Being salt and Light



Mark 9: 42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

As Christians “we are all salt and light” to show forth the glory of God to a broken world that needs Jesus so much. Being salt and light is not so much as going out, but reflecting within of the things we do that cause harm rather than promote Christ.

The context of being Salt and light in Mark 9 is more about religious leaders/preachers whether they are a light to God or a diversion to Satan.

Has the church ever considered that just like the Pharisees through our insistence of religious laws that we have defined the innocent as sinners. We have condemned an entire tribe, an entire people group – the GLBT community to reject Christ as their Lord and Saviour?

The bible didn’t say that homosexuality was a sin but worshipping Satan and having anal sex with pagan priests in the abomination of Satanic worship was. Jesus didn’t come even to condemn our satanic worship which was prevalent in Jesus times, but our unbelief in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

Mark 9:42 to 50, is often used by Christians to go out to be the salt and to defend traditional marriage and insist that gays be put into prison. There is a call for Christians to be the salt of Singapore to stop the alleged slippery slope of immorality when we decriminalised homosexuality. It is an empty call which will lead us to sin and having a spirit of self righteousness.

Perhaps, that was what Jesus was talking about such religious people of faith stumbling the innocent child.Could it be that Mark 9 was more about the religious right? Jesus isn’t really talking about us getting rid of things that make us less salty or going out of our way to be salt and light to the world. Rather the conversation was about the Pharisees and how abhorrent their law based theology was to stop their innocent victims from coming to the knowledge of salvation in Christ and not through the works of the law.

Mar 9: 2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

Mark 9:7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

Mark 9 started with a declaration inthe company of Elijah and Moses that Jesus was the Son of God.  Jesus was shown in His full heavenly glory and light of His transfigured self. It was a declaration of Jesus pre-eminence and glory over the law and prophets. Jesus came to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law and prophetic mandates. Jesus is the light of and to God. We are the salt of the world reflecting the light of Christ leading people to the salvation knowledge of Jesus.

The entire context of the salt and light passage was not about how to be salty rather about not causing the innocent to stumble. The innocent seeker was after the way, the path to God through Jesus the light of God. The Pharisees offered them the religious laws to abide to gain their righteousness, but Jesus offered them faith in His death and resurrection for their forgiveness of their sins. One is by faith, the other by their own works of self-righteousness.

Hence, the light was the redeeming light of the Cross and Christians the salt to proclaim the message of the Good News. The Pharisees were unredeemable like the salt that loses its saltiness. Jesus was saying that the Pharisees had no hope and destined for hell and their sins particularly bad because they stumbled others as well.

The seriousness of preaching the wrong message to lead people to hell instead of to God was so horrendous and Jesus actually teased the Pharisees to cut off their body parts which have sinned when the issue was their heart and the theology. They were going to hell and bringing along others with them.

The picture of self mutilation was preached because the Pharisees were so strict religiously with many do and don'ts with no grace nor mercy yet were the greatest hypocrites. Jesus was applying the same measure of the law and said sarcastically that they should cut out their sinful carnal flesh since they were so self righteous and holy.

What message do we preach on a Sunday? Does our lamp  attracts people to Jesus and not just a god of our creation and aspirations. Being light and salt places an incredible responsibility of the leaders and preachers of the Christian faith.

If we were not declaring that Jesus is Lord and Saviour then we are not reflecting the light to God in Christ Jesus rather our own religious theology and redemption. Church is about reflecting the different aspects and manifestations and workings of the Holy Spirit of this atonement message of Christ. It is not about us or our religious good works to do good. 

Are we the light when gay Christians come into the church and we didn’t connect them to a deeper sense of Christ centred spirituality. They have come for the light of Christ but often we lead them to our own carnal and worldly religious faith.

Perhaps that is the greatest tragedy in Mark 9 of the people of religious authority such as pastors stumbling the innocent through their wrong theology. As a result, they are led away from the saving knowledge of Christ.

How does fire makes us more salty? when we are already salty in the first place. The early Christians were faced by challenges to their faith to deny Jesus as God. Instead they were to declare their loyalty to Caesar.

They also had to struggle against religious Jewish zealots like the High Priest and Saul who went around persecuting Christians and putting them in prison and insisting that they return to the law based faith rather than Jesus the Messiah and the light to God.

They became more salty to a lost world as they fought the good fight to declare that Jesus is the light to God and the hope of salvation.

As they stayed on and fight for their faith in Jesus, they were changed from glory to glory for they have joined themselves with Christ. Through the fire, all their religious pretentions melted and what is left is their faith in the light of Christ and the hope of glory.

Most Gay Christians have gone through many rounds of forest fires. Few have survived and maintained their faith in Christ alone. Few are survivors. Who are you when everything is fallen down.

The most difficult christians that i have ever met are gay christians not straight ones, and not only gay christians but gay non christians as well. It is difficult to be salt and light when so much has been taken from us - our basic rights, our relationships and our dreams. Our lives have been stolen and our anger deep within. We are forced to go into hiding and live closeted lives.

We are called to turn the anger outwards and placed it on the Cross of Jesus Christ. He bears our sufferings, pains and burdens. He was crucified not only for our sins, but to bear our pain and our loss.

Are you angry tonight? Are you bitter? When there is so much pain, there is also much grace.

We are wounded deeply within and in our woundings God has called us to be a light for the healing of the world. Without being pierced by the arrow and bleeding by the side, how would we have known the deep pain and bear the pain of others.

How do we let the fires of our trials and tribulations as gay christians result in a joyous praise to our Lord Jesus Christ? When we give up everything to God even our lives, we become like a mirror to reflect Christ.

Is the pain too hard to bear tonight? take me higher to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

We are not straight Christians and often GLBT churches make a  mistake to desire to function and preach the word as if they were a straight progressive/liberal church. We called ourselves inclusive but it doesn't work because we are different.

As a group, as a people, we have suffered so much deep pain and hurts poked at us by our society and by religious faith institutions. It is a different experience than just being a minority for no African American has been called a sinner just because they were black!.

There is a deep spiritual need to preach God's outrageous grace, love, mercy and atonement in Jesus Christ for we have such a deep pain that an inclusive universal faith, the preaching of the religious laws, or the emphasis on the sacraments and traditions will never be sufficient. People will come and leave the church because they sought after the living water which we could not give.

And we could never give the seekers anymore than show them Christ, for He alone can heal and minister to their deepest pains and sorrows.

We live in an environment where we are continually being rejected and despised, our eyes should always be on our Hope of glory that we may see the transfigured Christ and reflect His light and be salt to the the Gay tribe that God has called us to be in.   

There is such a deep sense of loss, grieve, pain and sorrow with despair that fills our hearts and our minds. May the light of Christ shines into our lives anew this morning and gives us hope to live again, and hope in the goodness and faithfulness of God.

God is faithful when we often don't see the road ahead.




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