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Source: (consider it) Thread: Quakers and Christianity
ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Yep I agree - trouble is that it isn't always easy to plough one's own furrow (so to speak) without accusations of exclusivity and, having historical connections in CT groups can be a pain too. What has been done tends to determine what will be done/allowed.

I dunno, there are plenty of churches that do things outside of CT. It just seems like a whole lot of talk about nothing very much at all.

Yes there are but it's not so helpful being shot by your own side -- as I say if it comes face to face then that's fine: it's the insidious back stabbing and rumour that slowly suffocates initiative
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
Nobel Peace Prize 1947, American Friends Service Committee.

Christmas Bombings 1972, no Nobel Prize for the Quaker in charge.
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sabine
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ExclamationMark, when I said "wider world of Quakers" I was referring to those outside of the UK. But I have no knowledge of how wide your experience is. What I can surmise is that you and others on this thread have run into some very hidebound Friends. Any Friend or group of Friends who insists on a larger (possibly ecumenical) group doing things their way or not at all is failing Quaker norms in at least two ways:. 1) it is de-facto proselytizing, and 2) it is not done in the spirit of consensus building. I'm really sorry that's been your experience.

As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do. The fact that most Quakers in the world live in countries other than England where we got our start and most of these Friends identify as Christian couldn't have happened, really, without some proclaiming going on.

Whenever a thread that mentions Quakers comes along, the list of grievances also come along. I'm saddened by this because I feel that perhaps some of my fellow travelers in the Quaker way are not reflecting more carefully on our Testimonies. There is also a possibility that our way of doing things is hard to fit into the definitions of religious expression that many grow up with.

Unfortunately, there just aren't enough Friends on the Ship to mitigate the bad experiences some have had. Again, this makes me sad.

sabine

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Baptist Trainfan
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Interestingly, in the meeting between our church and the local Friends (which I mentioned upthread), the Friends pointed out that, in some ways, British Quakers are atypical of the movement worldwide. But I can't remember what they said the differences are - clearly not the peace testimony, with which I strongly agree. So I suspect that the obviously similar experiences had by myself and EM may be markedly different from yours, Sabine.

[ 30. October 2017, 15:42: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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sabine
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Baptist Trainfan, I'm posting on my phone from an airport concourse, so I can't properly address your comment. If you have questions, pmm me and I'll try to answer later.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Baptist Trainfan
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Thanks ... nothing really to say! Have a good trip!
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do.

More to the point, they LIVE the Gospel

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do.

More to the point, they LIVE the Gospel
Is manipulating a meeting to get your own way living the gospel?
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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do.

More to the point, they LIVE the Gospel
Is manipulating a meeting to get your own way living the gospel?
I wish all our faith traditions could say that the most egregious behavior any of our members ever engaged in was a bit of bullying in an ecumenical effort. Seriously, I'm an American evangelical-- that behavior wouldn't even register on my "walk of shame/embarrassed to be seen with him/her" scale.

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do.[/qb]

More to the point, they LIVE the Gospel
Is manipulating a meeting to get your own way living the gospel?

Of course not. Obviously you've had a bad experience, and perhaps only an apology from those who behaved badly can take seay the bitter after taste.

But you've brought this issue up on more than one occasion over more than one thread about Quakers.

I wonder what you hope to achieve?

Do you think your experience is typical of ALL Quakers? If so, I'd say you don't have a big enough sample group to make that implication.

Do you believe that if some Quakers don't act perfectly they are all to be held in suspicion? Hmm, is there a faith group anywhere that meets this standard.

You've described issues with Friends that no one would want to have to deal with on a continuing basis. Your frustration is obvious. I wish I had the means to offer you an alternative way to think about Friends. Ive tried on this thread. I apologise for the behavior of the Friends who have made it so hard to work with them.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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SvitlanaV2
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On a practical level, Churches Together's website states that relationships should come ahead of formal membership.

IOW, any group - perhaps even a humanist or a liberal Jewish group - could be admitted into membership if it develops a very good relationship with the churches that are already members.

If we extend this principle, I imagine that a group of Quakers would be 'welcomed' as brothers and sisters in Christ not so much because their theology tells them they are, but because they've already developed a good relationship with whichever more 'official' group of Christians they want to be in fellowship with.

