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Viewpoint from Lynn Meale for 2nd August 2013
 

 

Lynn Meale,
Member of Yarmouth Quaker Meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends. 



 
Hello friends,
 
As a stranger to you perhaps you question why I address you thus.
 
The answer is simple, Jesus asks us to ‘love one another’; to nurture our common humanity, to value and respect others, a difficult task which requires tolerance. Jesus does not ask the impossible; for us to like everybody, he knows our frailties.
 
As a Quaker I am encouraged to ‘seek that of God in everyone’ which I understand to mean that as all people possess a divine spark (which I choose to call my soul) then the option where to exercise tolerance vanishes. This divine spark I believe to be God given and the tool to which we can respond to God and mankind.
 
It is easy to practise tolerance with those who are like us but much more difficult   with others of a different faith or culture.
 
The British Quaker manner of worship is to sit together silently trying to discern God’s will.  Sharing ministry only when we think it may be of benefit to others.  This may seem strange to you.
 
As Quakers come from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds, they hold diverse beliefs. The unifying bonds which bind Quakers together are our Social Testimonies for instance the Peace Testimony. I cannot presume to speak for other Quakers.
 
I believe if we look for our similarities instead of our differences then we can all work together tDove righto achieve common goals.
 
Surely we all strive to become the best person we can be, following God’s will as we understand it, struggling together to create a more wholesome world for everybody.
 
Somebody once said to me ‘Quakerism is more of a way of life than a religion.’ I regarded this as a great compliment.  I would be overjoyed to think that all of my life and self is lived in such harmony with God’s will that my existence would be a living homage to God.  Sadly I fall short of this ideal; being all too human.
 
I would like to share this story with you.
 
A man named George died and went to Heaven, where he met St Peter at Heaven’s gate.  George held in his hand a large crystal. St Peter said ‘Welcome George. What is that you are holding’?  George replied ‘This crystal contains the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth regarding the path to follow to reach Heaven in death. I wish to give it to you as a gift’. As he stretched out his arm to give it away it fell from his hand to earth; shattering into many shards.  George’s face fell in dismay.  St Peter said consolingly ‘Never mind George you don’t need it now as you have already reached Heaven.’ George replied ‘What is worrying me, is that all those who find one shard may think they have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the only path to Heaven, when they just have a piece of it’.
 





 
Feedback:
MikeJ (Guest) 05/08/2013 19:47
George Fox would not recognise the above as anything like the beliefs of the Society of Friends.

The peace he championed was the Peace of Christ, the will of God, Christ speaking in the conscience of the believer, a far more specific experience than the above is able to communicate.

"I believe if we look for our similarities instead of our differences then we can all work together to achieve common goals"

This statement is the stuff of Babel, they had a common goal but it did not start in Christ or the will of God and was stopped for that reason.

"Somebody once said to me ‘Quakerism is more of a way of life than a religion.’ I regarded this as a great compliment. I would be overjoyed to think that all of my life and self is lived in such harmony with God’s will that my existence would be a living homage to God. Sadly I fall short of this ideal; being all too human."

This statement reveals two things at least, firstly that the understanding of religion and faith is flawed both are a way of life one however is a Gift of the spirit the other just men doing their best guess, which is all we can do if not renewed in the power of the Gospel. Secondly that here there is no understanding of The Gospel and Newness of Life.

If you don't believe the Gospel you will remain believing that you are still a sinner and that you fall short. Quakers were once all about Jesus, suffering regularly for His sake and winning tolerance in the end from James the 2nd and freedom from the formerly oppressive religious Church System.

Fortunately it is impossible to only have a piece of Jesus,Who is the way and the truth and the life, we either are his or not.

The Gospel is all we need to understand, Jesus sacrifice reconciled us to the Father who is Love and we are His delight, Sin is answered in the Cross and we do not need to think we are sinners any more. We are New in Christ in whom there is no darkness including us!

Fox preached a union with Jesus that revealed truth and how to live by that Union in the Holy Spirit, by this spirit he , Fox, was sustained through many trials and gained his confidence to preach against the Church authority and anything in opposition to the Truth.

To the point he once preached to a priest, "you place your bread and your wine in a cupboard for a month and I mine and a month later they will be as mouldy and rotten as each other" so powerful was the preach an earthquake followed.

Quakers and shakers got their name because they shook under the power of God in their meetings, a manifestation currently less frequent I guess.

Come on people get back to the Gospel drink the wine of Heaven and let the vine Himself get you so drunk and joyful you know you're not a sinner and who your God is.