Narnia & C. S. Lewis
From Yvonne Coonrod: I came home from church feeling really sad and heavy today. You see on the church newsletter last week they were advertising 'The Chronicles of Narnia' . So I sent an email of the 4 parts on this subject from your site to all the elders with an attached note saying that as it has a M(mature audiences) rating we shouldn't be watching it anyway as Christians because that rating always includes either one or else all of........ coarse language, sex, violence or drugs. I also said it would be beneficial if all the elders were aware of what the contents of this movie is really about and that discernment was so sadly lacking in the churches today.
I received an email from one of the elders saying they had discussed this issue and made sure each elder had received a copy and an apology from this elder for the church being seen as endorsing this movie. I told him, I didn't want an apology. My purpose was to take it to leadership so they in turn could be informed so as to protect the flock.
This morning one of those elders stood up and talked about how he went to see the Chronicles of Narnia and how it was a beautiful illustrastration of Christ dying on the cross for us and His grace and then went on to talk about 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and all about the white witch etc.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Not just because I had given them your information but the fact that it was so pre-meditated and almost evil to the point of feeding the congregation more lies and deception with allergorizing fables with God's Word. My first reaction was to go and speak with him, but then I thought that it wouldn't achieve anything and I have to leave it with God. I am grateful for the way the Holy Spirit leads us into all Truth.
We have 'come out' of a Pentecostal situation where I have been for 35 years and we now we are so hungry for the truth. No longer do I want to compromise and settle for the worlds ways. So much of this 'stuff' has crept into even the churches which had sound teaching in the past.
I know that when the Bible says that many will take the wide road and many will fall by the wayside and many will fall into deception then we shouldn't be surprised and we should look up and know that our redemption is nigh. When we are persecuted for righteousness sake we should rejoice. --not easy to do but can I say that your site is such an encouragement and we can only be as watchmen on the wall. If the leaders choose to ignore the warnings then be it on them. I am so grateful that Jesus has won the battle!
From Anna: The movie of "The DaVinci Code" will be out on May 19. I see this and the Narnia movie as being a one-two punch. Narnia encourages Christians to accept "good" magic and paganism. DaVinci Code undermines their confidence in Scripture. And both of them sneak it in through things that are "just entertainment." After being exposed to that, what resistance will people (especially young people) have to Harry Potter and the many occult things and anti-Christian things that are around these days? These movies could be catalysts for escalating apostasy.
I know a Christian young man who read "The DaVinci Code" and afterwards his relationship with the Lord really went downhill. But he never saw any connection between those two things.
You can't eat poison and expect to function well physically. And you can't take in false teaching and expect to function well spiritually. In both cases, God can heal you. But you need to be aware that something is wrong, and be willing to do whatever it takes to fix the problem.
From a Christian friend: Thank you for showing the occult side of C.S. Lewis. How about also dealing with how he undermines faith (trust) in Scripture, and confuses the issue of salvation, and other doctrinal things like that.
I need it. I was heavily immersed in Lewis. I read all of his books many times, including his science fiction and the Narnia series. He has a powerful impact on the non-logical things involved in understanding. He tells myths with an authority that makes the doctrinal implications seem absolutely true.
After I read your articles about Lewis, I was deeply distressed. But I discovered that I had more of a burden for the lost. It had been blurred by the universalism in Lewis' writings, and the ambiguity about what constitutes salvation.
In "Surprised By Joy" (his autobiography), C.S. Lewis tells about his conversations, at age 13, with the Matron of the boys' school that he attended. On page 60 he says, "Little by little, unconsciously, unintentionally, she loosened the whole framework, blunted all the sharp edges, of my belief." I'm afraid that is a good description of what Lewis' science fiction and Narnia books can do to people. They seem to be Christian. They "feel" Christian. But in actuality, they undermine essential Christian doctrine.