I imagine this kinds of fellowship is most likely to occur at a local rather than a denominational level. After all, there's so much diversity within denominations now. In some communities the local Quakers could work together in Christian love with the local Anglicans. In others, there'd be mutual incomprehension, I'm sure.

Out of interest, are there any warm ecumenical connections in Britain between Quakers and, say, Pentecostals?

[ 30. October 2017, 22:27: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do.

More to the point, they LIVE the Gospel
Is manipulating a meeting to get your own way living the gospel?
I was thinking of those Quakers who work for peace

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mr cheesy
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The thing I don't understand is this: if you are a Quaker from a meeting where the majority do not see themselves as Christian, wouldn't you want your representative on a CT group to agitate against proselytising?

I mean - if for some reason the CT group was to sponsor some event which somehow justified war, wouldn't the Quakers want to stop it?

Rather than this being an example of "bad" Quaker behaviour, isn't this just a reasonable action by the Quakers (or in fact anyone else who is part of CT who finds the group going in a wrong direction)?

Isn't this a feature of Quakerism rather than a problem of bad behaviour? If not, why not?

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Gamaliel
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My own experience and encounters with Quakers have largely been positive, but I can understand how they could irritate the pants off people who didn't see eye to eye with them on various issues.

I don't feel I could ever be a Quaker but I've always felt enriched after spending time with them. I could cite some aspects that could be construed as negative, but then that equally applies to everyone else.

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The thing I don't understand is this: if you are a Quaker from a meeting where the majority do not see themselves as Christian, wouldn't you want your representative on a CT group to agitate against proselytising?

I mean - if for some reason the CT group was to sponsor some event which somehow justified war, wouldn't the Quakers want to stop it?

Rather than this being an example of "bad" Quaker behaviour, isn't this just a reasonable action by the Quakers (or in fact anyone else who is part of CT who finds the group going in a wrong direction)?

Isn't this a feature of Quakerism rather than a problem of bad behaviour? If not, why not?

There is what you want to accomplish and how you wish to accomplish it. Friends have tradionally affirmed a core value of consensus building. My way or the highway behavior is not in the spirit if that.

Now Friends are not obligated to embrace that core value, but most do, and when presented with a situation in which one is the lone voice in opposition, Friends have a tradition of "stepping aside" (often accompanied by a non-confrontational statement about their objections).

Clearly, I don't have a personal experience with the Friends mentioned on this thread who want others to adopt a no prosletyzing set of behaviors, but over here it would be considered bad form.

As for our peace testimony-- yes, we do actively try to promote peace and peaceful solutions, often as social activists. But more than that, one of our traditional core values has been to work to eliminate the causes of war and strife.

Anyway, YMMV with any Friend. We tend to rely on our inner guide and relationship with the Divine to give us inspiration. Some Friends are better at this than others.

sabine

[ 31. October 2017, 18:41: Message edited by: sabine ]

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sabine
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Missed edit window but want to add. Certain things, like not prosletyzing, are typically considered things we don't do, not things we want to impose on the world. That's why I found the behavior described not "Friendly."

It would be out of character to ask other faiths to sit in silence at worship or not take a vote for church business or stop baptizing, etc. Not prosletyzing falls into this category.

Most if us would, however, like to see a peaceful, greener, and more equitable world, and some of us lift our voices to that end.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Gamaliel
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Thing is, I've seen the opposite of the sort of thing Exclamation Mark describes.

I've seen liberal and moderately evangelical Christians brow-beaten by forceful charismatic evangelicals into accepting a full-on (and to my mind highly crass) proselytising approach at an annual city centre united service of witness.

A wonderful URC minister I know had the unenviable task of mollifying the mayor and other civic dignataries afterwards as they were appalled at the emotional pressure and hype. She did a brilliant job.

I can understand how and why EM took exception to the forceful Friend's behaviour on the occasion he mentioned, but surely there was nothing to stop the evangelical churches in that town from evangelising with or without the 'say-so'of Churches Together.

Surely evangelicals don't need permission from CTE or anyone else to conduct mission?

