2015 | Week of December 28 | #1130
This year, perhaps as never before, America’s Christian citizens need to make some important New Year’s resolutions. We need to resolve that we will consciously be the salt and light the Lord told us we are—that we won’t obscure our light or seek to remove the “saltiness” from our lives.
The out-workings of this type of resolution are numerous. Perhaps for some of us resolving to be salt and light will mean we will become more outspoken and more involved with pro-life issues. If we allow the approximately 500 babies a month who die from abortion in Wisconsin to have real faces and real tiny feet and hands, as so many of us have clearly seen through the Center for Medical Progress videos, perhaps we will be more motivated to volunteer in a crisis pregnancy center or to at least support such centers financially. Maybe we’d be willing to attend pro-life rallies at the state capitol, to speak up at every opportunity on behalf of the unborn, to encourage our churches to recognize Sanctity of Human Life month in January
Resolving to really be salt and light might mean that we refuse to sit on the sidelines when the issue of gender-identity, under the guise of tolerance and safety, comes to our school district as it has to so many Wisconsin school districts this year. It may result in our calling school board members, attending school board meetings and even speaking at those meetings. It might mean we volunteer to serve on school committees or that we help form a group of concerned and activated parents.
Maybe such a resolution would result in our involvement in religious freedom issues. This past June the US Supreme Court waved its magic wand and dramatically and drastically redefined marriage, thereby setting up inevitable conflicts between this so-called “civil right” and religious freedom. Will we roll over and play dead when the issue comes to our Christian school, our Christian camp, our Christian day care, our Christian adoption agency, or even our church? Or will we be prepared to stand strong, while being gracious, for what is right?
If thousands of Wisconsin Christians would resolve to be active salt and light in 2016, we might see some significant bills passed in the next few months as the legislative session ends. Wisconsin currently has three excellent pro-life bills in the state legislature. Public involvement would make all the difference in getting these bills voted on in the legislature and sent to the governor. Another bill would reasonably and responsibly require public schools to designate sex-specific restrooms and locker rooms and then require that students use the facilities that correspond with their biologic sex, unless they ask the administration for a special accommodation to use a single-occupancy facility or a designated gender-neutral facility.
All of these changes could become reality if enough of us took seriously a New Year’s resolution to truly be salt and light right where we live. The phones in legislators’ offices would be ringing often. Officials would be wishing they’d never heard of e-mail. People would show up in significant numbers at rallies and to testify at public hearings. The local newspapers would be replete with letters to the editor on important issues from concerned citizens. Christians would be running for city councils, village and town boards, school boards, county boards or even the state legislature. And the polling places around the state would have record turnouts at all the elections in 2016.
Yes, 2015 is now or soon will be a matter of history. I’d like to think that 2015 will be a year that is remembered as one that fortified our resolve. For Christians, resolving early this year to be actively salt and light could make all the difference in the world a year from now as we look back on 2016.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council, wish you a blessed New Year and reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”