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The Faith and Wisdom of CS Lewis
Irish-born author and scholar Clive Staples Lewis fervently tried to be an atheist in his early years, but could not “kick the fists” as Jesus Christ had firmly told the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus that he could not. Clive, while on his own Damascus road, learned and appreciated the fact that God’s will is sacrosanct and can only be revealed to a person through that individual’s faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, God’s will routinely becomes a matter of arbitrary human choice which, according to the free agency the Almighty has given mankind, can lead a living soul to mortal and spiritual perdition.
Lewis wrote some time later, after his conversion: “You must imagine me alone in that chamber of Magdalene, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind rose for a second from the my work, the constant and unrelenting approach of Him whom I so sincerely. wished not to meet. That which I had most dreaded had come upon me at last. In the Trinity term of 1929 I yielded and admitted that God was God, and I knelt down and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert. in all England.”
CS Lewis was a man of great intellectual prowess who understood literature and philosophy as tools for understanding God’s will, not as a means of arguing with the divine. For example, Lewis, in response to the atheism and agnosticism associated with Darwinian evolution, allegedly said in the 1950s: “Does it really matter how God did it or how long it took him to do it?” , as long as he really did? Our frail human minds, even that of the great Charles Darwin, are not up to the task of deciphering the power of Almighty God.” Later, he was heard to say: “We should not rejoice that God did what He did, for all His children, rather spend our precious time here in life pondering in vain how He did it ?”
In his literary works, CS Lewis has often reflected the larger theme of Christianity, that God’s will is not a matter that can be summarily dismissed by political legislation, submitted to a human vote, or adjudicated by human judges in court suits who they represent the highest courts on earth. For there are many things which are lawful and good in the sight of God, which have been subjected to eternal moral rules. And, conversely, there are certain things reprehensible by God, which have been proscribed by holy Scripture and by the mental faculties of wisdom and reason given by God. These natural laws have been ordained by God to endure until the inevitable judgment of the Creator. Similarly, there are temporary man-made laws that are products of expediency and pragmatism, which are transiently changeable. Lewis, in his writings, strove to convey that what God, in his wisdom, has declared unclean, no man (or woman) can declare clean, and what God has declared clean, no man or woman can he cannot declare it impure, which it is, unless that person is willing to accept the eventual consequences.
Lewis wrote that “wise prudent men throughout the ages have brought natural law, made by God, to the forefront of human understanding.” John Locke was one such thinker who, in the 17th century, declared in his “2nd Treatise of Government” (for the eventual benefit of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin) that “all men are created equal (before the human law) and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, because it is certainly a natural law that any human being or animal, if placed in a condition of servitude involuntarily or unjustly imprisoned, he will seek to escape from his unjust bonds to be free. This natural law is expressed through the holy scriptures and cannot be abrogated by any parliament or congress on earth. In the same sense, there are moral proscriptions natural laws that have been ordained by God since He created mankind, which cannot be reversed by man-made legislation, judicial adjudication, executive order, or popular vote. Some of these do not -they are not moral, do not steal, do not roast sign, don’t lie, don’t lie. do not covet, and do not commit adultery. There are, of course, other moral proscriptions that God saw as so heinous, unnatural, and bestial that He deemed it unnecessary to be specifically codified in the Ten Commandments, such as drinking human blood, animal cruelty and torture, sacrifice, eating faeces and some others that, over time, have become popular diversions. Although God in His wisdom knew that some of His rebellious children would stoop to these sinful degradations, He hoped that most of them would not.
Along these same lines, it is quite interesting that, along with the criminal laws legislating the crimes of theft, murder and perjury punishable by imprisonment in the original 13 US states, adultery, committed by a husband or wife, was also listed in the books, in all of them, as a crime, and was punished with imprisonment and public humiliation. Between 1776 and 1900, however, adultery remained on the books as a common law crime, but was almost never enforced because the horrible act of sneaking one’s wife or husband became a gradually tolerated practice; and due to such reformist books as “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adultery, over time, was unfortunately relegated to the status of an “understandably” human weakness that should be tolerated as an uncontrollable act of nature. Although the immoral act of adultery is certainly carried out through vile human nature, it is hardly natural and remains a heinous act against the natural order that has caused untold human suffering, divorce and emotional alienation of young children from their families. Wars have been caused by their insidious practice. This is where a crime against nature and the human family has been equated and equated with permissible sin through faulty human judgment. But of course there are other crimes against nature certainly as, if not more, abominable than adultery.
Regarding God’s will, CS Lewis also wrote, in his later years, that “all mankind has been endowed with the power to make decisions about what is good and what is bad. It has been this way since Cain went decide to murder his brother Abel, and certainly God made Cain fully understand the painful consequences of his sinful imprudent choice. And it has been very unfortunate that the majority of the human family has, through the ages, chosen imprudently between the choices generated by lust and greed. and that of God’s will. The sword of God was quickly wielded in ancient times to punish violators of the eternal moral law, but things are very different under the law of Christ. I suppose that’s why so few of us will inherit. his glory.”
Perhaps CS Lewis should be better regarded as a man of substantial faith who embodied the precise definition of the word so connoted as given in Hebrews 11:1-3 of the New Testament (RSV): “Now faith it is the substance of things. hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, because by it men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made of the things that do not appear.”
Perhaps the ultimate legacy that Clive Staples Lewis chose to leave to his reading public was his everlasting witness to the eternal and indestructible will of God and Jesus Christ. Like CS Lewis, perhaps all of God’s children need to realize for themselves the futility of kicking their fists and open their hearts, minds and souls to a spiritual epiphany that will instantly elevate the will to God above the whims of mankind.
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