Sunday, August 7, 2005


I am a little dismayed today. I didn't feel like Meeting for Worship was particularly spiritual today. Then when I got home, I was looking through back issues of Friends Journal trying to find anything on Meeting for Worship for Peace, and I kept coming across disturbing statements like "many Friends have difficulty with the term 'prayer'" and I think the same article started to do a tap dance when it mentioned "cross". I feel like some Quakers are becoming afraid of God. I don't think it's the kind of fear of God that the Hebrew scriptures talk about, either.

We may have different words for God, we may understand God in different ways, but we need to be willing to let people talk about God the way they understand God. This may not always be the easiest thing for us to deal with, but the alternative is to water our speech down to some lowest common denominator. I don't know if this happens to other people as well, but there are certain expressions where I just feel a disconnect -- that is, I start to feel like we aren't talking about God. My personal disconnect happens when someone uses non-personal terms like "Nature".

Now, I consider it to be my problem that I have this disconnect. I feel I should strive to hear God's voice in those statements. I also understand that some Friends are "refugees" from some churches that display a less-than-Christ-like attitude to the world, and strongly Christian language can be a point of pain for those people. I'm not sure what the solution is for this problem. I don't feel that it is right to just say "suck it up" to someone experiencing that pain, but it is also not right to tell someone that they can't express their relationship with God through the eyes of their own beliefs. I hope that one day, with God's help, we will understand what to do.

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