Tribalism, part 2

So we are in a volatile world. Duhh. So we are divided and fragmented. Duhh. So we have anger that is escalating and some are calling for utter annihilation of “the enemy” (whomever that is today).

How did we get here? And more importantly, how do we get out of this “here”?

We discussed the Tower of Babel yesterday. So let me quickly hit what one author (Anyabwile) showed as three routes avenues to Main Street Tribalism …

Relational Inclusivists … the ‘can’t we just all get along’ crowd, but with a twist. They have a big tent and will include you, but you have to drink the koolaid and – not necessarily agree with everything but – promise you don’t rock the boat. To not agree to this puts you on the outside of the tent and then they call you unloving, cold, and not caring about people.

Exclusivists … they define themselves by not allowing others to be part of the group. They are exclusive and set the bar to what ever they decide. The elitist mentality demands conformity to their man made standards.

Isolationists … these tribalists call any group as wrong and they see themselves as separatists with moral superiority. Their only real position is being against all other groups and the other groups’ positions. Ironically, the isolationists themselves form a tribe.

Okay, lots of sociological background to show you there are several facets to tribalism. Bottom line is arrogance, pride, outrage, and a selfish instinct that is taking America down a dangerous path. Some might even say we are headed to a second Civil War.


So what do we do to get out of this situation?

I gave the big answer yesterday – the Gospel is more powerful than any tribalism of man. But how does this look? Some would just say we need to talk across tribalistic lines. I mean we are people of reason aren’t we? Not really. We are more like selfish little brats.

First, we are to be grounded in the Word. Be fastened by the belt of truth. Don’t be lured by philosophies or other’s ways. Bringing every thought captive to the obedience to Christ.

Second, stay humble and keep the perspective of God’s grace and love. I love a recent quote by JD Greear … God didn’t save you instead of your non believing friends, he saved you for the sake of your non believing friends. We are here for others.

Third, learn the joy and benefits of Christian hospitality.

Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.

1 Peter 4:8-10

Hospitality from a Greek word that means ‘love of strangers’. We are to show love, kindness, and concern for those not of our ‘tribe’. And, we are to do it without complaining or grumbling. Our attitude is to be one of true concern. So much can be said here, and we will get back to it some day.

We are to have open hands … open homes … and open hearts.

What would it look like if we, the Church, practiced this?

It will not be easy, we might be taken advantage of, and it won’t change everything. But it might impact our little corner of the world. And with enough little corners changed, we can make a big impact.

This week, show a little hospitality to those who cross your path … and not just of your tribe. But to strangers too.


Some articles to go deeper …

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabiti-anyabwile/christian-tribalism-in-the-era-of-democratized-publishing/

https://www.lifeway.com/en/articles/christian-hospitality

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