The following article is taken from the January 2012 issue of Tabletalk Magazine and is from the “For the Church” column. The author, Phil Johnson, is executive director of Grace to You in Panorama City, California, and he edits most of John MacArthur’s major books and has contributed to numerous books himself. He is also the owner of the Pyromanics blog and other very useful websites.
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:13–16
That text is often cited as if it were a mandate for the church to engage in political activism — lobbying, rallying voters, organizing protests, and harnessing the evangelical movement for political clout. I recently heard a well-known evangelical leader say, “We need to make our voices heard in the voting booth, or we’re not being salt and light the way Jesus commanded.”
That view is pervasive. Say the phrase “salt and light,” and the typical evangelical starts talking politics as if by Pavlovian reflex.