Pages Navigation Menu

Faith One Blog

Life, Salt and Light

Jesus, very early in His ministry on earth, told His followers that they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16). Beyond saving belief, we have work to do! He cautioned against the tendency to avoid these responsibilities; the salt that loses its savor is worthless and light should not be hidden under a bushel. Over the following centuries, Christians have responded to these injunctions in three broad categories:

  1. The Saved – These are those that are content to rest in the assurance that they are the beneficiaries of eternal life. They conduct themselves in keeping with the principles of God’s word but ordinarily keep their faith to themselves. They go to church on Sunday but don’t have any significant influence on society. They represent the great majority of all Christians.
  2. The Salt – These are also careful to live the Christian life but go further. They take an interest in the national culture that lies beyond established Christian circles and resist attempts to move it away from existing Christian standards. Just as salt preserves food, they tend to preserve the good in society. This is important and necessary work but it is basically a defensive strategy, one that attempts to maintain the status quo but does not do much to advance the faith beyond its present boundaries.
  3. The Light – These work to bring the light of God’s word into the darkness, that is: into the surrounding culture. Salt preserves but light does more. It penetrates into and dispels the darkness, working to bring the culture and the laws of the nations into conformity with God’s law. This group is involved in education, the media, civil government, medicine, the sciences and every area of man’s activities. Their goal is to implement the Great Commission of Christ, to teach the nations to obey all His commandments (Matt. 28: 18-20). This task extends far beyond evangelism; it penetrates into every area of life and thought. Christianity is not just for Christians; Christ, the Creator of the world, is Lord and Master of all peoples and all nations. He came, not just to save a few and condemn the rest, but to save the entire world (John 3:17).

The root of just about every major problem in America and the world today is that there are so very few Christians in this third category. Their numbers have been diminishing more and more rapidly for at least two centuries. This has been largely due to a theological perspective developed in the 19th century. It promotes Christian passivism, limiting Christian activity in the world at large to evangelism. In a nutshell it can be reduced to: get as many saved as possible but don’t try to change the world; it belongs to Satan and will continue to get worse and worse until Jesus returns. This pernicious doctrine has permeated a great many of the churches that most true Christians attend; as a consequence, their lights have been, not just hid under a bushel basket but virtually extinguished.

The Christian influence that once dominated the Western World is at a low ebb and needs to be turned around while it is still possible to do so without great pain. I think that most Christians today would laugh at such a thought; they don’t realize that we are in a life or death struggle with unbelief. Because Christianity is what it is—an exclusive faith that denies all others, it cannot survive as one of many religions; the world must eventually become, either entirely Christian or entirely devoid of Christianity. Its light must either come to shine everywhere or be extinguished altogether (Gen. 3:15). We have lost much ground and find ourselves today at a critical juncture. Those of you that wish to obey your Lord need to respond to His call and let your lights shine into the dark places of today’s semi-pagan culture. This may not be a comfortable activity but it is greatly needed and will most certainly be rewarded by the King of kings and Lord of lords.