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Tribal Grace

You can safely assume you've got a tribal God when all the rules benefit those within your tribe.

I've known a fair number of people over the years who've wanted to live lives of meaning, goodness, and significance. These are people who have had a strong sense that their spirituality is in some interesting, but hard to pin down way central to who they are. And yet, they have struggled to find meaning in the tribal church structural systems that are so prevalent in our culture. The systems haven't just failed; they've actually caused harm.

I've been a part of the problem too over the years, so I'm not going to get very far pointing fingers, but at this point, I don't blame people for not sticking around at tribal churches. They don't see the point of playing by the religious rules when it's obvious the religious rules aren't helping the religious people live more loving, gracious, and authentic lives. So they leave. Not because they don't have faith. They leave because they're trying to keep their faith.

It's like the vineyard workers in the story Jesus told. The vineyard master hired workers early in the morning and others late in the day. When the shift was over, everyone got paid the same, but the workers who worked all day were upset. In spite of being compensated fairly and graciously, they felt slighted. They could have been happy for those who came in by way of a different path. But they weren't. They were indignant. Sigh... maybe those who try and control grace don't understand grace.

Grace isn't tribal. Grace is free. It's for everyone. There is no in and out. Everyone's in.

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