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Source: (consider it) Thread: Quakers and Christianity
Amor
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:

However I notice that it now also includes the phrases: “All CTE Member Churches accept this Basis though an exception is made for 'any Church or Association of Churches which on principle has no credal statements in its tradition and therefore cannot formally subscribe to the statement of faith in the Basis provided it satisfies 75% in number of those full members which subscribe to the Basis that it manifests faith in Christ as witnessed to in the Scriptures and it is committed to the aims and purposes of Churches Together in England and that it will work in the spirit of the Basis'. The Religious Society of Friends is a member of CTE under this clause”.

Make of that what you will!

Good evening Ffriends,what I've been told by a Friend involved in some way in negotiations leading up to the creation of this clause was that it was a fudge that allowed us in, but still kept the Unitarians out.
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sabine
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Welcome to posting on the Ship, fellow Friend!

sabine

[ 02. November 2017, 20:18: Message edited by: sabine ]

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

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Amor
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:

1. I can't see that Quakers are excluded on a "don't want you" basis. Being really picky, any group can self exclude if they don't belong in the sense of accepting the core principles. On a national level 75% of Quakers may accept the central part of CTE's constitution - the revelation of Christ as unique saviour - but I have two issues here:
- the 75% is reflected in an historical position. Many have moved since in all denominations
- that may be true nationally but locally that isn't the case from the evidence on the ground. Th

The clause refers to 75% of existing CTE members being willing to allow the Society of Friends being allowed to join CTE. It would always have been impossible to ascertain what percentage of Friends would agree with the basic statement of faith of CTE.

[ 02. November 2017, 20:21: Message edited by: Amor ]

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Amor
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
Welcome to posting on the Ship, fellow Friend!

sabine

Thanks for the welocome, Friend!
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Amor
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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

I think the problem with "Outreach" for Friends Christocentric or not is related to, for want of a better word, our universalism, the knowledge that God is within everyone. Early Friends called on people not to run after the clergy but to look within themselves to find the light of Christ. There remains a wariness of telling people what to believe, if anything accentuated by the fact that may contemporary Friends have come to Quakerism from other faith groups because they of their disatisfaction with being led and told what to believe

As to working within the broader community Friends individually and Meetings collectively don't shy from local involvement,although this can take different forms. Within my own Meeting which is near a London major prison, a large proportion pf our members are involved in different ways in working with and supporting those incarcerated. I don't know if you would count those in the local gaol as the local community, but its challenging and difficuly work and I'm glad that Friends are doing it.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Amor:
I think the problem with "Outreach" for Friends Christocentric or not is related to, for want of a better word, our universalism, the knowledge that God is within everyone, ... (snip) ... if anything accentuated by the fact that many contemporary Friends have come to Quakerism from other faith groups.

Those certainly square up with my experience.

[ 03. November 2017, 06:54: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Amor:
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

I think the problem with "Outreach" for Friends Christocentric or not is related to, for want of a better word, our universalism, the knowledge that God is within everyone. Early Friends called on people not to run after the clergy but to look within themselves to find the light of Christ. There remains a wariness of telling people what to believe, if anything accentuated by the fact that may contemporary Friends have come to Quakerism from other faith groups because they of their disatisfaction with being led and told what to believe

As to working within the broader community Friends individually and Meetings collectively don't shy from local involvement,although this can take different forms. Within my own Meeting which is near a London major prison, a large proportion pf our members are involved in different ways in working with and supporting those incarcerated. I don't know if you would count those in the local gaol as the local community, but its challenging and difficuly work and I'm glad that Friends are doing it.

Outreach is this case wasn't telling people what to believe, it was showing Christ's love.

It's just like your prison ministry which is very laudable. Please tell me, though, why the local Quakers here in this town are exclusively concerned about world issues but wouldn't be part of the Living Wage Coalition (not a church body) on their doorstep, when its proven that over 20% of people in this town live in wage poverty.

