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Quakers

mcarmichael

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I have literally lost my mind before, perhaps more than once. That's why I asked.

I went to a Quaker service one time, and we all sat on benches, and there was a Secretary there keeping the minutes. Eventually one woman stood up and said something about a statue of Christ, which had lost it hands, and then she said that we could be His hands. Which *is* true, in a sense.

I found it very frustrating, however I haven't made a follow-up visit. It's a nice story, anyway, if anyone knows it? I'm just outside of Philadelphia, PA, and there are actually two Quaker congregations within walking distance.

Anyway, I think there is already an established precident. Probably first on the list is that you should spend more time outside, although you only have 10 posts here or something. However if you already spend a lot of time outside, perhaps you should really talk to another person.
 

mcarmichael

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It's funny because it's true.
 

mcarmichael

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Well, anyway, in my case it was due to acute alcohol withdrawl. I started hearing things, and then I decided to get myself arrested so that I would be safe. I really lost it, too.

Anyway, I suspect that somebody decided that this was about Quakers and didn't want to bother me with the small detail.
 

hecma925

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Quaker oatmeal is delicious.
 

Charles1967

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hecma925 said:
Quaker oatmeal is delicious.
And nutritious too! 
Paired with some nice cimminum toast! Mmmm mm

Sorry ..had to reply...O.C.D.
 

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Charles1967 said:
hecma925 said:
Quaker oatmeal is delicious.
And nutritious too! 
Paired with some nice cimminum toast! Mmmm mm

Sorry ..had to reply...O.C.D.
It's a hearty breakfast, but Quaker Oats has no connection with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) these days.
 

hecma925

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FinnJames said:
Charles1967 said:
hecma925 said:
Quaker oatmeal is delicious.
And nutritious too! 
Paired with some nice cimminum toast! Mmmm mm

Sorry ..had to reply...O.C.D.
It's a hearty breakfast, but Quaker Oats has no connection with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) these days.
But there is a Quaker on the label!



Also, Cream of Wheat is made by happy black cooks!

 

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mcarmichael said:
I have literally lost my mind before, perhaps more than once. That's why I asked.

I went to a Quaker service one time, and we all sat on benches, and there was a Secretary there keeping the minutes. Eventually one woman stood up and said something about a statue of Christ, which had lost it hands, and then she said that we could be His hands. Which *is* true, in a sense.

I found it very frustrating, however I haven't made a follow-up visit. It's a nice story, anyway, if anyone knows it? I'm just outside of Philadelphia, PA, and there are actually two Quaker congregations within walking distance.

Anyway, I think there is already an established precident. Probably first on the list is that you should spend more time outside, although you only have 10 posts here or something. However if you already spend a lot of time outside, perhaps you should really talk to another person.
Reminds me of a Roman Catholic saint (forget which one) who said, "Christ has no body but yours".
 

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You seem Lost, friend. Not trying to push your button, just being a chatty Charlie I guess. Penny for your thoughts? Don't worry about opening up, anything you say would be put under Locke and key. Isle wait for your response along with the Others.
 

mcarmichael

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Asteriktos said:
You seem Lost, friend. Not trying to push your button, just being a chatty Charlie I guess. Penny for your thoughts? Don't worry about opening up, anything you say would be put under Locke and key. Isle wait for your response along with the Others.
TYM.
 

Justin Kolodziej

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hecma925 said:
FinnJames said:
Charles1967 said:
hecma925 said:
Quaker oatmeal is delicious.
And nutritious too! 
Paired with some nice cimminum toast! Mmmm mm

Sorry ..had to reply...O.C.D.
It's a hearty breakfast, but Quaker Oats has no connection with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) these days.
But there is a Quaker on the label!

Hey, isn't that William Penn?

Oh, by the way...does the Society of Friends get any kickbacks from Quaker State Oil?
 

wgw

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mcarmichael said:
I have literally lost my mind before, perhaps more than once. That's why I asked.

I went to a Quaker service one time, and we all sat on benches, and there was a Secretary there keeping the minutes. Eventually one woman stood up and said something about a statue of Christ, which had lost it hands, and then she said that we could be His hands. Which *is* true, in a sense.

I found it very frustrating, however I haven't made a follow-up visit. It's a nice story, anyway, if anyone knows it? I'm just outside of Philadelphia, PA, and there are actually two Quaker congregations within walking distance.

