Salt in a Decaying Culture

Late last month, President George W. Bush spoke at the Harry S. Truman High School in Harry Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri. His speech included references to taxes, social security, Medicare, defense, government spending, and other political issues that you and I might have expected him to address. The crowd applauded politely at all the appropriate places. Then, in remarking about how he got to Washington, Bush said, "there's a large call as well, and that's to work with the American folks to help change our culture to one that'll be more respectful and more compassionate, from one that used to say, 'If it feels good, do it, and if you got a problem, blame somebody else,' to one in which all of us are responsible for the decisions we make in life." When the President mentioned changing the culture, the crowd rose to its feet and gave him a resounding ovation. Culture is a function of worldview, the sum total of our beliefs about the world and about life. Worldview directs our daily perceptions, thoughts, words, and actions. It's is the philosophical framework out of which culture flows. People -- not just Christian people -- know intuitively that the culture of America is in an advanced stage of decay and needs to be changed. Left on its current course, our culture will further decay into greater selfishness, hedonism, and immorality. In the past I've compared culture to a piece of raw meat sitting in the sun. That meat will decay. Similarly, every culture ever known has, over time, decayed. This is the result of sin in the world. Sin not only corrupts our lives as individuals, it corrupts our corporate lives. Because of the impact of sin in the world, all cultures decay. If the culture is rotting, don't blame the culture -- it's natural. Blame the lack of salt. You see, meat can be preserved and protected from decay using salt, and the culture is preserved and protected from decay through the active presence of the church. Jesus said, "You [that is, you the church] are the salt of the earth." You and I are part of what preserves culture. And, by the grace of God, we can even renew culture. But this doesn't happen by accident. It happens as Christians develop and live out a Christian worldview, one that is rooted in the scriptures and the lordship of the God of creation in all things. This week we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of BreakPoint on the air. BreakPoint and its parent organization, The Wilberforce Forum, exist "for the renewal of culture." The purpose of these daily broadcasts is not simply to provide you with something to think about. Instead they are part of an overall campaign, a program for developing Christian minds in the church, to make us salty. We pray for and labor for a church filled with thinking Christians -- men, women, and even young people who have a Christian worldview and who can be the salt that preserves the culture. When President Bush spoke about Social Security, they clapped. When he spoke about defense, they clapped. When he said, "change the culture," they were on their feet. Cultural renewal can't wait. We all know it. Now is the time to be salt, and that is BreakPoint's mission.


Chuck Colson


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