A Friend After 50 Years

A record of one journey into a peculiar type of Quaker Christianity, and a bit of silliness to boot.

Location: Arkansas

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Innies and Outies

Our meeting held an "open dialog" Sunday. I referred to the following quote of Wm. Penn, particularly the first line:

"They were changed men themselves before they went about to change others. Their hearts were rent as well as their garments, and they knew the power and work of God upon them...And as they freely received what they had to say from the Lord, so they freely administered it to others. The bent and stress of their ministry was conversion to God, regeneration and holiness, not schemes of doctrines and verbal creeds or new forms of worship, but a leaving off in religion the superfluous and reducing the ceremonious and formal part, and pressing earnestly the substantial, the necessary and profitable part, as all upon a serious reflection must and do acknowledge."

Preface to Fox's Journal (1694), As quoted in London Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice

Another Friend referred to a divide over activism versus quietism (my words). I did not intend to set up a dichotomy between the two. Neither would Penn, who also said:

"True religion does not draw men out of the world but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it." No Cross, No Crown.

So if I have a critique, it would not be of "action" per se. But I would ask, echoing the old song, "There's a Hole in the Bucket," "with what shall we do it?" Can we notice when we are rushing into heady conversations that we are merely "getting something done" without drawing on our spiritual source? Might we not then pause and ask ourselves, how is the Light guiding us with respect to the action proposed?

'What can I do?' - SiCKO