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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Why I Think Vampires Suck!

Posted by admin in September 22nd, 2009
Published in faith, obedience

What is it with the obsession these days with vampires? And it’s not just the “yung peeps!” It seems to be everyone, everywhere. For example, I have an acquaintance who is in a top leadership position in a major international Christian ministry. And of course he blogs–just like everybody else these days. But his blog on Easter weekend is the one that really freaks me out. He and his wife rented Twilight and watched it. They watched a stinkin’ vampire flick over EASTER WEEKEND! And, believe it or not his comment on his blog that Easter weekend, after watching the vampire film… “I wish I was a vampire!”

Now, think about this: Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross, shed his blood for our sins, resurrected from the dead, and now holds the keys of hell and death. We have one weekend people where we really celebrate the most powerful and life-changing message in the world and this guy wants to watch a vampire flick which imparts to him the desire to be a vampire. Hey! What ever happened to watching The Greatest Story Ever Told?!? (You know, that really old movie about Easter where John Wayne has like one line?)

Seriously, this vampire stuff is everywhere. Now, please hear me, I understand when teachers, who work with Millennials, read vampire stuff ‘cause they want to earn the right to be heard among their students. You can’t just tell a high schooler, “It’s bad. I said so. That’s all there is to it.” You have to walk them through the presuppositions that are false and help them deconstruct the errors of the messages being sent.

Of course Christian educators read junk like vampires and yes Harry Potter and Dan Brown’s jive so that they can help our culture, our children and even our neighbors debunk what they falsely believe is “just entertainment.”

We as parents read this stuff so we can say to our kids in a truly informed way, “No! This is artificial; it’s counterfeit. I have read it and this is how it is against what Scripture says; against what God’s Word teaches us.” Earning the right to be heard—I truly get that.

But there are actually followers of Christ out there reading it for sheer entertainment. They are reading it without any discernment. They are buying into the whole cultural mess and mythology that vampires can be fun and “just entertaining.”

I see Christians building an affinity with these characters—WOW! Some are even taking quizzes on the Internet to see which of the Twilight characters they’re the most like! What is wrong with us? What is wrong with the Church? No wonder we’re so anemic—we’ve been sucked dry of any discernment, any conscience, any filters, any promptings of the Holy Spirit and any sense of right and wrong. Lord have mercy on us! We’ve lost our compass; we’ve lost our True North.

Anne Rice, the author of the best-selling Vampire Chronicles came to Christ in 2005. It was a huge step for her because with her decision to follow Jesus she also had to make the decision to not write about vampires anymore. In a Washington Post column she writes,

“A long life of historical study and biblical research led me to my belief, and when faith returned to me, the return was total. It transformed my existence completely; it changed the direction of the journey I was traveling through the world. Within a few years of my return to Christ, I dedicated my work to Him, vowing to write for Him and Him alone. My study of Scripture deepened; my study of New Testament scholarship became a daily commitment. My prayers and my meditation were centered on Christ.”

Rice was planning on writing one last vampire book that would show the power of God over the power of darkness. She wanted this last book to put the whole thing to “final rest.” However, (UPDATE): Rice decided not to write the final book and said, “I just couldn’t go down that dark path to other-world-ness again. God just wouldn’t allow me.” Those are pretty powerful words coming from a former vampire mythologist. Don’t ya think?

Here’s my take on it: There are three main things found in vampire mythology that are the absolute antithesis of all things holy in the Christian faith.

1. The blood. For both Old Testament and New Testament theology the blood is sacred. Remember, the Old Testament laws about eating and drinking blood were the only things the early Church fathers told Peter to carry over to the gentiles. That’s some serious stuff y’all. The blood is sacred to the Christian faith. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness) of sin. The blood in Scripture is used to cleanse, make covenants and we are constantly forbidden to eat it or drink it because of the sacredness it symbolizes. Blood plays a significant role in our Christian traditions and theology. Please! Don’t even get me started on the holy sacrament of Communion! Vampire blood-sucking takes that which is sacred and makes it profane.

