Girls Gone Wise Ad
SignUp

Shedding Some Light on Twilight

| June 30, 2010

The highly anticipated third film in the wildly popular Twilight series opens today. Twilight was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2005. The novel was also the biggest selling book of 2008. To date, it has sold almost 20 million copies worldwide, spent over 91 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and been translated into 37 different languages. The first two movies—Twilight and New Moon—took in a sensational $1.1 billion at the box office. In 2009 and 2010, the movies topped the teen choice awards, and swept virtually all the categories at the MTV Movie Awards.  Twilight has become the hottest love story of our time. It’s a teen rage, and a significant cultural phenomenon.

The question that I always ask, when I see something so grip the hearts and minds of women, is “Why?”.  And it was this question that was foremost in my mind when I finally sat down a couple weeks ago to watch and analyze the first two movies.

Personally, I could barely stomach the prolonged furtive glances, pained expressions, and shallow, banal dialogue that passed between Edward and Bella. But setting that aside, I think I understand the story’s attraction to young teen girls.

To begin, the saga portrays “traditional” roles for male and female at a time when it is highly counter-cultural to do so. Bella isn’t a male-kicking, karate-chopping, independent, domineering heroine.  She’s gentle, soft, and vulnerable. Her character flies in the face of the tough-girl image that’s portrayed by most contemporary movies.  I think young girls intuitively know that the prevalent portrayal of women as tough doesn’t match who they are. The average teen senses that she’s not wired that way. She longs to be the princess in a traditional fairy tale romance. She wants to be a woman. And she wants a man to be a man.

A young woman intuitively yearns for someone who will pursue her, protect her, and cherish her beauty and vulnerability. She yearns for a man to love her at a deep personal and emotional level—and not just a physical, sexual one. Regardless of culture’s attempts at egalitarian brainwashing, the man of her dreams is still a strong, handsome prince charming who fights for her, and rescues her. He loves her, commits to her, and selflessly sets aside personal interest for the sake of her best interest.

Edward fits the bill.

It’s not surprising that young girls are falling for him. But sadly, their enthusiasm for being the leading lady in a heart-gripping romance lacks discernment. The movie grips them at such a deep emotional level that they shrug off the glaring warnings that indicate that this particular relationship is unhealthy. It’s a counterfeit version of a fairy-tale romance. It looks good and attractive on the surface, but the underlying darkness in Edward will most certainly lead to disaster for Bella. It may go well for a time, but in the end, it will kill her. She’s playing with fire, and she’s going to get burned.

Danger Signs

If Bella were my daughter, several alarm bells would be going off in my head about her relationship with Edward. I would not approve. Regardless of how “in love” she felt, I would argue that this romance was not good for her, and would not end well. It would ultimately be bad and not good for her soul. There are some very clear danger signs in their relationship that I would flag:

1. Bad Boy Attraction

Edward has a dark side. A very dark side. Twilight author, Stephenie Meyer, has stated that the apple on the cover represents the forbidden fruit from the Book of Genesis. It symbolizes Bella and Edward’s love, which is forbidden, similar to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, as implied by the quote from Genesis 2:17 at the beginning of the book. The apple also represents Bella’s knowledge of what good and evil are, and the choice that she must make. She must decide if she’s going to indulge in a relationship with Edward–the “forbidden fruit”—or to stay away from him. There’s something about the “forbidden fruit” of a relationship with a bad boy that attracts young women. I would warn my daughter that this attraction is deceptive, and very, very dangerous.

2. Shared Dark Secrets

A second sign of a bad relationship is when a young woman feels she must keep something about her relationship or love interest hidden and secret—especially from her parents. A shared dark secret forms a bond that is unhealthy. It puts up a barrier to prevent the loving scrutiny and helpful input of family and friends. It prevents people from offering outside objective feedback. Darkness loves to remain hidden.  If something needs to be hidden, then the relationship is likely bad. I would tell Bella that if she could not be completely open with us about who Edward was, or what the two of them were doing together, then the relationship was probably ungodly and unhealthy and needed to end.

3. “Us” versus “Them” Mentality

An “us versus them” mentality is another warning sign.  Whenever a woman feels that “no one understands” and that she needs to “side” with her boyfriend against family and friends, chances are that the relationship is not a good one. When Bella started dating Edward, she felt that it was the two of them fighting against all odds, and against all the naysayers that wouldn’t approve. The two of them were going to overcome all the obstacles, and prove that they were right, and everyone else was wrong.  This is a danger sign. If you feel like you need to choose sides—to side with a love interest against your family, and hunker down together “us” against “them”—the relationship probably isn’t a healthy one.

4. Isolation and Seclusion

Isolation and seclusion is another mark of an unhealthy relationship. If an unmarried young man and woman spend most their time together alone—apart from family and friends, their relationship isn’t healthy. Healthy relationships are forged in the context of community. If a love interest isolates you from family and friends, and interferes with you building and maintaining other relationships, then that relationship is not good for you. Bella had very few relationships outside of Edward. The two of them became loners that stuck to one another, spent the bulk of their free time together, and didn’t develop healthy community connections.

5. Mismatched Interests and Values

The thing that concerns me the most about the Twilight saga is the underlying message that it’s possible to mix light and dark—good and bad—together.  That’s a concept that’s reflected in the title of the series. “Twilight” is the period of dimness that exists when the light is growing weaker, and the darkness is growing stronger. But the book’s message is that with a bit of effort on everyone’s part, dark and light can be mixed together-a state of twilight can exist forever. And indeed, many young Christian girls think that this is the case. They think that daughters of light can hang out with, hook up with, and even marry sons of darkness.

The problem is that the vampire, Edward, has no soul. He is darkness. He is irredeemable—he can’t change. He will eternally, immortally be a slave of darkness. But Bella is human. She has a soul. Tragically, because of her association with Edward, she is in danger of losing it. They are mismatched. The clear message of the Bible is that light has no business pairing up with darkness. Ultimately, light and darkness cannot coexist.  Darkness and light cannot come together as one.

I would warn Bella against a spiritual mismatch.  I would also warn her against the mismatch in their ages (he’s 110, she’s 17… really???!!!), their education (he’s gone to school for decades, she isn’t even finished high school), their cultural upbringing (He drinks blood, she doesn’t. She eats food, he doesn’t.), and their values (He is a vampire, after all. Even though he’s “nice,” he still engages in vampire-ish and occultist practices—just like “nice” white witches are still involved in witchcraft, and nice cocaine addicts still have an addiction to cocaine.).

A severe mismatch does not lend itself well to a good, lasting marriage. This is particularly the case when the mismatch is one of spiritual darkness versus light.

6. Neediness and Obsession

Bella is needy.  She’s obsessed with Edward. He is all she thinks about. When Edward breaks up with her, she sinks into a deep depression. She feels she can’t live without him. The movie implies that she becomes suicidal. She throws herself off a cliff and tries to drown in order to connect with Edward. She cares about Edward more than she cares about her relationship with God, and more than she cares about her life. She’s entirely willing to forfeit her soul for her need of Edward.

Edward is also needy. He stalks Bella and watches her continually. He even sneaks into her room and watches her while she sleeps. He shows up in her head in visions and speaks to her. (In my opinion, it’s downright creepy.)

I would warn Bella against neediness. I’d tell her that if she feels so desperate for Edward that she can’t live without him, then learning to live without him is the very thing she most needs to do. I would warn her not to rely on men for her sense of self-worth, identity, or happiness. I would tell her that the only one she truly needs is Jesus. And in order to have a healthy marriage, she needs to work on cultivating inner strength and wholeness, based on a personal relationship with Christ.  A needy relationship is bad news. Needy women go through a revolving door of relationships, from one “Edward” to the next. I would want Bella to know that there is no man on the face of this earth that will meet the deep desires of her heart. Only Jesus can do that.

7. Rationalization and Justification

Another sign of a bad relationship is when a woman feels the need to rationalize and justify it. Bella rationalized being in a relationship with a vampire. She reasoned that since he was such a nice vampire, and was trying really hard to behave, and restrained his desire to bite and kill her, that somehow his niceness and self-control and love made their relationship okay.  She rationalized the lies, deceit, and compromise by thinking that it was all for the greater good.  She self-importantly thought that she was helping him. She was the only one who truly understood him and the only one who could give him the love he needed. She was the only one who completely accepted him and saw the good in him. She rationalized things so that she could convince herself that her bad boy wasn’t really all that bad.

But a vampire is a vampire. Bella cannot give a vampire a soul and make him human. No amount of rationalization on her part can justify their relationship or the risk she is exposing herself to. A good relationship doesn’t require rationalization and justification. It is self-evident that it is good.

8. Failure to Seek & Heed Input

Bella doesn’t confide in her parents about the nature of her relationship with Edward. Nor does she seek counsel from any other friends or family. When her father tries to give her some advice, she shrugs it off as inconsequential. She knows better. No one else understands.

If Bella were my daughter, I’d notice these danger signs, and I’d warn her loudly and clearly about falling for a counterfeit version of true romance. I’d worry. I’d pray. I’d ask the Lord to break it up. Because although Edward is cute and seems so nice, he’s undeniably dangerous.

In the real world, the Bellas who fall for the Edwards usually don’t live happily ever after.  In the real world, twilight turns to night. In the real world, far too many parents watch the light in their precious Bellas grow dim, and slowly be engulfed by darkness.

I am perplexed by Christians who uphold Twilight as a desirable model for dating or relationships. I don’t understand why believing mothers fail to discern the good from the bad, and fail to discuss the deception in the Twilight message with their daughters. Bella had an absentee mother. And sadly, that’s the case with many young women today.

Yes, I know, it’s just a movie.  But it’s not an innocuous message. It contains an oh-so-subtle temptation for our daughters to throw caution to the wind and give their hearts away to bad boys–to think that good and bad are relative and don’t really matter–to take the Twilight apple in hand, become enamored with the deceptive promise it holds, and to carelessly indulge.

————————————–

NOTE:  A few people have corrected me on the cliff-diving scene. I was basing my impression on the movie. I haven’t read the book. In the movie, Bella was obviously in a state of depression when she went to the cliff alone, so it appeared to both me and my husband (and my sons too) that she was attempting suicide. (Apparently, the book gives an alternate explanation)  But even if we misinterpreted that movie scene, that doesn’t negate the fact that Bella was needy and obsessive about Edward, and that neediness and obsession are marks of an unhealthy relationship. I came at this blog from the perspective of “If I were Bella’s mom…”

Whether moms allow daughters to watch the movie is a personal decision, but hopefully my points will provide a framework for discussion, so that those who do watch it will do so with discernment.

Tags: , , ,

Comments (189)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. LAF/Beautiful Womanhood » Eclipse: An Ideal Romance? | July 3, 2010
  2. Forbidden Love « Hope Scribbles | September 26, 2010
  3. Weekend {links} | A Poured Out Life | November 13, 2010
  1. Traci says:

    Well, I haven’t nit picked your whole article, but you have some untruths, which actually hurt your case and are just plain wrong. One section stands out in particular.

    In “6. Neediness and Obsession”, you say, “The movie implies that she becomes suicidal. She throws herself off a cliff and tries to drown in order to connect with Edward.”…ummmmm, NO! She sees some native boys cliff diving and thinks it looks like fun. She ends up trying cliff diving…while alone…unaware of an approaching storm that causes the water to be rough and nearly drowns her. You say, “He stalks Bella and watches her continually. He even sneaks into her room and watches her while she sleeps. He shows up in her head in visions and speaks to her. (In my opinion, it’s downright creepy.)” Edward doesn’t actually stalk Bella…he watches her out of love and wanting to keep her safe. She is VERY accident prone. The “visions” aren’t his doing, but her imagination. Were you ever about to do something as a child and you could almost here your Mom saying “No!” or “Stop it!”? That is what was going on in the movie…the “visions” were the way WE the viewers knew what was going on.

    • Mary Kassian says:

      A few people have corrected me on the cliff-diving scene. I was basing my impression on the movie alone, and hadn’t read the book. In the movie, Bella was obviously in a state of depression when she went to the cliff alone, so it appeared to both me and my husband (and my sons too) that she was attempting suicide– But even if we misinterpreted that scene, that doesn’t negate the fact that Bella was needy and obsessive about Edward, and that this is a mark of an unhealthy relationship.

      Whether moms allow daughters to watch the movie is a personal decision, but hopefully my points will provide a framework for discussion, so that those who do watch it will do so with discernment.

      • Traci says:

        Mary, in the movie, Bella was “thrill seeking”…many things proved that (motorcycle, cliff diving, action movies) and she said it. Bella was only cliff diving. She jumped and then when she came up she was grinning and happy until the big wave smacked her. She was working to surface again when she saw a “bad vampire” and smacked her head into a cliff, knocking herself out. Someone pulled her out.

        I am not in total disagreement with your article! But lies are also sin.

        It is a personal decision, but in my opinion, when you give an “expert opinion”, you should base it on truth, not lies and your “interpretation” of a scene. Also, I find it strange that you speak against Twilight and still take your family to go see it. Way to stand by your convictions.

        • Lauren says:

          Sorry Traci, but he’s a stalker. Hopefully, you never snuck into your boyfriends room to watch him sleep did you? I’d sure hope you didn’t.

          • Traci says:

            Nope, but I do tiptoe into my bedroom and watch my husband sleep. I also tiptoe into other bedrooms in my house and watch my 8 children sleep. BTW, Edward is FICTIONAL! :::eyeroll:::

        • Valerie says:

          I’m sorry Traci,but I do not agree with you one bit. These movies are bad and creepy period.

        • Katrina says:

          “Also, I find it strange that you speak against Twilight and still take your family to go see it. Way to stand by your convictions.”

          She said, “so that those who do watch it will do so with discernment.”
          Obviously she did this.

        • Rhonda Jones says:

          She’s damned it she does and damned if she doesn’t. If she hadn’t seen the movie, she would be judged for criticizing it without viewing. And if she goes to see the movie in order to speak accurately, she is judged for going to see it. What’s a girl to do! I think you have missed the overall point of her blog. Are you choosing to hunker down on this point as to not deal with the content of the post? I’m just saying!

        • Kendra says:

          Actually she realized that being in danger (motorcycle incident with the strange man and the cliff, and even with Jacob) is what would bring Edward or his visions back. Which means, she was willing to risk her life in order to just see him! That is obsessive and down right scary! So she wasn’t suicidal, just willing to die to see Edward! Your point was not well made.

      • Traci says:

        Mary,
        I am going to call you on something else. In section 5 of your article you state “But the book’s message is that with a bit of effort on everyone’s part, dark and light can be mixed together-a state of twilight can exist forever.”

        BUT, you told me this “I was basing my impression on the movie alone, and hadn’t read the book.”

        AND you told everyone in your note about the cliff diving scene error, this ” I was basing my impression on the movie. I haven’t read the book.”

        • Lauren says:

          I’ve read and watched these books/movies. I’ve recently been thinking through what I do/watch/listen to and why I do/watch/listen to. We can always rationalize sin in our lives because it is pleasurable. We can easily say, “I won’t allow this sin (in a movie) affect my attitude or how I conduct my life.” But I think we as Christians need to ask ourselves, “how is it good for us?” “How does this show/movie/music bring me closer to God?”
          Some of the comments to the author have been pretty harsh – such as calling her a liar. Wow! She’s is giving her opinion about what she saw in order to critique and give some pointers for people who haven’t thought through some of the issues in these books. Comments such as those are harmful and not helpful. Agree or disagree with the position but we don’t need to bash the author. We are all entitled to an opinion. It’s plainly the intent of the author to not “lie” about the book but to inform. Personal opinion: when we don’t hear what we like, we often sling mud (thinking that will cover up any shameful feelings we have).

        • Chrissa says:

          Traci my dear, you are picking at tiny bits of the article and ignoring the big picture here. The overall message Twilight is sending is a very bad one, regardless of a couple misinterpretations of the character’s actions. Is it God, or is it Satan you’re pleasing when you read this? That’s the ultimate question. Can you further your relationship with Jesus when your heart is full of vampires and other demonic things? No. I have never watched or read Twilight, and I never will. I know better than to let that in my life.

