Thursday, September 15, 2011

You are the Salt of the Earth

I am sorry, but if you dont think this is funny, you probably wont get my sense of humor at all! haha so great. This clip is from the movie "Godspell"...if you havent seen it, go see it!!

The real part that I am highlighting in this blog post starts at 6:58...just watch what is before it though, because you will have a good little laugh =)

On a slightly more serious note (now that you are in a good mood), think about this:
Recently I have had the unpleasant opportunity of coming in contact with one movie (in particular) and one short story (in particular) that have been totally foul and obscene, in my humble opinion. I will not name the movie nor the short story, because some people may feel differently about these particular items and I dont want to start an online riot about these two "art forms" specifically. Moreover, it is the topic that I am concerned with. I hope that you, dear reader, will not see this as judgement, but will take it as my opinion and thoughts (as all of my postings should be taken...)

I actually auditioned for the play "Godspell" my freshmen year of college and did not make the show. As disappointed as I was, I still went around for the next 6 weeks singing all the music I had learned for the audition. This one particular line has always stood out to me (partially because of its cleverness and partially because it is the solo I learned for my audition) is the one that says, "If the salt has lost its flavour it ain't got much in its favour". Witty, I know. Nonetheless, the message rings true and comes from Matthew 5:13. And I quote, "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet (Matthew 5:13, ESV).

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what the heck I am talking about, here's a crash course for you!
Jesus is the one who says this quote, directly out of the Bible, to his apostles. Jesus had an affinity for talking in parables (aka stories/allegories). He uses the idea of "salt" to represent Christians. We as Christians are told we live in a "dark world" ("dark" meaning full of sin and bad stuff) and are supposed to bring the "light of Christ" to all in this dark world. (See? The Bible is not only Theological, its also good literature! This is what we like to call, in English Major Speech, a foil. Christ's light and goodness and holiness are directly contrasted to the sins and yuckiness and unholiness of humankind on Earth. [Stick with me...there's a point here] When something/someone is portrayed in literature as a direct opposite of something/someone else in order to highlight either one of those character's characteristics, that is a foil (tada!).

Let me break it down even farther and move away from its literal meaning. With all this light and darkness and salt speech behind us, think of what Jesus is saying as a metaphor (...if you dont know what this is, please return to freshman year of high school English...)

Basically he's saying, "Look, during your life on Earth, I want you to live differently. I want you to stand out. Go against the flow. Suffer for my sake. (etc.) Why? Because the things that I have to offer you (aka eternal life and abounding love) far outweigh anything that the world could offer you. Thus, live in such a way that you reflect Me and God the Father. By living differently, people will clearly notice something different about you and will ask you why it is you live the way you do."

Starting to catch on? Jesus wants us, as Christians, to live our life so that people will notice us and because of us, be drawn to HIM! Salt does the exact same thing (in a way); it draws your taste-buds to the food so that it is more noticeable, more tasty, more salty. As we all know, however, if you use too much salt, your food will become ruined and overly salty. On the opposite extreme, if salt were to loose its flavour, you would be dusting your food with little pebble-y crystals that do absolutely nothing, in fact, you may as well just throw the salt outside and mix it in with your gravel.

As Christians (do you agree?) that we are supposed to be slightly overpowering? We are to be salty enough that people notice us. That means living outside our comfort zones and having difficult conversations with people. It means voicing your opinion in class even when you know you will be embarrassed because no one will verbally back you. It means reaching out to freshmen who have low self esteem. It *means*: reenacting Jesus in every possible way that you humanly can!

After living in the South for over a year now, I feel that mediocrity is a huge problem here. People have this air of "courtesy" about them and they dont want to ruffle any one's feathers. Me personally? I am certainly not looking to pick a fight or an argument that leads to no where, however, I definitely am out to ruffle some feathers. Folks, how else will we learn and grow and have our thoughts challenged to know if what we believe is true if we do not *talk* with others? If we do not *have* those difficult conversations that might make us feel slightly antagonistically towards the person who is calling us out?

I was supposed to have a conversation with a friend a week or two ago about the topic of what type of media is appropriate for Christians to watch/read/see/hear but then decided against it. Why? Since I feel so strongly about this issue, I knew that this friend of mine would argue with me and support his answer and his point of view. I felt like it would have been stirring up conflict for the sake of saying "well! that was stimulating!" and then walking away exasperated and bemused by our thoughts. I am not saying that it is always appropriate to have these heated debates with friends when you know that you will have such different opinions that there is no point in learning from one another. (In case you can't tell, I am extremely stubborn and, whether it is a vice or a virtue, I don't like to be told I am wrong. If someone addresses me and points out my faults, I will more than willingly listen to them, but this case was a little different.) While you are (hopefully) taking my advice to change your corner of the world by sharing your opinions and sharing your points of disagreement with those whom you are closest with, please keep in mind that the reason for doing so is to "let your light so shine before men/ let your light so shine/" and it is not for the sake of winning intellectual/theological arguments (...I think I say this as much to you, reader, as I do to myself).

I'd like to know your thoughts and reactions.

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