Monday, December 5, 2011

A response to a friend, a follower of Christ

Have you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia? I think there are 7 books in all. They were written by C.S. Lewis, and they, along with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, are some of the books I've read and re-read the most in my life. They are the closest things to a "Bible" I've got.

Narnia was created and presided over by Aslan. Wikipedia says this:  "Aslan is a talking lion, the King of Beasts, son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea; a wise, compassionate, magical authority (both temporal and spiritual); mysterious and benevolent guide to the human children who visit as well as guardian and saviour of Narnia. C. S. Lewis described Aslan as an alternative version of Jesus that is: "as the form in which Christ might have appeared in a fantasy world".

I think that your relationship with Jesus must feel similar to Narnians' and the visiting children's relationship with him. The very name "Aslan" fills the characters' psyches with warmth, love, and comfort, or fear and shame, depending on the circumstances. He loves them unconditionally but allows them to have free will even if it means they choose courses of action that end in separation from him.

I would love to have an Aslan! How wonderful that would be! The characters long to be touched by his breath and to bury their faces in his mane. They call his name in times of need, knowing he will respond as he sees fit.

At the end of the last book, Narnia ends and all of the people and creatures that believed in Aslan, or believed in something else that wasn't presented as Aslan but ultimately was, went through a magical doorway to the real Narnia. They discovered that the Narnia they had known was but a shadow of the real Narnia. The further in and higher up they went, the larger and more real it became.
There was no more weakness, pain, or infirmity. All they felt was joy and love. They had died but not really lived until then.

If you haven't read the books, I highly recommend them. When I read that last book, called The Last Battle, I realize C.S. Lewis must have been trying to describe a personal relationship with Jesus and what Heaven must be like. I get that. It sounds wonderful.  My problem is that I know it is fictional. Aslan seems more real to me than Jesus does, in fact. I could just as easily convince myself that Aslan exists as does Jesus. I suppose if Aslan showed up at my doorstep, I'd have to believe in him. So far, though, no deities have come to the door, at least not in the way I need to have it presented to me for it to make sense. Any actual deity, or one with whom I would want to associate, would know this about me and present itself accordingly.

Why the game playing? Why would a deity demand faith without presenting obvious proof? It makes no sense to me! At least Aslan presented himself to people. I mean in a real sense. I would pay attention to a giant talking lion standing in front of me!

The thing about this is that a lot of people make the mistaken assumption that atheists are atheists because they are ignorant about a god or have never sought one. This is so not true!  I believe what you want for me is to have that comforting, loving, protective, guiding relationship with Jesus. I know I could allow myself to be convinced through prayer, reading, and communion with believers, but that is not the same as the actual being presenting itself. Without proof, it's just mind games. The mind is a very powerful thing.

Well I do ramble on, huh? Part of it is that I am finding out what I do believe, and refining it, as I have this type of discussion with people. I become ever more the atheist as I go.

1 comment:

  1. Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church

    Some keep the Sabbath going to Church --
    I keep it, staying at Home --
    With a Bobolink for a Chorister --
    And an Orchard, for a Dome --

    Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice --
    I just wear my Wings --
    And instead of tolling the Bell for Church,
    Our little Sexton -- sings.

    God preaches, a noted Clergyman --
    And the sermon is never long,
    So instead of getting to Heaven, at least --
    I'm going, all along.

    ~ Emily Dickinson ~