Anyway, I think there is already an established precident. Probably first on the list is that you should spend more time outside, although you only have 10 posts here or something. However if you already spend a lot of time outside, perhaps you should really talk to another person.
Sounds like the reading of the minutes at least must not've taken long.

I was curious about Quaker "waiting worship" and thought about going to a meeting, to see what it was like, but I was concurrently exploring Orthodoxy and on the verge of conversion and I had a nightmare in which I went to a Quaker meeting and it was boring beyond belief, in which I lamented I had not attended an Orthodox service.

By the way, I think we could put the Quakers out of business by having trained priests in the Jesus Prayer and monastics who are expert in it, who would be at least of the rank of Stavrophore, conduct, at our parishes, Jesus Prayer services of the sort served by the monastery I believe Elder Sophrony? set up in South East England.  These could be followed by akatnists or molebens, if the time was right, the divine liturgy, or vespers or some part of the divine office, or in the Coptic tradition, psalmody, or the rich Syriac divine office in my rite.

Such Jesus Prayer services could be scheduled midweek, or alternately, before Saturday night Vespers, or if run by a monastic other than the main parish priest, after lunch in the parish.  If scheduled at correct times, the priest could also be available to hear confessions, although the goal would not be for it to degenerate into the kind of RC pre-mass Rosary recitation you see in some parishes with the Tridentine mass, where people are going to the priest to confess, presumably get penanced with Ave Marias, and then go out to say the Rosary to fill it.  Rather the idea would be to provide an environment wherein the group recitation of the Jesus Prayer under monastic guidance would allow the experience of a true stillness and silence, which Metropolitan Kallistos Ware indicated he felt the monastery in SE England, the name of which escapes me, was doing a good job at.

Now said monastery was dropping portions of the divine office as per the cell rules of some monastics to do these services, which I am not a huge fan of, but in a typical parish those services do not get served anyway, so this type of group Jesus Prayer service would plug right in.

And by being open to outsiders and at the same time monastic-led, such a service could provide for the kind of deep silence Quakers seek, while shielding them from the states of clear delusion that afflicted George Fox and other prominent Quakers.
 

Justin Kolodziej

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Minnesotan said:
mcarmichael said:
I have literally lost my mind before, perhaps more than once. That's why I asked.

I went to a Quaker service one time, and we all sat on benches, and there was a Secretary there keeping the minutes. Eventually one woman stood up and said something about a statue of Christ, which had lost it hands, and then she said that we could be His hands. Which *is* true, in a sense.

I found it very frustrating, however I haven't made a follow-up visit. It's a nice story, anyway, if anyone knows it? I'm just outside of Philadelphia, PA, and there are actually two Quaker congregations within walking distance.

Anyway, I think there is already an established precident. Probably first on the list is that you should spend more time outside, although you only have 10 posts here or something. However if you already spend a lot of time outside, perhaps you should really talk to another person.
Reminds me of a Roman Catholic saint (forget which one) who said, "Christ has no body but yours".
Sounds very familiar. Could be st. Theresa of Avila or st. John of the Cross.
Taken literally, that's heresy though, since He ascended bodily into heaven.  :( Of course the Church is His mystical body, and the Most Holy Eucharist is His body and blood as well, and He usually wills to act through those rather than His own glorified body. So the Quaker lady was more accurate than the Catholic saint  :-\
 

Asteriktos

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mcarmichael said:
Eventually one woman stood up and said something about a statue of Christ, which had lost it hands, and then she said that we could be His hands. Which *is* true, in a sense.
She may have been a Whitecross fan...

The only Jesus they'll ever see
Is the One in you and me
The only Jesus they will know
Is the One that lives inside our souls
 

mcarmichael

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I heard of Quakers before I heard of Orthodox. All I'm going to say here about Quakers.

Although, I do have to say that I do admire their decency, in that they only had a Secretary. Actually, I did a book report on them in the 2nd grade, and I've always sort of carried a crush for them, and sometimes I feel like if I can't make it to Divine Liturgy maybe I should walk to one of the two Quaker places nearby. Only my work schedule doesn't allow either.
 

