Thursday, November 19, 2009


On the eve of this most tragic evenings, at the dawn of the theatrical release of the newest Twilight installment ("Emperor's New Moon"), I thought it best we pay homage to the one of the most confusing infiltrations of Apostolic culture since Whitney Houston did the Preacher's Wife....

First, let me be the first to say that I have never seen Twilight. I am not fond of vampires. I am not fond of vegetarians. And I hate people who sparkle when the sunlight hits them. I am therefore am especially not a fan of vegetarian vampires who sparkle in the sunlight.

Personally I would have been satisfied with the whole "romantic-vampire" genre being retired after the atrocities of Interview with the Vampire/Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie)..... But hey, who am I to judge?

That said, I have some distinct memories when Twilight first entered the apostolic scene: First, it had come on the heels of the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga, and we all know a primary purpose of the Harry Potter series was to compromise our precious apostolic truth by polluting the minds of our innocent youth through tales of witchery and sorcery and emo-looking boy witches.

That said, the question was, while Harry Potter was an obvious taboo for Apostolics all over, was the swithcheroo of witches for effeminate vegtarian vampires a simple subversive satanic ploy to imprison the minds of our dear children all the more so? After all what is wrong with vampires? And Romance? But we all knew what was really happening, the devil was in the details, and the details was Edward Cullen. 

Of course ultimately, we came to realize that in terms of morally, there was nothing wrong with Twilight. The ones who seemed to consider Twilight bad in a spiritual sense were probably the same people who thought the Lord of the Rings trilogy as demonic (despite it being a very Christian story by a very Christian author)....

Another hilarious observation was for the first few months after the movie came out, there was the distinction between the true elitist Twilight fans who actually read the book by Stephanie Meyer (complete with weird chess piece cover) and the the bandwagon fans who were satisfied with the movie alone. It was like the book readers were completely embarrassed by the amount of mass popularity of Twilight so they had to find someway to separate themselves and that arrived in the form of something to the effect of "the book is sooooo much better. I don't even think Edward Cullen is that cute."

That said, 
So what IS so fascinating about the storyline about the movie and apostolics? Sure it maintains worldwide success, but Lord knows that it has been surprisingly successful amongst apostolic females everywhere.

So what is up with the popularity? 

To be fare and balanced (like Fox News (chuckle))..... I have decided to let a self decribed twilight fan, Rachel Tripolone all the way from Sydney, Australia explain why she believes the Twilight series so popular amongst our endearing Apostolic young ladies who strive for nothing but God's will in their life (including prince Charming):

Well the very fact that it is more of an impossible romance story than all about fangs and blood… although there are vampire themes. It’s a boy meets girl story with a supernatural twist. Plus there are moral and social lessons to be learnt from Twilight; lessons such as accepting the ‘different’ kinds of people in our social networks/lives and rejecting the 'different' people that aren't helpful to our journey. Also, they take a totally different approach to being a Vampire. I mean, they’re vegetarian vampires for crying out loud.  This family of Vampires chose not to eat humans in order to eliminate any stereotype of traditional vampires as blood sucking monsters.

Plus, I think it’s the theme of a Bad vampire guy who’s not really a bad vampire at all… he’s a good vampire!So I guess… the girls are attracted to guys that seem bad or that were bad… and now are good. (I suppose that’s what the apostolic girls want in an apostolic man) If that makes sense? Girls feel a certain sympathy towards Edward as he didn't have a choice when he became a vampire. PLUS, there's another character (jacob Black - he's a werewolf) which makes this an interesting, yet twisted, love-triangle; and let's face it every girl wants to be fought over by multiple of guys.

Apostolic girls enjoy it because I guess it’s more about the lack of sexual themes/scenes that are ‘normally’ in a love story. There are also references to abstaining while in the relationship- so I guess that’s always a brownie point with Christian Girls. (Why do you think the Jonas Brothers are also a big hit?)

However, to set a myth straight, Twilight does not specifically say that Edward Cullen is a virgin, although the author depicts this character to be ‘old-fashioned’ and he declines Bella’s invitation to make babies before they are officially married. :) Which suggests that the fictional male character also has the utmost respect for the female character hence their love is stronger and more passionate without making love in the end book, once they are finally married (Sorry to kill it for you readers).

At that note the dear friend decided to go on a one sentence tirade of how absurd it was that I could blog about a film/book that I have never watched/read, but yet I could form concrete cynical opinions about....

And I guess there are some things each one of us would rather stand ignorant of and as a result be judgmental over without ever actually understanding that thing. I simply chose to be ignorant of sparkling vampires...

