Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Ever wonder why the communes of the 1660's and 1960's, with the co-op movement ever since, offered a better experience of community than most of our churches these days? Or why more and more little leagues are playing "winless" games? Could it be that the 'reality of the market', with its private possessing and incessant competition, does not fit the 'need of the human being' for sharing and caring?
Gerrard Winstanley vied for the hearts and minds of the same seekers who ultimately embraced the Society of Friends. Rather than following in the ways of the itinerant preacher of the Kingdom of God, as George Fox did, Winstanley chose to dig in his heels.
The only problem was that the digging was on property that, despite being "The Commons", was coveted and competed for by landlords. The war of words soon turned into ditch digging and setting up camp by the share-and-care force derisively called "Diggers".
Would the dominance of capitalism today have been held in check, or at least offered a viable alternative, if instead of Swarthmoor Hall there were 'Fox Holes' in the battle for a true, even religious, Commonweal? Would the so-called "communism of primitive Christianity"(in second and fourth chapters of Acts of Apostles) have been revived?
I know it's foolish to speculate at this late date, but so many of us are ready to make more of a commitment to our co-workers than to our neighbors and neighborhood circumstances. And, there seems to be plenty of "tolerant Quakers" who are ready to endure another Meeting with vocal ministry, that needs to challenge us instead.
Some of us can't easily settle back into the comfort and complacency of the 'reality of the market' after a too-brief period of sharing and caring in worship. Am I digging in the wrong backyard or can you dig it, Friends?