Thoughts on Dually-Affiliated Friends

I’ve always felt a certain discomfort about Nontheist Friends and other dually-affiliated Friends. (But, you protest, aren’t you a dually-affiliated Friend?? Yes, but I don’t identify as a Buddhist Quaker or a Quaker Buddhist: I am both a Buddhist and a Quaker.) Some of this discomfort about Nontheist Friends stemmed from preconceptions I, as a theist* (more on that later), had. A few weeks ago, I joined a Nontheist Friends Google group. At the time, I was questioning my belief in God. I’d recently come across several passages in Buddhist books that described theism as, basically, the adult version of a blankie: the belief in a supernatural being that could, at a moment’s notice, if one prayed hard enough, fix all of your problems. This was not my kind of theism, so I began to wonder if I might actually be one of those “nontheist Friends” I actually mocked with another Friend a few years ago...


Here’s the thing: while I am a Buddhist, I don’t expect my Quaker Meeting to be Buddhist. I don’t expect messages delivered in Meeting for Worship to be given in Buddhist terms. I don’t–and wouldn’t, unless I had a very, very clear sense of being Led–give ministry in Meeting for Worship using Buddhist terms.


Quakerism, while it is a faith where anyone can join us in worship, no matter what they do or not believe, is a religion rooted in Christian mysticism. Historically, those are our roots. And what concerns me about this Friend’s comment is I worry that some dually-affiliated Friends may be trying to deny those roots. Again, I do not believe that one needs to be Christian to be a Quaker. (I do not identify as a Christian.) But I do feel that one needs to understand and respect Quakerism’s Christian roots. Quaker language and tradition have evolved from these roots, to be sure, but the roots are there.


(Full post here:


Views: 99

Comment by Jon on 7th mo. 29, 2011 at 7:29pm
Hi Funnel101
Have you read or seen "Jesus in the Lotus" by Russill Paul? I have the book, but have not gotten to it yet. I did hear R. Paul being interviewed, he labeled being a Buddhist & Quaker as"Interspiritual".
Comment by funnel101 on 7th mo. 29, 2011 at 7:46pm
I had not seen or read that book, but it looks fascinating! I've requested it through Inter-library loan and will share my thoughts on it. :) Thanks so much for the suggestion.
Comment by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 7th mo. 30, 2011 at 12:39pm
Thank you for the respect you offer us.
Comment by funnel101 on 7th mo. 30, 2011 at 12:44pm
You're welcome!
Comment by James C Schultz on 8th mo. 25, 2011 at 5:24pm

Mat 13:52

You might find this scripture verse worth some meditation and then again you might not.  Just a suggestion.

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
Comment by Jon on 8th mo. 26, 2011 at 1:41am
Hi James. I read your comment and scripture quote. I was wondering what it means to you? I find reading old english hard to understand. Thanks
Comment by James C Schultz on 8th mo. 26, 2011 at 5:30pm

The way this scripture was first explained to me was that god will reveal things to us by using both the old and new testaments.  As I have read other inspired works I have come to find that my understanding of the old and new testaments is enlarged by revelations of how these other writings and teachings confirm what I have been shown through the bible.  Sometimes we think we know what something says and then we read it in a new translation or under new circumstances and the Holy
Spirit opens it up even more.  The more we open ourselves up to divine writings and teachings the more we are able to know God or approach the Divine.  The caveat is of course that not everything that claims to be divinely inspired is but if we are honest with God He will lead us into all truth.


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