In conclusion: Edward the vampire is so popular not just because of his devilishly good looks but also because he has a heart and has some strong personal standards that he will not compromise. Now if only he was called to be a pastor, and then we'd end up with the perfect Apostolic-guy...


  1. See, these are really the kinds of posts that confuse me and I'm really interested in knowing just how many apostolics watch/go to movies. In my - obviously unrealistic - realm, we don't go to, watch, or sneak into movies. Or have televisions. And as an apostolic, I find myself very confused by these posts. Just how many apostolics do these kinds of posts represent?

  2. "And I guess there are some things each one of us would rather stand ignorant of and as a result be judgmental over without ever actually understanding that thing. I simply chose to be ignorant of sparkling vampires..."

    Just like there are non-believers out there who stand to judge us Apostolic Christians by what they've heard and never really ask an apostolic about what really goes down.
    So i guess they also simply choose to be ignorant of Apostolic Pentecostals... therefore miss out on the Apostolic journey because of their ignorance.

  3. Dear Anonymous,


    Sincerely, AK

  4. Just wondering if the first two anonymous post were by the same person.

  5. Nope. (from 1st Anonymous)

  6. nope!
    Anonymous #2
    p.s. these blogs rock!


  7. Okay, I just have to say it, at the risk of causing "debate". Doesn't the UPCI (for those who are UPC) manual have a section against owning TV's and going to movie theatres as part of their beliefs? The only change has come with allowing to advertise on TV. So, tell me why this kind of post appears at all on this blog? This doesn't mock apostolics "culture", it goes way beyond it by talking openly about a belief that is "supposed" to be against the belief of the UPC in general. What is up with this?

  8. In response to 'd':

    Part of the genius of this blog is subtely pointing out such inconsistencies in our organization.

  9. To you concerned readers,

    If you are in confusion about the wide gulf between the desired behavior of Apostolics according to the UPC, and the actual practical behavior of the metropolitan Apostolic teenager/twenty somethings at large, I have no answer, if indeed your understanding of righteousness par excellence is outlined in the UPC manual.

    Some of us go to movies. Some of us do not. Some of us have TV's, some of us don't. If you define being apostolic through these media disbursement centers (theater and tv), then I beg you to take your identity and run away with it while you have a chance. It will only get worst regarding these issues. The reason I wrote this post is because it is extremely rare to fine a teenager who has not seen the original Twilight movie. If however, you define your apostolic identity in other entities outside TV and theater, then I say you still have a fighting shot to maintain your vision par excellence of what an honest apostolic looks like....

    Wherever your concerns may be friend, we must endeavor to fight for and protect with severe passion, that which we believe to be truth...

    Joel Riley


  10. "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  11. Obviously, Joel, you missed the point. If you are the one claiming to be apostolic (and likely UPC, as I've seen you on other blogs that represent the UPC) then don't be surprised if some people make the SIN of assuming there are certain beliefs that are followed (as per the outlined doctrines of the organization). If you don't follow certain things (like movies and TV), fine, that's your choice. However, you, should be the one who should "take your identity and run", because its you who really doesn't believe what your organization says it believes.

    I understand the difficulty of living above our carnal nature. You say you represent "honest apostolics" by admitting to doing some of these things. What I struggle with in this blog (and yes, I don't have to read it, I know), is how much "glory" you give to this fallen nature, which makes it that much easier to justify it.

    Now I'll sit back and wait for the onslaught of negative remarks.........

  12. D,
    No negative remark. I myself do not go to movie theaters but do own a television. I am almost positive Televisions are not allowed for UPC ministers in the manual, but it is not so black/white in relation to non-ministers in the UPC.

    The reason I said "take your identity and run" was simply because of the winds of our time. I was not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I do think it a realistic assumption that the UPC is changing it's mind as a whole on these issues. Computers and Imax's have really confused the issues, and in general the UPC ministers do not seem to have an answer. They see the contradiction that Internet is allowed but TV's are not. I have yet to find or even hear about one pastor who really thinks it wrong to have a television but thinks it completely okay to have a computer with internet which so much more damage can be done with.

    As for this last line you wrote:
    "I understand the difficulty of living above our carnal nature. You say you represent "honest apostolics" by admitting to doing some of these things. What I struggle with in this blog (and yes, I don't have to read it, I know), is how much "glory" you give to this fallen nature, which makes it that much easier to justify it."

    can you clarify?

  13. Joel, first of all, thank you for dialogue that doesn't cut down my opinion. I understand the difficulty in drawing lines nowadays in these issues and quite frankly wouldn't want to be the one to make those decisions.