2. False resurrection. There is no other religious leader or religious figure that has risen from the dead. As followers of Christ, one of the most important and precious doctrines of our faith is—CHRIST ROSE FROM THE DEAD. It’s important, it’s valuable, it is foundational to all that we believe. Vampires are the “undead.” Falsely rising from the dead time after time and this is key in mocking the power of resurrection. Once again, taking that which is sacred and making it profane.

3. Culture of death. I wrote about the Millennials’ obsession with death in my series back in March (See Millennials 1-3). Ever wonder why all things vampirish are such an over-the-top obsession these days with people under 30? There are TV shows, movies, books and blogs (I did a search for vampire blogs in English—there are 18 million out there today) all focusing on vampires. Annette Bourdeau, a popular movie critic writes, “Vampires are hot right now, in case you didn’t know because you happen to be some kind of cave-dwelling lycanthrope who’s never come across a copy of Entertainment Weekly. From ‘True Blood’ to ‘Twilight’ to the new Canadian rock movie ‘SUCK’, you can’t turn around these days without seeing something about sexy bloodsuckers. So why are we such fang bangers all of a sudden? Rob Stefaniuk, writer, director and star of ‘SUCK’, has his own theory. ‘I think vampires have always been popular, but right now someone has tied into that teen market, which is probably why it feels like the genre is exploding,’ he says, referring, of course, to Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ franchise.” (Uh…you mean Stephenie Meyer the Mormon? Right? Don’t you just love her influence on Christian youth?)

So we’ve got a whole generation of kids right now that are obsessed with death, dying, killing, self-mutilation, violence and vampires play right into that whole culture of death thing. And what’s the Church doing about it? Nothing. I was talking to a church leader recently explaining that I wanted to blog about why I hate vampires and this person actually says to me, “But I love vampires!” Really church leader? You love vampires? Wow.

And please allow me to say something here about Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight Saga . She’s Mormon. Does that bother anyone? Does it matter that Christians are completely absorbed with a character designed and created by a Mormon? It does to me. First of all, I don’t want to financially support her. Secondly, have you ever read what Mormons believe about blood? It’s pure darkness. They don’t believe in the powerful cleansing blood of Jesus. Of course a Mormon can write about vampires, she believes Joseph Smith was a god. At least she’s consistently heretical. There are so many things in the Twilight Saga that clearly propogate Mormon doctrine. Come on folks, what are we thinking?

I know. You’re saying, “But what about George MacDonald?” Well, the vampire characters found in George MacDonald books are not the heroes. They are not the good guys. C.S. Lewis considered MacDonald’s (non-vampire stuff) Phantastes pivotal in his conversion to Christianity. And Bram Stoker? Well he gave up his faith long before he wrote Dracula and declared that he loved all things dark and evil. Oh BTW, Bram died a slow and painful death in London in 1912 caused by syphilis.

But sadly, as I’m writing this, I keep hearing voices in my head, “Book Burner!” “Close-minded fundamentalist!” “Critical spirit!” “She doesn’t even know how to have a good time!”

But I do. I do know how to have a good time. I understand literature and its purposes. I’m just trying to say that as Christians we are to understand what is holy and what is unholy. God commands us through Scripture not to let unholy things dwell in our minds and hearts. For example, most people would admit that pornography is wrong and that a Christian should not even look at porn. Well I’m saying that this obsession with vampires and calling dark light and evil good and being sympathetic with darkness and evil is a lot like allowing porn into our lives. It’s not just harmless entertainment. It’s destructive. It’s not mere fun. It’s evil. Pure evil.

The Apostle Paul writes, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9) No wonder so many Christians today struggle with fears, phobias and a general absence of peace in their lives. Where are our minds centered? On what are we focusing our attentions?

Cliff Schimmels used to say everything he needed to know about life he learned in Sunday School. If that’s true, we’d be wise to recall that little Sunday School jingle, “Be careful little eyes what you see…”

Paul writes in the second letter to the Corinthians, “‘Come out from them (the world), and be separate from them (in heart and mind),’ … ‘and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be your father, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord.”

Paul goes on to say, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear [and reverence] of God.”

In C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters we see the purpose in looking at evil—to better understand it, not to sympathize or fall in love with it. To better understand where evil is coming from, but not to embrace it!

