Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5: 20
The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, “no eye will see me.”
I had just finished speaking to a group of college women, when Lindsey approached me with tears in her eyes. Grabbing my arms, she emphatically stated, “Warn your families about the dark dangers of Twilight!” She had just come off of an addiction to the Twilight saga, reading them even as she drove her car, and through many sleepless nights. For a year, the series had consumed her thoughts, her imaginations and her energy. The Twilight series had become a dangerous force in Lindsey’s life, not because she wanted to become a vampire, but because through the powerful medium of storytelling, dangerous ideals and messages had gone straight to her heart and captivated her.
Twilight is about a spiritually dysfunctional romance between a teenage girl, Bella, and a handsome 108 year old, but frozen at 17 “vampire”, named Edward.
What exactly is a vampire and can we honestly consider it fine to imagine a relationship with one?
For centuries, vampires have been part of myths understood to be dark creatures of gruesome horror, close to the dead and they subsist by feeding on human blood, as enemies of the human race. One secular reviewer described the Twilight series as “a dark romance that seeps into the soul.” Rooted in paganism, some readers rationalize a “Christianish” twist to Twilight. Stephenie Meyers, a Mormon housewife, supposedly received the story by way of a dream in which a supernaturally beautiful and sparkly vampire came to her. When she awoke she was deeply in love with this being that “virtually moved into her head, creating conversations for months that she typed out until Twilight was written.”
Millions of girls and women, like Lindsey, after reading the series, are being drawn to fantasize about falling in love with a vampire who desires and pursues them passionately. What is it that draws these readers so powerfully? Could it be that in our culture where many homes run regularly without the presence of a loving father, Edwards fills a deep need in a girl’s heart to be cherished, protected, desired and provided for? Could it be that Twilight offers a quick and easy substitute for a burning desire in their young hearts they don’t believe can be fulfilled in the real world?
Satan is the antithesis of God but he comes to us in disguise – often as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) Nowhere is this more apparent today than in the twisted symbolism of good and evil in current literature. Modern stories, like Twilight, pervert the true, original myth. Until recently, stories in all languages have largely followed the one true story line: the fall- redemption and restoration of man. Deep in our hearts, we desire to see the good guy win and the dragon slain or at least redeemed. A new, yet ancient force is producing a radical shift in the nature of the modern story, with no clear depiction by which children can gain an awareness and comprehension of good and evil. Could we be neglecting symbolism to our peril? When children do not recognize evil, they are far more likely to be seduced by it. Kids need to know that evil exists, and that a good God is greater, and that HIS story will prevail. Knowing the truth grows confidence, courage and hope in the hearts and minds of youth.
In the Twilight series, a traditional prototype of evil is converted into a morally neutral and desired one. Vampires are no longer the “un-dead”, no longer possessed by demons. There are “good” vampires and “bad” vampires and because the good vampire is incredibly handsome and possesses all the other qualities of an adolescent girl’s fantasy, everything is forgivable.
Why are girls of all ages so passionately and obsessively in love with Edward the vampire in Twilight? Perhaps it is because he is refreshingly different from the young men they see today. He is chivalrous, self- sacrificing and sensitive. He lures with a promise of protection and love while promoting a morbidly, unhealthy emotional dependency: Bella has a desperate need to remain at the mercy of Edward, the one she worships.
As parents we must be vigilant to provide our kids with good literature to read. Books like Twilight lure the young reader into a fantasy world with power to capture their hearts; their hearts will be molded by whatever has their hearts, whatever they worship. Parents need to encourage literature that cultivates a desire for what is true and good while clearly depicting the nature of evil. People don’t leap from embracing good to embracing evil in one giant step; it’s a series of small incremental steps.
That which dominates our imaginations and thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“Beware of what you brood in the secret, for the fateful opportunity will come when God and the devil will meet in your soul, and you will do according to your brooding, swept beyond all your control. This is as sure as God is God….beware of saying ‘oh well, it doesn’t matter much what I think about in secret.’ It does, for the opportunity will come when what you think about in secret will find expression and spirit out in an act.”
The quotable Oswald Chambers by David McCasland.
- In a special report on The Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity reported, “there’s actually a vampire subculture that exists in the United States right now and spreads into almost every community in this country,” some feeling the need to feed on blood to maintain their well being.
- On July 9th, ABC.com ran an article with the following: “The allure of the “Twilight” appears to have spawned a troubling trend: Teen couples are biting one another to show affection, sometimes biting so hard they draw blood. ‘Biting is challenging because one of the things we know about sexuality and biting and vampires is that it’s passion, it’s all-encompassing, it’s wanting to consume someone else,’ New York City sexologist Logan Levkoff told Good Morning America.”
- Drinking blood is closely connected to the occult and it is declared despicable by God. In Leviticus 19:26, God connected the occult with ingesting blood 3200 years before the vampire genre was invented. Scripture teaches, “in the blood is the life (Deut. 12:23) and in the shedding of blood is the remission of sins.” Pagan cultures attempt to salvage eternal damnation by ceremonies, one of which is the sucking of human blood which is believed to sustain eternal life.
- Bella eventually marries Edward, has a child, and becomes a god-like vampire. Rising above her despised humanity, she is now a goddess who glories in her own beauty and infallibility. (Strong links to basic Mormon doctrine)
- Twilight sends a message that there is a way to have eternal life apart from a relationship with God through Jesus; that we don’t have to deal with our sin, nor are we in need of a Savior.
- Twilight is spiritually and emotionally dangerous.