A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“Most of us are not really approaching the subject in order to find out what Christianity says: we are approaching it in the hope of finding support from Christianity for the view of our own party. We are looking for an ally where we are offered either a Master or—a Judge (p. 87).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Lewis may be better known for his trilogy of liar, lunatic, or Lord, but this three-piece deserves some attention. This collection of phrases serves to convict the nominal Christian, politically Christian, or ethically Christian person. But it also convicts any of us who tries to reduce Christianity to a collection of teachings.
The core of Christianity is not what we think but Who we rely upon and Who has the final say in our life. Inevitably these things will impact what we think, but there may be others who think similarly for other reasons who are not Christian.
Pick your favorite moral position: abortion, honesty, equality, or marriage. There are many non-Christians who would agree with Christians on these subjects. Actually, there are many people who would be offended by Christianity who would agree with Christians on these subjects.
These same people would have no problem saying the Bible was enlightened, wise, or beneficial in its support of “their” position. What they would not say is that the Bible is authoritative on “their” position. They would not say that their position was rooted in the created order of the author of Scripture who invaded history to die for their sin and call them to repentance.
This is what it means to look for a Master (or find a Judge if you disagree) rather than an ally in Christianity. Christianity is not primarily rooted in what ethical or political system we prefer. Christianity begins with how we view our selves. Are we good people in need of better information, examples, training, and environment? Or, are we broken, selfish people in need of a Savior?
If we are good people, then finding a “Master” would be offensive. It would infringe upon our freedom and be a violation of our rights. However, if we are broken people who are blind in our sin, then to find a Savior who is a benevolent Master to lead us to life would be a literal dream come true.
The questions are, “What are we looking for?” and “What does our search reveal about us?” These questions echo us to some of God’s early words with His covenant people in Deuteronomy 4:29, “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
When we search with all our heart and soul it means that we have abandoned the notion of finding the solution in our selves. We are aware of our need. We are not searching for an ally, but a Master.
For a period of time, it would be good to write this quote from C.S. Lewis on an index card and use it as a bookmark in your Bible. Each day as you read Scripture allow it to remind you of why you come to the Bible and what you hope to find.