Salt of the earth
Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
In this verse Jesus says to His disciples that they are the salt of the earth. Salt is a preservative that is able to stave off decay and preserve food. In the same way, Christians are supposed to be the salt of the earth and fight against the moral decay in the societies where we live. This inevitably includes Christians speaking out against the evil that they see in society. Many Christians do this very well, speaking out against abortion, sexual immorality, racism, and many other important issues.
However, a preservative does not only fight against decay but it also preserves the food. That is, it preserves what is good. This is where we are lacking. So often when I listen to Christians speaking about politics, they focus on everything bad that is happening. This political leader has done something wrong or stupid. This law is against the principles of the Bible. We should be against this and against that. Another evil thing has happened...and another...and another...and another.
But if we are to be salt of the earth we must not only fight against evil in society but we must also preserve what is good. We cannot preserve what is good if our entire focus is on evil.
And good things are happening.
I have seen it. In the suffering and pain of Haiti I have met good people who love God, are filled with His joy, and are working for good. In the middle of the moral depravity of Western society there are people who faithfully preach and live the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Good is happening in the world and we need to be talking about it.
This is not an effort to ignore reality and see the world through rose tinted glasses. It is important to see the positive and the good because when we see what is good we can hold onto it. In order for us to be true salt we must not only know what we are against but we must also know what we are for...so that we can preserve it.
Blomberg, Craig L. The New American Commentary Volume 22: Matthew. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.