Kennedy,Huxley,Lewis…Nov 22 1963

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words… (Proverbs 1:20-21)

I believe that God speaks to us in current events and in the workings of history , that is if we have ears to hear. The challenge is to try to interpret just what it is that God is saying in the twists and turns of daily events.

Because of the assassination of President Kennedy, November 22, 1963 is a day in history that has gone down as one of those “I know exactly where I was and what I was doing and thinking ” days, like 9-11 is to this generation. Television transmitted the nightmare instantly to hundreds of millions , and cast a surreal shadow over America and the world.

But the events of the day overshadowed the deaths of both CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley. All three died within hours of each other. What is it that God’s Wisdom is crying out about in this strange confluence of events?

These three, Kennedy, Huxley and Lewis were the embodiment of different ideals of the times they lived in. Their influence helped shape their own and following generations.

Kennedy was a symbol of the post World War 2 America, he was a cold warrior, and an ardent anti-communist. His inauguration was the passing of he torch to the new generation and he represented American confidence. His rhetoric was brimming with hope, the future, and sacrifice for the better good. He was young, handsome, and appeared (by carefully crafted imagery) virile and healthy.

CS Lewis, was a British man of letters, an Oxford Don, and a veteran of the horrors of World War One . He had been an atheist until sometime after the war, when he was “Dragged kicking and screaming into faith”, as “the most reluctant convert ever”.

But he would by his regular BBC broadcasts through World War 2, lucidly and confidently give a besieged and battered people a reason for the christian hope he had within him.

His lectures on air would eventually be published as books, such as Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, The Abolition of Man, and Surprised by Joy.These are considered classics of apologetics.

Lewis’s children’s novels have also become classics, such as his Chronicles of Narnia series enjoyed by millions. The Christian subtext of Narnia and his Space Trilogy as well as the non fictions books Lewis wrote have convinced millions of the claims of the christian faith.

On that same November day ,Aldous Huxley died. Huxley also represents an aspect of his times. He was the grandson of the Zoologist,Thomas Huxley, friend and contemporary of Charles Darwin, known as “Darwin’s bulldog”, for his famous debates over clergymen who objected to Darwin’s theories.

Aldous Huxley was a man of letters also, his most famous book being Brave New World, a novel about the future of society, in which the masses are controlled by a technocratic elite, using pleasurable Pavlovian conditioning to manipulate them.

Huxley was also an acquaintance of British occultist Aleister Crowley who introduced him to the psychedelic drug peyote as far back as the 1930’s.

As a philosopher, Huxley became a vocal advocate for various new forms of consciousness, including Vedanta Hinduism, and the use of psychedelic drugs.

In 1954 He published an influential study of consciousness altering drugs, which he called THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION,.(Jim Morrison named his rock band,THE DOORS having been influenced by Huxley’s ideas).Huxley was one of the leading philosophical proponents of the use of LSD in the fifties and sixties.

Each of these three were summoned to judgment on the same day in 1963. the christian apologist , the president of the world’s most powerful nation, and the atheistic advocate of hinduism and drug use.

Could it be that the Lord called them home on the same day to speak to a generation (baby Boomers) as a contrast ? Could it be that each of them who impacted their generation and the one that followed so profoundly, were called to judgment, that we might consider our own paths?

Huxley represents the dismal end of what seemed so promising in the days of his grandfather Thomas. All society need do is dismiss the church and the Bible , and to follow Darwin, into a bright shiny future of (godless) enlightenment.

What would become of the BRAVE NEW (godless) WORLD , crafted by the west after listening to Darwin and Huxley’s grandfather ? Would the west find some new meaning now that science had finally supplanted the christian God?

Perhaps Huxley’s end was the answer to the question, for Huxley’s last request as he lay dying on November 22, 1963, was for two more doses of LSD!

Very little about Kennedy’s carefully crafted image proved to be true. Contrary to the image, Kennedy wasn’t healthy at all , in fact he took daily cocktails of drugs just to function without pain.

The “Camelot” Image of the wholesome young family man, in love with his beautiful wife, was only made possible because a fawning press covered over his penchant for adultery.

When it became politically untenable he cut ties with Frank Sinatra so as not to be (rightly) perceived as being too comfy with people connected to Mafioso.

The generation that came into adulthood would come to be disillusioned by ‘the crafted Image’ in general, after Kennedy’s death. Pessimism would replace the unbounded confidence in Government, and in America as a force for good.

Unfortunately Kennedy’s hidden sexual morality would come to be openly embraced by a whole generation of young cynics, shortly after his death. But since most people aren’t ‘Kennedy’s’ the consequences of such actions cannot easily be swept under the rug.

Out of the “sexual revolution” that would soon sweep away ‘traditional’ American Judeo Christian virtues, would come the bitter harvests of illegitimacy, poverty, the breakdown of the family and society, that we see today.

How many of these disaffected young people, having long lost their faith through the “Scientific Atheism” of Thomas Huxley, or had tried to fill the vacuum in their lives by Aldous Huxley’s promotion of Drug use, or Eastern Mysticism, have picked up a copy of Mere Christianity at some point in their life, and found a reason again to believe in God, and in Jesus Christ His Son?

