Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Anthony Manousos: Reflections on the Quaker Testimonies
One reason many Friends have lost touch with the Inward Light and rely instead on external Testimonies is that we have become too conventionally educated and “heady.” There is nothing wrong with relying on reason or on authority to some extent, according to Brinton, but they are not enough. We need the guidance of something greater and deeper than human means, something that Friends called the “Inward Light.”
Video: A (very) brief history of Quakers
The Young Friends of Richmond Friends Meeting in Virginia worked on this with me for six months or so, studying some of the most important moments in Quaker history and generally having a good time.
I also think that Gordon’s spiritual side was key too... I don’t remember Gordon as an overtly spiritual or religious person when I was a teenager, and yet in the course of reading the letters and the diaries, I think his spirituality was definitely something that sustained him.
"How can I embrace those times when I find myself at odds with others, welcoming conflict as an opportunity to speak the truth in love and listen deeply to where the Holy Spirit is leading us together? "
One result of that break is the undermining of the traditional Quaker reliance on spiritual discernment. Private revelations, including the prescriptive kind called “leadings,” are susceptible to delusion and should be subjected to group discernment, but the definition of such experiences as self-validating and therefore exempt from critical examination, a definition which the… read more
If the Spirit of Jesus is doing wonderful new things in the world (as Quakers have always maintained), what role might the Religious Society of Friends play in this new Movement? We were - and still are - part of those declining church numbers. Is there anything our Quaker tradition can offer to this rising chorus?
"I hope that we begin to understand more deeply that our treasures, whether burial grounds, meeting houses, or Quaker practice and tradition, are not ours alone—that our continued survival and relevance is connected to sharing what we know and understand with others in and beyond our communities, and to learning with and from our neighbors. "
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