Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Proposal

My high school English teacher used to teach that it was not considered good literary practice to make reference to self. My guess was that she felt that writers were to remain as objective as possible, which isn’t easily done when one puts himself into the picture. And so from that day forward we were forbidden to use the pronoun ‘I’ in anything we wrote. A good while later, though, she read an article to us wherein the author was criticizing this understood rule in the literary world. He argued that by forbidding writers to make reference to self they were being robbed of the single greatest source of information they have available to them. It made a lot of sense to me at the time, for using ‘I’ was the best way that I, as a young teenager, could express a thought or an opinion.

What the accepted rule on this is today I do not know. If it is considered best to refrain from mentioning self when writing, I shall promptly ignore it. Having contributed on this blog for quite some now, and having thought about its potential benefits, the time has come for me to write specifically on my own experiences in the Primitive Baptist church. Motivated by others who have likewise been ostracized when they came to see the truth on important bible doctrines, I use this as an opportunity to present my own spiritual journey. In this series of postings which I propose to do I shall not only speak of doctrinal matters, but also some of the things that I noticed as a young member and minister within the church. As I consider this, I can’t help but be reminded of the first time I read Brother Stephen’s own chapter on this topic. My experience was so similar that I felt I could complete his sentences most of the time.

My desire in contributing to this site has never been about grinding an ax. I’ve wanted to say this for an awful long time. It’s probably the common lot of those engaged in apologetic ministries that they are charged with having some personal vendetta, so I guess I should expect this. That being said, I understand perfectly well that there will always be some measure of animosity between myself and those whom I left. We all struggle with our carnality, so I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have any emotional scars from how I and my family were treated. When I look within though, and see the hope that I have in Christ, I am able to lay aside any ill will. If I could have my wish, it would be for the Primitive Baptist churches to flourish everywhere. My reputation among the people matters very little. I am more than willing to be considered an afterthought as long as they will simply come to see their error and repent. Many of them are hoping and praying for growth, yet fail to recognize that their own doctrinal position is working against them, and is largely responsible for the demise and, saddest of all, closing of church doors.

So expect some postings from me in the near future in which I share my experience in the Primitive Baptist Church, including observations, lessons learned, and especially what I saw in scripture. I am not sure of the direction I shall take. I shall simply go where I’m led.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Brother Kevin:

I look forward to your series. I disagree with your English teacher on the use of "I." Overuse of it is one thing, but to forbid its use in total is going too far.

I get emails from others who have had experiences of mistreatment from the Hardshells. I have had my share of them.

It is to be expected that when we write against a cult that the cult leaders and dedicated followers will accuse us of having an "ax to grind." This saddens us but we cannot let such deter us. It would be good if more Hardshells would engage us intellectually on what we write instead of practicing "hit and run" tactics. The only Hardshell to engage us in such a manner was Jason Brown, but we have not heard from him in a long time. We hope he is being challenged and will eventually come out of the cult.


Stephen Garrett