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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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When Salt Loses Its Saltiness

Posted by admin in May 21st, 2018
Published in Uncategorized

Every Tuesday night I have a Bible study in my home for two high school girls. As soon as they walk through the front door I feed them a homemade meal. Around the kitchen table we talk about whatever is happening in our lives and fill each other in on what has happened from the week before. When we are done eating we move over to the sofas and study the Word of God. Right now, we are “just reading the red.” We are taking on the Gospels for the sole purpose of reading the recorded words of Jesus. If you want to get to know a person better, spend time with him and listen to what he says. That’s our guiding principle.

Last week we were reading Matthew 5 where Jesus is telling His disciples to do the opposite of everything that comes to them instinctively through human nature. Jesus’ words were revolutionary for that time, and for our time as well. Someone hits you in the face, be sure and offer them both sides; someone wants to borrow something, give ‘em more than they ask for; if a creepy Roman soldier asks you to carry his military equipment a mile (Yep! The same equipment he uses to oppress your people), carry it two. Oh yeah, and you get to walk that same mileage back home.

Things got a little more complicated with the girls when we read Jesus’ words, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” The girls wanted to know what that meant. What was Jesus trying to tell His disciples here? Well, I don’t know. I’ve always kind of taken that Scripture for granted, “…uh, well, we are the salt of this earth and when we are not salty we are not useful.” Okay. “Give us an example.” I drew a complete and total blank!

Be careful for what you pray for because later that night I asked God to give me an example for the girls that would make Jesus’ words clear and applicable. And He did! Boy! Did He ever!

Three words: Bishop Michael Curry. Remember the Royal Wedding? Yes, the one with Ms. Meghan and Prince Harry? Bishop Curry was the African-American Episcopal pastor who preached a 19-minute sermon at their wedding. Some say it was a record for the longest sermon ever preached at a Royal Wedding. I don’t know, I am not an expert on such matters.

It hit me funny when I heard one commentator say that neither Prince Harry nor Ms. Meghan knew Bishop Curry. He had been selected by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. That was odd to me because both bride and groom had been intricately involved in every detail of the wedding – flowers that represented Princess Diana, the empty chair, Prince William had sat down with the couple and gone over every piece of music and helped them choose meaningful songs that well-represented the couple’s worldview and causes. Every.Single.Detail. But one – the selection of the man who would give the sermon at their wedding. Welby said he selected Bishop Curry because of Ms. Meghan’s African-American background. So, there was no personal connection between Curry and the Royal Couple. I guess you could say Welby’s selection of Curry was politically correct…a black man from America. You see, Ms. Meghan isn’t even Episcopalian. She was just baptized into the Anglican Church a week before the wedding. So, the choice of Curry isn’t even representative of how she was raised. But I digress…

The minute he took the pulpit, I knew he was a showman. That’s right. Something in my spirit reacted and it wasn’t just the overdose of caffeine I was using to stay awake.

As I listened to his words I kept asking the Lord, “Something is wrong with his message, but what is it? Something is wrong with this guy, but I can’t quite figure out what it is.” The teacher in me kept thinking, “Dude! Know your audience!” I was uncomfortable with his flair and drama in a setting like that. You never want to upstage the Bride and Groom, because the service IS really all about them, right? And I did not sense the anointing on him at all.

So, like any good evangelical Christian who doesn’t bear witness with someone, I googled him. WOW! OMW! It seems Bishop Michael Curry has quite the rap sheet.

–He believes in the ordination of non-celibate homosexual priests in the Episcopal Church.
–He not only believes in same-sex marriage, but has been a fiery advocate for same-sex marriage in both the Church and the political world. His rhetoric on the subject is to compare the plight of the LGBTQ community with that of black slaves in the USA.
–He believes in and performs transitioning ceremonies for transgender folk and is a vigilant spokesperson for transgenders’ right to choose which public restroom they want to use.
–He believes the Bible must be “culturally” interpreted and that each generation must interpret it according to present-day needs and circumstances.
–He doesn’t believe in inerrancy. It’s like how some people feel about “STOP” signs – they are more of a suggestion, not necessarily a command.
–He greatly admires and follows the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Catholic philosopher and priest whose writings were banned by the Catholic Church. De Chardin’s writings proclaim that because of evolution, man’s spirit must also evolve until he too becomes a god. His philosophy was called “Omega Point” and it describes the evolution of man from matter to human to gods. Curry called de Chardin, “…one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century.”
–Curry studies, practices, and preaches classic “liberation theology” –a 20th century theological tradition inspired by Marxist thought that characterizes love as a necessary, chaotic, and political force that stops all perceived injustices of this world. Not exactly what Jesus was teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, but whatever.

