Counterfeit Religion

G.S. Muse
6 min readJan 30, 2024

In the final book in the Narnia Series, The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis, a major part of the plot revolves around an Ape who dresses a donkey in an old lion’s skin. The (talking) ape tells the (talking) donkey to be silent as he parades the donkey to the people, saying that the donkey is actually Aslan.

An original image that I created in DAZ Studio of an Ape Priest

Aslan, in Narnia, is the great Lion who created the world of Narnia and the heavens above. Aslan also gives his life in place of one of the human characters in an earlier book and then rises again, conquering death. This is intended as an illustration of what Jesus Christ did for sinful humans.

So here we have a talking Ape, dressed in priestly robes, telling the humans and other rational creatures of Narnia, that he is in fact a man, and the priest of Aslan the great Lion. Yet the “Aslan” he presents is a donkey in a lion’s skin.

The entire setup is very much in line with C.S. Lewis’s very British humor and his brilliant ability to illustrate very complex ideas as very simple scenes.

The reader is left asking how anyone could be so stupid as to confuse a donkey in a lion’s skin and an Ape in ill-fitting robes as Aslan and a genuine human priest.

Yet in our world, men who are obviously frauds chastise anyone who questions their status as a prophet.

This is in stark contrast to The Apostle Paul, who commended the Bereans for testing his writings against the already established writings of the Bible. In other words, they used their minds and sound logic to reason through questions about spiritual things.

How many men have claimed to be a prophet, pope, priest, or pastor or have claimed to speak for God, without any evidence? And how many people have blindly followed obvious charlatans?

There are plenty of men, even in our world, who present their own donkeys in lion skins. Sadly, blind faith has been sold as a virtue.

This does not mean that there are no true men of God, but more on that soon.

Tash and Aslan

The Ape begins making deals with the Calormenes, a nation of human men in the world of Narnia, who originally came from our world many thousands of years before.

Some of the animals question these deals, pointing out that the Calormenes serve the blood-god Tash, a being that calls for human sacrifice, while the talking animals of Narnia serve Aslan who sacrificed his own life for a human.

The Ape responds that Tash and Aslan are actually one and the same. He claims that both the Narnians and the Men of Calormen both really serve the same God, it’s just a matter of different words.

The animals are shocked by this. How the blood-god Tash could be the same as Aslan, the one who gave his own blood to save his people, could be one and the same is beyond comprehension. One of the characters says that this news made all of reality suddenly dark, worse than if the Sun rose one morning only to be a black sun.

Clearly, no honest person can look at the God of the Bible and then look at the gods of the many world religions, and honestly say that we all serve the same God. The God of the Bible is a God of love and a God of justice. Rather than asking for the blood of human sacrifice, He sent His own Son to die in our place. We humans deserved the punishment that Christ took for us.

Abandoning Religion

Later in the book, the whole situation is revealed as a fraud. Two humans explained that they were sent to Narnia by Aslan, but before they could finish explaining, they were dismissed as charlatans.

Because this donkey was a false Aslan, and the Ape a false priest, then it means that there is no authentic Aslan.

The heroes in the story try to point out the fallacy, and the fact that all of Narnia’s history testifies to the real Aslan. Yet they are dismissed by a handful of characters.

This is clearly stupid, yet this is the standard argument that atheists make against “religion.” i.e. because there are men who present fraudulent religion, it means that there is no God.

As I pointed out in a previous article: Essentially, we have an argument that says: According to unnamed studies, many people who identify as Christians behave poorly, therefore there is no God, the fact of the Resurrection is falsified, and the universe came into existence from nothing and ordered itself with the illusion of design and purpose.

A Brief Case for Faith

There are people who believe that faith is just wishful happy thinking like something from a Hallmark card. They believe that faith is counter to reason.

Whatever “faith” this is, it has nothing to do with the Christian Faith.

The Bible argues that because of the evidence which can be plainly observed in Creation, men are without excuse to deny God’s existence and His moral law (Roman’s 1).

As someone with a career in the life sciences, the more I study living things, the more I am convinced that they were designed by a very powerful Creator.

Amazing Flagellum : Michael Behe and the Revolution of Intelligent Design

In terms of Christ, the Resurrection is the most historically attested event of antiquity. Scholars who are Atheists have a very hard time explaining the evidence away.

The Christian Faith is objectively attested by the facts that can be objectively observed from the natural world, and the evidence of the history of the Resurrection, along with numerous other lines of evidence.

LEE STROBEL — The Case for Christ

Sadly, we live in a world where counterfeit religion comes in many forms. This can be false gods, false priests, and false religions, along with actors who pretend to be men of God.

But counterfeit gods do not prove that the real God does not exist.

Objectivism Book Study (Week 28) — Happiness — For The New Christian Intellectual

Even in ancient times, the prophets of Israel condemned these diabolical blood gods as false. If anything, when false gods are exposed, it should build confidence in the rest of their message rather than cast doubt on the God of The Bible.

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G.S. Muse

G.S. Muse, also known as GreenSlugg on YouTube or simply as “Greg” is a lab technician, youtuber, author, and blogger. His work can be found at GSMuse.com