Don’t Tell Me You Care About My Soul—When it’s Clear You Don’t Give a Damn About My Body

Don’t Tell Me You Care About My Soul—When it’s Clear You Don’t Give a Damn About My Body October 1, 2021

What do Christian fundamentalists/evangelicals feel is a key distinctive of their tradition or understanding of the Bible? Evangelizing. Sharing the gospel. Verbally telling others about Christ and salvation.

Everything they do, has this as their primary goal and ulterior motive. When they speak of being “purpose driven,” this is what they are talking about. If the goal or purpose of anything they do is not, ultimately, to share their witness, it is not a worthy goal or purpose. It may be “good,” or it may be “necessary,” but it is not their primary goal or purpose.

Is this Biblical? Is this part of a healthy Christian theology? I don’t think so. For every verse in the Bible one can find about verbally sharing their faith in Christ with others, there are two or more (plus the entire grand sweep of scripture and the Christian narrative) that speaks of greater goals and purposes. However, let’s put that aside for now.

I have nothing against Christians or people of any religion (or atheists for that matter) sharing their faith and beliefs with others, as long as they do it in a peaceful, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and lawful manner. Also, it would be nice if asked first, rather than being approached out of the blue or in a situation where there is no prior relationship. Putting that caveat aside, again, I see nothing wrong, in principle, with people sharing their beliefs with each other.

However, I do have a problem with this: Please don’t tell me you are concerned about my soul’s eternal destination, or what happens to me once I’m no longer living, if it’s clear you don’t care about my physical body and situation right now, in this present life. It’s easy to care about a soul as to eternity (sort of like it’s easy to care about a fetus, but not a birthed child). It’s a lot more difficult to care about a physical body, here, now, and right in front of us. I think I’m beginning to see why the care of a soul is more attractive to fundamentalist/evangelicals.

Here are three areas where fundamentalists/evangelicals (and others) make this very mistake:

The Pandemic: Please do not tell us you care about our souls, while approaching us without a mask on or unvaccinated. That tells us you don’t care about our physical bodies or well-being. It also tells us you have probably relied upon a lot of misinformation, lies, and conspiracy theories. Why should we trust you with the truth about our souls, when it’s clear we cannot trust you with the truth about our physical bodies and health?

The Political: Please do not tell us you care about our souls, while at the same time supporting political platforms and politicians who by what they prioritized, reveals they care very little about the poor, children, immigrants, prisoners, minorities, the LGBT community, women, or the weakest and most vulnerable people in our society. That tells us you don’t care about the physical bodies of—these people—in this life.

The Personal: Please do not tell us you care about our souls, while at the same time prioritizing your “personal” freedom or liberty above and beyond the greater community of which you are a part, when it comes to physical bodies. That tells us you don’t care about anyone but yourself, in this life. Those who prioritize their “rights” as far as gun laws, vaccines in general/mandates, refusing any service to the LGBT community, community resources for the least of these, or who want to restrict the equal access or standing before the law of those different than themselves, do not have a rational or ethical understanding of “freedom” or “liberty.”

Why should we trust you when it comes to our souls, when it’s clear we can’t trust you to care about our bodies individually or of those who make up our greater community? If the caring isn’t holistic, community minded, and present now, why should we listen to you about some time in the future or eternity—and a concern that is only directed toward individual souls?

Faith without Works Is Dead

“…What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” -James 2

The Judgment of the Nations

“…Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’” -Matthew 25

Notice what is missing from this list of things these people did not do? Evangelism. Maybe they did that. Maybe they shared their testimony/faith with everyone they knew or met. If so, it did not save them. It was not noted. Maybe they had it all backwards.

Again, please do not tell us you care about our souls and eternity (that’s easy), when it’s clear you don’t care about our bodies, our lives, our situation, or the greater community—right here and right now.

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