Should we avoid “dark” themes?

I struggle to make wise choices when it comes to the media I watch, read, and listen to. With so many ways to plug in, tune out, and be entertained it can be really tough to discern which shows, books, and movies are okay and which ones I’d be better off to avoid. Can you relate?

As part of our month-long series on discerning Truth from lies, we’ve been examining the best-selling series Twilight. With over 17 million copies sold and a growing fan base of young women worldwide, it seems that this is a series that many, many young women have given their stamp of approval.

But should they? Should you?

I’ve already given you two reasons why I think we should choose not to read these books or see the movies. Here’s one more—as Christians, it is wise to stay away from “dark” themes.

The Bible talks a great deal about dark and light. Take a look.

Romans 13:12 says, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light.”

Ephesians 5:8-11 goes a step further by telling us to have nothing to do with darkness. “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

This plotline is dark! It centers around vampires and werewolves, death and violence. Of course it is fictional, but as Christians, does getting wrapped up in this kind of plot really align with living as children of the light?

I’ve already given two strong arguments for avoiding this series (see previous posts). And I admit this point isn’t as black and white. How do we determine what kind of dark themes we should stay away from and which ones we should allow into our minds? If we avoid Twilight because of the presence of vampires and werewolves, should we avoid The Chronicles of Narnia because of the presence of witches, spells, and magic? Is saying that we should steer clear of all media that explores the forces of good and evil painting this issue with too wide of a brush? I think so.

And this is where discernment comes in to play. When the Truth of a matter isn’t immediately clear, we may need to enlist help to decide the difference between right and wrong.

Prayer is a great first response in these situations. Ask God to help you to discern which choice most honors Him. Look for confirmation and guidance in His Word. Many times it also helps to seek the opinion of a godly friend or parent whom you trust.

I’ve taken all of these steps with Twilight. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve searched God’s Word for guidance on whether or not reading it is a wise choice. I’ve even talked about it with several godly friends whom I trust. And the verdict is clear—as a women committed to pursuing God’s Truth, this is a series I need to avoid. And one I need to sound the alarm against for the young women I influence.

I realize that this may be a hard pill to swallow. I understand that these books are well-written, and well-liked. But I strongly encourage you look at them through the filter of God’s Word.

We will be talking more about this here on the LYWB blog. I will be following this post up with an interview with a college-aged young woman who has read all four books and seen the movie. I think you’ll be interested in her take. I am also compiling a list of books that make great alternative reading selections. And as always, I’d love to hear what you think, especially if you can back it up with Truth from God’s Word!

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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