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wgw said:
I was curious about Quaker "waiting worship" and thought about going to a meeting, to see what it was like, but I was concurrently exploring Orthodoxy and on the verge of conversion and I had a nightmare in which I went to a Quaker meeting and it was boring beyond belief, in which I lamented I had not attended an Orthodox service.
Having come to Orthodoxy from Quakerism, I can say that the paragraph quoted above says a lot about your attitudes and expectations as far as worship is concerned but very little about what Quakers in worship are actually doing.
 

mcarmichael

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RaphaCam said:
Is Quakers oat made of Quakers?
No, it's made of oats.

heh. is it a joke? because it looks like I just wrote oats. are you using drugs?
 

wgw

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I encountered some militant pro-abort Quakers on Facebook a while back. That's when I realized the Apocalypse is upon us.

Selam
I shouldnt worry about it; liberal Friends have been around for more than a century and are bolstered by the Pietist attitude of Quakers; evangelical Friends often have programmed worship, whereas Liberal Friends frequently retain the old Waiting Worship, which by its nature, facilitates an open-ended approach to doctrine which in turn leads within a few generations to Unitarian Universalist style apostasy.

Actually the amazing thing is that most Quakers did not descend into Unitarian Universalism.

In my childhood, one of my friends, Aaron, was an ethnically Jewish member of a non-dogmatic Quaker meeting house, which reminded me of an elderly Jewish woman and holocaust survivor I once met who for a time had been a Unitarian Universalist before sadly giving up on the idea of God.  I believe she reposed; I do pray for her soul because she was a kind and lovely woman.

I also pray for Aaron; I should look him up and see how he is doing.
 

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FinnJames said:
wgw said:
I was curious about Quaker "waiting worship" and thought about going to a meeting, to see what it was like, but I was concurrently exploring Orthodoxy and on the verge of conversion and I had a nightmare in which I went to a Quaker meeting and it was boring beyond belief, in which I lamented I had not attended an Orthodox service.
Having come to Orthodoxy from Quakerism
Well now. That was a bit unexpected. Quakerism is practically non-existing in Finland so an idea of someone having actually been a Quaker is just about as likely as encountering a unicorn. I'd love to hear how your conversion happened sometimes.
 

wgw

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FinnJames said:
wgw said:
I was curious about Quaker "waiting worship" and thought about going to a meeting, to see what it was like, but I was concurrently exploring Orthodoxy and on the verge of conversion and I had a nightmare in which I went to a Quaker meeting and it was boring beyond belief, in which I lamented I had not attended an Orthodox service.
Having come to Orthodoxy from Quakerism, I can say that the paragraph quoted above says a lot about your attitudes and expectations as far as worship is concerned but very little about what Quakers in worship are actually doing.
Well, no, actually.  I was geared up to visit a Quaker meeting house, when I had this nightmare which put me off of the idea.

Several nightmares have guided me firmly into Orthodoxy; I have had nightmares about Nestorianism, nightmares about churches without icons, and related nightmares.  Conversely when my mother was in the hospital with severe ulcers I dreamed of being in an Orthodox church and of receiving the sacraments, for two nights in a row (these dreams were after I had converted).

In general I have read, been told and believe, extreme caution should be used regarding dreams; at the time I had the nightmare about Quaker worship I had a very open mind towards it and wanted to experience it as a means of entering into a deep, loving, shared silence, a divine encounter as it were, but the nightmare discouraged me and pushed me in the direction of Orthodoxy. 

Now, I believe I would have become Orthodox regardless, but these nightmares I think helped impress on me the importance of Orthodox worship, of iconoclasm, of avoiding the spiritual morbidity of Nestorianism, and of related doctrinal truths as held by our church.

So these specific nightmares about the Quaker church, the church without icons, and the Nestorian church I had along with the comforting dreams about Holy Communion I had in the dark hour of my mothers hospitalization I believe, and my spiritual father believes, were legitimate, whereas on the other hand I have had other nightmares contradictory to the faith that I have ignored, and later been told by my confessor that I acted correctly, indeed in general, the advice is to disregard dreams because of the danger therein.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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wgw said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I encountered some militant pro-abort Quakers on Facebook a while back. That's when I realized the Apocalypse is upon us.

