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Home » Entertainment (movies - tv - books - concerts), Hot Topics, Music, Media, & Entertainment, Tools 4 Building Your Faith, Twilight-Unveiled

Twilight’s Blood-Soaked Romance

Submitted by on March 24, 2009 – 7:00 pm31 Comments

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Cross Post fromBrio Online
Twilight’s Blood-Soaked Romance
by Melanie M. Cogdill

In the dappled sunlight in the clearing of a meadow on the edge of a forest, 16-year-old Bella Swan’s heart races as GQ-model-handsome Edward Cullen draws near to her. Edward, in love with Bella, musters every ounce of self-control not to kill her. Killing’s his first instinct—because he’s a vampire. This scene, a vivid dream of author Stephenie Meyer, sparked her imagination to write Twilight, the first book of a bestselling young-adult series.

The Phenomenon

From that original dream, Stephenie, a 30-something housewife and mom of three young boys, has birthed a four-novel series that has sent teen girls and women of every age swooning over the star-crossed love story of Bella and Edward. In fact, a movie based on the series, starring Kristen Stewart (Into the Wild) as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson (two of the “Harry Potter” movies) as Edward Cullen, opens Nov. 21.

The series has certainly appealed to a wide audience, but just because everyone’s reading it, should you? Despite the series’ surface appeal as a romance, it communicates many messages that are contrary to the Christian faith, and that’s not something you should be filling your mind with.

Truth and Relationships

God created us as relational beings, and girls in particular are created to be relational (Genesis 2-3). We tend to focus on relationships, but sometimes we make an idol out of them or fantasize over our desire for a relationship with that “perfect” guy. No guy can ever live up to the way Stephenie portrays Edward. He’s the fantasy creation of a woman writer.

Bella’s obsession with Edward is wrong. She’s even willing to become a vampire herself so she can “live” forever with Edward. But how can a human ever be yoked to or be in a serious relationship with a vampire? And what’s dangerous about Stephenie’s series is that the reader, too, enters into Bella’s obsession with Edward.

If we believe in God and believe the Bible guides how we live our lives, then we know our highest priority is our love for God and our relationship with Him. God should be the driving force of our lives and not a guy, no matter how attentive, respectful, cool and loving he appears to be. The “Twilight” books don’t communicate God’s truth about relationships.

The “Twilight” series also teaches unbiblical attitudes toward authority. Bella doesn’t respect her parents. She loves them, but they come across as clueless and out of touch with what’s going on in her life. Edward sneaks into Bella’s room every night to sleep next to her, and Bella lies to her dad about it.

Talking About God

Every part of culture (books, movies, music, art and fashion) communicates the belief of the writer, musician, designer or director. The “Twilight” series is no different. It conveys specific beliefs about God. Statements about God and salvation are peppered throughout the story in a subtle way. But are they biblical?

Good and evil in Twilight.

Edward and his family are supposedly a different kind of vampire. The Cullens think killing humans is wrong. Even though they thirst for human blood, they abstain and instead hunt bears and large game for their blood. Stephenie’s story communicates that even though Edward is technically an evil being—he is, after all, a vampire—he tries to be good by not killing humans for food. But can an evil being ever be “good”? If he repents and reforms his ways—Beauty and the Beast, anyone?—yes, but the vampires in this series do not. They remain vampires.

Good and evil in the Bible.

The Bible teaches the opposite of what “Twilight” does about goodness and salvation. Human beings are sinners. We cannot know God apart from faith in Christ’s death on the cross for our sins. Romans 3:22-24 states, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Many people believe that when they die, God will allow them into heaven because they tried to live a good life and do good deeds. That is basically what the vampires of this series do; they believe that by doing “good” deeds (e.g., not killing humans), they can be saved.

But the Bible clearly teaches no one can be redeemed by good deeds. It’s only through faith in Christ that we can enter heaven and into the presence of the God. Yes, the “Twilight” story is only fiction. It’s not the Bible, but Christian readers need to be on guard to discern if spiritual statements in books, films or music match the truth of God’s Word.

