“Christ is saying [in describing the church as the salt of the earth] that mild religion, far from being of partial value, is of utterly no value. We can lose our Christianity! It is easy to go on with the motions; it is easy to continue a structure; it is easy to go on with a system. But Christ says it isn’t worth a thing. Eroded religion is of no value at all. The consequence for us is that the Christian religion must mean more, or it will eventually mean nothing.” (Elton Trueblood. “The Salt of the Earth.” The Yoke of Christ and Other Sermons. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958, p. 29.)
Lukewarm faith is not mildly valuable, but worthless. Would you pay half-price for a lukewarm Starbuck’s coffee? Would you pay half-price at the market for milk that had been unrefrigerated for just a day or two? Are we living in vital, vibrant relationship with Christ? Or, are we going through motions that were once vital and alive, but have since become empty habit?
“That Christ was completely realistic about the possibility and the seriousness of failure of any society, including a Christian society, is shown by His use of another parable that of the barren fig tree-to make the same point as that of the worthlessness of the pile from which the true salt had been drained away. There is no virtue, He taught, in continuing to be patient with what is hopelessly unproductive.” (Elton Trueblood. “The Salt of the Earth.” The Yoke of Christ and Other Sermons. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958, p. 29.)
There comes a point that any Christian ministry or movement may cease to be fruitful. This certainly doesn’t mean that it will cease then to exist. We can keep lifeless Christian structures or gatherings going on life support for years after they have ceased to have any real life in them.
- Where is God working in your life and ministry to renew what has faded?
- Where are you sensing His fresh life breaking in?
- How might He be inviting you to deeper communion with Him?