My Take: 5 reasons Christians should love 'Twilight'
The stars of the movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn at the UK premier of the film.
November 18th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

My Take: 5 reasons Christians should love 'Twilight'

Editor's Note: Jane Wells is the author of Glitter in the Sun: A Bible Study Searching for Truth in the Twilight Saga. She blogs (almost) weekly at www.glitterinthesun.com.

By Jane Wells, Special to CNN

(CNN)–The books and movies of the Twilight Saga have launched a firestorm of debate as to whether the vampire-human love story represents eternal love at its finest or glorifies misogynistic and abusive relationships. I am a proud member of the first camp, seeing epic and eternal themes in the books as worthy of discussion and the violence as a part of the fictional world that tells the story.

With Breaking Dawn, part 1, opening nation-wide this weekend, here is my list of the top five spiritual lessons from the first three movies in the Twilight franchise: Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse.

First, some background. Turns out, not all vampires are Bram Stoker monsters concerned only with their own impulses and appetites. Author Stephenie Meyer created the Cullen coven, respectful of human life, living off the blood of carefully culled wild animals. It is one of these “vegetarian” vampires, Edward, which the very human Bella Swan has fallen in love with. There is enough conflict in that one sentence to carry the story through four huge novels, one novella, a partial draft and eventually five movies.

#1. The supernatural surrounds us whether we’re aware of it or not.

In the first novel and movie, Twilight, Bella moves to her father’s home in Forks, Washington from her mother’s home in Phoenix, Arizona. Soon she meets Edward Cullen, and learns that vampires are not only real, but walk daily among the residents of the small town. Her awareness of them, or previous lack thereof, does not affect the reality of their existence.

In Hebrews we read that we are to entertain strangers because we might be entertaining angels. From Ephesians we also know that our battle is not against a physical foe but against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” An awareness of the unseen is a big piece of walking in faith.

#2. Love results in, and even requires, sacrifice.

In the second book and movie of the series, New Moon, Edward concludes that including Bella in his vampire world is unhealthy. He attempts to save her by breaking up and moving away. It is, he says later, the hardest thing he’s done in 100 years. Although it nearly kills him, he is willing to die if it meant she would live a normal, happy, human life.

It was no less than Jesus himself who said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this – that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

#3. Humans crave divine perfection.

Throughout the series, Bella notes how perfect she finds Edward in every way. The gaping hole Bella feels when Edward leaves (see #2 above) is very much like the one we spend our lives trying to fill with relationships, food, status, or any other of a million different things – but can only be filled by a relationship with God.

No one captures this better than David in Psalm 42, which opens with an image of a deer searching for water – just as David’s soul desperately seeks out God. In this psalm of heartbreak, David cries out to the only perfection that can heal him. Later, in verse seven he says, “deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls, all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Our human spirits recognize and respond to the call of the Spirit of God, even if in the weak echo of nature’s beauty.

#4. A drastic change of direction may be exactly what you need.

In the third novel and movie, Eclipse, we learn about Jasper Cullen, Edward’s adopted brother. He was second in command of a vampire army during the American Civil war. However, after several decades of constant conflict, the violence began to weigh heavily on him and he left. Eventually he found peace with the Cullen coven.

Every disciple Jesus called turned his back on one way of life to embrace another, none more drastically than Matthew who had been a tax collector. But the choice is yours, as illustrated by the rich, young man of Matthew 19. Jesus looked on him and loved him, yet he walked away from Jesus’ offer of eternal life because it hurt too much to give up his wealth.

#5. You’ll only really fit in after you accept what it is God has designed you for.

All of her life Bella was a misfit. In Arizona she was a pale geek. In Forks, she is the newcomer. Her mother doesn’t get her, her father is clueless. She is a square peg to everyone’s round hole – until the end of Eclipse where she realizes she’d been fighting to fit into everyone’s expectations which, although well intentioned, were far too small.

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

How about you? Are the expectations placed on you really right for you? Are bits of your soul and psyche rubbed raw by the assumptions you have accepted as your own? Perhaps it’s time to broaden your scope of vision. Because even your biggest dreams pale in comparison to what the God who created every good thing has dreamed up on your behalf.

I can’t wait to see Breaking Dawn. If it follows the books as the previous movies have we will see one of the toughest spiritual lessons of all – when Bella learns that sometimes it is after we’ve made the right choice that things are hardest of all.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jane Wells.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Movies

soundoff (995 Responses)
  1. JC

    "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.' "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

    November 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • TR6

      UFO stories are foolishness to those who don’t believe in UFOs

      November 20, 2011 at 5:38 am |
  2. Lokust

    The fact that this even exists is hilarious. Looking for religious corollary in bad fiction? Actually, it's probably not actually hilarious. Probably more sad.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Jeff S

      You do not understand anything about writing a story do you? Bad fiction has nothing to do with it. Bad fictions is written with the same inspiration and influence as great fiction. No doubt the authors religious beliefs will find their way into the story. It's just how it works.

      But you seem to be blinded by hate. My guess is you hate Twilight (God knows why...it's just a book you can choose to read or not) and are unable to see it from a different perspective. Actually your opinion highlights a serious problem with America. Very few people are able to view the world with open eyes. They would rather close their eyes tight and vilify those that would believe differently.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • JC

      It is sad. Fiction never reveals the truth. The truth that you KNOW will set you free.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • I wonder

      JC "fiction never reveals the truth"

      Oh really? Maybe you will want to check this out:

      November 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  3. Ennos

    Oh brother! Really!?!

