Community Division And Tribalism

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Today had been my first of college and naturally we met one another and gave a greeting. In the process of getting to know one another we discussed our experience in the community. Naturally, the foreigners among us from Russia to Brazil to somewhere close to home like England felt it more difficult to integrate.

It depends upon the country but some are more tribal than others. It’s in human nature to be tribal and to collect for ourselves people who share the same culture, opinions right down to tastes in music and food. If there are people who do not share our views or convictions as all tribes do we exclude or banish them leaving such individuals on the margins to go it alone without any loving support.

Tribal members were so brainwashed that when banished from the tribe they would simply sit under the tree and die. Many of us here would not sit under a tree and die from being banished. We’d look for some way to survive wouldn’t we? Yet, when we are rejected from social circles either in our own country or others, there is this tendency to mentally sit under the tree and die. Why? Because the culture has taught us that when you’re rejected it means the end for us.

We accept the rejection and are presented with the very real danger of going into a depression where we mentally shrivel up and die for lack of love and acceptance. National culture and traditions are nice and entertaining. These things give us a sense of identity but there is a danger of them becoming an ideology. Such ideologies and worship of ones culture and nation then becomes a stick to measure and beat others with.

“You’re not Irish? Bam, take a whack of the stick and out you go back to your own country.” “You don’t want to sacrifice your religious and cultural traditions while in my country? Bam, another whack of the ideological stick of my nationalism and patriotism.” Tribalism by the way is not something simply practiced on foreigners but even locals.

In Ireland we have different accents and surnames for different parts of the country. If I go down south with my Northern accent I’ll have a hard time. Likewise when my grandfather came from the south to the North he was excluded because of his accent and surname that was not recognized here in my town.

Tribalism is a real problem for the world over. It is one of those human traits that although natural doesn’t mean it’s something healthy. Tribalism, when missing the love of God is a destructive weapon that destroys our capacity to love and stifles the need to see Christ in the other person.

It renders us incapable of seeing the foreigner as a neighbour to be loved and not banished simply because they look, speak or act differently. And this foreigner doesn’t simply have to mean someone from another country but even within our own religious groups and immediate communities. But we must love our “neighbour” not the “foreigner”.

In the world of Christ Kingdom there’s no such thing as a foreigner only a neighbour and brother. If we think like this seeing other people from all different nations as if they are Christ themselves even if they’re uncharitable towards us becomes easier. Dealing with the world becomes easier when Christ is seen in them all.

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