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Society and the Soul

6 years ago written by

I’m writing this article in mid-August a few days after the so-called “Unite the Right” protest turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia. Despite the name, I don’t see anything “right” about protestors — supposedly upset about the planned removal of a Civil War general’s statue — mysteriously shouting “Jews will not replace us” and making other inappropriate, racist or obscene statements. They certainly didn’t follow the “right” viewpoint advocated in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

I recently searched Twitter for opinions about another evangelical denomination’s convention. Many of the tweets attacked that denomination’s support for racial reconciliation and transracial adoption. Some of these remarks came from Twitter users who claimed to be Bible-believing Christians but apparently overlooked these words: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20).

So far, most readers are nodding along in agreement — at least I hope so. But while we may not be guilty of racism, do we always focus on what is right, pure, lovely or admirable? Would a check of our internet browser history, music collection, Netflix account or nightstand books reflect that we care for our souls? If we spend our time dwelling on how much we don’t like certain people, are we still going to cry out to God: “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You” (Psalm 63:1 NKJV)?

I’m not saying that soul care alone is the answer to all of society’s problems, but I believe a lack of soul care will hurt us and the people around us, and neglecting our souls will contribute to societal decay.

Along with caring for the soul, I believe we also must care for the mind. I spent six years of my life pursuing higher education degrees, and I teach journalism to college students as an online instructor.

The problem is that some academic institutions focus on imparting knowledge to the mind but don’t put any emphasis on soul care. That can’t be said about the schools featured in this issue. In our News section, you’ll read about Oakdale Christian Academy. I recently visited Oakdale and heard directly from students about how this Kentucky treasure has improved their minds and souls.

If you, your relatives or your friends are considering what college or university to attend, please also check out our annual Higher Education Guide. My higher education included one of the universities on these pages, and I’m blessed daily by what I learned and the connections I made there. As Jim Mannoia wrote when Light + Life launched the guide five years ago, “Christian colleges and universities are arms of Christ’s body in the world. They prepare students to do things that redeem the world and liberate them to be people in Christ’s image.”

Jeff Finley has served as the managing editor of Light + Life since 2011. He is proof an English major can find a job.

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[Openers] · L + L October 2017 · Magazine

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