I think about the season in my life when I tried to get Believers to stop watching Tom Cruise movies because of his high rank in Scientology. Tom Cruise is one of the highest ranking Scientologists in America. To get to that point he had to sign a document stating that he believed and supported all of L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings—one of which states that Jesus was a homosexual pedophile. I won’t go see a Tom Cruise movie to save my life. I won’t watch him on TV; I won’t support a single thing he does, says, writes, or performs. His blasphemy against Jesus Christ (my Redeemer and Savior) really ticks me off and I prove that by not supporting him. Are there things in Hollywood that are awful and against God that I don’t know about? Sure. But I can only respond to what I know and what I know–I’m accountable for. But churchgoers didn’t really take me serious about that either. I don’t know what is happening to the Body of Christ!

Where’s our backbone as the Church? Where’s our zeal as followers of Christ? When is it time to stand up and say, “I don’t support this; this is wrong.” Shout out to the Catholic bishop that wouldn’t let then Governor Sebelius of Kansas take communion because of her support for abortion. Rock on Bishop guy! At least HE stood for what he believed in.

We as followers of Christ are all called to be salt and light in this world and as salt and light we are to play an important role in declaring truth to our generation—truth to the world! God’s truth.

“Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” Paul wrote that in 1 Timothy 4.

Whatever happened to “toiling and struggling” against that which is evil and wrong in God’s sight? I believe wholeheartedly in compassion, mercy and grace. I’m a recipient of those things in great abundance both from God and from people. But when do we as Believers stand up and declare to our culture, “This is wrong?” And help pull them from the grip of death and dying? Please Lord, do not allow us as your disciples to be lulled into sleepy unconscious behavior and forget what is truly right and what is truly wrong. I pray this for myself and for the entire Body of Christ. Amen. Peace.

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

17 users Responded In This Post

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mygif
221. grannieannie said,
September 22nd, 2009 at 10:25 am

You ROCK Teri!! How did it get “uncool” in the church to stand up for RIGHT and WRONG????

mygif
222. margaret said,
September 23rd, 2009 at 7:03 am

Yes! Rock on! “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!”

mygif
223. artandsoul said,
September 23rd, 2009 at 8:59 am

Truth is so refreshing. Thanks for writing faithfully on what is on your heart.

mygif
224. Logan said,
September 23rd, 2009 at 11:26 am

Teri! Thanks for discussing the issue and shedding some light on it. I was JUST talking to Lucas about our culture’s obsession with vampires just a few days ago. The Twilight series is still very popular. But last week, while at home sick, I saw THREE or FOUR movie and t.v. show previews- movies and shows focused on the vampire theme. It’s scary. Not that we have anything to fear- He’s with us. It’s just so bizarre our culture’s obsession with something SO blatently evil. I guess we shouldn’t really be surprised though. Satan is making his rise and gripping the hearts of the people of this world. It’s just his work, Satan is living and active, seeking to devour people.

But not only is our God living and active, he has the power and authority over all things!
I’m standing up!
Logan

mygif
225. Brian said,
September 23rd, 2009 at 11:59 am

I guess I’m a cave-dwelling lycanthrope (whatever that is). I don’t see copies of Entertainment Weekly and I’m blissfully unaware of the popularity of vampires. There are other mysteries, however, which are worth knowing something about. Like both the literal and symbolic power of blood. It is vital for human life. It is why we eat and why we breathe. Perhaps our resurrected bodies will not have blood, since they will not grow weary and will not die. Treating blood as sacred is one of the few laws that was preserved in the new covenant. Lots to reflect on and ponder…

mygif
226. admin said,
September 23rd, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Scott from Transylvania writes: [Dear Teri]Walk slowly to the bathroom. Open that little cabinet over the sink. Take out your meds. Dispense the prescribed dosage. Injest. Go to a quiet place and rest.

mygif
230. Stackman said,
September 30th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Wow, what a great article on the current obsession with darkness and death. Most telling as to how far we have come is the admission by several church leaders that they “love vampires”. We have had this same discussion with some church leaders near us who also share an obsession with Harry Potter and Dan Brown. Did not know about the Scientology covenant – that explains a lot about the current trash coming out of Hollywood.

