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Archive for Saturday, April 30, 2011

Faith Forum: As a religious professional, what’s your take on vampires as popular figures in entertainment?

April 30, 2011

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The Rev. Shaun LePage, pastor, Community Bible Church, 906 N. 1464 Road:

Why wouldn’t vampires be popular — don’t we all have friends who drink blood? Aren’t all popular kids in school murderers? I know, I know — modern writers make vampires more likable (i.e., young, beautiful, vegetarian), but still, why vampires? If you met actual blood-drinkers, you would be repulsed by them (even “vegetarian” vampires). If you saw a victim of one of the wannabe Draculas who decided he was an actual vampire, you would vomit.

So, why vampires? If we ask the “vampyre subculture,” we find that vampire popularity is a symptom of something bigger — something deeper.

One group from this subculture says actual bloodsuckers are rare (that’s a relief). They say most are simply fascinated with the immortality and super-human abilities vampires have.

If that’s true, then vampire popularity is nothing novel. People have always craved “immortality and super-human abilities.” Our natural tendency, though, is to try to get what we want without going to the only true source of life and goodness: Our Creator (i.e., God).

So, let me recommend a much better obsession than pale, blood-sucking murderers: Jesus Christ. Everyone knows vampires aren’t real. But Jesus is real! He entered history, proved he is God through his “super-human abilities,” shed his blood on the cross and rose again so he could extend an amazing, yet actual offer for “immortality”: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).  

Stop living in a fantasy world — choose the reality revealed in the Bible! Receive immortality by acknowledging your Immortal Creator. If we trust in the super-human, God-man, Jesus Christ, we will experience the reality called heaven that will make even a Stephenie Meyer novel seem boring.

— Send e-mail to Shaun LePage at shaun@community-bible.org.

The Rev. Matt Cox, pastor, EastLake Community Church, 2734 La. (South Junior High):

This is an intense theological quandary that has been around for centuries. Certainly any self-described “vampire” will tell you that they’ve survived many ages of bigotry, but haven’t faced a greater challenge than destroying the modern sparkly myths of tween sensation “Twilight.” I mean seriously — sparkling in the sun?

Perhaps the incomprehensible craze surrounding “Twilight” has inspired the vampire community to forgive the minor discrepancies of Anne Rice’s “Interview” franchise and even the loose-yet-interesting interpretations of the Underworld series.

But seriously, for the same reason some hair dryers still come with a warning that says “Do not use while sleeping,” I’m sure this is a type of question that may actually be relevant in some circles because it’s easy to unnecessarily overreact on peripheral issues of entertainment. Be they vampires, wizards, elves or whatever other fantasy creature you can think of, we have to remember one thing: it’s fiction.

Some of the most renown authors wrote about wild, imaginative races and beings, but were also people of significant faith. For some reason, we have this odd temptation to make figures in entertainment a target for “what we’re against.” Sure, the quality of certain franchises may vary — and you should discern what you take in. But to throw out entire genres or fictional figures as a whole is plain ignorant and a giant waste of time.

The more time we spend marching against trivial issues is directly proportionate to the time lost that we could be actively reaching out to our community with the free love God provides and the family He wants everyone to be a part of.

God doesn’t care what you’ve done, how you’ve grown up or what particular fiction you have on your bookshelf. He wants to grow you from right where you are.

— Send e-mail to Matt Cox at matt@eastlakelawrence.com.

Comments

FloridaSunshine 2 years, 11 months ago

@ Easy_Does_It...

May I ask why you think this is a strange question? Maybe you're being facetious because your second statement surely is (facetious). Certainly you must realize the impact these contemporary types of movies have on teens and children. The newer movies are light-years away from "Godzilla" or "The Wolf Man", etc., of the '50's and '60's. Or maybe you are a teen or young person who enjoys this type of entertainment...I am only seeking answers.

I don't know how to "take" quite a few of you Kansans...so many of you seem to "beat around the bush" with your statements, instead of simply making a direct, lucid statement. Maybe you could explain to me why that is, also.

Guess I'm just trying to understand Kansans better than I do...please do not accuse me of denigrating Kansans...I have family living in Kansas, will frequently be visiting through the years, and simply wish to understand more clearly.

(By the way, to "beat around the bush", as my southern grandma used to say, means one is saying everything he or she can think of to avoid answering a question with a forthright response. Not sure if Kansans use that expression...hence, my explanation.)

Thank you.

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John Kyle 2 years, 11 months ago

So do only crucifixes stop a vampire? If a Jewish person holds up a star of David, will it stop a vampire? I remember "The Fearless Vampire Killers" had a Jewish vampire. When someone held up a cross he said, "Oy, you've got the wrong vampire!"

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Tony Kisner 2 years, 11 months ago

What a strange question. I might ask my pastor his take on Godzilla.

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