The following is an excerpt from a new post titled "The Cross in Quaker Faith," which can be found on Abiding Quaker..

On the other hand, what if the cross is set aside as irrelevant and given no place within present-day Liberal Quaker faith and practice? Dismissing this reference point of the cross (and thereby denying the reality of the sin and alienation that it is meant to overcome) do we not humor ourselves into claiming that our best efforts and intentions are already divinely inspired? Remember the error–the profound human error–made by the Hebrews in the desert: we usurp God’s wisdom and authority and replace them with our own lesser capacities. Says Rufus Jones:

If any supposes that Friends have inclined to be “humanists” and to assume that man is so inherently good that he can lift himself by his own belt into a life of consummate truth and beauty, he has not yet caught the deeper note of Quaker faith (Quaker Spirituality, 278).

The “deeper note” to which Jones refers is the cross,“the power of God,” as Fox reminds us. By the power of God, which is known only through the inward cross, can we carry forward the hope and obligation enjoined upon us.

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Comment by Forrest Curo on 4th mo. 18, 2017 at 10:14am

Ideas are important in shaping how we understand what we're knowing; but they aren't What-or-Who we're learning to know.

Different people (or same people at different times) will find a particular phrase helpful (or unhelpful) -- but some phrases do express more accurate models of Whom we're all dealing with.

That 'Whom' -- 'God' is the traditional and well-available word -- does love human beings as is.

People need the distinction between what we're like when we're well-integrated with God's will vs the kind of 'self-will' that we ought to have won'ted. God just keeps on creating our development moment by moment.

You don't need to crucify a baby; you need to let it grow up. Sometimes, in growing up, a sense of our immaturity and inadequacy is a great motivator. Persisted in, it becomes needlessly painful, and eventually counterproductive.

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