I take your point about a number of Quakers moving from other denominations. One of the main protagonist here left another denomination years ago and, to judge from his input into joint meetings (bearing and language), still has anger issues to resolve on that score

I'd also want to suggest - again from experience - that the reasons people leave churches isn't necessarily about being told what to believe. In some cases they want to cast God in their image and so leave to find a forum which is loose enough to accommodate that perspective. The issue with belief is only a cloak, albeit one that they fail to recognise.

A bad church experience (for whatever reason) makes one wary - you'll understand then why evangelicals might have issues with Quaker theology and praxis. The big question for some outsiders is this; how do you know as a Quaker that the light you find when you look within is truly the light of Christ, especially as it is self determining without external references?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Outreach is this case wasn't telling people what to believe, it was showing Christ's love.

You've still notably not explained exactly what it is that you mean.

quote:
It's just like your prison ministry which is very laudable. Please tell me, though, why the local Quakers here in this town are exclusively concerned about world issues but wouldn't be part of the Living Wage Coalition (not a church body) on their doorstep, when its proven that over 20% of people in this town live in wage poverty.
Once again, you appear to think that the person you are interacting with here has intimate knowledge of the situation you describe. Why would that be the case?

Maybe the local Quakers you mention have other things to occupy their time. Maybe all kinds of things - why are you grilling an Apprentice on something they may have zero knowledge about simply because they're a Quaker?

quote:
I take your point about a number of Quakers moving from other denominations. One of the main protagonist here left another denomination years ago and, to judge from his input into joint meetings (bearing and language), still has anger issues to resolve on that score
Plenty of those kinds of people about in many denominations. I don't think this is really a very fair reflection of your issues with the Quakers.

quote:
I'd also want to suggest - again from experience - that the reasons people leave churches isn't necessarily about being told what to believe. In some cases they want to cast God in their image and so leave to find a forum which is loose enough to accommodate that perspective. The issue with belief is only a cloak, albeit one that they fail to recognise.
Maybe. So what?

quote:
A bad church experience (for whatever reason) makes one wary - you'll understand then why evangelicals might have issues with Quaker theology and praxis. The big question for some outsiders is this; how do you know as a Quaker that the light you find when you look within is truly the light of Christ, especially as it is self determining without external references?
This is self-evidently asking the wrong question.

--------------------
arse

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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:

It's just like your prison ministry which is very laudable. Please tell me, though, why the local Quakers here in this town are exclusively concerned about world issues but wouldn't be part of the Living Wage Coalition (not a church body) on their doorstep, when its proven that over 20% of people in this town live in wage poverty.

Once again, you appear to think that the person you are interacting with here has intimate knowledge of the situation you describe. Why would that be the case?

Maybe the local Quakers you mention have other things to occupy their time. Maybe all kinds of things - why are you grilling an Apprentice on something they may have zero knowledge about simply because they're a Quaker?

Some of EMs responses also seem to imply a sense (incorrect) that Friends have a homogeneity of behavior and belief that we don't, in fact have. Not prosletyzing isn't even a Testimony (just a trend that grew out if our quietist period, which is why I speculate without knowing specifics that these Friends are acting as if it were a Testimony), and even if it were, all Friends interpret things differently. Same for deciding which specific outreach issues will be adopted by a local Meeting. Many Friends help their neighbors at home. The only way to know why the Friends you mention are behaving the way you describe is to ask them, not us.

quote:
A bad church experience (for whatever reason) makes one wary - you'll understand then why evangelicals might have issues with Quaker theology and praxis. The big question for some outsiders is this; how do you know as a Quaker that the light you find when you look within is truly the light of Christ, especially as it is self determining without external references?
How does anyone explain any number of beliefs (spiritual or mundane) to another who doesn't believe? It's very difficult. How does one explain Grace if another person is not inclined to believe in it? How does one explain
intuition?

