Although I don’t know a lot about movies, I like to think I’m a bit of a movie buff.  My roomie/renter, on the other hand, is a veritable walking encyclopedia of movie trivia, background history, actors, directors, props and special effects…always with the props and special effects!

When I decide to watch a movie though, I tend to be pretty picky about what I watch because certain genres just don’t appeal to me at all.  Horror, for example, is the worst as far as I’m concerned.  I don’t like being afraid and subjecting myself to fear on purpose is just a dumb thing to do.  Just my opinion, folks!  I know there are a lot of you out there that love horror flicks tho’ so, to each his own I guess.

Over the many years I’ve been entertained and uplifted by movies, there have been only a very few that have been consistently meaningful to me.  Only 4 or 5 have pulled me into their magical story long enough to warrant more than one or two viewings.  By that, I mean I can watch them over and over and over again and still have the same sense of adventure, peace, love, courage, perseverance, and so forth every time I enter into the story I’m being told on the screen.

A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, circa 2011?

A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, circa 2011?

A Christmas Carol, in every possible variation, is probably my favorite.  Somehow the sinfulness of man coupled with the right set of circumstances to cause repentance, healing of the soul, and then, restoration of relationships is a story for the ages.  Without specifically talking about God and the Salvation He brings through Christ, it still brings the Truth home to me. I love this Old English tale of the heart of a man changing from bitterness and unforgiveness to one of being forgiven and given a second chance.

Secondly, the story of Sleeping Beauty has always brought me closer to Jesus through the knowledge of His love for me as part of His Bride.  The Prince’s Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue remind me of the spiritual armor that we are to wear when fending off the arrows of the wicked one.  And, in the story, the enemy was destroyed when the Sword ofTruth was plunged thru the wicked Maleficent’s heart, and the Princess (and all the kingdom) is awakened with the Prince’s first kiss.  In the same way, our enemy is destroyed by exposing him to the Truth, Jesus.

Then there’s Pretty Woman.  Watched that one seven times in a row one day!  A woman lost in sin sees a way out, raises her sights, and chooses to better herself while finding a true love.  No more losers for her.  A man, bitter and driven, learns how to live and enjoy a positive and loving relationship.  Love it!

And, who can forget The Lord of the Rings!  If ever there was a movie collection depicting good versus evil, camaraderie, loyalty, friendship, perseverance in the face of great fear and danger, this is it!  What a wonderful example of God’s intervention into the affairs of men.  Watched these movies a bunch too!

Edward, Bella and JacobAnother set of movies have become popular in recent years so I decided to have my own private Twilight Saga fest and watch all of them just before going to see the last installment in the theater.  Once again, God showed me some positive aspects to these films that many people overlook, and quite frankly, I was not expecting.  It was after reading an article by a well-meaning pastor who chose to strongly warn Christians in particular, and parents in general, to be extremely cautious about these films that I felt compelled to share with you some of the insights I received while watching them for myself.  I acknowledge that I may lose some of my friends who disagree with my point of view, but I believe there is a balance to be gained here by taking a more objective look at what actually goes on in this story.

That said, without doubt, there are far too many vampire movies, books, videos, and TV shows out nowadays that depict the most heinous darkness, sensuality, evil, profane sexuality, violence, and lecherous debauchery that could possibly be put onto a movie screen.  And these movies/books have been written and filmed in such a way to have a sick appeal to many of our precious young people, so much so that they are now mirroring the behavior they see on screen or read in books in alarming numbers:  vampirism, paganism, witchcraft, etc.  This sick, twisted and perverted behavior has been glamorized and adopted by far too many who choose a Goth or other such life style.  If we condemn any movies, it should be the ones with very dark intent, should it not?  But,Twilight?  Here’s why I think this story might belong in a different category and should be considered more healthy and positive than at first glance.

The Cullen family from Twilight

The Cullen family from Twilight

First, we all know that vampires, werewolves, demons, devils, and the supernatural in general has been a hot topic for centuries, but never more so than in recent decades.  So, I’m guessing that Stephanie Meyer may have chosen to write this story utilizing something she already knew would be of interest to most teens, and that perhaps she could interject a bit of wholesomeness into the mix instead of the rabid degradation they see in other movies/stories of the same genre.

  • As I watched the story unfold, I noticed that one of the main characters, Edward, constantly tries to dissuade Bella from becoming a vampire throughout the series because he knew how difficult that “life” was and loved her enough to not want her to have to go through it.  Her whole life would be frozen in time, never moving forward, never able to really live, and having to give up her family and friends.  It is a violent life, and the compulsion to take a human life is difficult to overcome, especially if you must be around humans for any length of time. He felt he was a monster and did not want her to think it was any kind of life to be desired.  In other words, the life of a vampire was not glamorized but one to be shunned at all costs. Choices we make in this life follow us forever!  For good or ill.
  • Human life was considered valuable and should be lived as such, even though it was not immortal.  Even Carlisle Cullen, the family’s patriarch, shunned the power and prestige of the “vampire elite” because he wanted to serve human kind and make their lives better.  He took a protective role over the community in which he lived and worked. The only time the family was pressed into any violence was to remove those vampires who trespassed and refused to honor the Cullen’s territory and life style and threatened the humans in the area.
  • Parents were respected and were spoken to with respect and honor.
A first date -- up a tree!

A first date — up a tree!

Marriage was portrayed as sacred and very important before having intimate relations.  Even though Edward considered sex with a human to be very dangerous anyway, he would not even consider trying because marriage before sex was essential first.  How often do you see that in a vampire or any other type movie, for that matter?

  • There was no pro-choice when it came to their child either.  Bella refused an abortion, and was even willing to risk her life, because she felt the life within her was too precious and important to her world to sacrifice.  As it turned out, she was right!  Society today is quick to get rid of an unwanted, inconvenient or possibly defective, child.  Even the fact that this child could possibly be severely “defective” was not enough of a reason to her to want to abort it.  Yay Bella!!

There are probably a dozen other things little things within these movies that point to positive, healthy views on life, but time and space are limited.  Lest you misunderstand my position on this subject,  I am not advocating that everyone run right out and buy the books and movies because I’ve perceived that they are the most honorable and healthy literature out there.  However, I do think their popularity warrants a second look, if only to acknowledge that they are putting forth some healthy, Godly view points that most others of the same type of subject matter are definitely not.  Children are dying for love, they are craving the supernatural, and rather than point out all the negatives, let’s at least look a little further and see if there aren’t some valuable and positive aspects to point out, lift up and encourage.  Kids are going to these movies in droves so let’s point out the good parts for them to look for rather than all the bad.  They might actually remember them and perhaps turn to the Lord one day.

On this Thanksgiving Day and beyond, I am grateful for the many, many blessings I’ve received from the Lord, but one thing I am thankful for more than anything.  If you are seeking for Truth, and looking to see whether God and His Son Jesus are for real, you can and will find Him, no matter where you are or what your life experiences have been in the past – even if you are watching a movie about vampires and werewolves!