Selam
I shouldnt worry about it; liberal Friends have been around for more than a century and are bolstered by the Pietist attitude of Quakers; evangelical Friends often have programmed worship, whereas Liberal Friends frequently retain the old Waiting Worship, which by its nature, facilitates an open-ended approach to doctrine which in turn leads within a few generations to Unitarian Universalist style apostasy.

Actually the amazing thing is that most Quakers did not descend into Unitarian Universalism.

In my childhood, one of my friends, Aaron, was an ethnically Jewish member of a non-dogmatic Quaker meeting house, which reminded me of an elderly Jewish woman and holocaust survivor I once met who for a time had been a Unitarian Universalist before sadly giving up on the idea of God.  I believe she reposed; I do pray for her soul because she was a kind and lovely woman.

I also pray for Aaron; I should look him up and see how he is doing.
I was quite drawn to the Quakers before I became Orthodox. I remember trying to read George Fox's "Journal." Some great stuff in there, but I also remember reading parts that terrified me. I recognized a spirit of extreme subjectivity that was perhaps demonic. Lots of truth and wisdom mixed in with some things that just stopped me cold. Very much like the Qur'an or the Book of Mormon or almost any other false religious text. Unlike the Philokalia, much of which is quite dry and even boring and difficult to read, and yet it's true. 

Selam
 

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Alpo said:
FinnJames said:
wgw said:
I was curious about Quaker "waiting worship" and thought about going to a meeting, to see what it was like, but I was concurrently exploring Orthodoxy and on the verge of conversion and I had a nightmare in which I went to a Quaker meeting and it was boring beyond belief, in which I lamented I had not attended an Orthodox service.
Having come to Orthodoxy from Quakerism
Well now. That was a bit unexpected. Quakerism is practically non-existing in Finland so an idea of someone having actually been a Quaker is just about as likely as encountering a unicorn. I'd love to hear how your conversion happened sometimes.
You're right about the number of Quakers in Finland being small, something like 20 - 40 depending on what criteria are used for counting. Actually, though, the Quaker-Orthodox link isn't so uncommon in Finland. I knew two others from Finland (both now dead) with Quaker-Orthodox backgrounds. It's just my opinion, but I think Orthodox and Quaker spirituality have a lot in common. Particularly the hesychistic tradition of Orthodoxy.

You ask about my background. To make a long story short, an influential US Quaker historian was Fulbright professor at my university one year. He left a collection of early Quaker writings he had edited in the library. I was so impressed by it that I contacted Finnish Quakers, became active, and represented Finland at several European and world Quaker gatherings. My partner also became active in Quakers and has remained an active member, so I go to meeting for worship with him as well as to Orthodox services. But it was because Quakers up here in the north of Finland are so few and meetings for worship are only once every couple months, that I felt the need for something more regular and found a spiritual home at the Orthodox cathedral just a five minute walk from home.

Oddly enough, European Quakers wanted to send a representative to the European Christian Ecological Network assembly that met at Sofia Orthodox Cultural Centre in Helsinki last summer. Both Finnish and European Quakers asked me to be their representative, presumably thinking it would be a pleasant venue for an Orthodox believer who still has a strong Quaker connection. It was certainly a very ecumenical gathering and also very interesting since it brought believers and scientists together.
 

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mcarmichael said:
RaphaCam said:
Is Quakers oat made of Quakers?
No, it's made of oats.

heh. is it a joke? because it looks like I just wrote oats. are you using drugs?
Yes I was joking, no I'm not on drugs.  :police:
 

mcarmichael

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I'm trying to remember when I visited the one time, and if I didn't take up skateboarding again shortly thereafter.
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
wgw said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
I encountered some militant pro-abort Quakers on Facebook a while back. That's when I realized the Apocalypse is upon us.

Selam
I shouldnt worry about it; liberal Friends have been around for more than a century and are bolstered by the Pietist attitude of Quakers; evangelical Friends often have programmed worship, whereas Liberal Friends frequently retain the old Waiting Worship, which by its nature, facilitates an open-ended approach to doctrine which in turn leads within a few generations to Unitarian Universalist style apostasy.

Actually the amazing thing is that most Quakers did not descend into Unitarian Universalism.

In my childhood, one of my friends, Aaron, was an ethnically Jewish member of a non-dogmatic Quaker meeting house, which reminded me of an elderly Jewish woman and holocaust survivor I once met who for a time had been a Unitarian Universalist before sadly giving up on the idea of God.  I believe she reposed; I do pray for her soul because she was a kind and lovely woman.

