Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Donald Trump & The Travesty of Christian Tribalism - Rev. Dr. David Gushee at Religion News
There is a great word for the kind of faux religiosity trotted out by Donald Trump in his visit to Liberty University, and not only by him. That word is tribalism.
The particular tribe that Mr. Trump was ham-handedly courting was white evangelical and fundamentalist Christians. He is not alone. Every Republican candidate courts this tribe, which constitutes a substantial share of GOP primary voters.
Tribalism thrives on us vs. them thinking. Our tribe is better than your tribe. God is on the side of our tribe and against your tribe. This land has always belonged to our tribe. Other tribes are outsiders; perhaps we will tolerate them, but they do not belong here in the way that we do. We will muscle them aside and let them know who is in charge here. And if an obvious member of another tribe dares to come into one of our tribal gatherings we will let them know that they are not welcome.
Of course, it should go without saying that Christian tribalism is a complete travesty. The Christian faith is centered on Jesus, who taught love of all, including stranger and enemy, and who died for all. The early church, moved by the Holy Spirit, became a post-tribal community that brought together Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, people of every language and tribe and nation (Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 2:11-22).
Anyone who offers or falls for “Christian” tribalism separates himself from the God revealed in Jesus Christ.
The full article is available here