A world-famous series of fantasy novels by C. S. Lewis, entitled The Chronicles of Narnia, are praised as “Christian allegory” in many ecclesiastical circles. Lewis himself is described in many of these circles as “the greatest Christian writer of the twentieth century.” And now the first book in the series, entitled The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, has been made into a blockbuster movie by Disney, apparently the first of a series of movies to be based on the Narnia novels. And “churches” have worked themselves up into a froth of excitement, convinced that this movie represents the greatest evangelistic opportunity since The Passion of the Christ. But as with that unscriptural Roman Catholic splatter-movie, so with this one: it just shows how biblically-illiterate and doctrinally confused vast numbers of churches are.
We will, first of all, examine what the Narnia stories are really all about; secondly, we will examine the facts about C. S. Lewis himself, the man and his beliefs; and thirdly, we will see how “churches” and professing “Christians” are promoting this movie, in their attempts to use it for “evangelism”. The truth about Narnia, and Lewis himself, is far, far darker than most “Evangelicals” these days would know, or, sadly, understand.
Facts About “The Chronicles of Narnia”
Millions of “Evangelicals” (along with Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, etc.) claim that The Chronicles of Narnia are wonderful “Christian allegories”. Russ Bravo, development director for Christian Publishing and Outreach, said: “There are clear Christian parallels you can draw from the storyline” of the Narnia books. John Buckeridge, editor of Christianity Magazine, said: “There is a Christian parable in there”. And the neo-evangelical, ecumenical Christianity Today magazine, when recommending the Narnia series, said: “In Aslan [the lion in the stories], Christ is made tangible, knowable, real”; and: “Christ came not to put an end to myth but to take all that is most essential in the myth up into himself and make it real.” To which last quotation we have only one response: Huh? What utter nonsense!
It has been reported that Lewis claimed he did not intend to write “Christian allegory” when he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia for children. But this is impossible to believe, for there are just so many parallels, albeit in a pagan setting, with certain elements of the Gospel. Lewis, as a man who claimed to be a Christian (even though, as shall be shown, he certainly was not a true one), was certainly well aware of the parallels. He knew exactly what he was doing.
But here is something really sinister indeed: the Narnia books are sold not only in Christian bookstores, but in occult bookstores as well, and are recommended by the promoters of the occult game, “Dungeons and Dragons”!  Isn’t that astounding? A series of books, written by a man professing to be a “Christian”, and hailed by many professing “Christians” as “Christian allegory”, yet the message of which is such that occultists are happy to sell them! As shall be seen below, churches are rushing to support the movie, encouraging their flocks to see it, and yet as those professing to be “Christians” sit there watching it, they will doubtless be rubbing shoulders with witches, Satanists, and other occultists in the audience who will be deriving their own “message” from it! The professing children of light, sitting next to the children of darkness, watching the movie together, and both leaving the movie theatre satisfied, the one group convinced they have just seen a wonderful “Christian allegory”, the other group knowing that they have just seen an occult fantasy!
For this is precisely what the Narnia books are all about: occultism, heathen mythology, magic. Lewis most certainly borrowed many elements from his reading of the Bible, and did so deliberately; but at the same time, he draped the stories in outright occultism. It was his obvious intention to write stories which drew from both the Bible and from heathen mythology and false religion, and thus concoct a hybrid religious teaching, in line with his own deep fascination with, and attraction to, heathen mythology, magic and occultism. Let’s look at the facts.
The book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is about four children who step through a wardrobe into a magical world, called Narnia.
Many of the characters in this set of books are gods and demons from pagan mythology! Aslan is the god-like lion who very obviously depicts Christ in the stories; and yet in heathen mythology this lion represents the sun! In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Aslan is said to be “coming and going”; to have “golden” eyes, face and fur; to have “warm breath”; to scatter golden beams of light; to be big and bright; etc. And according to the Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore and Symbols, by Gertrude Jobes, the sun is seen as a lion, golden in colour; with its breath symbolising the sun’s rays; etc. In addition, the ancient sun-worshippers believed that the sun died as it reached its southernmost point, bringing winter. It was “reborn”, or resurrected, when it returned northward, bringing spring. In the Narnia series, when Aslan returned to Narnia, it became spring; and after dying at night, he was resurrected in the early morning!
