Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
Prior to seeking membership in my local Meeting, I listened to lots of YouTube videos and read several biographies about early Quakers, My takeaway was that the Quaker space might be a place where I could explore my relationship with God, void of judgement. That, in some degree, has been the case with one exception: God and Christ are rarely discussed in my local Meeting.
It seems that God and Christ have become not exactly estranged but something close to it. The word Spirit and phrase "in the Light" are prevalent themes, but there seems to be little attention paid to where that Spirit and "Light" comes from. It's like a secret code. Understood, but not talked about. It's interesting, the same reluctance to talk about money seems to overflow into discussions about the source of our faith. Anyway, I drank from George Fox's cup because he and Margaret Fell and yes, Lucretia Mott, and the folks responsible for Pendle Hill, spoke to my heart.
It is likely that leading modern Quakers into the future will require breaking a few eggs with compassion and the love expressed by Benson.....it will also require courage and conviction.
How can we have a Religious Society without God? Doesn't seem to be a lot of Truth in that mantra! And, how have we become so arrogant that we forget the title given to Christ by the Apostles - Rabbi, Teacher?
i used to think that I was a complicated man seeking a simple life. I realize now that I am a simple man who has lived a complicated life. My goal, in the next and perhaps last chapter of my life is to be a simple man living a simple life, girded by a simple Truth.....I require a great Teacher and Friend and Consul....the alternative is a life alone.....why would I prefer that?
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Some years ago, I resolved to get some understanding of what the Old Testament Scriptures meant by the term "spirit." I chose O T because it is from that background that the New Testament writers wrote. The best I can describe what I found is that, when referring to the spirit of God, spirit is the agent of life. It is tied to the story of creation as the breath breathed into man, Joel prophesied that God would pour out this agent of life upon all flesh. Isaiah asks, "Why do you regard man whose [spirit] is in his nostrils?" Comparing by implication with God whose source of life is not in his nostrils but is the essence of His being. Then comes the writer of the book of John. "In the beginning was the Word..." no longer just an exhalation of air (breath) but now an intelligible communication to mankind. "In him (the Word) was life and the life was the light of man." And the "light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overpower it nor comprehend it." To as many as place their trust in this intelligible communication, the Word, to them he gave power to become children of God, even to those who believe in his authority. And the word became flesh and dwells among us, full of grace that teaches us, bringing salvation ... So when people try to disassociate 'spirit' and 'light' from any connection to God and Christ, do they have any understanding what they are divorcing themselves from? This Word, this light that comes from the Word, is the agent of life. The intelligible communication, the comprehensible communication is the teacher that brings salvation. Thus God spoke on the mountain of transfiguration, "This is my chosen one, HEAR HIM." This process of divorce is a wholesale rejection of life itself.