Narnia - Part 2
A Four-legged Creator of Many Worlds
by Berit Kjos - December 2005
Emphasis in bold letters added throughout
I am the Lord your God.... You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath... you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God....
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain...." Deuteronomy 5:6-11
With eager anticipation, churches across America prepared for the great event of the year. Many encouraged parents to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to their children. Some held seminars to train families in constructive Narnia dialogue. Pastors used the book instead of the Bible for Sunday morning inspiration. They rented buses to transport their congregations to reserved theaters. Rick Warren treated Saddleback Church as well as pastors from across the country to a full length preview a week before the December 9 opening. And the tidal wave of praise has silenced most contrary voices.
Christian Narnia fans may have forgotten a major lesson in Genesis 3: By blending partial truths with an enticing lie, the serpent presented Eve with a catastrophic deception. Yes, there are allusions to truth in the Narnia stories. But there are many more contrary messages, and the over-all context is pagan, not Christian. Keep in mind, what looks like truth makes the deception more palatable!
Whether Lewis intended it or not, the main "Christian" justification for filling minds with Narnian suggestions is that a four-footed mammal helps us to better understand Jesus and to respond emotionally to His sacrifice. Through digital realism, this animal representation of our indescribably holy Lord is becoming more vivid to our imagination than any Old Testament idol ever was! Paul's letter to the Romans makes it abundantly clear that God doesn't want to be pictured in this way:
"For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts [or 'vain in their imaginations'], and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals...." Romans 1:20-23
Those who see Aslan as Jesus may also see Genesis 1 through the filter of C.S. Lewis' creation myth. Not only did Aslan give birth to Narnia, he created a myriad of other "worlds" as well. Stretching far beyond any Biblical parallel, that creation story is told in The Magician's Nephew, the book that precedes The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the seven-set Chronicles of Narnia. Ponder its view of the "creator" and his universe. Would these images be right (or righteous) in the eyes of God?
"One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out -- single stars, constellations and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world....
"...the Lion was quite silent. He was going to and fro among the animals. And every now and then he would go up to two of them... and touch their noses with his.... The pairs which he had touched instantly left their own kinds and followed him.... At last he stood still and all the creatures whom he had touched came and stood in a wide circle around him.... [T]he deepest, wildest voice they had ever heard was saying: 'Narnia awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts.'...
"Out of the trees wild people stepped forth, gods and goddesses of the wood; with them came Fauns and Satyrs [man & goat].... Out of the river rose the river god with his Naiad daughters. And all these and all the beasts and birds in their different voices... replied: 'Hail, Aslan. We hear and obey. We are awake. We love. We think. We speak. We know."
"'Creatures, I give you yourselves,' said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. 'I give you forever this land of Narnia.... Laugh and fear not, creatures. Now that you are no longer dumb and witless, you need not always be grave. For jokes as well as justice come in with speech.'...
"I will call some of you to my council. Come hither to me, you the chief Dwarf, and you the River-god.... For though the world is not five hours old.... a force of evil has already entered it; waked and brought hither by this Son of Adam.' The Beasts.... all turned their eyes on Digory.... 'And as Adam's race has done the harm, Adam's race shall help to heal it.'" [Read more]
This creation story is part of the background needed to understand Lewis's theology. Those who read The Magician's Nephew years ago may naturally fill in the blanks. It, like the current book, suggests that good works, rather than faith, will bring salvation from the curse.
While this man-centered message threads through the new movie, we may never give it a thought. Yet, the impact of the dramatic images we see will imprint them in our minds whether we are conscious of it or not. They often stir cravings or obsessions that drive people toward more and ever stronger emotional stimuli.
But the Old Testament psalmist knew how to deal with this problem. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes," he wrote. "I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalms 101:3
In stark contrast, C. S. Lewis and his myth-loving friends in the Inklings steeped their minds in occult fantasies, magical worlds and fabled mysteries. The compromising stories they wrote were swallowed by the Christianized world. Like ancient Israel, the public was hungry and thirsty -- not for what was true and right -- but for the pagan powers that tantalized their imagination. "You love evil more than good," warns Psalm 52:3.
The lifelike digital images in the movie magnify these suggestions. An early scene shows Lucy looking into a friendly faun's fireplace. When Tumnus, her newfound friend, began to play a flute-like instrument, the flames seem to rise up in dance. For a moment, ghostly figures -- apparently a horned deer, someone riding a broom, and a centaur or horseback rider -- were circulating in the fire.
The scene reminded me of a bonfire used for divination in Pocahontas -- another Disney movie that merged fact and myth into a mind-changing pagan promotion. The ghostly images in the smoke from the shaman's magic fire warned the tribe to shun the European newcomers who "prowl the earth like ravenous wolves."
