C. S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Safe Reading or Wrong Message to Our Children?
C. S. Lewis wrote a seven volume series of fantasy books for children. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe introduces children to a world of magic, witchcraft and demonic creatures. Four children are guests at a large castle and while playing hide and seek find an empty room containing only a wardrobe. This wardrobe leads them into another world---the land of Narnia where everyone is either good or bad, on one side or the other, in a war with good versus evil. The fact alone that this story is so popular and widely accepted by the secular market---should immediately present a "red flag" in the Christian parent's mind when choosing quality reading material for their children. This "red flag" is our discernment, which we are to exercise. We should heed that "check" in our spirits as that is one of the ways the Lord leads his people. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe's acceptance as a Christian classic is surprising as it contains numerous new age teachings. The book contains many "red flag" warnings. We have listed below a couple that were clearly obvious.
The story mentions twice of Mr. Beaver, one of the good guys, drinking beer during meals with the children and wine is served during another meal. The wicked witch in the story with her spells and witchcraft can be overcome by a Lion called Aslan in the story. Narnia is under a curse of a continual winter. This curse can be broken if the children take their places on four thrones, assigned to them as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. One of Lewis' rhymes in the story explains..
" When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone.
Sits at Cair Parvel in throne,
The evil time will be over and done."
When we sit on the thrones of our own hearts and are on the thrones of our own lives instead of the Lord being on those thrones, we would then be our own gods--- leaving us as defeated Christians with satan the victor. We cannot
defeat evil in our own flesh or power but only in and through the power of the cross and the power of the Blood of Jesus. For it is not by our "doing" but rather by our obedience that we overcome evil.
Aslan, the lion, is the "christ-like" creature, yet when the children's fears are at a peak, Aslan is asked by the children if he will be with them in an upcoming battle, but his reply is.. " I can give you no promise of that". Jesus clearly says, I will be with you always and I will not leave you or forsake you. * 1Chron.28:20, Matthew 28:20. We as Christians have to deal with enough doubt, and doubt in the Lord's protection without help from reading material such as this. As Christian parents, is it not our goal to instill "trust in the Lord" in all things and acknowledging Him in all their ways?
Aslan does sacrifice himself for one of the children's sins and comes back to life but no one knows when or how often he will ever be around to save them if he is needed. There are at least two instances where this subtle seed of mistrusting the Lord is planted. Another character on the side of good is a
faun. In Roman myths, a faun was a minor god who had the head and body of a man and the horns, legs, and tail of a goat. Goats have always been symbolic for that of satan or his followers.
In his own admission, within the book, Lewis lists many horrid creatures in detail and confesses:
" .... and other creatures whom I won't describe because if I did the grown-ups would probably not let you read this book."
What on earth could have possessed C. S. Lewis to write such material! This story can open doors to fears and nightmares in children. It also plants an inaccurate knowledge of the spirit realm and our true battles against evil. This story was not edifying and contains no "real" spiritual truths, but rather subtle seeds of deception and scriptural error. Although to some it may seem to be a creative story, at best it is a very poor allegory by containing teachings that are contrary to the word of God. You may not agree with this review, you would be in the multitudes of those that do not and you may also be in the multitudes of Christians, who have not " .. exercised their weapons of warfare " You may also be among the multitudes of Christian believers who continually have bad things happen around them and do not have a clue. Either way, or in any case at all, it would be very beneficial to your home and especially your children to look into the doctrine of the New Age teachings. Just remember that murderers, thieves or bank robbers and drug addicts do not wake up one day and say.. "I want to become a thief for a living, I want to become a murderer, I want to become a bank robber, or I want to become a drug addict." Nor do I believe that they will wake up and say.. " I want to be involved in the occult, or the New Age movement. The enemy of our soul uses the same methods the Bible talks about.. "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.." It is the little foxes that spoil the vine. So many little things help shape the lives and characters of our children. We should be aware of the subtle things as well as the obvious things.
It is up to us, being responsible parents to use discernment and seek God's wisdom in our choices of books for our children. We help to establish our children's convictions through the Lord and His word with prayer. Let us not so quickly accept what others may deem acceptable reading, regardless of who they are, for we will stand accountable and alone before God. Instead of the Narnia books, choose Hinds Feet
on High Places for Children as a worthy allegory that builds your faith. That link to Amazon takes you to the Adult/original and the Children's version.
The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane is an excellent--Non-fiction book, highly recommended for teaching accurate spiritual warfare. Please also consider purchasing the book, Entertaining Spirits Unaware. Which covers many occultic type dangers. You can read the table of contents for either of these books by clicking on the title of the book and follow the link by clicking the picture of the book. The title links are also double as "buy now" links should you decide to purchase, just follow the instructions. You purchase helps maintain these web pages. If not, it is worth your time to check out the table of contents. Often there are offers for the books used that is very inexpensive.
We have received several emails from Christians who disagree with our book review on the works of C.S. Lewis. Lewis has published several works that do follow Phillipians 4:8. However, Lewis is still only a man and is not without error or deception. There are two spiritual forces at work in the world today, one is activated by faith and the other is activated by fear. We stand by our opinions in this article to challenge everyone to choose faith building books for our children and avoid any books or materials that give ground to fear, doubt or worse--witchcraft. If we have challenged you to raise your standards regarding the materials you choose for your home and your children, then we know the Lord is well pleased with us.
