Should Christians Read Twilight?

I remember when Harry Potter first came on the scene.  You can almost always tell if a book series is worldly because it usually becomes a craze.  Whenever something becomes extremely popular in our society, the probability of it not being something a believer should partake in is likely.

Harry Potter was especially a craze a few years back.  One of my children at the time was in third grade and his teacher wanted a Harry Potter book to be assigned to the class.  I told the teacher my child wasn’t allowed to read that series.  Unlike most people he challenged me, which to be perfectly honest, I welcomed. 

We had a discussion where I shared my viewpoints and he shared his.  In the end he said the rest of the class would read it and my son would get a different book.  I was fine with that. 

However, a few days later I learned from my son that he ended up chucking the whole thing and assigned a completely different book to the entire class.  I was grateful.

I don’t say this to judge other Christians who have read Harry Potter.  We all have to make personal choices that we feel is best.  I happen to be very guarded about what comes into my mind and heart and I do my best to guard my children as well.

So that leads us to the next craze, the Twilight series.  The book series contains vampires, occult practices and some questionable moral activity.  Now others would argue that there are Christian themes that run throughout the book.  This is definitely a great way to justify the reading of the series, isn’t it?  

You know the Scripture about watching out for the wolves that are in sheep’s clothing?  It is a warning to believers that some things will appear to be innocent on the outside, but within it’s nothing but danger. 

The truth is that whatever we feed our minds with is going to influence us to one degree or another.  It’s the same thing with movies that we watch and the music we listen to.  Should Christians read the Twilight series?  Here is something my pastor’s wife taught me that I think can be applied to many things in life.

We had a discussion about some particular music that my son was listening to.  She compared music to food.  Some food that you eat is very good for you.  It makes you healthier.  Some food doesn’t really do either.  It’s just neutral stuff you consume and it really doesn’t affect you one way or another.  But then there is food that is very unhealthy and can make you sick.

So we are back to the question as to whether or not Christians should read Twilight.  I guess it comes down to what you choose to feed your mind with.  Some believers may think that for them it’s okay.  They may say that maybe for others it could influence them the wrong way but that they are spiritually stronger and won’t be affected. 

Consider fruit and vegetables.  Is it only good for some people and bad for others?  No, it’s good for everyone.  Or think about potato chips.  Are they good for some and bad for others?  No, they are bad for everyone. 

It’s just something to think about as you ponder reading the Twilight series

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  1. TwilightNewsSite said:

    Stephanie, I appreciate your article. Being careful about what we allow to enter our minds is a serious concern (as what we allow in may well be stuck there for eternity). Yet you don’t appear to have read the series, and seem to assume that it is obviously filled with depictions of evil, or that it encourages evil, the occult, etc. It doesn’t, and the series in fact is one of the most outright religious entertainments available in popular culture that I have ever seen. Many seem to misunderstand the Twilight series. Speaking from a academic/literary perspective, Twilight is a God-and-man allegory showing Bella — an unreliable narrator, with an unpolished narrative style — who reaches a heavenly state through commitment, love, and sacrifice. In Twilight, the good, “vegetarian” vampires are actually symbols of angels — they glow in an unearthly way, they are immortal, they save humans, etc. Edward Cullen is specifically said to be Bella’s guardian angel, watching over and protecting her from evil, including the evil thoughts of others which he is privy to. Bella’s supernatural encounter with these kind immortals inspires her to seek the divine within herself, and it is her Christ-like love that helps her to succeed. The good “vampire” Cullen family each have different religious beliefs, and varying levels of faith (a much discussed problem in the series), yet they are all very concerned for the welfare of their souls. Not to point out the obvious, but this is not a typical concern of most popular fiction. Although at first Edward and Bella have their doubts, what motivates the couple to live a chaste and Christ-like life is their love and concern for the other’s immortal soul, to keep each other spotless from sin, to help save each other inasmuch as they are able. This is a remarkably upright and hopeful outlook in today’s society. A key driver of the drama throughout the series is that Bella, like many people, fails to see herself very clearly (as Edward points out often) until the very, very end of Breaking Dawn, the triumphant, last book in the series. This underscores the purpose for the first-person narration (of Bella and Jacob): so the readers (female and male) can see that while we may not fully recognize the goodness within ourselves, yet we should allow the hope that we and those we love may partake of the Divine to inspire us to live a kinder and more loving, Christ-like life. You will notice many references to the problems of lying in the series, suggesting that Bella is “lying” — or at least incorrect — in how she sees things (like herself). The surprising thing, at least to me, is that so many readers believe her wholeheartedly. And it concerns me when a cultural milestone like this awakes such positive reactions among millions of people (over 100 million copies sold) in our popular culture, yet is so widely misunderstood by its critics, and is criticized not on what it actually offers, but on what they mistakenly imagine it does. For many more examples, feel free to visit TwilightNewsSite.com and have a look at the Meaning area, or listen to a recent podcast. There is more to Twilight than meets the eye — which is the Sunday School teacher/author’s main point — for Bella, for the series, and for each of her careful readers who she rewards in remarkably profound ways.

    July 25, 2010
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