In an article titled "C. S. Lewis—Who He Was & What He Wrote," Tony Zakula wrote this warning:
"C. S. Lewis himself experienced the dangers of 'crossing the line' into obsession with the occult. In Surprised by Joy, he writes that, partly because of a school matron who dabbled in the occult, 'for the first time, there burst upon me the idea that there might be real marvels all about us, that the visible world might be only a curtain to conceal huge realms uncharted by my very simple theology.
"That started in me something with which, on and off, I have had plenty of trouble since—the desire for the preternatural, simply as such the passion for the Occult. ... It is a spiritual lust; and like the lust of the body it has the fatal power of making everything else in the world seem uninteresting while it lasts.'”
That "everything else" would surely include our God and His ways! Which begs another question: Can those who are captivated by myth and magic also love God with all their heart, mind, strength and soul?
The answer has to be no! For when their hearts are divided between God's good and the world's counterfeits, they become blind both to the wonders of God and to the darkness of sin. The Old Testament prophet Elijah understood this problem well. Concerned that God's people (who claimed to trust Him) loved the pagan myths and rituals that surrounded them, he asked them, 'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”[1 Kings 18:20] Years later they were still pursuing their double-minded ways. They "feared the Lord, yet served their carved images..." 2 King 17:41
How can we stand firm and stable in this time of "continual change" and unceasing assaults on the Bible? We can put on God's armor -- an outline of vital truths that bring victory in this intensifying spiritual war! Let's look at the second part of that armor -- and share it with our children and grandchildren.
The Armor of God: Continued from Narnia Part 1: A Four-legged Creator of Many Worlds
2. God's RIGHTEOUSNESS in those who trust and follow Him
Matthew 6:33) This God-given righteousness involves an understanding of both what is right and what is wrong in God's sight. It doesn't minimize sin (rebellion, immorality, corruption, blasphemy, etc.). For His Truth -- revealed in His Word and made alive in us through His Spirit -- shows us the mind and will of God. It tells us what God loves and what he hates. It also shows us what we will love or shun, if indeed we are "born again" and "have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," said Jesus. (
Through the blood of Jesus, we are washed and given "right" standing in God's sight when we, by faith, are joined to Jesus through the cross. But living in that righteousness means making daily choices to renew our minds with His Truth, not with the popular myths or fantasies that focus our hearts on pagan mysteries and counterfeit powers.
"Take careful heed to yourselves," explained Moses, "for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth...." Deuteronomy 4:15-17
"Take heed," warned Jesus. "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 13:33; Matt 26:41)
"Be sober, be vigilant," wrote Peter, "because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith...." 1 Peter 5:8-9
Find the rest of the Armor here: Narnia Part 3: Christian allgory + Mythical gods = Deception
Throughout history, people would hear but not heed. "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light...." John 3:19-21
When we, by faith, "put on the breastplate of righteousness," we won't need to hide from that light. Instead, we will seek and delight in it! But we will run from any darkness that would cloud or replace that light. And today's enticing fantasies do just that. Tony Zakula explained it well:
"A child reading the book, is, as advertised, 'stepping into another world'—a world of fantasy. Lewis, like Disney, was a New Ager. He built entire surrealistic worlds for our children to escape into—escape from reality and from real life. These worlds invariably contain creatures of every sort endearing our children, performing heroic feats, and displaying often greater powers than our Savior displayed when He was on earth.
"Who will our children most readily identify as having awesome power—Lewis' characters, Disney characters, some time-space traveling hero, or the almighty Jesus? Is it any wonder that we have a very difficult time convincing our children to give their all to Someone so far down the totem pole of their experience?"
Those are good questions. They point to the heart of one of Satan's strategies: offer counterfeit images of God's creation. Introduce forbidden lures. Present enticing promises of pleasures that feed the flesh, not the Spirit. Make evil seem good and good seem evil. (Isaiah 5:20) Stir cravings that blind victims to God's truth and make mystical fantasy worlds ever more enticing. Prompt them to hate the Light. Train the masses to chase man-made dreams and mythical visions that captivate hearts but can never satisfy.  See The Nature and Tactics of Satan
God has a better plan for us. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," said Jesus, "for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6
Narnia - Part 1Part 3 not yet finished
1. C.S. Lewis, The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (Harper/Collin Publishers), pages 48-49, 55.
2. Tony Zakula, "C. S. Lewis: Who He Was & What He Wrote," Keepers of the Faith, December 2005at www.keepersofthefaith.com/BookReviews/BookReviewDisplay.asp?key=4
3. The Nature and Tactics of Satan at www.crossroad.to/charts/sin&satan.html
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