Some parts of Quaker thinking have to do with authority. One's personal relationship with the Divine informs behavior (in the best of circumstance). The Inner voice is a metaphor to explain spiritual promptings. I have heard people (not Friends) say " God laid it on my heart to do such and such." I accept that this is a valud metaphor for them. Some people say "God told me it would be Ok." I'm not inclined to ask if they actually heard a voice

As well the Inner Light, which I believe all of humanity has. It's a metaphor that Friends can relate to. Some people say we are "children if God," another metaphor.

EM has had a bad experience, and seems to be trying to figure out who these people are and why they are behaving badly. Answers from Friends on the Ship don't seem to satisfy EM who then has more questions. I know it's hard to convey tone in plain text, but it does, at times, feel like a grilling, as Mr. Cheesy pointed out, and as the "Aha!" statement earlier felt.

Learning about an unfamiliar faith is extremely hard when one has an ongoing difficult relationship with people who are part of that faith body. I'm sympathetic to that predicament. But I think the ability for threads on the Ship to assuage EMs residual feelings from this experience are not good, sadly.

EM, I'm very sorry that we can't seem to help out here.

sabine

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

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ExclamationMark
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Thanks everyone. What you have said has been helpful: I will be able to approach my conversations with Quakers with more understanding and grace.
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Amor
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Amor:
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

I think the problem with "Outreach" for Friends Christocentric or not is related to, for want of a better word, our universalism, the knowledge that God is within everyone. Early Friends called on people not to run after the clergy but to look within themselves to find the light of Christ. There remains a wariness of telling people what to believe, if anything accentuated by the fact that may contemporary Friends have come to Quakerism from other faith groups because they of their disatisfaction with being led and told what to believe

As to working within the broader community Friends individually and Meetings collectively don't shy from local involvement,although this can take different forms. Within my own Meeting which is near a London major prison, a large proportion pf our members are involved in different ways in working with and supporting those incarcerated. I don't know if you would count those in the local gaol as the local community, but its challenging and difficuly work and I'm glad that Friends are doing it.

Outreach is this case wasn't telling people what to believe, it was showing Christ's love.

It's just like your prison ministry which is very laudable. Please tell me, though, why the local Quakers here in this town are exclusively concerned about world issues but wouldn't be part of the Living Wage Coalition (not a church body) on their doorstep, when its proven that over 20% of people in this town live in wage poverty.

I take your point about a number of Quakers moving from other denominations. One of the main protagonist here left another denomination years ago and, to judge from his input into joint meetings (bearing and language), still has anger issues to resolve on that score

I'd also want to suggest - again from experience - that the reasons people leave churches isn't necessarily about being told what to believe. In some cases they want to cast God in their image and so leave to find a forum which is loose enough to accommodate that perspective. The issue with belief is only a cloak, albeit one that they fail to recognise.

A bad church experience (for whatever reason) makes one wary - you'll understand then why evangelicals might have issues with Quaker theology and praxis. The big question for some outsiders is this; how do you know as a Quaker that the light you find when you look within is truly the light of Christ, especially as it is self determining without external references?

I can't of course answer the question about the Meeting I dont know being unwilling to get involved in campaigning for a living wage.

You ask if we are seeking to create a god in our own image. Perhaps we do sometimes, but the same could be asked of anyone in any faith group, particularly those in positions of authority over others, in a context where the others are expected to accept and at times revere the leadership. History is scarred with the damage wrought by the Charismatic leader.

Within Quakerism we minister to our peers and leave it to them to discern the truth of ministry, they are our external referants. Quaker worship and ministry is collective and decision making is by the worshipping community listening together for the "still small voice" to guide us. Do we need other external authorities? Friends have a nuanced relationship with the Bible and other religious texts.One that many evangelicals might find challenging, but in reality not so different from that of many non-evangelicals who those evangelicals share denominations with. In some ways we may be closer to the Pentecostal and Charismatic movemengs with their belief that revelation is ongoing; but in reflctive calm, I personally feel we do so in a more rational and discerning way. In the end it's all about the Mystery of Faith.

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Doublethink.
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
The big question for some outsiders is this; how do you know as a Quaker that the light you find when you look within is truly the light of Christ, especially as it is self determining without external references?

