Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friends Testimonies SPICE?
With regard to the acronym SPICE for Friends testimonies, I find it much too limiting and to a degree misleading. This implies a discrete list, like the 10 commandments. However, again like the "original" 10 commandments, much is left out. There is much disagreement as to just what should be included in the "Faith and Practice" of Friends, just as there is disagreement on just what are the 10 commandments. The Hebrew tradition doesn't necessarily have 10 commandments but rather the LAW. The Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants each seem to have slightly different versions of the 10 commandments drawn from a list of at least 13 separate statements in Exodus with a whole different version in other parts of the Torah.
I agree with those that say there was A Friends Testimony which has since been described in more explicit terms in varying forms in various "Disciplines" and "Faith and Practices." The Friends Council on Education has utilized SPICE as a short hand form to summarize these for students, parents, and teachers, the great majority of whom are not Friends. I have utilized the acronym and an added S for Stewardship that has been added by some in the more environmentally aware past few decades.
I am of an analytical mind that does tend to organize concepts into structures that seem coherent, convenient, and compact. Thus I have played with SPICE a little bit and am temporarily playing with the following:
Simplicity ... Stewardship
Peace-making ... Prophetic
Integrity ... Individual
Community .... Compassion
Equality ... Excellence
( ... implies some prepositions that may fit as/in/for/through/by/with )
Simplicity is not just for the sake of being plain but rather to allow others to share in all the resources and to indicate that material things are not to be sought for ones self)
Peace-making is a prophetic task in living for God's will rather than human occasions for war
Integrity of I AM in Truth as an individual
Community with compassion for each other
Equality of all as children of God but each with gifts/talents to be used as much as possible
Some of these sound "trite" and are definitely NOT my "full" intent, but without writing a "book" it seems impossible to express adequately or accurately my faith and belief.