In another book in the series, Prince Caspian, the heathen god Bacchus appears, along with “wild girls.” Bacchus and others dance a wild “magic dance” in a “grove” (a place of heathen worship, Exod. 34:13; 1 Kings 15:13; 16:33; etc.), on “Midsummer night”, having been seated in a “wide circle around a fire”, with various kinds of wine available, and “wheaten cakes”. Lewis was simply copying the heathen doctrines surrounding Bacchus. For in paganism, Bacchus was the god of wine; he attracted women to him, who danced and were possessed with occult powers; Midsummer eve is a witches’ festival held on June 24; there is dancing, feasting, cakes and wine! Lewis even mentions the ritual cry, “EUOI”, in the book, and the fact that they wore fawn skins and ivy in their hair. All this is straight out of heathenism. In the rituals of Bacchus, the phallus was prominent, as was a hymn to the genitals! And so was the tearing apart of animals with bare hands, and devouring them.
Throughout the Narnia books, Lewis writes about dryads, nymphs, satyrs, fauns, etc. The Cromwell Handbook of Classical Mythology classifies these as demons.
His books also deal with such occult practices as alchemy, clairvoyance, astrology, crystal gazing, necromancy, magic, talismans, etc. The Lord forbids such occult practices in many parts of His Word, e.g. Deut. 18:9-14; Gal. 5:20; Isa. 8:19,20; Acts 7:42,43.
What dark times we are living in, when professing “Christians” are so blind, so ignorant of biblical truth, that these stories are as acceptable to them as they are to occultists! One has to wonder: what’s next? We’ve already had such a blurring of good and evil that the television industry has already presented the world with stories of “good” witches (e.g. Charmed) and “good” vampires (Angel), that I would not be at all surprised if a movie or a TV series about a “Christian witch” or a “Christian vampire” was eventually made! These days we can never say never!
C. S. Lewis and His Beliefs
C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis lived from 1898 to 1963. He was a writer, critic, professor of English literature, a man who held senior positions at Cambridge and Oxford universities, and he is praised (incorrectly) as a “Christian apologist.” Since his death, sales of his books have risen to two million a year. The ecumenical neo-evangelical, J. I. Packer, called him “our patron saint” (an interesting choice of title, considering that it is Romanists, and not Evangelicals, who have “patron saints”). According to the far-from-Evangelical Christianity Today magazine, September 7, 1998, Lewis “has come to be the Aquinas, the Augustine, and the Aesop of contemporary Evangelicalism” (an interesting choice of “heroes”, considering that Aquinas was a Roman Catholic apologist, Augustine was a persecutor of true Christians and an early “Catholic” in doctrine, and Aesop, although he taught many moral truths with his stories, was a heathen). Wheaton College sponsored a lecture series on Lewis, and Eerdmans, the “Christian” publishing house, published “The Pilgrim’s Guide” to C. S. Lewis. But despite the fact that Lewis’ books on “Christian” apologetics rank him, in the minds of many – Romanist, Anglican, liberal, “Evangelical” – as one of the most brilliant defenders of Christianity in the twentieth century, the facts tell a very different story indeed. It is enough of a danger sign to know that he is so admired by Roman Catholics, Protestants, conservatives and liberals – quite obviously then, he was not a sound theologian, but a man who was significantly “broad-based” and ecumenical; but there is certainly plenty of evidence to show just what kind of a “Christian apologist” he really was.
From a very young age, Lewis was fascinated by, and attracted to, occult fantasy and fiction; for example, Norse and Celtic mythology, magic, etc. He was to immerse himself in Norse mythology. By the age of 12, he was “hooked” on fantasy, elves, etc. And he himself said that he came to the very frontiers of hallucination. His favourite literature in his early years included E. Nesbit’s occult fantasy works. Twenty-five years after he claimed to have become a Christian (he was clearly never truly converted, however), he said that he still read these with delight. And this ungodly mixture of light and darkness, of a little truth mixed with magic, myth, etc., comes out in his various writings. He also immersed himself in the writing of the atheist and early science fiction author, H. G. Wells. At school, he attended a high Anglo-Catholic “church”. But as time went by, not surprisingly, he gradually dropped what he thought was his “Christianity” in favour of occultism, particularly the Norse mythologies.