Due to the activities of James Naylor early in the history of the Quaker movement, serious consideration was given to how folk discern whether something is a genuine leading of the spirit rather than a personal aspiration. There is a process called a meeting for worship for clearness, that Quakers in the unprogrammed worship tradition use for this kind of discernment.

It is a meeting for worship specifically convened to support a friend who feels they may be experiencing a leading of the spirit.

Depending upon how you understand what is happening in a meeting for worship, this is may be an opportunity for people within the community to reflect and feedback a consensus view on what is being suggested, or an opportunity to commune with the divine and be inspired by the holy spirit to understand whether the person is truely being called by God to do a specific thing.

In any case, it is testing against an external referent rather than solely being determined by an individual.

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Baptist Trainfan
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In fact St. Paul advocated much the same thing to the church at Corinth: "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said" (1 Cor. 14:29). This has also been true in the best - though not the worst! - of Charismatic churches.
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Jengie jon

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Exclamation Mark

You might be interested to read The Sacred Compass which is an American Quaker take on spiritual discernment. They apply the term far more widely than the rest of us and seem to have a far more developed system for discerning a 'leading'. I have reviewed The Sacred Compass as part of wider reading around spiritual direction I am doing slowly.

Quotation marks are used there because I think that is Quaker terminology.

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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sabine
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I think The Sacred Compass is a good resource, and I'm not saying this because the author is known to me and belongs to my Yearly Meeting (roughly comparable, but a bit different than, a church conference). [Smile]

sabine

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

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sabine
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Missed the edit window, and I wanted to say that Jenjie Jon wrote some very thoughtful things in her review.

Missed the fact that there are actually 5 streams of Quakerism in the US, but no matter. Even among Friends, classifications are a matter of ongoing discussion. [Smile]

sabine

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

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Gamaliel
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Thing is, I can see why evangelicals might have an issue with Quakers, but let's face it, many evangelicals have a problem with anyone who isn't evangelical not to mention the 'wrong' type of evangelical even ...

It wasn't just the Establishment that had an issue with the Friends. You've only got to read Bunyan's views on the Quakers to see that.

I sort of 'get' the Quakers, even though my theology would tend to be more conservative.

I'm on the editorial board of a Christian magazine and we have an annual residential at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham. I won't be able to make this year's. Last year's coincided with the election of Donald Trump.

The younger Friends were clearly agitated by this, understandably so. I sat in on their morning Meeting and it was far from quiet. All manner of agitated readings from the bloodier parts of Revelation.

I stuck my neck out and shared a few thoughts from something I'd observed at the evening meeting, a flower/plant arrangement where decay and new growth co-existed.

I used this as an analogy for how good and bad and indifferent coexist at any one time and the need to develop an equilibrium.

One of the Friends then shared something which struck a real chord with me, something which went from agitated cliche to poetic metre, almost. Very striking.

It beat everything I'd encountered in what passes for 'prophecy' in charismatic circles.

--------------------
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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Gamaliel
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Sorry to double-post but I also think Jengie is onto something with her observations about the Friends' discernment process.

No such process is infallible, but from what I've seen and heard the Quakers are more robust on this than those charismatic evangelicals who claim to have a stock in trade on these things.

The apparent lack of an 'external reference point' is certainly troublesome from an evangelical perspective, but then again many evangelicals tend to be chary of any reference point - be it the Church, Tradition, other criteria - other than their own, often subjective, particular 'take' on scripture ... which some of them don't even recognise to be a tradition like anyone else's.

I suppose the conclusion I've come to is that the Quaker Way is coherent and consistent within its own frame of reference, although I doubt it looks that way to many Friends themselves at times, let alone anyone else ...

Problems may then arise if there's an expectation that this frame of reference ought to apply to everyone else or that Quakers should conform to other people's reference points.

That appears to have happened, on both sides perhaps, in the instances EM and Baptist Trainfan cite.