    To clarify my point: When I am doing something that I KNOW to be wrong (not just disobeying rules, either), the last thing I should be doing is discussing it with someone who is struggling with it like myself. When youth groups in general (I know from experience) pick up on carnal topics, it's amazing how much more carnality crawls out of the wood work. And since so and so is doing it, then gosh, it's that much easier for me to do it because I'm not the only "sinner" in the group.

    I love the posts that mock our stupid little apostolic idiosyncrasies. But I admit to having an issue with the posts that seem to glorify our wrong-doings with what is or has been preached against.

    Hope that clarifies.

  14. D,

    I sincerely believe that the Word stands above all us in understanding what God would desire out of us. I also sincerely believe we each as individuals who have been born a new in the spirit, the ability to interpret the Word.

    That said, I do not define what a preacher has preached against at some church or another church as a guideline to what can and cannot be written about in our blog. If we live by the word of our pastor, we will inevitably die by that same word if that is what we live our Christian lives by.

    Not only do I think pointing out little "idiosyncrasies of our culture" important to this blog, but I also think looking at other viewpoints other than our own viewpoint important on this blog as well. Reading the comments of yours and others throughout this blog has definitely engaged my mind and got me to rethink some things and how I approach issues. That said, one of the things I would argue that many apostolics are not very effective in doing, is listening to and understanding the viewpoints of conflicting views other than their own. I would definitely posit that this blog is such a resource where this introspection can occur.

    This post was not meant to be about movies or theaters or televisions. It was about one movie that is popular amongst teenage girls. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less. I honestly did not anticipate movie theaters or televisions being brought up in this blog at all. I find such a discussion repetitive and tiresome. So to say this post was made to glorify wrong-doings, I would argue, is a very gross overstatement that is guilty of the worst-kind of simplification. Especially considering my cynical remarks in the post about the movie (which I pointed out I have never seen).

  15. D...Really dude? I think you missed the point...I am a 5th generation apostolic youth pastor.

    I had to sit and listen for 1.5 hours this summer and listen to some guy talk about the evils of Twilight when I work for a pro-life group and couldn't get five minutes to talk to youth in most camps...

    It's the emphasis being put on it and television while ignoring larger issues that are clear cut in scripture (sanctity of life, freedom for Christians in China, fill in the blank)that really bothers me and makes me feel like we're missing the point as an organization (I'm a UPC guy)...

    The emphasis on subjects like this at the cost of more important issues (sanctity of life) is the real idiosyncrasy that I feel could eventually be the true undoing of the Apostolic movement. It gives everything a rather disingenuous feel.

  16. D,

    Please forgive me. I misunderstood your point. I agree with your point that some are focusing on the wrong issues. I hope your understand that this blog is not claiming to be a lifesource that people should come to to find spiritual growth to challenge each other. It seems you are at odds with this mission of this blog, and that is fine. But i guess i would be expecting my church to be focusing on the right issues and not getting lost in pity stuff. At the same time I would not expect such a focus at a website that purely specializes in making light of our culture and in particular these very pity things and our fascination with them.

    For the record I have never heard Twilight spoken about over the pulpit where I'm from.

    Once again, accept my apologies for misinterpreting your comment.

  17. wow, some individuals (UPC or not) need to lighten up about another persons blog statements.
    obviously these blogs are posted with the hopes of gaining other readers opinions, but surely not to cause any kind of mockery to our organization or the beliefs from the 'manual' that we live by.
    and if an individual who does have a tv and watches it, should they be condemned because a manual says so?
    i agree with Stanton.

  18. The UPC manual is for licenses ministers. Everything in it, all the position papers, articles of faith, etc are only pertaining to licensed ministers, which it clearly states in the manual. The regular church member is not only not bound by the manual, it doesn't even apply to them. To even suggest that if you are apostolic and go to the cinema or watch tv that you are breaking some sort of rule or code is a complete misunderstanding of what the UPC is. It's a network of ministers, not a denomination. I have never signed any paper saying I agree to uphold the contents of a manual which doesn't even apply to me. As a matter of fact Im sure 90% of the average congregations of UPC churches haven't seen the manual and most probably don't even know one exists. I don't mean to condescend and I apologize if this has sounded rude, that wasn't my intention. I just get a little irritated when individuals make blanket statements regarding non ministers with the logic that what the manual says applies to them.

  19. Also, I just remembered something else- the manual doesn't state that licensed ministers must preach from or hold their congregation accountable tithe position papers, which are where our "standards" are found. All that is stated is that the minister himself must adhere to the position papers, not that he enforce them on other people.

