As you can imagine, these viewpoints led to much discussion (not all nice), which wasn’t surprising to me. Maybe Solomon was onto something when he wrote, “Through pride and presumption come nothing but strife, but [skillful and godly] wisdom is with those who welcome [well-advised] counsel”(Proverbs 13:10, AMP). Yikes. Some of the harshest words can come through the lips of Christians towards other Christians.
I found the debates (or were they discussions?) in the comments of these conversations a bit perplexing and they caused me to recall an email that caught my eye several months ago. It was an article written by Dr. Josh Axe entitled, “7 Signs Your Salt Lamp is Fake” and it arrived in my inbox right after the election. At that time much of social media was focused on memes and articles analyzing the authenticity of Christians who had voted for Trump. Maybe you saw them too. (In fact, many can still be seen today). I saw quite a few memes revealing what real Christians should be doing with their lives, money and time. If you weren’t living up to these standards, well, it might be time to rethink your Christianity. At the time, I wondered if we really needed to know the signs for fake salt lamps or if the “7 signs Your Christian Lamp is Fake” was a greater need. After the social media scathing’s of last month – I wondered again. So, here I am .... wondering on a blog.
I don’t own a salt lamp. Do you? I never noticed them, felt the need or desire for one. And because I was oblivious to salt lamps I didn’t know there could be benefits to having one. That is, until I read the article by Dr. Axe. He says benefits “supposedly include decreasing air pollution, negative ions and electrosmog caused by electronic devices in addition to symptom reduction for people suffering from asthma, allergies, and other illnesses.” Who knew a salt lamp could do so much? Not I. Then I realized I wasn’t aware of my need for a deeper relationship with Christ until that was pointed out either. Raised with my backside planted in a church pew each Sunday and every special service – I was pretty sure I had all of the “Christian” I needed. It wasn’t until a time of great loss and suffering did it become clear to me that my Christian lamp was nothing more than a dim imposter.
There was nothing genuine about my relationship with Jesus. There was no security in my reliance upon God or the words written in His Book. I was simply a churchgoer who claimed the title, “Christian” because I attended a Christian church. Even after years of Sunday school, youth groups and Bible camps, I held very little knowledge of God and other than a few rote prayers I had no communication with Him. I lived my life according to the Kingdom of Kolleen and pursued happiness for myself. Sometimes it takes a great shaking of our faith to determine the actual depth of it.
As I read the article by Dr. Axe, he made it clear that real Himalayan salt is “located on the western edge of the Himalayan Mountains and is the only source of true Himalayan pink salt.” So, if you want a real Himalayan salt lamp, the salt has to come from the western edge of the Himalayan Mountains. Want real? It seems we must go to the place where real is found.
I’d say the same is true for someone seeking real Christians: if you want real you must go to where Christ can be found. Where might that be? Just as you must go to the Himalayan Mountain if you want pure Himalayan salt, you must go to the place where you going to find the purity of the Lord – His Word. Many are asking where the real Christians are – but would you be able to recognize them if they were standing among you? Perhaps the reason we can't see them is because, according to Christianity Today, there is an epidemic of Bible illiteracy. Seems many don’t care much for Bible reading but we do enjoy our presumptions.
Dr. Axe also shared this little nugget with his readers: “a salt lamp is not a lamp at all if it doesn’t have the light and heat source within it. Without that, it’s just a block of salt.” Interesting. Jesus referred to Himself as Light. He said, “I have come as Light into the world so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness” (John 12:46, AMP). So, if a salt lamp is fake without the light and heat source, it seems reasonable to say a Christian is not a Christian at all if they don’t have the Source, the Light of Jesus, within them.
Without Jesus, they are just a block of … what?
As we allow God to change our identity - one letter at a time - may we become authentic lamps of the One, True, Light source.
Stay tuned for part two of The Seven Signs...