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Tribalism is a term once used exclusively to describe the thinking and lives of indigenous tribes of people. Today it is commonly used in reference to identification with, exaltation of, and defensiveness regarding the thinking and behaviors of a particular social group. There are positive and commendable expressions of tribalism associated with love for, and loyalty towards, home and family, God and country, etc. But there is a negative form of tribalism raging today that threatens individual character and the very survival of America and life as we have known it.

Tribalism today exists within the context of race, religion or political partisanship, and becomes toxic and dangerous within an atmosphere of pride; pride that fuels an illogical and irrational sense of inferiority or superiority. People in a toxic tribe see themselves as being either a victim or an avenger based upon the perceived needs or demands of their tribe. Such a spirit of tribalism is divisive, and easily metastasizes hostility and violence.

Extreme examples of the thinking and travesties associated with tribalism can be seen in Nazism, Communism, and the woke and BLM movements. But toxic tribalism can also be found within the conservative movement where various "camps" or tribes are embedded. The negativity and nastiness of tribalism can also be seen in certain religious "camps" where people are unequivocally supportive of doctrinal positions or dominating personalities however undeserving and indefensible the positions or personalities may be.

The common denominators relative to toxic tribalism whether it is religious or political are lazy thinkng, emotionalism and pride. It attracts those who want someone else to do their thinking for them, who want a forum from which they can vent. It attracts people who need drama to feed upon, and those who are looking for an arena in which they can shine as a star. The primary identifier of toxic tribalism is that it dismisses any biblicall truth or common sense that contradicts the beliefs and behaviors of the tribe; and it will throw under the bus anyone who, however innocently, questions tribal belief or conduct, and labels such "dissenters" as non-patriots or heretics.

When people are more loyal to their political or religious tribe than they are to biblical truth, they close the door on themselves to God's blessings and open the door to the devil. Do some deep, honest thinking as to the toxicity of any tribe, religious or political, that you identify with. Find out if it passes the litmus test of Holy Scripture. of Scripture, whether or not your tribe passes the smell test (Isa. 28:10). If it doesn't, disassociate yourself with that tribe (Ex. 23:2). Ask yourself if your loyalties are to God''s truth or to a tribe.


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