I also pray for Aaron; I should look him up and see how he is doing.
I was quite drawn to the Quakers before I became Orthodox. I remember trying to read George Fox's "Journal." Some great stuff in there, but I also remember reading parts that terrified me. I recognized a spirit of extreme subjectivity that was perhaps demonic. Lots of truth and wisdom mixed in with some things that just stopped me cold. Very much like the Qur'an or the Book of Mormon or almost any other false religious text. Unlike the Philokalia, much of which is quite dry and even boring and difficult to read, and yet it's true. 

Selam
Interesting indeed.  Now I dont find the Philokalia boring, but some of it is written in a dense academic style which has been preserved in translation by Metropolitan Kallistos and Mother Mary, e.g. Nikitas Sithatos "like some multifarious monster composed thus of mutually self-antagonistic parts, you will be the implacable enemy of God, man and the animals."  I find that writing style lovely, and I also feel like the literary style of each Father has been preserved as best as possible, so some write in a complex manner and others in a simple manner.

But it interests me that you found passages in the Journal which stopped you cold.  Assuming Mor didnt create a Quaker Quotable Quotes thread, perhaps you might review it and copy paste those for us?  Or if you created a new thread entitled "Chilling pieces of non-Orthodox false scripture" and posted the quotes from George Fox along with quotes from the Quran that "stopped you cold," that would be great; I could post quotes from some of the Gnostic literature I found off-putting as well as from the Bahai corpus that convinced me beyond any dount that neither the Bab nor his self appointed successor Bahuallah had any divinity, but were simply vicious cult leaders.
 

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It's a mix of major teachings or premises.

Rituals are considered considered outer signs that are extra, or even distractions, so their service is basically ritual-less prayer/meditation.

God works anywhere and in anyone, so anyone can stand up in the quiet service and make a sermon if the Holy Spirit makes them.

War is wrong, so we agree not to participate on any side.

Decisions are by consensus, so in practice you might need 90% agreement for major policy decisions.

Generally they agree with fundamentals of Christian theology.

Usually they agree with socially/economically progressive values (eg. anti-violence, anti-racism, the environmental conference FinnJames mentioned). I think they make a noticeable/significant contribution there. Considering their size, they are probably one of the best in this area.

That's about it.

Numerically it might be in decline since about the time of the US civil war. Maybe that's because of minimal rituals, which would be ironic since it's a major teaching. Maybe at this point in human development, people would rather go to a church service with songs and didactic preaching than sit in a room with other people for practically silent meditation.

Pennsylvania(Penn's woods) might reflect this in a way. William Penn founded the 17th c. colony with the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) as its capitol. They passed amazing humanitarian laws and didn't fight the Indians like the other English colonies did. But they basically got outnumbered by very many non-Quakers coming in, including politically and economically powerful ones who were opposed to Quaker humane values. So 100 years later, you have the Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia and the Revolutionary War occurring that left many people dead. The Revolutionaries in Pennsylvania even cruelly executed some Quakers suspected of trading with or otherwise helping the British. One Quaker town near where I grew up packed up and moved to Canada at that time. So we are left with some product names like Quaker Oatmeal or Quaker State car oil. There are only two religious Quaker Meetings in the Pittsburgh area, although they are a good size.

And by the time the Orthodox pre-Ukrainians and Rusyns moved to backwoods Pennsylvania in huge numbers, there is little that they experienced that was in common with the connotations of a "Quaker State". I suppose that due to history more Pennsylvanians know about Quakers than know about Orthodoxy, but the amount is pretty comparable.
 

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rakovsky said:
War is wrong, so we agree not to participate on any side.
What if you were on a plane that was being hijacked by terrorists, and by one act of violence you could save a multitude of lives?
 

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mcarmichael said:
What if you were on a plane that was being hijacked by terrorists, and by one act of violence you could save a multitude of lives?
Better question: What if it was a planeful of Quakers coming from an annual Quaker conference. I imagine that they would try to dissuade the hijackers, and then interfere based on the justification you mentioned. Their official doctrine does not require absolute nonviolence in the way that Jainism (eg. Gandhi's sect) does, only in practice that they agree to avoid being enlisted armed belligerents in a War.

