Lewis, far from believing the biblical doctrine of hell, believed that hell was a state of mind: “And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind – is, in the end, Hell”.
On the Salvation of Unbelievers:
Let us now consider Lewis’ belief that the salvation of unbelievers was possible. In Mere Christianity, pg. 173, he wrote the following: “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (although he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain other points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position…. Consequently it is not much use trying to make judgments about Christians and non-Christians in the mass.”
Note that Lewis does not even provide one scriptural reference for believing these false and heretical things! He states his belief dogmatically, that “There are people in other religions” who belong to Christ, yet without giving the reader one reason to believe it apart from his own dogmatic assertion. And of course, what he asserts is nothing less than the damnable heresy of salvation by one’s works. For if a Buddhist can be saved simply by concentrating on the Buddhist teaching about mercy, then salvation is by works beyond all shadow of doubt. Yet what does the Scripture say? “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).
And this false doctrine of Lewis’ is set out in his book, The Last Battle, which is part of the Narnia series, and which will no doubt also be made into a movie in due course. The following quotation is taken from the chapter entitled “Further Up and Further In.” In the series, Aslan, the lion, is a godlike character, supposedly good; and Tash is the opposite. Tash is evil. This quote tells us volumes about his doctrine:
“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou shouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”
The parallels are so many and so obvious. The Lion, Aslan (and Christ is “the Lion of the tribe of Juda”, Rev. 5:5), is said to be “worthy of all honour” (and the Bible says of Christ, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive” all honour, Rev. 5:12,13), who must be served (and the Bible says that “His servants shall serve Him”, Rev. 22:3). This lion is called “the Glorious One” (“that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD”, Deut. 28:58). And the words, “Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand”, sound extremely similar to these words, spoken by the Lord Jesus and by Peter when the Lord forgave him for his sin against Him: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?… And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee” (Jn. 21:17). And then, when the Lion says, in connection with desiring and finding him (Aslan), “For all find what they truly seek”, who can fail to note the echo of the words of the Lord Jesus when He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7,8). And also: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). No wonder doctrinally confused “Evangelicals” think it is a “Christian allegory”. But mixed in with the “Christian” undertones, there is such horrifying false doctrine, such antichristian evil! Essentially Lewis is teaching that anyone who sincerely serves the devil (Tash) is actually serving Christ (Aslan), and will ultimately be saved! This is the doctrine of the salvation of sincere unbelievers. There are many heretical false teachers who have proclaimed such a demonic lie, claiming that as long as the follower of a false religion is sincere, he will ultimately go to heaven. And clearly this was Lewis’ belief.
“He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.” “Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him.” Let us paraphrase these quotations, substituting “the Lord” for Aslan and “Satan” for Tash: “The Lord answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Satan, I account as service done to me. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and Satan are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him.” What Lewis is teaching is that, if a person does not know, love, and serve the Lord, but in his blind ignorance serves the devil, if he does it sincerely then all that he does for Satan is accounted by the Lord as having been done to Him! For (according to him) if a man does good, even if done in the service of Satan, it is in fact done to God, even if the person does not know it!
Can there be a more horrible teaching than this? Let us look at another sentence from the paragraph quoted above:
“Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.” Thus, if a Hindu swears by his demonic idols, or a Roman Catholic by his goddess Mary, and does it sincerely, and sticks to what he swore; he has in fact sworn by the Lord, and the Lord will reward him! Thus the poor heathen, whoever he be, if he bows before an idol of wood or stone, will be received and rewarded by the Lord, though he does not know Him or acknowledge Him in any sense. In Lewis’ theology, therefore, there are “good”, sincere people in every false religion, who are worshipping the devil, but who, because they are sincere and ignorant, will ultimately be saved and enter heaven, rewarded by the Lord Himself! Never mind that the Lord Jesus taught emphatically, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6). Never mind that the apostles said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31); and, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). No, C. S. Lewis believed and taught a form of salvation for everyone, even pagans and heathens, as long as they were sincere! Salvation by works, no less! By man’s own “sincere” efforts!
Another excerpt from the paragraph quoted above: “But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou shouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.” What Lewis is saying here, is that all those who truly seek, even if they seek the devil, are in reality seeking the Lord, though they do not know it – and will eventually find Him! This we could term the false teaching of “universalism based on sincerity”. For universalism is the belief that all men will eventually be saved; but Lewis emphasised the need for sincerity in order to earn salvation. One lie on top of another!