    November 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  4. Dennis

    Christians love flesh eating Zombie stories because Jesus is patient zero.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • sinneD

      Atheism is like butthole, it only takes one to stink.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  5. WAGe

    It's look like that you need to bend over backwards just to make them meet.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  6. kpc

    Is this a joke? What a ridiculous article. Read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games if you want young adult science fiction that has moral and religious undertones – as well as characters who are actually multidimensional. Author Stephen King said it best: "Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend."

    November 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  7. jschau

    When do I get to vote on YOUR marriage christians?

    November 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Christian

      How is this question relavant to anything within the above article?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • juchas

      Right after you cast your both for gay marriage to make sodomy as your way of life.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • kh5599

      Considering the large number of gay Christians, I'd say quite a few people have already voted on whether some CHristians can marry

      November 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • ksp696

      They're just just a dust compared to the huge PERCENTAGE of h.omos in atheism.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • ksp969

      @ juchas

      maybe you mean vote, not "both"

      November 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • juchas

      My bad..thanks bro.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  8. Allen

    Where do the vampires get there super natural powers from. It's either from an Almighty Holy GOD that is pure or it's from an Evil Satan from Hell that Hates everything that GOD is and stands for.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  9. Christian

    This article is a twisted use of Bible quotes and a ridiculous attempt to link a movie about blood drinking, non-existent, violent creatures to our Salvation, Jesus Christ, and his message. I think some writers truly believe that every bizarre thought they have should be shared with the "poor ignorant public". Fortunately, the public is mostly aware and able to see through this sad article. To honestly portray this movie as anything other than mindless fantasy entertainment is an impressive effort but an utter failure in the end.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  10. Mastodonrocks

    Doesnt matter if they should love them or not, Twilight stills blows goats. Its funny seeing all the adults swoon over a teeny bobber vampire love-fest. This is why Hollywood sucks.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  11. albert

    Christianity just continues to degrade. The true is, this world is far removed from practicing anything the Bible teaches. Christianity resembles pagan customs and Greek mythology more than anything else.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • jonathan

      you are perhaps unfamiliar with my form of Christianity..it is based upon Jeremiah 31:31-34. 🙂 🙂

      November 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • albert

      What do those scripture have to do with Pagan customs and Greek mythology?!? These scriptures are certainly not condoning them. Read & study the entire Bible if you want a better understanding.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  12. HURLCO

    What a bunch of horseshizz.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  13. Hypatia

    And the point of this is they need to be convinced that Big Daddy hasn't got the baby monitor on? *eyeroll*

    November 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  14. Andrew

    Who CARES if they do or don't like Twilight? I DON'T LIKE THEM!. You don't see me rushing to the newspapers....

    November 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  15. justiniowa

    "Christians" is such a ridiculous term. There are over 20,000 registered forms of Christianity in the US alone – stop lumping them all together. It's about as idiotic as "All Muslims support terrorism".

    November 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Susan

      Christians means following and inspired by Jesus CHRIST. Pretty sure they are all basically together on this one concept, so it's valid. Duh.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  16. stu

    haha, silly Christians. Pretending there's a big eye in the sky watching over us is the ultimate time suck.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • albert

      Haha, silly Stu. If you are wrong, you are basically screwed.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • jonathan

      not in the Sky but already been by here to the end of time as we know it.. having given gifts unto men..
      Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. now he that ascended , what is it but that he also first descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
      He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens that he might fill all things . {he gave us the five-fold ministry for the perfecting of the saints; for the work of the ministry , for the edifying of the body of Christ till we unify in the faith in the knowledge of the son of God unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      November 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  17. Mesa Mick

    Well of course chrizzjuns should take these fear mongering fairy tales and made up horror stories seriously, after all they take the buy-bull, life after death, the rapture and the 2nd coming seriously don't they. Besides, one a fool always a fool...

    November 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Susan

      Your knowledge of actual christianity is very lacking, as is most who say they are christians. You really look foolish when you mock people for things they don't even do or believe. Christianity is actually rooted in the deepest and wisest of philosophical traditions. It's really sad how both those who "believe" in it, as well as those who mock them, fall into the same hole of ignorance.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • jonathan

      yes , Paul says God chose the foolish to confound the wise, the weak to confound the strong. and he base things and the thing of naught to bring to naught the things that are: 🙂 🙂

      November 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  18. Kcc

    But unfortunately, the director had to insert a scene during the vows where Bella and Edward perform a "cross-cutting ceremony". Now what is this all about? If it is what I think it is then the Director just turned away most Christians (who will learn about the scene) from seeing the movie.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bob

      yeah, it's not gory enough for the Christians. They like to see the brutal animal sacrifice and mass slaughter stuff that their book of horrors bible is loaded with. And the eternal burning torture that their jerk of a god promises to mete out.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • BooB

      Not as "gory' as atheists having butthole on their foreheads.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  19. High IQ'er

    This article is ludicrous.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      One doesn't need a high IQ to realize that!

      November 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  20. GAW

    I do predict that 10- 15 years from now Evangelicals will be striving to find Spiritual truth in adult movies. I can hear it now "Boy he really does have the gift of tongues doesn't he?" or "He certainly does know who to turn things around just like God does"

    November 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm sure the phrase "mysterious ways" will come into the picture somehow.

      November 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • WAGe

      Are you saying that Evangelicals would soon do what atheists have been doing. That's horrible!

      November 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • GAW

      Anything to bring em in! The end justifies the means!

      November 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • WAGe

      It's look like that you need to bend over backwards just to make them meet. Poor lad.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • atroy

      Thy rod and staff, they comfort me!

      November 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.