Unformatted text preview: Ravi schwartz Mrs. Reed Honors Literature 26, April 2016 The Great Christianity Clive Staples Lewis was one of the most well known and revered english authors from the past century and possibly all time. He is famous for many works and primarily wrote allegories of christianity, such as the space trilogy and
The Chronicles of Narnia.
C.S. Lewis would become a staple for christianity in England during World war two and give his
Mere Christianity speech which he would eventually release in book form. Like Lewis’s work
, HIs fantasy story
The Great Divorce are critical examinations of the spiritual side of life from a christian perspective. Both
The Great Divorce
share a heavy emphasis on the a person need for repentance and how pride is able to spiritually handicapped people. Starting with the
, the while hinted throughout the book, the issue of pride is specifical addressed in the 8th chapter titled “The Great Sin”. Starting this chapter Lewis states “I now come to that part of Christian morals where they differ most sharply from all other morals. There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else' and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves. I have heard people admit that they are bad tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards. I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.”. He is, of course, talking about the evil which plagues us that is pride. By nature pride is the inverse of what christians should be striving for. Pride is a feeling of deep pleasure derived from one's own achievements.Proverbs 16:5, along with most of chapter 16,says “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”. Jesus himself the Son of God is considered one of, if not thee, most humble person in history, and christians are meant to follow the standard set by Him. That Lewis notices that christians are the only people he has seen dealing properly with the issue of pride shows something of the christian religion, but more importantly to this paper, the importance for the proper handling of pride.
talks about pride as it pertains to importance the of spiritual warfare and the struggle of christians on earth. While
The Great Divorce
considers it as how it affects a person's ability to find their eternal home. In
The Great Divorce Pride is seen as the underlying sin that can be found in all the sins a person commits, and is the main reason for people being unable to enter heaven. One of the best examples of Pride ruining a person's ability to recognise the need for repentance and making it into heaven is in the fourth chapter of
The Great Divorce.
“Look at me,now, I gone straight all my life. I don’t say I was a religious man and I don’t say I had no faults, far from it. But I done my best all my life, see? I done my best by everyone, that’s the sort of chap I was. I never asked for anything that wasn’t mine by rights.That's the sort I was and I don’t care who knows it.”. This quote comes from the big ghost, a man who did his “best by everybody” while he was on earth. After the reader hears more of his conversation it becomes quite evident that this man holds himself responsible for all the good in his life. When the spirit asks him to simply follow him, he replies with a sharp no and demands that he gets what is his by right. This display of self entitlement is rooted in him over valuing his achievements. Only when it is understood that one can do nothing without God's help can he loose the hold pride has on him. John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” This is not to say that being proud of things you have done, or receiving/giving positive reinforcement is a bad thing. Without these things that increase self respect people fall into the slump of selfpity, which by the way is just another way for pride to control us. If pleasure in being praised was prideful than we would have to consider God himself to be incredibly prideful. In both books Lewis claims that all sins can be traced back to pride, the original sin. this makes sense If we understand sin in a genealogical way. If we consider the original sin to be the ‘Mother Sin’ then all of her children murder, adultery, stealing, lying ,etc would carry a little bit of her within them, similar to the way a child receives genes from it’s mother. This is why like, Lewis points out, christians are the only ones capable of pointing out pride in themselves and understand it to be a negative trait. Yet, if one does not believe that pride is a sin then they will not be self critical of it. They may be critical when they see it in other people, but pointing out pride in other people before yourself is a prideful act in itself. One says look how prideful they are while concluding they themselves must not be nearly as prideful, which in turn makes them more prideful. This positive feedback loop can only be stopped when one stops comparing themselves to one another and compares themselves to Christ. ...
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