By Jon Shonebarger

Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew’s gospel that they were to be the salt of the earth. He taught them that they were to take an active role in society, to make a difference, to provide moral and spiritual leadership and to impact the Kingdom of God. To Christ, His disciples were to be the catalyst in transformation in the lives of citizens and for the operation of a godly society. Was this to be a theocracy? No.

Christ lived in the time of Roman rule; Jesus never preached overthrowing the government. However, His followers were called to affect change through a transformation of a willing mind and spirit. As individuals changed, society would change.

Salt in the time of Christ had two fundamental purposes: to preserve food/meat and as a medical disinfectant. Christ’s illustration of salt was provocative. His disciples were instructed to be active in the preservation of a morally and spiritually decaying society. This required leadership, action, involvement and a bold, fearless voice. In addition, His disciples were like a disinfectant to cleanse and facilitate healing of sick and sin infected people. Were they to be obnoxious, rude or hateful? Of course not. Yet they were to dogmatically hold to their faith, promote the love of God and stand strong against sin.

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

As we know, salt in a wound stings. Obviously, Christ expected His children to be proactive in the healing process that would include the sting from necessary rebukes of ungodly speech and behavior. While the best leadership would be provided through the disciple’s loving, godly behavior, active involvement in the workplace, the house of worship, the home and society, were imperative requirements. This was the calling of a disciple of Christ. Not to be a spectator of the decline of society, but an active participant in promoting its health and growth. To love God more than the ways of men was the central focus. (Please refer to Galatians 1:10).

We live in a time where our society expects people of faith to remain silent on the sidelines. Nowadays, it is expected that a Christian hold their beliefs quietly in the confines of their hearts or houses of worship; however, to boldly declare their faith and its imperatives is criticized and condemned. Many Christians have been paralyzed by the volatile opposing voices. Too many Christians have been led to believe that a “separation of church and state” requires them to be silent in the activities of our schools, government offices and workplaces. Nonsense.

Has the salt has lost its savor, as Christ warned? Furthermore, is the admonition of Christ no longer applicable to our time? Is the salt to remain in the salt shaker? No! The admonition of Christ is timeless. We must not be “good for nothing, cast out and to be trodden under the feet of men.” (Matthew 5:12).

Our society is in decline. To many Christian historians, America is likened to the decline of ancient Rome. Rome was a world power in the time of Christ with its military might, education, religion and arts. Yet it fell from within, with its moral decay and corruption.

In our modern society we are also witnessing corruption in government, unabashed hedonism and secularism. Christians must be revived in mind and spirit, to engage our culture and promote our world view. It’s a time for Christians to unite for the cause of Christ and to impact a world spiraling out of control.

Politicians are not our answer! The Gospel of Christ is the answer. Christians must once again heed the call of Jesus to be salt in our decaying society. Let us stand for the authority of the Word of God and positively impact our world for peace and righteousness. Together, we can make a difference!

Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!