“Even the Trees Are on Her Side”: No Neutrality

Fantasy

white-witch-narniaIn C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, after the White Witch overthrew Narnia in war she deceived many of its subjects, both natural and human, into aligning with her. She made them her spies. Those who didn’t submit were killed. They didn’t have much choice in a Christmas-free winter they didn’t know would last one hundred years. All they had was a prophecy that Aslan the true king of Narnia would return. And he would bring two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve to rule under his authority.

tumnus lucy narniaThe Witch knew this prophecy too. She knew it meant her doom. So the Witch made her spies look for humans to deceive, capture, and turn over to her. Lucy Pevensie, the first human to enter Narnia, meets one named Tumnus the Faun. She learns he is a spy over tea, cakes, and music. On the way to his home, Tumnus tells her to whisper because “even the trees on her side.” He knows little about Aslan and the prophecy, but he comes to his senses and lets Lucy return home. For this “treason” against the Witch, Tumnus is captured and turned into stone.

When all four Pevensies finally arrive in Narnia, seeking redress for Tumnus, Mr. Beaver – a believer in Aslan – tells them something similar about the trees. The Pevensies soon learn that everyone in Narnia has made a choice – Aslan or the Witch. No one is neutral.

edmund witch narniaEdmund Pevensie is initially neutral. But after he tastes the Witch’s magic Turkish Delight, Edmund chooses to side with her rather than Aslan. Even the Lion’s name gives him chills. Only prison and a revelation of the Witch’s true character wake him up to reality and repentance. Aslan later dies for Edmund and all Narnia on the Stone table, thereby defeating the Witch.

In the end, only Tumnus and Edmund repent and choose Aslan. No one else does who sides with the Witch. They all die in battle, fighting Aslan and the Pevensies to their last breath.

Trumpkin caspian narniaPrince Caspian isn’t much different. Trumpkin the Dwarf, a secular humanist, learns about Aslan from the Pevensies while seeking help against the Telmarine invaders. He finally meets the Lion after a great battle and submits to him. So does Prince Caspian, also a Telmarine but the rightful human ruler of Narnia. However,  Nikabrik the Dwarf chooses to side with the Witch, trying to call her up in a séance. In the end, he dies for his betrayal.

The Last Battle is worst of all. An ape discovers a dead lion skin, drapes it on a donkey named Puzzle, and makes everyone believe this donkey is Aslan returned to Narnia. He then makes un-Aslanlike commands like killing trees and capturing Tirian, the rightful king of Narnia. Nearly everyone is deceived.

last battle narniaWhen the deception is revealed, many stop believing in Aslan altogether, including the Dwarfs. Others call up his enemy Tash (read Satan), God of the neighboring Calormenes, into battle and deceive people into thinking Aslan and Tash are one. Only King Tirian still believes in Aslan. Eustace and Jill rescue him from captivity and Puzzle from the deception. They also fight Aslan’s enemies, all of whom are destroyed.

In the end, only two switch sides: Poggin the Dwarf and Emeth the Calormene. One believes in Aslan, while the other proves by his deeds that he is “worthy of a better God than Tash.”

Reality

In these three Narnia novels, how many chose evil (White Witch, Tash) or were born in the enemy’s camp (Telmarines, Dwarfs, Calormenes) but switched sides? Six. Out of millions of Narnia residents, only six woke up and chose Aslan over his enemies. That’s a low percentage! When Jesus Christ returns, “will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) I don’t know.

nature glory-of-god psalmsThe real world isn’t quite like Narnia. It isn’t full of strange creatures. And the trees aren’t on Satan’s side. Nature, both plant and animal, glorifies Jesus Christ. She knows who her master is. Most humans don’t know their master. They think they serve themselves when they’re really serving Satan. They’ve been deceived by him and their sinful nature. They make wrong choices as a result.

However, the real world is like Narnia in this aspect: every person makes a choice between self (Satan) and God. No one is neutral. We cannot treat unbelievers like neutral refugees fleeing a cosmic war between God and Satan. That’s not reality. All those who choose God are his (and our) friends. All those who go against him by choosing self / Satan are his (and our) enemies.

Like Adam and Eve in Eden, humans today are morally responsible, even though they have been deceived. Those who don’t repent and turn to Jesus will enter an eternal hell for the just payment of their sins. Someone must pay. Yet they daily turn down God’s provision – Jesus Christ. The purpose of evangelism is undeceiving people – telling sinners that God is in control, not humans, and Satan will be punished for his deception. Jesus is Lord and humans are not.

In the meantime, we must treat sinners like the spiritual enemies of Christ that they are. Every day, everyone makes a choice. No one is neutral.

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