Quakerism has some great scenes, some great lines of dialogue in our history. Is that it? Are those great moments in Quaker history over? Or is there more to the story? Of course, being the rabid Quaker that I am, I think the answer is yes, good things still to come! And here are some of the things pointed out to me by Peggy Parsons and Marge Abbott.
God's peace vs. conventional wisdom?
Gospel order does not mean a placid existence. It doesn't mean no conflict. In fact it probably means plenty of conflict with the world. But no conflict with God's will.
It doesn't mean success in traditional terms or on our own schedule. One example they gave is that of Susan B. Anthony, who died without seeing the fruit of her labor. But in fact, women can vote nowadays, and she's the only Quaker ever to appear on money. How many Quakers even aspire to that kind of success?
There was also a reference to John 14, which you'll have to look up for yourself, because I don't remember what it was about, I just wrote down the title and chapter of the book.
Here are the stages of transformation in God's ways:
- Know truth - understanding that there is something different, something better
- Turning - trying to get right with God, some backsliding is common
- Changed - accepting that we are unable to do as we did before, finding the peace
- Guidance - waiting for the leading to know what is our part of God's work
- ACT - without fear, with love
They also talked about the dangers of transformation.
See above re: conflict with the world. Also, anything written about Tom Fox.
Another example given: Like the Beaver said to Lucy, Aslan is not safe, he's not a tame lion, but he is good. God is like that too.
(Side note: I did not see the Christian references in the Chronicles of Narnia until I went to college and someone pointed them out to me, almost point by point, despite the fact that I had read some of the books dozens of times. I personally take refuge in C.S. Lewis's assertions that they were fiction, not meant to be Christian allegory, thank you.)
Additional good lines:
Re: people who are indifferent to your efforts: God doesn't care that people are indifferent to God, God loves them anyway.
God creates us to be invincible, not conquerors. For a better explanation of this idea, read this on Peggy's blog.
Even a small oasis in the desert transforms a much larger area into usefulness. The desert doesn't have to all become a rainforest for people to get what they need. A series of oases is enough. This is parallel to Godliness in a barren, hostile world.
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