Sure, I can see that a collective CTE response would have been the preferred outcome but my guess would be that the initiative would have foundered any way as the liberals and evangelicals wouldn't have been able to sustain concerted action for very long anyway given their differences in approach and theology.

I don't doubt that forceful Friends can and do foil the best laid plans of mice and men.

But at the same time, I've seen instances of evangelicals steam-rolling things through to get their own way, sometimes with egregious results.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


1. Thing is, I've seen the opposite of the sort of thing Exclamation Mark describes.

2. Surely evangelicals don't need permission from CTE or anyone else to conduct mission?

Sure, I can see that a collective CTE response would have been the preferred outcome but my guess would be that the initiative would have foundered any way as the liberals and evangelicals wouldn't have been able to sustain concerted action for very long anyway given their differences in approach and theology.

3. I don't doubt that forceful Friends can and do foil the best laid plans of mice and men.But at the same time, I've seen instances of evangelicals steam-rolling things through to get their own way, sometimes with egregious results.

1. Yes so have I and have called it on the occasions I've encountered it (including yesterday FWIW). I wouldn't dispute that any church is whiter than white on this even within its own ranks (especially there perhaps) but we are talking about experiences of Quakers.

Being an activist (that's my problem) I get frustrated by endless dialogue that goes nowhere. I find CTE's awful for that almost as bad as some Baptist meetings.

2. No they don't but if the aim is that "they might be one" it's really helpful and supportive to have the backing of as many people as possible. If you don't, what you then get is usually gossip and backbiting from your own community. It doesn't tend to add authenticity esp if the voices in question punch above their own weight in broader civic circles.

3. Absolutely but that why we need well moderated dialogue and decisions made by people who have a common spiritual understanding. That's not meant to inhibit or prevent debate, it's just a view that decisions of importance affecting the work of the church are made by those committed to the core principles of the faith.

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mr cheesy
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OK but if it is obvious that an integral part of your Christians Together group does not agree about proslytising, then why are you trying to make it about that?

You have a choice: ignore the CT altogether, find things to do that you can agree on or exclude the Quakers.

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arse

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:

1. Certain things, like not prosletyzing, are typically considered things we don't do, not things we want to impose on the world. That's why I found the behavior described not "Friendly."
It would be out of character to ask other faiths to sit in silence at worship or not take a vote for church business or stop baptizing, etc. Not prosletyzing falls into this category.

2. Most if us would, however, like to see a peaceful, greener, and more equitable world, and some of us lift our voices to that end.sabine

1. I accept your very kind apology on behalf of others. Sadly my (and others') experience with working with Quakers in the UK is that all of these behaviours (with the exception of baptism) have been widely pursued. I really do admire Quakers for their attitude to Peace and Justice but it seems somehow to stop when it comes to local issues where they can have a direct influence

2. That's the call of every believer as it reflects God's intention of harmony. I work with nature where I can on my allotment garden and try to impact the planet as little as possible with my lifestyle. I am not alone in Christian circles.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK but if it is obvious that an integral part of your Christians Together group does not agree about proslytising, then why are you trying to make it about that?

You have a choice: ignore the CT altogether, find things to do that you can agree on or exclude the Quakers.

Because its central to Christian faith. I have come to a point where I (and like minded others) do now walk alone. I'd rather not but in order to do anything it's necessary in this neck of the woods to work with like minded people or it gets repressed.

It draws a line I know but there it is. I'd argue that those who won't support even gentle outreach draw a line of their own.

At to excluding Quakers why would I want to provide the ammunition for cries of "Pesecution?"

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
But more than that, one of our traditional core values has been to work to eliminate the causes of war and strife.sabine

That's a very interesting statement. It amounts to a declaration of a creed which Quakers claim not to have!

Sadly your approach (like any) can result in or exacerbate strife

[ 01. November 2017, 07:09: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Because its central to Christian faith.

