Liam Neeson Explains Aslan
You know, it’s always funny how celebrities try their best to placate everyone. In the process, they often wind up either intentionally or unintentionally offending Christians. What does that matter though? Christians are namby-pambies, who sit around praying all the time. If someone spits on us, we just say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?“
In their efforts to be multi-cultural, they wind up being as general as possible. Take Liam Neeson for example. It was reported that Neeson has his own thoughts about Narnia’s main character, Aslan, the lion who is not a tame lion by any stretch. The Narnia series, written by C. S. Lewis is near and dear to many people’s hearts, considering the fact that Lewis spent a good portion of his life as an atheist, only to convert to Christianity later in life.
Neeson is quoted as saying, “Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.
‘That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me‘.” 
On one hand, I am glad that he indicated that this is what he thinks Aslan means for him. On the other hand, he – like most celebrities – should simply keep their mouths closed unless they are verbalizing words from a script.
In truth, who really asked Neeson what Aslan means to him and why did he think people would want to know? More importantly, there is nothing like taking something that is understood to represent one thing, and deciding that it is fine to make it represent something else entirely. In this case, the idea that Aslan can represent not only Jesus, but Buddha, and especially someone as illiterate, violent, and paganistic as Muhammad is appalling.
Again though, who asked Neeson? He was hired to be the voice of Aslan, not pontificate on the Narnia series. In fact, when I first heard that Neeson had been signed to be the voice of Aslan, I was (and remain) extremely disappointed. He makes Aslan sound like a dottering old fool, as opposed to someone who is powerful, majestic, and kingly. When the lion roars in the movies, that certainly sounds realistic enough, but then again, Neeson is not providing that aspect of Aslan’s voice.
This whole thing though reminds me of what people do to the Bible all the time. They take something that obviously represents one thing, and they make outlandish statements like “This is what that verse means to me.” The response to that is “Who cares what that verse or any verse means to you. The idea here is to determine what it means to God when He first chose to have one of the roughly 40 authors of the Bible write it down.”
Too many people come to the Bible determining to read into it, to find meaning that speaks to them. What we need to be doing all the time is attempting to determine God’s meaning, because after all, it is HIS Word. We are merely privileged to read it and receive blessing from it, if properly understood.
When God wrote the Bible over a period of approximately 1,600 years, He did so with His purpose in mind. He did not write the Bible so people could sit around and ask, “What does that text say to you?“ We do not get to say in response, “Well, this is what it is saying to me,” while someone else says, “That’s wonderful and here is what it says to me!“
After each person has had their turn, they all look at one another in that self-aggrandizing manner and believe that they have become one with each other because of their ability to flexibly understand God’s Word to have numerous meanings. The Bible then, is supposedly a spiritual chameleon, changing its spots for the person and situation. That’s the magic of the Bible! No, in truth, the Bible says one thing or it says nothing.
People like Liam Neeson say what they say because they are more interested in making sure that everyone likes them. They want to be seen as the “multi-cultural man,” the person who is all things to all people (except Christians of course). The more liberal they are, the merrier. No one is offended because any religion other than Christianity essentially teaches the same thing. Since Islam is more of an ideology than religion, it doesn’t count. However, to hedge your bets, it is certainly best to be sure to include a very positive reference to Muhammad. This way, even though the person – Liam Neeson – is not Islamic, he will not be seen as someone who stands opposed to Islam. If he is not seen as someone opposed to Islam, then he does not have to worry about losing his head if/when Islam gains such momentum around the globe that it will become the only game in town.
I grew tired of hearing from celebrities years ago. They all make the same egotistical comments that are merely designed to spark applause from the masses. This then feeds their egos and they are then quite certain that everyone believes them to be very humble. They pay lip service to what they believe will create unity, but the reality is that what they are truly interested in making themselves appear to be something they are not; gods.
Recently, I heard Richard Dreyfus make clarify his comments about wanting to impeach George W. Bush because he thought Bush was such a horrible president. The truth of the matter is that we very likely have a worse president than Jimmy Carter in office now, but I did not hear him say anything against President Obama and if anyone should be impeached, there are a plethora of reasons why Obama should be.
Celebrities have to constantly worry about their fan base. If that begins to erode, so does their career. Above all things, that cannot happen. So, like politicians, they play the crowd, constantly garnering precious “votes” so that they can remain in “office” which to them of course, is to remain a box office draw.
The celebrities I appreciate (not necessarily admire), are the ones who never say “boo” outside of their acting jobs. You don’t know what they think about anything and I’m impressed with that. Too many of them use their status as a bully pulpit and when they open their mouths and start spouting off about this issue or that, it is almost always exactly what some liberal talking head states. Rarely are there celebrities who are conservative or, heaven forbid, authentic Christian. They simply don’t last in that business. In fact, can anyone give me a good reason why an authentic Christian would want to remain in that business?
It would be one thing if all your acting jobs were G-rated and never questionable, but simply family fare. How does that happen? Most celebrities cannot be so picky and if they were, they would not work that often simply because there are not that many projects that have a family atmosphere built into them.
I recall one celebrity who had a press conference and announced how frustrated she was that Hollywood makes it difficult for her to receive acting jobs because of her politics. She is a conservative Christian who is actually opposed to things like abortion. Who would have thought that in Hollywood, people like that can actually make a living acting? She is doing so…for now.
No, I think it’s important for celebrities to shut up. Zip it. Make sure they do not say anything unscripted. Hey, if it’s good enough for our current president (who, it is claimed, uses a teleprompter in his own staff meetings), then celebrities ought to take a hint. Most of them cannot speak without a script anyway, so they should probably stop trying. When they do, they mess up, and then an army of PR people comes into clean up and straighten things out. That’s the same thing our president does too (“What President Obama meant was…”).
People who erroneously believe that though Aslan was a character created by C. S. Lewis to represent Jesus Christ, they are free to re-envision Aslan as Buddha or Muhammad have no right to do that. This is because the character has already been fully defined by the creator, in this case, Lewis. Deciding that Aslan means something else to someone else because that’s how they see it is, once again, nothing but pure egotism on display.
This is the same mistake that people who misinterpret Scripture make when they believe that the Bible was written specifically for them, regardless of context, culture, or anything else. While the Bible was written for us – all of us – it has one meaning, or it has no meaning.
No one would pick up Shakespeare and try to determine what Bill’s words mean to them. When William Shakespeare wrote his plays, he had a purpose in mind and that purpose is built into the text and supported by the context. Shakespeare is not like some abstract painting where the meaning us up for grabs, no more than a painting of a horse in a field means anything other than a horse in the field.
Regardless of what you may think of the Narnia series, the character of Aslan does not have multiple meanings, based on your culture, your ethnicity, or your religious training. In the same way, the Bible does not have multiple meanings either.
Let’s let God be God and when approaching His Word, determine what it means from His perspective, not ours. When you hear someone prattle on about how parts of the Bible have numerous meanings, tell them straight up, that it does not. Don’t be afraid to tell them that the Bible says one thing, or it says nothing. What’s the worst that can happen? Will they spit on you? Will they smack you? Will they pull your hair or your beard? If so, you are in great company because it was done to Jesus first.
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