25 Apr, 2022 Dangers of Dark Fiction
A special editorial talking about the dangers of supernatural fiction
By Summer Lane
Take it from me: the imagination is a powerful thing.
I grew up voraciously reading every book in sight, whether it was written by C.S. Lewis or Stephen King. I was an unstoppable reader who was on a quest to learn more about storytelling and the world around me. As a young kid, I didn’t give much – if any – thought to the stories that I was ingesting and obsessing over. I never stopped to think if what I was feeding my heart and soul was healthy. Now, as I raise my daughter and begin mulling over the content that she will be allowed to read as she gets older, I find myself coming at the subject of fiction for Christians from a totally different angle than how I felt in my teens and early to mid-twenties.
Today, I’m going to discuss the dangers of dark fiction, my concerns about Christian fiction, and the simple practice of exercising discernment.
Christians and Fiction
Christians are held to a different standard than the rest of culture. The Bible tells us that we are no longer to be conformed to this world, but rather, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We are to be set apart, in both our behavior and in our entertainment diet. But how many of us can really say that we’re all that different from the world? I’m certainly guilty of watching and reading things I shouldn’t have put in my mind, simply because I wanted to do something dumb to relax.
When it comes to reading, I’ve realized that what I put into my mind has a profound effect on my thought life! A few months ago, I read a dark fantasy novel that had heavily graphic sex scenes. No big deal, I thought. I’ll just skip the bad parts and read the book for the story. Unfortunately, the entire book was filled with pretty graphic content, from language to explicit sex scenes – and I should have tossed it aside rather than plodded through to the end! As Christians, I think we need to be very honest with each other when we mess up, and fiction has been the hardest thing for me to let go since the Lord has convicted me to step away from dark entertainment. It’s also why I feel so strongly about writing about it as a Christian, because I think that Satan sneaks into our lives in the most seemingly harmless ways.
Godless, graphic, profane, vulgar, and demonic fiction is entertaining – you bet it is. But it’s also dangerous, because if we’re not filling our minds with godly things, our minds are filling up with the complete opposite. In Colossians 3:2, the Bible tells us, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
A good reminder.
The Seduction of Vampires and Fallen Angels
Today, I’m opening up about my own experience with fiction. I worked in the publishing industry for roughly 12 years in addition to my work as a journalist, and I was obsessed and surrounded with dark, sensual fiction. My first foray into the world of supernatural fiction was in the vanilla romance series, Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. Millions of other girls and women have read the books, too, and I eagerly waited on pins and needs for each book to release when the series was at its height of popularity, reading and re-reading my very favorite love scenes between Jacob and Bella (le sigh).
I started reading books by Bella Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush) and was absolutely mesmerized by the idea of falling in love with a fallen angel (I knew nothing about what that really represented at the time). I read countless books centered on bloody vampire romance, and read and re-read Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice eagerly, entranced by her beautiful prose, occultist underpinnings, and darkly sensual content. I was totally hooked on this kind of fiction for most of my life, because it fed the part of me that desired soaring romance, thrilling adventure, and an exploration into the supernatural unknown.
And, for some reason, vampires and fallen angels (and werewolves, demigods, and cursed beasts) are very alluring for teenage girls and women. There’s something incredibly attractive about the entire concept, and I believe that has to do with the fact that most of it is rooted in esoteric, occultic tradition. Demonic content is often the most attractive content – a beautiful flower at face value, with the biting poison of deadly hemlock.
We are warned in Scriptures in many different passages against engaging in activities that are associated with witchcraft or magic because it’s spiritually dangerous and opens us up to spiritual attack.
“I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.”
Guarding our Minds and Using Common Sense
For me, filtering my content is a constant work in progress. I’m not perfect, and like I said at the beginning of this story, I’m still learning how to limit my intake on some things. Christians should be vigilant – always working to guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Sometimes, allowing ourselves to obsess over certain types of entertainment can be a way for Satan to sneak into our lives and feed us worldly and sometimes, downright demonic, content.
Am I saying that the Christian can’t read secular fiction? Absolutely not.
I’m saying: use a little discernment. A little common sense. Watch what your kids are reading, because Young Adult fiction these days has become increasingly profane and increasingly sexual. The gender agenda is strong in the publishing industry, and between pushing dark, spiritual books and same-sex romances, Young Adult is hardly a safe oasis for kids’ content.
When it comes to what we’re feeding our hearts and minds, the best way to decide what to read (or watch) is to ask ourselves if it is good and pure and lovely:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
The opinions in this editorial are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
Check out the Counter Culture Mom Show with Tina Griffin and listen to this interview with former occultist George Iceman as he exposes the practices of magic and witchcraft in pop culture, and how dangerous it is for our children.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies in weekly op/Eds on The Write Revolution.
Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing about women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.
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