The author of this blog does not advocate hate or unprovoked violence against any group. The purpose of this blog is to provide the very best information regarding philosophy, mindset training, and technique for the Christian Martialist in their broader Biblical, theological and cultural contexts. Nothing posted here should be construed as promoting or excusing hostile speech or acts toward anyone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christ's Alternative to Armed Revolt, 5

Continued from "Christ's Alternative to Armed Revolt, 4"

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

So far, we have seen that our Lord and King, Jesus, has commissioned His people to subdue the nations to His rule (Matthew 28:16-20). In the passage above, you can see how He calls His people to act as salt and light in order to fulfill that commission.

The passage speaks of influence (salt) and example (city, light [i.e., things seen]). Many have mentioned that salt both flavors and preserves from decay & corruption, and that God intends for believers' presence both to add savor to their society and to preserve it against moral corruption.

This salt-function finds its power in the Christ-like character of believers, which the unbelievers around them feel or taste more than anything else. Nothing puts a damper on the enjoyment of immoral activity like the convicting presence of virtue. (see Ephesians 5:11)

Matthew Henry places the disciples' salt-function in direct relation to Christ's Great Commission. Further, he sees this function as the Lord's alternative to armed conquest.

 [T]he apostles were the salt of the whole earth, for they must go into all the world to preach the gospel. It was a discouragement to them that they were so few and so weak. What could they do in so large a province as the whole earth? Nothing, if they were to work by force of arms and dint of sword; but, being to work silent as salt, one handful of that salt would diffuse its savour far and wide; would go a great way, and work insensibly and irresistibly as leaven . . . . (Matthew Henry's Commentary, on Matthew 5:13)

Alongside the influence of the Christian character, our Lord places the believers' exemplary works. Although each believer must individually contribute, the emphasis here is on the collective community -- the congregation.

We see this in Jesus' words, "Ye are the light of the world." We live in a world where Christians follow their pagan counterparts in eschewing precision of grammar, and hence of thought. Therefore, I have found the following concept hard to explain to a modern American evangelical audience. Nevertheless, let me try.

Ye is plural; light is singular. When Jesus said, "Ye (plural) are the light (singular) of the world," He was not saying that each of us is a light. His point was that we, as a group, are a light to the world. 

He amplifies this reference to our corporate witness when He follows it up with, "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." It takes more than one individual to make a city.

As a light, and as a city, the congregation of disciples contribute to the growth of God's Kingdom by the corporate example of their actions -- that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Christ's declaration that His disciples function as salt (influence) and light (example) comes as part of His introduction to the discourse we know as The Sermon on the Mount. In the remainder of that discourse, He details how His disciples' good works should be evident relative to how they treat their brethren (each other), their neighbors (the unconverted who are not overtly hostile) and their enemies (those overtly hostile to Christ).

Churches today lack the force of this kind of corporate witness because they largely lack the intensive and comprehensive aspects of community necessary to fulfill these words of Christ.

Continued: CLICK HERE


  1. You know I love this series so far, and I find this particular installment very helpful, however, I have a question. I do not mean to drop off topic, but your comment about grammar suits me well. Are you advocating that Christians strive to be correct and accurate in all things (even "secular"[in quotation marks because we both know that neutrality is a myth])?

  2. Yes, Christians should strive for excellence in all things. While there are practical limits -- no one can master all fields -- the work of the Christian should serve as a benchmark. We have the truth, thus we bear the greater responsibility.

  3. Wonderful statement! (Sorry, should have replied earlier.) Finally, someone who agrees and doesn't debase me for being "anal"....