The famous Pentecostal televangelist and politician Pat Robertson still is sparking headlines at age 81, especially when he recently denounced Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series as “demonic.” On one of his TV shows, Pat was asked about Twilight and denounced the series as “evil.” Then, he illustrated the problem by describing two friends who were trying to help a woman through an exorcism.
Robertson said …
“They were casting the demon out and, you know, what the demon said: ‘I had permission. I had permission. I had permission.’ And where’d they get the permission? Because she went to a particular movie and it opened the door to demonic power.
“Yes, I think those vampire movies are evil. There are no vampires. The whole thing is demonic. It might give you some kind of a thrill—like wheeee—the spooky supernatural! But it opened the door into the occult. You don’t want to open any doors because you don’t know what kind of a demon is out there who says: ‘You know, you opened the door and you gave me permission.’”
ReadTheSpirit publishes Glitter in the Sun, a Twilight Bible study book for Christian congregations by author Jane Wells.
We asked Jane to respond to Pat …
Why Pat Robertson
is Wrong in Calling
By JANE WELLS
This is my confession of the sin of spiritual snobbery, and the story of how I found freedom from the fear of spiritual contamination.
Perhaps it was two years of Baptist school during my formative early elementary years. Or maybe it’s because of the mandatory three-times-a-week attendance at a conservative church with my parents. It could have been the countless repetition of “Be Careful Little Eyes What You See” during annual Vacation Bible School.
But the truth is: I’ve always been cautious about what I read.
I don’t read Harlequin Romances because I don’t want to fill my head with stories of extramarital sex. I don’t read horror stories because those gory images tend to come back to mind at random and inappropriate moments, like when I’m trying to sleep. And I don’t generally read stories about magic because it seems that reading about the occult gives it validity. And vampires? Vampires tend to fall somewhere in the Venn diagram intersection of all three categories mentioned above.
All this to say: I never intended to read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels. It took some immense peer pressure, a fairly positive review on NPR and concern about what my friends were talking about to change my mind. To my immense surprise when I did read the books, instead of sex, gore and witchcraft, I found God in the pages of the Twilight Saga—not a gateway to demon possession.
Pentecostal bellwether Pat Robertson recently spoke out on just this topic on the Let it Rip portion of his long-running 700 Club television show. He even claimed that he knew about a young woman who had become possessed after seeing an evil movie.
This has not been my experience—nor has it been the experience of countless fans I’ve “talked Twilight” with since writing a book the series. Instead of a spiritual trap, I have found that Twilight is a spiritual opportunity. My original spiritual snobbery was unfounded. Twilight contains stories that parallel God’s unconditional love for us and demonstrate the redemptive power of sacrifice—stories I recognize as true because I benefit daily from God’s unconditional love and sacrifice through Christ.
Right now millions of people around the world, mostly young women, speak a common language. So when I talk about God’s love being eternal, like Edward’s, and unconditional, like Jacob’s, they begin to recognize that the heart hunger stirred up by the books is answered and fulfilled in Jesus. To dismiss the Twilight Phenomenon as pop culture fluff, or more dangerously label it demonic, is a tragic mistake and a rejection of a God-given opportunity to give precious souls hope both now and into eternity.
It was no less than C.S. Lewis, author of the most beloved of all Christian allegories, the Chronicles of Narnia, who was the staunchest defender of imaginative fiction. He said it is in fiction that the deepest truths are revealed. Just so, this seemingly undying passion for all things Twilight is a symptom of an undying hunger born within us all.
As Christians this is our opportunity to introduce a love-starved world to an eternal and unconditionally loving God. I, for one, do not intend to squander this amazing chance to share the grace I already enjoy.
Care to learn more about Jane Wells’ Glitter in the Sun: A Bible Study Searching for Truth in the Twilight Saga? That link takes you to our author interview with Jane—and much more.
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Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.