Recently, in a private Society of Friends page to which I belong , the opinion was stated by some that that certain aspects of the Biblical record make it undesirable for Quakers to use in worship and practice. It saddens me that many Quakers have become so liberal, that they try to discredit the spiritual power of the Bible.
I have no hope to argue with anyone in this group. But I must state that there are still many Friends, who put faith in the Bible. I am one.
Quaker faith means to me that the very real and living God is present to me and all others, who open their hearts and minds, without a pope, priest or other spiritual authority or interpreter. I am clear about this. I spend my life trying to make this plain truth known to as many as possible. .
I’m also clear that I’m neither above nor beneath any man or woman. And that no man or woman is above nor beneath me. That we are all worthwhile children of God. And therefore, we can be clear and clean in our relationships and communications with others. Even those of different persuasions.
In regards to the Bible, it’s had plenty of attackers and plenty of defenders. Study apologetics, if you don’t believe me. I do know that it’s possible to commit Bibliolatry and not receive living, light and truth from the sacred text. Because there is no deeper insight, than arguing with the naked uninterpreted words on the pages.
Personally, I take great comfort in that the first Quaker, George Fox found much of his guidance and the Divine life that he received through the Reverent study of the Scriptures. Hopefully, as enlightened Quakers, we are wise enough to chew up the meat and spit out the bone. I know that there is unbelievable amounts of spiritual truth and light to be received, from this most important of all human manuscripts.
Sure there are accounts of prejudice, violence, greed and other things that somehow made their way into the judeo-christian ethic and the Bible text. Therefore, when I read the Christian sacred canon, I am looking for the light, love, truth and spiritual guidance that comes through so many of the writer’s, very clearly and very purely.
Motive matters greatly in gaining Godly insight from this precious book. You must read it with a heart open for spiritual guidance, instead of a mind looking only to be a textual critic, to gain the great wisdom and guidance possible from the Bible.
I pray for each of my Quaker friends today, that instead of trying to be pseudo intellectual critics. That each of us make it our priority to focus instead, on the deeper revelation of light, power, goodness, benevolence and truth that is available to us through the practice of our plain spoken, simple Quaker faith.