At the age of 27, he met J. R. R. Tolkien, and they became close friends. Tolkien, author of the occult fantasy, Lord of the Rings, was a devout Roman Catholic. He wrote to his son Michael: “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament [i.e. the Roman Catholic mass]”. Another son, John, became a priest of Rome.
Tolkien enrolled Lewis in his club, the “Coalbiters”, which existed for the study and propagation of Norse mythology! It is one thing to study what the ancient heathen believed; but to actually desire to propagate it, and yet call oneself a Christian! This reveals very plainly that Lewis was no Christian at all. A true Christian desires only to propagate the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ – not the lies of ancient heathenism, with all their evil deities which were nothing less than demons receiving the worship of their blinded followers! (1 Cor. 10:20; Deut. 32:16,17).
Tolkien and Lewis would meet weekly to drink, smoke, and discuss each others’ stories. Lewis apparently enjoyed drinking copious amounts of beer – hardly the testimony of a converted man!
Tolkien would speak to Lewis about the Roman Catholic “christ”; and he worked on Lewis until he accepted the story of Christ as (wait for this!) a “true myth.” What??? This is an oxymoron if ever there was one. Either the story of Christ is true, or it is myth. It cannot be both. There is no such thing, and cannot be any such thing, as a “true myth.” It is blasphemous to speak of the account of the Lord and Saviour in this way. But it fits in perfectly with Lewis’ love of mythology, which he was steeped in.
Lewis eventually joined the Anglican institution, and was Anglo-Catholic in doctrine. However, he was greatly influenced by the Roman Catholic, Tolkien; and at heart, Lewis was clearly a “closet Papist.” He was certainly no Evangelical! The ecumenical Christianity Today magazine, which praises Lewis and recommends his Narnia books, still had to admit that Lewis was “a man whose theology had decidedly unevangelical elements”. And even the neo-evangelical ecumenical author, J. I. Packer, who used Papist language and called Lewis “our patron saint”, admitted that Lewis was “no such thing” as an Evangelical; and yet he has become the most widely-read supposed “defender” of “Christian” basics among professing “Evangelicals!”
One reason for Lewis’ huge popularity among modern-day “Evangelicals” was stated by Christianity Today magazine on October 25, 1993: “Lewis’ concentration on the main doctrines of the church coincided with evangelicals’ concern to avoid ecclesiastical separatism”. This speaks volumes about the state of “Evangelicalism” today! Today’s “Evangelicals”, like Lewis himself, have no interest in biblical separation, which is why they enjoy his books so much.
Lewis had no interest in judging the soundness or otherwise of certain denominational traditions. One of his most famous books is entitled Mere Christianity. In the preface to this book, he wrote: “The reader should be warned that I offer no help to anyone who is hesitating between two ‘Christian’ denominations. You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic…. Ever since I became a Christian I have thought that the best, perhaps the only service I could do for my unbelieving neighbours was to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.”
This quotation reveals much about C. S. Lewis! An Evangelical? Not in the least. He was thoroughly ecumenical. A true Christian would warn people about the false doctrines of Romanism, Anglicanism, and even most of what goes by the name of Methodism and Presbyterianism these days. But Lewis cheerfully goes on record as having “no help” to offer people in these matters. No help? Nothing to say to them? No warning to issue? He was utterly unconcerned if a reader of his books decided to join the Roman Catholic institution or one of that Great Whore’s “daughter” institutions? Then in truth this man knew nothing of true Bible Christianity!
His stated aim, in his book Mere Christianity, was to present “an agreed, or common, or central or ‘mere’ Christianity.” In other words, those doctrines which are common to all who call themselves “Christians”, including Papists, Anglicans, ecumenists, liberals, etc. He was so concerned to achieve this aim, that he submitted parts of his book to four ecclesiastics for criticism: an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic. In this book, he likened his version of “Christianity” to a hall, with various rooms leading off from it. He said that when one enters a house one does not stay in the hall but goes into a room, and likewise, when one becomes a Christian one should join a particular denomination. It is not that important which “tradition” one joins. And he added, “When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors.” To him, they were all essentially the same, and all “Christian”: Romanist, Anglican, Methodist, whatever. And he believed that one is free to choose whichever “tradition” one likes the most. Sound doctrine, and godly practice – these were of no consideration to Lewis.
