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Salt, Light, and Leavening

May 15, 2024


Leadership Notes


     Nick Batzig is pastor of a PCA {Presbyterian Church in America} church in South Carolina. He’s also an associate editor for Ligonier Ministries. Ligonier is one of the best resources for reformed, evangelical believers. He has some keen, rational, and reasonable insight into the role of the Christian living in a secular world. I thought a lot of what he observes fits well with where the narrative of 2 Peter 3 is taking us. As we’ve seen, as people living in a wicked, fallen world, our primary task is worshiping God in truth and light, loving Jesus, loving each other, and loving our community through acts of service and kindness.


     Batzig recently wrote about attempts, over the centuries, to exert Christian influence upon the culture through government institutions and offices. A noble cause, no doubt. Yet it remains fraught with danger. Franklin Graham seems supportive of one candidate. Many entertainment celebrities seem to lean the other way. I get it. People do what they think is important to do. I have a graphic tee that says, “None Of These Candidates 2024…The Best Man for the Job.” It hits the sweet spot of the inner cynic in me.


     Batzig observes, “I understand the zeal for Christ’s sovereign reign to be realized in the civic sphere; but the realization of the victory of Christ will only be in the consummation at the end of the age. Everything in this age will falter, fail, and fall.” This is directly reminiscent of what we looked at in 2 Peter 3:11-13:


Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people

ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and

hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the

heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies

will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are

waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness

dwells.


     What is the purpose of our involvement in civil government? What is our quest?


     I like how Batzig rounds things up. Believers, if so called, ought to seek to be light and salt by holding office in the civil sphere. And we should not resign ourselves to the ethical immorality of our society. Rather, “Believers can and should seek to be a blessing to their neighbors in the work they do in the civil sphere and that they can and should labor to overturn societal unrighteousness through worship, prayer, evangelism, and acts of goodness.” It also means that the desire for a leavening influence in the civil sphere should never lead to an expectation that our political and social actions can usher in the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Again, we look at 2 Peter 3 as our guide.


     Meanwhile, as 2 Peter 1:5-7 says, here’s what we do:


For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your

faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with

self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and

steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly

affection, and brotherly affection with love.


No party, candidate, or election can ever take the place of us being salt, light, and leavening in a broken world.


     And now, a Moment of Ridiculousness:


There’s a church in Heidelberg, Germany, that meets in a 600-year-old

building. Recently, the Church of the Holy Spirit put on a service titled,

“Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift Church Service.” It drew more than 1,200 people.

The pastor said, “The Church of the Holy Spirit has always been a place of

encounter and exchange. That’s why a pop-music religious service fits so

perfectly. With it, we are giving space to the questions and issues that

occupy the younger generation.”


     Perhaps, coming this summer to Covenant Church, “The Muppets Take Over Worship.” Now that’s some relevance I can get behind. Wocka! Wocka!


     Being of Good Cheer,


                    Richard

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