Christian Liberalism & "Salt and Light"
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A SHINING CITY ON A HILL is a vision of God's will for Good, Just, and Righteous government done in Wisdom, and it is not a Liberal or utopian ideal for government attempting to a leftist Social Justice, but rather it is a practical, moral vision based on common sense and “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” of Thomas Jefferson and the American founders and as seen in the Judeo-Christian worldview. A SHINING CITY ON A HILL is best summed up as “One nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Part of the UNDERSTANDING Series:

UNDERSTANDING Christian Liberalism & "Salt and Light"

It is observed correctly by some that “so go the pulpits of America, so goes the nation.” Why is this? America is a profoundly religious country, and the ministers of God are to speak the truth of God to their people about how to be right with God and how to do God’s will in all areas of life in the nation. Having said this, there are probably no two areas in which there is more confusion than the area of Christian Liberalism and the area of Christ’s charge to his followers to be "salt and light."

 

Christian Liberalism

Christian Liberalism is in fact the Great Apostasy or Falling Away that will happen at the end of the Church Age.  In fact, Christian Liberalism is very easy to understand. At the beginning of the 20th century, some Christian Bible scholars called “Higher Critics” for a variety of not very sound reasons decided that the whole Bible was mostly fake, forgery and fable, and this is especially true of the Old and New Covenants of Scripture, namely, the covenant made at Sinai with God by Moses and the covenant with God made at the Cross with Christ. And this misthinking and apostasy was the birth of Christian Liberalism or what the Liberals called a new “Christianity” which specifically went out of its way to deny the central fundamentals or essentials of the historical and Biblical Christian faith in things like the Atonement, the Resurrection, the return of Christ, and so forth.

Basically the Liberals held the entire, literal Christian Gospel is false, and they created a new Gospel and spirituality called the Social Gospel, which is learning that becoming a Christian is doing full-time acts of self-sacrifice love of a Good Samaritan nature or as the Matthew 25 passages say of doing good things unto the least of people. This Social Gospel has nothing whatsoever to do with sin and salvation nor life after death, and further it is purely utopian personally, economically, politically and so forth, since it is impossible for all Christians to be in full-time self sacrificial service. Former president Jimmy Carter is well-known for promoting this type of utopian religious and political Liberalism, and he even identifies it with Kingdom Christianity.

Essentially, Liberals hold that all true Christians are to spend six days a week helping hurting people for free, and one day a week at church. The question of how one is to feed or house one’s self or how one is to get money for doing full-time good works for free is totally ignored. This means the Social Gospel of Liberalism is not only openly anti-Gospel (and anti sin-and-salvation) of the Bible; it is pure political, economic, and social utopianism. Unfortunately Liberalism and its Social Gospel are said to have taken over most the mainline denominations where one will never hear a sin-and-salvation message and where everyone is exhorted endlessly to live a utopian full-time life of self-sacrificial love.  

 

"Salt and Light"

Clearly the solution to Liberalism and the Great Apostasy is to return the churches and pulpits of all Christian denominations to a clear sin-and-salvation message as the literal truth of the Word of God. But what of the charge of Christ to Christians to be “salt and light” in the world? The Liberal simply, foolishly, and incorrectly labels salt and light as his utopian full-time self-sacrificial love. One can say at least the Liberal is consistent, but what is the actual meaning of salt and light according to traditional understandings of Scripture?

Certainly Christians are to do self-sacrificial love on appropriate occasions but salt and light more generally have to do with truth and enlightened understanding of things. Salt and light is often associated with “speaking the truth in love,” salt being the tactful or appropriate truth and love being the light of understanding of the truth. The salty truth of the Gospel is we are all sinners in need of salvation, and the light of the Gospel is the love of God and that there is new spiritual Life to be had in Christ.

But salt and light of God is also the Justice and Righteousness of God as truly good and desirable in all areas of life and society and certainly in all areas of government and education, just as Jefferson and the American founders held. This means in the area of Election Day sermons that it is the salt-and-light responsibility of the man or woman of God to preach “One nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all” every bit as much as it is to preach the Gospel under normal circumstances.

 

Conclusion: The Two Great Commandments

Once we return our churches and pulpits to a clear sin-and-salvation message and a clear salt-and-light message of Justice and Righteousness of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, we will see the American republic restored in all its fullness, and in fact pretty easily one must assume, but almost certainly not before, and as Christ said all the Law and the prophets hang on the Two Great Commandments of loving God with all our hearts, minds, and souls and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

And one might add, “loving our neighbors as ourselves” includes doing acts of self-sacrificial love for those in true need, but this is not an absolute standard for all activity as the utopians, apostates, and Liberals hold. Indeed, utopians, apostates, and Liberals not only have no clear sin-and-salvation message, they are without a true salt and light with only a false light and a new saltless, utopian “Christianity” without any true moral standards.

However, being true “Salt and Light” in good government is doing true statesmanship of "one nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all," and this is just as stated in the Preamble to the Constitution that gives two of the central purposes of good United States federal government to be to “establish Justice” and to “promote the general Welfare,” and this is indeed the message that can and should come from every pulpit in the nation in Election Day Sermons if we are ever to see this Republic restored to its founding vision of A SHINING CITY ON A HILL based on the moral “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” of Thomas Jefferson and the American founders.