They also bring in occultism. In "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," Mr. Beaver tells the children that the white witch is descended from Lilith, the "first wife" of Adam. The myth of Lilith is a nasty occult thing. Why in the world did Lewis expose children to it? In the process, he undermined their confidence in the Bible. And it is totally unnecessary from the point of view of the story. There are many other ways that he could have said that her ancestry is not human, without bringing Lilith into it. (Maybe he did that because he admired George MacDonald so much, and MacDonald had a book about Lilith.)
Again, thank you. And please keep up the good work. It is much needed.
Thank you. I hope to post some key quotes and excerpts from Surprised by Joy this week.
From "the Courageous": You guys really make me mad... This may be too briefly stated, but shouldn't we recognise a tree by it's fruit? Well, all I can say is that I am laboring HARD for God to be known in a European country where Christians are few, God is 'hard' to be found and getting people so far as to even consider Jesus Christ in itself is a victory!
Along comes a movie like Narnia, visualizing some amazing literature to a group of people who otherwise would've never been exposed to it. Believe me when I tell you that so far every local person whom I have spoken to since they have seen this movie, have suddenly given Christ a second of their thoughts... something they had not done prior to this.
You are like pharisees throwing the law around. Whatever happened to God being so much bigger than our thoughts, than what we see possible? To Him being a Creator with a heck-of-a-lot more creativity then your website shows for?! I side with Josh's comment on your site: "...I will tell you right off the bat that I agree with very little of what's on there, but it does provide amusement." Your website is like a marketplace... I am disgusted by how you are selling your stuff on there. You look like a sect claiming to have it all right.
Of the six pictures on our home page, four lead to special books (and a DVD on "The Cross in China") which are sold on other websites. Those who click on our two books are given the option of downloading the chapters free online. Our goal is to equip our visitors with helpful information, warnings, and encouragement -- not run a marketing business.
There is no sorcery in this movie, no occultism. No, it may not be an exact copy of the Bible, but it sure draws a lot of parallels. Too many to get people's minds focussed on Christ to have the devil initiate such a story or such a movie.
Narnia has painted a beautiful picture of God as I know Him: It takes faith to see that world hidden to our natural eyes. We are all fighting battles in this life, we have a choice as to fight it or not. He came to save us, something Aslan does numerous times throughout the movie. He gives us tools to fight for, a place in His army, but we are not left alone. When we wander off the enemy's side, not only does He do everything possible to rescue us, He disciplines us like a loving Father as He did with Edmund on that hill and we are restored to our rightful place by His grace ("Edmund the Just").
That scene brought tears to my eyes! I could go on...
You could not fathom the open doors of sharing the gospel this movie has given me! I live in a spiritually oppressed world you guys only talk and write of but haven't experienced for yourselves. Stories and movies like this are a great key to conversation, encouraging people to open up their Bibles (not Narnia books) to find out the Truth for themselves. I HAVE ALREADY BEEN ABLE TO LEAD PEOPLE TO THE LORD THROUGH THIS MOVIE!
I challenge you to leave your big hair, big glasses, big buildings, big bibles and big wallets behind and to have your faith tested outside of your own culture, outside of your own safety. To learn to speak a foreign language and it's customs and then... write me back and tell me how much of your fancy words on your website still ring true in your belief system then.
Because I am living that life right now. I am not in my home country, not speaking my native language, pulled away from every thing I thought was "true" and "right". Well, in these circumstances God becomes a whole lot bigger and real then while doing fulltime ministry in the USA where everything just sorta happend and all the resources were there.
You may argue that I am not exactly giving you a piece of 'love' and 'self-control' here. Well, in my defence I will say that I believe my tone is justified in a holy anger. Again, I battle 24/7 for people in this country to know Christ and along you come to shoot down everything that is proving itself to bear fruit in this place.
If you would even have the guts to post this on your web (which I doubt you do), I do kindly request you do so without my name and/or contact information. Please keep my identity anonymous. My life is literally on the line in this country to share the gospel. I doubt you fatty americans could say that...
Enjoy your happy meal today and look at Lucy's face on the box: those big innocent eyes, cute cheeks and nose. I have been told I look like her. I proudly own that title...
