Posted by Paul Landskroener
We know there isn’t a Quaker Creed, but I just came across this quote that was offered as a succinct definition of the Quaker Faith by a former executive secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. I found it strikingly clear and accurate and is the kind of thing that could easily be placed on the “What we believe” section of any meeting’s web site or brochure. What do you think?
God gives to every human being who comes into the world—regardless of race, religion, gender, or station–a measure of the divine spirit as a living witness and an eternal Light to be inwardly guided by on a daily basis. That Inner Light is supernatural, personal, universal, saving, eternal, persistent, and pure. The chief end of religious life is to learn to listen to and act upon the promptings of this Light under the authority of God and within the bonds of human community. Those who learn to heed the promptings of this Light come to be “saved”–that is, they come into fullness and wholeness of life and right relationship with God, themselves, the universe and one another. Those who resist, ignore, or otherwise deny the workings of this pure spirit within them, though they profess themselves to be religious, are “condemned”–that is, they become alienated from God, from themselves, from the universe, and from one another.
Samuel D Caldwell
From “The time has come to choose”
A Pendle Hill Mondy Night Lecture
Nov. 8. 1998