A warning concerning Stephenie Myer's best-seller: Twilight
Seven reasons to shun this vampire tale
Berit Kjos - November 2008
If my goal was to undermine Christianity, incite rebellion against parents, eradicate Biblical values, and spread moral chaos, I would urge teens to read the Twilight series. I would prompt them to immerse their minds and emotions in the dark, emotional whirlpool of sensual occultism. And I wouldn't warn them of the consequences.
Of course, my real goal is the opposite: to expose this assault on Biblical faith and to equip potential readers with information that enables them to resist the temptation to join the collective journey into the mind-changing realm of the occult. The following points show the raging spiritual war that's sure to intensify in the years ahead.
1. VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES are rooted in pagan cultures around the world. The various historical expressions of these mythical creature were dreaded, blood-thirsty manifestations of evil spirits. Linked to darkness, they were viewed as supernatural creatures of the night. Today's more familiar forms were shaped through folklore, fairy tales, and memorable villains such as Count Dracula. Both were re-imagined in more humanized forms through the Harry Potter books and Anne Rice's popular Vampire Chronicles.
But they're not benign. Bella's passionate love for the mysteriously handsome Edward may be fiction, but the obsession felt by teenage readers who "resonate" with Bella is very real! Young super-fans (Twilighters) identify with her plight, sense her fears, and "feel" her passion. They love the story because it arouses strong, unforgettable emotions -- the kind of enchanting thrills that can best be shared within the peer group, not with parents.
In the process, they also learn to crave the mystical, paranormal stimuli that belong in the forbidden realm God calls evil. Knowing well our human inclinations, He warns us to shun all forms of real or imagined occultism:
"...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret."Ephesians 5:11-12
"For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?... Therefore 'Come out from among them and be separate,' says the Lord." 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
2. Fantasy and imagination can transform beliefs and values more quickly than reality. Many of our readers defend their love for occult entertainment with this standard justification: "I know the difference between reality and fantasy." But it doesn't matter! Know it or not, persuasive fiction and virtual experience can change minds and plant lasting memories more effectively than actual experience!
Popular fantasies, with their boundless thrills and unforgettable images, bypass logical thinking. Their subtle suggestions face little conscious resistance. Designed to stir feelings and produce strong emotional responses, they create new realities in today's "open" minds! As Harvard Professor Chris Dede, a global leader in the development of education technology programs, wrote, "Sensory immersion helps learners grasp reality through illusion."
But what kind of "reality" will "learners" find through illusion? And how do those illusions shape their lives? These Scriptures give us a clue:
"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:6
"...they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart..." Jeremiah 11:8
"Jesus said, 'You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28
"Do not be deceived. ...he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Galatians 6:7-8
3. God tells us to "abhor what is evil" and "cling to what is good." (Romans 12:9) When today's youth love the emotional thrills of popular occultism, they are desensitizing their hearts and minds to its evil. They are turning God's truth upside down. And they -- with a little help from the marketing industry -- are already turning America's values upside down. It all fits the plans of our globalist leaders and that old serpent in Genesis.
"You can only have a new society," wrote Marilyn Ferguson in The Aquarian Conspiracy, "if you change the education of the younger generation." That process demands that people reject God's wise boundaries and "abhor" what He calls good. That change is well under way!
"You love evil more than good...." Psalm 52:3
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21
4. Twilight's feel-good occultism brings "cognitive dissonance." Committed Christians (in contrast to cultural Christians) face a form of mental and moral confusion when confronted with incompatible values. Since Twilight's worldview clashes with Biblical Truth, readers are forced to make a choice: Will they heed home-taught values or the tantalizing message in the books and movie?
Many choose compromise. This moral "dissonance" prompts Christians to modify their values in order to resolve the conflict. After all, they don't want to lose their friends or their group's approval. Yet the only way to God's victory is willingness to take a stand on Truth -- whatever the cost.
"...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you, be watchful in all things..."" 2 Timothy 4:2-5
5. The consequence of compromise is a new belief system. "These books are so addictive -- kind of like drugs," wrote a visitor. "If they can captivate Christians who should know better, just think what they can do to non-Christian readers."
She is right. Like addicts, Twilighters learn to crave more and more of the same genre -- or something even more shocking and sensational. The only belief system I know of that can support such sensual and spiritual cravings is today's "New Spirituality" rising out of the channeled messages of occult authors like Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson and Barbara Marx Hubbard. Promoting counterfeit gods and practices in the names of "Abraham," "God" and a false "Jesus," they complement the original lies of the serpent.
