Tuesday, July 10, 2018

C. S. Lewis Warns of Ideology Hijacking Christianity

Another letter of C. S. Lewis that has gotten my full attention was written to Dom Bede Griffiths in January 1940, early in World War II.  This is the passage I find remarkable:

Fascism and Communism, like all other evils, are potent because of the good they contain or imitate. Diabolus simius Dei…. [“The devil is the ape of God.” Tertullian]  This does not for me alter the conviction that they are very bad indeed.  One of the things we must guard against is the penetration of both into Christianity. . . .  Mark my words: you will presently see both a Leftist and a Rightist pseudo-theology developing – the abomination will stand where it ought not.

Lewis’ prediction borders on the prophetic. “A Rightist pseudo-theology” did indeed develop and hijack the mainline churches in Germany under the Nazis. After World War II, Marxist Liberation Theology became a parasitic plague on the Roman Catholic Church and no doubt influenced the current occupant of the See of St. Peter. Most mainline Protestant denominations in the West became far more adamant about pushing left of center politics than about the Faith once delivered to the saints.  The World Council of Churches listened more to the Kremlin than to Christ.  Trust me; I could go on.
As Lewis warned, we must guard against our churches being hijacked by ideological politics.  It happened with remarkable ease to the Episcopal Church and other once mainline churches.  And, yes, it can happen to the Anglican Church in North America.  I’ve seen it happen to past churches and parachurch groups of mine and so am alarmed when I see what may be the beginnings of it happening to ACNA.  Maybe I am being an alarmist.  I hope so at least.
Nonetheless, in this, as in many areas, we would do well to listen to C. S. Lewis.

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