Evangelical Tribalism

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Step 1: For a variety of well-intentioned reasons, choose a preferred political ideology you believe is the right one and will adequately to address the differentiated problems in society. As David Koyzis, explains it could be libertarianism, socialism, nationalism, conservatism, progressivism, or democracy.

Step 2: Read your preferred political ideology into Bible in a such way that it becomes a tool for interpreting and applying the Bible to social issues. That is, your political ideology becomes your hermeneutic for “Biblical” views on justice.

Step 3: Cherry-pick Bible verses (often taken out of context) and repackage them to make the case that your preferred, tribal, political ideology is indeed “Biblical,” “follows the teaching of Jesus,” is “Christian,” and so on. Here the goal is to prove that God must obviously be on your tribe’s side.

Step 4: Now that you have baptized your political ideology by pouring on a random assortment of Bible verses, you are ready to declare your ideological tribe and those who agree with you, “right.” As a result, any other tribe that does not read the Bible through your ideological lens is not only wrong, they are the enemy and a threat to the church and the world.

Step 5: Issue a call for all other Christians to embrace your tribal ideology. Now that your tribe is “right” you are free in the blogosphere, for example, to declare all of those who are not-like-us — that is, not in our tribe — to be “wrong.” Those in the other tribe (i.e., the enemy tribe) need to change their views so that they can more closely adhere to what your tribe believes the Bible teaches and, therefore, advance to the right side of Truth. Your tribe’s truth.

- Anthony Bradley, Ideological Tribalism: How Evangelicals Go About Social Ethics