Clem Gerdelmann's Blog (84)

The Case of Inclusive vs. Exclusive

Inc.: As "that of God" applies to all people, so the Court of Quaker Opinion supports the inclusive nature of Quakerism.

Exc.: Then why the designation "Society", which derives from the Latin "partner, or companion"?

Inc.: We are a collective, or corporate, body of seekers.

Exc.: Never having graduated from "University", which derives from the Latin "collective, or crowd".

Inc.: Then we should change from being seen as a company to broadening our reach as a…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 10th mo. 6, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

The Case of Invest vs. Divest

Invest: Respecting the return on investment favored by the Court of Quaker Opinion, we put our money where our mouth is.

Divest: Helping the powerless to have a place at a politically-bankrupt table; the uneducated to get non-union wage jobs; and the disenfranchised to be assimilated into a culture of spending for the now, rather than saving for the future.

Invest: Deal with the world you're given.

Divest: And with the blessing of God for the poor, as "Blessed are the…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 9th mo. 29, 2014 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Liberation Lobotomy

Here at "Spirit and Truth" hospital we treat, in silence, everything from chronic racism to acute homophobia. We know, from experience, that just as depression is anger turned inward so also despair is oppression internalized.

In here, dysfunction has become the norm; and every condition, from self-identifying to self-destruction, is alternately embraced and rebelled against. Cases of feminist-fever, white-makes-right syndrome, stinking thinking, and gender-role resentment walk in…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 9th mo. 22, 2014 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

The Case of Re-veil vs. Revelation

Re-veil: Honoring and guarding the mystery of religious experience for the Court of Quaker Opinion, we adhere to the "absolute perhaps".

Revelation: A mystery is something that can not be understood in full. We do not put the veil back on, but continue to draw it back from the face of compassion.

Re-veil: We are open to the possibility of continuing revelation.

Revelation: But mess-with, more than mesh-with, what has already been unveiled.

Re-veil: Like a Deposit…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 9th mo. 15, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

The Making of a Donkey

First, assume that Quakerism is a "do-it-yourself" religion/movement. Next, assume that Quakerism is eclectic(universal/catholic is another animal entirely) regarding beliefs and practices. Thirdly, assume that you only have to follow that which you are personally comfortable and/or committed. And lastly, tether yourself to a post - for being docile or obstinate.

Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 9th mo. 8, 2014 at 6:30am — 9 Comments

The Case of False vs. True Prophet

False: Imbued, as the Court of Quaker Opinion is full of it, with the divine imperative for humanity; this is boldness, for God's sake.

True: The son of man is imbued with a human imperative for God that is humble, for the sake of truth.

False: The son of God, as man, knows where his allegiance lies.

True: And so abandons what he is called to embrace for what has always been outside his grasp.

False: Putting yourself on the side of righteousness is pitting…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 9th mo. 1, 2014 at 7:00am — 3 Comments

The Win-Win

At the time of the early debates regarding the Eucharist, the all-too-commercial desire for a win-win arrangement was harnessed by having/controlling the Real Presence of Christ. The Catholic Church claimed an ordained mandate to "Transubstantiation". In particular, a "win" for priests having the ability to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, as well as a "win" for communicants receiving/possessing Christ - by hand rather than by heart.

Wrongly interpreting Luke…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 8th mo. 25, 2014 at 7:00am — 14 Comments

The Case of Confused vs. Infused

Con: "With" the Court of Quaker Opinion, we hold to the innate capacity for human perfection.

In: You mean the human complexity for God-given perfection.

Con: Not if you have a Testimony of Simplicity.

In: You mean Plain-ness, which reflects the Original Poverty, as need rather than capacity, of humanity.

Con: It is Simplicity when you have moved from poverty.

In: You mean a move next to or across from it - like the flight to the ever-expanding…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 8th mo. 18, 2014 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

Humanity's 4-H Club

Hearth and home have been replaced by microwave and house; "help me, please" and "that hurts" replaced by drama and endurance training.

Result: Heads in the sand, hearts on the sleeve, hands on the wheel AND phone, and health on drugs.

The very first volume of American poetry(published in England), like the youth programs sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, hit upon the formula for complementarity: Four Elements, Seasons, Ages of Man and Freedoms(illustrated by Norman…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 8th mo. 11, 2014 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

The Case of Old Rondelay vs. Old Bugbear

O.R.: Not to subject the Court of Quaker Opinion to a long song and dance, we strive for rhythm and rhyme in the individual experience of the sacred.

O.B.: Deaf, however, to the eruption and thunderclap of the sacred - that you are too busy justifying your experience of.

O.R.: God is heard in the soft breeze and in the silence.

O.B.: Yet, God is reverenced, OR not, in the cross-purposes of the individual life.