          Mary Kassian, I am almost finished reading “Girls Gone Wise” and it is making a huge difference in my life. I was becoming obsessed with being a Proverbs 31 woman, with little success. When I opened your book I realized it was because I’m a Proverbs 7 woman. Because of your very thorough explanations I know exactly what to work on to change. Thank you!

      • Kaochi Her says:

        I totally agree that Bella is too obsessive. Her Obsessiveness was what made me hate the novel and movies. My opinion is that women should not be depicted as weaklings and needy creatures. Twilight is very downgrading to women, especially when you observe the Bella character.

      • Alyce says:

        As someone who did read the books I have to agree with you Mary. While the books do give a different explanation for the cliff diving, they also point, not as clearly as the movie, to suicidal attempts. In the books she is so crushed by Edward’s break up that she finds that the only times she is close to him or can hear his voice is when she is doing something that might cause her death, or serious bodily harm. For those who are nitpicking that you took that out of context, isn’t that just as dangerous?

        To knowingly put yourself in harms way so that you can feel close to/hear the voice of the guy that just broke up with you is just as bad as suicidal thoughts. You are purposefully seeking to put yourself into situations that could kill you, but are praying that it doesn’t. And let’s just be honest for a moment, it is only sheer luck Bella didn’t kill herself in a fool hardy attempt to be with someone that is obviously not good for her.

      • katy says:

        the twilight series is awful. i can’t believe how popular it is. I remember that day over 4 years ago when i first attempted to read the 1st book but stopped after around 40 pages(i was 14 at the time). i then googled it for a good book summary just to see why people liked it. after hours of search, i found an accurate summary. I can remember thinking in my head ,”omfg (sorry for cursing), why is the hell is this crappy book so popular? and why would mothers eagerly read this sexist, and poorly written book with their daughters”

    • Vince says:

      Wow, I find it comical the harsh comments to Mrs. Kassian because she is critical of the Twilight series from a Biblical perspective. On one level that is like bashing someone because they don’t like chocolate or because they prefer steak over hamburgers. Mrs. Kassian has given her opinion, if you don’t agree, lighten up, and respect her opinion! To call her a liar because she missed some nuance of the movie seems out of bounds. It almost sounds like someone’s conscience is being pricked.

      On another level, I have to agree with Mrs. Kassian. Whether you are talking about data going into a computer program or story lines going into your child’s head, garbage in results in garbage coming out of your child. To put it in Biblical terms you become what you dwell on especially if you over dwell on it (Proverbs 23:7).

      To say movies don’t affect the movie-goer flies in the face of reality.

      A few years back there was a movie that showed young people “car surfing”. I would have never believed anyone would actually do what was dramatized in the movie until I started hearing of the deaths from car surfing in real life.

      Another movie inspired stunt was “main lining” where the teenager laid down on the stripped lines in the middle of traffic. A few deaths occurred there too.

      So movies that glorify bad behavior is something that is dangerous to young minds, take this article for what it is: a warning to parents to carefully watch over their children.

      So, whether you accept Mrs. Kassian’s Biblical premise that Twilight is bad or not the other concept she is stressing is to be involved in whatever your child is into to make sure they stay balanced. I wonder how many people are going to protest that concept.

      • Traci says:

        I don’t think saying that she is being untruthful is harsh. Does God not want us to be truthful? Outside of the “nuances”, Mrs. Kassian was also untruthful about reading the book…she said she did, and then said she didn’t. Honesty is a big deal to me…and my POINT was that her article wouldn’t help anyone…those that watch or read Twilight will see the lies and those that don’t will just get a back-pat from the article. How is that helpful???

        I do stay involved in everything my children do. And, no I don’t feel my “conscience is being pricked”.

        As for car surfing, I had a friend killed doing it in the late 80′s. It ain’t pretty! :( But, I am not sure what bad behavior you are talking about in Twilight. For one, vampires aren’t real. But, then again, I see plenty of things in every movie and every tv show and everyday life that I wouldn’t want my children to do…and those, my dear, are called TEACHABLE MOMENTS. :)

        • Kaochi says:

          I would say that the media has a big influence on your children. It totally depends on how you manage your children, and wheather or not they actually care about the things they are taking in.

    • mary says:

      All in all it’s suppose to be entertainment but this is a spiritual warfare and I understand her points IF IT WAS REAL LIFE…her points are good.

  2. Sheryle says:

    Thank you so much, Mary, for your article on these movies! We have not allowed our 14 yr old daughter to see any of them, though many of her friends have. Yes, “christian” friends. I too am perplexed that parents would allow such garbage to corrupt their teens minds. Some may say they can “handle it” and “it’s no big deal”, but they are wrong. There is great influence there.

    I will definitely be showing your article to my daughter and discussing this with her. It helps me so much as a parent to be able to go to such an educated resource (you) who can give me the facts and shed light on the darkness of these movies and other cultural issues. This also helps my daughter be able to make an educated arguement when her friends ask her why she can’t go to the movie. It’s a ripple effect. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you!

    I have your new book and my daughter and I both have been watching your book blog. Love it!

    Thanks again,
    Sheryle :)

  3. Rachel says:

    Mary, thanks you SO much for writing this! It only confirms my feelings about this books series (and the movies). I’m a highschool graduate, daughter of loving and protecting parents, and have chosen not to involve myself with the Twilght books and films. After reading reveiws, listening to my friends rave about it, and hearing how the series was inspired in the first place, I thought it wise to keep a good distance.

    I’ve read other reveiws by Jasmine Bauchum and the Botkin sisters which go along with yours very well. Thank you for speaking out about this issue.

    God bless!!!
    A Girl Gone Wise,
    Rachel

    • Kaochi says:

      I would have to agree on that! I am also a high school graduate, and know exactly how you feel about the whole Twilight thingy. People were going crazy about it and influenced me to read the first novel. I love books, but I have to say that Twilight was not the best. That was how I learned to keep away from it. I am super happy to finally find people who share my opinion. Since the first book, all I’ve been hearing is “OMG Twilight is awesome, Edward is so Hot!!” Yeah right. :P

  4. Susan says:

    As a parent of a teen girl, I understand how this movie/book series and other teen entertainment causes teen relationships to go into hiding. The hid from family and their closest friends who disagree with the relationship.

    I encourage parents to take an active role in knowing your teen. Even in disagreement they still need to know parents are God’s earthly protector of the precious gifts of children He has given them. Too often parents close their eyes to teen entertainment thinking we were there once upon a time and survived without too much harm. The world is a different place now, my mom kept a closer eye on me and visited my room while I slept to check on me and pray for me. Parents forget it is our privilege to sneak around and protect our children far better than any other human or movie character on this earth.

    We will be held accountable for how we parent our children now, tomorrow and in eternity.

    Tough love isn’t easy, but it lasts the longest. Our children need lifelong love and protection from their parents. If you don’t give it, someone else will. It’s our choice. Parents step up, step out, take the risk, your children will love you for it.

  5. Cate says:

    This article is the exact reason why young girls rebel from the church. Mary, how bout you go analyze the actual BOOKS of this series not the Hollywood adaptations. Instead of teaching girls to shelter their minds from the world, expose them to the world and teach them the differences between fantasy and reality. Reality is girls do not need men, but that doesn’t keep them from the desire. A good parent would be confident that they had raised their daughters to respect themselves and make their OWN decisions. Mothers want to protect their kids, I get it, however most times judgemental mothers like you do more harm than good. Learn how to love like Jesus, not judge!!!!

    • Christi says:

      Please note that Mary did not say “Don’t see it.” She said if you go see it, be sure to have the conversation. And that is what she did with her own family.

    • Christine says:

      I’m a 16 year old girl and I have seen most of the twilight movies as well as read some of the books. I’m a christian girl, i’ve grown up in a christian family and that comment you made really surprised me.

      Firstly I think that if a young girl rebelled against the church specifically because of an article like this showing the biblical perspective of an all too popular novel then in my opinion it seems like the series was more important to her than her relationship with God. I admit, I have some awesome christian friends who love the twilight saga, but its apparent in their lives that God is more important than the series and they take their faith more seriously than the books and movies they enjoy.

      I’m also wondering why you would reply to this woman’s honest attempts to just share her heart by insulting her and accusing her of being a judgmental person. If you truly are a christian, which i have no way of knowing whether or not you are, why not state your opinion kindly? Or if you don’t agree with her Biblical perspective why not just stop reading the blog? Because I’m sure she’ll have more posts like this…

      Lastly i’d like to address your comment saying that girls don’t need men. Well, children can’t be born without a wife AND a husband, children NEED fathers to grow up right because though many children today are growing up without two parents its best to have the balance between a mothers love and protection and a father’s discipline and teachings on to be out on their own and how to defend themselves in the world.(that was a huge run-on sentence) Plus, I can’t have children out of wedlock so looks like I’m gonna need a man!

      I hope none of my comments offended you because that is far from what my goal was but i just wanted to say that this article she wrote really opened my eyes and inspired me to further my relationship with God instead of seeking out things like Twilight.
      Thanks!

    • Valerie says:

      She was not judging she was giving her own opinon. If you don’t like it, oh well. And this is not the reason why young women leave the church. It is because they were probably never saved in the first place and don’t have a real desire to know Goc.

  6. Melody says:

    May I just say Thank you to Sheryle for NOT letting your daughter go to this movie. You are standing for what is RIGHT..That will make a difference one day to your daughter. I say..”if everyone else is doing it, that is a good sign that we (Christians) should not be!!!!! I am shocked how “Christians” look so much like the world! I have to ask myself..”Are they really “Christian”. I never wanted my daughter to see movies..even Disney finds ways to “Influence” our children to darkness. But you have to keep your eyes open… this is the plans of darkness~

  7. Ann says:

    Bella and Edward aside, I appreciated the principles or rather warning signs of a wrong relationship. I think I will keep these for future reference!

  8. Karl says:

    I wanted to respond to the commenters who asked about the relation of Twilight to other fantasy materials. In and of itself, Twilight is no more or less than a story, and people who read or with discernment for entertainment could probably enjoy it (or not) for what it is, understanding its limited spiritual value. However, many young and/or immature women and girls get so caught up in the story that they lose perspective on the real world. They compare real men to Edward or Jacob. They want to be Bella. Some start to believe and act out the story in their own lives as if it is real. You’re not going to find 14-year-old girls acting out Snow White in massive numbers. The obsession is the troublesome factor, not the content as such. I believe the point of the piece was to examine why the obsession was occurring and expose it to the light of our beliefs. For better or worse, there’s no billion-dollar-grossing, life-altering obsession with Sleeping Beauty or Hansel and Gretel to examine.

  9. B says:

    I totally agree with this post and have seen and discerned these same things. We are doing the “Lies Young Women Believe” bible study with some young girls and this movie and the media in general have come up in conversation and teachings. I think it is very clear in the Bible from the Lord’s own voice that we are not to mix the world with the truth (we are called to be separate and stand out) and the truth is that this movie has become an idol for so many young girls and even older women!! It has also stirred up sexual desires in very young girls and it even says in the Old Testament to not awaking those things until the time is appropriate. I have seen it and have felt uneasy about it, as well. It is very disturbing. There was an article in “Time” magazine a while back that suggested that this movie was causing girls to lust.

    We are called to be “watchmen” on the wall for our kids and not to be influenced by the world. Think of it as a huge, crystal clear, pure vat of drinking water that you are being nourished from and someone adding one tiny drop of cyanide or a rat dropping. Would you want to drink it after that? Wouldn’t that taint the whole vat? Oh how I wish those who consider themselves “God’s people” would open their eyes and take His Word seriously. It breaks my heart to see the “Church” playing the “harlot” with this world. It only brings death and death is what is being glamorized everywhere you look. It has become acceptable to dress like you want attention, watch anything that Hollywood puts out, be entertained by all sorts of unprofitable, ungodly things, water down the absolute truth of God and His commandments and try to get to heaven on the wide and broad path that leads to death. Ladies, please reconsider what you are allowing your children to absorb into their tender souls and go to God’s Word (the ultimate and only authority) for the truth and what He has to say about the world and all the lusts of the flesh that destroy the soul.

    There will never be revival until God’s people turn from their sin and humble themselves and admit they have compromised.

    I am sorry if I offend or sound preachy but I am never sorry to speak the truth and will never be ashamed of following God’s commandments. May we all seek light and run from darkness………..

    • Jen says:

      Amen!! You are exactly right. We have to watch and protect our children from what they see in our un-Godly world. My daughter is 12, all of her friends and classmates read these books, movies ect. I will not allow my daughter. Why do we want to expose our kids, teens to this stuff? Why doesn’t our society want our kids to remain innocent as long as possible? Our kids are growing up way too fast. The movies they watch, the music they listen to. I am in the middle of the battle of my life right now. The battle of trying to raise Godly children in an un-Godly world. A world where Twilight, Kesha, Katy Perry, and others rule. We should be involved in everything our children do, see and hear. And above all we need to pray for our children. That is the only way they are going to make it through this world.
      Who realy cares if she got a few details wrong. Her message was to stay away, which sould be obvious given the movie is about vampires. Just don’t get involved where evil is present.

  10. Kari says:

    I really appreciate this post and plan to share it with my 14-year-old daughter. She has asked to read the books and see the movies, but as her parents, we recognize these dangerous messages and have had to say no.

    This is not for us and our family, and that’s a very unpopular stand to have to make during these teenage years. I know she thinks I’m just mean and out to destroy her fun, but her heart is so precious to me. There are enough things in this world working to lure her with the forbidden, and we don’t need to add this to the mix.

    “But, Mom! I am the ONLY one who can’t see these movies or read the books. I don’t have ANYTHING to talk to my friends about!” Oh, how many times have we heard (or recited) the verses to this song!

    It’s hard taking this stand, but as a mother, I’ve been given stewardship of the hearts and minds of my precious children. Thank you for helping me explain this in a clear, biblical way. I can’t choose obedience to Christ for her, but I can plant hedges.

  11. JulieBeth says:

    Great article! Thanks for sharing. I posted it on Facebook. I have great concern over the lack of discernment in both media and relationships I see in Christian young people. These kinds of movies encourage both. Anytime the hero of a story is ungodly it is of great concern that Christians should be drawn to it. I appreciate the thought you put into this.

  12. I am not surprised by the backlash to this blog. The truth often does that.

    Ladies we have to let go of the IDOL of Twilight, or anything that keeps us from embracing the truth of God’s word. We cannot let emotionalism and semantics as women take away what is being presented here.

    These books and these movies are sending the wrong message to our young girls. The ideal man for them is a GODLY man, and not a man who is flagrantly involved in evil occultic practices. Do not be deceived, this movie is trying to call evil good and good evil, and God said WOE ONTO THEM who do such things.

    The bible days DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD… so we shouldn’t be trying to tell young girls to “embrace” the world, but to UTTERLY REJECT IT.

    Honestly some of you kill me with your “don’t judge” cliched mantras. Jesus said in the same passage in Matthew 7 that you will know a good tree by its fruit… that means you have to JUDGE a tree for it’s fruit.

    • Cate says:

      hahahaha! way to win people for the LORD lady! Edward is “flagrantly involved in evil occult practices.” your ignorance to the books appauls me. woe unto you and your narrow mindedness. free indeed huh? perhaps you should stick to subjects you know more about. maybe quoting bible verses not literary criticism of a harmless book?

      • Set says:

        Cate I am praying for you. I don’t know much about evil to recognize it.

      • Chrissy says:

        Cate,

        You & several others seem very angry. Scripture says that we should “be slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God”. If you’re not a believer, this won’t mean anything to you. But if you are, you should repent of your anger & harsh words. They’re dishonoring to God.

    • jen says:

      I agree very much with what you are saying. and i am a teen. i realize i do not need twilight in my life. i struggle enough with other temptations.

    • RainBell says:

      Set Free, while I wouldn’t endorse Twilight to anyone, I do think that there are a couple points you should know. Edward is not “flagrantly involved in evil occultic practices.” In fact, the only mention of religion of any kind in the book is Edward’s concern for Bella’s soul. He is not sure if he still has a soul as a vampire. Vampires in the books are people who were turned from human to vampire with venom. They do drink blood, but Edward and his family only drink animal blood, not human; none of the other traditional aspects of being a vampire are present in this book, other than increased speed and strength, and immortality.
      I think that if a young teen wants to read these books, the concern for Bella’s soul, which is mentioned multiple times, would be a good discussion point between parent and daughter. There are not any occult practices as most would interpret the term, if that is a concern.