An Entry to the Occult

The final book in the series, Breaking Dawn, makes a hard turn from romance into horror and the occult. Bella and Edward get married and have sex.

In one extended, very disturbing scene, Bella dies and is transformed into a vampire. She gives birth to a half-human, half-vampire baby, which tears its way out of her belly with torrents of blood.

What Do You Believe?

It’s easy to think it’s no big deal to see the latest hip movie or read the books everyone else is reading and not pay attention to what those media are saying.

We’re to love God with every fiber of our beings, and that includes loving Him with our minds (Matthew 22:36-38). We need to think about what fills our minds. Does it reflect biblical truth? The “Twilight” series does not. Just because the culture loves these books does not mean you should. As Scripture tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

This article appeared in Brio magazine in December 2008. Copyright © 2008 Melanie M. Cogdill. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

31 Comments »

  • admin says:

    Thanks for sharing Erin :)

  • Erin says:

    What makes me mad about the books is that bella feels like nothing without edward and basically she acts as if its the only reason to be alive.(this is also what bugs me about the play romeo and juliet) but i also agree with your points so thanks for the article!

  • His Precious Gift says:

    My precious sister,
    Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. “James 1:19-20”

    Anger is an emotion. The problem with anger is not anger itself, but anger that remains unresolved, and that leads to bitterness and unforgiveness.
    It is important for us to continually walk in the love of God in order to avoid becoming offended. Satan will try to do everything in his power to get us to step outside the love of God. As Christians we hurt when we see or hear people making comments towards our Savior, since our minds have been renewed and we are a new creation. But one thing we should always remember is that people are watching everything we do and by being an example and always trying to show the love of Christ; as challenging as it may seem, we make a quality decision to not become angry, when we do this, we return to the peace of God and remain in a position of power. The choice is yours!
    I thank you for your question and I will be praying for God to give you wisdom for every decision you make. God Bless you today and always. Lots of love, His Precious Gift.

  • Made In His Image says:

    Hey, I can see how the dad and anger thing can be confusing. But by dad i meant God. Is it okay to get abgry when people say rubbish about him?

  • Hi Made In His Image. Thank you for writing into our site. We really appreciate your comment and we are always happy to answer your question.

    I want to first tell you that I have never watched or read any of the Twilight Series. I will not indulge in Twilight discussion with you because of the fact that I know nothing of it. What I do know is that God wants us to protect our mind, heart and soul. Proverbs 4:23 says Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. He does not want us to allow anything of the enemy to filter into our being. That means that we should be mindful about what we allow to enter into us. We have to be careful what we read, careful what we watch and careful who we surround ourselves with. The bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. That is three things that God has placed inside of us; Power, Love and a Sound Mind. Another translation says; Power, Love and Self- Discipline.

    Because you are saved, the Holy Spirit dwells within you and He gives you these three things daily. It is up to you to use them and use them wisely. You have that “Power” to say no to books and movies that you know are not of God. You have that “Love” to express your decision to not want to participate in certain things that you know are not of God. And you have that “Self Discipline” or that “Sound Mind” to just say no to the enemy when he presents himself, in whatever form, to you.

    It’s okay to be addicted to reading. I also love to read, yet I know what I should read and what I should not read. There are a lot of Christian fiction series out there that are intriguing to the mind as well as your soul. These books will also leave you wanting to read more, because they are written to feed you spiritually and to encourage you to stay focused on God.

    The enemy uses tactics to allure, compel, seduce, intrigue and cause you to become addicted to him and his ways. He will use methods that he knows you are already intrigued by. If it is books, then he will get you hooked on to books that are written glorifying his ways.

    Did you notice that after you read all four books within a week, you were then having desires to find a boyfriend like the fictional character that you were reading about? So, by you reading those books, the enemy was able to intrigue you enough to want what is fictional. But God is TRUTH! Always remember that!

    Romans 8:9, 12; But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.) So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.

    From what you have said in your comment, you know what these books and movies can do to you. God has made you aware of that! You also said that you feel sad for young girls that don’t understand what these books and movies are doing to them. This means that God has given you a burden for these young girls your age. He has allowed you to read this Twilight series and to get a taste of what His daughters are experiencing. He has shown you your addiction and now He has given you a burden for His daughters that have the same addiction. God has brought you through so now it’s time for you to help others.
    Now what do you do with this burden that has been placed in you?