Driven by winds of change, the faith and values behind America's success are fading fast. Filling the vacuum is an amoral, power-seeking, thrill-addicted ideology that clashes with everything we have treasured in our nation. No wonder we face social and moral anarchy. But our God still reigns! He continues to be a refuge for those who seek Him!
"... in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.... And from such people turn away!
"...all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned..." 2 Timothy 3:1-14
6. Redefining evil. Few Twilighters see their new passion as evil. After all, Edward is a relatively "good" vampire, isn't he? Though he lusts for Bella's blood, he restrains his craving. Other vampires (and some of the werewolves) in the saga are downright murderous, but he's a good guy! Isn't he? Besides, the story has spawned a noble mission.
According to an article titled "Twilight fan knows it's not just vampires who need blood," college freshman, Kayla Urban, is "obsessed with vampires." She is also a blood donor "fixated on a blood drive" in her county. To her, the blend of "vampire-loving Twilighters and the need for more blood donations seemed a logical match." Hers is a noble mission, as are many collective service projects these days. It all depends on who sets the standards for right and wrong -- God or man! While God's standard is like an anchor in a storm, man's values shift with the winds. For--
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
Since the beginning, human nature sought alternatives to God and His guidelines. Spiritual deception gave rise to vast occult belief systems and unceasing manipulation by the forces of darkness. Thus pagan sacrifices -- a devastating corruption of God's perfect plan for His people -- became the norm in all parts of the inhabited world. These notes may help explain God's ban on "fellowship with... darkness...[and] idols," including blood-thirsty vampires.
When the blood is drained from man or mammal, life ends. In the Old Testament sacrifice (now replaced by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), an unblemished lamb died in the place of God's people. Its substitutionary death served as atonement (paid the penalty for sin), bringing redemption. For a limited time, sin had been purged, forgiveness granted, and the sanctified person could joyfully return to God's holy presence.
In contrast, pagan rituals often involved human sacrifices. The demonic forces behind Moloch, Baal and other "gods" would demand human blood. A beating heart might be cut out from a living sacrifice, its blood drained into a bowl offered to the blood-thirsty "god" by those who hoped for future favors. Others would drink human blood to obtain the strength of their victims. (See Modern Missions) The gruesome Hindu goddess Kali -- with her serpent hair, necklace of skulls, and long bloody tongue -- reminds us of man's timeless delight in death, cruelty, serpentine symbols, and the dark forces of evil.
The cold, pale, blood-thirsty vampires of the past were expressions of those captivating forces. Today's more flattering models make them all the more seductive.
Human sacrifice is forbidden in the Bible. In fact, God warned His people repeatedly, "do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life." But His people didn't listen. So when they began to copy the cruel child sacrifices of their pagan neighbors, God "raised up" the armies of Babylon to conquer the land and exile its people. (See Blood and Judgment)
The self-giving death of Jesus Christ (God's holy, "unblemished Lamb") differs radically from those pagan sacrifices. He willingly gave His life as our atonement then rose victoriously from death -- thus trading the old temporary solution to human depravity for an eternal redemption. Freed from sin, believers are joined to Him by His Spirit -- a glorious gift granted to those who love, trust and follow Him!
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life... that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life...." Deuteronomy 30:19-20
7. God's way to peace and victory. When we choose to follow His ways, He gives us a heart to love Him, spiritual eyes that can know and love His Word, the comfort of His presence, and a confidence in His constant care -- no matter what happens around us. Twilight's deceptive thrills are worse than worthless when compared to the wonderful riches our Shepherd promises those who will turn their backs to evil and walk with Him.
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—think on these things." Philippians 4:6-8
1. "The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest" at www.fanforum.com/f14/twilight-2-forbidden-fruit-tastes-sweetest-62826868/
2. "The author receives the message" at www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight.html
3. Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB122722557296045953-lMyQjAxMDI4MjI3MTIyMjE1Wj.html
4. Chris Dede, "The Transformation of Distance Education to Distributed Learning. While this and other papers by Professor Chris Dede focus on education technology, it emphasizes the value of sensory immersion into synthetic environments as a tool to mold minds by instilling a programmed perception of "reality." http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwitr/docs/distlearn/index.html
5. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (New York: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.,1980): 280.
6. For example, "Transforming the World by Subverting the Church" at www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/conspiracy3.htm and "Why hate crimes laws would ban Biblical Christianity" at www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/hate-crimes.htm
9. "Come out from them and be separate" at www.crossroad.to/HisWord/verses/topics/separate.htm
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