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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Sweet to the Taste (08/23/12)

TITLE: Candybar Christianity
By Helen Curtis
08/30/12
~1st Place


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The choice should be obvious; grab the apple, leave the chocolate. The apple is so full of vitamins and minerals and is incredibly good for me.

But the chocolate is taunting me from its bright, psychedelic-coloured box,

Come on, you know you want me. You know when you unwrap my cellophane that I am going to taste so incredibly scrumptious. How many times have you held a piece of fruit expectantly, only to find it sour, or bland and tasteless? I, on the other hand, always taste good and you know it.

Did that Snickers bar just wink at me? Yep, I definitely need the full on sugar fix.

Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t the state of the modern-day church, or at least the way we present the Gospel. Let me explain.

The Gospel of Christianity is like fruit. It is good! It is not just a nice story; it is the Good News of Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. It declares that we can receive salvation and full access to the Father - and all that is in his wonderful Kingdom of Heaven - because of His great sacrifice, giving His only son to pay the penalty of sin, that being death.

There are parts of the Gospel which are sweet and juicy and refreshing. We have no qualms in preaching these tenets of the Scriptures; abundant blessings, joy and peace, love and acceptance. Ah yes, how we love to share of these things to the lost and enslaved masses.

But, there are parts of the Gospel which are not so sweet to the taste of our fickle spirits. Scriptures which command obedience, change, devotion, sacrifice. These are the ‘sour apples,’ the not-so-easy to swallow inclusions of the Gospel; and as Christians we can become overwhelmed by their distasteful nature, causing us to question if the Gospel will be rejected because of them.

And so instead of presenting the nutritious truth, sometimes we choose to offer “Candybar Christianity.” This shiny and tasty, yet nutritionally-deficit brand of Christianity is chock-full of sweet temptation, imitation flavour enhancers and cheap, fatty spiritual misconceptions.

This quick-fix sugar rush offers everything for next to nothing, declaring salvation to be easy, requiring nothing on our part. It is advertised as “fun” and “happy,” appealing to people’s feelings, entertaining them and letting them believe that how they feel is more important than what they know. The benefits of accepting Christ are peddled like an old-fashioned cure-all tonic. Worship is loud, exciting, emotional, enjoyable. Friendships are little more than a, “Hi, how’re you going?!” on a Sunday. They appear real, but so often they are a mirage, a false image of God’s intention of deep, love-based relationships.

So many people choose to sell this kind of saccharine-sweet Christianity, and many accept it, indulging in its apparent goodness, until the initial high disappears and they are left with exactly what they purchased – an empty wrapper and a deep, unsatisfied hunger within.

The Word of God is beautiful. It nourishes and feeds the weakest of souls, and sates the thirstiest spirit. Let us determine in our hearts to not mock the truth of God, to not minimise or belittle the greatest sacrifice ever made for humanity by offering Candybar Christianity to the world. Let us trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to entice even the hardest of hearts to the truth, no matter how hard it may be to swallow.

Just as fruit is good, not because of how it tastes but because of what it is, so our magnificent God is good because of who he is. His Word needs no repackaging; nothing we can do will make him more palatable than he already is to humanity. All we need do is share the truth; let's leave the enticing to the Holy Spirit.

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8


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Member Comments
Member Date
annie keys08/30/12
This piece speaks to my heart. Having spent many years working as a church secretary, I know that most people look for the 'candybar church.'

Well written, presenting a serious issue in modern day Christianity; the need for healthy "food." Well done! You presented a real dilema, explored the issue in easily understoon terms and resolved the problem by highlighting truth.
Theresa Santy 08/30/12
Great devotional. I couldn't agree more. The only tweak I would suggest is to delete, "Let me explain." at the end of P#5.
CD Swanson 08/31/12
A jarring and compelling commentary. Nicely done, and well written. God bless~
lynn gipson 09/03/12
Oh this is good, and what a message! I saw a commercial for a face lift outfit yesterday and the woman said "I feel good about myself again!" So do I, but it didnt involve surgery. Just faith.
Excellent entry.

God Bless, Lynn
Danielle King 09/03/12
A lovely devotional with sound facts which I couldn't agree more with.
Lori Othouse 09/03/12
"God is good because of who he is" - love that! How easily we are tempted, as you said, to only choose the sweet, not realizing the eternal significance of the not-so-sweet. Very thought-provoking!
Ellen Carr 09/04/12
Very true thoughts and really well expressed. Thanks.
Allison Egley 09/04/12
Oh wow. This is good. You definitely give us some good (FRUIT good, that is ;) ) to think about!
Myrna Noyes09/04/12
The message here is so true and to the point! Your phrase "Candybar Christianity" is very apt--unfortunately. Thank you for warning us of the dangers of this type of religion.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/05/12
This is an outstanding devotion. I must admit, I often don't read titles and when I came across the phrase Candybar Christianity I thought wow how perfect. This is something everyone can understand at some level or another. You touched my heart with your words.
Danielle King 09/06/12
Congratulations Helen on your win with this superb entry. Well deserved.
Myrna Noyes09/06/12
CONGRATULATIONS on your 1st place win with this excellent and insightful piece!! :)
Laura Hawbaker 09/06/12
Very well written and so true. Good job! Congrats!
Bea Edwards 09/06/12
Beautifully written and your line "His Word needs no repackaging; nothing we can do will make him more palatable" is so appropriate! Well done and congratulations.
Charla Diehl 09/07/12
Your gift for using just the right words and phrases shines throughout this excellent piece of writing. This entry can be easily understood by every reader, no matter where they are on their journey of faith. Congratulations on your well deserved first-place wins.
A B09/07/12
Congratulations. I just listened to a sermon tonight by Paul Washer on this very thing.
Ellen Carr 09/07/12
Congratulations on your win Helen. As I said before - a great piece of writing with a great message. Well, I said something like that. Well done!
Sharon Eastman09/07/12
Many years ago it seems to me that God was scary and hell was real. Today the pendulum is swinging the other way. All this is confusing, but your devotional has enlightened me in a beautiful way. Congratulations!
CD Swanson 09/09/12
Nicely done. Congrats.
God Bless~