Until recently, America has largely avoided violent internal strife because as a nation, we’ve lived simply as “Americans.” Wherever we came from, old labels were left behind and American became our identity. We even fought a great war to put an end to rising tribalism and bind ourselves together as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Since the radical 1960s however, we are less and less “American” and a nation of tribes. “Mexican-Americans”, “Gay-Americans”, “African-Americans”, “Evangelical Americans” and the list goes on. Sometimes our tribalism is about where our ancestors came from, but more often it’s a celebration of our divisions.
This trend exists in churches today as it plagued the ancient church in Corinth two-thousand years ago.
There are no hyphenated believers in the family of God. We are not Paul-Christians or Apollos-Christians or Peter-Christians. We are either followers of Jesus, born again by the grace of God alone through faith in Christ alone, or we are not Christians. Our only foundation for truth, faith, and practice is the Bible or we follow a religion other than Christianity. Other divisions are phony and prideful externals, both immature and sinful (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).
There is great gain in knowing the past; celebrating the best of the past and repenting of the worst, but when that past creates ungodly division among brothers, it must be put away.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ … there is one body (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 4:4).