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5.1 Christianity


This article is from the The Religious Society of Friends FAQ, by Marc Mengel mengel.nospam@users.sourceforge.net with numerous contributions by others.

5.1 Christianity

The Religious Society of Friends is a Christian organization,
in the sense that it is originally based on the teachings of
Jesus in the New Testament. You will in general find some
disagreement among Friends about whether there was a Virgin
Birth, whether various miracles were supernatural occurances
or religious embellishments, whether Jesus was The Son of God,
or just one of God's children etc. You will in general find
agreement that those differences are not important :-).

We *can* all agree that certain things "feel Right," that there
is a part of us that knows what right and wrong are, and that
that part of us is the "Inner Light", or in some sense God.

Friends have our own traditional Universalism, which is
quite different from Unitarian Universalism. One may find
many expressions of our traditional Quaker Universalism in the
writings of George Fox, Isaac Penington, Robert Barclay, William
Penn, John Richardson, and other first- and second-generation
Friends -- and in the writings of John Woolman, etc. -- and yes,
in the writings of Joseph John Gurney too.

This traditional Quaker Universalism does not say that
all religions are completely true, let alone that they are
equally true. But it affirms that, as all people have the Light
(John 1:9), so they have it whether they consider themselves
Christians or not; and people of all faiths and upbringings may
give expression to the promptings of that Light in their words and
deeds, so that, as a result, one finds the Light expressing itself
from time to time through religious leaders within *all* faiths.
Thus in a religion which overall contains many errors -- be it
Buddhism or Hinduism or Protestantism or Catholicism -- there
will nevertheless be some genuine and wonderful expressions of
the Light. One who knows Christ will recognize and honor these
expressions of the Light, even as she recognizes and avoids the
errors elsewhere in those religions.

This is why, at Quaker Meetings, people occasionally refer to
the _Tao Te Ching_, the _Koran_, etc. at Meetings as well as
various translations of the _Bible_. (and sometimes
_Winnie The Pooh_... :-))


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