SO! Back to the Royal Wedding. Yup! The dress was simple and elegant. I love Doria’s hat. That Queen, she sure knows how to rock citrine! But those weren’t really the comments my evangelical friends were making on social media after the Celestial Ceremony. Nope. It was all about Bishop Michael Curry. “Wasn’t he amazing?!?” “Oh my! Did you hear the black preacher?” “WOW! The Gospel was preached!” “Jesus was exalted!”

The biggest shocker came when some of my most conservative friends, who would defend to death the inerrancy of Scripture and a literal six-day Creation, were saying “Love showed up at the wedding today! Bishop Curry preached it!” Really? Is that really the condition of the Church here in America? Is that honestly the state of Christianity? If so, then Rob Bell listen closely: #LOVELOSES! Especially if it is not based in Truth. Feeling good, feeling positive, feeling happy, feeling culturally cool – are these the only things that matter? Are these feelings more important than God’s Word?!?

Inflexible as it may seem, and intolerant and critical as it may sound, groovy Bishop Michael Curry believes in everything that the Church is supposed to stand against. Whenever friends of mine support, promote, do a shout out to Bishop Curry, I have a difficult time processing all the happy comments, “He’s such a godly man!” “Love was preached today!” “So awesome!” “I love that the ceremony celebrated ALL of Christianity!”

No! Curry isn’t awesome! He’s not godly. He did not preach love. Love, real Gospel love is based on Truth; it is based on the teachings of Jesus and it is not in conflict with God’s Word. Sorry, but anyone who believes a lie and preaches that lie, and that same lie holds people in darkness and bondage – that guy ain’t awesome. And promoting him on social media and hailing him as a “man of God” is not only error, but leads others down that dark pathway as well. Not only were my Christian friends’ pro-Curry posts horrific, but the comments they allowed from their friends were even worse!

“The Black Bishop had a message that was amazing- nobody under the sound of his voice can ever say they never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”

“Yes! He was amazing! So wonderful to hear his message of love.”

I refuse to believe that the Body of Christ has fallen this far! Surely these superficial praises by evangelicals are NOT characteristic of what is happening in Christianity, are they? Because if they are they illustrate a vastly reduced expectation of the Gospel.

Daryl put it very simply, “You cannot separate the content of a person’s life from that of their message.” Jesus put it this way, “A little bit of leaven permeates the entire lump.” And remember, this was Jesus referencing the false teachings of the Pharisees.

Sorry guys, but I simply refuse to applaud and celebrate a man of the cloth who denies the inerrancy of Scripture, fights for same-sex marriage, splits his denomination down the middle, petitions for transgender restroom choice, and refers to the Bible as “culturally fluid.”

Do we honestly believe that the devil will appear to us wearing red satin, carrying a 666 branding iron and donning horns and a tail? NO! The Bible says he will come to us as an Angel of Light! He’s cloaked in false love and false tolerance convincing some of my closest friends that he is a gospel-bearing, love-preaching, cross-culturally significant “godly” man! Please! Lord have mercy on us. Love does NOT win when it is not rooted in the TRUTH! Truth alone sets the captives free and truth does NOT celebrate what the Word of God calls sin. Period.

I am heartbroken. I guess Believers have decided we want flare over holiness; rhetoric over truth and style over substance. What God says isn’t really that important. It’s the old Genesis 3 trick, “Did God really say…?”

SO THAT’s what Jesus meant! Suddenly in all of my conversations, text messages, FB dialogs it hit me, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Here in Matthew 5 Jesus is talking about US–you and me! The Church! That when we are bewitched by false doctrine and are mesmerized by pretty words then we, the Church, lose our saltiness. We lose our impact, preservation power, we cease to do the work we were designed and called to do: protect the world from deterioration and deception. We are to be Truth Bearers. That is the source of saltiness! We are to declare God’s Truth and to stand against that which is false. Otherwise we are useless and we are trampled underfoot by the enemy of this world. It was truly an “aha!” moment.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore, it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

We must be salty declarers of Truth and we as followers of Jesus must be proactive and deliberate in helping the lost of our world understand that the commands of God are not suggestions, they are not relevantly determined, they are not up for interpretation, they are not fluid, but the Truth of God’s Word is…“alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word sets us free to “go and sin no more.” God’s Word is from everlasting to everlasting. It will not pass away. The idea of Christians being salt means that we participate with God in preserving every inerrant, holy, and beautiful Word of His Truth. THAT IS THE GOSPEL. THAT IS THE GOOD NEWS! THAT IS REAL LOVE! Peace.

