Monday, May 9, 2011

C. S. Says...

C. S. Lewis is a genius.  That's all there is to it.  He was so in tune with the Spirit, he knew the restored Gospel before being taught it.  He wrote some of my favorite quotes, stuff like:

"You don't have a spirit; you are a spirit.  You have a body."
"God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."
The best of all is that he's very logical about his theism.  Have you ever read Mere Christianity?  It has a very logical progression.  Read it, it's one of my favorite books.
Another one of his quotes, this one taken from The Magician's Nephew.  In this quote, Aslan says,
"I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him.  He has made himself unable to hear my voice.  If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings.  Oh, Adam's sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good!"
I guess I'm just talking about this because some of the people that I've talked to over the past couple days have just made me better appreciate all that I have.
The first was a man named Bill.  He reminded me of Bill Cosby, to tell the truth.  He was just cracking jokes and telling stories about his family, his daughters, how eager he is to be out of the house if all the daughters are coming over.  We were all laughing up a storm.  He told us about his wife, his grandson, and his motercycle.
"Hey Grandpa, can we start up the bike?"
"Son, you don't need to beat around the bush!  What you mean to say is, 'Will you take me on a ride?' We're men! Say it like it is!  If you want to take a ride with grandpa, ask me, 'Can we go for a ride?'"
"Well, can we go for a ride?"
Then, he got really serious and started talking about life, talking about something his friend had told him.  "Bill, your life would be so much better if you trusted Christ with your life."  What followed was about twenty minutes of him talking to us about life and hypocrisy.  All those so-called Christians at church were not living according to how Christians should live, he said.  For example, if they saw a man robbing a woman, they would call the police, but not interfere.  Meanwhile, Bill is in the middle of the fight actually doing something.
He went to church once, and a big woman ran up to him and gave him a hug.  "Oh, a new member!  Oh, I looove you!"  And what if she tripped two feet from me, he asked.  It'd be like in Indiana Jones, where Indy runs away from a giant rock!  Who are you to say you love me?  You just laid eyes on me!  What's more, he told us that he's a realist.  Even if you're supposed to love everyone, we don't.  Moreover, you certainly don't love everyone in church.  Knowing that you don't and saying that you do, that's hypocrisy. 
He told us about how most of the people in the so-called Christian churches were looking down their noses at him.  He drives an old beater to work, lives in an old, small house, and rides a motercyle on occasions.  Why would a man who has accepted Christ be driving something like that?  His answer was that, yeah, he drives an old car; a car that has been entirely paid off.  Yeah, he lives in an old house; a house that has been entirely paid off.  And what's more, he doesn't have to worry about anything in his house, because he's living well within his means, instead of having a twelve-hundred-dollar a month mortgage, all in the name of keeping up with the Joneses.
He told us about how he had been in Vietnam, and had almost died.  A twelve- or thirteen-year-old child had stepped out of a bush and leveled a gun at Bill, and then pulled the trigger.  The safety was on.  The child turned off the safety, and was going to shoot again, when Bill shot the child.  He asked us, "Blessing? Or curse?  Why would God make me shoot that child?  I don't know.  The only thing that's keeping me going is the knowledge that eventually, I will know."
It just makes me hurt, because I know that the restored Gospel has the answers for him.  If he would listen, he could know all the reasons why bad stuff happens, why there is suffering, whether God really exists, why we're here.  All these things could be his, but he doesn't seem to be that open to listening to us.
Another person that really made me grateful for what we have is a man named Huey.  He's a friar at a Church of England, recently retired.  We got talking churches.  He explained about how he doesn't really thing that any church has all the truth.  We all have different pieces.  The Anglicans have a piece, the Catholics have a piece, the Mormons have a piece, and all the other denominations.  When we asked him whether Jesus might have an idea which church has all the truth, he said to be careful with our words; no church has all the truth.  He explained that he's studied all the churches, and he's convinced that the only way that we'll know is when Jesus comes, he'll tell us.  It's not possible to know the truth.
It really made me grateful for what I have.  I am able to tell everyone I meet the things that I know.  I know that this is the truth, the true church of Christ.  If we are willing to listen to him, we will know the truth.  Isn't that really what we're all looking for?

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