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. imagine

    christians love twilight because both are fakes that were just made up.....

    November 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • bgg1175

      Thousands of years ago, governments and churches of various types, sought to create religions to help control the people, so the governments could stay in power and to profit, so the churches could make money. Many religions were created. I look at the Bible and it's super powered characters as the MARVEL COMICS of religion and the Greek Mythology as the DC COMICS of religion. And who knows, perhaps one day Superman, Spider-man, Batman, The Hulk, will be considered parts of a religion, just as their super-powered predessors, Jesus (Powers of flight, healing abilities, walk on water, ability to return from the dead), Samson, (Super Strength), Noah, (Ability to create a boat that can feed and store 2 of every mammal and reptile on earth) Moses, (ability to walk through the desert for a month with no food or water) God (Ability to create Universe) Anti-Christ, (Ability to control the entire world, self-healing, create world peace).

      November 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • bgg1175

      Haha! Misspelled: "Predecessors"!

      November 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  2. ksp696

    No problem, anytime bro.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  3. GetReal

    I'm a Christian – not a Mormon – and I don't like Twilight. Why? Because it's boring and juvenile. Not because of any morality issues. I probably would have loved it when I was a kid, because of all the romance. But I'm too old to appreciate that now. And don't tell me what I should or shouldn't love.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  4. Robin Bray

    Doing fine with out any god and any cult beliefs like jesus. Grow up and make choices for yourself. Stand up for yourself.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • One7777777

      "For many are called, but few are chosen".

      November 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  5. weallgotone

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

    Yet CNN can find a place for it on their website.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  6. Student

    It was written by a Mormon, folks. It's Mormon allegory, not Christian allegory. The author of this article should go out into the world and learn about other people's religions. Yes, there are some similarities – just like there are similarities between Christian allegory and Muslim allegory.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  7. Skylark

    Wow.. the author of this article is unmistakenly a Christian, however she is obessed with Twilight more than she is with Jesus and she is trying to find some justication in it to the point that she is trying to drag more Christians in to it so that it makes it okay for her to be in love with Edward and the Cullens. "Lady, do not try and do us any favors by trying to grab our attention to what is not real and what is not God's truth".

    November 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  8. Drinker

    That is one of the most pathetic things I have read in a long time. I have read the books, I do think it leans towards an abusive relationship and sends a terrible message. Bella is a whiny weakling with no backbone. Edward is controlling. It's interesting reading a Christian saying this should be what we all shoot for in life.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  9. Mike

    At first I wondered why CNN would post something as random as this. Then I realized it was simply to give non-Christians another opportunity to bash Christians. I don't agree with everything the author says, but the venom spewed towards Christianity says a lot more about those people than the Christians. Knock yourself out guys, if you love to indulge in that type of bitterness, more power to you. Enjoy, have at it.

    November 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • One7777777

      Yeap. Every single article CNN posts on Christianity is meant to cause hatred among others. Of course, it was telling to see them the other day promote a religion from Iran.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • asdf

      So, when CNN reports on something secularly, it's anti-christian. Then, when CNN reports something relating to Christianity that is in no way critical, it's anti-christian. Interesting...

      November 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • David

      Someone seems to have a persecution complex. Your beliefs, like any other, do not deserve respect simply because you believe them. They only deserve to be respected to the degree that they can withstand scrutiny.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Mike

      asdf, you're clueless to the point. But that's fine, bash away.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • One7777777

      ASDF – "in no way critical to Christianity"...?

      The author is stating Christians should SUPPORT vampires! The "shining one" in the Bible is SATAN.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • weallgotone

      Intolerant Christanphobes.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Mike

      David, keep going, I'm sure you can do better than that.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • GetReal

      I don't know if I'd call it persecution at this point, but it's definitely labeling. As if all Christians had the exact same set of beliefs. Ha.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • grumpy

      "Then I realized it was simply to give non-Christians another opportunity to bash Christians."
      This is classic paranoia, and it's a good example of why everyone thinks you're stuffed-up prigs.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Mike

      Ah, thanks Grumpy for providing your shining example. Please continue. There's GOT to be more where that came from.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • David

      Matthew 15:1-9, when accused of breaking the traditions of his elders, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for forgiving their disrespectful children even though Yahweh commanded that disrespectful children be killed. Jesus says that if they really loved God, they would kill their disrespectful children. Either Jesus genuinely wanted people to kill their disrespectful children, or he was a liar and hypocrite for saying this. Why should anyone respect that?

      November 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • TR6

      “the venom spewed towards Christianity says a lot more about those people than the Christians. Knock yourself out guys, if you love to indulge in that type of bitterness, more power to you. Enjoy, have at it.”

