And, as you suggest, these agents could also allow people to "forgive their enemies." You can go all kinds of directions with this. I think this is ripe ground, because angels could easily have differing "legal" opinions, and side with opposed peoples. That could make it quite human.

EDIT: Quick note. This is very similar to how animal sacrifices and the oracular tradition operated in ancient Greece. If you remember your mythology, you know that the Greek gods were very fickle and extremely fallible, and so the purpose of a sacrifice before a battle or a visit to an oracle was to see if you or your cause were in the favor of the Gods. Visible in histories is armies delaying movements or actions due to poor omens, slaughtering multiple goats until they got one with good-looking entrails. I say it's similar because the characters in your story may rely very heavily on the literal-ness of the advice they receive.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh my god there could be angelic law firms I'm going to die haha. That's a really interesting point you brought up about the Greek gods and the sacrifices, definitely going to look into that. $\endgroup$ – Juliette Evans Dec 11 '16 at 22:15
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Restoration of balance / justice / external influence

If the point of life from the perspective of this deity is a kind of test on which to be justly judged for then the presence of any outside forces would make the world unfair. Outside forces could be in the form of meddling outside beings (demons), exploitation of outside forces (magic) or just energies not belonging in the world (taint, corruption).

The agents of a god of justice might be summoned to combat such external influences - restoring the proper order.

It sounds like what you are aiming for is a fight of some kind where believers can gain partial aid from angels.

That could be achieved if all the angels, or powers derived from them, could do was to combat demons, magic and taint - leaving the actual bad guys (cultists, mages, corrupted etc) untouched (and left for the believers to fight with mundane means).

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The seraphim are essentially the messengers for God, so even if your god is the judge of the Universe, it stands to reason that he will still require a means of contacting his worshippers and sending them messages, as well as a means of relaying the prayers of his worshippers from Earth to him.

The seraphim also provide a very visible means of reinforcing the god's power on Earth, since visitations by the seraphim are pretty incontrovertible evidence that you will be judged by a real being after death. No one likes being ignored, and a being with god like powers least of all. It will be a bit difficult to profess unbelief if messengers from god are a very real and visible presence.

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