His friends called him Jack. The rest of us know him as C.S. Lewis. His genius for conveying truth on multiple levels in multiple genres is, to my mind, without parallel. And, he got me kicked out of a Facebook group last week.
“An atheist group?” you ask. No, a Christian one.
You see, my previous blog spot is a defense of prayer against an atheist antagonist. In the article I reference C. S. Lewis. I posted the article in the group and was promptly informed by an administrator that C.S. Lewis was a “heretic” of the worst sort.
She inquired if I was familiar with Lewis and if I knew he was an “impostor.” I assured her that I am indeed very familiar with him and that I am positive he was not an “impostor” but rather an Anglican.
She was not amused.
I further explained that quoting is not the same thing as endorsing—that to agree with some statements is not to agree with all statements.
She totally disagreed.
I then asked her if she believes that the Apostle Paul endorses and agrees with all that the pagan poets have to say when he quotes them in Acts 17. (Similarly, we could mention Jude’s quoting of “The Book of Enoch.”)
I also told her that I was not an apologist for C.S. Lewis and wouldn’t comment on him any further, but I would be most happy to discuss prayer—which is what the article in question is about.
That’s when I found myself on the outside looking in: BANNED.
I didn’t even get a mock trial. This was a papal-like bull (or perhaps some sort of Protestant bull) delivered with the full force and speed of a Facebook anathema. Too late did I realize that I had just run afoul of a gal who had a keyboard with a hair-trigger and she wasn’t afraid to use it.
I can’t help but believe that our stunted, shall we say, discourse, reveals much more about her than C.S. Lewis or me.
What should we think of such an encounter?
Well, my knee-jerk response was: This is why the Apostle Paul disallowed women in leadership. (Yeah, I know…that’s another whole debate that I’m not interested in having.) But for the record, I quickly recovered myself! (When it comes to the war against women I’m a pacifist, you see.)
My second and more serious thought is this: I was more respectfully treated by the professing atheist to whom I was speaking in the article, than the professing Christian who read it. How sad.
My third premise is: It’s this kind of illogical thinking and behaving which give Christianity’s detractors sticks to beat us with. Certainly, the majority of Christians aren’t as unreasonable as this woman and her C.S. Lewis hating cohorts, but the enemies of our faith are proficient in broad-brush painting. Suffice it to say, slow to think, quick to quarrel Christians make the apologetic task more difficult.
I grow increasingly weary of bickering believers. I really do.
Even so, what should our attitude be towards our unthinking—and sometimes hostile—weaker brothers and sisters? In this particular instance I’ll paraphrase the prayer of our Lord: Father forgive them for they don’t know Jack.