He was so adept at reducing “Christianity” to a very, very low common denominator, a “mere Christianity” as he himself called it, that his writings, in addition to being acceptable to Roman Catholics, “Evangelicals”, liberals, ecumenists, etc., are even acceptable to the Mormons! In April 1998, Mormon professor Robert Millet, dean of Brigham Young University, spoke at Wheaton College on the topic of C. S. Lewis and said that Lewis “is so well received by Latter-Day Saints [i.e. Mormon cultists] because of his broad and inclusive vision of Christianity”.
Let us examine some of the unscriptural doctrines of C. S. Lewis.
He did not believe in the biblical doctrine of penal substitution, and thus promoted a false doctrine of the atonement. He denied the doctrine of man’s total depravity. He believed in the Roman Catholic heresies of baptismal regeneration and of salvation by works. He believed in the Roman Catholic doctrine of the mass. He did not believe in the biblical doctrine of repentance. He did not believe that the Holy Scriptures were inerrant, and thus rejected the doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Bible. He believed in the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. He believed in the Roman Catholic doctrine of praying for the dead. He believed in theistic evolution. He denied the doctrine of hell. And he thought that the salvation of unbelievers was possible. Lewis himself also requested the “last rites” of the Roman Catholic institution on his deathbed.
On Christ’s Substitutionary Atonement:
Consider the following quotation from Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, pgs.53-8, where Lewis states that the doctrine of Christ’s substitutionary atonement is a “theory” that he found somewhat immoral and silly! “What did He [Christ] come to do? Well, to teach of course; but as soon as you look into the New Testament or any other Christian writing you will find they are constantly talking about something different – about His death and His coming to life again. It is obvious that Christians think the chief point of the story lies there. They think the main thing He came to earth to do was to suffer and be killed. Christ volunteered to be punished instead and so God let us off. Now I admit that even this theory does not seem to me quite so immoral and so silly as it used to be; but that is not the point I want to make. What I came to see later on was that neither this theory nor any other is Christianity…. Theories about Christ’s death are not Christianity.”
I state categorically that what Lewis wrote here was heresy. He brands the substitutionary death of Christ as a somewhat immoral and silly theory! Here is another quotation from the same pages of the same book, which only reinforces Lewis’ heresy even further: “We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed…. Now on the face of it that is a very silly theory”.
How different from the words of Paul the apostle, who not only shows that this is absolute truth, not a mere theory, but also that it is at the very heart of the Gospel that saves: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:1-4). C. S. Lewis, in rejecting this, rejected biblical Christianity. He rejected the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ. He showed himself to be a heretic, and unregenerate.
Here are quotations from Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, pg.59, regarding his false and essentially Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation: “There are three things that spread the life of Christ to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names – Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s supper”. And further, on pg.62: “this new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion…. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put new life into us”.
Beyond all doubt, these quotations show that Lewis believed in regeneration by a sacramental system. For he inserted “belief” in between “baptism” and “Holy Communion”. And he plainly taught here that baptism contributes to for salvation, as is partaking of “Holy Communion” or “the Mass.” This is precisely the doctrine of Rome. It is the lie of “baptismal regeneration” (that by baptism one is born again and made a child of God) and the lie that “the sacrament of the mass” is contributes to salvation as well.
In Mere Christianity, pgs.53-8, he reveals his rejection of the biblical doctrine of repentance: “In fact, it needs a good man to repent. And here comes the catch. Only a bad person needs to repent: only a good person can repent perfectly. The worse you are the more you need it and the less you can do it…. The only person who could do it perfectly would be a perfect person – and he would not need it. Remember, this repentance… is not something God demands of you before He will take you back…. He could let you off if He chose: it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like”.
What a lie to say that God does not demand repentance of someone before He will receive them! The Bible is crystal-clear: God “commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30); “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent” (Acts 2:37,38).
