KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–When Christians follow Jesus’ call to be salt of the earth, they need not be impressive, Kansas City native Charles J. Briscoe told a chapel audience at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“As salt, we are called not to impress, but to influence,” said Briscoe, who was honored Feb. 6 with a presidential medallion from the Missouri seminary.
Briscoe served 35 years as senior pastor of Paseo Baptist Church in Kansas City until his retirement in 2003. He now serves as urban director of PastorServe, a ministry that supports pastors in the greater Kansas City area by seeking to foster reconciliation across denominational and racial lines.
In a message from Matthew 5:13, Briscoe underscored how Christians should have a Kingdom influence on those around them, yet defer all glory to God, keeping nothing for personal glory.
“We’re not here to parade ourselves,” Briscoe said. “[As salt,] we’re here to purge, preserve and to purify. We’re to purify our culture with the Kingdom agenda.”
Briscoe encouraged believers to confront the world in spite of opposition and personal sacrifice.
“As salt, we are not to hold on, to save ourselves, to keep ourselves in a selfish way,” he said. “We are here to give ourselves away. Salt does not fulfill its purpose until it looses itself.”
While being salt in the world may be costly, Briscoe reminded Christians that it will be far more costly if they refuse to be the salt God has called them to be.
After Briscoe’s message, Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts presented him with the seminary’s presidential medallion, given to individuals who have made a significant impact on Midwestern and Christian higher education.
“Today, we honor Charles J. Briscoe for a lifetime of achievements,” Roberts said. “Pastor Briscoe faithfully preaches the Word of the Lord and is being used of God to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Kansas City and the world beyond. He serves as an exemplary bridge-builder and peacemaker.”