    Pray, pray and pray some more!!!

    1Thessalonians 5:17 says; keep on praying. Devote some of your time to praying for young girls like yourself that may be caught up in books and movies like this. Ask God to show you what He wants you to pray for and be diligent in what He tells you. It’s time for you to hop back on that cloud 9 that you were on when you first got saved and you heard from God. He told you not to read the Harry Potter series. He spoke to your spirit for a reason back then, and He wants to speak to you again. So be still and listen to the voice of our Heavenly Father and let Him guide you through this.

    1 Thessalonians 5:18; No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

    You mentioned your dad and being angry, but I didn’t get what you were talking about. The bible says in
    James 1:12, 19-20; God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.

    Ephesians 4:31-32 says Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

    I hope that these scriptures will help you with your anger situation.

    Here are a few Christian fiction books and book series that I think you may find intriguing:

    Melody Carlson’s Carter House Girls series
    melodycarlson.com/teens.shtml
    Redeeming Love and A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers http://www.francinerivers.com
    Frank Peretti has numerous books on Christian fiction novels http://www.frankperetti.com

    These are just a few that are out there for your reading pleasure and to stimulate your mind and keep you focused on God.

    I want you to also read this article that was written by one of the counselors of our site:
    http://www.weusedtobeyou.com/2009/04/14/purity-in-media-part-two/

    Remember to keep God in the forefront of your mind always….
    Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

    Be blessed,
    Precious in His Sight

  • Made In His Image says:

    I started reading Twilight when I was in Mumbai and was getting bored, a friend gave it to me. And I actually finished reading it in exactly 12 hours! I didn’t sleep all night because I was reading.
    And you can obviously tell, I was hooked. And I finished reading the other 3 with a week too! Horrible!

    And once I was done with all the books, the Edawrd Cullen Fever started. I wanted so bad to have a boyfriend who would be like him. I would not have minded Edward himself. And after Breaking Dawn I wanted more and since I knew what the original story was, I turned to fanfiction. Which pushed me in even deep into my addiction. I am still having trouble to stop reading. Luckly, it has nothing to do with Twilight Series. (Now I read unpublished fiction)

    I love reading books, It’ll would be honest if I say I got addicted to them. Which is bad. I have know God for 4 years now and I remember Him asking me to stop reading Harry Poter and I did just that. It seemed really easy because it was in the first year of my walk with him and I was on cloud 9. Honestly. But when I came back down giving up books seems difficult. I find it easy to let go of people but it feels like the books are stuck to me.

    And since I am going through this “addiction” I know what these books and movies can do. It’s just sad to see others not understand that! These beautiful young people don’t have the hope and strength I do and we are all in our late teens. And reading the response really gets my blood boiling. And talking about my dad, who did and is still doing so much for me, is just….ugh!!!

    Is it wrong it be angry? Even if I don’t let it out? And what should I do about my addiction?

  • We are so glad that you received revelation from the article. It was a crosspost from Brio Online written by Melanie M. Cogdill.
    You are doing the right thing sister by watching what you consume through your eyes and ears. If we put garbage in we will mostly certainly put garbage out. One of our counselors, Beloved by Him, wrote a two part series on purity in media. You should take a few minutes and read them.

    http://www.weusedtobeyou.com/2009/04/13/purity-in-media-part-one/

    As far your sister goes I believe that you need to pray for the Lord to remove the blinder on her eyes. Ask for the Truth of His Word and His will for her life to be revealed to her. Your prayers will never be in vain. In fact the Word says that the prayers of a righteous man or woman are powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

    Sometimes people will say that we are judging them when out of love for them we are speaking the truth of God’s Word into their lives. If nobody tells them of their sin or tries to help open their eyes then they may stay lost. We are called to be watchmen for one another. If we see another believer overcome by some sin, we are to gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. However, if they do not want to listen then that is between them and God. (Ezekiel 2 & 3, Galatians 6:1)

    Don’t hound your sister about these things. If she comes to you about these issues or others that do not line up with the Truth of the God’s Word, then stand your ground and speak the truth in love. Trust me, God’s Word never returns void it will fulfill everything He wants it to. Be patient and long suffering with your sister. You live a holy and pure life and that will be the best testimony you could give her.

