C.S. Lewis Note to Young People


Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going.

When a young man who has been going to church in a routine way honestly realises that he does not believe in Christianity and stops going—provided he does it for honesty’s sake and not just to annoy his parents—the spirit of Christ is probably nearer to him then than it ever was before.

Kings and Queens of Narnia

The first paragraph above sounds like an updated page from The Chronicles of Narnia. The idea of living in enemy-occupied territory vividly paints every Christian’s situation, where stealthy attacks are the rule.

The comparison applies more today than ever before. Even in the Land of the Free, the homes of brave Christians who try to raise their children according to the Bible risk the government’s invasive meddling. Under the current, “enemy” administration, Christian-owned businesses dare not operate according to Biblical standards, lest the government assess stiff penalties on them. The government hasn’t yet put dissenting Christians in front of firing squads, but some factions wouldn’t mind seeing that happen.

I had to think carefully about the second paragraph, but the word honestly puts it in perspective. Young people who honestly, even critically, investigate their parents’ beliefs with a truth-seeking attitude are far more likely to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompts than those who simply reject faith because their parents value it.

Though I deeply believe in God’s sovereignty, I still find applying that truth to everyday life quite difficult. My consolation lies in my faith in all of God’s attributes, such as his love, goodness, foreknowledge, and the “Omnis.” He takes his role as Righteous Judge quite seriously, and never condemns souls to perdition lightly.

However, another way of looking at the perdition thing is, God doesn’t damn people. People damn themselves by taking God lightly, by clinging to the false hope that a loving God would never condemn them to hell just because of a little disobedience. If you picture God as the big, white-bearded sugardaddy in the sky, get over it. Just as employers expect certain things from employees, God expects our obedience. And having God fire you is not a pleasant thing.

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