I’ve heard it used several times by preachers in and out of the church of Christ in an attempt to justify blatant denominational behavior and it gets sillier every time I hear it.
TRIBE – tribe – TrIbE – tribe – Tribe
Our tribe, their tribe, his tribe, her tribe and every tribe under the sun.
The rationale seems to be that modern-day denominations are no different from the past tribes of Israel, but the lack of rationale in such a mindset seems to be, or at least it should be, all too apparent to anyone that has a limited knowledge about Israel’s various tribes!
One – the tribes were named after Israel’s children, not divisive doctrines and false prophets!
Two – the tribes were actual tribes, not divisions based on preference!
Three – the tribes were all still amenable to the same law which governed how all of them were to walk with God in life and in worship!
Four – a refusal to follow the governing law in any of the ways given by God was not celebrated by saying that’s just the way their tribe does it!
It can be ignored, made fun of or even despised by some, but the church is still expected to be one, and that doesn’t mean one tribe here, one tribe there and another tribe over there.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21)