O.R.: Obviously, we are not playing with the same…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 8th mo. 4, 2014 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

The Prophet In The Midst

Like a thorn in your side is the prophet in the midst. It refuses to budge, like the splinter under your skin. A persistent irritation at least but, more likely, acute inflammation is the dreaded effect of this dis-ease.

No wonder religion has not been good to, let alone understanding of, the prophet in the midst. "He was too far ahead of his time" or "She just couldn't accept the way things are" is the historical/hysterical explanation for the impending backlash. And the unarmed…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 7th mo. 28, 2014 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

The Case of Meantime vs. Endtime

Meantime: Sparing the Court of Quaker Opinion the wait, we live in the "Here and  Now" as gift, or the present.

Endtime: Forgetting the inevitability of human death/destruction, and missing the opportunity for reconciliation, or the eternal present.

Meantime: Doing the most good in the little time we have upon this earth?

Endtime: Uniting with, as well as answering, that of God in each other.

Meantime: Before it's too late to do so?

Endtime: As the only way…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 7th mo. 21, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

The Road Less-Travelled

According to Pink Dandelion, Quakers have resurrected the low-speed, two-lane, unlimited access road. Actually, he writes(in An Introduction To Quakerism): "...a Seeker C type...operate a doctrine of the 'absolute perhaps' and they operate it in a prescriptive way. In other words, these Friends are zealous, even fundamentalist, about their theological stance."

Thankfully, the way offered provides for the slow-moving plain-conservatives to enter the fray in one lane…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 7th mo. 14, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Case of Rebuilt vs. Authentic

Rebuilt: As the Court of Quaker Opinion can promote, we have the task of re-assembling the grand, old model of Quakerism.

Authentic: What, as spiritual hobby, you value as antique.

Rebuilt: And, in need of enhanced performance.

Authentic: As vehicle, rather than horse-and-pony, show.

Rebuilt: As rebuilt in a post-modern version of itself.

Authentic: To answer the hip roadsters of contemporary religion?

Rebuilt: To take the model off historical…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 7th mo. 7, 2014 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

The Great Arrogation

The arrogant claim is plain simplicity when it used to be primitive Christianity and egalitarianism. The ignorant rationalization is ascribing to Rationalism, without reason.

The "donut Quaker" is all puffed-up outside, but rather empty of inner substance; embraces the flavoring, but abhors shelf-life; goes well with conferences, but not with nutritional confidence.

Rugged individuals are quick to stake their claim to opportunity, as well as open territory. The "Live and Let…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 30, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Case of Fever vs. Passion

Fever: Call us drama-queens, but the Court of Quaker Opinion is fired-up over conventional interpretations of religious life.

Passion: As the human body suffers from inflammation.

Fever: Engagement with diseased perspectives is the war that we wage.

Passion: Rather than compassionate reflection and communal remediation.

Fever: Intentional correctives stem from the heat of the moment.

Passion: Or, the fevered grab, as medicating, for the quick and easy…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 23, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

The Stark Reality

When it comes to love, Quakers are reluctant to face the stark reality that we are always the bridesmaid. Truth, unlike in politics, forbids us from claiming tough love, on the one hand, or the liberal bleeding heart, on the other. Nomenclators of history remind us that a rose by any other name, as "compassionate conservatism", is both thorny to handle and false to itself.

Like the beloved disciple, we should honestly admit being loved rather than loving. Truly, for us, love is…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 16, 2014 at 6:30am — 3 Comments

The Case of Centering vs. Re-centering

Centering: As inspires the Court of Quaker Opinion, attention is given to that which is found within ourselves.

Re-centering: You mean below the surface of facile and trite approaches to encountering that of God?

Centering: That of God at the center of every human being.

Re-centering: That would be the ego, or "I", and not the Other, or "Thou".

Centering: God, as Other, is found within each person, if looked for there.

Re-centering: Sounds convenient if the…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 9, 2014 at 7:30am — 4 Comments

The Simulacrum

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was not the words of homo-sapiens. The Word was God, but languages the simulacrum. As imitation can be a form of flattery, humanity is a nice reflection(we resemble God's re-mark?) of the Word. Made in the image and likeness of Love and Truth, however, is a big bill to pay.

As it was much easier to look to the natural world for the measure of human worth, the picture of perfection was painted over. The Master-piece, as hidden, became…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 6th mo. 2, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

The Case of Rust vs. Abrasive

Rust: Like Calvinists of old and the modern rationalist-philosopher Thomas Hobbes, we warn the Court of Quaker Opinion of the inherent selfishness of human nature.

Abrasive: Whether the "amicable collision" of Shaftesbury's England or the pranksters on the American frontier, basic human incivility is a natural abrasive.

Rust: Without a social contract, mayhem rules as anarchy.

Abrasive: Without the usurping power structure, people are forced to get along and encouraged…

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Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 5th mo. 26, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

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