Dear "courageous" one, I am so glad you are leading people to our wonderful Lord. I am only concerned that we introduce people to the true God -- the One who has revealed Himself in His Word. There have always many "gods" to choose between, and most "other gods" are designed to fit human preferences and please human nature. It's easy to introduce people to a God who is tolerant of everything, universally forgiving, judges no one, and is "much bigger than our thoughts" -- so broad and ambiguous that He can fit almost anything we could imagine.
Its not surprising that statistics show a huge gap between the high number of people who call themselves Christians -- and the low number of people who understand the gospel or love His Word. God tells us that the gate is narrow and the way difficult that leads to eternal life. Only His Spirit will prepare hearts to receive the true God who calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.
From Kim S.: As your footnote 1 in Narnia - Part 3 tells us, the white witch's donning of the leonine garb tells me this film is clearly pagan, as does the rest of the film. As you probably know, in pagan myth, the goddess dons the bulls head and horns. The symbols of the male pagan god. As she does other manifestations of the male god, and as she also assumes many if not all of the male god's names or titles.
Further, this notion Aslan and the white witch are two halves of one whole confirms but another deceived iteration of the false male god's image of the mother-child. And there are many Scriptures throughout the Bible that reveal this false image of the Antichrist to come. For this image is not new, but will become writ large in the world--maybe sooner than we think. I find Satan's deceptions in the world confirm what God tells us in His word, canonized biblical Scripture. For what God tells us in the Bible is the template we can use to see all manner of manifestations of Satan's deceit. For God's word is absolute Truth in all times and places, until the end that is. Praise God!
The relationship of Aslan and the queen tells me of this same pagan theme involving the false pagan goddess and the false avatar--the Antichrist by any other name. This pagan theme is revealed in biblical stories about Jezebel and Athaliah, etc. Thank God there is nothing new under the sun God's word has not already revealed to us. God's non-superfluously redundant Truth that none will have excuse. Praise God He is just, merciful, gracious and loving in perfect combination. That all might be Saved, and that none should perish. If only none would perish. But alas, many and probably most will. Therefore the Gospel commission by Jesus.
As those in the world know who their god is, why do not Christians (Jer 8:7)? Worldlings know of the universality of such symbolism of Narnia. Why not Christians?
In your quote from "Christianity Today", the false notion God's word is not reasonable or logical is a shame. God's word is not reasonable or logical from the world's way of reasoning or thinking logically. For the world's ways are not God's ways. We must use God's "premises" and "syllogisms", not the world's, etc. But without faith, it is impossible to please God. And without a renewed mind, we can not see as God sees. And if we are not born again, we can not agree with God about our sin and reality. (Narnia-Part 2 viz. Naiad daughters=Styx, etc.?)
In terms of C. S. Lewis' notion God gave us pagan myth to tell us of Who He is, a specific Scripture such as John 8:44-45 shows Satanic pagan myth is from him alone and not of God. But the totality of Scripture screams this theme throughout. The deception of idolatry instead of worshipping God is of Lucifer.
We know what God did to the fish god, Dagon (1 Sam 5; 1 Chron 10:3-10; Is 4:2, 11:1; Jer 22:30, 23:5, 33:15; Zech 3:8, 6:12; etc.) Such is an example of what the true God thinks of all avatars such as Aslan. Instead of using the pagan idol, Dagon, to tell us of Who God is, He used His maiming of Dagon to tell us of Who Jesus the Christ, Messiah, is--Who prophetically was then to come. In contrast to Dagon, who was mocked as no eternally begotten Son of God.
In other words, God showed us Dagon was no Son of God. But a deceived antichrist type only. Whereas Dagon was a useless stump, and not alive even before God's maiming. For only God can keep His plan of Salvation in the world and raise His Son from the dead. No idol can even help themselves much less man. God used this story and its real time historical occurrence for the Salvation of men. To "undeceive" them so to speak.
