Some Christians believe there is a biblical mandate to be involved in politics because they are to be the salt of the earth. They have not well considered the meaning of the verse or the phrase as used historically.
“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.”~ Jesus Christ, Matt. 5:13
Poor fishermen and village folk comprised Jesus’ audience. His words affirmed their worth based upon their virtue. Itself based on the fact they were in the audience faithfully listening to him as a Prophet of God.
Salt wasn’t always a seasoning
Salt, in olden days, was a valuable commodity. Sometimes it was currency. It was far too valuable to be used as a mere seasoning to add taste to food. Perhaps you are familiar with the adage which speaks of a hard worker being “worth their salt.”
Salt was also a preservative in pre-refrigeration days. The verse does not imply that Christians are to “season” the world, its culture, or its politics. Christianity doesn’t transfer effects by mere presence or proximity. Nor is the aim of a Christian to “preserve” the world’s culture, or politics. For what, to a true Christian, is worth preservation of either worldly culture or worldly politics? Neither impress God.
Rather, Christians derive value—to God, to one another, and to the world by virtue of their faith.
“Saltiness” comes as the result of a life lived by faith in the power of an indwelling Christ. It doesn’t come from infiltrating, influencing, and subverting politics for so-called Christian purposes. As if that could ever be a thing…
Which of your laws can impart life and righteousness?
It is unfortunate that Christians engaged in the effort to drag Jesus into politics forget the admonition of Galatians 3:21.
“For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.”
What policy, ideology, or law will instill spiritual life and righteousness when the 613 commandments enshrined in the Old Testament failed to do so?
What do Christians (whether preachers, politicians, or parishioners) propose to enact (or strike down) that will grant eternal life or right standing with God?
When a greater than Moses appears once more, it will be on the last day. He won’t come seeking political office, or permission from a majority to act. He will not be carrying a party flag, nor running for any office. The King of Kings will bring his title (and His reward) with Him.
Christians entangle and embroil themselves in politics to the detriment of both politics, and the true understanding of Christianity—which concerns another Kingdom, entirely. They are more like another ubiquitous modern seasoning.
They are MSG perhaps—artificial, cheap and worthless, with the capacity to poison all it touches. But they aren’t salt.