  13. LeeAnn says:

    I read the books, at my daughter’s request, but did not watch the movies. I would have to say that to forbid my children from watching any movie with anything questionable would be putting them in an unrealistic bubble which does not prepare them to engage with non-Christians in the real world. (They already think they live in a bubble!) My job is to prepare them to live godly lives in the real world & win others to Christ by their words & deeds.

    My 19y-o daughter recently shocked her fellow Christian camp counselors at her summer job by telling them she is a “virgin in every sense of the word,” meaning she has never smoked, drunk alcohol, been kissed or engaged in any of the other related activities. Mouths dropped open when she revealed this about herself. At the same time, my daughter lives life to the fullest & is the life of every party. Her job, as mine was at that age, was to show that we can live joy-filled lives in Christ w/o the negative trappings of the world that ultimately encumber us & lead to sin. This is the same daughter who read the entire Twilight series & asked me to do so as well. Well-grounded young people can handle reading something like Twilight. My 7 kids also read “Harry Potter.”

    How can they engage the culture & influence it if they isolate themselves from the culture? My thoughts as I was reading this were focused on the fact that neither Bella nor Edward had Jesus as Savior & therefore, this is what life looks like for them. It was dark for both of them. They had nothing else to cling to other than their relationship with each other. They were lonely. This is what life is like for many young people today. This is where we can start conversations about what a relationship with Jesus looks like & how different life is when we have Him.

    I actually think it is essential that we know what is going on in the culture around us if we are going to speak to it. We don’t have to be sucked in by it & we don’t have to partake of what it’s offering, but we can observe it & formulate our discussions accordingly.

    • Cate says:

      This was an awesome post Leeann. I was raised in the church, am a 23 year old virgin, and was taught to make my own decisions regarding media and entertainment. Yay for your daughter and for your parenting! You and my mother deserve an award!!

    • Seth says:

      I understand and agree that young women AND men need to understand how to differentiate between the light and the dark. However it is naive to assume that all teenagers are reading books like Twilight under the lens of Biblical Christianity. Books are meant to be an escape, and oftentimes I think the types of books we read show what sort of things we naturally veer towards. Not all teens will read this and focus on the fact that Bella and Edward don’t know Christ, and that is where I think Twilight proves itself as a book not worth reading. A similar book that has the message of Christ in it would be a different story (Figuratively and literally).

  14. Eleanor says:

    I have only seen the movie in passing… but I felt the pull. Not so much to go find myself a bad boy (I have an incredibly GOOD one) but the broader pull to compromise with darkness. Your words are powerful when place alongside our emotions and our relationship with Christ. Blessings. I learned a lot from you today.

  15. Laci says:

    Not every Christian is against reading the Twilight series. Just as with everything else in life, one can see the good and bad in anything. I think most of the bad has been exposed above. What about the good in the book/movie?

    Edward’s father, Carlisle Cullen, was not only raised by a pastor, but was one himself. The book discusses how his faith actually made him rise above the nature of a vampire to become a doctor and save people. He strives to hold onto a little bit of humanity, and he passed that onto the members of his family.

    While Carlisle believes that there is an afterlife, and that possibly vampires aren’t damned, Edward is more skeptical. He believes that they will be punished for what they are, and he does not want that to happen to Bella. It is his questions that makes him confront Bella’s cavalier attitude about losing her soul. The theme is an excellent discussion point for parents and teens who do read the books, because they can apply to the choices Christian teens make every day.

    Pro-life Christians may also find the unwanted pregnancy in the series to be of great interest. While this pregnancy puts the life of a main character in grave danger, her decision is to keep the baby. For people who are pro-choice the discussion remains. The choice was given to the character to “take care of it,” and she made the choice.

    The desire of Bella to become a vampire is controversial, but the way it is handled appeases many Christians. The main characters of the novels were not “changed” by choice, but changed by circumstance. This theme is important to the Christian life, because we must know how to face our circumstances and hold onto our faith. The desire of Edward to not change Bella demonstrates to many Christians just how precious the soul is, and how he does not want to take away a viable human life. In Edward’s case, he was going to die anyhow, and that is when Carlisle changed him. The Cullens value human life, and it is a lesson many people today can learn.

    The debate about the sexual nature of the characters continues between opponents and proponents of the Twilight saga. While Edward is against sex before marriage, Bella is willing to hand over her virginity. Her fear of marriage stems from what many teens today face – the divorce of her parents and the effect it had on her mother.

    Some Christians are bothered by the feelings expressed when Bella and Edward kiss and touch, but some are uplifted that Edward overcomes the temptations in order to wait. The intense chemistry between the two characters sets an example for Christian teens that just because the desire is there, it does not mean you have to act on it.

    There are some Christian themes that flow through the series. As a mother, I think its best to allow my teens to see the movie and then discuss the good/bad.

    • gumby says:

      Best Response so far! Very good points!

    • Lillian says:

      Great points!!! I have been asked by parents (I work in a school) if I feel Twilight is appropriate for a teen to read. These are the exact points I bring up.

    • RainBell says:

      Thank you for this very reasonable response! It sees both sides of the fence, and makes no assumptions.

    • Kendra says:

      Yes! But Jesus requires that we be born again. It’s not about the good that we do in life, but it’s about the good that God does in our life! To say that they were good people totally goes against what Jesus did for us on the cross! It’s not by works of righteousness but by his grace alone. The enemy is crafty and will have us think that if we do good we will be okay. If you continue to strive to do good without God, it will lead you down the paths of destruction because you will fail to realize how much you need him!

  16. cyndi says:

    I have read these comments…and what is amazing to me, is that Mary merely stated her opinion on what she saw in the Twilight series and yet many have said she is “judging.” Why is it that when an opinion goes against what we have set our hearts to, it is called judging? Mary stated that there should be discussions with daughters about the message. What is wrong with that. She saw the movie with her family so she could review it…that doesn’t go against her convictions…it would have been a lie for her to review something she had not seen!

    The very fact that women have so strongly defended this movie or series is a strong indicator that it has become more than fantasy to them. That is something we all need to look within ourselves and see…has this become a part of you? The truth is: it is dark against light. Those who walk in the light should bring light to the darkness…and I believe that is all Mary Kassian was doing in this review.

    • Bonnie says:

      i think your comment is great! i think this mary lady is not being judgemental at all! i personally liked the books… and the movies are ok too, but think what she says about them is absolutely true! yes they are entertaining, but we have to remember as christians to have a mind of discernment in everything! be innocent as lambs but wise as serpants!

      as american christians growing up today there are not many examples of HEALTHY, God-centered relationships! i think thats why so many young girls are craving to find examples of seemingly good relationships around them! if you want a good love story read the way Christ gave His life up for the church…. in every way, even after we have shunned Him, and hurt Him… He is still madly in love with us!

      i think we often forget the greatest love story of all time is the one we have dubbed so boring!! believe it or not, EVERY love story is just a bad copy of the one we have in our bibles!

      with that said…. how could you be mad at a mother who wants to protect her children from things she feels would harm them! my mama always did that for me, and i will do it with my daughter who is due in two weeks! that is different for every person, but you telling this mary lady she is crazy for trying to protect her family is more harsh than her saying her opinion about a silly movie made in hollywood!

    • Ruth says:

      I agree! Conviction isn’t comfortable, is it? Maybe some quiet, honest self-examination is in order. Maybe you’ll find nothing, maybe you’ll find something, but it won’t be a waste of time. The thing that bothers us the most is usually the mirror the LORD is holding in front of us.

      Funny, I saw the same thing happen over Harry Potter books. Re-read the post, Ladies. She does not say. “Don’t see the movie”. Her point is the COMMUNICATION. Don’t be sucked in and don’t go in blind, not with this movie or any other aspect of your life. Even with activities that are universally seen as “good”, you must choose. Too many “good” activities can keep you from the “best”. Life requires that we make choices. Wisdom requires that we make educated choices, not choices by default. Even if this movie is a great movie (haven’t seen it, don’t know), isn’t a healthy discussion about it just that, healthy? If nothing else, you would be proving you are interested in the things your child/teen is interested in, building the bonds that keep you together, and helping to create an atmosphere of openness and safety with your child. They know that you are genuinely interested in them and care about them and the things they care about. This helps them to feel “safe” coming to you with all the other issues of life.

      Do what you believe in your heart to be right, and be open to the possibility of God’s conviction. It’s not like seeing this movie would be an impardonable sin. For some it may not be sinful at all. Perhaps you will not deal with any temptation here, but there are some who will. There are some for whom this movie will prove to be too full of temptation. There are some who will surprise their parents and respond in ways the parents never imagined. Just TALK about it with your kids. In fact, TALK about EVERYTHING with your kids. Why should this be any different?

      Don’t be offended by this woman’s comments, or mine for that matter. Understand that they come from caring hearts and may or may not apply to you. That part is quite literally between your family and GOD. May your heart always be open to HIS leading, and never hurt or offended by others trying share their lessons learned along the way. Maybe this article wasn’t for you, but I am very confident it was for someone.

      May God bring peace to all the hearts involved here.
      -Ruth

  17. sm says:

    I think instead of forbiding our daughters from watching the series, we would be much better off allowing them to watch the “fictional movie” and then discuss it; pointing out the negativity. We cant shelter our children or put them in a bubble (like some homeschool parents try to do) and expect them to be able to deal with real world issues. Many of these kid fail as adults because they have not been exposed to the real world; only a fantasy life at home that mom has created for them. We are doing our children an injustice by sheltering them from the real world rather than allowing them to be part of it and then teaching them the rights and wrongs from what they experience. Over protection is not the key and I dont believe God meant for us to put our children in a bubble and isolate them from others. When we forbid a child not to do something, it just makes them want to do it all the more. Wouldnt it be better to allow them to read the book or see the movie then TEACH them from it?

    • Cate says:

      YES!!!! I totally agree!

    • Denise says:

      Homeschooling has absolutely nothing to do with this conversation!

      On to the actual conversation at hand; I believe what I am hearing expressed in these responses is that we, as parents, are concerned with what our teens fill their minds with and that we want to protect them from getting sucked into the world and it’s lack of standards. As a volunteer for the past 15 years with the youth group at our church, and a parent of a teen, I think it is important for us parents to be students of our children (no matter what age they are) and be discerning as to what they can or cannot handle. I agree with the parents above who have allowed their spiritually mature teens to read and see this series. It allows them to be relevant to their unchurched peers and has the possibility of opening up conversations about the books/movies so that those spiritually mature teens can lead their unchurched peers to think about why they read/watch the series and what would be a better, discerning way to look at the story and the relationships in the story, which could then lead to conversations about Christ being the only relationship that will lead to total fulfillment and NEVER let you down in any way. I also understand that this series is not for everyone and that for the less spiritually mature, it may cause one to stumble in lust, unrealistic expectations in relationships, or discontentment. Again, if we as parents are diligent in knowing our children, we will know how to react to this series and will not turn a blind eye to it, either by allowing it or disallowing it.

    • Valerie says:

      We are to be IN the world, but not OF the world. I am a fourteen year old HOMESCHOOLER. I watch certain PG-13 movies, get on Facebook, and like to listen to music. I do not live in a bubble. But, I have the knowledge and wisdom to discere the difference between good and evil. Let me ask you guys a question. Would God sit down and watch this movie with you? Let that sink in….Would God watch a movie about vampires and a girl who is impregenated by a vampire and gives up her eternal soul to be with him? I know the movie is purely fiction, but evil is not. Do not make yourself vulnerable to the lies of Satan.

    • Seth says:

      We are not to live monastic lifestyles, but we are not to participate in sinful aspects of culture. I think I understand your point, but it is also important to realize that this world will fade away, so while we should not isolate ourselves from non-christians, I really don’t see the issue with isolating ourselves from worldly culture. I think we can impact non-christians much more when we interact in a loving way with them while rejecting the things that they do so casually.

  18. Valerie says:

    I am a 23 year-old Christian and I have read the Twilight series multiple times and have watched the 3 movies that were just released. My mother, sister, and friends are all fans of the series. I just have a few questions that concern me. Is it wrong to want the feeling of protection? To be adored? To be desired? To be chosen as the only woman for that man to be with forever? I’m not saying that a woman should rely on a man for love and protection, but it does feel amazing. If you read all of the books with an open mind, you too could possibly take something good out of them. Maybe even reconcider some of the statements. Just because I love reading the books and watching the movies, doesn’t make me any less of a Christian. I still go to church on Saturdays, read the Bible, and continue my walk with the Lord.

    • Cate says:

      Good for you Valerie! I’m 23 also!

      • Valerie says:

        It just seems as if some of those who refuse to see the movies or to even read the books are judging them based upon what another person says. Aren’t we told not to judge a book by it’s cover? Read the books and then make a decision for yourself and for your family. We can’t hide from what’s “bad” for us.

        • Just wonderin'...... says:

          Hmmm, go see a movie I do not want to see so I can decide if I want to see it? Really? Is that how you do it?

  19. Shannon says:

    Your whole argument is full of fallacies and judgements with not enough information behind them. Before you make all these conclusions you have to get all the facts. And the fact is that the books have an endless more amount of information that is not in the movies. In the movies all you see is depressed bella, in the books you see what she’s thinking every step of the way and the motives for her actions. Also, I disagree that a healthy relationship should be made amongst society, nowadays all society does to a relationship is tear it down with gossip,lies,hypocrisy, and just plain nosiness. I am a Christian and just because I really enjoy the books and the movies doesn’t make me any less of a Christian than you. So if you want your argument to have a firm basis, I suggest you read the books cuz the movies hardly do them justice.

  20. Suzanne says:

    Mary,

    Women are socialized to be victims, damsels in distress, and needy. It has nothing to do with their wiring. Young girls are taught that to be accepted, they need to be only demure nurturers. To be educated and independent is also biblical. A lady can be both a leader who is also a lady and pleasing to God, and a help-meet to her husband. Proverbs 31:10- shows a perfect woman who takes care of her family, her husband, and is business savvy, to own her own vineyard, and earn her own profits.

    If these books offer all mothers the chance to discuss healthy dating relationships with their daughters, that is great. Mothers need to take every opportunity to prepare their children for life and to walk in a Christian life.

    For the girls, Edward, is committed to really loving her. Even in his leaving her, it is his willingness to put himself last. This is in keeping with all the heart throb books and movies. The objection to the character Edward being the bad boy- vampire- is the proverbial every good girl loves a bad boy story. It is James Dean 2010.

    To make this fictional series a reflection on Christian relationships because Edward is a vampire, which aren’t real, is silly. There is real dating abuse happening now because our girls don’t have enough self esteem to make good choices. Yes every lady wants a man who will love and take care of her. Just as every man wants a wife who will love him and take care of him. It is mutual and was created to be that way. It is just as unhealthy for a woman to want a man who will protect her against others but abuse her himself.

    It is just sad that Christians spend so much time over reacting to all this petty stuff, while real problems such as abuse, sexual trafficking, and global starvation are rampant.

    • Momwhocares says:

      I think the “vampire thing” is extremely important. Since when did Satanism become okay for Christians to play around with? Vampires are very real!!! There are people who drink other people’s blood in this world (2010) that we live in. If you don’t believe me, do a little googling of the subject and see what you come up with. Let me warn you, don’t do it late at night or you might end up with nightmares. Not to be gross, but I don’t think any of these movies are anything a committed, dedicated Christian should be messing around with.
      That being said, it is extremely difficult (and not particularly wise) for us to isolate ourselves from the world. As parents (that means grown adults) we should be aware of what attacks Satan is launching on our children. If that means previewing (and forbidding) some things for them, so be it. If it means allowing them to learn from some experiences on their own, then so be it. The key is to be constantly walking in the Spirit of Christ to know the difference.

      • Traci says:

        Vampires, immortal and undead, are NOT real. Are there some weirdos that have their teeth altered and harm people and drinks peoples blood? Maybe…but I wouldn’t call them vampires…again, weirdos!!!!