So first we must have the Truth, since it is first from eternity, then God uses His Truth to mock and unravel the deception of His Truth, that is in the world, to reveal Satan's deception of it. And to show God will not be mocked. And that His Truth will prevail over Satan's deception. Deception is used for God's purposes and is apart of revealing God's providence and his prophetic word as Truth and reality. For His glory, and for our Salvation. God did not invent pagan myth for His use.
Lastly, the creation story you relate in your three part series, including Lillith, seems to speak in support of the "gap theory". In which Satan ruled this earth before Adam and Eve, but he failed and God supposedly destroyed earth before creating the one we are involved with today. That there were and are still in the world demon-human hybrids.
But if one believes this theory as many in Christendom do today--such as Chuck Missler et al, as well as Wycliffe and Scofield et al--this theory destroys the promise of Salvation by God and takes away our free will, etc. I firmly believe this theory is a "doctrine of demons" as the Bible tells us. It but leads with its chin, so to speak. It but broadcasts it is a doctrine of demons. This theory also, of course, diminishes the stature of God and His providence, etc. There are many Scriptures that are integral to an understanding of the Bible that refutes this false doctrine that are too involved to go into here. And that are consistent with the whole council of God which the false doctrine of demons does not.
This world is distressing to the spirit of all believers today. To see the coming apostasy. To see the coming one world oppression coming to pass. But I must say: "Even so, come Lord Jesus. For these things must come to pass. And we can now look up for our redemption draweth nigh!"
From Michael: We had a high visibility pastor promoting the movie on the radio this weekend and claimed he was going to preach on it this Sunday because it is such a wonderful story.
If the shepherds have zero discernment, then I assume the sheep are helpless.
Thank you for taking your spare time to provide AmeriKa some sound thinking. The voice in the wilderness. A national resource.
From John in NJ: I went into a Christian bookstore and there was a tract about the analogy of Aslan dying and rising again and how it corresponds with Jesus sacrifice. But I went into a park and took pictures of scenery, and afterwards thought: Lion is a Narnian animal, of completely different nature, different world, in no way human. He is a leader but not perfect.
Jesus had to be incarnate as a human being, yet sinless, in order for his sacrifice to be effective substitution for sin. So how could a mystical lion from another realm atone for a human?
Am I being too literal?
When dealing with Biblical truth, we need to be literal. If we're not, we will distort God's Word. It seems to me that C.S. Lewis us basing his philosophy on his subjective imagination and his finite human reasoning power (which falls far short of God's wisdom). In fact, that's what he admitted in the quote below, which is documented in Part 3 of our Narnia series.
From Alison: I have read all the Narnia books and now that I know more of Scripture I can see how unscriptural the books are. There are a couple of references Mr Lewis might have done better to omit from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, such as Minotaurs (the result of some human doing bestiality with a bull) and Incubuses (demons who rape people in their sleep--I am not making this up! Do kids need to know about these demonic entities? I don't know if they are in the movie but they didn't need to be in the books either. The Greek god Pan, who is a satyr, raped males and females alike and not surprisingly the word "panic" comes from Pan's name.
From Jeff Wallace: When CS Lewis stated "Reason is the natural organ of truth," maybe I misunderstand his meaning, but as I take it to mean he is comfortable with reason as the world means it, and if so then I think we have to assume Mr Lewis was not advocating Biblical Truth and the subsequent absolute truth of our God of the Scriptures that born again Christians hold dear.
Determining truth by way of reason is opposed to and at war with Biblical Truth. Man's reason or logic can and does take one almost anywhere they want to go, which we all know leads to heresy, false teaching, sin, and rebellion against the One True God of the Bible. Of course I am assuming that observation I am making is the conclusion you were coming to about that, and you shared it on your website precisely so that we could see the conflicting view points Lewis is putting forth. In addition to this, I am not comfortable with the continual flirtation and conflicting messages that seem to embrace versions of occultism through out his works.
