I'm ready to preach on "The Power of Spirit-Led Community" at our annual Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries conference.
I'll look closely at the nature of communities, how identity is about location in a community, and how all communities both embrace (if you buy into the narrative) and exclude (if you don't).
All communities exclude.
Amy Chua (Yale) presents this in her book Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.
"Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. We crave bonds and attachments, which is why we love clubs, teams, fraternities, family. Almost no one is a hermit. Even monks and friars belong to orders. But the tribal instinct is not just an instinct to belong. It is also an instinct to exclude.
Some groups are voluntary; some are not. Some tribes are sources of joy and salvation; some are the hideous product of hate mongering by opportunistic power seekers. But once people belong to a group, their identities can become oddly bound with it. They will seek to benefit their group mates even when they personally gain nothing. They will penalize outsiders, seemingly gratuitously. They will sacrifice, and even kill and die, for their groups."