SOUL- What is it and where did it come from? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

With the passing of Ray Charles, I've noticed that many reporters have dubbed him a "soul singer." James Brown is called the "Godfather of Soul" and Sister Aretha is the "Queen of Soul." For the most part black folk have been labeled as having "soul." What is it and where did it come from?

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2004


The soul is made up of the mind, will, and emotions. It's what makes us sentient. The soul is often used interchangeably with the spirit. This is incorrect.

We're made up of body, soul, and spirit. Mountains and trees have bodies but no mind, will, or emotion - no soul and certainly no spirit (in spite of what nature worshippers tell us).

Animals have a mind, will, and emotion, and therefore have a soul. They have no spirit though.

Only humans created in God's image have a spirit. When we're saved our spirit joins with the Holy Spirit. That's called justification. It's a finished work. There's nothing more that needs to be done for our spirit.

Our soul however still needs much work. We continue to sin with our minds, wills, and emotions even after salvation. Even sins we commit through our bodies originate in the soul areas with a decision of some type. We're tempted in our souls because the soul is the command center of the human personality. Where the soul leads the body follows with acts, good or bad.

After we're saved we have to give God control of our soul one area at a time. This is called sanctification. It's the gradual lifelong process of being made more like Christ, and most of the work happens in our souls. We have to forgive people, we have to gain control of our anger, we have to learn to submit to authority, we have to learn to control our eating, and so it goes until we cross over.

Now what about this soul thing as it relates to African Americans? Somewhere along the line the word "soul" gained another meaning besides the mind, will, and emotions.

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2004

Brother RP, you need to get some SOUL and lighten up.

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2004

I'm thinking "soul" as it's being used here is the ability to communicate or express emotion through music. "That woman she done me wrong, and now I got the bluuuues."

Speaking of the Godfather of Soul, I saw Eddie Murphy spoof James Brown on an old Saturday Night Live. Hiliarious! Singing about the hot tub "a-fullah watah, huh! Gone make me sweat ya'll, a-gone make me sweat!"

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

For your information brother RP, these are SOUL singers: Willie Nelson, James Brown, Hank Williams Sr., Aretha Franklin, Barbra Strisand, Ray Charles, The Beatles, The Soulstirrers, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Blood Sweat and Tears, Glen Campbell, Whitney Houston, Dave Brubeck, The Fifth Edition, etc. I could go on and on but if you will analyze the common characterics of this list, maybe, just maybe you will have some idea of soul. Your last post says something about you RP, you definitely have a problem with black folk and anyone who practices any religion other than yours.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

Pastor Paris surely you are not surprised? He has not changed a bit.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

Now wait a minute. This lady asked about the soul, which is a subject I've studied. I got a hostile response so I was tried to lighten the mood as you suggested Bro Paris. Eddie Murphy made the joke so I figured I was safe. There were a bunch of black guys in the room when I saw the show and they were rolling. Funny is funny, and Eddie Murphy was being funny, and for a change making a clean joke. So what's the problem?

Let me make myself clear. I don't have a problem with black people. One of my best friends at work is black. We laugh our way through the whole day and genuinely enjoy each other's company. I attend a multi-racial church, and count its African, Hispanic, and Asian people as my family.

I am a conservative. No apologies there. I believe it's philosophy is closer to the Bible than liberalism. I also believe in pure Christianity, which means I believe church should stick to its business as spelled out in the Bible. That means we don't take up valuable Sundays for Martin Luther King's birthday or Black history month. None of that ever got anyone saved, and getting people saved is why we're here. We can celebrate ethnic culture at times not reserved for the Lord.

We do that too in our church. I attended a Hispanic sweet 16 party today at our church, and it was full of the birthday girl's culture. But today is Saturday. We weren't gathered to glorify the Lord, but to honor the young lady. Tomorrow we'll be all business, and doing our best to fulfill the Great Commission.

