I’ve always been intrigued by Mr. Beaver’s comment about Aslan in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe where he responds to Lucy’s question and states “Who said anything about safe. Course he’s not safe. But he’s good. He’s the king I tell you”. Then later in the book “He’s wild you know, not a tame lion”.
I think I’m intrigued by the juxtaposing of not being safe and good as descriptions of the Christ figure Aslan. Too many of us see good as a relative term meaning something is good depending on the situation and the outcome desired. And safe implies something that can be controlled, like a pet on a leash. Aslan was neither relative nor controllable. He’s the King. He always did the good thing even though often it did not appear to be good and often made little sense and, in fact, seemed dangerous and illogical.
Is this how we see God, good but not necessarily safe? God cannot be controlled or put on a leash and His ways often make little sense to mortal man. Who would’ve ever thought that sacrificing His own Son could be good yet we now call the day of Jesus’ crucifixion Good Friday.
What would the world look like if men/women were always good, always did the right thing? Would it be a world that we even recognize, a world we would want to live in?
We live in a time that recoils at the notion of absolutes. We are a people that wallows in relativism. Good for me may not necessarily be good for you and evil to you may not necessarily be evil to me. Why do absolutes scare us? Because we haven’t stopped long enough to consider the logical consequences of not having them or because we know we can’t keep them and, if they are the standard, then we are doomed to failure? Or, who decides what’s absolute and what is not? Perhaps, everything changes over time including man himself so nothing is absolute? What’s wrong with a little white lie that doesn’t really hurt anyone?
We see all about us the evils of relativism from abortion, life doesn’t start at conception, marriage between one consenting male and female, personhood where pets are just “as human” as people. Things like rights, truth, security, family, life/death drastically change when absolutes are discarded and relativism is the new norm. Do absolutes matter? History proves that they do if we’d just stop long enough to consider it and see the carnage relativism has caused in places like Nazi Germany, Cambodia, now Iraq, Iran, Syria….I fear our world’s epitaph may some day read, to paraphrase an old 60’s song, “Relativism, what is it good far, absolutely nothing”.