[Here is a note I sent to the women in our fellowship following an off-handed, but stronger-than-I-needed-to-be comment I made at a women’s event about the series “Twilight”]
I wanted to follow-up on the comment I made about Twilight yesterday at our ladies’ brunch — thatTwilight is evil and we should not read or watch it. First, I’m sorry for being abrupt about it, for not giving an explanation, and for (perhaps) coming across as heavy-handed. My strong reaction is because I deeply care about your spiritual health, and not because this is a “thou shalt not” or in any other way legalistic burden I want to impose on you. But I’m afraid I came across that way. For that I am so sorry.
I’d like to explain in more detail why this series concerns me, for those who are interested. I believe that entertaining, meddling with, and being fascinated by things of the enemy invites bondages and spiritual oppression into your life and the lives of those around you. I love you very much, and I don’t want that to happen to any of you.
It does not matter that the vampires in these books don’t fit the classic vampire mold. The characters’ intentions, heart, faith, and how people respond to the series are irrelevant, as are the intentions and heart of those who read/see this series. There is something far more insidious and misleading going on here. This isn’t an issue that the Lord takes lightly or considers harmless entertainment.
The vampires in these books live by drinking blood from other creatures. The Bible prohibits this, because the life of every creature is in its blood — blood is life (Lev. 17:14). So vampires live forever by taking life from (or causing death in) others. In this, they are counterfeits of Jesus — vampires take blood to attain eternal life; Jesus gave His blood to give us eternal life. The underlying premise of these leading characters is a perversion of the holy communion offered to us by Jesus — Jesus instructs us that “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54). In contrast, the focus in this series is on characters who secure eternal life by drinking other people’s blood. This is all demonic at its core!
The fact that the main character wrestles with this tortured existence is irrelevant. The novels throw readers into a world surrounded by the counterfeit to — and the antithesis of — everything Jesus. It glamorizes a character – and way of life – that promotes eternal life attained not through Jesus but through death: you become one with a demonic being (a being not of God and not of humanity) to attain eternal life. Indeed, here is a classic definition of a vampire from Eastern European folklore: “a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaled or burned.”
These books also center around a tension-filled romance — if Bella becomes one with Edward, she will lose her soul (something she seriously contemplates doing). In other words, the novel romanticizes a relationship that will lead to perdition. It (literally) glorifies the union of a human with a demonic being. It’s a diabolical perversion of our union with Christ as His bride. The great romance set forth for us in the Bible describes two lovers separated by the ravages of an enemy, and the ultimate sacrifice the one pays to be reunited with the other. In contrast, Twilight romanticizes a false and counterfeit spiritual intimacy: a story of love leading to death, rather than the story of love leading to life that we have in the Bible. Twilight promotes and glorifies the union of light and darkness, the yoking of life and death — something God in his mercy admonishes us to avoid (2 Cor 6:14-18).
Some say this book is harmless, that it promotes Christian values, and that it does not promote anything wicked at all. But Satan does not usually look repulsive, horrific, and evil on the outside. Remember – he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14) and he was the most beautiful of all angels before he was expelled from heaven. The only way all of mankind can be so consistently and repeatedly lured into temptation and sin is precisely because it doesn’t look, feel, or seem evil at all — on its face.
Moreover, we know from scripture that Jesus doesn’t like or even tolerate the enemy promoting Him, identifying His truths, or advocating His values. He even silenced demon-possessed people who proclaimed Him as the Messiah: Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ. (Lk 4:41) Jesus doesn’t need, nor can He be, glorified through evil.
My concern comes down to this: What are followers of Jesus exposing their minds, hearts, and souls to when they entertain this kind of media in their lives? Is it not the very enemy of Christ? I believe that entertaining and participating in these kinds of activities leaves us spiritually vulnerable. It also leaves us open to the enemy’s attacks. We need to be careful about what we put in our minds and hearts, and we need to be carful not to set up stumbling blocks for other believers’ faith (Rom 14:13). Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8)
Instead of focusing on vampires, the dead, etc., my heart is that all people would focus on God, His love for us, and His daily guidance and workings in our lives. I wish that were far more fascinating to people than anything this series could say. While I respect that we all have a choice in what we will indulge in, I’m mindful of something the Bible says in situations like these: everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. (1 Cor. 10:23) I don’t want any of us caught up in stuff that’s going to hurt us or our relationship with the Lord.
Heather recently noted in a message that C.S. Lewis said that every decision we make is full of spiritual consequence: it either makes us more holy or more hellish. But no actions are neutral. If that’s true, then which one does Twilight make people more like? In the same vein, great Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias summed up the series in two words: “It’s evil.”
Make no mistake: Twilight is a perfect example of how the enemy twists, perverts, and ridicules the things of God. This is his m.o. This is how he works.
Here are some verses on these topics for those who would like them:
On what God thinks about things like this: No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Cor. 10:20-24)
On Christ: How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Heb 9:14)
On Satan: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Pet 5:8)