~the following is a blog post from a blog I had for a short while before this one; this post is from March 18, 2010~
Dear Pastor “….”,
Well, my purpose for messaging you is that I wanted to tell you about the past couple of days in my life. During your sermon on Sunday, I found myself feeling very convicted...you see, for the past few years, I have been one of those teenage girls who was crazed about Twilight, and any book even remotely like it. For the past few months, I've been working to get closer to God: i've been praying and reading my Bible more than I ever have before, and I've really been feeling His presence in my life. And for a while now, i've just been ignoring just how much I was into those kinds of things: vampires, werewolves, the works. I've just ignored it, told myself "I don't believe in it, so its ok". But this past Sunday, I truly believe i felt God speaking to me, telling me that i need to not have those things in my life; that they were taking away from what i could have with Him. So, after i got home, i went though my bookshelves, filled some boxes. The next day after i got home from school, Emily and I went out to the backyard and had ourselves a little bonfire (don't worry, we were careful about it). She got rid of the few things that she felt weren't right, and i burned a total of 71 books. :) at first i thought, "why not just throw them away?" but then Emily and I both realized, why allow them to get into the hands of someone else? I told a friend about how we did this and she responded with "you do realize that you burned like, hundreds of dollars worth of books, don't you?" i simply nodded and smiled, and explained how i wasn't worried about the money at all....money is so...insignificant in the big scheme of things. i know that i did the right thing, and i must say: its an extremely refreshing feeling to know that those things; those somewhat simple items that really do send whispers of darkness into the minds of all who read them, whether those people realize it or not; those things no longer have a place in my life. Or at least not a place that i'm willing to give them.
I wanted to share this with you, and just let you know that God has truly been working in my life these past few months, and i'm so thankful for it. :)
This is a letter I sent to the pastor of our church just a few weeks ago. Basically, it’s a response to the sermon he’d preached earlier that week on “God in the Home”. He had a list of 7 things that hinder God in your home…somewhere down the list was the phrase “Occult Practices”; in the description of this point was “books and movies that glorify” the things that pertain to the occult: vampires, witchcraft, werewolves, etc… I believe you know where this is going ;). So, here are my thoughts on all of this; and a bit of further explanation:
Vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches…these things just don’t fit into the same picture as Jesus Christ. No. Not even Edward and Bella. I know! Le gasp! “But Edward’s a good vampire! He hates himself just for being a vampire!” Yes. And hey, kudos to him for that. I’m not being anti-Edward. I’m being anti-vampire. Twilight is a huge abnormality when it comes to the vampire image. In fact, I don’t know that I can think of any other story with a vampire whose goodness compares to that of Edward Cullen. No, besides this sparkly Romeo, every other image of a vampire that pops into my head (and unfortunately, there are far too many of these images) is just…horrible. When Twilight is taken out of the equation, the romance and happy moments disappear; all that’s left are images of darkness, the crimson red of blood, terrible ear-piercing screams…
I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have these…lovely…things in my head if not for Twilight. I know, I know: “But Twilight has none of that!” No, it doesn’t. But to a 13 year old girl, it makes the whole idea of vampires seem glamorous: beauty that lasts forever, love that literally lasts for all of eternity…. For me, Twlight led to other things. Movies, books. Anne Rice, for example. Ah. Anne Rice. I actually still, to this day, get nauseous when I think back on reading The Vampire Lestat, which thankfully is the only Anne Rice novel I’ve read; I still feel disturbed by it today, 3 years after reading it.
Twilight began my own personal fascination with books that were based around anything occult-like; before Twilight, I was strictly a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants girl. But alas, at that 7th grade book-fair, the book with the somewhat odd cover made its way into my hands…thus beginning my journey of the next few years through dozens and dozens of books that really did nothing good for me.
What’s the point of this big rant about Twilight, you ask? Well, Twilight seems to be the one book that no one understands why I’d get rid of it. Well. As silly as it sounds, I can honestly look back and see for myself that that one single book has had a nice little impact on my life. And no. Not in a good way. My including Twilight and the rest of its series in that burnpile that day is really more of a symbolic thing for me, rather than an “I hate you Edward Cullen!! BURN!!!” thing. It’s me saying, “This is the best way I can think of to show that I really am letting go of this stuff: by getting rid of the real main source of it all. I’m ready.”
