From the Archives: Does Twilight lead to an unholy fantasy life?
When thinking about this conversation, it seemed worthwhile to drag the following post out of the archives. Most of the remainder of this post was originally written in December 2009, but I've added a thought or two based on the deluge of comments we've received on this topic.
For the past week we've been exploring reasons to avoid Twilight mania. But I don't just want you to take my word on this. These thoughts will be grounded in truth from God's Word.
Here's one of my beefs with this series—it seems that focusing on Bella and Edward's romance can lead to an unholy fantasy life. I've personally witnessed what can only be touted as Edwardmania among many of the young women I know. Edward (the story's vampire protagonist) is admired by young women as the ultimate standard for a boyfriend.
One girl wrote the following on an Edward fan site: "I love Edward not because he's the ideal guy any girl could dream of. Because he is inspiring, his figure doesn't make girls hide in their rooms and daydream all of their lives. It makes us go out and search for our own Edward. And the blessing comes after we have found him. We can stay forever in the bliss of having the most perfect guy in the universe all to ourselves ..."
Yikes! I can't make this stuff up. I have had several girls personally tell me that they want their own Edward. This idea is strengthened by Bella's obsession with Edward in the book. She is willing to do anything for him, including becoming a vampire herself in order to be with him forever. Every night Edward sneaks in to Bella's room to sleep next to her, and Bella hides it from her parents. Even though this clearly bucks the Bible's standards for response to authority, it seems to just make Twilight readers swoon more for Edward. For many young women, it seems that thoughts of him create a runaway train of romantic fantasies about a fella who isn't their potential husband (he is fictional after all). Focusing on this standard rather than on God's standards for romance is way off course.
When I originally addressed this topic on the blog, gobs of you wrote in defending Edward. Your number one defense for why Edward should be admired? The fact that he and Bella wait to have sex in the books until they are married. This is clearly an area of deception. Edward's stand does not equal purity. He and Bella don't wait because they understand and are committed to God's standards. And eventually (yes, after they are married), their relationship is described in a way that is highly sexual.
So many solid Christian women have defended this series simply because Bella and Edward save sex until they are married. In light of the sensual content of this series, that argument just doesn't hold water.
Many of you have written about how difficult it is to wait on God's timing for romance. And several of you have been honest about the heartache you've experienced when you've made the decision to link your life with someone other than the man God would choose for you. Surely an obsession with a fictional character, who seems to have it all, does nothing but muddy these waters.
Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." I truly think that these books make this an increasingly difficult task.
Twilight certainly isn't the first book to introduce this kind of deception. Unrealistic and ungodly portrayals of romance, love, and beauty are everywhere. What are some other factors that contribute to an unholy fantasy life for you? What are some strategies that you use to make sure you stay focused on God's standards for love?