Friday, October 14, 2011
The Salt that has Lost its Flavor
Mark 2:13-17 (ESV) He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.  And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.  And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.  And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"  And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Christianity has lost its edge. The salt has lost its flavor. We can go preach at the bar, possibly even hold a Bible study, but can we just recline at the table anymore? I don’t want to advocate drunkenness and so on. But must it be the only justification for being with sinners and ulterior motive of conversion? It’s a tough one. I don’t know a person in the world I don’t want to convert. Seriously, I don’t. At the same time, I don’t think one should be befriending people for the sole purpose of converting them. Befriend them because you have common interests, or admire their perspectives. Go watch a football game with them for the sole reason of watching a football game. Of course, when you do such things, the chance will come to share the gospel. It will happen. And be ready to invite to church, and talk about the forgiveness of sins. I’m sure the topic came up enough with Jesus there at the party. But we should be leary of this pharisaical attitude that does not allow one to rub shulders with those outside the church, or who might not share our values. But if we close ourselves behind church doors, the salt looses it’s flavor.