Starting this September, we are doing a new Bible Study for the middle school students on Sundays from 130p – 3p. We are going to be going through Stephanie Meyer’s book Twilight and using the themes found in that book and how they are related to the issues of our faith.
The truth is, I am actually a year or so behind in this, as the Twilight phenomenon began a while back . Our middle school students seemingly can’t stop talking about the book, the characters, the movie and the actors in the movie. I felt that Twilight can be a tool to begin conversations about faith, based on what the characters go through.
I am certain that there will be some people in the congregation who are worried and nervous about using Twilight for a study in church, especially since it deals with vampires. But I look at it this way. The kids are going to read the series and watch the movies, or at least hear about their friends talking about it. Love is one of the biggest themes in the book. And a lot of young kids are now forming what they think true love looks like based on Edward and Bella (the main characters in the book). I feel that this can be a great opportunity to talk about what true, unconditional love can really look like, especially through the eyes of God. They’re going to form ideas about love, why can’t we as a church be part of that journey?
Here are some of things that we will be discussing using the book Twilight:
- The issues of cliques and friendship
- Temptation: Edward, being a vampire is always tempted to give in and drink the blood of Bella, there by killing his true love. So he fights every moment he is with her to fight that urge. Even at that young of age, our students deal with temptation. There’s the temptation to give into peer pressure, the temptation to cheat on homework and tests, and so forth. Temptation is a big theme in the Bible, and we’ll be looking at stories such as Adam and Eve and the relationship between Israel and God. We’ll see what the Bible has to say about temptation and how the Bible deals with it.
- Love: Bella claims that she loves Edward unconditionally. What does that mean? What does unconditional love look like? Does the Bible have anything to say about love?
- We’ll also be doing character analysis and talking about what makes each character a good person and what makes them a bad person.
I am aware that you may have concerns about this Study, particularly with the
vampires, temptation and love. To be honest, I feel like the church a lot of times does disservice to our young people by shying away from real teenage life issues instead of talking it through with them and providing help and guidance. Our students consistently talk about Edward, Bella, Jacob and other characters from the series. Their idea of life and love are being shaped by the things they are seeing and reading in Twilight. I think we allow popular culture to be a louder voice in their lives because the Church does not address many of the issues that they experience and live through. I just want our kids to know that the Bible and God are alive and very relevant in their lives today, and yes, God has something to say about love and about life.
We hope that you will allow your child to come join us in our conversation. I am very excited to get to know our middle school students even more and excited to see what their thoughts on life are.
In November (with your consent) we will be going to see the new Twilight movie: New Moon as a group and have ice cream afterwards to discuss what we’ve just seen. I really hope that your youth (and their friends) will be able to join us!