I wonder how many who had embraced the godless hedonism embodied by Kennedy, and instead of play acting as he did, just dropped all pretense and “Did their thing”, until it ruined them morally,spiritually and even physically?

But I know for a fact that time and again this has happened , that people like this have been given, perhaps a copy of THE ABOLITION OF MAN, or MERE CHRISTIANITY By CS Lewis and they found the understanding they needed to find their way back to God and sanity .

I think God let these three die on the same day for us to consider these things. What kind of legacy would you want to leave?

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10 Responses to Kennedy,Huxley,Lewis…Nov 22 1963

  1. Elizabeth Walker says:

    Pastor Bill, not sure everyone (especially here in the UK) would agree with the description of C S Lewis. It is well known over here that he did have some very odd ideas about Christian doctrine, this link may be of some help:

  2. Marie says:

    All three of those men seem to be a good example of how, whether in the realm of science, politics, or religion, we must never put our trust in ‘man’, nor his ideas/philosophies/interpretations.
    “Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
    While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
    Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
    His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
    Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
    Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.”

  3. Mark Soper says:

    Bill, Peter Kreeft wrote a book on this same topic in 1982: It’s an excellent expansion of the questions your column raises.

  4. Karen says:

    Sorry Bill, we do not consider C.S. Lewis to be a born again Christian according to Biblical doctrines. There is too much mysticism/occult imagery in his writings.

    • billrandles says:

      Thanks Karen,I have heard this from more than one source, and am poring over some submitted articles. That is what this blog bis all about- we all have things to learn- thanks for caring enough to say something

  5. Karen says:

    No problem Pastor Bill. Please know it wasn’t meant to be a personal attack on you, for I respect your blog, your writings, and best of all, the ministry that God, the Holy Spirit, is leading and calling you to do. I have learned much from this ministry.

    With that said, in coming out of a church where Gnosticism is embraced above the truth of God’s Word, many of the practices/experiences, the ‘visions and dreams’ accompanied by ‘dream interpretations, the ‘visiting heaven experiences and seeing ‘jesus’, the charismatic practices of birthing, being drunk in the spirit, barking, laughing uncontrollably, twitching, etc., led me into researching the occult and its influence within the church. I was indoctrinated by the pastor/church leadership into believing these were manifestations from the holy spirit and was hungry for more and more of these extra-Biblical revelations and experiences on a personal level.

    C.S. Lewis’ name was referenced as one of the leading subliminal leaders in promoting mysticism and the occult through a veneer of false Christianity. I like to compare it to our more modern day assumption of former President Bush being labeled a Christian according to our church’s standards; 1) He labels himself as a Christian 2) He attended Bible study while President 3) He attended prayer meeting and promoted the National Day of Prayer 4)He attended church on a regular basis 5) He is a Republican, and as I have been told by the leadership within our church, “Republicans are more like Jesus than the Democrats,” and he was a member of the Skull and Bones (an occult organization) while attending college, and has never publicly renounced his affiliation.

    And yet, I heard with my own ears Mr. Bush saying, and I quote, “I believe muslims and Christians worship the same god.” President Bush was also the first president in U.S. history to celebrate Ramadan in the U.S. capital buildings. He also is a supporter of homosexual unions here in our country and his wife is a supporter of abortion, and so the list goes on.

    Pastor Dean Good has made some bold statements, one being, ‘as goes the church, so goes the rest of the culture.’ I am inclined to believe this quote more and more, as other religions as well as the occult are working within our churches. And congregations are accepting of these practices for being a Berean requires focusing our faith on the Scriptures for truth instead of man’s penned writings and vocal teachings.

  6. Eliza says:

    Dear Pastor Bill,
    It is interesting that another commentator recommended a book by Peter Kreeft who credits C. S. Lewis with leading him out of the Dutch Reformed Church into Catholicism. Kreeft has another book, Ecumenical Jihad, where he promotes the false teaching that a person can be saved and go to heaven without conscious faith in Jesus Christ. This is something that C. S. Lewis also taught and believed as revealed in the book Mere Christianity.

    “Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him.” (page 64, Mere Christianity) “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain other points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position.” (page 209, Mere Christianity);

    So perhaps a better analogy would be that President Kennedy led this nation into greater sexual immorality, Huxley led this nation into more pervasive unbelief, and Lewis led this country into greater ecumenism and apostasy. These three are in hell awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment where they will be cast into the lake with burns with fire and brimstone.

    But perhaps in reality it is the fact that the vast majority of those who inhabit the church are enamored with the teachings of men rather than devoted to the Word of God that has brought about this great debacle in our country. If the church were filled with men and women enlightened with the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, then there wouldn’t be the deception that is woven into the warp and woof of the visible church leading so many down the broad way that ends in destruction.

    I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for others who have informed you of the truth and your sincere response. May Christ encourage us through His great love and power to remain ever faithful to Him. Amen!

  7. Maureen Leigh says:

    I have just read the parts of Mere Christianity referred to.. I am astonished that CSLewis is called a Christian of any kind. Thanks for that, Eliza. God bless you and may He lead you further into all truth.

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