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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Why I STILL Think Vampires Suck!

Posted by admin in September 29th, 2009
Published in faith, obedience

OMW! I was so blown away (i.e. truly surprised) by the responses to “Why I Think Vampires Suck!” (posted 9/22). I think I hit an artery…uh…errr…I mean a nerve. I’ve gotten nearly 500 hits on that posting thus far (over 300 the first day!) That’s the most ever in the blog’s one-year history. WOW. So, if you don’t mind, I’d really like to discuss some of the responses. Then I promise! I give you my word—I’ll be off the vampire stuff and on to other topics. The wonderful thing about all of this is that from the very beginning “I had a dream” for my little blog…that it would be a place for discussion, a booth in the marketplace of ideas, a place where folks could make bold statements, ask scary questions and always feel safe about not knowing all the answers. Thanks to everyone who emailed me, posted a comment, told their friends, and started the conversation. Amazing. Lovin’ it. Hey, remember I am a five point Calvinist who is married to a Wesleyan-Arminian; he’s a staunch Republican and I’m of no party at all. So, as you can imagine, I’m accustomed to not agreeing on every single theological issue with the most important person in my life—my husband. I always say if he and I can love each other and get along, so can the Body of Christ!

Okay, I’ve narrowed down the responses to the top three. And I’m including a couple of excerpts from Stephenie Meyer interviews and I’ll include the links to those for anyone who is interested in reading the whole enchilada. My prayer is that the Lord God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, will help all of us—each one of us to “bring every thought into captivity” for His glory and for our spiritual health.

Focal point: II Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” Thanks again guys for caring enough to respond. This thrills my heart more than I can say.

I’m kickin’ this Letterman style and going backwards just for the fun of it.

No. 3) Well, if I listened to this woman, I’d never look at anything ever again written by a non-Christian.

NO. That’s not what I meant and that’s not what I said. But there are things (art, movies, websites, books, photographs) that are at “enmity with the cross,” meaning that they are inspired by evil and were created with evil intentions. Shocking to many, but one of my favorite books of all times is Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Why? Because she writes in an almost prophetic tone about man’s responsibility. That just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean it is OKAY to do that thing. Her handling of man creating man in his own image is applicable for those today struggling with issues of cloning, genetic engineering, stem cell research and even elective plastic surgery. Mary Shelley never claimed to be a Christian. In fact, her life with Percy Shelley began with them living together unmarried and having three children while he was still married to his first wife. They wed only after his first wife died in a drowning accident and just a few months before their fourth child was born. And without getting all long-winded, I’m a huge fan of Willa Cather who was in no stretch of the imagination a follower of Jesus Christ. But the woman could tell a story about right and wrong and good and bad and hope and fear. She wrote beautiful stories of people, and the prairie, and Americana, and real-life relationships. My point is: there are times when certain literature is at enmity with the Cross. The entire vampire mythology is one of those times and I believe this because of the three things I listed in the blog: the profaning of blood, the false resurrection, and the culture of death. I believe, as a follower of Christ, I must put all things through a grid—a thoughtful, Scripturally based, intentionally thought-out grid. Does this honor Christ? Are the themes here dishonoring to Scripture? Does this help me develop my faith? Do these ideas help me grow in my Christian faith?

No. 2) Don’t be dissin’ the Mormons.

I will speak out against Mormonism as long as I have breath in this old body of mine. I joined the Mormon cult when I was 20 years old. The story of how God sovereignly brought me out of that nightmare on the eve of my baptism is nothing short of a miracle. Can’t go into it all here, but trust me—Mormonism is a false religion that teaches doctrine that is in direct opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The awesome Apostle Paul (AP) writes, (II Corinthians 11:14), “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.”

AP goes on to say in Galatians 1:6-9, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel…but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!”

Uh…hello…Moroni—angel of light, preaching a different gospel, perverting the Truth of Christ, contrary to all that is taught in the New Testament. I’d best stop here before I bust a blood vessel and readers go into a coma. I’m just sayin’…

No.1) Christ has made me free!

