Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Quakers

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There are two kinds of Quaker: What I will call "Type 1" is the original, unorganized type. The other more closely resembles other forms of Protestantism. For me, Type 1, the unorganized, is preferable. They are not so "hung up" on structure, discipline, church-organization and administration as are the Type 2 Quakers. They are much simpler in structure, and much more spontaneous.

If anyone is seeking a more "traditional" group, with a strongly mystical flavor, this is it! In their gatherings, they often just sit quietly, awaiting messages from the Holy Spirit, which can come to anyone, male or female, at any time. (The second type is bigger on prepared sermons and "Bible-study," etc.)

But both types trace their origins to the mystic George Fox in the seventeenth century. Type 2 has evolved considerabbly from the original roots, and might have even doctrines. But the only teaching of Group 1 is "the interior Light," which you must personally consult with problems and questions about truth. This type of Quaker might well belong to a loose confederation of other churches, but each church is essentially independent, as is each person. A number of good books have been written about the Quakers, available in most libraries.

If you are looking for people with whom to share the truth (reality), you would greatly enrich your experience by checking out the Type 1 Quakers!
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1 comment:

Brad said...

I am one of the type one Quakers, as described. Let me clarify some points. We call our gathering places and worship "meeting houses" and "meetings" not "churches" (type two, or programmed, Quakers call their building and worship "church"). Many of the unprogrammed Quakers (type one) belong to yearly meetings (a grouping of other local meetings called monthly meetings). And there is one larger grouping, namely Friends General Conference, though other unprogrammed Friends (Quakers) are called "Conservative" and others yet are independent at the monthly or yearly meeting level.

The worship process described in the note is generally correct; however, there is much more relational interaction in a sense of a "beloved community" going on. And Friends are often described as pratical mystics, because we take our experience of the divine into our daily living, often seen by others in our peace and social justice work.