Thursday, August 2, 2012

Protestants v. Christian Quakers

Theology is not my thing.  In fact, I have a problem with people who describe something as "bad theology."  Theology is an opinion - usually an educated one, but an opinion nonetheless.  It cannot be proven; only believed and put into practice, if possible.  I have little patience for individuals who get into theology debates.  For one, I don't have all of the scripture or writings of the leading thinkers memorized.  That pretty much ends any chance for debate.   However, I enjoy it when discover someone describing theological concepts that eloquently express notions that I have.  So today I'm linking to a post by One Quaker Take in which he describes how the original (and some modern) Quakers differ from Protestants.  Here's my favorite section:

Christo-centric theology goes beyond that, at least among those concerned with nuances, but on the steeet tends to keep Christian minds pre-occupied with "everlasting life" and sends the message that they have been given a pass on righteousness in the here and now.  Can't help ourselves, you know, the Powers run the world.  Sermon on the Mount is a great set if ideals but, really, the best we can do is "believe" in Christ (that is, affirm one set or another of "orthodox" notional propositions about "his" nature, character and the "work he did" for us while walking around among us).  If we accept the validity of those propositions we can be saved.
 A faith and practice quite different was opened to Fox and Friends.   Sure, they affirmed an afterlife, but they believed that living in the Kingdom of God, here and now, would take care of whatever lay beyond the grave.  Christ, The Light, was to be "believed in," but that meant actually doing what Christ told us to do, what the Light showed us we needed to grow out of, in this life.   The Powers were to be confronted and redeemed by living as guided, and their experience was that this guidance pulled them closer and closer to living lives exemplified by the Sermon on the Mount, more and more described by the Fruits of the Spirit.  Friends of the Lamb's War generation rejected the institutions and doctrines of Christo-centric Protestantism--explicitly.  They set out to confront the Powers (including the church), to redeem them.  And it cost them.

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