No it isn't. It might be central to the way that you understand the Christian faith, but there are plenty of Christian groups who don't proslytise.

quote:
I have come to a point where I (and like minded others) do now walk alone.
Oh no! You're offended because a group which is clear about something is actually standing up for something they believe in.

quote:
I'd rather not but in order to do anything it's necessary in this neck of the woods to work with like minded people or it gets repressed.
Just do it already.

quote:
It draws a line I know but there it is. I'd argue that those who won't support even gentle outreach draw a line of their own.
Yes. I can see your point, but you also seem to be expecting Quakers to not be Quakers.

quote:
At to excluding Quakers why would I want to provide the ammunition for cries of "Pesecution?"
I thought you'd already raised the question of whether Quakers should be in Christians Together and were making the case that they shouldn't be because they're not Christians.

It seems to me that you're just having a moan.

There are plenty of Christians who do things outside of CT all the time. Loads. If you want I can point you to a whole load of Christians who organise themselves because they have a theological problem with the idea of ecumenicalism. Some are dead against the idea of working with Roman Catholics, some refuse to work with Charismatics, some probably have issues with being in the same room as "the gayz".

If you look hard enough, I'm sure you'll find others who think the same as you do on proslytising.

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arse

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK but if it is obvious that an integral part of your Christians Together group does not agree about proslytising, then why are you trying to make it about that?

You have a choice: ignore the CT altogether, find things to do that you can agree on or exclude the Quakers.

Because its central to Christian faith. I have come to a point where I (and like minded others) do now walk alone. I'd rather not but in order to do anything it's necessary in this neck of the woods to work with like minded people or it gets repressed.

It draws a line I know but there it is. I'd argue that those who won't support even gentle outreach draw a line of their own.

At to excluding Quakers why would I want to provide the ammunition for cries of "Pesecution?"

That’s the second or third time you’ve talked about people excluding themselves, although your wider comments talk about you going it alone, or being unable to get your own way if you seek agreement. Perhaps there are different ways of characterising these disagreements?

Churches Together groups are more often sunk by disagreements over women in leadership, LGBT matters, or one church refusing to accept that another is truly Christian. Orthodox churches and many RCs, though, will be as likely as the Quakers to have objections to some evangelistic campaigns.

The belief that it’s all about mission, meaning evangelism, or as you put it, that proselytising is central, is not where everyone is at, and it brings a rigid agenda to the table. But I do recognise that for many churches evangelism really is what they believe they are for, and that this is therefore hard to compromise or have a discussion about.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
As for proclaiming the gospel, many Friends do.

More to the point, they LIVE the Gospel
Is manipulating a meeting to get your own way living the gospel?
I was thinking of those Quakers who work for peace
If you live for peace how do you square that with the turmoil you cause elsewhere?
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
If you live for peace how do you square that with the turmoil you cause elsewhere?

Point of Order Mr Speaker: Leo is not a Quaker.

Also - this is one of those "when did you stop beating your wife" questions.

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arse

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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EM - can you point to a post where you describe what these Quakers allegedly did? I'm struggling to know what to think based on what I can glean being a bit vague. Ta.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:

Churches Together groups are more often sunk by disagreements over women in leadership, LGBT matters, or one church refusing to accept that another is truly Christian. Orthodox churches and many RCs, though, will be as likely as the Quakers to have objections to some evangelistic campaigns.

The belief that it’s all about mission, meaning evangelism, or as you put it, that proselytising is central, is not where everyone is at, and it brings a rigid agenda to the table.

This is interesting. I didn't realise that evangelical churches were causing so much havoc in CT groups. It must be due to a shift in the balance of power.

It should be obvious though that if some churches refuse to evangelise, those that do will inevitably become stronger and more influential.

That being said, as a mainstream ecumenical organisation I can't see how CT can be a suitable forum for really strict churches with their own agenda. CT's focus, to judge from its website, is social justice, not female clergy or evangelism, etc.

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
But more than that, one of our traditional core values has been to work to eliminate the causes of war and strife.sabine

That's a very interesting statement. It amounts to a declaration of a creed which Quakers claim not to have!

Sadly your approach (like any) can result in or exacerbate strife

It's a paraphrase of something George Fox said. Friends are free to interpret it individually (if at all). In the spirit of that George Fox statement, I'm not going to debate with you about how you wish to define it. [Smile]

Peace, sabine

[ 01. November 2017, 12:06: Message edited by: sabine ]

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Gamaliel
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I can see what you're getting at and where you are coming from, EM but it'd be a bit like joining an ecumenical group and then expressing concern that not all the members are evangelicals.

