Remember the old Wendy’s commercial with the little old lady who looks at what is supposed to be a hamburger on her bun and exclaims, “Where’s the beef?” It was one of the most popular commercials of the 80’s and that catch phrase hung around for a long time. In fact, I recall having a conversation years later with a friend who had stopped going to church for many years, even though he was a believer. When I asked him why, he replied, “Where’s the beef?” This was the first time I had come face to face with someone honest enough to point out that to him, church wasn’t what it was suppose to be. I have never forgotten that conversation and have been reminded many times since then that there are many people who have had “church upbringing” and want nothing to do with it now.
So what is the problem? What has happened to the “beef”? Maybe we could relate it to something the Lord Jesus said. “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” – Matthew 5:13. Contaminated salt is just about useless, except to be walked on. Unfortunately, much of the church has lost its saltiness, or “beef”, as my friend had honestly pointed out, and has been trampled on by man. Or dare I say, contaminated by the world.
Just how does this “unsaltiness” manifest itself? Quite simply it is seen in churches that have taken on the practices of the world. Wanting to make “church” appealing, successful, and entertaining, and incorporating market-driven, opinion-based, pragmatic philosophies for instance. Also, in many believers it’s not hard to see, at least in this country, how the things of this world have become more important than the things of God. It’s been said, too many times to count, that apart from going to a church building on Sunday morning, you can’t tell a Christian from a non-Christian. Or as Jesus might say, “Where’s the salt!”
Have you lost your saltiness? If so, the question we really need to answer is, “Can we get our saltiness back?” The above passage makes it sound as though we can’t. And in fact…WE can’t! But God did say, with HIM all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). He is the only one who can make us salty again. Only He can transform you back into being “the salt of the earth”. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” – Romans 12:1-2. Think about it.