“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13).
In my column today, I want to address an issue and question that pertains to both Christians and the Church in our culture. Any honest person who has a realistic perspective of the general state of things in our nation, state, and culture (when it comes to morals, integrity, and honesty) and who is also true to their convictions and conscience, will admit that we are in a decadent and degenerate state with no human solutions or answers to remedy the mess that we have brought upon ourselves. In spite of all of our technological advances, sociopolitical implementations, and legislations, we seem to be getting worst and not better. I believe that the root of the problem is spiritual and that we have been merely dealing with the effect and not the cause. On the deck of the battleship, Missouri, at the official close of World War II, the General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, hit the nail on the head when he asserted, “We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at the door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2,000 years. It must be the spirit if we are to save the flesh.” Those profound and even prophetic words that have reverberated down through the years contained and conveyed a synopsis of the problem and the solution. Indeed, it must be the spirit if we are to save the flesh. For certain if that is the case, where is the Church and what role are Christians to play in this battle against light and darkness, evil and good, and wholesomeness and wickedness? The subject and heading for my column today asked the question, “Is the salt losing its savor?” When my Lord mentioned the term salt in His teaching, it was a metaphor and symbol of people who are genuinely born again. In light of this, salt was used as a preservative to delay the process of decay (rotting), as well as a flavoring agent for food. As the salt of the earth, are we guilty before God of being impotent salt whose presence and influence in the culture is no longer making a difference, due to the fact that we are losing our savor and ability to counteract the ever encroaching, intruding, and enslaving evil and darkness? Since I sincerely believe this to be the case, I will devote the rest of my article today to briefly address some of the common factors why so many Christians and churches are losing their savor and ability to be the salt of the earth and truly make a difference in the struggle against darkness and evil.
Convictions without Courage
I believe that one of the common reasons why many Christians and churches are losing their savor and ability to make an impact on our culture is due to a lack of courage and boldness. For many, the problem is not a lack of having convictions and beliefs that are Biblically-based and sound. The problem stems from intimidation, fear, and cowardness. The Bible declares that the fear of man leads to a snare (Proverbs 29:25). Our convictions can be right and consistent with God’s Word. However, if we lack the courage to declare and defend them, we are guilty of putting them under a basket and not upon a lampstand (Matthew 5:14-16). This is especially the case if we are called to be leaders whose responsibility is to feed God’s people with knowledge and understanding.
Loving the World More Than Loving God
Another primary reason why many Christians and churches are losing their savor can be attributed to the fact that they have become too preoccupied with the things of this natural world. Simply stated, their love for God and the things of God like praying, studying the Scriptures, witnessing, going to church, and such like, regrettably have been suppressed and superseded by
worldly pleasures, pastimes, and passions. Though the Bible clearly warns us about loving the world and the things that are in the world, many people who claim or confess to be followers of Christ have become so carnally minded and materialistic that they are too much like the ones they are called to impact and draw to Christ. Can the blind lead the blind or those in darkness draw people to the light?
Political and Social Distractions and Entanglements
The final things that I want to briefly address that are in my estimation two primary reasons why the salt is losing its savor stems from two categories of our culture. First, I believe that the Church, especially the Evangelical segment (of which I am a part of) has become too politicized and entangled in the political arena. This was perhaps more evident in the 2020 Presidential election than at any time in recent history. This over indulgence did a lot of damage to the Church’s assignment and ability to evangelize the world. Let us not forget that Jesus said that His Kingdom was not political and of this world (John 18:36).
Finally, one of the reasons why the Church is losing its savor is due to its overindulgence in social activism. There is nothing wrong with being involved with any group that is advocating for equality and justice. I believe that God was the One who inspired the Civil Rights Movement and others like it. However, as Christians whose chief calling is spiritual and not social, we must guard against allowing secondary issues to become primary ones. Preaching the Gospel must always remain our most essential purpose and objective. Though fighting for equity and civil rights are important, they should never be allowed to supersede the need of men to be saved. Afterall, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul (Matthew 16:26)?