I have to say that I wonder whether EM's commendable activism can have a flip-side. Frustration with lack of action can lead to judgementalism if we aren't careful. I struggle with that in things I'm involved with.

I can see why EM is frustrated that the Quakers weren't apparently supporting a fair wage initiative but at the same time I'm sure there were any number of worthy causes or initiatives that anyone around that table could have been challenged about.

'Not supporting the local XYZ? Call yourself a Christian? Call yourself an evangelical / Catholic / Quaker (delete as appropriate) ...?'

Anyhow, as EM says some good insights into Quakerdom here on this thread.

--------------------
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 Gamaliel:


The apparent lack of an 'external reference point' is certainly troublesome from an evangelical perspective...

In the Quaker tradition there is the Clearness Committee. It's purpose is not to tell a person what to do or give permission, but rather to listen and ask questions to help someone achieve clearness about a leading for him/herself and then the way forward with that leading.

Clearness Committee members do not decide whether a person's leadings are "ccorrect." In the course of reflection during a Clearness Committee, outside references certainly come into play, not authoritatively, but as suggestions to ponder.

Here is a description of how they work

sabine

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

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sabine
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Missed edit window. Clearness Committees can be used by a group as well as by an individual.

sabine

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

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sorry to double-post but I also think Jengie is onto something with her observations about the Friends' discernment process.

No such process is infallible, but from what I've seen and heard the Quakers are more robust on this than those charismatic evangelicals who claim to have a stock in trade on these things.

The apparent lack of an 'external reference point' is certainly troublesome from an evangelical perspective, but then again many evangelicals tend to be chary of any reference point - be it the Church, Tradition, other criteria - other than their own, often subjective, particular 'take' on scripture ... which some of them don't even recognise to be a tradition like anyone else's.

I suppose the conclusion I've come to is that the Quaker Way is coherent and consistent within its own frame of reference, although I doubt it looks that way to many Friends themselves at times, let alone anyone else ...

Agreed.

As part of my doctoral work, I did some study in Quaker discernment, and was impressed. One quote from a book written by a (small f) friend who is a (big F) Friend that I found particularly apt, especially in an American context: “If a Friend were asked if consensus tends to slow down or derail progress, he or she would probably reply, ‘That depends on what you consider progress!’"

Having seen how seen the fruit of corporate decision-making in more individualistic evangelical & Pentecostal contexts, I think he was on to something.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Gamaliel
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Yes, and it's certainly an area where I think the rest of us can learn from the Quakers.

It's often struck me how, in the UK at least, given the Quaker emphasis on inclusivity, reflection, social justice and what we might call a kind of spiritual 'mindfulness', one might expect them to have more adherents. They chime with the zeitgeist.

Of course, some would say that's a negative thing, but other expressions do so too, the informality of charismatic worship and fellowship for instance.

Quakers are thin on the ground. Only around 15,000 of them here from what I can gather. Many more in some countries.

I suppose one can hold Quaker style values without necessarily having to be one or formally align oneself.

I have a small f friend who meets with the Friends and who may well become one, I think. I can see how it 'fits' and suits her.

Meanwhile, although it's been observed that Quakers want their own way or apparently so, I think there's another aspect that should be noted. Whilst it's true that I've heard Quakers make disparaging remarks about how other groups 'tell people what to believe' and boast how they are free from the constraints found elsewhere, it's certainly true, in my experience, that they are very keen to recognise what they take to be evidence of divine activity, the work of the Spirit, elsewhere.

I remember hearing an Orthodox priest relate how a group of Quakers turned up unannounced at the Liturgy one Sunday morning simply because they wanted to listen and observe. When he spoke to them afterwards he was struck by how much they 'got' the essence of it, far more so in his judgement than some people from more formal liturgical backgrounds within Western Christianity.

Apparently, Romanides, a recent Greek theologian was intrigued by the Quakers and was convinced they'd encountered the Uncreated Light.

Equally, I've heard Quakers say that visiting RCs often 'get' what they are about given the contemplative and meditative traditions within Catholicism.

