Tag Archives: fellowship

On Church and Chocolate…

Some things never change –especially in church. For centuries people have read the accounts of the early church in the book of Acts and have determined to keep its traditions, two of whicccch are fellowshipping and arguing over what is constituted as right or wrong for believers. Over the centuries these two things have evolved. What we observe is that over the past four hundred plus years, chocolate has made its way into the life of the church. Not the life only , chocolate has made its way into the controversy that keeps the ears of the parishioners tingling.

 

In the beginning days of the church, the saints are recorded to fellowship with food and prayer daily. Alongside this daily fellowship of prayer and eating was weekly fasting. The book of Acts records arguments among believers on who could be Christians as well as what rules they had to follow once they were Christians. What was eaten, we do not know. However, what we do know is that the tradition was held strong and it was little room for private interpretation. When questions arose, men immediately turned towards leadership to give clear and district direction. Click the following link to see detailed information about one of the first major debates in the early Christian Church.  https://bible.org/article/acts-15-gentiles-gentiles-davidic-promise-and-clarification-paul%E2%80%99s-offer-gospel-acts-13

 

Nearly fifteen hundred years after the birth of the church it seems like nothing had changed. At least in the story of a Dominican Friar from Chiapas. The saints were continuing in fellowship. It was not everyday as it was in the beginning. But, they did fellowshccccip in worship and sharing food. Here in this 14th century Mesoamerica context, saints come together to worship and enjoy one another’s company by sharing in a common drink of chocolate.

 

Amazing enough, fifteen hundred years after the start of the church believers were still arguing over what was appropriate for believers and what was not. This time the subject was fasting. This Dominican Friar was concerned that saints who were fasting and consuming chocolate beverages were not “truly” fasting. The issue was so important to him that he wrote to the pope. Unfortunately for him, it was not an important subject to the pope. This was proven by the lack of the response he received. Evidently, the pope thought it was quite hilarious to have received such a question.

 

Four hundred years later the saints are still the same. They are still fellowshipping –much less. But, they are questioning even more. The question of what constitutes a fast is still on the table. I suppose the questions have been answered –although not by the pope of Rome. In many colder climates of north America many church groups still gather and enjoy the company of one another by consuming chocolate before or after worship. But the church has split on the question of chocolate being able to be consumed while fasting. Many modern day Christians have taken the side of the pope by believing it is not a matter of importance. However, there are those who have taken up the concern of the Dominican Friar. The end result is that they believe it is a sin to consume chocolate while fasting.

 

I suppose there is nothinfightg new under the sun. Fifteen hundred years from now the church will probably be doing the same thing. They will be getting together to hear the preached word. They will fellowship,  with or without chocolate. And of course, they will continue to argue over what constitutes a fast and what does not.

 

 

Works Cited

“Acts 15: Gentiles as Gentiles in Davidic Promise and the Clarification of Paul’s Offer of the Gospel in Acts 13”. Bible.org. Gregory Herrick Web. 19 February 2016

Dr. Carla Martin (2016) Chocolate, Culture, and the Politics of Food. Lecture Video. https://matterhorn.dce.harvard.edu/engage/player/watch.html?id=bbf932d0-696b-417b-811d-a9b3fc051aea Web. 19 February 2016

Lilac Chocolates https://www.pinterest.com/pin/280208408038817747/ Web 19 February 2016

“Muhammad Yunus, Banker to the World’s Poorest Citizens, Makes His Case – Knowledge@Wharton.” KnowledgeWharton Muhammad Yunus Banker to the Worlds Poorest Citizens Makes His Case Comments. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.

The Chocolate House http://www.chocolateuk.com/about.html Web 19 February 2016

“The Kingsman Review”, Peter Orrestad Web. 19 Feb 2016