Mark Driscoll discusses Twilight and examines a few of the books that are being promoted for young girls today.
Driscoll’s critique should be well considered. Too often we assume that just because it’s a movie, a book or a song that it’s fine (as if these things don’t have an agenda to promote). It’s why the Bible commands us all to be discerning. A great resource in developing discernment? Tim Challies’ book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (review here).
The transcript of the video follows:
…I do want you to be discerning when it comes to culture because I believe one of the ways that Satan works in our day, is he will take things out of the category of religion and spirituality, put them into the category of entertainment, and we completely fail to be discerning. We just think, “Oh, that’s not demonic. That’s a movie.” A movie is a sermon with pictures. “That’s not demonic, that’s a song.” Satan can write music. He can inspire story-telling and filmmaking, music. He sets ideology, and worldview, and he’s at work in the world.
I’ll back this up, give you an example. I have a thirteen-year-old daughter. My daughter, Ashley, recently turned thirteen. So now I am the proud daddy of a teenage girl. It’s awesome. I love her. Some people say, “Oh wait till she’s a teenager.” She’s there. It’s fantastic. It’s great. I adore her. She’s a voracious reader. She reads a lot, and she’s got a big library. She’s a discerning reader. She’s starting to write, and we’re getting ready to publish her blogs, which are recommended readings and critical book reviews for preteen and teenage girls so they don’t read garbage, which I think is awesome, and I really am excited about that. It was her idea.
So I was talking to her, and she was telling me about reading, and what her friends are reading, and some of the garbage that’s out there. ‘Cause I don’t know if you know this, I’m not really up on all the preteen girl literature. It’s not where I just go to in my free time. So she orders a lot of books for her Kindle, and you know, in print through Amazon. So Amazon recently sent a “Hey, it’s summertime, here are the best-selling big new books for preteen and teenage girls.” And I thought, well, I don’t know what that is, but I have one. I better click. So I clicked on it, and it was unbelievable what it brought up. It brought up all these vampire, werewolf, blood-sucking, weird relationships books that all come out of the Twilight series.
I’ll show it to you, some of these books. The first one that came up was The Necromancer: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Now, that means you’re consulting with dead people. It’s about sorcery, witchcraft, divination, Wicca, dead people. You know what? Dead people don’t talk to you. Demons pretend to be dead people. “I’m your Grandpa.” “Oh, hi, Gramps.” No! That’s a really bad idea. The book should be called, It’s a Really Bad Idea.
Next book, Eclipse, part of the Twilight series. We’ll come back to that, since you asked. The other one on the preteen/teen Amazon.com bestseller list was Spirit Bound: A Vampire Academy Novel. That is a girl on the cover giving her neck to a vampire. Some of you are like, “Don’t be a hater.” Okay, I don’t think it’s a good idea for any boy to suck blood out of your neck under any circumstances! I’m old school that way. That’s just how I roll. “Here’s my neck.” No!
Dark Flame: The Immortals. Most of these book covers take young girls, dress them up like divas around candlelight, practicing witchcraft, waiting for a vampire or a werewolf. I’m not even making this up.
Okay, now, Twilight, Eclipse. There on the cover are the beast, the false prophet, and the Antichrist. We’ll get back to that in a minute.
Another book on the list, The Sorceress. That’s not even subtle! “Honey, why don’t you read your Bible?” “I don’t have time, I’m reading The Sorceress.” That doesn’t sound good, The Sorceress. You don’t need to have the gift of discernment to go, “That does not sound good, The Sorceress.”
We’ll just keep going. Love Bites: A Vampire Kisses Novel. Look at that cover! That’s wrong. She’s like twelve waiting for a vampire to kiss her on her lipsticked lips. I’m a dad, no! Don’t do that. It should say, “If he loves you he’ll never bite you.” That’s what it should say.
Spells. Spells! Do you know what a spell is? “No.” You’re under a spell if you don’t know what a spell is. A spell is where a witch casts a spell on you. It’s called “Brilliant and Lovely.” “Oh well, it’s a lovely spell. Well, that doesn’t even count.” It’s like a lovely car wreck. It’s a good one.
All right, this was on the list. It’s called Hell’s Heroes. Just so you know, hell doesn’t have any heroes. That’s the whole point of hell. It’s called the “Demonata.” I can’t even believe some parents are like “Well, at least they’re reading.” Oh, oh, yeah. Just look at that cover. It’s a werewolf, a girl, and some guy who’s into rave or something. I can’t even figure out what’s going on.
Twilight. Now, does this cover imagery remind you of anything? A woman holding an apple. This is Genesis 1 and 2, where the whole deception started, and you open the book up and it quotes Genesis 2:17. It actually goes right back to Genesis when Eve was deceived. It’s like, “Oh, it’s a good thing.” All right, I think that’s the last one.
“So what’s he gonna say? Is he gonna lose his mind? I see the vein in his neck.” These books are a whole genre about the occult, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, consulting with the dead. They all come out of the Twilight series. These are all part of a new genre. So I’ll give you a little bit of history on the Twilight series. We’ll start with Mormonism, okay? Just hang in there. Just hang in there.
Mormonism was founded by a guy, started by a guy named Joseph Smith who says, “I got a visit from a spirit being, and this spirit being said that all the Christians are wrong, and they alone were right, and they had books in addition to the Bible, and we should start a new religion. The angel’s name was Moroni.” I would just say as a general rule, any angel named Moron, “What’s your name?” “Moron…i” You should probably not go with that. And Joseph Smith would say, “Oh, this was an angel, not a demon.” But Galatians says, even if an angel should come from heaven and preach a false gospel, don’t listen them, they’re cursed. They’re cursed.
So a demon comes to Joseph Smith, gives him a crazy new religion. He invents Mormonism. What does this have to do with Twilight? Years later, a woman named Stephenie Meyer, who’s a Mormon, has a dream. She says, quote, “In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A, they were falling in love with each other while B, the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately,” end quote. [http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight.html]
So a religion started by a demon is adhered to by a woman who has a dream—this is all very spiritual—where a young girl is visited by a vampire who loves her but wants to suck her blood. And she writes a series of stories that result in movies, and T-shirts, and promotional material, and kids’ meals at some burger joint, called the Twilight series. It is all very spiritual. And in that we see humans, vampires, and werewolves. We see as well this bridging between good and evil, darkness and light, the living and the dead. We see the co-mingling of that which is spiritual, human, and animal. We also have a concept of how to be born-again, and live forever, but it’s not through faith in Jesus and resurrection. It’s through becoming a vampire so that you’re forever young with an eternal life. So the whole concept of salvation and eternal life has nothing to do with Jesus.