Home > Church, community, higher education, Quakers > Quakers, Justice and Jesus – Part 1

Quakers, Justice and Jesus – Part 1

I’ve been working on a short document on Quakers and diversity. This is part of our Theological Statement on Diversity at George Fox University, and while there could be a lot written about the subject, I tried to give a brief overview in a small amount of space. Over the next few days I’ll post snippets of it…

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Rufus Jones has written, “What does happen…to persons whose inner life has been vivified and quickened, is that they begin at once to feel a passion for the enrichment and enlargement of the lives of others” (Jones, 44). This inward awakening, this belief in the immediate presence of Jesus Christ in every human led the earliest Quakers to develop a way of living their religious convictions through what became known over time as the Quaker testimonies – simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship.

These testimonies, described by Dandelion as the “consequences of the spiritual life as expressed in daily life,” (221) are the basis for any Quaker understanding of and investment in any form of diversity. If one truly believes that Christ is present to all people, then there can be no other response but to create and invest in communities that reflect the entirety of God’s creation. What follows are examples of these beliefs as experienced in the Quaker movement. Though they are not exhaustive, they begin to paint a picture of the important work done by Quakers over the past 300 years.

There is inherent in the word “church” a structure often defined by rigidity. A byproduct of institutionalization, this rigidity often carries with it negative connotations that reformation-minded people long to shatter into indistinguishable pieces from which new life might spring.

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More to come tomorrow…

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