Post Reply
Page 4 of 4  •  Prev 1 2 3 4
Switch to Forum Live View Considering joining the Quakers but...
5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 10:44PM #31
kevin roberts
Posts: 28

You don't need to apologize for anything. It has never occured to me that you have said anything offensive.


You'll find that many people who struggle with theism have trouble looking at it in any way except that of whatever dysfunctional church they are escaping. Recovering Christians are especially at risk because they often maintain strong opposition to some church body that wounded them, and have trouble perceiving that their messed-up church was genuinely messed up and was not representative. Lots of theists, for example, also don't share the "man in the sky" imagery.


Your relationship with God is up to you and God to develop, not for others to demarcate. On the other hand, Liberal Friends especially have fallen into the trap of backing away from religious evangelism too far, in my opinion, and don't point to open doors they see even when someone is looking for them. I don't tell people what they should believe, but I strongly encourage them to try certain techniques of spiritual exploration and see where it takes them.


Ciao

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 11:11PM #32
Intotheblue
Posts: 265

Jan 18, 2010 -- 10:44PM, kevin roberts wrote:


Your relationship with God is up to you and God to develop, not for others to demarcate. On the other hand, Liberal Friends especially have fallen into the trap of backing away from religious evangelism too far, in my opinion, and don't point to open doors they see even when someone is looking for them. I don't tell people what they should believe, but I strongly encourage them to try certain techniques of spiritual exploration and see where it takes them.




And I hope you know that approach is appreciated, Kevin. Personally I don't believe in evangelizing, and I don't think what you do is evangelizing. It's the open sharing of beliefs because you sincerely care about other people and you want them to have the chance to be content with their spirituality. Evangelists pretend they're doing the same thing ("if you love someone, you don't want them to go to hell, so you must do everything you can to convert them") but there are huge differences.


1. You don't necessarily believe your way is the right way for everyone. You encourage people to look within. As you said, "Your relationship with God is up to you and God to develop." Evangelists don't do that. They want to spell out the exact formula you must use to get to their God. Even if it doesn't feel right to you, and doesn't really fulfill your search. That's not sincere love, to me.


2. You have actual conversations with people, not preaching sessions. You listen to them, you see them as a person, and then you open a door for them. You don't shove them through the doorway, tell them how they have to go through the doorway, how they have to feel and think when they go through the doorway, what they have to do when they get through the doorway, and so on. You let them decide and explore for themselves, which shows respect, which is a sign of real love.

Namaste.

.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2010 - 11:38PM #33
kevin roberts
Posts: 28


Well, Jan, I'm a Quaker. That's what we do.


Even the ones I disagree with get lots of it right.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2011 - 6:24PM #34
Rhpabp
Posts: 1

I grew up the Society of Friends in what I would today call Christian lite near Philadelphia. Nobody got saved. Prayer was a personal execise.  There was no dogma, no pastor.  It was the most loving, caring, supportive community I have ever known.  I'm 62 and I'm a 10th generaqtion Quaker.


Today, Christianity is hardly even part of my world or my thinking.  I really have no interest in it, but my Quaker beliefs and manner of seeking are as strong as ever.  It is the concept of "continuing revelation", the comitment to truth and a commintment to love and peace that most interests me about Friends.


As one Friend said, those of us who appear to others as "liberal", or "universalist" Friends (I don't like the term "liberal" and I have never been to Universalist Church...I have no interest in churches) are in the minority.  However, I am very aware of the others around me.  There are several different types of Friends communities where I live.  I'm sure most Quakers see the style they practice as the most in keeping with early Friends, and as a silent meeting Quaker, with no pastor, so do I.  The ealiest American and British Friends built their meetinghouse with no place for a preacher, no nearby home for a pastor and no structure to accommodate either.  The existence of other styles of Quaker paractice hold no interest for at all and they don't even seem like Quakers to me...they do, indeed, seem like copies of any other Protestant Church and, to me, seem to have left the Society of Friends altogether.   So, for me, the Religious Society of Friends is a very small, open, vibrant community of seekers and I am perfectly satisfied with that.


 


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 4 of 4  •  Prev 1 2 3 4
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook