I don’t otherwise keep a personal ‘blog but proverbially such things often contain long polemical ‘rants’ expressing the views or ‘concerns’ of the writer.
Ranters apart, quiet reflection would seem to be more in the Quaker style. But ‘Rants’ is just shorter and more eye-catching than ‘Reflections’ and sort of leaves me free to rant as well as reflect! So here’s where I’ll reflect (or rant) as I try to go further along the Quaker ‘way’.
THE most appealing aspect of ‘Quakerism’ (if there be such a thing?) to me is some of the pithy counsels contained in the Quakers’ little red book known as ‘Advices & Queries’ (in its present edition in Britain).
17. Do you respect that of God in everyone though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or be difficult to discern? Each of us has a particular experience of God and each must find the way to be true to it. When words are strange or disturbing to you, try to sense where they come from and what has nourished the lives of others. Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken. (my bold).
Now, isn’t that quite charming? That presumably means that Quakers may be mistaken and so might you or I.
But then, the preceding part is difficult, very difficult. One can read this sort of thing:
Where ‘3.’ is the ‘opposition’ for 1, 2 & 4 and feel ‘ are these people for real and are they harmless nutters or dangerous lunatics?’ Clearly, at the present time, the ‘Rev. Ken Silva’ couldn’t possibly conceive of the merest possibility that he might be mistaken. With regard to his ‘contemplating the inner light of the quakers’ (whom he seems to regard as agents of the little fella’ with horns) I feel moved to say:
Judge them by their fruits. (too many biblical references; but maybe that makes me the devil?)
(‘See’/hear Advices & Queries here.)