I believe that “a primitive Christian” perhaps describes me best. I also very much enjoy that the title allows me to poke a bit of fun at myself as I try to describe to what it is I feel called.
Many Christians get very exercised by things like the Creeds. I think that’s fine if you want to get exercised about such things, but I simply cannot. If you can get exercised about the “virgin birth”, I think that’s wonderful. I cannot, because I recognize that just about every other religion that sprung up around the time that the Bible was written contained a virgin birth myth. It was the authors’ way of indicating someone special was being born. I know Christians who would claim that Jesus’ birth was, in fact, a virgin birth and all the other claims to virgin births are, in fact, false. I suppose that could be, but I feel compelled to point out that those decisions are made by folks who are rather biased, to say the least! For me, there is nothing about Jesus that changes if his mother wasn’t a virgin, because I believe that God can sanctify human beings in any of a number of ways and that the absence of a hymen does not affect God somewhat the way Kryptonite affects Superman. In fact, I can do without most if not all of the doctrine the Institutional Church has piled on to Jesus.
Primitive Christianity, the first three or four hundred years or so, has a lot to say for itself. Perhaps its biggest appeal is that very little was officially defined or declared back then. People were closer chronologically to the Jesus experience, and diversity was tolerated rather than extinguished. Anyone with even a passing understanding of statistics knows that everything that has been defined as doctrine or declared dogma since that time has at best a 50% chance of being true – even less when there have been more than one alternative to choose from.
I believe the Church of the future may well be found in a return to the past – not the past that the Vatican and others are trying to return to, a past when the Institution had power – but the past of early Christianity when what was central was the experience of Jesus.
There isn’t any time to waste!