I started reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer yesterday, and I’ll probably finish it today. I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and liked it. I heard that the books were very good, so I decided to try it for part of my vacation reading.
I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. Not only am I enjoying the story, I’m learning alot about the human condition that we call sin. What? I’m learning theology from a book about vampires? Yes. Was it written with this in mind? I don’t know.
Quick synopsis: Bella moves from Arizona to Washington when her mother gets remarried. She falls in love with a boy named Edward. She soon discovers that Edward and his family are vampires. But, his family – unlike other vampires – have chosen not to hunt humans, although they continue to have the strong desire for human blood.
Edward also falls in love with Bella. And, for a vampire, this is a dangerous attraction. He now wants her blood more than anything else. In fact, whenever he is with her, he has to constantly maintain control or he would kill her.
Here is an important passage:
[Edward:] “Ask me anything.”
I [Bella] sifted through my questions for the most vital. “Why do you do it?” I said. “I still don’t understand how you can work so hard to resist what you … are. Please don’t misunderstand, of course I’m glad that you do. I just don’t see why you would bother in the first place.”
He hesitated before answering. “That’s a good question, and you are not the first one to ask it. The other – the majority of our kind who are quite content with our lot – they, too, wonder at how we live. But you see, just because we’ve been … dealt a certain hand … it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above – to conquer that boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted. To try to retain whatever essential humanity we can.”
Does this remind of you anything? We have been dealt a certain hand as well – as sinners. And, we have also been called to rise above the boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted. We’ve been called to “put off the old man”… to “put on Christ”… to “not sin”… to “live holy”… in other words, to live as if we are different than we were made to be. [Obviously, the analogy is different because we are also indwelled by the Holy Spirit. We “rise above” by the grace of God. Yet, there is still a denial and some responsibility required on our part.]
In the book, Edward, the vampire, recognizes that if he gives in to his natural desires, he will hurt other people. Often, as followers of Jesus Christ, we often forget that when we give in to our natural desires to sin, we also hurt other people. We are forgive by God, but there are still consequences, both to ourselves and to others.
Some have decided to live apart from the world in an attempt to remove the desires. This doesn’t work, and its contrary to the will of God as he’s revealed in Scripture. Instead, like Edward, we are live in constant recognition of our natural tendencies. We are to live in control of our selves – a control that is the product of our yielding to the Spirit living in our lives.
In reality, I am Edward the vampire, with the constant threat of hurting myself and others when I give in to my natural desires. But, also in reality, I am indwelled by the Spirit in order to rise above my natural tendencies and to live life as a new creature in Christ.