It occurs to me, so much recently, the need for the tribal in postmodern culture and interactions, and therefore a must in Christianity. This need seems to be true despite varied personalities, and dispositions. One doesn’t merely need a tribe because one is gregarious and outgoing.
Tribe is meant here as Dictionary.com describes it in the 8th, but more like the 9th definition.
8. a class or set of persons, esp. one with strong common traits or interests.
9. a large family.
Whether persons possess introverted or extroverted qualities, the need for tribal-style belonging is incredibly strong. Social interactions are increasingly dependent on this cultural binding, like a kind of glue in the fabric of new societal norms. It’s “the café factor” if you will. The pub, the water hole, the hub, of cultural life. But not merely to be a commons area, but in fact, a “home”. In my observations, family or tribal elements are qualities of emergent-like groups springing up around the country, and within subgroups in certain mainline churches.
It’s important to realize what “needing a tribe” means. It is not merely an association, or fraternal tendency. The need for tribal belonging is what a generation babysat by the television, shuffled from parent to parent, and picking up and moving every few years in modern society, craves. They crave family as it is intended to be, for humans existing as relational creatures. I contend it is crucial for spiritual maturity, and even belief. More than any other recent era, the need to belong before one believes is a prevailing experiential phenomenon.
If our bodies of Believers cannot or do not make tribal belonging available to outsiders, they will end up in a generation or two, as part of the history of Christendom. The history that involves an imploded city on a hill that became only an incestuous (if you will) fortress against any outside it’s wall. These will cease to be desirable to the spiritually thirsty. Those who offer tribe, then, offer life. The life is perhaps then, family life.
More on what trbial belonging is coming soon...
New Date-FEB 20
6 years ago