      Goodness but we seem to have a bit of a martyr complex

      November 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  10. Veronica13

    I'm am always amazed at the number of non believers who frequent the Belief section. They appear to be looking for something to grasp a hold of that will change their mind. In the interim, they put down any believers with complete disregard for courtesy. Their put downs appear to me to be out of their frustration for wanting to believe, but not being able to. The best way to remedy this is to pray. I will pray for you. You should also pray for humility and understanding not only for yourself, but for others as well.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • One7777777

      He did say this would be one of the signs of the end. The only people who attack God and His believers worship the dark. A normal person who just doesn't believe doesn't go out seeking to attack Christians.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • ron

      i sincerely appreciate your ignorant condescension.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • David

      'You should pray for humility', says someone who arrogantly generalizes people and assumes to know their thoughts, feelings, and motivations.

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

      Twilight is a poorly written, poorly acted, misogynistic pile of crap. It is bad enough that Christians have silly beliefs. Why should they have to have poor taste as well?

      November 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Just as freedom of religion implies freedom of non-religion, the Belief Blog is also for those of non-belief. Many non-believers participate in these discussions because 1) believers impact their lives through things like creationism in science class, marriage discrimination, and stem cell reseach among other things, and 2) some believers have wildly inaccurate ideas about what science knows and says.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      P.s. Your assumption that non-believers really want to believe is quite arrogant and prideful.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Scott

      Having been tormented by Christians when I was a child, I am simply returning the favor

      November 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Veronica, you are one delusional cookie. We're here to point out the flaws in religious logic, the absolute lack of evidence that any god has ever existed and to shine a light on the amazingly frequent lies that christians think it's okay to tell. But most importantly, we're here so that you know that yours isn't the only voice in this country, or indeed this world, and to demonstrate that if you try to force religion into secular life, you will find opposition at every turn.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • tallulah13


      I guess it's the christian prerogative to attack? Atheists are called all sorts of offensive names on these boards, have been lied about and condemned to hell. Christians have told all sorts of malicious, bald-faced lies about me personally, simply from reading my posts on an anonymous message board.

      Since you know all about the bible, what does the bible say about liars? I may not be an expert, but I do remember something about not "bearing false witness."

      November 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  11. One7777777

    The author states she was compelled to write the story from a dream. Yes, overall the messages convey one of choosing between two men who appear "good". One is "fire, warmth and sun" (Jacob) and the other is "Ice, cold, eternal life" (Edward). Both concepts are of God.

    As you can see, the coven in Italy represents the Catholic church and they are after the Cullens for not living according to their standards (drinking blood). They want the POWERs that Edward and Alice possess. Bella (Italian) name rides on the back of Edward. Isabella is an Italian name. Which represents the harlot riding on the sea beast in Revelation.

    Jacob is "poor" and can offer her human life and eternal salvation – in Heaven
    Edward is "wealthy" and can only offer her eternal life on EARTH – NOT in Heaven.

    However, she chooses "eternal life" from the shining one and will remain on Earth. Satan is also called the "shining one" and all who follow Him will never go to Heaven. He is supposed to be the most beautiful angel and many will follow him.

    I do believe the author's dream was on purpose – the story presents how difficult it is going to be for some to find the Truth – or to see it.

    "Hast thou entered into the storehouses of the snow? or hast thou seen the storehouses of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?"
    Job 38:22-23

    November 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • One7777777

      Oh, and the author of this article is a complete False Prophet and obviously doesn't know the Word of God.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Mr. Butters

      What are you talking about? Isabella came from the Latin Isabel which was varient of the name Elizabeth. In both Isabel and Isabella the name was used in Spain and Portugal. Gaining in popularity after Isabella of Castile.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm astonished that both you and the other of this article wasted so much time analyzing a series of badly written romance novels. How about this:

      Bella is an insipid teen. She meets Edward. He's all broody and romantic, and of course, forbidden. Since she's a teenage girl, she thinks that this is all sorts of romantic, so she falls hopelessly in love with him. Oh yeah, he's a vampire. Then she meets this other boy, Jacob, who has a really hot body. He happens to be a werewolf. Because Bella is the avatar of the author, all the really hot boys fall in love with her, despite the fact that she's kind of boring. Now poor Stephanie, I mean Bella, has to decide which boy she wants! Golly! What a dilemma!

      There is no higher meaning in these books. There really isn't much meaning at all.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  12. ZarGoth

    So now we are reduced to relating one fantasy to another.....

    Not sure if I have encountered anything more profoundly irrational.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  13. us1776

    Newsflash: the "Invisible Being" does not exist.


    November 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • head count

      please dont use "newsflash" anymore.. its really 90's

      November 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • One7777777

      You'll find out soon enough that He does exist.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That's right, One7777. And he's gonna fight Bat Boy in a cage match to determine who will marry Jenna Bush!

      November 20, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  14. Joshua Ludd

    And don't forget that it teaches women to be subservient and meek, totally dependent on their husbands, placing their husbands as their conduit to god. Then lets not forget about the domestic violence aspects. Really, its perfect for misogynistic conservative christians.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Sheila

    The falling away happened before Twilight, Harry Potter, or the Book of Mormon. Doesn't it seem arrogant that the following away only happened on your watch?