I'd suggest that this needs to be held up as a counter-balance to those times when others may have found the Friends perplexing or frustrating to deal 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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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
... It's often struck me how, in the UK at least, given the Quaker emphasis on inclusivity, reflection, social justice and what we might call a kind of spiritual 'mindfulness', one might expect them to have more adherents. They chime with the zeitgeist. ...

I'd suspect they like the idea of the Quakers, but don't want actually to sit in silence with others for an hour on a Sunday morning.

It's the flakier equivalent of people who would like to imagine that their local CofE church still has 'all services 1662' and none of that nasty shaking hands, but don't dream of actually wasting their precious time going there.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


The apparent lack of an 'external reference point' is certainly troublesome from an evangelical perspective...

In the Quaker tradition there is the Clearness Committee. It's purpose is not to tell a person what to do or give permission, but rather to listen and ask questions to help someone achieve clearness about a leading for him/herself and then the way forward with that leading.

Clearness Committee members do not decide whether a person's leadings are "ccorrect." In the course of reflection during a Clearness Committee, outside references certainly come into play, not authoritatively, but as suggestions to ponder.

Here is a description of how they work

sabine

Parker Palmer describes one of his own experiences with a Clearness Committee in Let Your Life Speak. He had been offered a prestigious position as president of a Quaker college. He writes that he formed a Clearness Committee cuz that's what they do, but mostly he wanted to brag indirectly about this great honor.

So the committee meets and does what it does-- pray and listen together. And then they ask him some gentle questions. They begin wtih the more obvious ones, "what are your goals? What would you like to accomplish in your first 5 years as president? What strengths do you bring?" etc.

Then the committee asked what should have been an easy one: "what would you like best about being president?" Palmer responded: "well, I wouldn't like having to wear a suit every day." The committee gently reminded him the question was what would you like, not what would you not like. So Palmer took another stab at it, but each time he was asked, he just kept saying things he wouldn't like-- having to leave the classroom, having to schmooze donors, etc etc.

Finally, after several rounds of answering the question with what he would not like, Palmer was forced to say quietly, "I guess I would like having my picture in the paper with the word "president' under it."

In typical Clearness style there was no rebuke, no advice given, no evaluation. Just one final question: "Is there a simpler way to get your picture in the paper?"

Palmer remained in the classroom.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Gamaliel
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When we lived up north and before we were married, my wife lodged with a sweet old couple in Leeds, overlooking Headingley Cricket Ground. Sacred soil to many.

The husband had been a professional footballer, a Battle of Britain pilot and a 'floor-walker' in a department store when such things were new to the UK. At one time he'd worked for a family-run Quaker firm.

The Friends there called everyone 'Friend' and still used 'thee'and 'thou' (although quite a few other people still did in Yorkshire back then, and still today to an extent).

He liked them but felt they were nepotists and promoted relatives beyond their capabilities.

The neice of the Quaker boss came to work in the typing pool where she quickly made a nuisance of herself. My friend dared to speak out about this at the weekly office meeting whereupon his boss sat back in his chair and said, 'Take thy papers, Friend' and summarily sacked him on the spot.

On the bus journey home, my friend resolved not to tell his wife until after they'd had their tea (evening meal to non-UK readers).

As they were sat there after the meal and he was summoning the courage to tell his wife, he saw his boss's hat bobbing past the window. Rat-a-tat. There was a knock on the back door. My friend opened it to find his boss on the doorstep. '8.30 sharp, Monday morning,' said the boss, then turned on his heels and walked away.

He'd reflected on his decision and relented.

I've told a few Quakers this story and they've all laughed. Times have changed but they recognise it.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Enoch
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Thank you Gamaliel. That tale works particularly well with the boss's voice bits in a Yorkshire accent.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Baptist Trainfan
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Huddersfield or Leeds rathr than Sheffield or Doncaster, I feel.
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Gamaliel
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It was Leeds indeed.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15437 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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