From Kim Stager: Great articles! I believe Christians are being deceived by such so-called Christian movies and books. As well as those by other such writers C.S. Lewis was associated with, as well as more recent writers. I wrote a friend of mine, a brother in Christ, a brief email about my concerns about C.S. Lewis based on a reading of his book "Mere Christianity". The only work of his I have read, or viewed. Though I have seen one documentary on his life on PBS. You might be interested in my email? I am concerned C.S. Lewis and his works are enjoying a resurgence today!
My email was sent to my friend about 1 year ago, after reading "Mere Christianity". I had the book for a number of years before I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. And I only read it a year ago or so after being a Christian for over 8 years then. This email could be expounded upon further to show C.S. Lewis' doctrine and ideas, in the main, do not jibe with biblical Scripture as I understand it by the Holy Spirit.
My comments are in no way to be construed that I am making a judgment as to whether C.S. Lewis is in Heaven or not. My comments are to express significant concern for the effects on the professing church and on unbelievers of C.S. Lewis' impact on Christendom today:
....About C.S. Lewis, when you have time, see pg. 54 of "Mere Christianity". The third paragraph. On this page he introduces his notion of "good dreams"--pagan myth story dreams. I believe he is stating God sent them to man to counter Satan's deceit. Specifically stories about the false Christ of paganism's myth stories. Such stories are being used even in articles in AARP magazine as legitimate. Given Biblical Scripture, which I believe clearly tells us God did not give us these false pagan myth stories, but that He abhors them. In fact, throughout Scripture, God seems quite clearly to be speaking against such stories and their ill effects on mankind--even unto their damnation.
On a series of stories about Mr. Lewis, on a set of CD's, I have quotes saying he used his Narnia stories in light of this belief. That by such stories he also could bring people to a knowledge of God--the True and Living God in Christ Jesus, by Their Holy Spirit. I believe this to be clearly a wrong approach. I understand his background is in such myths. His education and his teaching career, etc. I also believe Mr. Lewis, an Anglican, and Tolkein, a Roman Catholic, were close friends and associates. I also believe Tolkein's works are of similar ilk. There is another, new, such story line at the movies and in book form--"Shawdowmancer". By a "Christian" author.
The problem in a nutshell is, I believe, such approaches inform the reader or moviegoer much too much about paganism and much too little about the Truth of God's Word. And much they do get about God's Word is not Truth, but a deception of it in a much too subtle way. I can refer you to a discussion of "Shadowmancer" and their deceived use of paraphrasing of Scripture in the script, etc.
I do believe this trend, along with increasing liturgy even in Evangelical churches, the "Passion of the Christ"--a very Marian and Roman Catholic film according to Mel Gibson himself, etc., are moving Christianity closer to apostasy. Even if those who are apart of such mean well or are convinced they are doing these things for Jesus Christ. Any and all acclimation to the coming one world order and religion of the Dragon and his two Beasts, is a problem in my mind. There is already more than enough blatant paganism in the secular culture to suffice.
Also, see pg. 62. Here Mr. Lewis is, I believe, expressing a doctrine of works and mysticism together with faith and grace. What Paul calls another gospel. He develops this in other places as well. Mr. Lewis also seems to be OK with notions such as transubstantiation and et. al.
Then, pg 83 involving Chapter 4 about psychoanalysis and Freud. I believe there is a clear problem with saying psychoanalysis is not contradictory to Christianity. The only use at all for it is to see some things about the natural man. This it does all too well. It has very little redeeming value otherwise. Certainly not for Salvation. It clearly leads people from the True God to the false god of this world and his world system for their redemption, etc. Also, Freud clearly bases his foundation notions on pagan cultures he studied with great interest. His main notions come clearly directly from pagan belief system inspired by Satan.
I believe his Preface outlines the legitimacy of denominations over Biblical Truth and what this tells us about God in Christ and Salvation. That we need denominations more than basic Salvation and relationship fellowship with Christ. And that unity of these denominations is more important than the True body of Christ of His Spirit of born again believers--the True Kingdom of Heaven on earth before it is reconciled and delivered up to God and becomes the Kingdom of God in New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven from God to the renewed earth.