By the way, I think if someone is sincere and spiritually Christian in the path of the New Testament and the early Orthodox period, one would actually be extremely sympathetic to the Quaker teachings on this issue, even if not making it a doctrine to the extent that they do.
 

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rakovsky said:
mcarmichael said:
What if you were on a plane that was being hijacked by terrorists, and by one act of violence you could save a multitude of lives?
Better question: What if it was a planeful of Quakers coming from an annual Quaker conference. I imagine that they would try to dissuade the hijackers, and then interfere based on the justification you mentioned. Their official doctrine does not require absolute nonviolence in the way that Jainism (eg. Gandhi's sect) does, only in practice that they agree to avoid being enlisted armed belligerents in a War.

By the way, I think if someone is sincere and spiritually Christian in the path of the New Testament and the early Orthodox period, one would actually be extremely sympathetic to the Quaker teachings on this issue, even if not making it a doctrine to the extent that they do.
How about a local militia? Or, The Police? Hehe. Actually I'm surprised at wgw's report, because I understood that most Quaker congregations are barely Christian whatsoever. Or perhaps there are more Internet Quakers than there are actual congregants.
 

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rakovsky said:
Can you tell me if there is any sort of "Initiation" to become a Quaker? Because it seems like there couldn't be, which means that anybody could open a Quaker congregation? Which would seem convenient if someone were an Internet Quaker. They could do the meeting probably anyplace, put it on craigslist, and it's official, yeah?
 

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mcarmichael said:
How about a local militia?
If it's meant as military, you couldn't enlist under Quaker ideals.

Or, The Police?
It doesn't sound like it's military or for war.

I understood that most Quaker congregations are barely Christian whatsoever.
The theology if you get into it enough is actually Christian. The traditions and "great thinkers" in the religion are part of that philosophy and theology, broadly speaking. There is something called the Richmond Statement that is kind of like an Abridged "Nicene Creed", although Quakers don't have to follow that. it's just that the traditions common in the Quaker community are basically Christian. They propose that their teachings are Biblical too, BTW.

But again at the individual level, not all will follow that. It's kind of like how Orthodoxy bans eating blood sausage and other blood foods, but Greek or other Orthodox priests will bless blood food festivals in villages in Europe. In other words there is the actual root theology and then sometimes there is deviation among individuals.
 

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mcarmichael said:
Can you tell me if there is any sort of "Initiation" to become a Quaker?
Yes, they have to agree that you are a member of their Meeting (basically a parish). It's not a very ritualistic initiation though, but they have some requirements.


Because it seems like there couldn't be, which means that anybody could open a Quaker congregation? Which would seem convenient if someone were an Internet Quaker. They could do the meeting probably anyplace, put it on craigslist, and it's official, yeah?
It's not "official" to them unless you reach agreement. Quakers have a major emphasis on consensus.
If you go back to the points I listed a few messages ago, you will almost always have all your questions pointed in the right direction, because Quakerism is so very simple.

Want to find out if Quakers can join police? Just go back to my list. I said NO WAR. Police isn't War.
Want to know if you can start your own meeting with no agreement? Go back to my list. I said CONSENSUS. You have to agree with them to take policy or other major Quaker decisions.
 

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rakovsky said:
It's not "official" to them unless you reach agreement. Quakers have a major emphasis on consensus.
If you go back to the points I listed a few messages ago, you will almost always have all your questions pointed in the right direction, because Quakerism is so very simple.

Want to find out if Quakers can join police? Just go back to my list. I said NO WAR. Police isn't War.
Want to know if you can start your own meeting with no agreement? Go back to my list. I said CONSENSUS. You have to agree with them to take policy or other major Quaker decisions.
Why does it seem that you are so "testy"?

I'm probably not going to read that thing again, just based upon what you said. In fact if you'll recall, I quoted from your so-called "list".
 

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mcarmichael said:
rakovsky said:
It's not "official" to them unless you reach agreement. Quakers have a major emphasis on consensus.
If you go back to the points I listed a few messages ago, you will almost always have all your questions pointed in the right direction, because Quakerism is so very simple.

