I keep being surprised that people are surprised to find that christians are not the "straw man" they seem to be expecting. Jesus is reported as starting the saying after all - "Matthew ch7 v21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." I guess it baffles me that so many people amongst Quakers seem to be in the fellowship of the holy spirit, drawn into this church (Quakers) and yet denying that we are christians.
Yes, we aren't necessarily the same kind of christians as some of those centuries-old creeds appear to think are important, or as the straw man in the head of anyone who hasn't done the spiritual work to get through to the god they can honestly worship. I think it's obvious from George Fox's works to the Gospels that we are living a way which is about the truth and cutting back to what is real. Love really exists; it is manifest every day, people do incredible things to feed their children and to help strangers. Praise God, Love is Real! Why is it hard to admit that is following Jesus? To me it comes across as deceit to deny that the experience of unity with Jesus in scripture is the foundation of our church. We need truth in advertising, we can't pretend that Quakers are not christians, the truth is important.
I don't presume that I know the exact limits of that Love, so I am happy to join with all the millions who praise God and save the conversations about what exactly that means for when we need to do creative conflicting together. I don't understand why some of those of you who seem to be in unity with Friends from the way you hang around, seem to also be convinced that the heart of the faith is something alien to you. Do you really not find Jesus in your heart, a model of a man who lived and was faithful to truth unto death, finding resources to transform and heal? Aren't you united in living in the transforming power of truthful love?
I know I've had a lot of encouragement from other Friends to dig deep and understand that we are united. I have benefited such an amount from other christians showing me how scripture can be read from the persepctive of the oppressed - it only make sense to me that way! So I want to pass on to you encouragement to understand that if you love truth and experience the power of nonviolent love and Quaker's stripped-down way of living with God, you are following the way of Jesus and there's no need to feel you aren't.
I guess I sometimes get the impression it's important to some people that you don't mean the same as someone else does when they use the word God or Jesus. I wonder if that's coming from humility and faithfulness to the truth you experience? Maybe it is - but how on earth do you know that other person means something difference? Why not talk to them, united in the body of God, and find how you can light each other to the glory of God?
Lucretia Mott's words quoted recently by Hystery seem to me to be uncontroversial testimony of following Jesus, I know I'm in the same church as her. It puzzles me that there are so many people amongst Quakers who don't acknowledge that this is a church, part of christianity, and that it's fine to be your kind of christian: what is more important is doing what faith requires - following those promptings of God, building peace, feeding the hungry, teaching the impoverished, and raising up the oppressed. We've been given a toolkit of techniques for christian discipine and a manual of scripture to do that job, the most important thing to me is to live it to the glory of God. Enlighten me?