Are you a genteel placater of people or do you have a resilient thick hide and attitude of a bulldog? Get ready to be shaken.

Doug Giles
Doug Giles

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men."
Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Matthew 5:13.

In Jesus' first tape series, the Sermon on the Mount, He told His followers that He expected them to be salt, and that if they weren't, then they were good for nothing. Yeee-Ouch! I know that doesn't fit with postmodernism's bearded lady Jesus, but these are the recorded original words of the rebel from Galilee. Yep . Jesus, in his wonderful word-picture way, essentially said to his apprentices, you had better rock and rock hard or you're fired!

And you thought that Trump was brutal.

Anything but meek, Christ condemned weak stances with respect to courage and truth and condoned only the bold. The Analogy Master said we're to fret, bite, preserve and spice things up, just like salt.

The prophets, apostles and postbiblical stalwarts of positive biblical change were salty dogs. They were raw and fiery. They were not genteel placaters of the people. You were not going to forget what the biblical heavyweights said or go to sleep while they said it.

For instance . if you worshipped idols in Jeremiah's day, the salt of his message was going to hurt your hubris. Jeremiah didn't acquiesce to the PC stuff of his time. He let loose on the specific junk that his homeland was embracing, junk which also happened to be the undoing of their national greatness.

Jesus' sermons were also saline-based. I have no idea how Christ's words got turned into these non-offensive Rodney King-like pleas for group hugs. If you actually read the things He said, most of it involved busting someone's chops. His brackish speech towards self-righteous hypocrites, His verbal scathing of cocky politicians and His forehead-thumping quips for his narcissistic disciples makes the Dennis Miller Show look lame.

Wherever you land in the Bible, you will find its spokesmen, in a non-haughty-holier-than-thou way, challenging people whose attitudes and actions were corrosive to the culture. Yeah, sure, their piercing and stinging words were not winning them any immediate popularity contests, or getting them top dollar from Premier Speakers Bureau, but they were the preserving element in their day, keeping their country from moral rot and idolatrous decay.

To be a faithful salt dispenser for Christ, you and I must have the resilient thick hide and attitude of a bulldog to maintain faithfulness to His call, even, or especially, when it means saying that which might cause consternation.

My ClashPoint is this: Man . do we need a group of believers who are not men-pleasers and who do not buckle to the demands of Generation Duh. When Christians, especially ministers, cease to be piquant provocateurs, then the villainous will fill the vacuum. Yes, I blame our world's problems on the tame, timid, and tepid religious person who will not stand for what he supposedly believes when it means there might be conflict.

I do not blame Playboy, Las Vegas, the gay agenda, Air America, or whomever for our societal tooth decay. I blame the "righteous" ones who will not shamelessly proclaim truth in such a way that it is persuasive, provocative and preserving. Yes, churches that do not seriously stand for truth commit institutional suicide and effectively marginalize themselves, rather than being the salt-shaking organisms God has called them to be. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.