Want to find out if Quakers can join police? Just go back to my list. I said NO WAR. Police isn't War.
Want to know if you can start your own meeting with no agreement? Go back to my list. I said CONSENSUS. You have to agree with them to take policy or other major Quaker decisions.
Why does it seem that you are so "testy"?
Sorry, you don't have to read it that way. You can just think of me illustrating how the list can be used effectively.
 

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rakovsky said:
God works anywhere and in anyone, so anyone can stand up in the quiet service and make a sermon if the Holy Spirit makes them.
The quiet service is called a 'meeting for worship'. What you describe holds for most European and many North American Quaker groups. But in the US during the time of the conjunction of one of the Christian revivals and the movement of population westward, Quaker groups led by pastors (not priests) grew up. These groups are common in the western parts of the US and also, due to missionary activity, in Bolivia and East Africa. The largest concentration of Quakers today is in Kenya, not in the US or England.

Decisions are by consensus, so in practice you might need 90% agreement for major policy decisions.
These decisions are made at 'meetings for worship for business' so made in a worshipful manner with a lot of silence between turns at speech (in theory at least). There is a long tradition among Quakers of people who disagree with a decision that is about to be made 'standing aside' so that consensus can be reached. 

Numerically it might be in decline since about the time of the US civil war. Maybe that's because of minimal rituals, which would be ironic since it's a major teaching. Maybe at this point in human development, people would rather go to a church service with songs and didactic preaching than sit in a room with other people for practically silent meditation.
I think much of the decline about the time of the US Civil War has to do with the practice of shunning those who married out of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). This is no longer practiced. In that period Quakers were much more strict about policing each others' behavior than is the case today, so it seems likely during that period of history some left the group for that reason as well.
 

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FinnJames said:
rakovsky said:
God works anywhere and in anyone, so anyone can stand up in the quiet service and make a sermon if the Holy Spirit makes them.
The quiet service is called a 'meeting for worship'. What you describe holds for most European and many North American Quaker groups. But in the US during the time of the conjunction of one of the Christian revivals and the movement of population westward, Quaker groups led by pastors (not priests) grew up. These groups are common in the western parts of the US and also, due to missionary activity, in Bolivia and East Africa. The largest concentration of Quakers today is in Kenya, not in the US or England.

Decisions are by consensus, so in practice you might need 90% agreement for major policy decisions.
These decisions are made at 'meetings for worship for business' so made in a worshipful manner with a lot of silence between turns at speech (in theory at least). There is a long tradition among Quakers of people who disagree with a decision that is about to be made 'standing aside' so that consensus can be reached. 

Numerically it might be in decline since about the time of the US civil war. Maybe that's because of minimal rituals, which would be ironic since it's a major teaching. Maybe at this point in human development, people would rather go to a church service with songs and didactic preaching than sit in a room with other people for practically silent meditation.
I think much of the decline about the time of the US Civil War has to do with the practice of shunning those who married out of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). This is no longer practiced. In that period Quakers were much more strict about policing each others' behavior than is the case today, so it seems likely during that period of history some left the group for that reason as well.
This is very interesting, and I think you offer a valid reason for the decline of Quakerism; it became an insular community, like some of the Mennonites, but fortunately had the good sense not to stay that way.  But, to the extent some Quaker meetings stopped holding members accountable for their conduct, this I would also argue marked the beginning of further decay of some Quaker meetings into essentially non-Christian entities, basically Unitarian Universalism with waiting worship.

Btw given the explanation and context I provided for my decision not to attend Quakerism, how ot was driven by a specific nightmare, and how my confessor later in effect endorsed this nightmare and those I had about iconoclastic and Nestorian churches as warnings (I also had many nightmares about Mormonism; when my friend Adam converted I visited a Mormon stake and found it to have a palpable spiritual darkness and I never want to see it or encounter it again) about some of the spiritual dangers that exist as one moves away from Orthodoxy.

I don't think its biased or prejudicial to have changed my mind about going to a non-Orthodox worship service at the same time (2013) I was familiarizing myself with the Orthodox Church and actively considering conversion from Methodism.  The Quakers very much interested me because of the mystical aspect of waiting worship, but the nightmare I had, in which nothing happened in the meeting, and in which I found myself pining for the Orthodox liturgy I had missed in order to attend (despite having not yet converted and having been to only a few services) was really quite a dramatic psychological lever as it were that turned me away from it.