mygif
235. Shannon said,
October 3rd, 2009 at 7:39 am

Amen Sista!!!

mygif
236. Charlie Mathews said,
October 4th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I do not understand how a believer can not see the darkness in this vampire area. It’s just sick. Satan can play such wonderful games with human beings. But we know our God is more powerful. We need to be diligently in prayer about such evil, that it can be seen as pure evil and people will not think of it as innocent.Satan can make himself beautiful and want to be sought after and apparently a lot of humans are buying into this beauty that has been put into vampirism.

mygif
238. Lane said,
October 4th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

You are completely right and I am so thankful for your courage and convictions. Don’t ever change!! And I pray protection over you.

mygif
247. camiclay said,
October 8th, 2009 at 7:48 am

Just curious, have you read any of the Twilight series?

mygif
248. admin said,
October 8th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Camiclay: good question. I read parts of the first book and found it so disturbing that I didn’t continue. The whole vampire mythology is disturbing to me for the three main reasons I give in the blahblahblog. As a follower of Jesus I really struggle with the blood, the false resurrection and the culture of death. I’ve read Bram Stoker’s Dracula as well and I feel that it’s dark at best, evil at worst. I don’t want my son looking at porn–I don’t have to have a great knowledge of porn or need to see porn to know it’s destructive. I feel that about the Twilight series–I feel it’s destructive. Meyer’s own website and two interviews I list on the post “Taking Every Thought Captive” give some real insight into her mindset. Good question though. Thanks.

mygif
249. camiclay said,
October 8th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Thank you for your response. I, unlike everyone reading this blog, apparently, have read the Twilight series and love it:-) I have not, however, read any Anne Rice or Stoker. I also have not gotten “sucked” in to any of the craze that the Twilight series arguably started. So I am *only* speaking of the Twilight series as I comment.

I have a feeling that we will never agree on the positive or negative attributes of Twilight. But, here’s something that I often wonder….how do you feel about the “good witch” and “wicked witches” in The Wizard of OZ? Did you let your kids watch that movie?

Thank you again for the dialogue:-)

mygif
250. admin said,
October 8th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Thank you Camiclay! I love this kind of stuff. Okay, I’ll try not be too long-winded, so here it goes…I LOVE the Wizard of Oz (I’m from Kansas). My kids watch it, but when they were real little the monkeys scared them pretty badly. Victor Fleming holds fast to, in my opinion, what is truly, truly good and what is truly, truly evil. Thus Good Witch vs. Bad Witch; the exposure of the Wizard as a fraud, Dorothy’s love for her family and desire to leave a beautiful, colorful place to get back home to her black and white life ’cause family mattered that much to her. I don’t know, does that even make sense? Dorothy is a character I wouldn’t mind my kids emulating. I think this is why I love CS Lewis and Tolkien so much–they too create characters, flawed though they may be, that truly know right from wrong, light from dark. Hey, I’m curious: Did Meyer’s discussion of her dreams about Edward coming to her after the book was written strike you as odd?

mygif
251. admin said,
October 8th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Oh! And I meant to mention Camiclay that there are over 400 readers of this blog and only 12 commented on the “Why I Think Vampires Suck” posting. But yes, out of those 12, you were the only one that did not have an issue with its premise. There could be a lot more folks reading the blog that still love Twilight. 🙂

mygif
252. camiclay said,
October 8th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Interesting…I had not heard of this post novel dream visit….must investigate. Thanks again for thoughtful dialogue:-)

mygif
348. AngelaRose said,
February 8th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

My daughter saw you speak at LeTourneau and she immediately sent me a text, telling me that I had to look you up….I’m so glad she did. You are a breath of fresh air. Everything you said in this blog is true and right on. It seems that Christians are putting their discernment on the shelf. I am burdened for a generation that is not getting any guidance from their ‘elders’ who, it seems, just want to be their friends rather than older, wiser guides. And instead of the Church giving the good advice to stay away from this, they are trying to find ways to use this disturbing series as a learning experience.
Soooo, keep speaking out. You do it gently but firmly – PERFECT!
Thought you might like to see this website http://carylmatrisciana.com/x2/content/view/81/1/

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