Yes. Yes He has. But He also tells us that all things are legal for those who are in Christ Jesus, but (and this but is bigger than mine) not all things are profitable, expedient, beneficial. Take a look at I Corinthians 6:12. We are free to make choices—important choices about life, and recreation, and food, and discipline, and forgiveness. We are without a doubt saved by His grace through faith, but He makes a difference in our lives as we lay down our own desires and abandon ourselves to Him and His example, His walk, His ways, His truth and strive to become like Him. I’m convinced that God the Father is not so concerned with my happiness, but is very concerned that I be formed into the image of His Son and that often comes about through suffering; not getting my own way and yes, denying my legal rights in order to conform to His ways and His will. Even Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered and we are all called to follow Him. I’m free. I’m free to make the choices that honor Christ.

Please know I hate legalism. I hate everything about legalism. Legalism says,
“This is wrong and this is right and if you follow these rules you’ll be good and anyone who doesn’t follow these rules will be bad.” My point is this: when does a little bit of yeast (leaven) begin to permeate the entire dough ball (lump)? I think what we read, what we see on TV, what we view on the Internet, what movies we go to, what we look at and absorb truly affects our spiritual lives. I think these things affect our minds and therefore our spiritual well-being. I’ve met Christians who know more about the Twilight series than they do about heroes of the Old Testament. Mention Edward Cullen and every Christian college student I know can tell you all about him; mention Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego and you hear crickets. I think it is fair enough to say—we know more as a church about our popular culture than about the Word of God. My fear for this next generation is that it has not been confronted with the issues of holiness and holy living—I don’t mean legalism which I hate, but a sanctification of the heart and the mind in which we know what is truly evil and what is truly good. The belief that this is NOT just entertainment helps prevent us from being lulled into a sleepy unconscious state and protects us from a desensitized mind (or lack of discernment).

There seems to be a popular consensus in Christianity today that our relationship with God is exclusively like this: God loves me, feels like me, understands me, accepts me the way I am and is my best friend. All that is true, but not exclusively. We cannot have a general disregard for what His Word says. Doctrine has been demonized as legalism and FEELINGS have been elevated to truth. The difference between my feelings and doctrine is my feelings can change, be fickle, be erroneous and basic Bible doctrine cannot. God’s Word specifically tells us, “If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness…” When my feelings don’t line up with God’s Word, then my feelings gotta go.

For example, my feelings make me want to believe that all people will be in heaven. I’d like to believe that premarital sex isn’t all that bad if two people really love each other. I’d like to believe that homosexuality should be okay if it is monogamous, because of the sorrow and pain Christianity places on those who struggle with sexual identity. I’d like to believe that good Hindus, good Muslims, good Buddhists will eventually find their way to God because all paths lead to Him. I’d like to believe that a Mormon girl can write a story that is just for fun and is not reflective of her worldview or her fellowship with false doctrine and even darkness! BUT I CAN’T! I can’t because my feelings about these things are trumped (yes, always) by what God speaks definitively to these things. I can feel ‘til the cows come home, but what I must ask is “Do my feelings line up with what God’s Word says?” and if they don’t, then I have to let them go.

For those in Christ Jesus that have a profession of faith in Jesus as Lord there should NEVER be a secular and sacred dichotomy. We are not schizophrenics who believe our lives are divided into Christian and “everything else I do.” For those of us who are in Christ Jesus our lives should be seamless and Christ should be Lord of all we do, think, say, believe, and yes, feel. What I do for entertainment should be as Christ honoring as what I do for spiritual development because in His eyes it’s all the same. “And whatever you do in word or deed do it all in that name of the Lord.” Right? My work is holy, my housekeeping is holy, changing baby’s diapers is holy, balancing accounts is holy, changing car tires and car oil is holy, painting houses is holy–all vocations, all actions, all work and play and life is holy because Christ is the center and we do it all for Him and unto Him. And if we miss that mark we become anemic and lethargic spiritually. We must as the Body of Christ focus on Jesus the AUTHOR and the FINISHER of our faith. And that’s it. That’s the bottome line. Peace.

From Entertainment Weekly: Stephenie Meyer’s “12 of My ‘Twilight’ Inspirations”
STRANGER THAN FICTION
I actually did have a dream after Twilight was finished of Edward coming to visit me — only I had gotten it wrong and he did drink human blood like every other vampire and you couldn’t live on animals the way I’d written it. We had this conversation and he was terrifying.”

