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.