        • Seth says:

          I think the fact that a book sparks so much debate as to whether or not it is ok for Christians to read is reason enough to avoid it. The fact is that while young girls may not suddenly want to become vampires, this series does nothing to bring us closer to Christ. If we are all being honest, I don’t see how anyone could rationalize it, and even if they could, the fact that they would need to rationalize the book should be evidence enough that it has a dangerous hold on us. Our goal should be to always be growing in Godliness with the things we do/read/listen to/watch.

  21. Valerie says:

    It just seems as if some of those who refuse to see the movies or to even read the books are judging them based upon what another person says. Aren’t we told not to judge a book by it’s cover? Read the books and then make a decision for yourself and for your family. We can’t hide from what’s “bad” for us.

    • Seth says:

      “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is not in the Bible. While it is a worthwhile thing to remember in some situations, it is also trumped by Biblical wisdom. The Bible tells us to discern. To not conform with the world. To resist it. I don’t think it is a sin to read the book, but it can lead to sin if it is not done so correctly, that is with a discerning spirit. It is important to remember also that our flesh lies to us, and that this world is currently Satan’s playground. He is everywhere, that is why Christians need to be on guard, and while we can’t seclude ourselves from unbelievers, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from worldly things that don’t strengthen our relationship with God.

  22. stillyawning says:

    Why does she have to read the books? It’s the movies that are getting the heavy media. Why would it matter which one Mary has participated in. Who wants to spend hours and hours studying something with not much to offer? Seriously? Do you suggest I watch tv 24-7 so I can get a ‘real feel’ for the evil there, so I can then beautifully malign it?

    Do you look at yourself as being ‘very critical’ of Mary? It’s a sci-fi book, a fad, and a movie. Pick to ignore all of it, or peek at some so you can relate to a teen or teens but really, why waste such a huge chunk of time to ‘get the inside feel’? Doesn’t scripture point to having only a light understanding of evil?

  23. Y says:

    Obviously you never read the books, and you are doing nothing more than spreading false information.
    I agree with the other comments, this book is FICTION.
    If your daughter is the type of person who would read a book and think it is a model to lie her own life by, then, sadly, you have probably failed her as a mother.

    Enjoy your silly bubble, and the fact that your daughter is being sheltered from the real world. And no, being sheltered isn’t a good thing. Unless- you plan to keep her sheltered for all eternity & never let her leave your home. Then by all means, good for you!

    • Me says:

      Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU. (Yep, it’s still in the Bible)

  24. Sarah says:

    This is great. Liked it a lot. I’m a young girl with a lot a Twilight aficionados around me. Its is funny how defensive people get when you discuss issues around their favorite books and movies. Could there be a button there? I mean, it’s just a movie/book, right?

    Anyway, I’m glad this article did not focus too much on the vampire thing… but that it went straight to issues of the heart. I’ve always thought that the vampires in the movie are what’s least to worry about. It’s the obsessive, destructive, human centered relationship between Edward in Bella. Nothing God – centered or God – glorifying in that. When you are saturated with the Word, Twilight’s hardly satisfying.

    In the love of Jesus (which is better than life – books and movies included),

    Sarah

    • KC says:

      Yes, Sarah, thank you. I agree, the vampire/occultic content is far from benign, but what is far more insidious in my opinion is the craving these stories have obviously created in girls’/women’s hearts for a kind of relationship that is impossible to achieve in reality. Fixating on a perfect Edward will surely make an everyday, ordinary man pale in comparison. This is emotional pornography—”girl porn”. Satan gains much when women become dissatisfied and scornful of real men in the real world.

      So, ye naysayers and defenders of the Twilight fantasy world, perhaps it is necessary to examine the real source of the series’ appeal. Guard your hearts, those wellsprings of life. If you react in anger to the criticism regarding Twilight, consider that you are not being judged, but are being called to choose this day between blessings and cursings, life and death. Choose life.

  25. Pat says:

    Just a small thought. Whatever happened to Christians who knew “be careful little eyes what u see, and ears what u hear”. So many making “excuses” for this movie. It is an obsession with soooo many. Makes me wonder what is underlying in these movies/books. How can an obsession w/any movie or book (other than Gods Word), be a healthy thing? It is not about judgement we are making, God told us to be careful what we put into our minds and our hearts. If there is this much need for discussion and so many getting angry just to “protect” this saga, something is very wrong. I once was engaged in witchcraft at 16, I am 56 now and the thoughts and memories still plague my life. It was not heavy involvement either. I enjoyed all the “fantasy” movies, etc. As a teenager it drew me even closer to the occult. How do we really know how exposure to these things will affect our children long term? We can’t. I would prefer not to open the doors. One day our children have to make their own choices w/o our input. I’ve seen so many “good” children go bad and when asked “why?” their morals, thoughts and ideals were based on movies they saw and books they read as well as the music they listened to. Is it really worth it?? Just a thought.

  26. Ann says:

    Thank you Mary. Well written article. As you pointed out there were positive threads woven through the book and movie. The male/female roles for example. But I must say there are positive and negative things to almost everything we see and do. As a married mom, I can handle these movies but I have not allowed our children to because of the message that their soul is unimportant…..that love for a person is better than love for Christ. I always cringed when Bella was so willing to give up her soul for Edward. Yes, it would be wonderful to feel adored like that, but that kind of adoration is not real, and when it is, it’s usually a stalking situation. The danger of this movie and book series is that it stirs up (in impressionable teenage boys and girls) such a DESIRE to love and be loved like Edward and Bella. Hey, at my age, I wouldn’t mind a bit more adoration too. It’s just not a Biblical kind of love.

  27. Ginger says:

    Well said, Pat!

  28. gina says:

    This article was written very well, and the movie and the values it promotes very well thought through. I don’t think that most christians take the time to really think through movies and books etc and evaluate them according to scripture. Yet, we are told to do that very thing. We are responsible for every little thing that goes into our minds and hearts. I also see many repsponses here that are not grace filled or given in love. How sad that we would be willing to respond this way over a book or movie. Is it really that important to you? I appreciate that the author took the time to evaluate and give food for thought.

  29. Charity says:

    Good article. I agree with it.

    I have read all the “Twilight” books and seen the films. I have never liked the underlining them of anti-feminism to the point of co-dependence, the creepy pedophile undertones (wait until you see or read “Breaking Dawn”! — that’s when the Mormon ideology really stands out), or the fact that Bella has no life outside Edward. Her obsession with him is unhealthy. Yes, it is reflective of an immature seventeen year old’s behavior, but is that really something we want to encourage or emulate??

    The one good thing about these books is that they promote abstinence. That’s rare in secular teen fiction and does deserve applause from a Christian standpoint.

    Since it is fantasy fiction, one cannot really comment on the entire premise revolving around Bella losing her immortal soul and choosing damnation through becoming a vampire, but even so that’s a bit of a dangerous message, too — what would you give up for love? Your heart? Your body? Your soul?

    Before I get jumped on for condemning them, I’m not an anti-vampire reader. I find genuine vampires in literature fascinating for their undertones — the messages about salvation and grace, loss, redemption, and godlessness. Stoker wrote “Dracula” as a social commentary, a message against the increasing shift from faith toward atheism, with Dracula representing a godless, atheistic and downright heretical society, and his wives being overly “feminist” (the scene in which they eat the infant he has brought them is actually an assault upon Victorian abortions). Even Anne Rice in her arguably explicit and offensive vampire novels was writing a story of seeking redemption — with Louis in “Interview with the Vampire” questioning the existence of God, and whether or not in his fallen state he could truly be redeemed. That theme has carried on throughout films and novels since — the vampire without a soul coveting one, or wanting to become human once again.

    What bothers me the most about “Twilight” is that Bella gets everything she wants at no cost. Real life doesn’t work like that — we have to choose between people sometimes. We have to sacrifice. Battles between good and evil inevitably end in loss. Rowling understands that. Meyer does not. More’s the pity.

  30. it'SL says:

    find something a little more intellectual and useful to devote your life to.

    i think it’s about time you stop writing controversial articles about fictional characters.

  31. Judy Layton says:

    Wow Mary, talk about hitting a nerve! I applaud you for writing this review and for your thoughtful, biblical foundation.
    I have forwarded it to women who participate in our programming for single moms and chldren, our staff and my FB friends.
    Thank you for caring enough to talk about the “hot issues” that effect us as women and our children.
    Most of all thanks for grounding all your comments on God’s Word.
    God bless,
    Judy Layton

  32. Dawn Marie says:

    I think that NOT exposing your kids to some imperfect things in this world can be a problem too! The thing we MUST do is teach them to think from a critical and biblical viewpoint and discern what is truth and what is not! This movie might actually be the perfect movie to suffer through with your teenage daughter and actually discuss these things with. It is a safe environment to give them practice spotting the well-hidden and even attractive lies that are spoon-fed to those without a discerning mind!
    You can talk about the things that are good too -like being valued for WHO you are and not being used for sexual purposes. Emulating the things that have some parents thinking that this is a healthy thing for their girls to fill their mind and spirits with!

    http://www.walkaschildren.blogspot.com/

  33. Sheryl says:

    I find it very interesting that this is such a touchy subject among Christian women. I am amazed at how quick they are to defend this book and movie. I have read- and liked- the book. It was well written and you hit the nail on the head aboout Edward- he is the man of every woman’s dreams. However, I realize that the book was worldly and sends many wrong messages. Therefore, I am not going to defend my reading of this book any more than I would defend or condone any of my other shortcomings (sins).

  34. Susan R says:

    It’s always been true that movies based on books seldom preserve the plot or manage to develop the characters fully. But neither the books or the movies are redeemable based on several factors- they are poorly plotted, the dialogue is insipid, the characters undeveloped, and the premise is perverted.

    Let’s be honest- Media DOES affect the way we think, or companies are spending billions of dollars on advertising for nothing. We are being naive if we think that the underlying messages and philosophies contained in books, tv shows, and movies do not influence us or our children.

    Why don’t people have a problem with a guy over a hundred falling in love with a 17 year old girl? In my world, that’s called a pedophile. Ditto any guy who falls in love with a two year old or an infant (as when the werewolves ‘imprint’). Would Bella be swooning over Edward if vampires did age and he LOOKED like he was 109? So what’s the difference?

    Bella gets The Most Unlikable Character in Fiction Award. She lies to every single person in her life- her father, mother, friends, and even to Edward. She’s whiny and ungrateful. Even when she gets everything she wants, she still goes on and on (and on and on) about how horrible her life is.

    The Cullens are no better. They all stand around talking and looking beautiful while the Volturi eat the tourists and the citizens of Seattle are just a big vampire buffet. Their ‘powers’ apparently don’t work very well, and Edward is ineffective and mentally unbalanced- what parent would allow her daughter to date a guy who vandalizes her vehicle so she can’t go see her friends?

    I also want to know why the school Bella attends doesn’t have a truancy policy.

    Bella and Edward don’t have premarital sex, but they engage in foreplay quite often, lying in bed, kissing passionately and caressing. Anyone want their son or daughter thinking that this is an example of purity?

    I understand doing some reading/movie watching for informational or critical purposes (because I did read the books in order to be able to discuss them) but if we are truly trying to apply Phil 4:8 to our lives, then we need to consider WHY we think such drivel is entertaining or somehow beneficial.

  35. Anca says:

    Thank you! I have 2 daughters and I will cherish the biblical truth you shared in this post! Keep up the good job of spreading the light of Christ! Blessings.

  36. Amy says:

    Speaking as someone who has read the books AND watched the movies, I have to agree with you. And btw, even if she isn’t actually suicidal, she’s having HALLUCINATIONS. That is not a sign of great mental health.

    My biggest ohNO quote was when she was arguing with Edward and said “What? You’re worried about my soul? Take it I don’t want it!” I mean… good grief. Her SOUL. Obviously and obsessed and immature child.

    Not to mention how she completely uses Jacob and justifies it because he says it’s okay. It’s never okay.

    In Meyers’ defense, she completely and totally captures how a teenage girl’s adventure in “first love” is. And I adore the werewolves. I can do without the sparkly vampires though.

  37. SS says:

    The Lord has and is taking me down a very amazing journey and teaching me so much about the things that I allow into my heart…the things I hear, listen to, see, speak, and think. To many this seems “radical”…but I will not back down from it. I am not even going to speak about this actual book series/movie series. I just now that the Lord has convicted me about tv (the thing I struggle most with).. It has been a tough thing for me to let go. Which, probably signifies that it is an idol in my life. As Leslie Ludy states, if you can’t imagine your life without it (whatever it may be), it is probably an idol. Even more strongly than that…the Lord has taught me that even when things on tv (again-the struggle He is chiseling away) are not bad in and of themselves….are they God-pleasing and God-honoring? Are they truly a good use of my time?

    I find myself constantly trying to make up excuses about why I “can” watch this or that…but it isn’t about that…it is about Him alone. Am I looking to tv for rest, enjoyment, even entertainment? Because although this is hard to grasp and come to terms with-He DESIRES to be our all-in-all! TV is NOTHING. LITERALLY. Movies, books. Yes we can enjoy them….but are we all getting defensive because we actually are feeling conviction? Perhaps. Just some thoughts to consider.

  38. SS says:

    I also think another thing to seriously consider (something else that Jesus has also really worked out in me) is that the deeper issue here is what messages are being sent? Maybe in and of itself it is “just a story” but so are romance novels-but it doesn’t mean that women don’t form unrealistic and even sinful expectations right? We are here to be His hands and feet…to serve, to love. Are we really doing that when we are being entertained by silly things?

  39. Kathryn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!

  40. Kim says:

    Cant say that I agree with your assessment. How can you make a complete judgement on a film that mimics the concepts of the books? Yes in part the films are like the books, however, they are a great deal different. If you have never read the Bible, but seen a movie on how Christ sacrificed himself for our sins. Would you not think “Oh man that guy is crazy”(remember you havent read the Bible). That is basically what you have done here. You critisized a movie(someone elses opinion-not the authors) without even getting the facts of the series to write a logical article. We as Christians are quick to judge contemporary films, books, etc… however like many of you above have said, we cannot shelter our children from the real world or else they will not be able to hold their own ground. Also we as PARENTS should teach our children right from wrong and to make wise choices. And in MY opinion, I believe it is ok to read then watch these books and movies-depending on the childs maturity. I think there should have been sufficient research before this post was written. And you were wrong about the “forbidden fruit”-It is only a forbidden love because he is a vampire. I mean, come on, REALLY??!!

    • Sarah S says:

      Okay,
      1) “Twilight” is by no means comparable to the Holy Bible. Such a comparison is weak and hardly worth posting.
      2) Mary did not post this out of ignorance, she wrote an intelligent, logical article on her interpretations of the movies. And since when do you have to be a complete expert on something to write an article on it?
      3) We as Christians SHOULD be quick to judge flims, books, etc. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “TEST everything.” We are SUPPOSED to be picky in what we watch and what we let our children watch. It’s our JOB.
      4) Some Christians think that since it’s “only entertainment” (it’s just a song, it’s just a movie) it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t affect us and how we live our lives
      5) Do you think a MATURE child will not be affected by the darkness in the books and movies? 1 Thess. 5:22 says,”Avoid EVERY KIND of evil.” and yes, Paul did say EVERY KIND. Some would say, “Oh, well, he didn’t REALLY mean that.” or “That was written a long time ago, it’s different now.” or “The Bible (or this part of the Bible) shouldn’t be taken literally.” These things are said by the people that enjoy their sinful lifestyle and the pleasures that it brings and who don’t want to give it up.

      The End

  41. Jessica says:

    What about the language in this movie and all of the sensuality? Do we not become what we feed ourselves? It amazes me how far “Christian” women have strayed from the principles of God’s Word. If we would take the high road above the “world”, we wouldn’t be having a discussion about some stupid, ungodly movie.

  42. Emily says:

    Why is it necessary for her to read the books to have an opinion? Are none of us allowed to have an opinion about something like, say, the war in Iraq, since we haven’t been to Iraq? No, we all still have valid and informed opinions on the war because of research and possibly even people we know who have been there. It’s the same with the Twilight movies and/or books.

