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

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