Monday, November 21, 2011

A Pastor's lament on Twilight

This movie seems to be taking America, and our youth by storm.  And it seems strongly appealing to women, because of its strong message on Romance and the theme of validation of personhood.  But are the answers it's giving really Biblical?  And what of the occult nature of the film, is it okay for Christians to watch and enjoy, or to be obsessed with such a topic?

Some people will make the case that Twilight is simply fantasy.  Fantasy is a powerful thing, because it engages the person's imagination and feelings, and now with movie media, it may employ fantastical effects and music, which manipulates the emotions.  Many of today's movies and TV series employ the use of these computerized effects with music to manipulate the audience and bring them in line with the message of the movie.  And emotions are a powerful thing. 

Some may make the case that Twilight is no different than C.S. Lewis' use of fantasy.  But here's where the difference lies, in Lewis' chronicles of Narnia, they employ analogies to convey Biblical, spiritual truths to children, as Aslan was an accurate analogy of Christ dying for the sins of Edmund (the world; Jn. 3:16).  But Twilight is using occult ritual, belief and lore to teach about the "un-dead," those cursed to live an eternal darkness, yet it is portrayed in the movies as being a good thing to be on the side of darkness and eternally accursed (Is. 5:20)!

Wicca is known to be one of the fastest growing religions in America today. Our kids' exposure/desensitization to witchcraft/sorcery and magic that has appeared exponentially on TV shows today. It's one of Satan's tools, people are indoctrinated through movies.

"We know that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." 1 Jn. 5:19

"in which you formerly walked, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." Eph. 2:2

These verses tell us that Satan controls the world (remember when he offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world), and that he is presently working in the world.

Acts 19 speaks of when Paul was in Ephesus, a great center for witchcraft, sorcery and astrology, and tells how in verse Acts 19:19, a mass number of Christians who had not yet renounced witchcraft renounced and burnt their magical papyri, totalling 50,000 days wages.  Even though this people had accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, and were now indwelt with the holy spirit, they had not renounced their association with or practice of witchcraft, of 'daimon guides,' who were spirits that took up residence within the people, and brought other daimons in the name of serving the practitioner.  After seeing the failed attempt of an exorcism performed by non-believers in the name of Jesus, the believers saw the reality of the message of Christ, and of His complete authority over demons (by their own admission), they then renounced and burnt their books which instructed them in the ways of the demonic.1 

The Apostle Peter warns believers: "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Ptr. 5:8).

Why would Peter need to warn believers about being devoured by Satan? Wasn't he defeated on the cross? Don't they have the Holy Spirit in them? How does Peter, being inspired by the Spirit (2 Ptr. 1:21) write this for believers? Clearly there is a danger for believers to be 'devoured' by Satan. Or what about the man handed over to Satan for the destruction of His flesh but the salvation of his soul?

Some say that the Twilight series is just harmless fantasy.  Pornography is also fantasy. Is it okay for a Christian man to enjoy pornography? Any believer would clearly say no. There have cases where people have received demons through their involvement with viewing/delighting in pornography. How is that different from viewing/delighting in a movie about occultic creatures, such as Vampires (the eternally damned, unchristian) who twist and pervert the truth.

What does scripture state about our entertainment choices, upon which we are to think/"dwell on"?

Philippians 4:8

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Does this fit the Twilight movies? Is this something we would watch for entertainment with Jesus? I'm not trying to anger anyone, but get people to think through the issues. 

I am trying to warn against something that is quickly sweeping through the church. What happens when church leadership embraces the demonic? Is God pleased with such things?

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

For His people, the Church, God commands us to come out and be separate.  He doesn't tell us it's okay to enjoy movies about Satanic rituals and child sacrifice.  What agreement does light have with darkness?  what agreement does Christ have with Belial?  "Come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.

1 John 5:20-21

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

1 Arnold, Clinton E., 3 Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare.  Baker Books: Grand Rapids.  1997.  p. 91-92.

"[O]ne magical text explains how to perform a ritual in which "a daimon comes as an assistant who will eat and sleep with you."  This being is then described as "a god; he is an aerial spirit which you have seen."  Once the door is opened, others invade the life of the person: "He will quickly bring daimons [for a banquet], and for you he will adorn these servants with sashes.  These things he does quickly."...  If prior to, and even subsequent to, their conversion, believers in Ephesus were engaging in this sort of magic - summoning spirits and inviting them into their lives - how would the apostle Paul have responded?  Surely he was not blind to this phenomenon.  Was providing these people with instruction in the Scriptures enough, or was more direct intervention required on occasion? (Arnold, p. 92).

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