    Also – kids will be exposed to worldly things. There is no such thing as a bubble. The argument that if we shield our children from harmful things or temptation then they won’t be able to function in the real world is not valid. 1, we are commanded to watch over the weak, and who are weaker than our children or hormonal teens? and 2, where do you find in Scripture when parents are encouraged to put their children in the face of sin and then talk about it?

    I could take my daughters to a strip club and then tell them why this is sinful, or I could just teach them about the dangers of that lifestyle without venturing into a strip club. Yes, that is an extreme example, but without a hint of sarcasm, I ask this: where do you draw the line?

    It all boils down to, do you have a peace from God to watch this movie (or any movie), or read these books? If so, who are we to argue with God’s guidance in your life? If not, well, you know what you should do. And if you haven’t asked God, maybe you should. That would put away all this heated debate.

    • RM says:

      Well said Emily! I completely agree!

      • DMT says:

        If you think there is no such thing as a “bubble” then you need to get out more! I know of families that do not let their kids talk to or hang out with anyone who has ever done anything “wrong”. They live on a ranch far out in the country and they hardly ever go into town. The mom is very critical of anyone who claims to be a Christian and yet dresses, talks, acts in a way that she doesn’t agree with and that she deems is not Christian. If that isn’t a bubble, I don’t know what is! There is protecting your kids from harmful influences and there is total withdrawal from society…

  43. WakeUpChurch says:

    Of all subjects, “Twilight” is a touchy subject? This is what happens when you let your Bible gather dirt instead of reading it. The series displays all sorts of evils. If your children aren’t being actively discipled by their parents, they will fall for the lies.

    To those of you who think these books are harmless…. I hope you stick to your opinions within 5-10 years when these girls start having relationships based on what they saw (or read) in these books. They will be and act as ungodly fools.

    By the way, Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon. Maybe it would be wise to read about Mormonism and see some of her interviews as to how she got the “inspiration” for these books.

    As a church, we should call these things as they are: evil garbage. Let us pray for all the girls who might not have parents watching out for them and warning them.

    • Denise says:

      I resent the implication that anyone who reads/watches the Twilight series does not actively pursue their relationship with Jesus by reading God’s word. I have read, watched and enjoyed all but the latest movie (and that is because I haven’t had the chance to see it yet). I am also a Christian committed to my Saviour, the spreading of His gospel, and the sanctification of His church. In the spreading of His gospel, it is important to be relevant; be IN the world, but not OF it.

  44. Robin says:

    I will always remember a comment Nancy Leigh Demoss made in Lies Women Beleive. She told the story of her parents and how they sheltered her from so much they didn’t even have a TV. For one reason- to grow her roots deep in the Word of God before sending her out into the world! So she would not be swayed by it. She has been forever grateful for that. What is up with all this talk of keeping your kids in a bubble?? That definitely sounds like the World talking.. I liked Jennifer’s post Phil. 4:8!! Do we truly beleive God’s Word is true?
    Thank you Mary..

  45. Crucified with Christ says:

    The Twighlight trailers ALONE should be enough to show Christians that these movies/books are not worth their time, let alone feed this demonic foolishness to their very own children, whom the Lord Jesus has entrusted them with. You shouldn’t have to read all the books and watch all the movies to know this. What happened to Holy Spirit discernment?

    Where are the scriptures that support Christians supporting and promoting darkness? It’s time out for going on what we “think” or “feel.” All of the rationalizations that I’ve read in these comments confirms that we are truly in the last days. There is mass deception in the body of Christ right now about a lot of things and Christians justifying ANYTHING that represents darkness (ie Twilight) is truly a sign of the times.

    I pray that parents will one day want to discuss the Word of God with their children more than they want to “discuss Twilight” so that their children will be able to say no to anything that grieves the Holy Spirit (ie Twilight)

    Would Jesus be as giddy about Twilight as some of our Christian parents? PLEASE, WAKE UP!!!

  46. anonymous says:

    I have noticed several people talk about not letting your kids live in a bubble ,I completely agree although some people grow up and are ok with it others arn’t. The majority of people I know that grew up in a bubble, has had difficult adult lives. Yes they need to learn about God and be pushed in the right direction , but being to pushy can go in the wrong direction. Usually when they get older, they tend to make a lot more mistakes , because they weren’t really able to see what doing the wrong thing can lead to. I know several people that this happened to for instance my dad , he grew up in a Christian home , but what his parents failed to let him do is experience things and let him make his own mistakes as a child , now he has been divorced 3 times has done drugs and what ever else , he was not allowed as a child to see what kind of effects these things had on his life or anyone elses life , and he is paying big time ,this is the same story with a couple of people I went to school with and even some pastors children, but any ways the books arn’t bad they have a good story line , and as long as you know right from wrong , and have a strong relationship with God you shouldn’t be swayed towards anything evil. I have a feeling if this story didn’t mention Vampires and Werewolves then no one would have this discussion.

  47. Missy says:

    I think this is a prejudgemental decision before seeing the movies and then judging them accordingly. I don’t think teen girls are not as impressionable as you might think especially if you raised them with good moral values. I’m a religious person but I think you are taking this way too far. If you don’t want your child watching it because of the content that’s your business but don’t make it seem like there are specific reasons in the bible to get other people to not let their teens or themselves to not watch/read the movies/books. The bible wasn’t made for you to seek out things and use the verses to make a point, right or wrong, it was made to give examples of how to live your life. It really bothers me when so called “Christians” behave like this. It reminds me of Jesus and the romans. “we don’t like what this says so lets persecute”. That is not what being a Christian is about. It’s a story, nothing more. How would you react if someone picked apart one of your favorite books/movies other than the Bible and told you how the Bible says it’s bad. I bet almost every love story would be in that category. Maybe you should take some time to think about why you are pursuing this and pray for some guidance. I would also like to say I haven’t let my kids watch any of these movies because they are too young and I would not be a responsible parent if I did.

    • Sarah S says:

      Interesting that you are an expert on what being a Christian is about/what the bible was made for when you say that you are “not a religious person”.

  48. Jess says:

    I have to say when I watched the first movie I was very alarmed at how closely the relationship between Bella and Edward fit the model of the classic unhealthy relationship. The second movie made it even clearer! I look forward to watching and discussing these movies with my kids when they are older. They are a very clear depiction of what you DON’T want in a relationship!

  49. Kathryn says:

    Hi Mary,

    I’m a long time Twilight-hater (though that word is strong, it convey’s my point) and I’m really glad you made this post. It’s taken a lot of my issues and put them firmly in a Christian perspective. As a young adult, I really encourage mothers to read this book with their daughters and use it as a learning opportunity. All their friends are reading it/watching it and they’re exposed to these kind of issues daily. Taking control of the messages they’re getting from society at large and discussing them takes away the power those messages hold.

    I don’t believe shielding girls from these issues is a good idea (though it’s really up to the mother to decide that) as they will continue to crop up in different ways.

    In Christ,

  50. Jennifer says:

    What surprises me is Mary can voice her opinion of the book, but when the “Pro-Twilight” women post their opinions, we are accused of “defending the series and being very defensive.” Why the double standard?

    • Chrissy says:

      Seems to me that it’s more the tone present in the “Pro-Twilight” opinions. Almost everyone that I’ve read is brimming over with hostility. It’s fine to present your opinions, but it’s not even close to okay to be hateful. Especially if you claim Christ.

  51. Susan R says:

    I don’t get it- the books were awful- I’m shocked that they were published. The movies are based on the books, so the basic plot lines still there in all their nauseating glory.

    You don’t have to be a Christian to understand the problems- http://community.sparknotes.com/index.php/2009/07/16/blogging-twilight-index-page

  52. April says:

    Great post, Mary. Women tend to look to men to fulfill their hearts longings, whereas God’s purpose for woman is that she be a man’s *helper.* Only Jesus can be our Prince Charming.
    I really liked these two paragraphs in your post: “To begin, the saga portrays “traditional” roles for male and female at a time when it is highly counter-cultural to do so. Bella isn’t a male-kicking, karate-chopping, independent, domineering heroine. She’s gentle, soft, and vulnerable. Her character flies in the face of the tough-girl image that’s portrayed by most contemporary movies. I think young girls intuitively know that the prevalent portrayal of women as tough doesn’t match who they are. The average teen senses that she’s not wired that way. She longs to be the princess in a traditional fairy tale romance. She wants to be a woman. And she wants a man to be a man.
    A young woman intuitively yearns for someone who will pursue her, protect her, and cherish her beauty and vulnerability. She yearns for a man to love her at a deep personal and emotional level—and not just a physical, sexual one. Regardless of culture’s attempts at egalitarian brainwashing, the man of her dreams is still a strong, handsome prince charming who fights for her, and rescues her. He loves her, commits to her, and selflessly sets aside personal interest for the sake of her best interest.”
    SO true! And Jesus only is our strong, handsome Prince Charming who fights for us, rescues us, loves us, commits to us, and selflessly sets aside personal *comfort*, at least, for the sake of our best interest. This is what I like to convey to young women.
    Thanks, Mary!

  53. Rebecca says:

    Obviously this discussion is way over, and I have commented here more than must. Just remember that women (who love Jesus, honestly though many would apparently doubt it) are coming here searching.

    For a woman who has read Twilight to be called a “harlot” and a “Christian in quotation marks to imply that she may not really be one” is horrible. It only confirms to us that this ministry is not for us.

    How many women stumbled here from a link on someone’s else post, only to find they were already condemned so why even bother?

    It would seem we are not the kind of Christians who love God enough, therefor not really welcome here. It’s a shame too, because this ministry has so much to offer. (I refer here to the comments, not the article itself. But people read the comments last, and that is the impression they will leave with.)

  54. Barbara says:

    To Tonya – Excellent reference to Isaiah 5:20! It is so true how deceptive it is in many areas of society today to “call evil good and good evil” especially with all the sensuality and vampire obsession going on. It reminds me of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ when Glinda asks Dorothy, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Harry Potter is depicted as a good wizard too, but let’s not forget that Satan is described as being disguised as an “angel of light” and witchcraft and the occult are clearly forbidden for God’s people. Subtle deceptions are the worst kind in our media today, so we must beware, for our own good as well as our children’s!

    Jennifer – thank you for quoting Phil. 4:8… That pretty much says it all!! Whatever is good and noble about blood-sucking creatures? The Bible says, “the life is in the blood” so we must remember that the blood of a human being is how God gives life. This is why eating meat with blood was forbidden in the Old Testament and reinforced in the New Testament… Acts 15:29: “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.”

    Great job Mary! Thank you for giving us a clear Christian perspective to reference.

  55. Barbara says:

    The Old Testament references I previously mentioned about “the life being in the blood” are:
    Leviticus 17:14
    because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.”

    Deuteronomy 12:23
    But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.

    Is it not apparent that the media obsession with vampires (with SO MANY new tv shows and movies coming out) is clearly evil glorified? Eating that which gives life, as God has given it, is a craving and desire for death. Should this be considererd “good” in any way, shape, or form?

  56. Amy says:

    The Scriptures say to flee evil and pursue what is good. We are to think on what is good, and purse righteousness. I read many above who are arguing that we need to read or watch these in order to discuss them with our children. That is not Biblical thinking. Nowhere are we instructed to learn all about evil in order to discern it. If God tells us to flee evil and He has already shown us in His Word what is evil, then what more is there to discover about it?

    We teach our children to discern by filling them with Truth. Then when something approaches that is NOT truth or pure or lovely or right, they will then be able to discern that it is not of God.

    I have never done drugs. But that does not preclude me from being able to teach my children about the dangers of doing drugs. I did on the other hand developed a “fondness” for vampires as child (prior to being saved) and now, even decades later, I have to fight the temptation of attraction and sympathy toward all things vampire.

    When we allow our children to sample sin, they develop a taste for it (no pun intended) and then they must struggle against their flesh with this sin. Why would we want to do that to them? Our role as parents is to stand in the gap and shield our children so that we can train them in the way they should go and to help prepare their battle armor. They are not ready to go to the front lines of battle until they are able to discern.

    My own teenage daughter, who is an avid book reader, laments over the lack of appropriate books. Just yesterday, she was offended that the teen section at B & N contained mostly vampire stories and romance. Why? Not because we read them together and discussed them, but because I seek to fill her with truth so when we do come across something we talk about whether it is according to God’s standard of right or wrong.

    Please, mamas, fight the good fight and don’t fall for the straw-man argument that your children need to be exposed to evil in order to recognize and fight it.

  57. Father of a Teen Girl says:

    Diane (and all with the “other fantasy” / Snow White viewpoint): You have employed a false dichotomy. This is tantamount to claiming that if you’re not an American then you are a Russian. I like fish, but I don’t have to eat the bones. I like apples, but I don’t eat the core. Simply because one item in a category may be accepted, that does not mean all must be.

    Donna (and all with the “let’s show them what not to do” viewpoint: Teaching discernment does not involve endangerment. I never had to teach my children to lie–they unfortunately were born with the proclivity. We call them juveniles because they are unable to assume adult responsibility. Why would you assume they could effectively discern why “Twilight” is good or bad without the tools and (hopefully) restraint of adulthood–particularly with the raging hormones and self-centered nature of youth. I don’t put my eight year old behind the wheel on the highway to show him how bad car wrecks can be.

    Rebecca: You seem to be missing the point of the entire article. I believe it was written from the viewpoint of a mother guiding her daughter. Unless you are the writer’s daughter, I wonder why you feel so personally abused. Would you feel equally set upon if the article was about keeping your children away from narcotics? You seem very concerned that someone will make a rule for you that you do not like. Rules (Precepts) are for babes in Christ–the mature Christian must learn to follow and apply the Principles of the Word of God. Example–when I John 1 tells us Christ has no darkness at all, that is not a rule per se, but should lead the Christian to the principle; i.e. stay away from spiritual darkness.

    Sarah: If your suppositions regarding Edward’s respect for Bella were true, then they would not be hiding from Bella’s father. He would be man enough to involve her parents. To me the male leads in the movie posters are made to appear quite effeminate.

    Lacie: I do not believe the article discusses what “every Christian” is against. Instead the post formulates some specific problems faced by the mothers of teen girls in dealing with this hype. The Bible tells us to think on excellent things, to pray always, and have songs and hymns and spiritual songs on our lips. How do these movies qualify? Now all must accept that God permits Christians to watch this movie–I’ve heard of no deaths by lightning strikes at the theaters. The question is does God WANT you to watch these movies. Just because some good things are mentioned doesn’t make it good–that’s a slippery slope.

    Louise: Judgmental is applying one’s own opinion–the question is not what *I* think about Twilight, but what God thinks about it. We are commanded to use Godly Judgment–we may fully apply what God has already judged.

    Y: In regards to sheltering and living in bubbles, you are using a non-sequitur. You seem to be arguing for life without any sort of boundaries. Do you let two-year-olds play in the street? Do you keep dangerous chemicals in the nursery? Children are called such for a reason–they are not adults. Just because a teen boy will one day be legally able to purchase Playboy magazine it does NOT follow that his parents should take out a subscription.

    GladtobeFree: Would you offer the same advice to one who wants to try cocaine for the first time? Would you say, “If you become addicted, it would be wise to steer clear of it.” I infer that if Bella and her father had a proper relationship, she would not go seeking male affection elsewhere. As a father, I would be ashamed of myself if my daughter was “reading the books and looking for a guy like Edward”.

    Stephanie: “Legalism” is the belief that Salvation may be won through “law-keeping”. I see no evidence of that in any of these posts. If in fact you mean that some of the posters have certain Standards with which you do not agree, please say so. However, please note that everyone has standards–most would agree that wearing a bikini to a funeral would be improper. Regarding the works of literature mentioned: You are aware, I hope, that _Romeo_and_Juliette is a tragedy, meaning that they did NOT get away with their actions and, in fact, died because of them? Nor is Shakespeare generally regarded as “aimed” at the YA reading crowd. In _To_Kill_a_Mockingbird_, the “relationship” between Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell are hardly made enticing to the teen girl.