Hollywood has taken this book to film on the backs of the Harry Potter spell that swept our nation. We are a nation that is becoming more and more desensitized and deceived in matters of witchcraft, the occult and new age. However, it is possible and it is our hope that the movie, The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe, may help parents see more clearly that this story is not Christian material. It is alarming to see how little, more and more Christians, read or study their Bible and who really believe these things are acceptable in the eyes of the Lord or that it is just harmless fictional fantasy.
Additional Research with personal testimony below provided by Linda in Canada:
In the story, Mr. Beaver is explaining the origin of the white witch. He states,
"She comes of your father Adam's --(here Mr. Beaver bowed) your father Adam's first wife Lilith. And she was one of the Jinn. That's what she comes from on one side."
Jinn - (sing. Jinni) In middle eastern and Islamic mythology, they are supernatural beings, usually a spirit or a demon lower than an angel, able to assume human or animal form.
Lilith (Hebrew: Night Monster) female demon of Jewish folklore; her name and personality come from the Babylonian-Assyrian demon called Lilit or Lilu. In Rabbinic literature, Lilith is variously depicted as the mother of Adam's demonic offspring following his separation from Eve his first wife, who left him because of their incompatibility. A superstitious cult associated with Lilith survived among some Jews as late as the 7th century A.D.
Early in the story, Lucy's new friend Mr. Tumnas, the Faun (who incidentally seems to bear a striking resemblance to typical illustrations of the devil) is reminiscing about the "good old days." He states,
"....old Silenus on his fat donkey would come to visit them, and sometimes Bacchus himself, and then the streams would run with wine instead of water and the whole forest would give itself up to jollifications for weeks on end."
Silenus - In Greek mythology, a lecherous woodland deity. The son of Hermes (messenger of the gods). Silenus was usually depicted drunk, and he could be compelled, if caught in a drunken sleep, to prophecy the future.
Bacchus - (Dionysus- the son of Zeus) In Greek and Roman mythology is the god of wine and revelry, in whose honor immoral and drunken celebrations would be held, at which the celebrants danced, drank, and generally engaged themselves in drunken frenzies and orgiastic worship.
Is this the sort of behavior the whole forest would give itself up to for weeks on end that Mr. Tumnas is fondly reminiscing about???
When our son was in the 4th grade at our local Christian School I participated in a work bee to get the school ready for the new school year. As I was cleaning the book room, I picked a book up from a shelf and had an immediate "check or red flag" in my spirit. I was not familiar with the book or the author, and I had been a Christian for only 5 years and was not completely aware of what to do with "red flags" yet. So, I put the book back on the shelf and dismissed the "check" I had felt, reasoning to myself that this was a Christian school with Christian teachers. If there were a problem with the book, I reassured myself, it would not be here. A month into the new school year my son came home from school and told me they were reading a new book at school and recited the title of the book to me. Again, I received the same strong "check" in my spirit, but again I shrugged it off and let it pass. A couple of weeks later my son woke up in the middle of the night screaming in terror because he had been having a nightmare about the characters within this book. The book's name: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. At this point, God definitely had my attention. I responded with, "Yes, okay Lord, I'm sorry, I will get a copy of the book, read it, and find out what's in it. So, I not only read the book, I researched the book. To my utter amazement, the heroes, heroines, and villains are made up of characters from Greek and Roman mythology. C. S. Lewis' use of these characters was no mistake. They all appear accurately depicted and well researched in the context with which they appear in the story. No mistake, this fascinating children's story (by secular, worldly standards, not mine) is filled with the characters of Greek & Roman idolatry. By chance or accident, I don't think so. My research resulted in an exhausting year-long battle with the Christian school board to have these books removed from the school along with other occult and New Age promoting books.
Why did God choose to speak to me about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Probably because I was ignorantly oblivious to the author's credentials. At the time, I was a blank canvas with no preconceived mindsets. I had never heard of C. S. Lewis so I didn't have him elevated to the status of an exalted man on a pedestal who could write no wrong. It seems the Christian community as a whole is extremely divided on this issue. I learned very quickly that in some "Christian circles" questioning the writings of Clive Staples Lewis is closely akin to questioning the inspired Scriptures of God's Word. It amazes me that Christians either openly see the dangers of this literature or they are blindly enthralled with it.
Please, don't misunderstand me. It's not that I think Lewis was an ungodly man. In fact, I understand that he became a great defender of the Christian faith, and I understand that C. S. Lewis has written some wonderful books. I just don't include the Chronicles of Narnia in that category. I am writing this email now because once again I am becoming alarmingly concerned with the increasing popularity of a book that is so widely distributed and promoted as Christian literature. But even worse than before, now we are seeing the Chronicles of Narnia being made into a movie and a video game and Christian parents are allowing their children to gobble it up because of their complete lack of discernment. Christian parents need to wake up! Despite the best intentions of Christian store owners everywhere, not everything that is promoted as "Christian" material or that is sold in a "Christian" bookstore is truly Christian. That is why God gives us the gift of discernment.
Linda in Canada - November 2005
For your children's sake, please pray and ask God for yourself. Please reconsider if this is really the type of books or movies that you want your children exposed to. Your decision will result in serious spiritual consequences that you may not have ever thought about.
Here to read about more dangerous books--The Harry Potter Series. Due to lack of sales and interest, we no longer carry the book titles recommended in this article but make them available by our Amazon affiliation.
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