    We are here to help you with whatever you’d like to share. Feel free to leave as many comments or questions as you’d like. We are here to serve all of you ladies because of the love that Christ has put on our hearts for you.

    Sincerely,

    Trophy of Grace

  • Ilove Ur website!!! says:

    Thank you soooo much for wrtng this article!!People in my school are so obsessed with this bok its disgusting!This one girl even opend one of her wounds and ut her bloood on the book so nobody would stael it!I read this book loke 2 years agoand i loved it.But then my aunt came and told me how books like this can lead to cults and stuff and people can become overly obsessed with it(which they have!)and i literally threw it in our trash.My sister doesnt see the point in how books like this can chang e u and i keep on telling her and i even brought her over to read the article but she still thinks that”im a good person and reading things like this wont do anything to me”.On top of tat she listins to not very clean music sometimes and every time tell her she starts turnig on me and saying that i shouldnt judge her.I dont want her to become like everybody else in our school,doing stuff with boys and letting them touch her hand and shoulders and stuff(sorry this s off topic)but i dont know what i should do,and i need someone to talk to about this and other stuff.

  • admin says:

    Your welcome sister. We are glad that the article ministered to you. May the Lord give you wisdom and courage as you seek to serve Him and commit every area in your life to Him. Be filled with His Holy Spirit and the power of His love.

    Blessings to you sister in Christ Jesus name!

  • jesusloverofmysoul says:

    I would like to thank the authors of this article and the leaders who have commented, i have found it most useful. I have not read the books on principle, however during a school lesson i was forced to watch part of the film ( supposedly a ‘chill’ lesson as we had had an exam…)At the start i seemed like a harmless romom type and i could feel myself being drawn into the storybline and almost wanting to watch more or even to read the books. I’d had some Christian friends read it and have seen some signs of them not being obsessive but very big fans. Anyway i was tempted to read the books or continue watching but having read this article i have decided not to. So thank you. I have realised that i need to apply this approach of Godliness to other books or films that I watch or read.
    Many Thanks May God Bless

    Jesusloverofmysoul

  • Beloved by Him says:

    Dear Sister,

    There are certainly more inappropriate books out there then the Twilight series, just as there are movies with different ratings because of the amount of their graphic content. However, the end can’t justify the means here. Galatians 6:7 explains what happens when we choose to compromise—even a little—instead of sticking to those things that honor God. It says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” (NLT) Not sometimes; not if you think you’re spiritually strong; not if you didn’t think it was a big deal, but ALWAYS.

    If we became obsessed, engrossed, or addicted to sin from the first time we did it, we would probably see the warning signs much sooner and be convicted to stop. But that’s not how the enemy works. Temptation and corruption are a process. “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15, NLT) Our desire to compromise doesn’t come from God. There is no darkness or shadow in Him. (James 1:17). It comes from our flesh, in which there is no good thing (Rom. 7:18). We need to have disgust for those things which are of the world, and a delight for those things that are good, uplifiting, holy, and pure (Ps. 101:3, Phil. 4:8).

    We can never take for granted or assume that we are above temptation. Our flesh, even though it was crucified with Christ Jesus on the cross, is still at war with our spirits as long as we are on this earth, and the bible says that we are slaves to whom we present ourselves to obey (Rom. 6:16). Just as pride comes before a fall, practicing compromise means weakening our spirits and setting ourselves up to fail (Prov. 16:17-18).

    It didn’t take moments to read those books, but hours. That’s a lot of seeds planted. Galatians 5:9 says that “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” How much useless, false junk will we allow into our minds before we realize that we’ve been corrupted? It’s not worth it. Let’s be wise in how we spend our time, and make ourselves stronger, not weaker.

    “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.” Prov. 15:14 (NLT)

    “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” Phil. 3:8 (NLT)

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