Suggestion Four: Restore the Primitive

   Some argue for energy.

   Most want a hero, or, someone heroic.

   All cry for purity.

   So, restore the Primitive.

   You know you are not of the Roman Universalist model or one of her Orthodox siblings. You have some knowledge of what you are not.

   You think you are some kind of Protestant but that is unthinking, at best. Really, what is it you protest? Protestantism came out of an inner rebellion against Roman Universalism, or the macabre version of the faith it had become by Luther's day.

   Really, is that what you are, friend? Is that what you want to be, really?

   If you search your soul, you will find you want the energy, the heroism, the purity of the Primitive. Young people graduated from your old institutions, graduated in every way, will show you what you want. They do not hate you or your music or your hide-bounded obstinacy.

   They only want the Primitive

   They want only the Primitive.

   They want the Primitive only.

   The Primitive is the one who spends his life in a pursuit greater than himself. He is the fellow who rests his head on a pillow of stone when he could he have a bed's soft succor if only he would concede. He is the one just out o f step with the rank and file; not disdaining the ordinary but insistent on purity.

   Look up the name Edith Cavell.

   You hate to attend meetings that used to seem so important.

   You hate them because the leader of the machine is a file clerk. You don't hate the substance. You just cannot find any substance.

   You wanted a mighty prayer mission, totally dependent on God. Your leadership gave you another fund raiser and some trinkets. The world did not change. The world did not even notice.

   A file clerk needs something to count and something to file. Do not rage against him because he is only a file clerk.

   This is his job description; File Clerk.  

   If you want a Hero, get out of the machine.

   Dismantle the machine.

   Close the offices. Let all wander in the world without a place to lay their heads.

   Sacrifice makes heroes.

   Restore the Mighty Primitive.

Writer's Note:

   The Primitive is a Fundamentalist, a LIberal; a Centrist of the Old Order. He is that open-hearted kind of Liberal who governs with a rigid ethos hard-set in Scripture. He will prosecute conflict to the end, never flinching, and, at the end, he will call for "malice toward none and charity for all."

   In fact, he is anathema to the ersatz-Fundamentalists and closet-Liberals who claimed, over the preceding three decades to be the purveyors of the faith once delivered to the fathers. Neither group tells the truth when they appeal to our creeds (we are not a creedal people, it says so in our creed) or our history (by which most of us mean our individualistic pioneer mores).

   When I argue for the Return of the Primitive I do not mean something left over from the '50's. At least, not the 1950's. I mean we need to go back to 50 AD, to the raw energy of the real emerging church; heroic, energetic, pure, even when it erred.

6 thoughts on “Suggestion Four: Restore the Primitive”

  1. I would say I will supply the mothballs, but it seems then all of the good goes away with the bad. I think it is time for some very serious prayer meetings not the kind you feel warm and fuzzy when you leave. I want a leader that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I want to see a committment that will fail without an Almighty God showing up. I want to paired with like minded believers not pared by programmes that have the “right look” or “feel good” or that “have a good direction”. We are being pared down bit by bit by well meaning theologians and politicians. I would like to see Baptist leaders that have personal evangelism as a badge of honor. When we get that the organization becomes evangalistic naturally. The only thing naturally happening is slow death and it is ugly.

  2. I am there with you Brother. I have had enough of “their” world. It is time to close the book on what is and instead strive to build what can be. The old structure will frustrate more than it will aid. Besides, what is left can barely support itself.
    I am looking at a concept a friend told me about. It is called “Appreciative Inquiry”. It is a tool many of us may need to learn to use to get out of the bureaucracy and its legion of “file clerks” and can help us again to connect with the Primitive.
    Please keep blogging. Your’s is the voice we need now.

  3. Please define terms. Fundamentalism is as elusive a prey as inerrantism.
    Those still connected to the old ship of state (I am not) have more to fear from the file clerks invested with leadership than the boogie man fundamentalist.
    The Primitive is not a Fundamentalist. He is a being of energy, heroism and purity.
    I daresay Jesus is a Primitive.

  4. It would be the fear of whatever the beholder thinks is fundamentalism. But no matter; thanks for the additional explanation.

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