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Quaker Way

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Quaker Way last won the day on June 7 2014

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  1. "It is my conviction that the root of all evil is the want of a living faith in a living God. It is a first-class human tragedy that peoples of the earth that claim to believe in the message of Jesus whom the describe as the Prince of Peace show little of that belief in actual practice." Mohandas Gandhi, 1936 I agree with the spirit of your post, Dave. It is the reduction of Jesus the teacher to Jesus the idol to be worshipped. This has turned Christianity into a cult following instead of a living faith based upon his teaching. Jesus as God is a human construction just like the Bible. If those who claim to be Christians followed the teachings of Jesus the teacher and mystic and leave out everything else, Christian hypocracy would be turned into Christian faith..
  2. Good Morning, Gunny... Thank you for posting! We have a few things in common. I'm ex-Navy and Vietnam combat veteran as well as being in recovery myself. Spent a lot of 24 hours in church basements! Whatever it takes to keep me sober just for today. Faith is a journey that unfolds before us over the course of a lifetime. I have deepend my faith as a Quaker by committing myself to understanding God through nonviolence as taught by Gandhi. There's a saying in The Rooms, "Let it begin with me." My Faith and Practice is certainly not mainstream, but my Faith is personal and not borrowed from established religions. I firmly believe that Faith begins Within and does not come from outside. Certainly we read, certainly we share ideas, and certainly we follow our own Leadings. Our Faith Within develops along with an Inner Life that is the Light of God within all of us. As we nurture our own Faith, as we journey the Path to God and our One True Home, we will know the windings, ups, and downs, storms, and clear skies along the Way. Be well along your Path and feel free to share your thoughts as you Journey! Peace to You
  3. I would stongly suggest 'Mohandas Gandhi Essential Writings'. Gandhi explains the spiritual connection between God and non-violence. In addition, he writes about his own development of a deep inner life and his career as an activist in the social struggles for human rights. The book is about $12.00 from Amazon and is short enough for group readings.
  4. Good Morning... I have found that my Faith is to be lived because, without doing so, I would simply be a hypocrite. My own Journey must include the practice of deep exploration of my motives and an understanding of the source of what I claim to be my convictions. For example, my dedication to peace and non-violence would be just a nice idea if I didn't understand that peace and non-violence are the Way of God. I therefore do not vote for politicians that support war and violence, reject any form of violence and war as entertainment, and support mass peaceful demonstrations and boycotts against the military, taxes used for war and violence instead of food, shelter, and medical care for those most in need. Cluttering my life up with wants, ambitions, opinions on things that just don't matter, and any persuit of more than what I need in my life just to live is a distraction from my persuit of living my Faith. Such things lead to what Quakers call an 'cumbered' life. I have also begun the habit of not explaining myself unless asked and view this post with an eye to my own motivation. This is a process that is a life-long unfolding for me, not an event. I would be content to live in a small cabin or in a one room apartment, but I don't think my wife would go for that.
  5. Religeous Society of Friends...a tradtional Quaker.
  6. Welcome, Waterbear! Although I am a Quaker, I am familiar with Gnostic gospels and teachings. My Gnostic reading has changed my thinking concerning not only my here and now, but understanding of the teachings of Jesus. Again, Welcome!
  7. My point is that the late Mr. Gaddafi has some explaining to do to God.
  8. As a Quaker, I follow this single guiding Testimony: "We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever; and this is our testimony to the whole world. The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world." Declaration of Friends to Charles II, 1660
  9. Jesus' arguments against the ruling Pharisee party was clearly political according to Borg. Jesus not only presented the Kingdom of God as being obtainable here on earth and was for the role of the Temple in Jewish life...but not a Temple controlled by the ruling class and its political parties of the time. For example, the interpretation of Jewish purity law by the Pharisees enforced the marginalization of the poor and non-Jewish peoples. Jesus, on the other hand, agitated for a society that embraced all people as being not only Children of God, but worthy of inclusion in the Kingdom. This position was not only opposed to the interpretation of Jewish law, but challenged the very need for the Temple elite and an end to their political power over society. While Jesus was socially aware, he put that awareness into action and that was political action when aimed directly at the ruling class. The result was his arrest and execution in the same way that other dangerous political figures such as Ghandi, Malcom X, Martin Luther King, etc. were murdered in an attempt to stop challenges to the power base of the ruling class of modern societies.
  10. Good Morning... I have been reading discussions of the 'historical Jesus' from both the approach of scholars such as Bart Ehrman and Marcus Borg as well as references to Jesus in Gnostic writings. To date, the best work on the person that was Jesus is Borg's earlier work, 'Conflict, Holiness, and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus'. What has evolved over the centuries is a personality cult in the form of a religion that turned Jesus into an idol for worship and did not focus on his thinking and teachings. How different the world would be if this had not been the case! To me, jesus was not just a teacher, but a political activist that put his understanding of God into a clear world view.
  11. This is a brief explanation of the origins of the Shaker movement by a fellow Friend... http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~quakers/shakers.htm
  12. Trees are part of my human conscience. No two are alike and their forms grow up from the ground filled with the Sprit of True Nature. I have hiked through forests and have camped surrounded by them. I have been protected from storms by them and have heard them making sounds in the night wind. There is something about trees...something that they know, something much deeper than we can guess at with all of our science and pretensive intelectualizing. Enya released a CD some years back called 'The Memory of Trees'...perhaps she suspects this too.
  13. Good Morning... Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bill....we share very similar ideas as to our understanding of the Divine Poet. Human religion tends to take on various aspects of idol worship whether that be statues, crosses, or even a meteorite. We can justify this as being just symbols and yet these symbols combine with the worship of other humans whose wisdom and writings pointed to a higher way of being. Jesus, Buddah, and Muhammad were humansthat have been given a divine status and who actually block the way to God by having the focus of our seeking placed on them. This continuous focus on the external as a path to God via human religions has created gateways and levels (salvation, true belief, one true path to God) administered by other humans (priests, theologians, cults, etc.) that actually distort our understanding of God. Religions have created competing images of God that are simply human constructions propped up by intermediaries to define and control the path to understanding. If we scrap these images and dogmas we can turn the question of God as being external up-side-down to one of God being internal. Panentheism can be taken further to a spirtual understanding that the Spirit of God not only surrounds all and passes through all, but is within all. Let's stop and think about this. The Spirit of God is within all? Even us? This transformative understanding leads us to view that all humans are 'of God' possesing, as Quakers say, a certain measure of God within. Suddenly war and violence against one another becomes war and violence against God. Suddenly greed, selfishness, prejudice, and caste systems are degrading actions taken against God. By meditating upon that certain measure of God Within, we can then discover not only the Spiritual connectedness that defines all humans as Brothers and Sisters, but our own true Spriritual Selves.
  14. Good Morning... Chapter 1 of John is often referred to as the 'Quaker Chapter' because of the Quaker's belief that the Light of God shines within us all.
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