Monday, October 19, 2009

"Twilight" of loyalty?

I wish I could say I never do anything wrong and that my faith is therefore perfect and strong. I wish I could say God never has to discipline me.

I have to pray for more love, more power to obey and to minister, and more faith. And I wish I were a perfect example to emulate. I'm not.

But we're told to encourage each other, right? And this is something that worries me in the Church--the pleasure in the books and movie, Twilight.

Along with
Harry Potter and The
, mixed emotions abound about Twilight, as this article attests:

(Click here:) Should Christian Teens Be Reading "Twilight?"

It concludes: So, what's the verdict?

There really is no verdict here, just a conscious choice. Like anything we see in the world today, you have to make a choice you can live with. As Christians, we need to be mindful of what we put in our minds and hearts.

Some Christians have read and seen a lot of books on witchcraft, sex, violence, and more without it ever even denting their faith.

However, a lot of other Christians are more vulnerable, and the smallest mention of something tempting can lure them away. You have to know where you are and what you can handle in order to choose wisely.

Sure, we should consider the weakness of some Christians.

But what about the feelings of our GOD?

He hates powers not from Him. He said in the Old Testament that anyone who dabbled in them could not go into the Promised Land!

Has He changed His mind today? We're under grace. But does it still hurt Him? Even if He won't keep us out of the Promised Land, will He have to discipline us?

The article does mention Deuteronomy 18:9-14

Detestable Practices
9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in [a] the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.

14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.

Whoa. Detestable. Not permitted you.

And consider: Leviticus 17:10. God said to Moses, "Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood-I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people."

To me, it's a matter of obedience.

Holding God in awe and reverence and holy fear of His loving discipline.

And even more, it's a matter of love and loyalty to the One who loves and protects us and gave His life for us--and to us.

Some would object that we're not under the Old Testament. Well, Galatians 5 in the New Testament lists sorcery as something that can keep someone out of the Kingdom. Of course, most people who watch these won't do sorcery. But vampires do; at least, they use powers not from God to do things God hates.

People will say vampires aren't real. ***But the concept of sorcery is real.*** It just seems disloyal to be entertained and amused by something God hates. I fear it will bring His discipline, too. He does discipline those He loves. Not to mention that we are in spiritual warfare.

(And I've recently read here that some teenagers are no longer just giving each other hickeys, but real bites, drawing blood.)

I just read a book of John Wesley's sermons, The Holy Spirit and Power. It reported that in Augustine of Hippo's church, SIX people were raised from the dead.

This was over two hundred years after the death of the last apostle.

Holy Spirit power did not diminish with the death of the last apostle, as some traditions teach.

But we recall that Jesus could do few miracles in Nazareth because of *their* unbelief. He did manage to heal a few!

Heal a few! Wouldn't we love to see a few healings!

Because of current events and prophecy, I suspect we are in the lukewarm Laodicean Church Age. And in the very last of the Last Days.

If so, we share a challenge:

Jesus questions whether He would find faith on the earth when He returns.

He also said in John 14:6 that those who love Him, obey Him, and He will love them, and show Himself to them. So I think obedience is key to more faith. Ephesians 5:18 tells us, Be (continually) filled with the Spirit.

And this plays out in part by not turning for entertainment to books about things God hates. Especially when He tells us so for our own well-being.

I'm no great example of an obedient one. I have temptations and strongholds of my own that I battle.

But I find it easy to resist these popular stories.

Because I've had so much fun seeing God move in my life and I want more. Praise God. I'd much rather have that than any fun I can get from a movie.

And I really, really long to see a few more loved ones healed! Not to put a guilt trip on people who have not been healed. But I suspect the whole church is missing out by allowing the world to distract us from our reasonable service--loving God more than anything else.


Anonymous said...

I think people are enrapt by the love story, the handsome stars, and the theme of good versus evil, but hold on, the good isnt good. The plot is evil. Actually its evil versus evil. As Christians we have to be careful what we see and hear. To be friends of the world is to be an enemy of God.
When I wrote The Christmas Edition, I used the word 'golly' and a Christian slammed me for it saying I cussed. So if that is swearing, how can the Twilight series be acceptable? Most christian publishers do not want the author to mention undergarments, the female cannot have a platonic male sleep in her house, etc. With these strick standards for our writing, how can we watch this other stuff? I am just asking.