    To those defending the series: I can quote many Bible verses that deal with, at least in principle, keeping myself and my children away from darkness. Where may I turn to find a verse instructing me that a movie about teen angst and vampires is edifying? Don’t give me “I think” and “I feel”. You would not listen to a Doctor who said “I FEEL you should take this pill.”

    But that’s just the problem. I understand that a Christian is a triune being – Body, Soul, and Spirit. My flesh will only be “saved” at a future date (Glorification). My Spirit was saved at a point in the past (Justification). But my Soul, the seat of reason and heart, is being saved right now in Sanctification. My mind, in other words, is a battlefield between the old man the flesh commanded and the new man who is to walk in the Spirit. If I feed the flesh, it will win. If I feed the spirit, it will win.

    So, would someone PLEASE tell me how viewing ANY teen angst movie (vampire or no) helps my daughter win this battle? How does that help her crucify the flesh or enhance her capacity for self-control? Find me chapter and verse and then we’ll have something to talk about.

    And in full disclosure, I’m not against movies in essence–as long as I have my Clearplay. And I usually do not comment in such matters and am sure I will disabuse myself of whatever notion prompted me to do so roughly three seconds after I hit submit.

    • Kathy says:

      Father of a teen girl…God bless you! If more men were taking active roles and speaking (calmly as you did )truth into women’s lives, we would be much more content with pleasant stories of strong character, heroism and valor.

      We would do well to consider that a book series so controversial might really have an issue…No one ever argued or bickered over Little House on the Prairie….

    • Traci says:

      The author of this article doesn’t have a daughter. Do you people not read author bio’s???

    • Sarah S says:

      Well said, sir!

      [add sound of applause here] :)

      A very intelligent way of stating your case. Beautifully done!

    • AMEN! Your response is everything I’ve been taking mental notes to say as I’ve read through these comments, and better written than mine would have been at that. Thank you for being your family’s spiritual leader and being willing to articulate, in a loving but firm manner, a biblical perspective on this controversial topic!

    • Chrissy says:

      Oh, what an absolutely BEAUTIFUL reply! Thank you, sir. Thank you.

  58. Jennifer says:

    you can not judge something that is clearly secular and fiction. if your worried about your daughters then read the book with her and then talk about it. you can’t tell your daughters NOT to read this. if she is a teenager then shes gna know about it regardless if you put that stipulation on her or not. you should raise your girls to know the difference between reality and fantisy.
    Bella was not raised in a christian family nor claims Jesus as her Lord and savior.
    And clearly this writer did not read the books because if she did then she would not have written a whole paragraph about suicide b/c Bella was cliff diving b/c everytime she had adrenaline she saw Edward. That was not a suicide attempt.

  59. T says:

    I did stumble here from someone’s post on Facebook, and while I don’t agree with the original post, it was put tastefully and does give you some talking points to discuss with teens/pre-teens. I did find that helpful.

    But these comments are RIDICULOUS! Way to try to make people feel bad if they read it, or feel like they are too strict if they didn’t.

    Where’s the truth in love???????

  60. Beth says:

    Rebecca, thank you for your observations. I also notice the unwarranted condemnation from many posters who imply that women who do not conform to their narrow rules are not truly saved. If their conscience does not allow them to read the books, then they shouldn’t. But to impose their extra-biblical rules on other Christian women who love God is completely wrong. It’s like saying it’s a sin not to homeschool or it’s a sin to wear anything that rises above the calf. (I was homeschooled and will homeschool my girls so that was not an attacking statement).

  61. Lindsey says:

    Wow! They’re just books. Although I agree that I would not want my daughter to be in a relationship that is unhealthy, I in no way went so far as to relate these books to being immoral and wrong. I would hope that my daughter can recognize the difference between entertainment and real-life. I read the books, liked the books, watched the movies, they were okay (the acting was not very good), and my daughter also enjoys them. Let’s not read too far into the meaning of these books. I’m pretty sure that Stephanie Meyer wrote these books for entertainment.

  62. Claire says:

    Thanks for the post Mary, ladies I’m a teen girl, and even if everything that Mary had posted was not in the book, look around you. Twilight is dangerous just by the amount of obsessed cult like fans it has. We need to stop giving our precious daughters and sisters over to the cult obsession. Am I saying not to watch this movie? No, but I think you should consider it really carefully before you do. Jesus gave up so much for us, can’t we even walk away from a movie which could cause our daughters, and sisters harm? If you really want your daughters to watch it, wait, wait until the following dies down, and they’ll be able to think through the movie rationally instead of loving it because everyone else does. I know I hadn’t seen Twilight or read the books, yet the urge to love it like everyone else made me tell lies, and led to lots of bad decisions as well as a short (Thanks to God) lasting obsession with the movies myself. Young girls in my church I hear talking realized that Twilight was addictive, I think we all need to realize that it is. If our daughters/sisters were on drugs we would want it stopped, but isn’t it just as bad to let their hearts be on the Twilight drug? This move also awakens love before it wishes and causes restlessness and discontentment. I know that as well because that’s what happened to me. I just wanted you to be aware of the dangers from a teen girl’s perspective. God bless.

  63. Kathy says:

    Amen…and fyi everybody, the definition of vampire via wikipedia (my summary) is a demonically resurrected corpse.

    Most of what I have to say is from scripture, God’s word has alot to say about our actions and how they affect others. Everything we do should be held up to the light and not leaning on our own understanding…the heart (yours and mine) are decietful above all things…beware of justification of YOUR way, instead of submission to HIS way!

    If it isn’t of God…throw it out. He desires a pure Bride. The eye is the lamp of the body. Flee from darkness. Pursue righteousness, and holiness out of reverence for God, without holiness no one will see the Lord. Truly! Viewing a movie with a human falling for a demon is pollution to the spirit and an offense to God (and greives His Spirit if you are a true believer).

    For those who are defensive of the movie, you might want to ask yourself why it is so important to you that you get defensive, why not be willing to throw it out? Mary has some excellent points worth considering. (though I don’t think there is a need to view the movie to have an opinion of it, the photo on the cover says enough for me~and no, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is NOT in the Bible!)

    Please read Ephesians 4:17-5:14. (take note of “not even a hint of …impurity”…and “shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret”)

    Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Is a Vampire (demon) good? Is it true, right, excellent, lovely, pure, praiseworthy? Then you shouldn’t think on it. Our entertainment should be pure and promote godly attitudes and honoring parents which is utmost importance to God. If we think it is purely entertainment and overlook all the deception and secrecy mentioned and the effect it could have on society we are foolish.

    Read Romans 14:22…blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

  64. Lynus says:

    Ok so I find the article full of truths and I like it. If I didn’t find the absolute insane Christ, god and Jesus unpalatable. You idiots actually talk about being needy and having to depend on someone else. But then throw in the bible as a source out? Are you delusional or just slightly insane. Your simply trading one addiction for another. Your all insane. I will start tonight, I’m going to quit drinking by taking up smoking. Oh holy cigarette, you give me strength. WOW. You all need a wake up call. Please don’t ever bread. Please?

    • Mary Kassian says:

      I’m glad you liked the points in the article, Lynus. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came to set us free from bondage to unhealthy addictions. A spiritual relationship with my Creator isn’t an “addiction”–it’s where I find the purpose of my existence, and wisdom on how best to live. If you ever get to the point where you come to the end of your own resources, check it out.

  65. Lynus says:

    HAHAHA Cult obsession. Lets all find jesus. Lets join that cult its so much better :-P

  66. Bethany says:

    A pastor from Mars Hill Church (Mark Driscoll’s church, not Rob Bell’s) has an intelligent discussion about Twilight, and what it means in light of Jesus. It is almost an hour long, but very good and perhaps humbling. He goes over the history of the vampire mythology, and ends in how Twilight resonates with so many women because the longing for a perfect, immortal Savior is inherent in all of us. As CS Lewis believed, mythology shows our longing for something that is not of this world.

    I’d recommend listening.

    http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/cinemagogue/twilight

  67. Barbara Gardner says:

    Thanks, Mary, for this timely discussion. I am a little concerned with the assumption many are making that this is a read or not to read issue. Shouldn’t this be about discernment and showing our kids how to be critical thinkers.

    Christians have an important opportunity to entertain ideas (study, investigate) with a critical eye and a passion for God’s truth from his Word. In my opinion, much of the “Christian Romance” genre and other so called historical romances marketed to women are poor literature and insist on presenting romance as the solution to all problems. One does not have to be a believer to simply present truth, or tell stories honestly. But such intellectual honesty is becoming more and more rare, and the absence of it effects readers. So, is there any wonder that Christian women would be so conflicted about the suitability of “Twilight”, much less its actual premise? The premise is not so much of a problem as its own failure to achieve it!

    I would recommend skimming the first book, for the mental exercise of critiquing the writing and ideas. For those who enjoy the writing and prefer to read it, you may take great offense at my comments. For those who have better things to do and whose daughters are else-wise occupied, you have my utmost respect!

    My take on the premise of Twilight: The unique and self effacing Bella falls in love with uncommonly brave, good, and misunderstood Edward, who is smitten by her and happens to be a vampire. It is important to understand that the vampire thing is a mere incidental to the fans. It gives the excuse for a mysterious character and his background, family, and all the other baggage that fuels the plot. I think the author, a Mormon, was trying to develop Edward as a representative character for her own frequently misunderstood religious background. Mormons = hated, feared, misunderstood.

    Mormons claim to have Christian values, which may be true, in theory, but the Mormon religion is not a Christian denomination and contradicts our Scriptures. Edward’s star attraction is that he is old fashioned and protective toward Bella, though the rest of the world sees him as a mysterious threat. I can’t help but wonder if the author was trying to rehabilitate her own faith in the eyes of the world.

    My 8th grade daughter asked me repeatedly about reading Twilight, I said it looked questionable (just the cover itself!), her friends kept giving her their copies, I kept telling her not until I read it, and I eventually said “yes” on several conditions, which she agreed to, as follows:

    1. Thank you for asking permission and not sneaking to read the book!
    2. You must read 2 negative reviews (which I found) about the book and discuss it with me before beginning to read it.
    3. “Liking” the characters should not interfere with your ability to critique the book and its premise, the actions of characters, and its literary value.
    4. Your willingness to engage in intelligent discussion about the above issues will demonstrate maturity on your part. Defensiveness will be a sign that you are too easily swayed.

    Before offering what you could call positives of the book, let me be frank about the movie’s distinctives. The movies contain some of the worst acting in history, largely because of the banal dialogue. One would expect any movie about a family of vampires and their neighbors, the wherewolfs (sp?), to be visually bleak, hence the sun rarely shines and the characters are either anemic or kind of woodsy!

    Oh, yeah, the book’s positives. Um…here it goes.
    1. Edward’s appeal is that he is old fashioned and protective toward Bella. Interestingly, the author had to create a good guy by making him a young looking, 90 year old vampire. Presumably that was the only way she could create a desirable guy who would have good values. The author’s premise is that Edward is a good guy who is misunderstood by
    others. He sees something different in Bella, though I don’t know what! But something every girl wants.
    2. Though it sends some mixed messages, the author is trying to be pro-abstinence. Christians can talk about how the world’s efforts in this regard fall short of biblical ideals.
    3. From a literary perspective, the novel is a mess. The main character is a kind of “Peggy Sue”; a character drawn on the author’s desire to complete or relive her own life. Not something to respect, but useful in teaching kids the differences between good literature and bad literature. I list it as a positive only because it can serve as a teaching tool to show students that authors can sometimes be self serving.
    4. I have been able to have intelligent discussions with my daughters and their friends about the story line and the issues it raises. I know that they have a less enchanted view of the series as a result.

    If you don’t become informed, skim the book, or talk to those who have, you can still “lay down the law”, but your daughter won’t take instructions from your criticisms. And many girls are reading it in secret and think they have discovered a treasure trove.

    The message of the book (perhaps unintended) is that most men are low-lifes, starting in high school, and even a father couldn’t love an ordinary girl as much as a vampire.

    Here are my negatives:

    1. Edward fails to be the good prototype which I believe the author intended. All of the “chaste” sneaking into bedrooms, evading parents, not to mention hanging out in the woods at twilight and having sensual discussions about the need for abstinence, falls short of Christian standards of purity.

    2. The character of Bella is kind of…insipid. Point this out to your daughters and they might agree, which will hopefully discount her as any kind of heroine. Make sure you teach them this word, INSIPID, as it applies to many heroines of romance novels and television. There is nothing unique about Bella’s self absorption and obsession with forbidden fruit!

    3. Twilight’s attempted theme of abstinence until marriage is better than much of what secular society usually presents in the media, but it falls way short of the biblical concept of sexual purity. We need to make sure our young people understand that we are not merely concerned with keeping virginity in tact or preventing unwanted pregnancies!

    By reading this book with discernment and analyzing its many limitations, moms can offer help to teen girls and learn something as well. For one, I hope what I have learned will sabotage any misleading effects the book may have on young women. Twilight also tells us something surprising about our teen pop culture. Its success says to me: Girls are tired of the status quo, but apart from Christ, cannot do anything to overcome what their mothers have given them – sentimental rubbish!

    The debate should not be questioning whether or not to read something, but whether or not to be discerning in our reading and tastes.

    Every blessing in Christ,
    Barbara Gardner
    Holy Women of the Past/Calvary Press

  68. Tonya says:

    I am APPALLED that you’d critique an entire series based on the movie versions. I read your post and there are positives and negatives, but I actually READ what you had to say, rather than base my entire opinion on someone else’s interpretation of what you had to say, which is exactly what you claim to have done with this series. Next time, do ALL of your homework before giving a critique.

    • Stephanie.Nicole says:

      What is wrong with critiquing the movies? Even if the books didn’t exist and we only had the movies, all of Mary’s points would still be completely valid.

      The problem with movies is that they reach a much, much larger audience than the books. Also, MILLIONS of dollars have been spent from casting to editing to get just the right look and just the right sound to suck us in to the story–that’s what good movies do. Movie-makers have been studying audiences for coming up on a century: they know how to get us believing in their world, even if it’s only for just a little while. This is not an issue with YA and adult books, where they only medium is through the written word.

  69. Kira says:

    Wow, there is so much here regarding the Twilight series. Some very good points made. I want to make just one more very valid and biblical point. Our walks with the Lord are all unique, not one of us can claim the exact same walk of life. The Lord calls each of us to different testimonies, he lays things on each person’s heart differently thereby creating the arms, hands, feet and so on of his body. My advice is this, if after earnest prayer seeking the Lord, you feel that the Lord does not wish for you to read these books or watch the movies, then don’t. However, on the other side, if after earnestly seeking the Lord on this, you still feel that reading the books or watching the movies is ok, then by all means do so if you choose.

    I also want to point out, that in this particular series, seeing God’s role is difficult. However, I don’t believe this is a story of God’s direct role in an individuals life. Rather after reading the books I have gained another perception.

    Edward is evil, born evil as a human, and by circumstance made a son of darkness by worldly interference. However, even though Edward knows that above all else he IS evil, he seeks to make himself right. He is terrified of his damnation and above all else wishes there was a way in which he could be “forgiven” and absolved from the pits of hell. Can’t we relate to that? After all we were born evil, NOTHING WE can do will save us, our actions will NEVER be good enough to make it to heaven. Jesus Christ was our absolution, and without him, we would all be “Edward Cullens”. However, think about those people out there who are not saved and wish above all else that something would absolve them from the chains of guilt, anger, desperation, and despair that they feel. I think that in being able to relate to Edward there is an opening to show these people, that unlike Edward, there is a Savior, and that if they give their lives to Jesus Christ, they can be absolved and reach salvation.

  70. Barb Gardner says:

    Kira,
    I love everything you just said, especially about Edward. Your thought process is exactly what I mean by reading with discernment. Christians should seize the opportunity to relate everything we read to the Gospel.
    Barb Gardner

  71. Bree says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post. I’ve never heard it broken down, like this. Thank you!

  72. Cowgal says:

    Miss Y,
    I have to disagree. I am 15 years old and have been lovingly protected from the horrible things of this world. You may call it sheltered but I enjoy my parents taking such good care of me. I have a cousin who was saturated in the world and now has many regrets that I was spared from. I’m sorry if this is blunt but I found this article to be EXTREMELY helpful and not a silly bubble!

