I’ve just finished reading the Narnia series again. I enjoy how C.S.Lewis fills the stories with Biblical insights, even as he narrates in a way that will engross children (and adults). But I’ll admit that I struggled when I hit the last book: The Last Battle. I was saddened by what I saw reflected in it of our current world.
The Last Battle starts with an ape setting up a donkey in a lion’s skin as a fake Aslan (the Son). He starts giving orders to the other beasts of Narnia in the name of Aslan, convincing them to do abhorrent acts, and even to go into slavery to a neighbouring kingdom. The saddest part of all is that, whilst their hearts cannot believe Aslan could command such things, they nevertheless follow blindly. They are being commanded by the ape to do things that go against all they have ever heard about Aslan and he’s character, yet they follow without question.
The story progresses, and the lies become worse. The ape joins with the neighbouring enemies, the Calormenes, and begin to declare that Aslan is one with Tash, the god of the Calormenes. Now Tash is opposite to Aslan in every way; Tash is cruel and vile; he demands human sacrifice. The majority of Narnian beasts believe this new lie.
The truth, when it became revealed, could not undo all the damage done by the ape. Some of the smaller animals are so confused that they stand in the midst of the battle between Aslan’s followers and those of Tash, unable to decide what to do; other animals slink away, unwilling to chose a side or be involved in the fight; and still further, the dwarves decide that they will be against both side, shooting at talking beasts and Calormenes alike.
This is why it is important that we stand up for truth within the church. We are not called to correct unbelievers, but to love them. It is our brothers and sisters that we are called to correct. I think that the church so often does it the other way around. Let the world declare that all religions are one, that all gods are the same, and that Jesus is not the only way to salvation; BUT let us, in the church, never stand in agreement with these lies. We who have the truth are called to make it known.
Please read through Ephesians now (it’ll take about 15-20 minutes), and let your heart be encouraged.
Here is a passage from Ephesians to reflect on:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Ephesians 4:11-14)
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. (Ephesians 4:17-19)
But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)