Lewis wrote, “This process of surrender… is what Christians call repentance.” He calls it “saying you are sorry, realising that you have been on the wrong track”. This is true, as far as it goes. However, He goes on to write that repentance means “killing part of yourself, undergoing a kind of death”, and then he applies this to Christ, implying that He repented: “we now need God’s help in order to do something which God, in His own nature, never does at all – to surrender, to suffer, to submit, to die…. But supposing God became a man… then that person could help us. He could surrender His will, and suffer and die, because He was man; and He could do it perfectly [but remember, here Lewis is talking of repentance, not of Christ’s sacrificial death!] because He was God…. Our attempts at this dying [i.e. our repentance] will succeed only if we men share in God’s dying [i.e. God’s repentance!]”.
Praying for the Dead, and Purgatory:
Here is a lengthy quotation from Lewis’ book, Prayer: Letters to Malcolm, pgs. 109-111, regarding his belief in the heathen and Roman Catholic doctrines of praying for the dead, and of purgatory: “Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter men. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to him? On the traditional Protestant view, all the dead are damned or saved. If they are damned, prayer for them is useless. If they are saved, it is equally useless…. To pray for them presupposes that progress and difficulty are still possible. In fact you are bringing in something like Purgatory. Well, I suppose I am… I believe in Purgatory… the very etymology of the word Purgatory has dropped out of sight…. The right view [of purgatory] returns magnificently in Newman’s Dream. There if I remember rightly, the saved soul, at the very foot of the throne, begs to be taken away and cleansed. It cannot bear for a moment longer ‘with its darkness to affront that light’. Religion has reclaimed Purgatory. Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us ‘It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy’? Should we not reply ‘With submission sir, and if there is no objection, I’d rather be cleansed first’. It may hurt you know – ‘Even so, sir’. I assume that the process of purification will normally involve suffering…. But I don’t think suffering is the purpose of the purgation. I can well believe that people neither much worse nor much better than I will suffer less than I or more. No nonsense about merit. The treatment given will be the one required, whether it hurts little or much. My favourite image of this comes from the dentist’s chair. I hope that when the tooth of life is drawn and when I am coming round a voice will say, ‘Rinse your mouth out with this’. This will be Purgatory. The rinsing may take longer than I can now imagine. The taste of this may be more fiery and astringent than my present sensibility could endure. But More and Fisher shall not persuade me that it will be disgusting and unhallowed.”
And this is the man hailed by many “Evangelicals” as the greatest Christian writer of the twentieth century? The Bible says of Christ, that He “by himself purged our sins” (Heb. 1:3) – so what need is there of a “purgatory”? See also Phil. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:8. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses His elect from all sin (1 Jn. 1:7,9) – so Lewis’ teaching that the saved soul will stand before God and beg to be cleansed is outright heresy. The true believer is dressed in the spotless robe of Christ’s own imputed righteousness (Rev. 19:8; Psa. 45:14) – he does not appear before God with his “breath” smelling and his “rags” dripping with mud and slime! And as regards praying for the dead, Lewis was right when he stated the biblical Protestant doctrine: “all the dead are damned or saved. If they are damned, prayer for them is useless. If they are saved, it is equally useless”. Tragically for him, he rejected this biblical truth. Prayer is never to be offered for the dead (e.g. 2 Sam. 12:21-23; Heb. 9:27; Lk. 16:25,26).
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!
How opposite to the truth of God’s own Word! For that Word says of people before conversion, “That at that time ye were without Christ… having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
Lewis did not openly join the Roman Catholic “Church”. But, despite the fact that he held to some non-Papist doctrines, that he was a “closet Papist” there can be no doubt, as the evidence above shows; and Roman Catholics have loved his writings and claimed him as one of their own. He most definitely was a Papist at heart. And this has been admitted by various Papists themselves. In a favourable article on Lewis published in The Catholic Herald, entitled “Why ever didn’t C. S. Lewis become a Roman Catholic?” the author wrote: “we may surely say that we are honouring the memory of a man whose mind was naturaliter Catholica”.