9 users Responded In This Post

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37338. Greg Will said,
May 21st, 2018 at 7:32 am

Ty for your discernment Teri, the Church is fast asleep…

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37343. admin said,
May 21st, 2018 at 11:40 am

Thanks for the encouragement Greg! I think you’re right. Wake up Sleeping Beauty!! Thanks for taking the time to read the blog Greg. I’m grateful!

mygif
37480. Julie said,
May 23rd, 2018 at 6:58 pm

To hear someone preaching the beautiful name of Jesus, his sacrifice, love, and His power so strongly that I have no doubt that hundreds if not thousands were drawn to know more about Him made me cry much of the way through the sermon. What a relief after I’ve heard so many turned off by my fellow evangelicals who judge others and then defend guns, politicians’ behavior, walls, war, and many other things condemned by Jesus. Why are these things not on the list of sins that Christians also condemn? Our blind spots are just as dangerous and “usalty” as those of others. I disagree with this pastor’s views also, but Jesus reminded the disciples that if others were doing work for him, even if they wasn’t with him, to rejoice rather than be angry. Enemy soldiers in a country that had almost no access to the Bible handed out pages of the Word years ago. Am I happy they were there? Should they have been killing people? Of course not. But in spite of them, the word got out to places it had never gone before. God can use anything. He is bigger and more powerful than anyone’s viewpoints. Your dear friends who have now received a thorough pounding were only celebrating the name of Jesus lifted high.

mygif
37483. admin said,
May 23rd, 2018 at 8:53 pm

Well Julie Reimer, it sounds to me like you need to start your own blog. WordPress, which I use, is free and easy to set up. It seems you have a lot to say about the world and its present state and the present condition of the Church. Sorry the blog upset you so badly. It won’t hurt my feelings if you unsubscribe. I completely understand. Oh, and one thing I think is important: Bishop Curry’s Episcopal brothers and sisters in the global south won’t even sit down and eat with him. He has split his own denomination right down the middle. It seems the African leaders of the Episcopal Church feel Bishop Curry is, “a sheep in wolves clothing.” Their judgmental words, not mine. These men and women in the global south are fighting for their faith and their denomination because they see the leadership of Bishop Curry as anti-biblical and destructive to lives. Can you imagine how they feel when thousands of evangelicals are praising a man who is sewing seeds of discord among their churches and teaching that love “in all its forms” is to be celebrated?

mygif
37502. Lisasmith.121@gmail.com said,
May 24th, 2018 at 5:50 am

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2Timothy 4:3-4

I think we’re there. Our Christian ancestors would be so embarrassed at what their sacrifices have wrought. For those of us who are still listening to what Gods word says, the next words in the chapter apply: “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 1Timothy 5-8

And for you, Teri, I leave you Paul’s final greetings to encourage you in your passion for sharing Truth: “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” Stay biblical!

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37511. admin said,
May 24th, 2018 at 8:56 am

“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’” (John 14:23-24)

mygif
37513. admin said,
May 24th, 2018 at 10:21 am

Denny Burke wrote, “Some people think it is bad form to offer up critique on such an occasion. I disagree. Bishop Curry spoke in the name of Jesus and of Christianity, but he speaks for neither. To point that out is not bad form. It’s what love requires.” –Thanks Denny. I appreciate your comment.

mygif
37535. admin said,
May 24th, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Thank you Lisa! What an encouraging word!!

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37606. Rvessey said,
May 26th, 2018 at 9:21 am

This is something I have been mulling over quietly myself. It was interesting. I did not watch the wedding at first but had read the transcript of the sermon. There was nothing very impressive about it when read. The next day I watched it after everyone started commenting. It was definitely much more engaging in person. Honestly I have not come to a final conclusion in my mind yet. I agree with what you have said, and I think it is dangerous when we lose our saltiness. Also I Am reminded that evil often masquerades as good. Even in the garden of Eden, Satan did not tempt Eve with something horrible. He tempted her with something that looked good. Sometimes sin is just that slight subtle “looks good” twisting away from the best. I have also seen quite a few people talking about the word “Not returning void”. I am musing whether this reference is being used out of context. Again, a slight twisting….
So….I appreciate your thoughts and your willingness to be bold.It is causing me to reexamine and do some deeper thinking

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