When I was evangelical I really liked the idea of Reformed theology and the idea of primitivism.
In fact it was my search for the denomination that was closest to the early church that led me unexpectedly into Catholicism.
So the real question is how would you respond to this quote from JRR Tolkien?
“The ‘protestant’ search backwards for ‘simplicity’ and directness -
which, of course, though it contains some good or at least intelligible
motives, is mistaken and indeed vain. Because ‘primitive Christianity’
is now and in spite of all ‘research’ will ever remain largely unknown;
because ‘primitiveness’ is no guarantee of value, and is, and was in
great a reflection of ignorance. Grave abuses were as much an element
in Christian liturgical behaviour from the beginning as now. (St Paul’s
strictures on Eucharistic behaviour are sufficient to show this!) Still
more because ‘my church’ was not intended by Our Lord to be static or
remain in perpetual childhood; but to be a living organism (likened to
a plant), which develops and changes in externals by the interaction of
its bequeathed divine life and history – the particular circumstances
of the world into which it is set. There is no resemblance between the
‘mustard-seed’ and the full-grown tree. For those living in the days of
its branching growth, the Tree is the thing, for the history of a
living thing is part of its life, and the history of a divine thing is
sacred. The wise may know that it began with a seed, but it is vain to
try and dig it up, for it no longer exists, and the virtue and powers
that it had now reside in the Tree. Very good: but in husbandry the
authorities, the keepers of the Tree, must look after it, according to
such wisdom as they possess, prune it, remove cankers, rid it of
parasites and so forth. (With trepidation, knowing how little their
knowledge of growth is!) But they will certainly do harm if they are
obsessed with the desire of going back to the seed or even to the first
youth when it was (as they imagine) pretty and unafflicted by evils.
The other motive (now so confused with the primitivist one, even in the
mind with any one of the reformers): aggiornamento: bringing up to
date: that has its own grave dangers, as has been apparent throughout
history. With this, ‘ecumenicalness’ has also become confused.” (The
Letters of J.R.R Tolkien, no. 306.)