Michael Coren, a Roman Catholic author who recently wrote a biography of Lewis for teens, entitled C. S. Lewis: The Man Who Created Narnia, was asked by the Roman Catholic news agency, Zenit: “What do Catholics need to know about C. S. Lewis?” This was his reply: “They should know he wasn’t a Catholic, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have become one eventually. G. K. Chesterton became a Catholic in 1922 but had really been one for 20 years.” He went on to say: “Lewis was born in Belfast, in sectarian Northern Ireland, so he was raised anti-Catholic like most Protestant children there. He was a man of his background but his views were very Catholic: he believed in purgatory, believed in the sacraments, went to confession.”
Of course it’s incorrect to say that most Protestant children in Northern Ireland are “raised anti-Catholic” (in the sense of hating Roman Catholics, which is what Coren doubtless meant; although of course the children of true Christian parents there are taught that the Roman Catholic religion is false, and the Whore of Babylon – which it is). But other than that statement, his words about Lewis are most revealing.
No wonder, in the light of Lewis’ belief in, and propagation of, Roman Catholic teaching, he was described by a high-ranking Jesuit theologian as “probably the most successful Christian apologist of the twentieth century.” This statement was made by Jesuit cardinal, Avery Dulles, a one-time Presbyterian who converted to Romanism.
But did Lewis, in fact, actually join the Roman Catholic institution before his death? Roman Catholics say he did not; but he confessed his sins regularly to a priest of Rome, and he received the Roman Catholic sacrament of the “last rites”, on July 16, 1963. And it is highly unlikely that he would have received the “last rites” if he had not in fact formally converted to Rome! So there appears to be more to Lewis’ love of Romanism than at first meets the eye. There are aspects to all this that are very mysterious. He certainly appears to have been a Papist before his death.
How “Churches” and “Christians” Are Promoting the Movie… and Why
As I said at the beginning, “churches”have worked themselves up into a froth of excitement, convinced that this movie represents a huge evangelistic opportunity.
In Britain, a so-called “Evangelical” publisher sent out special Narnia packs to churches. Christian Publishing and Outreach (CPO), which distributes material to 20 000 churches, approached Disney and was granted permission to use two images from the film for its Narnia packs (oh sure, we can see Disney refusing! The Disney bosses would be only too happy to grant permission – they knew it would mean even more money in their coffers!). Russ Bravo, development director for CPO, which is providing posters, DVDs, invitation cards and folders, said: “A lot of churches have been ordering and will be staging their own events. We have seen very big demand across the range. We have a what-to-do guide, outlines that give ministers ideas on how to deliver sermons and material for Sunday schools”.
Have things really sunk so low? Has the “Evangelical” world really sunk to such depths that ministers have to be given sermon outlines based on a Disney movie of an occult fantasy book written by an unregenerate Anglo-Catholic? Is this now the source for ministers’ sermons – a movie instead of the Bible? Yes, this really is how bad things have got. A generation or two ago, ministers were preaching against the movies; now, they are going to the movies for their preaching material!
One denomination that is always ready these days to “go with the flow” and make use of any new trend, no matter how unbiblical, is the Methodist institution. In the UK, the Methodist organisation, Methodist Children, wrote a special Narnia service. Not to be outdone, Manchester Cathedral staged a Narnia day; and St Luke’s Anglican “church” in Maidstone decided to give out free tickets to single parents, as it had also done when The Passion had been released! “We are giving away £10 000 worth of tickets to single-parent families in and around the area,” said a spokesman for the “church”. “It’s a Christmas gift from the church to families who may not be able to afford to go to the cinema.” £10 000 could purchase a lot of Bibles to be distributed freely, or Gospel tracts; the sort of things one would expect a church would want to give away freely. But that’s just it, you see: this is not a Christian church. It calls itself one, and many are deceived into thinking it is; but it is not. A true Christian church, if it had £10 000 to spare and wanted to reach out to the community, would use it to print and distribute sound evangelistic literature, or even printed notices inviting people to a Gospel outreach. But for this Anglican “church”, its concept of “outreach” and “evangelism” is to get people into a movie theatre to see a Hollywood blockbuster!
For many “churches”, this movie is believed to be a wonderful opportunity for them to do what they always long to do, and are always seeking for opportunities to do: to make themselves “relevant” in the world, to appear “hip” and “cool”, to look as attractive as possible to a pleasure-loving, worldly-minded generation.
