Written by Kenna Rose
My heart skipped a beat, and I hastily clicked the link to discover a ScreenRant article titled “Netflix’s Chronicles of Narnia Using the Original Books’ Ending Would be a Huge Mistake.”
For those who are unaware, Netflix is remaking Narnia with director Greta Gerwig of Barbie fame.
The point ScreenRant is making?
They’re worried that Narnia’s Christian themes will alienate viewers, and they don’t like how The Last Battle ends. As I read both articles, I grew more and more horrified at the prospect of Netflix’s Chronicles of Narnia remake, finally launching from my seat to cry the dreadful news to my parents.
Could you even imagine Narnia without Aslan?
Or Narnia with a watered-down Aslan who is no longer the good-but-not-safe King, but one who has been remade to submit to a plethora of religions and ideologies?
My Dad stopped my frantic rant in its tracks with this comment (paraphrased by me):
“Well, I’m not surprised. Aslan represents Jesus, and so if they’re trying to rebel against Christ, why would they want Aslan?”
And therein lies the whole problem.
We live in a time when our country openly and with hostility rejects Biblical truth in favor of self-centered lies; and is starting to openly and with hostility reject even the actual persons of Christ and God in favor of self-centered lies.
In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Edmund betrays his siblings out of selfishness. He wants what he wants and who cares about the others? And when he hears the Beavers talk about Aslan, he’s filled with a sensation of mysterious horror because he’s eaten of the White Witch’s food and is on her side. 2 Corinthians 2:15-17 says,
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”
Those who don’t know God are on the side of the Devil – as we all once were. The fragrance of the gospel isn’t pleasant to them because it means harsh judgment unless they repent and accept Christ.
Every single problem in our world right now – murder (including abortion), LGBTQIA+, homelessness, drug use, pain, suffering, and death – can be traced back to a lack of the knowledge of God. The self, a created creature, often replaces God in worship.
Romans 1 provides a clear picture of what happens to nations that go that way. God gives them up…
“in the lusts of their hearts… to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…to dishonorable passions…women exchanged natural relations… and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another…to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness…” (vs. 24, 26-27, 28-29)
And this all comes from refusing to accept the grace, redemption, and forgiveness offered to us through the death and resurrection of Christ – while we were His enemies.
It comes from choosing to go our own way instead of following Christ, as Susan chooses to do with Aslan in The Last Battle. Lewis writes that she’s no longer “a friend of Narnia,” having abandoned it in favor of “nylons and invitations and lipstick.”
Polly, Digory, Peter, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace, and Jill get to experience “the beginning of the real story… Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before,” and Susan is left in her fleeting, worldly pleasures.
The Chronicles of Narnia is only a story, and we mustn’t go too far in comparisons for fear of becoming heretical or blasphemous. Aslan isn’t Jesus, and Narnia isn’t real (or so I’ve been told – I’m still hoping to prove that theory wrong someday).
But it’s a story that is known, in large part, for its Christian themes. A world in rebellion against Christ won’t want Christ figures – even though they’re symbolic.
This article from ScreenRant unintentionally symbolizes where our country is at.
The ending of The Last Battle is unattractive to those who reject Christ because there’s no understanding of what it truly and joyously means for the Pevensies to have gotten into Aslan’s Country. The cross smells like judgment to the world because it hasn’t accepted the grace and mercy the True, Good-But-Not-Safe King offers – still offers.
But like Edmund, anyone who chooses to repent of their selfish desires, knowing the price has been paid, will get to experience the real Aslan’s country – where God Himself will be with us and “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore (Revelation 21:4).”