Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him. Marcus Cicero
The First Christian Church in Fallbrook, which is not located on church row, has what I think are the best signs in town, year in and year out. Sometimes funny, always worth considering. I snapped the picture above this morning, it sort of threw me.
Now what did that mean? I had never heard of such a thing. Be a light yes, but salt?
Being a lover of language I decided to do some research. The Not Salty N Lit was easy, salty being a current word in vogue to denote crass and snarky demeanor and lit I guess means drunk or stoned.
Let me ask Merriam Websters. Yes, it does mean intoxicated but can also mean excellent in the new street vernacular.
Back to the Old Testament:
Leviticus 2:13 : "And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt."
So salt has an early meaning of being a symbol of a covenant with G-D and was to be included in a grain offering. Ezekiel 16:4 alludes to the fact that newborn babies were rubbed with salt in a religious rite in biblical times.
I have read the bible umpteen times, the new testament at least seven and I don't recall the phrase or aphorism Be Salt and Light. So what does it really mean?
First we have to look to two verses from the book of Matthew NIV.
Salt and Light
13 “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.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Jesus used the concepts of salt and light a number of different times to refer to the role of His followers in the world. One example is found in Matthew 5:13: “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 by men.” Salt had two purposes in the Middle East of the first century. Because of the lack of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food, especially meat, which would quickly spoil in the desert environment. Believers in Christ are preservatives to the world, preserving it from the evil inherent in the society of ungodly men whose unredeemed natures are corrupted by sin (Psalm 14:3; Romans 8:8).
Second, salt was used then, as now, as a flavor enhancer. In the same way that salt enhances the flavor of the food it seasons, the followers of Christ stand out as those who “enhance” the flavor of life in this world. Christians, living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, will inevitably influence the world for good, as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons. Where there is strife, we are to be peacemakers; where there is sorrow, we are to be the ministers of Christ, binding up wounds, and where there is hatred, we are to exemplify the love of God in Christ, returning good for evil (Luke 6:35).
Salt Without Taste Is Worthless
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”