Thursday, December 4, 2008
Friends Testimony Pt 1 of 2
My own perspective:
For the Friend all daily experiences are lived in the presence of the Spirit of God and all matters are to be examined by the individual and community in the Light that is "that of God in everyone." The emphasis in every aspect of life, emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical, is on a simple straightforward communication with God as experienced. This includes worship and thus no symbolic acts toward God are sufficient or necessary to fulfill God's requirements but our commitment must be listening to that "still, small voice" which speaks to all who would listen. No water is used as a symbol of a transformed life, but our unity with God's will and with our neighbor must be seen in our daily lives and in our public gatherings. No bread or wine is used as a symbol of the presence of Christ but this presence is to be experienced as it provides power to to live all of our lives in union with the Spirit of God. No clergy or choir is used to express what we each may experience as the Word which gives direction through our lives.
This expression of God's will is in all of human human experience: family, career, life style, government, society, et. al. Since everyone is given direct access to the Divine Presence in their own life and we are commanded to love everyone, there can be no distinction on the basis, of gender, race, age, ability, wealth, religion, or other worldly measure. There are no natural or fundamental barriers which stand between God and individuals nor between individuals. However, there are artificial barriers which individuals and groups do construct.
It is with these barriers that many of the Friends "testimonies" deal.
To be continued