Instead of people going from the "hall" to the "rooms", I believe people need come from the rooms to the hall--True faith in the True Faith. Not the other way around. This is also apart of the current movement to have unity in the professing Christian church as opposed to Christ's True Church as revealed in Mt. 13, Heb 11, and elsewhere.
I also see Mr. Lewis as one of the reference points of people in the movement toward a focus on the so-called unsaved inside the church. As opposed to focusing on them outside the church where believers are being "trained" up to minister and to be witnesses. Because Mr. Lewis' approach was also so directed in works such as "Mere Christianity", and others.
Lastly, Mr. Lewis refers to Carl Jung on pg. 84, and then implicitly his dream theory and about the female pagan goddess within. Especially since Mr. Lewis believes in the worth of pagan dreams and the like. This is also a movement in Christianity today. Leading to the introduction of such things as "guided imagery", et. al. Carl Jung is being quoted by so-called Christians a lot today.
He has numerous other notions that I believe are problematic, such as saying false religions have Truth at all on pg. 43, that Christians believe matter is good on pg. 91, the Diabolical self on pg. 95, we are not separated from God and that various "formulas" are OK on pgs. 156-157, that God "pretends" on pg 165, that we are going to be "gods" and "goddesses" in any sense of the word on pgs. 174-175--here or in heaven, and his wrong ideas God uses evolution in creation on pgs. 184-185, etc. He either explains them wrongly, or not sufficiently to make his statements accurate. Instead, they are inaccurate per Scripture. In some cases what he says about these and other subjects are clearly not Biblical.
It is a shame many people feel the Bible is not self sufficient to explain God and His Word from within its pages to without instead of the other way around. With a renewed mind, we can. Without, we cannot. In between, is in between. And Mr. Lewis, I believe, was a forerunner to many secular, pagan influences growing within the church today. Such as psychology, unity, pagan myth books and movies, liturgy, focus on the unsaved, evolution, etc. I believe I have seem numerous instances in which he is referenced in relation to these and other errors and heresies, etc. What a shame.
Thanks for indulging the above. If you have time, I'd like some feedback. I believe these are tough times for Biblical believers. For "fundamentalists". For "literalists". Etc. I suspect many find the Bible boring and not sufficient for today's generation. At least this is the cry.
From a concerned Christian: Speaking as a former Narnia devotee, I would like to offer some points for consideration to those who object to your warnings, Berit (and I want to encourage Stacy - you're right on, don't listen to the mockers!). Yes, the books are an obvious allegory to Christianity in many ways, but there are many points in the books that are contrary to Biblical doctrine.
For instance: at the end of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan leads the children and the animals of Narnia in a celebration feast because he has defeated the witch. In the midst of this feast appears a character named Bacchus. Bacchus is the pagan god of sensuality and drunkenness [the Roman version of Dionysus, the Greek "god" of intoxicating orgies]. Worshippers involved in celebrating this "god" would routinely get drunk and engage in licentious acts with each other and with animals. What on earth is this character doing in a children's book, particularly one that is supposed to be Christian?? You do not find Aslan rebuking this creature, he is apparently welcome to the party.
Next example: In The Magician's Nephew, you not only have pretty obvious use of magic with no indication that such use is dangerous or wrong, but the children find themselves in a sort of world-between-worlds with infinite realms to explore and discover. This idea is widely held by pagans and New Agers, but it is inconsistent with Biblical truth. The witch from the first book is portrayed as a sort of accidental "transplant" from one of these worlds to the newly-made Narnia. How does this make the witch an allegorical Satan? Where is the rebellion and the exile of Satan from heaven because of his pride?