Ready for what? Ready to turn my eyes, my mind, my heart from these bits of darkness, however small they might’ve been, and give my all to focusing on my Lord and Savior. Yes, we may have been the ones flicking the switch on the lighter that day, but it was all for Him, and all orchestrated by Him.
We are to be lights in the darkness, not participants in it. Vampires, werewolves, all of these things….they are not things from God. I mean, obviously. There is no place for them in a heart that belongs to Christ; there is no longer a place for them in my life. I’m walking on sunshine now, baby ;)
“The Voice of Truth says THIS is for my glory. Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth” –Casting Crowns
~end that post~
Okay. So. As you've now heard, about 2 years ago, I made the decision (or rather God made the decision for me) that I would no longer read books or watch movies that had anything to do with the occult. No vampires, no werewolves, none of that. And also, a lot of fantasy was thrown out that day as well: fairies, witchcraft, all that jazz. And now, these were all just "normal" books, the ones you see when you walk past the young adult section in the book store. Harry Potter. ("You burned Harry Potter?? I'm unfollowing you!") Twilight. Anne Rice. The works. I went along my bookshelf, and just knew which books I had to get rid of; even ones I didn't really think matched the criteria of what I was removing from my room. But alas, the whole idea was to get rid of the things that do not honor God. And I believe that he was right there with me that day as I got rid of those books; like I said, certain ones I'd have never thought would be on the list...were. I remember running my hands along the bookshelf, and when I came across one of "the ones", it was like there was a stirring in my spirit. I truly don't know if I've ever felt God speak so strongly to me as I did that day.
But along with the books, any spook movies and shows went out the door that day, too. No more crime shows, no more bump-in-the-night anything.
And I believe that since that day, no matter where my relationship with God has been, that stirring in my spirit has stayed with me. I can see a movie preview, I can see just the cover of a book, and I know that there's something evil involved.
"Evil? Isn't that a bit extreme?"
Mark Driscoll, a pastor from I-don't-know-where said in one of his sermons (that was about Twilight) something along the lines of, "If you took someone from the Old Testament and dropped them into our world, they would easily see how demonic our culture is."
We're just so desensitized that we don't see it. All of those occult creatures who are without excuse evil just hang out on our bookshelves all day. So what if that guy on TV just brutally murdered that other guy? No big deal, right? So what if the book Mockingjay ends with a mass of children getting murdered. . .the books are good, so who cares?
When I went through my bookshelf, my copy of the Hunger Games had been lent out to a friend. So I didn't get the chance that day to consider it, or to ultimately get rid of it. But now that I've read all three of the books, now that I know what's hidden inside of their pages...one more series to the pile.
And I cringe every time I see another person saying how much they "love" those books.
I'm sure some of you are reading this, and thinking it's extreme. Maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from more if I tell you that I am a reader. I get very, very into what I read. I am a visual reader. And I've got a good memory. So that horror movie I saw four years ago? Still in my head. That creepy book I read in the fourth grade? Still in my head. Things stick with me. Especially books.
I love how my pastor put it..."don't give Satan a foothold."
For me, reading those books, and watching things that were scary or violence-oriented were footholds. And I gave them to the Lord.
I love you guys, my dear followers. And I can't believe I haven't shared this with you yet, since it's something I feel strongly about; it's something I've battled with my own family about! I know it's not something that people understand...in fact, only a few people I know have understood. I've gotten into quite a few arguments about it, in fact. But it's what the Lord has called me to do, and I do my best to listen.
Oh, and on a side note: Yes, I still watch the Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and Disney movies. (You wouldn't believe the argument that ensued from that one!)
Note: my keyword is "glorify". What does this book/movie glorify? Does it glorify God? Does it glorify vampires? Witchcraft? Does it glorify murder?
In my opinion, a war movie with violence is different than a show like Criminal Minds, or CSI, that has violence.
Anyways. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. That may work better than trying to explain each and every particular ;)