Another inspiration for her vampire saga came from a band of musicians called Marjorie Fair. “For New Moon, they were absolutely essential. They can put you into a suicidal state faster than anything I know . . . Their songs really made it beautiful for me.” Also an inspiration for one of her characters was a band called My Chemical Romance. She states, “It’s someone . . . who just wants to go out and blow things up.”

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20237747_11,00.html

Stephenie Meyer’s Thoughts
These are taken from her website www.stepheniemeyer.com

The Writing: I know the exact date that I began writing Twilight…I can say with certainty that it all started on June 2, 2003. I woke up (on that June 2nd) from a very vivid dream. 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. For what is essentially a transcript of my dream, please see Chapter 13 (“Confessions”) of the book.

Though I had a million things to do (i.e. making breakfast for hungry children, dressing and changing the diapers…), I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. I was so intrigued by the nameless couple’s story that I hated the idea of forgetting it; it was the kind of dream that makes you want to call your friend and bore her with a detailed description. (Also, the vampire was just so darned good-looking, that I didn’t want to lose the mental image.) Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn’t done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering. But I didn’t want to lose the dream, so I typed out as much as I could remember, calling the characters “he” and “she.”

From that point on, not one day passed that I did not write something…I drove the “golden spike” that connected them in late August, three months later.

It took me a while to find names for my anonymous duo. For my vampire (who I was in love with from day one) I decided to use a name that had once been considered romantic, but had fallen out of popularity for decades…My female lead was harder. Nothing I named her seemed just right. After spending so much time with her, I loved her like a daughter, and no name was good enough. Finally, inspired by that love, I gave her the name I was saving for my daughter, who had never shown up and was unlikely to put in an appearance at this point: Isabella. Edward and Bella were named.

All this time, Bella and Edward were, quite literally, voices in my head. They simply wouldn’t shut up. I’d stay up as late as I could stand trying to get all the stuff in my mind typed out, and then crawl, exhausted, into bed…only to have another conversation start in my head. I hated to lose anything by forgetting, so I’d get up and head back down to the computer. Eventually, I got a pen and notebook for beside my bed to jot notes down so I could get some freakin’ sleep. It was always an exciting challenge in the morning to try to decipher the stuff I’d scrawled across the page in the dark.

During the day, I couldn’t stay away from the computer, either. ..I would plot and scheme and come home with so much new stuff that I couldn’t type fast enough.

When I’d finished the body of the novel, I started writing epilogues…lots of epilogues. This eventually clued me in to the fact that I wasn’t ready to let go of my characters, and I started working on the sequel. Meanwhile, I continued to edit Twilight in a very obsessive-compulsive way.

Final word from me (Teri):
I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. II Corinthians 10:4-5, The Message

4 users Responded In This Post

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227. Barbie Buckner said,
September 30th, 2009 at 10:52 am

Powerful and well said. As a Christian High School teacher…this speaks volumes and echos not only what I believe but how I strive to live.

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232. texas sister said,
September 30th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

And there she was, “like a voice crying in the wilderness. Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand!”

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233. Bob Sparks said,
September 30th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Re Biblical literacy, I asked the ticket taker in Colorado Springs if, after seeing the 10 Commandments, they recommended reading the book. She replied, “What book?” I said, the book the movie was taken from. “Well, I guess we do.” she replied.

Challenge to be culturally aware yet heed:

1 Thess. 5:22 “Avoid evil of every kind” NIV
“Steer clear of evil in any form.” Phillips

So glad to be alive in the days of a courageous prophetess!

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234. Lisa said,
October 1st, 2009 at 10:41 am

Terri — I’ve had an ongoing discussion on my Facebook about whether Twilight was ok for our kids to read — you totally hit on the concerns I had! As someone who “researched” their way out of a branch of Mormonism (RLDS), I had already noticed the impact Stephenie Meyer’s Mormon theology had on her view of the afterlife, but your comments about the blood covenant were right on. I know how easy it is for people who are blinded by false theology to feel defensive (that was my initial response too!), but when you examine the facts of Joseph Smith’s theology compared to what the Bible says, they do not match up.

Thanks so much for the Biblical reminder to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When we let go of our own defensive pride and focus on what God has told us in His Word, the path is pretty clear. (Maybe not easy / PC /popular, but clear!)

Looking SO forward to meeting you when you come to LSCC later this month!

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