The saint discussed below is not a “Church Father” in the sense that he spoke Greek, though he did as a secondary language, or was in line of apostolic succession, or was the bishop of a city or a high ranking leader in the church. Rather, this man was, and is, a heavy influence in the Christian life of many believers and I can see him remaining there for many more decades to come. He is dead, resting with Jesus, therefore I feel good about writing about him as one who has gone before us. This man, of course, is C.S. Lewis. His friends and family called him Jack, but since I am neither, or maybe the latter vicariously through his writings, I will give him due respect and refer to him as C.S. Lewis.
A little unknown fact to most of the population: C.S. Lewis did write fantasy and science fiction, but the majority of his work is spent in reflection on being a person saved by grace living in a broken world. I have read nearly everything he has written, I say nearly because I am sure there is something out there with his name on it my eyes have not seen, and I give much thanks to his writings for guiding me through secular schooling. In a very real sense, C.S. Lewis has been a spiritual father to me, and I have never met the man.
In his popular work, Mere Christianity, he writes this about Jesus and our way of viewing him:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” – Mere Christianity, pages 40-41
I felt that this would be an appropriate quote to reflect upon today, in lieu (I never thought I would get to use that phrase!) of my previous post on choosing your reading material wisely. In the paragraph above (it is so well written I recommend reading it again), C.S. Lewis introduces us to the very foundation of our existence. The most important question anyone could ever ask you would be, and is, this, “Who do you say Jesus Christ is?” The way in which you answer this question determines your actions. For example, the way you answer the question determines what website you go to after this one. It determines how you react when you are cutoff in traffic on your way to work. It determines how you react when you find out you have cancer, or are in debt (though if you are in debt I hope this is not news to you). How you decide to answer this question determines where you will spend eternity, life everlasting. For, as C.S. Lewis also believed and wrote, you end up in one of two places, in heaven where you say to God, “Your will be done” or in hell where God says to you, “Your will be done.”
Is this a scare tactic to try to get a nonbeliever who may be reading this into trusting the saving work of Jesus Christ? Sure, but it is much more than scare tactics, it is the truth, and this truth does not bend. It is objective and outside your control, the only thing we can do is submit to it, or dismiss it. Once we choose what to do with this truth, it no longer remains objective, but becomes subjective, and affects the rest of your existence. Choose wisely.