And since we do actually confess the Orthodox Church to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, I am glad I had that nightmare.  But I have no problems with Quakers or Quakerism and as stated earlier I believe they would enjoy converting to Orthodoxy if they discovered the inner silence of the Jesus Prayer, which I think is the "guiding light" they pursue in waiting worship.  And I am sure a lot happens spiritually in Quaker meetings, but, because of what we might regard as a certain lack of precision, I feel like we can't quite rest assured that what happens will be entirely good, in the way we can rest assured in an Orthodox liturgy, and I believe the fact that some Quakers have become non-dogmatic like the Unitarian Universalists is a huge red flag (which in retrospect, I should have seen at the time, but before I converted to Orthodoxy, I believed in the Trinity and the Incarnation but did not understand how important they were to the faith and to every day life, and how much gets lost or indeed violently destroyed, if one decides a living faith in the Trinity and the incarnation of the Word is of secondary importance to some other aspect of the religion.

Indeed, the reason why I think Methodism had become unbearable was that neither the conservative parish with its annoying praise and worship band, or the liberal parish with the beautiful hymns and organ music and the elder who confessed to me a personal discomfort woth the homoousios languahe of the Nicene Creed, is that the Methodists had lost the plot on the incarnation and the Trinity; Trinity Sunday was a minor day on the liturgical calendar, less important than various secular holidays like the Mother's Day service (I have no doubt that if Mother's Day fell on Pentecost or Trinity Sunday a typical American United Methodist minister would preach about it rather than the spiritual subjects), and the exact meaning of Christmas as the actual incarnation of God was also obscured under layers of traditional Christmas hymns.  So we paid lip service to these doctrines, and believed in them as a matter of intellectual assent (with some liberal clergy quietly dissenting, or not so quietly in the case of Rev. Jeremy Smith's horrible "Hacking Christianity" blog), but we did not live them; no one ever bothered to teach me about the idea of making my relationships with others an icon of the Trinity or about recognizing the incarnation as the basis for the idea of loving other humans as myself or more than myself because they have the divine image of our Lord, until I became Orthodox.

Now maybe in some of the evangelical Quaker groups in the Western US, where you have active preaching, this sort of thing is taught, and if that is combined with a guided Christological waiting worship and the administration at other times of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, well, as Protestant churches go, that is probably pretty healthy.

rakovsky said:
mcarmichael said:
How about a local militia?
If it's meant as military, you couldn't enlist under Quaker ideals.

Or, The Police?
It doesn't sound like it's military or for war.

I understood that most Quaker congregations are barely Christian whatsoever.
The theology if you get into it enough is actually Christian. The traditions and "great thinkers" in the religion are part of that philosophy and theology, broadly speaking. There is something called the Richmond Statement that is kind of like an Abridged "Nicene Creed", although Quakers don't have to follow that. it's just that the traditions common in the Quaker community are basically Christian. They propose that their teachings are Biblical too, BTW.

But again at the individual level, not all will follow that. It's kind of like how Orthodoxy bans eating blood sausage and other blood foods, but Greek or other Orthodox priests will bless blood food festivals in villages in Europe. In other words there is the actual root theology and then sometimes there is deviation among individuals.
You raise aome interesting points here, although the priests in question might argue the ban on eating blood items in Acts 15 at the Council of Jerusalem was traditional or may not apply, or is contradicted by dominical statements or Pauline statements.  For a time I was convinced I would have to give up black pudding after becoming Orthodox; now I am not so sure, although I have not had any.  Its not quite clear to me whether or not the decision of the Council of Jerusalem was transitional, to ensure harmony between the Jewish and Gentile Chriatians, or permanent, and if an Orthodox priest who has put some thought into the matter decides to liturgically bless blood sausages, I can't conceive of a reason not to eat them other than my own priest expressly telling me not to, because ultimately it does in Orthodoxy rest on the priests to provide guidance, does it not?

I mean, it aeems this is a huge benefit for our being Orthodox rather than Quakers; we aren't in it alone, we have priests to help us, and whatever our prieat blesses we might well assume. is safe to make; if he has made a mistake, that is an issue for him and his bishop and the holy synod, but as laity, we can simply benefit from the counsel of our local priest, the simple human pastor who represents vicariously our supreme Pastor, our Lord, through the sacred mystery of the priesthood.
 
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