The Chocolate Christians of today can at least boast of having ancient pedigrees. There are CHOCOLATES A LA REUBEN, who have “great searchings of heart,” (Judges 5:16) and make great resolves of heart too. But somehow they still sit “among the sheepfolds,” (Judges 5:16) listening to the pipings of their much-loved organs and church choirs. It’s good to have a great heart-searching. It’s better to make a great heart-resolve. But, if instead of obeying, we squat among the sheep, leaving our few hard-pressed brethren to tackle the wolves by themselves, verily we are but Chocolate Christians. You made a great resolve to go to Africa for Christ a year or two ago. Where are you now? Still in England? Yes! Yes! Lollipop!
There are CHOCOLATES MEROZ, who earned the curse of the angel of the Lord (Judges 5:23). War was declared; the battle about to begin; the odds were outrageous, and Meroz remained in England attending conventions until the battle was over, then he went, in comfort and security, as a Cook’s tourist! Doubtless they said they couldn’t fight till they had been properly ordained, and, besides, there was so very much to be done in fat, overfed Meroz, and surely to feed a flock of fat sheep in a safe place has always been considered the ideal training of war; as though the best training for the soldier was to become a nurse-maid!
CHOCOLATES DU BALAAM begin first-class, and earn the name of prophets. Then they develop a squint, melt, and finally run out of the frying pan into the fire, thus Balaam.
One day he couldn’t get his left eye to look at God. It would look at earth and mammon and that chit of a girl, Miss Popularity. He ought to have done as God told him, and plucked it out (Matthew 18:9). But he said that was too much to ask of any man, and besides he wanted the best of both worlds. He had a hearty desire to “die the death of the righteous,” (Numbers 23:10) but he wasn’t willing to pay the price of a righteous life. He hadn’t the pluck to curse God’s people, so he made plans for others to make them sin. But one day, while his dupes were putting his chestnuts into the fire, they fell in themselves, and Balaam with them (Numbers 22-24).
“I counsel thee to buy of me eyesalve, that thou mayest once again have a single eye, and be enabled to see the folly of flirting with the world.”
CHOCOLATE DEMAS, who left old fiery hard-hitting Paul for an easier path (2 Timothy 4:10). He said he thought Paul should wink at, or slobber over sin, instead of rebuking it. “He was so very fond of the knife, you know; and he never would use sticking-plaster, because he said it never healed the sore but made it burrow underneath and become bigger, worse, and dangerous.”
MARK joined the Chocolate Brigade once. He left Paul and Barnabas in the lurch, and went back to Jerusalem for a rest cure—a religious retreat (Acts 13:13). Thank God he got sick of it ere long, resigned his commission, and re-enlisting in God’s army became a useful soldier (2 Timothy 4:11).
Many fine youngsters are turned into Chocolates by OLD PROPHETS. Old prophets who have lost their fire, or fire off words instead of deeds, usually become Great Chocolate Manufacturers. That poor young prophet. He did so well when he obeyed God only, but it was all over with him when he listened to another voice, even though that of an old prophet. Didn’t the old prophet say he was a prophet? And say he’d got the message straight from God? What a damnable lie! (1 Kings 13) The floor of Christendom and elsewhere is littered with wrecks made by old prophets. God won’t stand nonsense from any man. Every man has to choose between Christ and Barabbas, and every Christian between God and some old prophet. Better be a silly donkey in the estimation of an old prophet than listen to his soft talk and flattery, and afterwards become a wreck. “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35) No, not even Moses, nor Elijah, nor both! “HEAR HIM.” “The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.” (1 John 2:27) You say you believe the Bible! Do your deeds give the lie to your words?
THE TEN SPIES WERE CHOCOLATES. They melted and ran over the whole congregation of Israel, turning them into Chocolate Creams—“softies”, afraid to face the fire and water before them. God put them all into the saucepan again and boiled them for forty years in the desert, and left them there. He has no use for Chocolates. It’s not small things He despises, but “Chocolates”; for He said, “Your little ones shall inherit the promised land which you have forfeited through listening to men and despising Me” (Numbers 13-14).
JONAH became a Chocolate Soldier once. Told to go to Africa, he went to Liverpool and took ship for America. Luckily he met a storm and a whale which, after three days’ instruction, taught him how to pray and obey, and set him once again on the right track (Jonah 1-2).
There’s nothing that shows up Chocolates so much as a bit of a breeze between God’s people. Paul and Barnabas had one once. Judging from experience, I guess there were some Chocolates about then who got into a fog right away! Before that, they had vowed they would go to the heathen; but this breeze between P. and B. put them off. If they hadn’t been made of Chocolate they would have said, “This affair between Paul and Barnabas only makes it more necessary for me to keep close to God, and do what He told me to do more exactly and punctually; so I shall go a bit sooner to Africa—that’s all!”
Difficulties, dangers, disease, death, or divisions don’t deter any but Chocolates from executing God’s will. When someone says there’s “a lion in the way,” (Proverbs 26:13) the real Christian promptly replies, “That’s hardly enough inducement for me; I want a bear or two besides to make it worth my while to go.”
Chocolates are very fond of talking loud and long against some whom they call fanatics, as though there were any danger of Christians being fanatics nowadays! Why, fanatics among Christians are almost as rare as the dodo bird. Now, if they declaimed against “tepidity,” they would talk sense. God’s real people have always been called fanatics. Jesus was called mad; so was Paul; so was Whitfield, Wesley, Moody, Spurgeon. No one has graduated far in God’s School who has not been paid the compliment of being called a fanatic. We Christians of today are indeed a tepid crew. Had we but half the fire and enthusiasm of the Suffragettes in the past, we would have the world evangelized and Christ back among us in no time. Had we the pluck and heroism of the Flyers, or the men who volunteered for the North or South Polar Expeditions, or for the Great War1, or for any ordinary dare-devil enterprise, we could have every soul on earth knowing the name and salvation of Jesus Christ in less than ten years.
[This reference calls into question the original publication date of 1912 cited by our sources (since the war began in 1914), so that date is either mistaken, or the writing was revised at some later date.—Ed.]
Alas! What stirs ordinary men’s blood and turns them into heroes, makes most Christians run like a flock of frightened sheep. The Militants daily risked their lives in furtherance of their cause, and subscribed of their means in a way that cried “Shame” on us Christians, who generally brand the braving of risks and fighting against odds as “tempting God.”
CHOCOLATE CARAMELS—“stick-jaw”, boys call them—jawing, “I go, sir,” (Matthew 21:30) and sticking fast in Christendom. No conquest is made in assured safety, and conquest for Christ certainly cannot so be made.