Monday, November 16, 2009

Twilight Not My Type

Twilight Not My Type
By Brenda Black

This may open up a whole can of worms, but when I was recently asked by a wise Christian woman for my opinion on the Twilight series, I had to be honest.

Here's how I replied:

I have not read, nor do I intend to read the series or see the movies. I draw a bold line in the sand when it comes to obvious conflicts with holiness. So vampires, blood diets, immortal beings, erotic conversation between an "old soul" and a teen, etc. run a lot contrary to my tastes and convictions.

That said, many of the reviews I've read present a justification of sorts from the line-walking Christian community. They seem to have discovered enough abstinence and noble character attributes in the main subjects to accommodate their obsession with the series.

My take on that -- you can find whatever you are looking for in any book or movie and weave your own brand of morality out of it. Does that mean Christian youth should be reading these works of fiction? I would not recommend them. There are too many Scriptural and edifying works of literature without the holiness holes in them to be offered as viable alternatives. Is it fair to keep a child out of the social loop? Definitely. I've never seen the need to be worldly wise or to encourage my children to run with the masses. I prefer living in this world as an alien and shining some light in dark places. We can be in the world but not of the world. Feeling the pressure to be with the in-crowd and read a series of fantasy books is a non-issue for me.

I think the greatest conviction for us as adult women professing faith in Jesus Christ may come from the fact that younger women are looking to us for guidance and or validation for their choices. One reviewer on the Twilight series brought the importance of that aspect in for a landing.

"As a 15-year-old, reading those books was a strange experience for me. I didn’t think they were too bad or morally lacking until I heard my old high-school chaplain (a thirty-something woman, I think. Never dared to ask) praise them. And then something inside me clicked, because it struck me as wrong that a Godly woman would find this series good."

And there you have it. After absorbing dozens of pop culture opinions on the topic, I had my justification for following the book of Ephesians rather than the book of Twilight - this 15 year old's conflict.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

"But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -- such a man is an idolater -- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:

"'Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.'

"Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is." (Ephesians 5:1-17)

Here is one website that had extensive discussion on the topic and presented several viewpoints worth considering. It is from this discourse that I found the young girl's quote.

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