  20. I was responding to the guy who posted above you ( D ). It seemed like he was really wrapped up in a bunch of hogwash. I made a lame attempt to use his fixation to prove a larger point (the willingness of many leading Apostolics to focus on minute issues while ignoring greater societal ills).

    I am all for the mission of the blog bro! I love it. It is absolutely hilarious. My family and I sat around and read the posts to each other and laughed the other night. The phrase "Great to know we're not the only ones thinking this stuff was thrown around a lot."

    Keep up the good work.

  21. Alright Stanton, I got it now...I confused you addressing "D" as claiming to be "D" himself. My bad. And if that's the case, my initial rebuttal to "D" still stands.

  22. "Tradition simply means that we need to end what began well and continue what is worth continuing”
    -Jose Bergamin (Spanish Writer)


  23. So, "Stanton" if you actually considered the fact that media suports the issues presented, how can you be against them while being saturated and influenced by people and things that are in complete support of it?

    And most people who do not allow themselves to be consumed by media are the ones who concern themselves with said social issues. Perhaps people should stop bashing holiness, get a backbone and stand up for what is right instead of messing around with Hollywood entertainment, and such ridiculousness.

    It is pretty stupid how people who do watch tv feel the need to justify their behaviour by trying their best to critique people who do not.

  24. I said nothing against "Holiness" and I think you shame the word by equating it with something as silly as Media...

    I was referring to the misplaced emphasis debating the role of media than greater social ills...for instance...This past year the General Board of the UPCI voted to designate the 3rd of Sunday of January "Sanctity of Life Sunday" as a day for its constituents to affirm their belief in the sanctity of life and the need to fight for protection for the unborn and elderly...and they had to have a debate on whether or not to do that!!!!!!!...

    You look at the attention that got vs the TV Advertising debate...

    It just seems so out of proportion in terms of fighting evil and spreading light...

  25. "It is pretty stupid how people who do watch tv feel the need to justify their behaviour by trying their best to critique people who do not."

    The only Television most of us actually watch is on the internet. We have no need to justify such behavior when it's completely permissible and acceptable to do so.

  26. It is completely permissible and acceptable for you as a person. I know a lot of people who do not lower their standards, and still take a stand against whatever you want to label it Internet TV, or whatever. I hope you are being sarcastic in your comment and are smart enough to realize just because it is on the computer does not change its level of acceptability.

  27. I did not realize this was a debate about tV?Internet. I thought it was a statement about gay looking sparkling vampires. I have decided to bust out with the sparkling lotion by vicoria secret and see if it appeals to my wife. ( if that does not work, I could bite her I suppose )

  28. Anonymous (above) - I think you fail to realize that it wasn't the television itself that concerned many tv dogmatists intitially (though it now is). And we can't say programming in general, because programming varies (just like the internet: good programming, horrid programming).

    Listen, this isn't about some redneck preacher, spitting on the ground, pumping his chest, and telling people to "grow a backbone," it's about being a spiritual leader by example, discipling people toward holiness and not just conformity with every rule you can dream up. Point the way, don't lord over people about the way. Some people, filled with the Spirit(gasp) watch television. No one is attacking you, but you are referring to television as the epitome of holiness, as if others have compromised the supreme holiness of God. Don't insult Jesus like that. We respect your considerations, please respect others. I believe Paul said as much (Romans 14:1-4).

  29. Perhaps you are insulting Jesus by allowing yourself to watch the garbage shown on TV. "Set no wicked thing before thine eyes" I understand people have different beliefs, however, I do not have much respect for people who chose to watch television and still call themselves Apostolic. I never referred to it as the "epitome of holiness" I merely stated it ties into having a holy nature. It is ridiculous having to defend long-held beliefs and convictions just because people who no longer think convictions are necessary feel the need to criticize that. There are quite a few people who feel the same as I do regarding TV, and oddly enough quite a few pastors still preach against it, and take a stand against it.

  30. P in the same chapter of the verse you quoted (Psalms 101:3), you will find the following verse:

    " 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
    him will I put to silence"

    Because you have not revealed your identity, are you not slandering your neighbors (or even worse, your bretheren) in secret?

    Although I could be wrong.

  31. Way back in 2009, Joel Riley had a massive point!

    " '5 Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
    him will I put to silence' "

    Because you have not revealed your identity, are you not slandering your neighbors (or even worse, your bretheren) in secret?

    Although I could be wrong. "

    1. And five years later it still hasn't had a rebuttal. (Sorry, I found this late so I'm busy reading through the whole thing.)