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Summary: Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, is good, powerful, and worthy of praise!

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The Chronicles of Narnia is getting positive reviews from many sources. But not everyone likes the film.

In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the children hear someone say, mysteriously, "Aslan is on the move". C. S. Lewis writes: "Now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had enormous meaning ..."

Polly Toynbee strenuously objects. She doesn’t like it at all. Polly Toynbee is apparently an atheist who writes for “The Guardian” in London. On Monday, December 5, 2005, her opinion of Narnia appeared under the title, ’Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion’. The summary of the article says: “Children won’t get the Christian subtext, but unbelievers should keep a sickbag handy during Disney’s new epic.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1657942,00.html )

Here is part of what she wrote:

“Lewis said he hoped the book would soften-up religious reflexes and "make it easier for children to accept Christianity when they met it later in life". Holiness drenches the Chronicles…..So Lewis weaves his dreams to invade children’s minds with Christian iconography that is part fairytale wonder and joy - but heavily laden with guilt, blame, sacrifice and a suffering that is dark with emotional sadism.

Children are supposed to fall in love with the hypnotic Aslan, though he is not a character: he is pure, raw, awesome power. He is an emblem for everything an atheist objects to in religion. His divine presence is a way to avoid humans taking responsibility for everything here and now on earth, where no one is watching, no one is guiding, no one is judging and there is no other place yet to come. Without an Aslan, there is no one here but ourselves to suffer for our sins, no one to redeem us but ourselves: we are obliged to settle our own disputes and do what we can. We need no holy guide books, only a very human moral compass. Everyone needs ghosts, spirits, marvels and poetic imaginings, but we can do well without an Aslan.”

In French, they have a term for Polly Toynbee’s column, “lese majesty”: “an offense against a sovereign power; an attack against someone’s dignity or against a custom or institution held sacred.”

The Bible points out this attitude among the unbelieving peoples of this world:

Psalm 10:13—“Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, "He won’t call me to account"?”

Psalm 73:7-11—“From …[the] callous hearts [of the wicked] comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"”

Psalm 14:1-3—“The fool {[1] The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.}says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Paul quoted those verses in Romans 3 and applied them to all of us. There is no one who seeks God. Every one of us has turned away from God. Apart from God’s grace, no one would be saved.

In Mary’s song of praise to God, sometimes called the Magnificat, in Luke 1:46-55, she says,

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts” (50-51).

Elizabeth’s husband, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, in his song of praise in Luke 1:67-79, says,

69 [God] has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David …72 to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant” (69, 72).

In the high school Sunday School room here in our church is a poster with the heading, “And he shall be called…”—called what? The angel who spoke to Joseph in a dream (Matthew 1:20-21), told him, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

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