Or an RC or an Orthodox Christian joining an ecumenical group only to complain that the rest of the group didn't have the same view of the sacraments or ecclesiology as they do.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
But more than that, one of our traditional core values has been to work to eliminate the causes of war and strife.sabine

That's a very interesting statement. It amounts to a declaration of a creed which Quakers claim not to have!

Sadly your approach (like any) can result in or exacerbate strife

It's a paraphrase of something George Fox said. Friends are free to interpret it individually (if at all). In the spirit of that George Fox statement, I'm not going to debate with you about how you wish to define it. [Smile]

Peace, sabine

Aha! Avoiding dialogue!
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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
If you live for peace how do you square that with the turmoil you cause elsewhere?

Point of Order Mr Speaker: Leo is not a Quaker.

Also - this is one of those "when did you stop beating your wife" questions.

Apologies. If a Quaker lives for peace how do you square that with the turmoil you cause elsewhere?
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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Churches Together groups are more often sunk by disagreements over women in leadership, LGBT matters, or one church refusing to accept that another is truly Christian. Orthodox churches and many RCs, though, will be as likely as the Quakers to have objections to some evangelistic campaigns.

IME CTE groups sink mostly because they cannot work within their terms of reference. CTE aren't there to make decision over matters like women in leadership, LGBT matters etc
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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
EM - can you point to a post where you describe what these Quakers allegedly did? I'm struggling to know what to think based on what I can glean being a bit vague. Ta.

Here's a couple

1. In one town, Quaker influence directly prevented any joint outreach events taking place. They talked it out at a CTE meeting demanding that consensus be accommodated

2. In a place of great need, in the bottom 10% of deprivation. For all their claims on social justice, the Quakers did nothing at all on their doorstep in the town yet supported causes elsewhere in the world. In the long run that attitude led to a breakdown in inter church relationships.

I can add more -- but of course other groups behave in similar ways

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
But more than that, one of our traditional core values has been to work to eliminate the causes of war and strife.sabine

That's a very interesting statement. It amounts to a declaration of a creed which Quakers claim not to have!

Sadly your approach (like any) can result in or exacerbate strife

It's a paraphrase of something George Fox said. Friends are free to interpret it individually (if at all). In the spirit of that George Fox statement, I'm not going to debate with you about how you wish to define it. [Smile]

Peace, sabine

Aha! Avoiding dialogue!
This feels like a bait and pounce, not an invitation to dialogue.

You and I have been through this on other threads, and your mind does not seem to have changed when it comes to your assertion that Quakers have creeds.

My participation on this thread certainly indicates an ability to engage in dialogue, but I don't see the point in going round and round with you again.

I can live in a world where you believe Friends have creeds. You have an opinion, and that's fine. I don't need to rehash a former debate.


sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
EM - can you point to a post where you describe what these Quakers allegedly did? I'm struggling to know what to think based on what I can glean being a bit vague. Ta.

Here's a couple

1. In one town, Quaker influence directly prevented any joint outreach events taking place. They talked it out at a CTE meeting demanding that consensus be accommodated

2. In a place of great need, in the bottom 10% of deprivation. For all their claims on social justice, the Quakers did nothing at all on their doorstep in the town yet supported causes elsewhere in the world. In the long run that attitude led to a breakdown in inter church relationships.

I can add more -- but of course other groups behave in similar ways

Forgive me, but this is still vague. What outreach events were being proposed? What was the Quaker position from which they wanted concensus? What initiatives on the doorstep was everyone else proposing? I'm trying to get a picture and currently don't grasp it.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Gamaliel
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At the risk of a tangent, I'd have thought that it's a reasonable expectation that a CTE group would find common cause on issues of social justice.

On evangelism and evangelisation less so.

Had there been some initiative on that bottom 10% of the indicators housing estate that involved something that went beyond thrusting tracts at people, then perhaps the Quakers and others might have been better disposed to support it.

