Wednesday, April 29, 2020

C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: Another View

With accolades, throughout the evangelical world, of C. S. Lewis' work ringing in my ears, I began reading "Mere Christianity." I found myself alternately impressed with some of the incredibly insightful things he wrote, then [often in the same chapter] flabbergasted at some of the really asinine things he wrote.

I went from flabbergasted to horrified when I read some of the heretical things he wrote.

It was obvious from just reading the introduction to Mere Christianity that C.S. Lewis, at the very least, was quite liberal and most decidedly ecumenical. 

I do not mean that as a compliment.

In his introduction, while making clear that Mere Christianity is written as an effort to introduce unbelievers to the concept of God, I questioned his motives for addressing the church at all. I wondered at his criticism towards Christians who contend for the faith. 

He made absolutely no difference between those who contend for the faith, as the scriptures command, and those who are simply contentious and divisive. He lumped all who had strong convictions into the contentious divisive camp. He even had the audacity to say that most who disagree with what he wrote in Mere Christianity were “borderline” people—those disobedient to any communion (i.e., rebels)

That’s a strong accusation, and it is simply wrong. 

He also discouraged contending for the faith by implying that Bible reading Christians are not capable at all of really understanding the faith and should leave matters of what he calls “high theology” (does that mean whatever is not found in the Bible?) to the "experts."

I found Lewis to be subtle in his barbs and very good at aiming his darts.

His occult training shows up in the many statements he makes in Mere Christianity about ignoring anything he says that doesn't suit and simply finding a way at looking at things that does suit. I challenge anyone to find a Witch or New Ager who does not have the same mindset and encourages the same thing.

And if he doesn't have the discernment to know that the Vatican is not simply just another "denomination," I am forced to take anything else he has to say with a grain of salt.

We cannot find anywhere in scripture where we are fully incorporated into the Body of Christ by partaking of the Roman Mass. But that is the statement found on page 112 of, "Documents of the Vatican 2" (which is the Vatican's official statement of faith and dogma). Participation in the Roman Mass is as close to salvation as you can find, anywhere, in Roman Catholic dogma--so how does C.S. Lewis get the idea that Roman Catholicism is just another denomination of Christianity (pg 6 Mere Christianity)?

Roman Catholicism is a heretical Christian Cult, the largest cult in the history of the world, and though individuals within the organization may [by their faith] connect with Christ, thereby inheriting eternal life, no salvation can be found within Roman Catholic dogma. 

It is telling that a Roman Catholic Priest who critiqued the manuscript of Mere Christianity before its publication had no problems whatever with anything Lewis wrote in it. We find that on page 8.

Couple that with his statement (from Pg 43): "If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all [these] religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of truth." That is stretching things a bit if you ask me.

So far, I am less than impressed with C. S. Lewis being held up as the evangelical world's chief apologist and finest example of a Christian.

As I continued to read, I went from flabbergasted to horrified. Lewis graduated from liberal to heretical, when on pages 62 and 63 he wrote that he saw no difference between the protestant practice of observing the Lord's Supper and the idolatrous Roman Catholic Mass, which is said to literally turn into God. Many chose to be burned at the the stake during the Spanish Inquisition because they refused to participate in the Mass and admit that it literally transformed into the body and blood of Christ (transubstantiation). 

He dug deeper into heresy when he proclaimed that Jesus taught life was imparted through baptism and the Mass (pg 63). 

My question to evangelical leaders is this, ‘Where is your discernment!?’ 

I will digress here and share that in the introduction of Mere Christianity, Lewis made it very clear that he was a member of the Church of England (Anglican to us Americans) and that his doctrine could be found, in its entirety, within the pages of the Book of Common Prayer.

I wonder that he finds nothing significant in the fact that Thomas Cranmer, the writer of the very first Book of Common Prayer was burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to admit that the Lord's Supper was the same as the Roman Mass, for refusing to admit that it was anything more than symbolic of our Lord's death and that the ordinance was given as a commemorative, a memorial, a remembrance only.

The Roman Mass, on the other hand, is the doctrine of transubstantiation which says the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ after it is blessed. The wafer/eucharist is held up during a Mass to be worshipped

The eucharist is held up during processionals to be worshipped.

This is blatant idolatry.

Millions of god-fearing men and women died cruel deaths at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to acknowledge that the doctrine of transubstantiation is anything but a heretical perversion of the commemorative ordinance of the Lord's Supper.

In view of Lewis' stubborn disregard of what the Bible clearly says about The Lord's Supper (and many other things I’m finding), I conclude that he does not know his Bible very well nor does he hold it in high esteem. I seriously doubt much of his doctrine actually comes from the Bible, and in view of Thomas Cranmer's death by burning, because of that same issue, I also question the truthfulness of his statement that he found all his doctrine in the Book of Common Prayer either.
  
