Summary: Today we look at how C.S. Lewis used the symbols of evil -- Turkish Delight and the White Witch to remind us that evil is indeed real...
Feeling the Icy Grip of Evil
CrossRoads Community Church
Glenn H. Teal, Lead Pastor
Sunday December 11, 2005
Why would anyone write a classic children’s fantasy tale and set the story in a lovely place called Narnia but then go and spoil it all by making it always winter there and never Christmas?
Come to think of it why anyone put a white witch in charge of everything – even if temporarily
And why would an otherwise nice young boy named Edmund fall prey to the witch’s evil influence by eating too much candy?
What’s so bad about candy especially one called Turkish Delight a soft chewy fruit candy rolled in sugar that melts in your mouth – why make candy out to be some kind of temptation?
What’s wrong with wanting a little more and a little more candy?
If you’ve heard anything about C. S. Lewis’s classic children’s stories called the Chronicles of Narnia and particularly the first installment The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe you’ve likely heard about the forces of evil that are unleashed upon the world called Narnia.
Jack Lewis as he was known to his friends wrote some of the greatest Christian books of the 20th Century – many of them brilliant intellectual arguments for the tenets and belief of Christianity. Mere Christianity is perhaps the most powerful book of our times in explaining Christian faith to skeptics like the professor at Oxford and Cambridge where Lewis worked as an English Professor.
But books that made him world famous were the 7 children’s fantasy tales he wrote one a year from 1950 to 1956 which begin with the story of four children find their way to the magical land of Narnia by going through the doors and out the back of a huge freestanding clothes closet or wardrobe.
Much has been written and speculated in the past few weeks about just how seriously Jack Lewis’ Christianity shows up in his book and now in the movie. Most of us are not used to thinking in the somewhat abstract world of children’s fantasy. So any real church-goer just wants us to give it to them straight.
The Lion is named Aslan and he’s Jesus -- right?
The White Witch who has cast the spell of winter is named Jadis and she’s the devil -- right?
Those kids - Peter and Susan and Edmund and Lucy – each a representative of the various traits of boys and girls and men and women -- right?
To which Mr. Lewis said – not so fast!
According to Jack Lewis he didn’t really just write an allegory about Jesus and the devil in fantasyland –he actually tried to do more than that. He tried to write some terrific children’s stories that reflected what he truly believe about good and evil and right and wrong as if someone like Jesus went to a world where animals talked and humans were outsiders. In other words – he not only wanted to give us a great treat – high adventure -- he wanted to make us think!
And he deliberately – knowingly – on purpose wanted to make us think about something he considered to be one of the central issues of Christian Faith. Good and Evil.
The battle between right and wrong. Because – Lewis knew that if you take God out of the equation of life and make humans – not a reflection of a holy creator God – but instead accidental animal life forms that just happen to exist. Then right and wrong don’t matter anymore.
Without God we’re just highly evolved pond scum making up silly rules about taking property and valuable things away and having sex with the proper partners and deciding arbitrarily who can kill whom and when and where and why – like in wars or as punishment for crimes.
The Christian view of the battle between good and evil that rages to this day on this planet is profound and makes sense out of the way each of us experiences life. According to the faith brought to us in Christ -- evil really does exist -- and so does Good!
Consider classic Christian belief that tells us this planet we call earth is the handcrafted creation of a loving and holy God who made it and everything on it good. But our loving creator at the dawn of time decided to allow free will among his subjects which opened that door to the possibility of evil. You can only really love – if you aren’t forced to love. So God created us with the capacity to choose and because our first parents and every one of us since have chosen our own way instead of God’s perfect way the whole of creation has fallen into what we call sin – an ongoing rebellion against God and his goodness.