Stealing Past Those Watchful Dragons
Dan DeWitt recently wrote a compelling article for Christianity Today entitled, Why C.S. Lewis Didn’t Write for Christianity Today. DeWitt describes how, after writing specifically for Christian audiences, Lewis switched gears later in his career and intentionally began writing for secular audiences. Why? Lewis describes his shift:
“Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to…But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons?”
In an era when door-knocking and overt evangelism were the norm, Lewis was ahead of his time. In a letter to Dr. Carl Henry, Lewis said, “If I am now good for anything it is for catching the reader unawares—thro’ fiction and symbol”.
His intent was not to be deceitful or dishonest in any way. Rather, it was to share the gospel with people who would not otherwise be open to it.
If we are serious about spreading the Good News, we need to be prepared to have a creative approach. Most of us will not write as prolifically as C.S. Lewis, but we can let our light shine in our own unique ways. How?
Connect with people who do not know Jesus. How many people outside of your church do you spend time with on a regular basis? If not many, or any at all, it is time to venture out of the Christian bubble you are living in. Like Jesus, we need to spend time with non-believers.
Develop relationships with no strings attached. We need to get over the idea of building friendships with the expectation of conversion. The unchurched already have a cynical outlook toward Jesus followers. True friendships have a spirit of camaraderie and mutual trust.
Let God do the converting. Sure, we can initiate spiritual conversation when the time is right, but we should not push the “come to Jesus” talks. Our actions and attitudes will speak much more loudly than what we say. We need show humility by letting the Holy Spirit work.
What are some ways you can “steal past those watchful dragons”?
Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories
The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy, 1950 – 1963