Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Twilight" and The Apple

One of the most popular teen (and older-than-teen) book series out today is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. There is much that can be said about this series (none of it is good, in my opinion). I have not read the books themselves, but have researched and read synopses in order to be informed of the plot, and of the writer’s purpose. I encourage others to not read the series, but to learn and teach of the dangers within and to keep it away from our children – you can start by taking a few minutes to read this excellent Christian perspective, or my daughter’s recent blog on the subject.

I simply want to comment on the cover of the first book – and what it implies about where our culture is today. The picture that appears on the cover is shown above.

You see, a long time ago, at the very beginning of human history, God created a perfect world in which to live. There was no death, no ruin, no decay…and no sin. God created things to work perfectly and without breakage. Most importantly, this system honored God and revealed His ability to create perfection. He created Adam and Eve and placed them in a Garden to enjoy His creation and live for His glory. Only one rule was set down – do not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden. And as we all know, after a while that rule was broken, and sin entered the world for the very first time…with the result that mankind fell away from the perfect relationship that he had enjoyed with God.

The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is often referred to as an apple. And that apple represents the temptation that brought mankind to be separated from God, and brought death back into the world. From Genesis 3:17-19:

‘To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”’
Nothing worse has ever happened to mankind than this separation. Because of that event, God had to send his Son several thousand years later to die and save mankind from making this separation permanent. The fall of Adam was the darkest moment in human history.

Yet, I fear that the weight of this event has been lost by a modern generation. Witness the very words that Stephenie Meyer uses to describe the photo on the cover of her book:

The apple on the cover of Twilight represents “forbidden fruit.” I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase “the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.” Isn't this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is. . . . In the end, I love the beautiful simplicity of the picture. To me it says: choice.”

So, the choice between good and evil is a good thing? To Meyer, the moment of the apple and the resultant fall of man is “beautiful”. She has forgotten God’s original purpose – that God wants a perfect relationship with us – and yet hundreds of thousands of teens fail to question the premise and position of her book. They think they are reading a “love story”. Yet, it was God’s intent that we never have to experience the ravages of evil and disease and death. This is the original love story! I would love to live in a place where I did not have this “choice”, but where God’s goodness was the only option available. Someday, we will know this existence again!

I appeal to our generation – train your children to understand the importance of that moment when we were separated from God. Help them to know that “choice” is not always a good thing. And help them to understand that our culture desperately needs to be restored to God again, back to the perfect design He had in the beginning. Mankind is not “evolving” by being granted more choices – instead, it is the very existence of our choice between good and evil that points to a brokenness. God has the cure. If you are reading this and want to know more, please write me.