Anonymous said...

I find it sad that the world and Christians look for the power amongst the dark side. They will find power, but what comes with it will not be pretty. Beware of the tickling of ears and the lure of what is ungodly.

Good comments Margo

Margo Carmichael said...

Interesting comparison, Robin Shope. (We know you wrote that darlin book.) Thanks for stopping by.

Patricia, good thoughts. *Beware* is right. Thank you.

LadyJane said...

I read the first book, before all the hullabaloo and movie, because it was recommended as a "good romance." I thought it was pretty dumb. I didn't know it was the first of a series, but figured out that the heroine would eventually want to be the same as her vampire lover, and would willingly go that way ... and she did. No surprise there. But it was "dumb," to me, because although I do like fantasy, this one was seen as more than that by teenage girls, and middle-aged women.

As A believer in God, I just thought it was "dumb" (as I already said), but to someone who has no faith, it cements their belief in supernatural powers of darkness, and will probably further their studies in the dark teachings of New Age, Wicca, etc. Sad.

Margo Carmichael said...

That's a valid concern, Jane. Thank you.

Molly Noble Bull said...

As a Christian, let me begin by saying that I agree with everything Margo said about witchcraft and the occult. It's totally evil.
But when I was a teenager and a young adult, I was not saved. Back then, I read science fiction books and magazines and saw every vampire and werewolf movie that came out.
Why? What was the attraction?
Mystery? Or did I just like to be scared?
For me it was a desire to discover the supernatural -- step across the line -- taste the unknown. And I am sorry to say that desire has not completely left me even today. How many times do I start reading a book or watching a TV show because it sounds exciting -- only to put down the book or change the channel because I know the Lord was not pleased?
The Bible is a supernatual book, and today I satisfy my desire for the supernatural in more positive ways. I study the Bible and Bible prophecy.
Vampires don't exist. Evil does, and Hell is real, too.
We must be steadast and ever watchful.

Margo Carmichael said...

Exactly, Molly, we desire the supernatural. And God the Holy Spirit is the best source of that, I believe.

Yes, as you say, studying the Bible and seeing fulfilled prophecy satisfies the desire for the supernatural.

And when we really open ourselves up to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we will find even more satisfaction. At least, that's how it happened for me.

I think about how, as we know, God's gifts to us are not called Gifts of Jesus, they are called the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

If we really want to see the gifts, I believe we really have to welcome the Spirit, not just take Him for granted as part of God.

Draw near to God (Father, Son, AND Holy Spirit) and He will draw near to you, from James, is one of my favorites.

It seems like many believe the Trinity is the Father, Son, and Holy Bible.

The Word of God is so important.

But so is the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

And He is not an *it.*

My concerns, anyway.

You are so right. Evil is real, too, and if we dabble, we open doors. We get into a playpen with serpents, sooner or later, we'll get bitten.

Meanwhile, Jesus waits to show Himself to us and He does that through the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for taking the time to post.

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, Margo. Twilight fans are really into this series, probably because of the love story. The fact that the hero is a vampire adds conflict to the central love story.

The current Spiritual Counterfeits Project journal ( ) addresses the current vampire craze. The concensus opinion appears to be that the fascination with vampires runs the risk of causing people to concentrate on the "wrong blood," namely blood other than the powerful, saving blood of Jesus Christ.

They also point out that this craze is a reflection of our current culture, which appears to be fascinated with blood and death.

When I was a young author, all of 12 and 13 years old, I began a vampire story--probably because, in those days, my solution to conflict was to have everybody die in the end. Plus a girl my age who became a vampire would have all sorts of interesting "powers." Since a 12-year-old is so powerless, definitely, I was interested in those powers!

Sad to say, I think this is what a lot of this fad is all about to this day--gaining "power" over your fellow human beings. And if you can make everybody die in the end, you have solved all your problems . . . or so you believe for a short while.

Katy King

Margo Carmichael said...

Very interesting points, Katy. Thanks so much for sharing them. I'll check out