A Salt and Light Revolution
July 21, 2020
In some ways we are living out the famous words of Charles Dickens:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
We live in a time when hatred threatens to tear apart our society, and we are already in a post-Christian era. If there was ever a time for the church of Jesus Christ to stand up and be counted, this is it. But if anything, our influence seems to be waning and we have largely lost our moral authority. A recent poll, before the COVID-19 pandemic, showed that church membership in the U.S. has dropped sharply in the last two decades, from 70 percent in 1998 to an all-time low of 50 percent in 2018. Among the millennials (those born after 1997) church membership dropped to 42 percent. If you ask about actual church attendance, 22 percent of Americans say they attend church every week.
In an increasing secular world, we should not be surprised the church has lost its influence in the community. There are many reasons why this is so, but one reason stands out above the rest. The church has lost its influence because Christians have neglected their responsibility to be salt and light in the world. As we have neglected to be what God has called us to be, the world has decided to ignore us or, on the other hand, persecute us for our beliefs and Christian lifestyle.
We need a salt and light revolution in our day. We are to be the salt flavoring a tasteless world, and we are to be the salt preserving a decaying world. Let there be no mistake. We live in a morally decadent society. It is like a piece of meat left all day in the sunshine. The decay is slow at first. Then suddenly the whole thing is rotten.
Here is the exciting part. It doesn’t take much salt to do the job. Just a little bit in the right place will do the trick, but you must get the salt out of the saltshaker to get it to work. Salt, you see, was made for soup, and we are in the soup. When the salt goes into the soup, two things happen: 1) the salt dissolves; and, 2) the character of the soup is changed forever.
We are also called to be the light of the world, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16, NIV 1984). The word “good” means attractive or beautiful or lovely. Jesus is saying people will be attracted by the beauty of your life, and others will be drawn to Christ by the way you live. We can have the joy of leading them out of the darkness into the light.
What will have to happen to us to once again become salt and light in the world?
- We must become purifying agents who hinder the spread of evil.
- We must illuminate the spiritual darkness around us by our boldness and, yet, gentle spirit and the beauty of our life. Pray for the Lord’s direction as you serve Him.
Let no one be deceived. It will not be easy. The world does not want salt and light, but it desperately needs it. The Lord has made us for such a time as this. May the Lord give you a new vision of the difference we can make in our world, as we invite Him to rule our lives for His glory.