Genesis 10:31b …by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.
Somewhere between the terms ‘Transfiguration’ and ‘Trinity’, you should have the term ‘tribalism’ in your theological dictionary. That word expresses the way we as humans, in our desire for community, tend to gravitate toward people who share the same interests as us. Just look around—the signs are everywhere. Some wear UNC basketball hats, some wear Army hats, and some wear cowboy hats. Some join surf clubs, some join ballet clubs, and some join ski clubs. That’s just our natural tendency. In every facet of life we share a common tongue with those who share our tastes, and that’s precisely what makes community so fulfilling on the one hand and so cliquish on the other. It’s also why unbelievers tend to look at the American church on the whole as a patchwork of competing denominations, cultures, and traditions, rather than a unified body.
Christian, thank God for stooping down to commune with you in your own native tribes and tongues—from your musical preferences to your ministry partnerships to your hobby groups—but never forget that His heart reaches far beyond these. And so should yours