“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under the feet of men. You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13–14).
Jesus here identifies the reason behind the decline of the West and the deterioration in our culture and society.
The moon has no light of its own; it can only reflect the light of the sun. In the same way, the Church has no light of its own; it can only reflect the light of Christ. The visible Church has separated from the Head and cleaved to the doctrines of men; it is not connected to Christ, the source of power, and therefore it can shed no light to the world.
In the same way, salt is meant to preserve and purify, but it must first work in the Church before it can have any effect in the world. “Have salt in yourselves” Jesus said (Mark 9:50); then, and only then, can the Church be effective in purifying and preserving the world.
It is the vanity of men that has separated the Church from God and robbed the Church of the power it was meant to have. There has become an unhealthy focus on numbers in post modern Christianity; quantity has become more important than quality and this has been accompanied by a distortion of the meaning of faith. Rightly understood, faith is not a substitute for moral conduct, but a means towards it. In John 15, Jesus gave us an illustration of the divine view of things; the tree does not serve in lieu of the fruit, but the means by which the fruit is borne. It is fruit, not trees, that God has in mind in His orchard.
Thus, a Christlike life, and nothing less, is meant to be the end result of true faith.