Now if anyone would like to respond with specifics, and not generalizations like "you just don't understand" I'm willing to listen. As always personal insults and accusations will be received in the same way as their source - the accuser of the bretheren.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

RP, you are free to worship God as you please. I am conservative also; I believe the Bible just as you except I don't consider it a Book of Rules, rather it describes how God relates to His people and from that we are able to grow in grace and knowledge of our creator; it is about relationship,not rules.

Now, you can't tell me that you thought she asked about "the soul" when she spoke of soul singers. You were being negative and critical with your implications that she/we ought to be concerned about the soul rather than soul singers. You should do your preaching at your church. If a person wants to worship at the Church of whats happening now, let them alone. Jesus said, he came to seek and save those who were lost; he had the authority to determine who is lost. You and I do not have that; we are to preach the gospel, when the word is rejected, Jesus said to shake the dust from your feet and move on. State what you believe and why, but do not try to force-feed others to accept what you believe. during my ministry, God has blessed me to be the instrument to lead many people to saving grace; most of these were people who were slaves of legalism imposed by wellmeaning people including preachers that did not themselves accept the grace of God nor teach any one else to accept grace and quit trying to live within the law. The freedom that Christ gave is the freedom to fail and be forgiven. He removed the chains of guilt brought about by sin that the law imposed upon us. We can now confess to our sinfulness without being chained by guilt because the blod of Jesus cleanses us. So I recommend that all stop trying to be good but to develop a loving relationship with Christ and let the holy Spirit work his work in you. NOW, no one is compelled to accept that. They are free to live by the law; but they are not free to make others live that way. Grace is the GIFT f God; free to be accepted or rejected.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

RP when I call you a racist I am simply speaking the truth based on your own words. You are truly a son of darkness parading as light. You are evidence of the false prophets that will come in the last days. You need to get a grip. Once again you don't bring peace as you ignorantly compare a sweet 16 birthday party with the King holiday. You're moronic comments are laughable. But your racism is something you need to hit the altar at that wonderful church of yours and ask the Lord to deliver you from the darkness of your heart. This is not an insult just the truth.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2004

RP opines "One of my best friends at work is black."

Brother RP,

As you well know, I have, on occasion, offered defense on your behalf when the emotions of perceived racism ran hot against you. Having read this latest string of messages, I'm beginning to wonder if that defense was misplaced? Unlike many of my Black brothers and sisters, I make allowances for ignorance for all who engage in 'race talk.' Like my brothers and sisters I too believe that if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, has feather and quacks, well, there's a good chance its a duck. Which is it with you? Ignorance or quackery? Help.

In Love,

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2004

My apologies to Mary for the sidetrack this thread has taken. I really thought you were asking a theological question.

-- Anonymous, June 20, 2004

This post was supposed to be a joyous and happy one. I was listening to Ray Charles and he stated that one was born with soul, that it could not be acquired. I agree with Mr. Charles on that point and I also that soul is not limited to color. For example, I love to listen to Pavrotti's soulful music. That man can bring tears to your eyes. I have a tape of Indian South American music which is truly soulful. When my daughter was young we would turn it up as loud as we could and dance throughout the house. It's spirit evoked such joy it made you move. Of course I love Sisters Aretha and Mahalia, but I also enjoy listening to the soulful Sara Brightman and Enya as well. Approximately two years ago we had visitors from Germany at Mother Bethel. The tune of one our Methodist hymns is the same tune of their national anthem. When our organist played the melody they rose and rendered to us the most beautiful music. That was truly a soulful moment that left not one dry eye in the place. Sunday, we had members of the St. Paul AME Church from LaGrange, GA. visit us. Their male chorus sang "Walk in Jerusalem Just Like John" that set our souls on fire. These are all examples of soul but not limited to color.

My question is where does this gift of touching the spirit and emotion of people come from? It has got to be a gift from God.

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2004

All things come of thee. O' Lord. You got it right!

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2004

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