Thursday, April 3, 2008

Welcome To A New Kind of Quaker

Welcome to a "New Kind of Quaker". For those of you familar with Brian McLaren, you will notice the obvious "title stealing." With my apologies to Brian McLaren, I did this because I felt this notion of a "new kind" speaks to my condition and what I seek to live into. In reading McLaren's work, I appreciate his invitation to think about Christianity that is less "either / or" and more "both /and". In in his work, he seeks to bring hope and energy to folks that are weary and tired of the "left vs right" arguments or the "liberal vs conservative" attacks. To that end, he seeks to envision a "new kind of Christian" that is essentially an invitation to truly follow the way of Jesus. It's not "new" in the sense of improving on what Jesus has already given us. It's "new" in the sense of trying something we may have not actually have even attempted - to do exactly what Jesus invited us to do and be.

As I envision a "new kind of Quaker", I envision someone who not only seeks to follow authentically in the way of Jesus but one who also seeks to live into that original vision of the Society of Friends. Even more, I envision one who is no longer interested in investing time in "who is right and who is wrong" but is more interested in seeing how God is at work in the variety of folks we have among Friends. A "new kind of Quaker" is less concerned about "theological purity" and is more concerned about making sure we are "doing theology" by seeing our our faith is put into action. A "new kind of Quaker" isnt going to spend alot of time coming up with resolution after resolution in order to pull the drawstrings of exlcusivity tighter and tighter. Rather, a "new kind of Christian" will seek a more inclusive vision of God's presence and reign in this world so that all of God's gifts - and children - are celebrated. A "new kind of Quaker" doesnt separate the "spiritual from the secular" but seeks to bring together in a holistic way their faith with other aspects of creation. In other words, it matters to our faith how we treat the enviroment, how we consume, and how we treat the poor and the disadvantaged. A "new kind of Quaker" is going to look down on certain Quaker acronyms ("They are from EFI, or FUM, or FGC") but a "new kind of Quaker" seeks to enjoy all the Quaker alphabet has to offer. In other words, a "new kind of Quaker" sees the value in both the person from EFI and FCNL, from FUM and AFSC, from FUM and FGC.

What is your vision of a "new kind of Quaker?"

1 comment:

felice said...

Wonderful article. I awlways felt that the "spiritual from the secular" were the same.