    November 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  16. the 666 club

    Christians just continue to perpetuate their negative stereotypes with this type of BS. Holy crap, you guys could find meaning in a toasted cheese sandwich. Oh wait. You already did.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • head count

      you do realize 666 comes from the bible.. hypocrite

      November 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • One7777777

      Obviously with '666' in your name, it's apparent why you would attack Christianity. The author is a False Prophet.

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

      this is actually at the guy below you not you. You do know that 616 is the original number right?

      November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • I wonder

      @head count and @Ozzzz

      I'd be willing to bet that @666 club knows more about that superst-itious tome than you do.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • I wonder

      * sorry, I meant @One7777777

      November 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  17. Chris

    I just threw up in my mouth...

    November 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Kris

      Good! Make it a habbit.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  18. dwech

    Heard of a 'leap of faith' before, but Ms. Wells fantastical comparison of a vampire story to her Christianity is at a whole different level. A strange and weird, made-up level, but different. Meanwhile, back in the real world....

    November 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • TR6

      Oh I don’t know. Vampires drink human blood, Christians claim to drink human blood. Werewolves eat human flesh, Christians claim to eat human flesh. Vampires and werewolves are the undead, Christians claim their boss is undead. Vampires and werewolves have a penchant for slaughtering people, Christians have a history of slaughtering people. Vampires rise up from the grave, Christians claim they will raise up from the grave. …

      November 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  19. dave

    2 Thessalonians 2 verse 3 "Let no one deceive you by any means ; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first" Before the climax of the end of the world the Church will experience a "a falling away' from truth. what we see now is
    Christians believe new age mysticism in visualization , chanting, and yoga ( yogi means master- a guru to lead you away from Christ and to a false christ – a "christ conscience") . what we see is the young people leaving the church and enchanted by fantasies such as harry potter – which taught witch craft to young children, and now vampire fantasies.

    the falling away happens when people believe doctrines of demons in place of God's word. The word "pharmacy" might be defined as drugs to most but is derived from a greek word "pharmakea' which means witch craft. it is called with craft because they used potions to 'drug' people up and lure them into a trance. the world is under a trance – people are losing the meaning of right and wrong. when the majority heeds false teachings, or doctrines of demons, then they are under a trance or spell if you will.

    the sin for decieving children is great for Jesus said it would be better if they put a huge millstone around their neck and cast themselves in the sea then to face the judgement that awaits those who taught deception and who lured a child into the darkness.

    we all die, some say we turn back to dust but deep inside we all know our spirit lives forever. we all will be judged by God
    and yes many in religion are fooled for not all religion is good. (they say they are good but their deeds are evil- deception from the devil) i mention the devil a lot here for in the case of witchcraft and vampirism , this is demonic in nature.

    to love it and pay to see the movies is to sadden the heart of God who only wants good for you. to be set free from spiritual bondage read the Holy Bible. (not cultic man made bibles like jehovah witness and book of mormon- more deception)

    November 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Christian

      Well put.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dave, reading your comment I can see why young people are fleeing your church. The world you live in is just as fantasy-based as the Twilight series.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • David

      Enchanted by fantasies such as Harry Potter...which are recognized as fiction. As opposed to being indoctrinated into believing fantasies about a magical Jewish zombie who will make you live forever by taking away an evil force that exists inside of you because a talking snake convinced a rib woman to eat from a magical tree. Fantasy is fun for children, they shouldn't be told that they will be tortured forever for not believing in yours.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • I wonder


      Interesting... but you believe that the 1st century sci-fi / horror / fantasy story of Revelation is real?!

      November 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Sheila

      The falling away happened long before Harry Potter or Twilight. Why do you think the falling away happened on your watch and not during the period of indulgences?

      November 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Q

      "...but deep inside we all know our spirit lives forever." Ahh...No...no we don't, particularly given the complete absence of any remotely supportive evidence. However, that is a very concise projection of your own hopeful desires and given the pure absence of logic, it's easy to see where the rest of your post is coming from. Crazy, declaratory arguments of desperately hoped-for authority used to shield yourself from the actual "deep inside" knowledge that you will not live forever...

      November 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mark

      I defy you to find one thing...one thing from the Book of Mormon that is contrary to the Bible. One thing. Please find it and reply.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • ALeigh

      I love how the devil is always brought up when people talk about witchcraft. People who practice "witchcraft" (ie: Wiccans) don't believe in the devil. The devil is a christian concept. Wiccan's do not worship the devil, for them it/he doesn't exist. It seems that christian people must worship the devil since they are always talking about him/it.

      November 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  20. She forgot point #6

    6. Christians should love Twilight because they seem to love really bad art.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Christian

      This comment doesn't even make sense.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:42 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.