[white chocolate theology]

[white chocolate theology]

A good friend of mine, Trino, mentioned this week that he can’t stand white chocolate. We chatted about this on my FB page, mostly tongue-in-a-cheek chat that usually happens between him and me.

In Russian, there is a saying, “Every joke has a bit of a joke” meaning that there is also a part of truth. I was thinking about this Facebook debate as to which chocolate is the best (or whether white chocolate can be counted as chocolate at all), when I had one of those RTAs (Random Thought Attacks).

I have been reflecting on the issue of Church, Christians, and authenticity a lot these days (due to all the blog posts and comments discussions with Bill, Michael, Dusty, Michelle, and others) and while chatting with Trino, I joked about having White Chocolate Theology in our lives sometimes.

White chocolate is a confection of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids. In contrast to the usual dark color of cocoa, white chocolate is pale yellow or ivory in appearance, which has led to the popular belief that white chocolate does not contain cocoa. However, since it is in the form of cocoa butter rather than cocoa solids derived from chocolate liquor (a necessary ingredient in all types of chocolate), white chocolate is not actually chocolate as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Wikipedia, White Chocolate

In our freedom-of-religion countries, quite often lately we have been offered White Chocolate Theology (let’s call it WCT further on). WCT looks white therefore nice, it is very sweet, and the wrappers are most of the time similar to those of the milk / dark chocolate. However, although it does have cocoa butter, it does not have what real chocolate takes – cocoa solids.

What is a Christian? It is a follower of Jesus. What does a follower of Jesus mean?

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

Mark 8:34

Why would one take up a cross? Just to carry it for the fun of it? Maybe do some bodybuilding on the way to Heaven? Or is it what Paul was talking about?

My old self has been crucified with Christ.

Galatians 2:20a

Oooh, we don’t want to talk about that usually. How often do you think of actually dying? Seriously. That’s what happens when one’s being crucified – death.

Yes, there is resurrection (praise God! Otherwise there would be no point in dying to ourselves), but sometimes we forget about balance. Sometimes we focus too much on the gift that we have been given – eternal life; Jesus paid for our sins and we are free. Please note that I am by FAR not trying to downplay the reward, but with this gift, there comes a responsibility to live accordingly. Not to earn this gift, that’s impossible; but to THANK Him for the gift.

Sometimes I think that we, as Christians, are too carefree. I know I have my moments quite often when I just enjoy being His kid and… and that’s it. I substitute cocoa solids with cocoa butter. Sure, sounds the same, isn’t it? Cocoa this, cocoa that.

But it is not real chocolate! It is not real Christian life!

Just how often we hear about death in Church? (Funerals don’t count).

My all-time favorite writer, Ted Dekker, in his book When Heaven Weeps, wrote:

Q: “What does [Christ’s] kind of love feel like?”
A: “…Imagine mad desperation. Imagine a deep yearning that burns in your throat. Imagine begging to be with your lover in death. King Solomon characterized the feeling as a sickness in his songs. Shakespeare envisioned it as Romeo’s death. But Christ… Christ actually died for his love.”

Q: “And why do so few Christians associate love with death?”
A: “Just because they are Christians does not mean they are necessarily followers of Christ. Followers of Christ would characterize love this way because Christ himself did.”

Jan Jovic, The Dance of the Dead (from “When Heaven Weeps” by Ted Dekker)

Maybe it is just me, but so often I hear a watered-down theology, WCT… and gotta admit, sometimes it comes from my own mouth. I try to adjust the hard edges of the Truth, find a way around… why?

Oh God, there is still so much work to be done in me. Remind me that white chocolate is just a substitute for the real thing. Remind me that entire truth is way better than bits and pieces… I want the real deal.

…Even if it means dying.

  • Wow! That's a cool connection you made there. I love it. It's so true…we don't like the hard stuff, but want all the feel-good stuff. I too am like that. When things get hard, I tend to get angry that God isn't making me "feel good" anymore. Just gotta realize that this is not being a Christian! Great post Zee.

    • Well, getting angry at God is better than stopping to care for Him at all, i think.

      but yeah, i know what you're talking about.

  • Me with me

    YES!!!!! I was right!!!! Love you Zeena Maria!

    • Yes, Trino, you were right 😉 my bad.

      love ya too, brother.

  • Zee, Just came to your site for the first time and I am truly impressed. I like your style of writing and your site is beautiful. Sometimes I wish my style of writing in my posts were more like yours. I think your style of everyday life and Christian living blended together is what I actually had in mind when I felt God lead me to create my blog, but when I start writing and blending scripture, my posts generally take a more sermon approach. Please keep up the good work and I have subscribed to your blog. I am also adding a link on my blog to yours!

    • Hey Randall, welcome! And thanks )))

      everyone got their own style and i like yours from the brief wandering around your blog 🙂

  • Hey Zee! Thanks for the shout out. I don't care at all for White Chocolate. Being one who loves chocolate (milk or dark) I find white too…I don't know how to describe it…sweet, lacking in something…I don't know. Unsatisfying. Maybe that is a better word. Sort of like WCT actually. I think WCT leaves an emptiness that is unsatisfying in many ways. Good thoughts today. Love and hugs to you this weekend.

    • "WCT leaves an emptiness that is unsatisfying in many ways" – yeah, no kidding… and we might even not understand what's wrong since in our minds, we just had "chocolate" but our body says "noooo, here you are mistaken, my friend."

  • good post, zee. i often find myself frustrated by the modern church's attempts to gloss over some hard things in scripture. we try to make everything and everyone as comfortable as possible, because that's the key to getting more people in the doors.

    but with all of our watered-down Christianity, who is truly being discipled? we teach self-help (a throwback to you the other day) and being a well-adjusted member of society, debt-free and able to raise our children well. but who of us looks like Jesus? who of us is obedient?

    oh, and for me, the darker and more bitter the chocolate the better. just like my coffee.

    • Thanks for stopping by, James! 🙂

      Heh, you brought up the question of discipleship… at our Church board meeting we recently had a discussion (well, series of discussions more like, since we finally realize that something needs to be done) and talked what do we lack. everyone mentioned discipleship. and it's true – we basically don't have it. and why? exactly because we try to make everyone comfortable. but where on earth does the Bible say anything about comfortable faith?

      🙂 my mom loves dark dark chocolate too.

  • Zee, speaking of chocolate, here's some food for thought!. The Orthodox church was established around 400 AD, and since then has spread throughout the world, and eventually groups splintered off such as the Catholics, and then the Protestants. Protestantism came to America and since then, many denominations have splintered off due to differences in theology, some significant and some trivial. More recently it seems that this church splitting is becoming more and more common, and I have witnessed one such event personally. M point to ponder is where is the true Gospel message being taught, since it seems to change with people's desires and personal feeilngs, because as far as I know, God has not added any addendums to the Bible since it was first written. I know where to find the truth, and that is the Bible, but the church thing is getting out of control.

    • so agree, Randall!

      this division thing bugs me. just trying to explain to my friends that even though i go to a Nazarene Church, i am still a follower of Christ, just like those who go to the Orthodox churches here in Ukraine. oh, and to mention that my Church is one of the protestant ones, the immediate question is – what are you protesting against? 😀 sometimes it's funny, sometimes it gets old.

      i so want to go back to the simplicity of the first Church, where the disciples were all together – yeah, of course they had their arguments and discussions (like the one between Paul and Peter regarding Gentiles), but they were still ONE body of Christ. the Church as it is today reminds me of random organs spread out everywhere.

  • Sorry, this is just a comment subsrciption submisson!

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