I HATE TWILIGHT!
First and foremost. I don’t hate TWILIGHT. But with everyone on this crazy Twilight buzz…I figured I would be less likely to get people to check out my post if I simply said “I Love Twilight.” But, there are some things about the movie, book and fan following that I wanted to reflect on. I hope you’ll read on. Please forgive my trickery. (That’s old school Harry Potter.)
My wife dragged me to the stinkin’ movie! I promised people I would read the book. And I did get past the prologue, which was interesting. Then I up and discovered the 30th anniversary edition of “The Princess Bride” and promptly read that. So…yeah, didn’t get around to the story. Besides, who wants to read something that EVERYONE else has read? Where have all the pop culture rebels disappeared to?
Anyway…I was there in the theater with my wife watching teens swoon every time the pale Edward graced the screen. (Nice hair…by the way.) Was it a good movie? Sure. It was just fine. I wouldn’t say it was a masterpiece, but I suppose if you build something up long enough, the shear degree in which it’s presented is bound to disappoint. I wouldn’t dare call it a chick flick for fear of lynching…but it had a soft, romantic lean to it. There was barely a kiss the entire movie…and get this: no sex. (Which impressed me. You see Lil’ Wayne and the rappers of the world??? You CAN create something cool AND captivating without it being about sex, drugs or Winn-Dixie grocery bag full o’ money!)
What I found fascinating was NOT the storyline…the relationships, the acting (actually not that bad)…or the production elements of the film. More so, it was the audience/story relationship. I watched as my wife eagerly anticipated certain lines from the book, and then smile as they were successfully executed in her opinion. She read all the books of course and she knew the outcome…but it was that anticipation, the remaining “what if” factor that kept her glued to the screen.
I figure there are two types of people in the world. Those that LIKE vampires and those that DON’T. I don’t really like vampires or vampire stories. Give me a super villain or a monster any day. Some might argue that vampires or Dracula is the greatest villain of all time. I argue, what’s the appeal? My wife actually said to me that vampires are “sexy.” Hmmmm. I thought about that….and after I bought the cape, I came to a conclusion.
I guess there is something romantic about things that are dangerous, or unknown, or unseen, or misunderstood. This group of teen vampires that lurch in the hall of Forks High School…they’re mysterious…they’re outcasts…foreigners…and alluring as a result. (By the way…go “TEAM JASPER.” That character cracked me up!)
I’m going to attempt to make a connection here. I think VAMPIRES in many ways are like CHRISTIANS. Big statement, I know…and let’s get it out of the way….NO Christians don’t suck blood…we don’t melt in the sunlight…and for the record, garlic is just plain yummy. But in all seriousness…in today’s superficial, surreal, alluring society, Christians are the outcasts. If you don’t support gay marriage, you’re an outcast. If you don’t vote for Obama, you’re an outcast. If you don’t place a penny on Buddah’s tum-tum or burn incense and chant…or believe healing powers lie within yourself….you’re an outcast. I read the other day that in 3 years, Caucasians in America will be a minority. I wonder what the statistics are for Christians. I know there are a lot of believers out there…but boy are there a whole bunch of new ways to find buckets load of “new” answers that point us away from the saving grace of the Lord.
The reason I make the comparison has to do with the fact that Christians nowadays are more likely to sit on their religious beliefs and keep quiet about their faith, so that they may better shield themselves from criticism and judgment. I do it all the time. We all do. We’re all sinful. Atheists are quick to deliver a well-rehearsed explanation about why they don’t believe in God…but Christians? To get to the core of WHY they believe what they do….you really got to drag it out of them. Why?
Are Christians afraid of social aftermath? Of being “found out?”
Is it “cooler” to be part of a “bigger” crowd on the outside?
Perhaps Christians are afraid of a stake through their hearts, or a cross burning their skin as it sits on a chain around their neck.
I don’t know. But even outside the realm of religion…there is something amazingly romantic about someone who believes in something, if you asked me. That’s why people like the Twilight story, isn’t it? They WANT to root for the impressionable girl who is following her heart, that’s telling her to love something dark, dangerous and forbidden.
Have you every known someone to believe in something SO MUCH…that they trembled at the thought of losing it? (*SEMI-SPOILER*) I recall that scene in the hospital when Edward tells Bella he will leave her….she trembles and can barely talk at the notion.
Did you know your best friend who you have the closest bond to in the whole world…who is atheist….you know they’re going to Hell, right? When they die…they’re going to Hell. I use STRONG VERBIAGE here…and I’m likely to scare some readers away at this point. If you do hit the STUMBLE! button now…you’re proving my point. I believe that the only way to eternal life in Heaven is through our Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe that with all of my heart. To those I care about…I want you to believe that too. If I stand next to you…talk to you…befriend you…or pass you on the street….WHATEVER….if I don’t at the very least offer you the opportunity to get closer to God, then I’m doing nothing but willingly watching you descent into darkness.
Twilight is a good movie. People were moved by this unlikely bond and relationship. They rooted for these two lovers. Bella said to Edward that she wants to be a vampire so that she could spend eternity with him. But, oh no! He wouldn’t bite her neck because he’d be damning her. What about our individual walks with Christ? How many people do we meet everyday that don’t know the glory of God? Sure there are those who would never admit it. But then….there are those who WANT to know…or have those questions without answers. Are you going to bite? Are you going to give them exactly what they want and help them find those answers?
Eh….the comparison is not water-proof. I know. But it got me thinking. I don’t care much for vampires…but I did like the fact that Edward had to go against everything inside himself to keep from biting Bella. And that’s what we as Christians seem to do everyday. The only difference is…SHOULD Edward draw close and bite Bella’s neck, and suck the blood of a mortal and go into a “frenzy” as they called it…he would be rewarded with the riches that drive his very existence. I wish we as brothers and sisters in Christ could feel that same way about sharing our faith.
I suppose this post is a challenge. I love it when people INVEST themselves in things. Twilight is so bloody popular! (Pun intended.) Ugg boots still make appearances. Students at the private school I teach at cannot find social status UNLESS they have a brand new Hummer or BMW. Harry Potter nearly had cult followings! Stuff comes and goes. Fads are in…and then out. Trapper Keepers are DEAD! Let them go!!!
But one thing is constant. One thing is never “out.” The saving grace of Jesus Christ is eternal.
There are no vampires. No one jumps from tree to tree…or runs up the side of the mountain with unbelievable speed. No one has sparkly skin…(unless you’re a Vegas dancer…in which case “go back to school!”) But everyone is loved by God.
I think it’s fun to look forward to things and I can’t wait for the squeal. Until then, I will appreciate Twilight….if only because it got me thinking about whether or not I do all that I can everyday in my walk with Christ. Do I offer enough? Do I keep my mouth closed when it should be open? Am I leading the life God wants me to lead? More importantly…am I helping others? If not….that just bites.