I do find it interesting that he apparently remained an enthusiastic student of Greek Mythology his entire life. We find evidence of this when he is quoted on page 276 of C.S. Lewis: A Biography, by Roger Lancelyn Green as saying, "I had some ado to prevent Joy (his wife) and myself from relapsing into Paganism in Attica! At Daphni it was hard not to pray to Apollo the Healer. But somehow one didn't feel it would have been very wrong--would have only been addressing Christ sub-specie Apollinis (emphasis mine)."

Apollinis is a Christ sub-specie? Lewis could barely restrain himself from praying to Apollo? The Bible is clear that the false Gods worshipped by the Greeks were demons. And here we have a highly recommended, foremost apologist for the Christian faith, telling us that he was almost unable to restrain himself from praying to a devil!

In his book The World’s Last Night and Other Essays on pages 98-99, Lewis called Matthew 24:34 (“Verily, I say to you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled)… the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. He went on to say, "The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance grow side by side. That they stood thus in the mouth of Jesus himself and were not merely placed thus by the reporter, we surely need not doubt… The facts, then, are these: that Jesus professed himself (in some sense) ignorant, and within a moment showed that he really was so.” 

I say it is C. S. Lewis who shows his ignorance—not my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Lewis was converted from atheism to a belief in God by J. R. R. Tolkien. Tolkien is loudly touted as being a Christian. In actuality, Tolkien was a Roman Catholic--which does not mean he was saved. In fact, Roman Catholicism teaches that being born again is a heretical teaching. But modern evangelicals, along with C. S. Lewis apparently leading the charge, rarely make the distinction between Protestant Christianity and Roman Catholicism. 

In earlier, not so distant, times, evangelicals did not have a problem with speaking up about this. They made certain the distinctions between Roman Catholicism and evangelical Christianity remained in sharp focus.

But in these last days, we find ourselves hurtling at lightening speed towards The Day of the Lord, and see conditions ripening for the introduction of a world religion that will be facilitated by The Man of Sin. The scriptures warn about this in many places. The fruit cannot take much more ripening. It is almost rotten as it is.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus....


Review and commentary  by Jocelyn Andersen

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Miracles Still Happen: A Miracle of Birth

CONTRIBUTED BY LANE FISHER

   It was 1949 and William and Opal Fisher had the perfect family…two boys and a girl.  They weren’t planning on adding to their happy little family of five.  However, that year proved to be the most difficult of their lives.  Their daughter, who was only three years old, was a healthy looking child one week and literally skin and bones the next.  It turns out, cancer had been ravaging her little body and, tragically, she quickly succumbed to the disease. 
   The family was devastated, but Opal, in particular, was especially grieved and heartbroken.  She cried out to the God whom she’d served for most of her life, and He heard her and answered her heart’s cry.   She knew that the precious child she’d lost could not be replaced, but she longed for another daughter.  She was crying in her bedroom one day, and she heard the Lord say [in an audible voice] that He was going to give her another daughter.  She dried her eyes and went on about her life, convinced He would do as He promised.
   In the meantime, Opal was having health issues, and her doctor kept telling her she needed a hysterectomy.  It seemed that she had tumors in her uterus.  She kept telling the doctor that God had promised her another daughter, and so, thanks, but no thanks to the offer of surgery.
   Nearly a year passed, and then Opal became pregnant.  She was ecstatic and thought, “The Lord is answering my prayer for a daughter and is keeping His promise to me.”   She eagerly awaited the birth of the child, and in due time, it was delivered.  To her great disappointment, she gave birth to a boy.  Oh, she loved him dearly, but she couldn’t help but be disappointed.  All the while, she still needed the surgery, and her doctor was trying to talk her into having it.
   Four more years passed with no daughter in sight, but Opal still believed God and trusted Him to keep His promise.  She discovered she was pregnant again and thought, “This time my daughter will be given to me.”  But, alas, another little boy was born.  This made four boys, with no girl in sight.
   Time marched on, and Opal’s health kept deteriorating.  Still, she held fast to God’s promise.  However, the tumors were causing great pain and discomfort, as well as other problems. So after ten long years, she finally agreed to let the doctor do the surgery.  She told her physician that she didn’t know how God was going to keep His promise to her for a daughter, but she knew He would somehow. 
   The doctor wouldn’t even let her go home to pack her bag.  He admitted her straight into the hospital that afternoon. 
   The next morning, he wheeled a still hopeful and trusting Opal into the operating room.  He prepped her for the surgery and made the first incision.  He immediately saw that she was pregnant and sewed her back up. 
   Nine months later, her baby girl was born.
   I was that baby girl.
   I never tired of hearing the story of my birth.  There was such promise, and it was a great miracle. But, when you stop to consider it, every birth is a miracle and a promise from our loving God.  Life is precious and oh so sweet when we trust and lean on Him…as my mother, Opal Fisher, did.



Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dietary Laws and Sabbaths for Christians

   A novel, but incorrect, interpretation of Romans 14:1-10, is that it was written to address optional fasting on certain holy [sabbath] days and not to referee a dispute among Christians about Old Covenant dietary laws and observation of sabbaths.
   But when read in context [the entire chapter, not just the first ten verses], the plain understanding--with no mental gymnastics or logic leaps--is that the apostle says nothing about fasting and is indeed addressing the controversy of legalism in dietary laws and observation of holy days [sabbaths].
A better Covenant established on better promises
-- Hebrews 8:6
   
   Paul wrote that some Christians were "weak" in the faith. Those he referred to [as weak] were the ones who felt compelled to observe dietary laws and holy days and condemned others for not doing the same. 
   Within the context of Romans chapter fourteen, Paul admonishes all Believers to be tolerant of each other in matters of what to eat or not to eat and in matters of what holy days to observe. 
One person esteems one day above another
Another esteems every day alike
Let every one be fully persuaded in their own minds
    Food choices and holy days are completely optional for New Covenant Believers. Verse :14 reinforces the subject to be that of menu in general and not of fasting or not fasting on holy days. At any rate, fasting was never mandated for the Sabbath, and neither was it mandated for most other sabbaths. 
   Mental gymnastics and logic leaps are clearly required to claim that Romans chapter fourteen is not dealing with Old Covenant dietary laws and  sabbath requirements.
   The chapter plainly refers to menu choices--not to fasting--and specifies that the controversy largely involves vegetarianism -vs- meat (flesh) eating, or at the very least eating certain kinds of meat. The word food as used in this passage can also correctly be translated as "menu," (vs :15) and the context bears it out that Paul is writing of controversial menu choices and holy days in general and not about fasting only on certain days.
   When it comes to mandating food and holy days, biblical instruction is, "Drop the subject and mind your own business. This is a matter of liberty and option." 
   Those who cannot allow liberty concerning this issue, are sadly related to those Paul wrote of to the Galatians, the ones he said came to "spy out our liberty!" 
    The apostle wrote that the issues of optional food choices and holy days are not to be controversial matters among Christians but rather non-issues, matters of love and liberty.

...Shalom 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Spiritual Warfare Lesson 8


The Armor of God
Lesson 8 of Hungry Hearts Fellowship's Home-Church Curriculum
Be solidly/firmly supported with TRUTH—Strap it on and wear it!

 Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth….

  • Putting on the whole armor of God begins with strapping on TRUTH. 

  • Pontius Pilot asked, “What is TRUTH John 18:38?”   
  • Jesus said to the woman at the well, …true worshippers shall worship the Father by [the] Spirit and by [the] TRUTH….John 4:23.

 Our quest to find TRUTH must begin not with facts, bits of information, but with a person. Jesus claimed to be that person when he said, “I AM…the TRUTHJohn 14:6.” It is only when we believe that Jesus is TRUTH personified, that he is the only way, the only TRUTH, and the only life, that we can begin waging spiritual warfare [both defensive and offensive] by fastening on the first piece of the Armor of God—the belt of TRUTH. Only then, can we begin applying to our lives not only the life that is inherent in the person of Jesus, but the life and protection that is inherent in his words  [TRUTH] Matthew 7:24-25.
   Jesus said his Spirit—the Spirit of TRUTH—would dwell in all who belonged to him John 14:17.  
   What an awesome defense against powerful spiritual enemies [who frequently work through physical means]!
  
Discussion

  • How does Psalm 91:4 add to our understanding of Ephesians 6:14
  • What did David mean by Psalm 40:11?
  • What does *Psalm 100:5 say to those who claim  God’s TRUTH [the Bible] has been corrupted—that we no longer have it in its entirety?
  • What are some companion verses to Ephesians 6:14, that show more scriptural examples of how [during his ministry] Jesus answered Pilate’s question, “What is TRUTH?” John 17:17, John 14:16-17

 *Ben Chayyim Hebrew Text Translations

Life Application
How can believers belt on the TRUTH and apply it to our lives in a defensive manner while offensively fighting the good fight, wielding the powerful spiritual weapons provided for us by our Creator?

 

Print-ready student and teacher pages of this study are available upon request at ONEWAYPRESS.COM
Visit the link above to subscribe and then use contact for to request study pages.

HungryHeartsMinistries.faith / copyright © Jocelyn Andersen 2020 / OneWayPress.com