Any notion of Christians being separate from and unspotted by the world was jettisoned long ago by the majority of institutions falsely calling themselves “churches” in the West. Faced with fast-emptying pews and the corresponding loss of income, they decided that they needed to re-write the Gospel, re-define Christianity, and become fashionable and “relevant” in the world; in a word, to become precisely what the Bible forbids Christians to be. For the Word of God teaches true Christians that although they are in the world, they are not of it, they are not to love it, and they are to remain separate from it (Jn. 17:11,14-16; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Jas. 1:27); but the Word of God is ignored by most who call themselves “Christians” today, and in its place they have formulated their own policy. And what is it? It is to be as much in the world as it is possible to be; to drink, to dance, to date, to dress in short skirts and low tops, to listen to the world’s music and watch the world’s movies, to show the world that “it’s cool to be a Christian”, and that being one does not in any sense mean that a person must deny himself anything. Their attitude is, “We can have the world and Jesus too!” Their message is, “Being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t go out for a night on the town. Christians can participate in virtually all the activities anyone else participates in; the only difference is, we have Jesus as our Saviour!” The tragedy is, such “Christians” are Christians in name only. They are as lost as anyone else. The Bible is very clear: “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19). They have never known the Lord and Saviour, the holy, harmless, undefiled Son of God who is separate from sinners (Heb. 7:26), and who came into this world “to save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
Hollywood Casts Greedy Eyes Towards the “Christian” Niche Market
Disney is smiling all the way to the bank, grateful indeed for the gullible thousands of churchgoers who naively assume that this movie is great Christian entertainment for their kids. Hey, if “Christians” want to see the story in that light, what does Disney care? It brings in more money – a lot more money – and money, after all, is Disney’s god.
For decades, Hollywood ignored the millions of professing “Christians” as a market. Hollywood promotes everything that Christianity opposes: violence, profanity, sexual sin of all kinds, nudity, drunkenness, and a whole host of other sins. It has gone out of its way to mock Christians, to portray Protestant ministers as wild-eyed, dangerous fanatics, to ridicule the Bible, to attack everything held dear by Christians. But while this was going on, something was happening in the “Christian” camp. The times were changing, and millions of people who claimed to be “born again Christians” were no longer as antagonistic towards Hollywood as earlier generations had been. The men in the pulpits no longer thundered against the movies, and the people in the pews were regularly attending the movie theatres, and soaking up the same filth that everyone else was enjoying. What had happened was this: the vast majority of those now naming the name of Christ were in fact not truly born again at all! They were merely disciples of the new, popular, easy-believism, “call yourself a Christian but be part of the world too” doctrine that had been sweeping through churches for years. A false “gospel”, indeed, but one that was, and is, believed to be the true Gospel by millions today.
Nevertheless, despite their acceptance of so much Hollywood filth, these same millions would readily flock to watch a movie with a supposedly “Christian” theme. After all, they called themselves Christians! Hollywood, however, wasn’t paying attention. Until The Passion, that is.
When Roman Catholic Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, hit the screens, it was a runaway success, a blockbuster of note, and Hollywood was stunned. Multiplied millions of people calling themselves “Christians” flocked to see it. The fact that it was a blatantly Roman Catholic movie didn’t faze the “Evangelicals” who supported it as much, if not more than, the Papists did; the fact that it was full of false doctrine, and that it was one of the most gut-wrenchingly violent films ever made, didn’t faze them either. The masses of unregenerate worldlings who nevertheless call themselves “Christians” made Mel Gibson laugh, no doubt, all the way to the bank, as the film at the time of writing had made $600 million worldwide. And suddenly, Hollywood sat up and took notice. Here was a very lucrative niche market indeed! One which Hollywood had been ignoring!
“The Passion really surprised Hollywood,” said John Buckeridge, the editor of Christianity Magazine (certainly not recommended for any true Christian!). “Everyone thought it would bomb. What they didn’t realise was that there is an audience for a film with a Christian message.” Passing by his inference that The Passion was Christian, he was correct in saying that the movie surprised Hollywood, and made the movie-makers realise that there was a vast untapped niche market out there. “Disney recognises the marketplace. In Hollywood, money talks,” added Buckeridge. Very true! But this didn’t seem to concern him in the least, nor did he appear to note the obvious paradox of saying that Mammon is the god of Hollywood, and yet supporting Hollywood for making a movie with a so-called “Christian” message! For his magazine, Christianity Magazine, ran a cover story on how churches could link into Narnia’s release to promote a “Christian” message! Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). By Buckeridge’s own admission, Hollywood serves Mammon. It cannot, then, be serving God. And yet he is recommending that churches make use of Narnia! “This could be as successful as The Passion of the Christ in triggering dialogue. There is a Christian parable in there,” he said.
