by LEE DUIGON
Lee Duigon is a Christian freelance writer whose work can be seen at:
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Actor Liam Neeson has made one of the stupidest comments of the year:
He said: “Aslan symbolizes a Christ-like figure but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha, and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.”
Aslan is the great Lion at the heart of C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories. Neeson is the actor who provides Aslan’s voice in the current crop of Narnia movies.
If you have read the Narnia books, you know the following facts about Aslan: 1) he created the world of Narnia and gave it life; 2) he died in place of a sinner, when he himself was without sin; 3) after he died, he came to life again, in the flesh; 4) he is king over all kings, not just in Narnia but in all worlds; 5) he is in our world, too, but here he has another name.
These characteristics describe Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ. They do not describe Mohammed or Buddha or L. Ron Hubbard or anybody else.
Mr. Neeson is supposedly a practicing Catholic. Maybe he needs to practice harder. Maybe he needs a better coach.
What does he mean, Aslan “also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha,” etc.? But those two words, “for me,” are the key to understanding this idiocy.
If I say, “For me, two and two make three,” I am an idiot. If I say, “For me, Liberace was the first president of the United States,” I am an idiot. And if I make a habit of saying things like that, I’m not only an idiot, but crazy, too. Meanwhile, if I say such things, people answer, “Why should we care what anything is for you? Who are you, that we should care?” But they don’t say that to Mr. Neeson because he’s a big-deal Hollywood movie actor.
The Narnia books, and by extension the movies based on them, are explicitly Christian. They were written to convey a Christian message and no other kind of message. And yet here is the actor who does Aslan’s voice trying to water down that message until there’s nothing left but water. Why?
Probably for the same reason that some professed Christians catch themselves saying “happy holiday” instead of “Merry Christmas”: something inhibits them from mentioning Christ’s name, even to denote a holiday purposely created to proclaim Christ's birth. Maybe they’re afraid of some really cool media or academic type looking askance at them and saying, “Oh--you’re one of those.”
In the vast, overwhelming majority of our movies, television shows, popular songs, novels, comic books, video games, and every other form of story-telling--which is what all these assorted entertainment options are--we can find no trace of Jesus Christ or God the Father. The average person consumes thousands, or tens of thousands, of these stories in his life. Each time he does, he visits a world in which God does not exist. (We aren’t counting the stories that are overtly anti-God or anti-Christian.) The fact that that world is imaginary seems irrelevant.
The great thing about a godless universe is that there’s no one in it who can tell us what to do, no one to say, “Thou shalt not.” In this universe, we are the gods--well, some of us, at least: the ones who can say “for me” and make it stick for everybody else. The only bad thing about the godless universe is that it isn’t real.
We live in the real universe created by God and governed by his law, whether we like it or not. We ourselves are his creation. But many of us choose to believe in the universe that they’ve imagined, where there is no God and we make up the law as we go along. Our towering mass of godless fiction feeds our folly.
To say that “Jesus equals Mohammed equals Buddha equals Zeus and Baal and Ra-Horakhte” is to make them all equal to nothing, and to attempt to deprive Christ the King of having anything to say about what goes on in the world. But come Judgment Day, He will have plenty to say about it.
Meanwhile, it seems that we can’t even let one movie bear a Christian message without trying to drain Jesus out of it. Our secular pooh-bahs are acutely afraid of Jesus Christ.
And well they should be. They can say, “For me, Christ is not the Lord”; but their own unquenchable fear of him knows better.