In the Horse and His Boy, the boy is confronted by Aslan after a long journey. The boy apologizes to Aslan to having worshipped Tash, the evil "god" of the Calormen. The Aslan character informs the boy that every good thing he had done in Tash's name was instead automatically credited to the boy as having been done in Aslan's name, because nothing good can really be done in Tash's name. And on the flip side, everything the boy had done that was bad, was automatically forgiven because it belonged to Tash and had nothing to do with Aslan. So instead of an example of repentance and salvation, Aslan basically tells the boy he hasn't done anything that needs to be forgiven, nor does he need to do anything different from this point forward. I can tell you from own experience, that as a child this scene alone severely damaged my understanding of sin and the need for repentance. It was a long time before I recovered my sense of healthy fear before the Lord.
And lastly (though there are many more examples that could be produced): in The Last Battle, the donkey that is set up as a false Aslan is portrayed as an innocent dupe who was tricked into being a puppet. As if that isn't bad enough, this "antichrist" donkey switches sides and becomes redeemed, and enters into the new Narnia with Aslan!!!! What a desecration of the book of Revelations! I don't care how you interpret End Times prophecy, the antichrist is not some accidental pawn who will be forgiven and enter in the glory of the Christ he tried to usurp!!
I too used to love these books - I've read them all dozens of times - but if you open your eyes for just a moment, you can see that there are dangerous lies hidden in them. The fact that such errors are buried in an obviously Christian theme makes them, to my mind, much more dangerous than even Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. I truly do wish that somehow these books (and now, the movie) could be a safe and fun way to celebrate God's wonderful message, but the truth of the matter is this is just another lie packaged to look like the truth.
We MUST get past this idea that it's OK to rewrite God's wonderful and completed Word. We MUST stop making excuses for those who would "invent new worlds" and call it harmless entertainment. We MUST be more loyal to God than to a dead author and an imaginary world that does not, nor will it ever, even exist.
From Josh: I'm a regular reader of your website. I will tell you right off the bat that I agree with very little of what's on there, but it does provide amusement.
I'm actually writing to respond to the letter that Stacey Boone wrote regarding the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, as well as to question your response. I had to chuckle when I read her letter; until that point, I had never heard of anyone having a problem with the Narnia series. I come from a very conservative Christian family, and Narnia has always been welcome and encouraged in our houses. Naturally, I was shocked to find that someone had the nerve to call them "pagan" and "leading children into witchcraft".
First of all, if nothing else, these books are classic literature. Their value as works of art is incredible. Ever since I was around 8 years old, I have been captivated by fantasy and comic book type heroes, and Narnia fit the bill perfectly. I mean come on, what kid doesn't want some kind of super power or ability to make evil-doers shake in their boots? None that I've ever met. It's a totally normal part of human development. For you to make it out to be this horrible demonic trap is rather disingenuous, and frankly, laughable.
That being said, the Christian imagery in the Narnia books is completely unmistakable; even the biggest Biblical dunce can't miss it. To call it "pagan" totally misses the point. I personally had no trouble figuring it out, even as an eight year-old. That's why this woman's letter made me do a double-take. I couldn't believe that someone was actually going after one of the most beloved classics of the 20th century, and not only that, you seemed to agree with her! (correct me if I'm wrong)
Now come on... "demonic nightmares"? "embracing witchcraft"? Calling the books "unclean items"? Saying "Yeshua delivered me!" and "children are being led to slaughter??? LOL! That's got all the earmarks of a drama queen right there. If you don't like the books, that's fine; you're entitled to your opinion. But that doesn't mean that you need to go preaching the evils of classic literature to everyone who will listen. Nobody has gone to hell for reading the Chronicles of Narnia, I guarantee you that. It's not a life and death salvation issue, it's a matter of personal preference. I certainly don't see you or anyone else attacking Greek mythology with the same zeal. It's the exact same thing, and it's taught in many schools in literature courses!