The movie is bad enough: occult fantasy supposedly delivering “the Gospel” in the form of magic, sorcery, and heathen mythology. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of children, already increasingly paganised and opened up to the black arts through a barrage of occultism and fantasy adventure, most notably in recent times by the “Harry Potter” books and movies, will now be indoctrinated even further into pagan beliefs and practices – even while they are being told by “churches” that the Narnia books are Christian! What spiritual confusion and devastation this will create in young hearts and minds!
But also, this movie will serve to boost sales of C. S. Lewis’ books, already selling in their millions. Firstly, it will boost sales of his Chronicles of Narnia series. But secondly, sales of all his other books will skyrocket too, which so many assume are “Christian”. And thus there is a devilish two-pronged deception here: if readers turn to the Narnia books, they will be introduced to magic, sorcery, and pagan mythology, all the while thinking they are reading “Christian allegory”; or, if they turn to his other books, they will be taught the false doctrines of Roman Catholicism, and others, as if they were biblical truth. Either way, it is deception, and they are steered away from the Bible into doctrines of devils.
May the Lord grant, to His true Church, the grace to stand against the horrible distortion of the Gospel of Christ in the writings of this man, whether in his occult “Christian” or his open “Christian” writings! Neither one is Christian. Both originate with the devil, the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).
20 December 2005
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles, as well as details about his books, tapes, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website.
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. Christianity Today, April 23, 2001.
. Battle Cry, July-August 1985. Chick Publications, Chino, California.
. Battle Cry, July-August 1985.
. C. S. Lewis Books – Definitely NOT Christian, by Sidney W. Hunter.
. CRN Journal, Issue 10, Winter 2000/2001. Christian Research Network, Colchester, UK.
. C.S. Lewis and Evangelicals Today, February 4, 2002. Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. www.wayoflife.org/fbis.
. C.S. Lewis: the Man and His Myths, by Albert James Dager. Media Spotlight. Also Battle Cry, July-August 1985. Chick Publications, Chino, California.
. Rome Watch International, Vol.8, No.6, November/December 2003, Open-Bible Ministries, Belfast, quoting The Canadian Revivalist, March-April 2003.
. Rome Watch International, Vol.8, No.6, November/December 2003, quoting The Canadian Revivalist, March-April 2003; also The Southern Cross, January 5 to 11, 2005.
. Battle Cry, July-August 1985.
. Christianity Today, April 23, 2001.
. CRN Journal, Issue 10, Winter 2000/2001. Also News from the Front, June 2003. “Take Heed” Ministries, Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland, pg. 9.
. C. S. Lewis and Evangelicals Today.
. Christianity Today, June 15, 1998, as quoted in C. S. Lewis Acceptable to Mormons, June 17, 1998. Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. www.wayoflife.org/fbis.
. CRN Journal, Issue 10, Winter 2000/2001. Also Rome Watch International, Vol.8, No.6, November/December 2003, quoting The Canadian Revivalist, March-April 2003. And News from the Front, June 2003, December 2003, and June 2004. And C. S. Lewis and Evangelicals Today.
. I am indebted to Cecil Andrews for this insight into Lewis’ doctrine of repentance, in News from the Front, June 2003. “Take Heed” Ministries, Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland.
. The Great Divorce, by Lewis, pg.65; as quoted in C. S. Lewis and Evangelicals Today.
. CRN Journal, Issue 10, Winter 2000/2001.
. Zenit.org, December 7, 2005.
. The Southern Cross, January 5 to 11, 2005.
. C. S. Lewis: A Biography, pgs. 198, 301, as found in C. S. Lewis and Evangelicals Today.
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. The Witness, November 30, 2005.
. The Witness, November 30, 2005.