Can We Separate Out Tribe From Faith?
Recent discussions remind me that tribalism seems to be a part of the human religious experience... that we who seek a rational relationship with God must also weigh tribal affiliations which seem to be an immutable part of many.
What we do with these tribal affiliations is the question. I am rather convinced that idolatry which William Penn accused most Christians who were not Quaker, can be seen in many Quakers today - and in Penn as well. Well, what do we do? Penn sought light by describing what he felt was Christian idolatry. And yet, as modern history uncovers the story of the creation of the image of Jesus... what would Penn say of his own condemnation of other churches? Would he in fact decry his early writing or extend it to rethink his own Christianity?
Hmm... I am often thoughtful of my own tribalism, of which I try, in a search for truth, to be conscious. Among some peoples, with whom I work, I engage in ritual purification ... so as to not pollute their homes in their tribal faith. I also keep several old Quaker customs which are no longer in general use, I remove my hat when a message is being given. I do so to show respect and attention, but I keep separate that action from faith. I could leave it on, but for fear of sending a message that I do not respect that particular speaker, and so I show equal respect...
For me, to be a Quaker, is to transcend the tribal in my life, however to be equally present to God in everyone else. The implication in that ... I find to be important.