2011 AAPC Pastor’s Conference, Day 1

Rich Bledsoe makes the interesting distinction between the days of tribalism and our present day.

In the days of the tribes, you had three things:

  1. Everyone was a warrior. This was glorious. By losing your status as warrior, you become shameful.
  2. You had a proper name. You knew who you were. Names meant things.
  3. You had a tribal tattoo. You had a place and were part of your tribe’s story.

Then you have our present day:

  1. We have shame. We hang our heads. We have lost our glory.
  2. We don’t know who we are. This is why psychoanalysts are so popular: people want to know who they are.
  3. We have no story. It is very rare to be a part of your country’s story today.

And this is very odd in our time of individualism, which constantly reminds us that each of us is important in our singleness. But in throwing away our sense of community, we’ve lost what gave us our individuality.



  1. Nick House

    So, does this mean that it’s OK for Christians to get a tattoo?
    Mom: “What is that” *points to tatoo*
    Me: “It’s OK, mom. I’m getting back to tribalism.”

    • MadDawg Scientist

      As I typed this, I KNEW that Nick would have a field day with it.

      The point of a tribal tattoo was to show the individuals identity as it pertained to the grand story of the tribe. Holistic Individualism (which Christ brings in a pure form).

  2. Nick House

    Serious comment: David, I doubt that the Southern Church has a very good answer for this. Tribalism in the South, if it remains at all, is a vestige of true tribalism, and has been for a while. Though we do have the best fellowship meals. Except everyone at my church has stopped cooking Southern and started cooking European stuff.

    • MadDawg Scientist

      This is true.
      The tribes gave men what they needed: a name, a language, and a story. The Church gives men all of these things in a much fuller sense, as we have them in and through Christ, who is a Name above every Name, He is the Word Incarnate, and He is the point of the Great Story, history.

      The old Southern Dispensationalists, for all their theological problems, had this figured out down to a T. Seldom in the world will you find greater communion and fellowship in the Body, save at the Wedding Feast, than at a Baptist fish fry.

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