What are bromides? The dictionary gives basically 3 definitions for ’bromide’, 1) a salt consisting of two elements one of which is bromine (a dark red, fuming, toxic liquid), 2) a platitude, and 3) a boring person. As you can see any of those could be problematic for the church.
1)When Jesus said we should be the salt of the world I don’t think he was referring to this kind of salt. Salt is very important and we need it in our physical bodies as well as our spiritual bodies, but we also know that many health problems are aggravated or even caused by an excess of salt. In our spiritual lives we need to strive for the proper proportions. If we lose our flavor as Jesus said we won’t be ‘worth our salt.’ We will need to be thrown out. On the other hand, if we have too much salt; as the sons of thunder did when they wanted to call down fire from Heaven to consume those who rejected Jesus, we will do damage to the cause of Christ. Some ‘Christians’ were blunt to the point that instead of showing an individual what the scriptures said in a loving way, and allowing that individual to realize his lost state, they would tell the person something to this effect, “You are going to hell.” Not only were the words harsh, but the impression left behind was, ”You are going to hell to suffer for eternity, and I am glad of it.” Anytime we leave that kind of an impression with someone we have done more harm than good.
I often think back to the homosexual man who was killed out in Wyoming. At his funeral there were people claiming to be Christians with signs and banners proclaiming the judgement of God against homosexuals, and explaining how they would spend eternity suffering. I did not see a single one that told the people attending that funeral of God’s love and desire for all of us to come to him, or of the fact that if they will repent He will freely forgive. It is no wonder many in the sin homosexuality don’t want to become Christians and change if they think we all act like those individuals.
2) On the other hand we don’t need to be spouting meaningless or overused platitudes. If you have just experienced some tragedy in your life, even if I went through a similar tragedy, I don’t know how you feel. Telling me that all things work for good, which I already know, doesn’t help much when I am in the depths of despair. There are so many things that we say that just don’t help. Sometimes it’s best to just be there and be quiet. Job was comforted by the presence of his friends until they started talking. (Job 2:13) “So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.”
3) Many in the world think that the Christian life is boring. Some of them think this way because we don’t get drunk, sleep around, do drugs, or any other of the things that sinful people seem to think is exciting. If that is the reason then let them keep thinking that way, I will take the boring path. There are some though that have gotten the impression from us that a Christian has to be miserable, or at least somber, all the time. We have given that impression at times. If we walk around looking like we were baptized in vinegar and weaned on a pickle what do we expect. It isn’t very pleasant to be around someone who never smiles or laughs, never plays a game, and never whistles or hums a tune or sings a cheery song.
There is an old story that you may have heard. Jesus was showing one of the angels around the earth. He pointed out all the places He had been when He was here; the temple, the garden, the cross, the tomb, etc. Then Jesus took the angel to an assembly of the church and explained to the angel that these were the people who had accepted his love and returned it in their obedience. Jesus told the angel how these people were on their way to Heaven and could spend an eternity there with the other angels, and with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The angel was excited about this even though he had known it for 2000 years, and he looked at the people gathered together singing and praying and studying the Bible. After seeing the looks of boredom, solemness, sadness, and seriousness on their faces the angel turned to Jesus and asked, “Do you want me to tell them or are you going to?” Let’s be sure to live our lives in such a way that others know that we know that Christianity is a better way to live in this world and in the next.