It seems a bit rich to accuse them of supporting things abroad and not in their own backyard when what they were being asked to support may have been misunderstood from their perspective.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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That's why I'm probing for details.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Gamaliel
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Sure, Karl, I get that.

From what I know of EM from the Ship I'm sure he takes a nuanced and holistic approach to these things, but not all evangelicals do, if course.

How would the Quakers or anyone else involved with the CTE know that the outreach initiative wasn't going to be kind of tub-thumping revivalist effort that was all about saving people's souls but doing diddly-squat about the systems, structures and multifaceted factors that led to that town having areas that had such high levels of deprivation in the first place?

Heck, back in the day, long before The Eden Project made this sort of thing fashionable, I moved onto a deprived housing estate in some kind of noble, if rather misguided effort, to evangelise. We did have some impact, later on and elsewhere in an unplanned kind of way, but looking back had Quakers, liberal Christians and whoever else come along and advised us to do things differently, we'd have been wiser had we listened to them.

I'm sure EM and his colleagues would have been wiser than we were, mind.

I can certainly understand where EM is coming from but at the same time I'd be surprised if it was simply a case of Quakers putting the kibbosh on evangelism simply because they don't hold proselytising... although I'm sure that was a big factor.

Now, if someone had started some kind of outreach activity already which took a multi-agency approach with various strands of support services, community cohesion activities and so on and then invited the CTE group to get involved, I wouldn't be surprised if the outcome would have been different.

As it was, what were they presented with?

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:


1. This feels like a bait and pounce, not an invitation to dialogue.

2. You and I have been through this on other threads, and your mind does not seem to have changed when it comes to your assertion that Quakers have creeds.

3. My participation on this thread certainly indicates an ability to engage in dialogue, but I don't see the point in going round and round with you again.

I can live in a world where you believe Friends have creeds. You have an opinion, and that's fine. I don't need to rehash a former debate.
sabine

1. I've probed what to me was the clear inconsistency in some of the statements you've made. There is no intentionality to bait, only to delve deeper.

2. You're right. Neither my mind nor my opinions have changed but I am open to them being changed

3. What I feel is that you are able but unwilling to engage. You may well be right that it is ultimately pointless as we both have what we believe to be the "correct" take on the issues we've covered.

However I do have a more nuanced view now as a result, to help me understand why Quakers may approach things in the way they do.

[ 02. November 2017, 06:44: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
That's why I'm probing for details.

Thanks Karl.

I'm happy to PM the particular instances if you like, as to detail them here would publicly identify places and people.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I can certainly understand where EM is coming from but at the same time I'd be surprised if it was simply a case of Quakers putting the kibbosh on evangelism simply because they don't hold proselytising... although I'm sure that was a big factor.

What I have noticed in Ecumenical contexts is that the group tends to defer to the Quakers much more than they defer to some other groups. To put it bluntly, they seem to lean over backwards to accommodate the Quaker position more than they will to (say) accommodate the Methodist or Baptist position. Equally I feel that the Friends in this sort of context can be just as intransigent on some issues (which is their right, of course) as (say) some Evangelicals are on others - they just express themselves much more quietly.

Now this may be my personal perception and it may not be true everywhere ... but am I "on to something" here or barking up a very wrong tree?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:


Now this may be my personal perception and it may not be true everywhere ... but am I "on to something" here or barking up a very wrong tree?

A long time ago, I was at a discussion group at university. The group included various people from different Christian denominations and various chaplains, including someone from the Quakers.

I don't remember what the discussion was about, but I do remember clearly that there was fundamental disagreement on the topic, the Quaker guy would wait until there was a lull and say something like "well, Quakers do this.."

Which at the time seemed incredibly unhelpful, it wasn't really addressing the question and wasn't even really giving a personal view or explaining reasoning.

I got the feeling that the Quaker process was more important to this guy at least than the solution/destination - which was frustrating when most of the rest of us were trying to battle it out in debate.

Just an anecdote, of course.

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arse

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Enoch
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Tangent alert
I was told earlier this week that the true term which distinguishes the 'real' and faithful to Fox Quakers from the rest is not "Inner Light" but "Inward Light". It is the term he used and is regarded as a shibboleth by those who regard themselves as True Friends. "Inner Light" though is the popular term among Friends of the anything goes sort of spirituality, the sort that EM is grumbling about.

