f The Wittenberg Door: What Does it Mean to be Salt and Light?

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What Does it Mean to be Salt and Light?

Phil Johnson penned a fine article for Table Talk on what it means to be salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16). He has also posted it at the Pyromaniacs blog. Here’s an excerpt:

That text [Matt. 5:13-16] is often cited as if it were a mandate for the church to engage in political activism—lobbying, rallying voters, organizing protests, and harnessing the evangelical movement for political clout. I recently heard a well-known evangelical leader say, "We need to make our voices heard in the voting booth, or we're not being salt and light the way Jesus commanded."

That view is pervasive. Say the phrase "salt and light" and the typical evangelical starts talking politics as if by Pavlovian reflex. But look at Jesus' statement carefully in its context. He was not drumming up boycotts, protests, or a political campaign. He was calling His disciples to holy living.

You can read the entire post here.

--The Catechizer



Anonymous Ron Eddington said...

He seems to set up an unnecessary dichotomy between personal holiness and political action. Does not the Christian who desires to do good works express these in the world of politics? Taking dominion of our culture is a good work and does glorify God unto whom every knee shall bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. Very bright and salty I think.

1:30 AM  
Blogger The Catechizer said...

I understand your point, Ron, but I don’t think you and the author disagree. He’s saying that political activism (among things) does not make us salt and light. We already are. I know plenty of Christians who take Christ’s comments as a mandate to engage the culture in the way he describes, that that is being salt and light, and I agree with him that it’s a misunderstanding.

To your point, though, we do engage the culture as part of the Cultural Mandate. But such engagement is not being salt and light; rather we’re engaging culture because we are salt and light. Not to do so would be to hide our light under a bushel, which of course we’re forbidden to do.

8:17 AM  

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