  73. Claire says:

    Just a little encouragement to your mother who feel like your the only ones, and are told your the only that not allow your kids to watch Twilight. I’m a teen and my mom still says no, and i know over half dozen other person personally who aren’t allow. Personally i don’t care any more, before i was interested but when i see the huge cult like following it’s gathered I don’t want to be a part of that, I want to reserve my greats passion and devotion for God, not some half baked movies. Keep striving and keep telling your children “No” in a loving and gracious way. You Moms are champions, why? Because your hearts are concern about doing right in the sight of God.

  74. Kira says:

    want to add that in ALL things we should as Christians, ask the Lord to show us how to use it to glorify GOD. We should NOT judge those who are reading or watching certain things, or decide for them if it is or isn’t appropriate. Ask God to show YOU how to use this series to glorify him, we should not lean on our own understanding, nor should we judge, as it is God’s place on judgement day.

  75. Martha says:

    Thank-you for your post, you are so right. I was a Bella and tried to join light with darkness and the darkness became darker. Thankfully ,God was merciful and rescued me. I can honestly say there is no one or thing that will ever care
    for me like Jesus, and I hope if there is a young girl or woman who is contemplating a “Twilight” re-lationship they will turn from it and cling to Jesus the only lover of their soul.

  76. Katelyn says:

    Forgive me, but as a teen myself I personally see several large and underlying conflicts in the comments posted (the article is very insightful although, in the last book the “twilight” relationship does fall through and darkness over comes in the terms you are using).
    Personally, i have found that one thing STRONGLY rings clear in everything: to those who say you “don’t teach people to recognize counterfeits by counterfeiting but by studying the real stuff, i can’t say i disagree, but until you can do it in a way that isn’t shoving it down people’s throats, you will never get a teen to listen. Even if it’s only the first word that is forceful, a teen will shut you out immediately, and from my experience, despite the fact that you mean well, teens often wind up more confused because you give them and answer with no reason behind the answer.
    Secondly, to those who say that we should allow them to see it and discuss what is wrong: I extend the same caution on forcefulness, IT WILL NOT WORK. In fact, it often causes the opposite effect. Over all, i have found this is the method that works the best because the teen has a chance to express their opinion and instead of being harshly rebuked, it is usually gently, but firmly, counteracted with truth.
    But to be honest with all of you, i really do have to say this: combining the two methods will more than likely result in the best outcome. Not allowing it at all will cause the child/teen to become more curious, and eventually they will wind up reading it, with or without your permission, no matter how good they are otherwise. On the other hand, an ineffective discussion will also fail to convey the issues you seek to show the teen.
    In conclusion, i would also like to say one more thing, remember that sometimes, a kid just wants to be a kid, and they take nothing more away from a movie or book than “Oh, that was really well written/made!” Yes, it is important to study truth, but without the discussion, a teen will become rebellious. It has happened century after century, and it won’t change now.

  77. Emily says:

    I think I read all the comments, but it’s possible I missed a few.

    I did notice something – the posters who think it is a bad idea for girls/teens to read/watch Twilight didn’t say someone was going to hell for having a differing opinion, did they? I also don’t remember anyone saying someone isn’t truly saved if they have read these books. So please, I say this with a gentle smile :), don’t overreact or put words in our mouths. (and if someone actually DID say that, forgive me for missing it)

    To me, the biggest issue is not about Twilight but about the idea that we as parents should expose our children to dark things so we can discuss the Truth. I think this is very dangerous, and we should all carefully comb the Scriptures for guidance in this methodology.

  78. Barbara Gardner says:

    Hi Yall!

    In light of all this lively discussion, I thought I would recommend a wonderful novel by Australian author Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice. It was made into a PBS movie, only one, but it’s about 6 hours long, so even better than 3 sequels! And one that all could love. Then we could scold people for not reading it :)

    “A Town Like Alice” is about a young, pretty, and very sensible woman, Jean, who survives a death march at the hands of the Japanese in Malaysia during WWII. It tells of her leadership skills with the other women prisoners, her grief for the man who is condemned to death for helping them, and an inheritance she receives after the war. What I love about the book is that the author has a great vision for womanhood and manhood as expressed in his characters.

    Not only am I kind of trying to change the subject, but this book is my favorite novel and I love the heroine because she has a vision to help her man pursue his dreams.

    It was published in the 1960′s and just might be in your local library.

    Please read this book and take it out on me if you have a bone to pick!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Barbara B. Gardner
    Holy Women of the Past/ Calvary Press

  79. Steven Henry says:

    Thank you for writing this! I’ve been a volunteer youth leader for 10+ years and your words hit a lot of key areas. I hope you will follow this up with key verses that would warn and admonish, as well. ~ a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, Steven Henry

  80. Melissa says:

    Are we raising our children for this world or for the next?
    Do we want them to be happy and productive in this life with no thought to their soul? Do we want them to be accepted by the world or by Christ? At best we want them to be saved by the Lord AND live a life that glorifies His name. If they are not saved before they leave our home then our prayer should be that the world eat them alive until they cry out to the Lord for mercy. Our job is to raise our children to love and serve the Lord and carry out the great commission…not to blend in with the world. This movie, these books add nothing to their walk with the Lord. There is nothing you can learn from them that you cannot learn in scripture.
    It really just comes down to this: the movie and books portray things that God speaks against. So you either set these things before your eyes and not care about what God says or you refrain in response to the gospel. Christ loved you and saved you and now you want to live a life pleasing and glorifying to Him. Any other reason for not watching/reading this material is purely moralistic/leagalistic. It is about your walk with the Lord not about right/wrong. Do we need to let our children enjoying the pleasure of sinful things so that we can then discuss how wrong they are in the eyes of God or do we do our best to keep them innocent to evil things as scripture says? Do these movies/books help you in your relationship with Christ or do they seduce you into the lust of the world?

  81. Pam says:

    Thank you Mary Kassian for speaking the truth in love and thank you Jennifer for the Philippians 4:8 tip. I grew up in a Christian home but I have been involved in the occult when I was in high school through the influence of fiction books I was reading, it seemd so harmless, surely what the fiction books say are not really true, right? But oh I was so wrong. I just thought that I wish my parents or someone older had reached out and checked on what I was reading and lovingly steered me from the destructive path I was choosing. I wish someone had put me in a “bubble” and protected my mind, soul, and emotions from all I had to go through. So please, if you have the chance to influence a young person’s life, reach out and speak God’s truth in love.

  82. Marge says:

    Whether we like it or not, the Twilight fantasy stories are here to stay. Their impact is enormous. To forbid your child to participate in this phenomenon will most likely fuel his/her desire to be part of it.
    It is obvious in the books that neither mother, father nor Bella have anything to do with the church. So, imposing Christian values on them or condemning them for not demonstrating them seems silly. However, I think the books/movies provide excellent discussion points for Christian parents to begin to talk with their daughters about the disparity between Christian behavior and the behavior described in the Twilight books.
    See the movie either with your daughter or, if that embarrasses her, with someone else or alone. Read the book. Whether you see the movie or not, read the books. The details are in the books. Then sit down and discuss it with your daughter/children. Be open and lead into the discussion with something positive. You don’t have to download all your angst in one discussion. Try to meet your teenage daughter where she is – a teenager – then sensitively lead her beyond that. Christian maturity is a process and doesn’t happen over night. Be open to listening to her point of view. Meet her at her level of maturity and lead from there. Don’t lash out and get angry.
    These books would also be a good discussion generator for young men. With all the various models of behavior for men these days, a little reinforcement of how women should be treated wouldn’t be bad.
    God is compassionate and loving while firmly grounded in Christianity. Follow that example.

  83. Scott Welch says:

    thank you for not taking the “well, it’s just smut” approach to Twilight. I am a man who happens to enjoy the books and movies. They do not present an ideal picture, nor are they meant to. They are a story and like any other work of fiction we can enjoy them and have honest discussions about the issues they raise. You are the first Christian critic I have read that hasn’t just taken the “it’s Vampire porn” approach, which of course, is a terrible way to dialogue about this. Great article!

  84. Roxanne Anderson says:

    Excellently written and well thought out article. Twilight is such a hot topic. I love the books and movies myself, while being fully aware of all the pitfalls for teens. I haven’t let any of my kids, including daughters aged 11 and 13 read them or watch them. Eventually I will, and I plan to use this article to discuss why Bella and Edward’s relationship wouldn’t be healthy, nor should it be used as a guideline…if it was real. But of course, it isn’t. And neither is most of what we watch on TV or at the movies, nor would we act out most of those scenarios. And I do give the books and movies cheers for themes of the importance of choices, self sacrifice, loyalty, abstinence before marriage and pro-life. Believe me, I worked in a public library for three years and read my way through the young adult section to see what was out there- it beats most of it by a long shot. Of course, you could just beat all that by picking up a Francine Rivers book, but that’s another story!

  85. Lee says:

    Christians:
    Jesus’s entire ministry was spent telling the legalistic Pharisees that their human-imposed rules were of no consequence. I cannot for the life of me fathom why “Christians” feel that it is their job to make up new rules where the Pharisees left off. Of course we must be careful. Of course we need to “guard our hearts.” However, our calling is to be like Christ. We really have a pretty simple task. Love God, love people, and make disciples. We simply can’t do this if all we ever do is withdraw from the world. We need to stop making stuff up and do what Jesus did. He went into the homes of the lost and he loved them, and he made disciples of them. He didn’t use catchphrases like “in the world but not of the world,” he was in the trenches. He ate with the vilest offenders (I guess vampires would be included in this? ;). He did everything relationally and everything out of love. Maybe instead of worrying about what this series “is really saying” you should have taught your kids that the love of Christ is ultimate from the beginning. Or maybe if you hadn’t sheltered them their entire lives they would understand the meaning of the word fiction (and that there are other authors than Karen Kingsbury). Maybe if you hadn’t pretended to be better than everyone else your entire life then your kids would be able to handle having conversations about Twilight with their lost friends. Instead, they don’t have any lost friends because you are more worried that they might do something bad (even though they are righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice), than if they have an impact in this world for Christ.

    To sum it up: The problem with all of this is that somehow we have let our priorities shift in a dangerous way. Our greatest fear is that we (or even worse our children) would stumble, when in truth our greatest fear should be that our neighbor goes to hell. Think about that and then tell me whether this discussion about Twilight has any value whatsoever.

    • Stephanie.Nicole says:

      Actually, Christ *was* the one who said “in the world, not of the world,” though it wasn’t all nicely put in a phrase like that. You can find the sentiment in John 17:13-16.

      Also, what does serving others who need Christ in their lives have to do with exposing yourself to media which promotes non-Christian values? I’m all for going out and volunteering with the poor and the lost, for opening your home to them and reaching out to them with your time, money, and most importantly your love. However, there are many, many ways to do this without subjecting yourself to movies that have been carefully calculated in production to convince you of their truth!

      You say that our greatest fear should be that our neighbor may be going to hell. Are our children not our closest neighbors?

      • jgc says:

        Thank you, Stephanie.

        As Christian mothers, we are compelled to set a high example for our children and to follow the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This does not mean that we need to meditate or dwell on things dealing with the occult. It is sufficient to say that that is what these movies and books do, and that it has no place in our homes.

        Dabbling in it because “teens will do what is forbidden” or because “that is the culture” is not loving Jesus, IMHO. But each family must figure out best how to follow the Lord wholeheartedly. We will give an account of our childrearing someday.

  86. gary says:

    this conversation is worthless and would not be of importance if we truly as christians lived for Christ. turn from worldly desires to Christ

  87. Nathan says:

    Forgive the question…and for the record, I’m not a fan of Twilight, not for any particular scriptural reason, but solely because it has never much interested me.

    (And for the record, I am a proud father.)

    However, most commenters are running in circles – one side says, “you can’t keep your kids in a bubble,” and the other fires back, “that doesn’t mean we willingly explain in detail Evil to them.”

    To all those comparing Twilight to a car crash (“would you let your child get behind the wheel to see how bad wrecks are?”), a strip club, etc. – you’re making a huge mistake. You KNOW strip clubs are bad, as are car wrecks. The whole point some are making here is that you DON’T know if the Twilight movies are bad. If you’re assuming they’re the same, you’ve already decided, even before you hear the information you’ve supposedly come here to get.

    My child is young, and is only now learning to copy surrounding adults. It scares me…but I think as parents we might do well to give ourselves a break – we’re not going to get it all right. They might see a bad movie, or be exposed to dangerous ideas, or something much, much worse, and I have to accept at some point that, in the end, there is almost NOTHING I can do to keep all this from them. Total sheltering might work, but it also might cause the child to rebel and end up in much worse circumstances. Any blanket prescription that covers all children is nonsense, and needs to be seen as such.

    If anyone’s up for some friendly advice – I’ve found that the best way to resolve these kinds of discussions with kids (I’ve been working with them my whole life) is to get them involved in something much bigger than the movie or book, be it a charity, a soup kitchen, or what-have-you. As soon as they see just how good they have it, and how bad off the rest of the world can
    be, most petty discussions about culture disappear.

  88. Kristine says:

    Excellent article. I do believe there is room in our children’s lives for fantasy, myth, and other forms of literature. One of your readers left a comment saying that Twilight is no different than any other fairy tale but I beg to differ. Twilight (unlike true fairy tales such as Snow White or Little Red Riding Hood) does not have a moral that it is trying to get across to its readers but rather glorifies a dangerous, unhealthy relationship.

  89. Kingdomheart says:

    Where is discernment? There are dark characters in children’s movies. But the good person doesn’t run off with the witch, evil queen etc. Some have said, they are glad the vampire issue wasn’t brought up. What? What does a vampire stand for? It is the antithesis of a good, eternal God. But they take on the persona of God in some ways. They are immortal and can appear from nowhere etc etc. But,they are evil. Humans always try to kill them. They feed on life. Jesus came to give life. An attempt to bring good and evil together where the “evil” character is actually more moral is confusing at best for young people. It does not surprise me that there is so much confusion over this. If we don’t hear God’s heart on an issue we will choose wrong every time. Most believers really don’t care what God’s heart is on this. And, from my experience, they haven’t asked with an open heart.

  90. M Perry says:

    I think its important to remember that this series was “given” to the author by a demonic presence. Is this something I want to have myself or my children involved with? No way. We are called to be in the world but not of the world as Christians. We do not have to dabble in the world’s culture to reach the lost. Who cares if we can have an in depth conversation of something that isn’t of God?

    Do I need to see the films to know they aren’t good? No

    Do I need to do drugs to know they will hurt? No

    Do I need to become a prostitute to know it is harmful? No

    Whatsoever things are good, pure, honest… think on THESE things!

    I think Paul came across issues very much like this or he wouldn’t have spoken so adamently against mingling with the world.

  91. Sue says:

    Wow! I don’t know if anyone will even read this because I am at the end of the comment list here, but I am absolutely shocked with the dissensions I have just read. Many of these posts are really taking far too personal a stance on this subject. That alone should force you to go to His throne room for wisdom and clarity in the hopes that He will show you why this is such a hot button for you.

    I personally thought Mary’s comments were well balanced and logical. After making the mistake of allowing my two daughters to view the first film, which I was present, I came to many of these same conclusions. Unhealthy, unhealthy, unhealthy. Yes it is just fantasy, but why do we want or need to expose our daughters to the emotional pull that seems to grip them when they view these movies? How is that a benefit in our quest to raise Godly girls who rightly divide the truth from the lie?

    Don’t give me that malarkey about over protecting our daughters by denying them the ‘truth’ that is in the world. There are many more productive ways to showcase the darkness in this world in the hopes that they understand the balance. How about, why do we see the need to throw them to the sharks in the name of exposure and enlightenment? Think ladies. You have been given charge over these girls by God. Make wise choices with them. God will hold you accountable.

    My last comment is that beyond the fantasy, there is an intense sexual attraction in the films, much more prevalent than in the books. The chemistry between the two main characters evoke sexual desires in these teen girls and stir those embers at an age that they needn’t be stirred. They do not represent an attitude of purity in any way. What would be the benefit of promoting the opposite of purity in your daughter? How will that help her be the amazing Godly woman that she was designed to be? I just don’t see it.

