C.S. Lewis was an excellent author and noteworthy Christian thinker. The recent big screen success of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader have brought a few of his works to popular attention. The Chronicles of Narnia is a seven book series that tells the adventures of the Pevensies children and their relatives in the land of Narnia. The last book of the series tells of the overthrow of Narnia by their enemies the Calormenes. The Calormenes are a warlike people who worship the vulture headed, winged god Tash. The Narnians worship the true god and creator of their world, Aslan. C.S. Lewis very intentionally uses his work to depict some of the great doctrines of Christianity. Aslan is an unmistakeable picture of Jesus. Aslan’s death on the stone table in place of Edmund retells the death of Jesus on the cross for mankind. Likewise, Lewis includes other obvious imagery. The Calormenes are a very Turkish people obviously intended to bear strong resemblance to the Muslim countries.
In The Last Battle a sincere young Calormene soldier who devoutly worships Tash comes face to face with Aslan. The soldier is terrified because he has served Aslan’s enemy all his life and he now expects to be slain by Aslan. The Lion does not kill the young man but tells him something very surprising. All the good and sincere worship that was heaped upon Tash was accepted by Aslan as given to himself. Because Tash and Aslan are complete opposites, all evil done in Aslan’s name is actually done for Tash. All good done in Tash’s name is actually done for Aslan. Though the worshiper was mistaken in the object of his worship Aslan received all good as done for him.
The theological point Lewis appears to be making is that all those who worship in goodness and sincerity will be received by God. Though they think their worship is to a different god, the true God will accept all honorable and devout worship. This argument is still being made today. Some of those who say Allah and God are the same mean to say that it doesn’t matter what you call your god. If you are sincere in your attempts to do good and serve your god, then the true God will accept your worship. Is this true? Does God accept all sincere worship as if it was done for Him?
Recently I answered the assertion that Allah and God are really the same god. In March of last year I addressed why sincere worship is not by itself acceptable to God. God does not accept well intentioned but misplaced worship, because He accepts none apart from Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Only Jesus has done that which is acceptable to God. God does not accept any man because of sincerity or goodness. God does not accept any worship apart from Jesus. God only accepts those who have been made righteous in Jesus.
The apostle Paul confronted the Athenians for their sincere but wrong worship. Acts 17 shows that they were deeply religious. They were so careful in their worship they built a statue to the unknown god in case they accidentally overlooked the worship of a god. Paul came to Athens and taught them of the the god they did not know. He did not comfort them that God accepted their sincere worship. He told them who is the true God and instructed them to repent of their wrong worship because God would judge them. Their well intentioned worship was not acceptable to God. In fact, their rejection of the gospel showed they were not seeking to truly worship God. Their worship of another god was rebellion against God. They did not want to worship the true God. So it is with all who worship another god. Their worship is not acceptable to God because it is in fact rebellion against Him. Only those who have trusted Jesus for the forgiveness of sin are redeemed by His blood and are accepted of God.