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Tribes and Troubles Part 1

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Being part of the Hebrew Roots movement, or at least people who have some familiarity with the story of the Bible, most of us have heard of tribes, especially the 12 tribes of Israel. What is a tribe? According to marketing guru Seth Godin in his book, “Tribes”, a tribe is:

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. … A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

We found this to be a fairly accurate definition of a tribe, even in biblical times. As children of Yahweh we are connected to one another as co-heirs in Yeshua, connected to Yahweh through His Son Yeshua, and connected to the ideas presented forth in the whole Word. Indeed, we are a tribe, in and of ourselves. There are great benefits and potential dangers in belonging to a tribe and both have one root cause: wherever two or more are gathered together, three things are usually present, view 1, view 2, and the unadulterated truth. How we approach these differences will determine if a benefit is to be derived or a danger realized.

Some Benefits of a Tribe
There is great benefit to being in a tribe; as humans we crave community and a place to fit in with like-minded individuals. It may often feel freeing to be around others who are of like mind, allowing us more unity and authenticity, a connection to other people with whom we can converse, share our thoughts and idea, a place where we can teach and be taught regarding our shared interests. Seth Godin also makes a note that one of the things that binds those in a community together is a common language, lingo, or jargon that those “in the tribe” share. We find this is true as well, for example an accountant may discuss things such as depreciation, debits, credits, and expenses while those who have not been part of that “tribe” may not know or understand.

Community and a shared language to facilitate communication are important aspects for our lives and walks; even Scripture tells us that iron sharpens iron (this requires more than one person) and that we are not to fail to assemble ourselves together and where two or more are gathered, there He is. In essence, we need community as only in community can we more fully reap the blessings Yahweh has for us. In community we will are more likely to find all gifts of the Spirit as to some people one gift is given and to others another gift.

We are all individuals and have our own understandings of things from Scripture to what the proper jargon should be. It’s perfectly natural for two people to have differing perspectives because they each come from a lifetime of experiences and lessons they’ve learned through their unique glasses. This is one of the great strengths of being part of a tribe, we all have something we can add. As we have said many times, it’s likely we all have something right and something wrong. Being in a tribe gives us an opportunity to correct what we have wrong and to teach others what we have right (the iron sharpens iron component). This can only come from study and communication, truly testing everything to the Word of God as mentioned previously. With all of these benefits, what danger could there be?

Next week we'll look at one of the greatest dangers related to being part of a tribe.