See, here is your core problem; you don't understand the rules of fantasy literature. Things like "magic" and "sorcery" aren't "sinful" in the context of the fantasy universe, because by definition, that fantasy universe has a different set of moral rules governing it. What's sin in the real world may or may not be so in a make-believe world, because the author is free to invent his own universe. Not to mention the fact that most such "magic" is magic in name only, and the good guys never draw their power from demonic sources; it always comes from a good or neutral power source. Only the bad guys associate with demons, and when the odd hero does, he usually pays dearly for it. Anyway, most characters who have these mystical powers are born with them, thus making them no different than Superman or Spider-man. Are we now to say that all fictional characters with super-human powers are "demonic"?? I laugh at the very idea.
Merely reading "So and so used a spell to make a wonderful feast" is not a sin; going out and actually practicing the dark arts is another matter entirely. As a child (and even now), I never thought of going out and trying to cast spells or turn people into stone after reading the Narnia books. Why, you ask? Simple... a little something called "common sense; I could distinguish between fantasy and reality. For me, Narnia was simply a pleasant and exciting "what if" scenario. "What if I could be a king in a magical land? That would be so cool..." This is hardly immoral or unhealthy.
You don't seem to have much of an imagination. The Narnia stories are just that; stories. They just happen to also have a great Christian message, one that has encouraged me greatly over the course of my life. To belittle and dismiss them as "pagan" is utterly absurd, and will do nothing but cause divisions. I find it rather pathetic that some people come to you for advice on every new fad, checking to see if you think it's from the devil, instead of being real parents, doing their own research, and making up their own minds. Instead of wasting your time telling people why the latest fad is from Satan, why don't you try looking for the good in life, and applaud when Hollywood releases a movie with a strong Biblical message (or at least Christian values) that's free of smut (Narnia, Lord of the Rings, etc.)?? It's a very rare occurrence these days. I for one am greatly looking forward to the movie, and am planning on seeing it in theaters at least twice.
I don't really expect a response, but I would appreciate it if you posted this on your site, under the "Narnia" section, just so people can see my rebuttal. By the way, yes, I am a born again believer in Christ Jesus.
Josh, when Stacey wrote her comments, she wasn't "preaching the evils of classic literature" anymore than all others who shares their opinion. Shouldn't she be as free to state her views as you are to state yours?
You say, "here is your core problem; you don't understand the rules of fantasy literature. Things like 'magic' and 'sorcery' aren't sinful in the context of the fantasy universe, because by definition, that fantasy universe has a different set of moral rules governing it. What's sin in the real world may or may not be so in a make-believe world, because the author is free to invent his own universe."
Is he? And there's nothing wrong with sorcery in the world of fantasy? That's quite a moral assertion! How do you know that God accepts your rules of what is right and wrong? Are your rules higher and better than His?
God's Word tells us that witchcraft, sorcery, and other occult practices are abominations to Him. He hates them! (Deuteronomy 18:9-12) But today's thrill-seeking youth and children love them. That's why such images and suggestions permeate today's "family entertainment." Remember, we don't have to actually DO something in order to sin against Him. Enjoying an imagined sin is just as wrong, according to Matt 5:28. Either way, the heart is rebelling against Him and His ways:
"You love evil more than good...." Psalm 52:3
"...they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart..." Jeremiah 11:8
"Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. " Romans 12:2, 9
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft...." 1 Samuel 15:23
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21
From Stacey Boone: I hope you are now preparing to take a stand concerning the Chronicles of Narnia. They are full of paganism at the least, leading children into a world of witchcraft at the most. I know. As a child, I read these books, and they were the bait I took to enter a world of pagan fantasy that was soon plagued by demonic nightmares. Yeshua delivered me. I cleaned my physical house of unclean items and He has cleaned my spiritual house, my soul. It is absolutely alarming to see the American Christian churches embrace and compromise with witchcraft and paganism. The Wiccan's must laugh at our ignorance. Please take a stand and sound the shofar! Your web sight is a beacon of light to many believers. Little precious children are being led to the slaughter in the name of Christian allegory. Satan will use any hook he can. He fishes too. Expose the hook. Thank you.
Yes, I am preparing to take a stand, Stacey. Please pray that God lead me.
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