I found that interesting.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
That's why I'm probing for details.

Thanks Karl.

I'm happy to PM the particular instances if you like, as to detail them here would publicly identify places and people.

Need it? I wasn't after chapter and verse, just trying to establish what sort of "outreach" you were talking about. Standing on a street corner waving a black floppy bible? Putting on street theatre? Having a speaker in a marquee? It's just too vague to know what the objection might be.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
But more than that, one of our traditional core values has been to work to eliminate the causes of war and strife.sabine

That's a very interesting statement. It amounts to a declaration of a creed which Quakers claim not to have!
I think it’s a pretty big stretch to call that statement (which sabine terms a “value”) a “creed.” A creed sets forth what beliefs a group holds in common, particularly with regard to doctrine. Beyond the pretty obvious idea that war and strife are undesirable, what is there about belief, particularly the kind of belief typically set forth in a creed or confession, in the statement sabine shared?

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Tangent alert
I was told earlier this week that the true term which distinguishes the 'real' and faithful to Fox Quakers from the rest is not "Inner Light" but "Inward Light". It is the term he used and is regarded as a shibboleth by those who regard themselves as True Friends. "Inner Light" though is the popular term among Friends of the anything goes sort of spirituality, the sort that EM is grumbling about.

I found that interesting.

I guess the difference would be that "inward light" implies that its origin is external to you, but "inner light" means that its origin is inside of you? The former would indeed seem more compatible with the idea of an objectively existing God.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Gamaliel
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In some ways, I think, there are parallels between dialogue between Western Christians and the Orthodox here, insofar as Western and Eastern Christians can sometimes end up 'talking past each other'.

In a similar way Quakers can probably think they are being helpful whilst everyone else finds them difficult to pin down or understand. Equally, the kind of concepts that evangelicals might be familiar with or which more sacramentally inclined Christians might be familiar with might not cut much ice with the Friends. They'd understand what was being proposed or upheld but it wouldn't necessarily be an 'issue' as far as they were concerned.

I remember a discussion a while ago when I raised the issue of some Anglican 'fellow travellers' who'd begun attending Friends' meetings because they were fed up of the in-fighting over women's ordination and other issues within their own church.

They were then surprised and offended when they weren't admitted to full Quakerhood as it were because they were still receiving communion occasionally in Anglican parishes.

The various Friends here, Sabine included, explained why this was the case and I could understand the logic, but at the same time I could understand the upset and sense of rejection the Anglican women felt at being excluded, as they saw it, because they were persisting in a practice that was dear to them but not to the Friends.

I'm not taking sides on that one, simply punting it out as an example of the kind of dynamic we are talking about here.

It isn't an issue of 'fault' or 'blame' but of a need for a clearer understanding of one another's respective positions.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:


However I do have a more nuanced view now as a result, to help me understand why Quakers may approach things in the way they do.

I'm glad about this. I think you may have run into Friends who are treating this issue as if it were a creed. That's disappointing. How one enacts our Testimonies is really a fruit of one's personal relationship with the Divine. It will vary, and it's not a rule or a hammer.

In this specific instance, is the outreach just secular (food, housing, employment)? It there a religious aspect (e.g., must attend a certain kind of worship service before receiving help)?

In my city, we have several faith-based outreach efforts. If the end game is to get people into the church/belief set of the faith organizers, I think Friends would (and do) opt out rather than try to change the nature of the outreach.

But there are also ecumenical groups with which we happily serve, despite our differences. I wish it could be that way for your concern.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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sabine
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Oops, didn't make myself clear about outreach

EM, I am not saying I think your situation is one of trying to get recipients to believe or join (there isn't enough info to go on) it seems the Friends you mention are holding whatever the group hopes to do hostage to a threshing out of one member-group's pov differences with the rest. That would not go down well in wider Quaker circles (see my"standing aside" comment earlier in this thread).

There is a time and place for trying to form an organization based on common ground. After it is formed is not the mostne effective.

sabine

[ 02. November 2017, 15:11: Message edited by: sabine ]

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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