On Sunday, May 19th, 13 Meetings joined together as the New Association of Friends. Check out their "wedding certificate"!
Quakers should care about this because, among evangelical Friends, and in an unreflective way, something like Challies’s view is becoming more common. Rachel Held Evans shows how one can take the Bible seriously and yet not think it is God’s only and last word.
For many of us, this begs the question: What is the point of having shared beliefs at all? If the whole point of the gospel is right action, could it be that intellectual beliefs are superfluous at best – and, at worst, even harmful?
The double fall in members and attenders comes despite Quakers having had high profile media coverage over the past couple of years, predominantly for their stance on recognising same-sex marriage as equal to different-sex marriage and campaigning for a change in the law to make it possible for Quakers to marry same-sex couples. The figures will give impetus to the new ‘vibrancy in meetings’ initiative that Quakers in Britain are developing.
As Friends, we often tell ourselves--and one another--that we must wait to be led by the Spirit before acting. But what I'm continuing to awaken to is that the intention to wait for such a leading has a harmful impact on entire communities that are suffering at the hands of oppressive bureaucratic systems
If we Trust in God, isn’t it enough to know that we will be led on the path, however long and winding, that each of us is meant to be on? Isn’t Faith more than believing the “right” things, following the “correct” doctrine, infant baptism or full emersion, transubstantiation or consubstanitation, cessationism or continuing revelation, chilism versus realized eschatology...oh, where does it end?
One British Friend wonders how he fits into the present-day landscape of Quakerism in the UK.
There is no opt-out clause to the call to prophet-hood—other than to refuse to hear. Scripturally, all are chosen, and from there it is a matter of listening. God –from the Old German “Gotte” – means to call upon, to hear a call. A prophet is one who hears the divine call of justice and answers- warning us of the consequences of our actions and that our personal transformation is requisite for that other world to be revealed.
Being a successful Quaker minister, however, is all about being faithful to God, which may not make you popular at all.
For a world that seems to be crying out for unfettered spirituality, a world that questions authoritative leadership, a world that longs for spiritual transformation that is based on love; why aren’t liberal Quaker meeting houses overflowing with seekers?