    So step back ladies. Evaluate why you are so heated over this topic. Truly access if allowing them to see these films will be something that will bring your daughter either closer to her God or closer to her understanding of what a Godly, healthy relationship should be. The answer should be clear.

  92. Hurting Pastor says:

    Your article was truly eye opening. I knew these movies were not a good
    thing for Christians to partake in but the implications you pointed out are
    so true. Unfortunately I have seen all these signs in a young girl’s
    relationship with a non-believer and yet she refuses to see them for
    herself. Once the relationship becomes sexual it seems girls are no longer
    able to see the truth or reality. Thank you for your article.

  93. Rachel says:

    Mary,

    I understand, from a parent’s perspective, why younger, impressionable young women might be led astray in reading these novels or watching these films. But, as a grown, well-adjusted woman with completely formed morals, I just wanted to share with you where the beauty in the novels comes from. The beauty in the Twilight series comes from the way Stephanie Meyer is able to captivate millions of people without so much as one explicit sex scene in any of these books. It is a romance. A romance without explicit sexual descriptions that can make millions of people “feel” the way Bella does about Edward is hard to come by. The series is not a lesson on how not to be an angstful teenager, or to be a confident woman, or how to find Mr. Right or Mr. Godly. I would venture to say that if you gave the books a 100% open mind and you sat down and read them, you, too, might feel your heart skip a beat, when Bella realizes how much her Mr. Right cares about her safety, happiness, and overall wellbeing.

  94. Concerned Parent says:

    Frankly, I’m concerned. I am a youth minister in a large Texas community and we have many girls in our youth group that are completely infatuated with these books and movies. Now, understand, I don’t have a daughter of my own but do have 3 sons. However, the underlying message that I get from viewing the movies is one of trying to make “spiritual darkness” a common everyday part of life!
    As a a christian I understand the Bible to teach that we should flee from the temptation to dabble with spiritual darkness or demonic activity. Obviously “vampires” are not spiritually good.. so why are so many parents, who profess to be Christian believers, allowing their teens to become so enthralled with this storyline? It doesn’t make sense to me… on one hand I see the love story, but the Bible tells of a love in Corinthians that is very different from the love that is portrayed in this story. I’m afraid that the power of media is going to confuse many young ladies into a false sense of what “true love” should look like, sound like, and feel like. Jesus died to destroy “death” once and for all so how can we promote a story that celebrates a human teenager, who is full of a living vibrant soul, that becomes attached to a fictional “walking death” vampire character and not think that Satan, the real darkness, isn’t going to use a man made book and film story to mess up a generation of young ladies who don’t have an understanding of what God’s word really says about Good, Evil, and Eternity?? Just my thoughts… would love to know yours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Santa Claus, Fairy-tale Princesses, Pirates.. these things are also “spiritually not good”. They take away from the truth and love of Christ.

      Someone needs to take a stand against those powers of darkness!

      Where do you draw the line? And who are you to draw the line for other people?

  95. Anonymous says:

    i am a mother of 2 daughters and one son. married to same man for 15 years.. We are christians and my husband and myself are assistant youth pastors at our church.. We have seen all these movies and I even go to the midnight showing with my oldest daughter.. Its a movie.. just like any other movie..

    some of us grew up watching Wily E Coyote… did it make you want to run off a cliff to chase a bird? no.. it was fun to watch.. it was just a cartoon..

    I think some of us have forgotten to remember what its like to be a child and have fun.. we adults get so wrapped up in judging and day to day things in life.. to busy being an adult, that we forget what its like to just do something without thinking..

    i know my daughter enjoys watching these movies. and i have my own edward shirt.. we have a good time going to burger king, divin in the bag to get the eclipse toy.. and laughing as dad rolls his eyes.. its fun.. its a memory my daughter will have.. just like my mom did when i was 14 adn had every poster of new kids on the block on my walls.. and when the “new fad” comes out, ill be there having fun with my daughter with it..

    we have to look out for our daughters our sons.. we can use everyday things as lessons and teachable moments.. i love my children. and i dont think my daughter will jump off a cliff, for any boy or person ( btw, i didnt think for one second bella was contimplating suicide.. the thought didnt even cross my mind and i was shocked to see someone thought that)

    we all have free will.. Thats one of Gods great gifts to us.. and we all have our own opinions..

    thats all i have to say about that…

    loving life..

  96. Ru says:

    The whole Twilight obsession is just plain silly. It is what Titanic was 13 years ago (wow don’t I feel old). Edward and Bella are Jack and Rose, nothing new. I am not a parent but if I were, I would point out to my daughter that this whole thing is a fad no different from any other. It will pass, and sooner or later no one will care that she hasn’t seen the movie or read the book. Some parents may be afraid to say “no “because they may think that either their child will hate them, turn from the faith or be lonely outcasts because they aren’t permitted to do, see or watch YXZ. Isn’t God bigger than the sum of our fears? Besides Middle and High School are only a total of 8 years, at some point we all have to learn that fitting in isn’t the point of life as believers.

    Bottom line: Tweens, teens, and other young women will survive and go on to lead productive and successful lives without seeing or reading Twilight. : )

  97. Amy says:

    Mary,
    Thank you for your article. I couldn’t agree more.

  98. A.M. says:

    Good article. I find it unsettling that so many young girls drool over seeing Edward on the screen, so it is nice to be reminded of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. It is very frustrating to me that people are attacking the article without simply taking it with a grain of salt.
    Opinions are not lies. If Mary’s opinion is that the Twilight saga is not healthy, that is simply what she thinks. Clearly you disagree, well then write your own article about how amazing Bella and Edward are together as a model couple.
    The movies are popular in a different way than the books. Half of the movie goers (my half) will be too busy or not interested in reading the books. Why should Mary have to read the books before writing her opinion of the movies? If the books present a different picture of Edward and Bella’s relationship, then that’s great, but it still doesn’t change the picture that the movie paints for the hundreds of thousands of us who don’t have the time to read the books.
    Mary did not say that you should burn the movie and lock your children in a room so they won’t see it, so please don’t react in anger thinking that she did. She presented a wonderful list of warning signs of an unhealthy relationship and warned that young girls need to consider this as they drool over seeing Edward.
    I am a 22 year old young woman and am not offended by Mary’s article. Her points are a refreshing reminded of where my priorities in relationships need to be. I have experienced first hand some of the dangers listed, and would recommend that everyone be wise enough to recognize unhealthy relationships before swooning over a pretty face.

  99. Rhonda Jones says:

    I JUST sent my 19 year old daughter a Facebook message apologizing for failing her. After reading excerpts here and today watching a clip from Driscoll at Mars Hill; I am ashamed that I just completely dropped the ball. My daughter has read ALL three books and we even let her go with a friend and her mom to stay at a theater late to see a midnight opening feature. I rationalized this with foolish unbiblical ideas like:

    1. she’s 17 she has got to start making these decisions for yourself.

    2. she’s spending her own money

    4. there are many girls in my church reading including lots of young adults. I even had a young mom come to my house to borrow her books.

    3. and the worst, I’m just glad she’s reading

    In the past fought with the Harry Potter saga and even that movie with Nicole Kidman. I have warred with her in her early teen years about romance novels, teen magazines and televsion. And three years later I just caved. I didn’t even put up a fight except to ask general things like: are those edifying your soul? Why are you wasting your time on witchcraft?, etc.

    I think what shocked me the most is when I found out that, Stephenie Meyers, the author is quoted as saying that she is a “straitlaced” Mormon! I have let all that garbage into my daughter’s heart and in my home. And the worst part about it is she has gone on TWO missions trips to evangelize to MORMONS! We can NEVER stop being vigilant when our children’s soul is at stake. My conscience is convicted, but not condemned. Praise the Lord for opening my eyes.

  100. hammy says:

    this is retarded
    twilight is the best

  101. Emelie says:

    Amen! You speak it! I couldn’t have said it better!

  102. Kay Wilkins says:

    Mary, I just recently happened to see New Moon with my little teenage sister. Currently, at a women’s study at church we are doing GIRLS GONE WISE. Thank God I was able to see through the foolishness and idolatry all throughout the movie. I’m sure I can speak to my little sister about it now, who is absolutely in love with the falsehoods. Thanks for standing up for biblical womanhood. You are in our prayers!

  103. Lauren says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this teen sensation that has so quickly taken over the media. I have thus far been somewhat of a fan of the movies (not to the point where I’d read the books though) and your blog has helped me realize I need to be more careful in what I watch and let seep in. Ultimately the goal and purpose of a Christian is to bring glory to God: so the only question needing to be asked to ourselves is is taking part in this media craze glorifying my Heavenly Father?

    1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

  104. Anonymous says:

    ITS A BOOK!

  105. Rebekah says:

    I was in a bad relationship for a long time. I fell prey to man that didn’t love me. I was a wild thing and in no way wise
    #2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #8
    from the list above were all me. I moved in with the guy and got pregnant. He cheated on me after he found out I lost the baby.
    If I had known these warning signs I would have been saved a world of trouble. Now just a few years later I am still living with the consquences of my actions. Take heed to what Mary Kassian has to say. If I had known then what I know now my life would be so different. It’s true what they say…”If all those girls were honest that have been where your at I’d bet they would tell you they wish they had their innocence back”
    To all the hurting girls out there…There is a Prince of Peace that loves you more than any man could.

  106. Shaa says:

    To clarify one part being argued: The reason why Bella was cliff diving, motorcycle riding with Jacob and the guy she rode with outside the movie theater -was to make Edward appear or possibly return to her. When he left she went into a deep depression and he would come to her in a ghost like form whenever she would do something impulsive and dangerous–warning her to stop. She was so desperate that she would risk hurting or killing herself, just to see if he would appear or return.

    Thank you for a great and very truthful article Mary.

  107. another teen says:

    Hello all!

    I’m 19 years old and I read the twilight saga when it first came out and yes I am a Christian. When I first read the books I didn’t read them because Edward was a vampire or anything like that, I read them for the romance that I lacked in my life at 14. While reading it I couldn’t understand why Bella would be so ready to give up her soul for something as ridiculous as staying young and living forever with the man you love, when if you keep your soul you’ll die a humanly death and be with God later. It was dumb. Yet I read all the books because I wanted to know what would eventually happen with Bella and Edward. I’ve seen a lot of people saying read the books before you judge them and I’ve seen a lot of people refusing to let their children read them. To that I say to each his own. Everyone parents differently. However, being a teenager , I do know that just because you don’t let your children know about certain things or read certain things doesn’t mean they won’t

  108. Kate says:

    I agree with you on a lot of things in this article. I say while having read the books and loving them. I used to love Bella and Edward and their relationship, but in the years since reading it there are many things about their relationship that are things I would want to stay away from. It is actually the relationship Bella develops with Jacob that has led me toward examining Bella and Edward’s relationship past the superficial. Lately I have been wondering if perhaps Meyer wrote a horror novel rather than a romance. A needy relationship with a man–who isn’t supposed to be alive–that leaves her with serious mental problems (hallucinations) when he leaves? Men–the pack–who do not have the power to choose who they love and are forced to leave the person they may have loved to “love” someone else, their imprint?

  109. Annonymous says:

    I read the first book for a book club, otherwise I would never have read a vampire story at all(and yes..I do screen which books I read now for book club)…I thought “this isn’t bad…not at all what I expected” I thought it was silly and obssesiv(even though several peopel were raving that it promoted abstinence(NOT)uh…maybe from drinking blood) but didn’t find anything blatant until after I watched the first movie with a friend and read the second book…but just had to see the story end..before I knew it was hooked and had read all four books…I have to say I do agree with Mary on the points she made about the movie..and the same points could be made for the books.(books are more of a temptation for me than movies)..it starts out mild with nothing “really horrible” in it…until the point where Edward says he has no soul and Bella actually points out that he “can be saved”(redeemed) they are specifically talking about salvation in this part of the story(I think this was in book 2-but it’s been a long time)…..by book four we’ve gone from a mild love story to a full blown descriptive honeymoon(which made me sick)…wierd half vampire babies(who prefer to drink human blood-stolen from the hospital’s donor blood supply I might add) and a major showdown between the “good” vampires and the “evil” vampires. I have no desire to see the rest of the movies…and felt and do feel a little “sick” after reading the books especially book four..for those of you splitting hairs about the cliff scene…..whether she was thrill seeking or suicidal she did it because she was depressed and obssessing over Edward..their “love” is completely obssesive and selfish-face it Edward does stalk her..not to mention the whole werewolf and imprinting thing being completely creepy…this author managed to make everything evil and bad look like it was ok..and not so awful..instead of black and white she made it look gray and appealing…..my point is just that as christians we are supposed to think on “lovely, pure, true things, and things of good report” I don’t think this story had any of those qualities… The Bible is pretty clear about staying away from evil (vampires and werewolves by their very nature would be “evil” good vampires or not…I work with girls(preteens and teens) and honestly wouldn’t reccommend this series for them at all(even though as a teacher I want them to read)when they asked me about the series it made me really think…would I want them to fill their minds with this? As an example to them should I be reading it? It led to a little talk on “compromise’ and how sin starts as something “mild” and attractive..so you want to see a little more and before you know it you’re completely hooked…I asked them if as christians we should be reading things that are so blatantly against the values they have been brought up to believe in..I even admitted I was wrong to read them….they actually agreed with me…I wish I had had this article at that time…It explains things so much better than I could to them… I knew this type of book was against my principals and read not one but all four of the books even though my conscience was nagging at me the whole time…what makes anyone think it is any less dangerous for a pre-teen or teen to read?

  110. Missy says:

    I know this is an old post, but I just found it. Outside the fact that as believers we are to have no part in the works of darkness (which was my first reason to not read the books or see the movies), I think you have given some very good points concerning the relationship side of the story.

    You might be surprised how many women in their 20′s and 30′s in my church we totally enamored with this series of books/movies. For months that was all my teen daughter heard from Sunday School teachers and other women in leadership. It got to be so bad we pulled her out of her class. I was amazed that they couldn’t see the dangers and the reasons why they should have not part of it. Thankfully I was able to have some really good discussions with my daughters and son about the Biblical reasons why this was something that was not of God.

    I just have to question why teen girls need romance. It stirs up feelings that they cannot fulfill without dishonoring and disobeying God with their lives. Wouldn’t a bigger point be that they need to focus their hearts on something else completely?

  111. Sarah says:

    You can’t forget that this was written by someone who went through BYU, the major Mormon university.. no wonder it’s got “more traditional roles”
    The following diatribe is the most disempowering quote I’ve read about women’s roles in a while:
    “Her character flies in the face of the tough-girl image that’s portrayed by most contemporary movies. I think young girls intuitively know that the prevalent portrayal of women as tough doesn’t match who they are.”
    “Regardless of culture’s attempts at egalitarian brainwashing, the man of her dreams is still a strong, handsome prince charming who fights for her, and rescues her.”

  112. Elizabeth says:

    I read this with my mom, and talked about each section. It was really helpful to apply it to situations that I, as a 17 year old, am going through right now. I’ve never read the books or watched the movies, although a few of my friends have. Vampires always seemed dumb to me. But from what I’ve read of the comments, some people don’t feel as though the books/movies have an impact on how they live. One of my friends who read this was a Christian, but after she read it, she became obsessed with that kind of living. After she moved, she found herself an Edward, and it’s not going all that well for her. I’ve been praying that she’d change, and that the Lord will bring her back. Books/movies/music/TV shows, they all influence the way you live.
    In my English class we’re taking apart fairy tales, finding their lessons, looking into their histories, and that’s pretty much what Mary has done with Twilight. She’s shown that the lessons, or the themes more like, aren’t helpful for Christian girls (or any girl for that matter).
    Anyway,
    Loved the article, gave me some things to think about.
    Elizabeth

  113. Amber says:

    I read Twilight when I was going through a tough breakup with my boyfriend, I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back it is a bit of an evil story. I thought it was a love story at the time, but there is a demonic presence to it. I think that young girls read this and gain certain types of expectations or fantasys that are un holy and un godlike. It is sad to say that as much as I liked the book, as I become stronger in my faith I regret reading it and letting that into my life.