There are some unbelievable similarities between the characters in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and a lot of folks caught up in â€œChurch hopping and shoppingâ€ these days. For a little background check out yesterdayâ€™s post here. For today however, letâ€™s pick up where we left off.
First there was the rotund, Augustus Gloop, who represents the never satisfied consumer. He ate everything in sight, but it was never enough. He also, NEVER even considered giving any to the other kids or even his parent. Heâ€™s similar to the church goer who takes, takes, takes yet never serves or even participates in giving back to God. Augustus was repulsed by the less sweet candies like some church consumers are repulsed by the offering and non-environmentalists are repulsed by planting a tree. No, Iâ€™m not a tree hugger, but I donâ€™t think we need to shred the environment either!
Then there was the rich brat, Veruca Salt. She was used to calling the shots. She apparently got everything she ever asked for at home and if you ever denied her, the Salty wrath of Veruca was sure to follow. She reminds me of lay people who like enough about a church to stay, but not enough to get on board with the vision. These people are great as long as you are doing church exactly the way they think it should be done. However, step out of line with their personal vision for _____________ (insert church name here) Church and all heck breaks loose. Consider yourself warned. Youâ€™ve been Verucad!
Next, there was, Violet Beauregarde. She was the one who always had to look perfect. For her, life was a fashion show and the visit to the Chocolate Factory was her own personal trip down the runway.
Where I live, church is a socially popular thing to do. Itâ€™s a great place to make business contacts, catch up on the latest gossip, show folks youâ€™re losing weight, add to your resume as a good guy or gal, etc. BUTâ€¦get to serious or biblical and people might think youâ€™re a Jesus Freak and that would spoil everything!
And we canâ€™t have that.
Are we done yet?
Next we have, Mike Teavee, a surly, spoiled video-game player. Heâ€™s the â€œcompetitive Christian.â€ For him the church is a chance to relive the glory days of high-school and dominate the softball leagueâ€”or, the annual golf tournament, or the basketball, orâ€¦whatever. The church in this case is more of a YMCA.
And finally, there was our young hero, the unassuming Charlie Bucket.
Where does he fit?
Heâ€™s the one Christ puts His greatest hope in. Heâ€™s not there for the fashion show, or to play games, or to catch up on gossip, or judge, or hijack the vision. Heâ€™s there for just the right reasons.
Is he perfect?
No. Havenâ€™t you been listening?
Heâ€™s far from it, but heâ€™s perfect for the church.
Tomorrow Iâ€™ll tell you why.
Or, you could rent Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and see for yourself.