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Quaker Similarities

Some members of the Jesus Christians are also members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Most other members have at least attended Quaker meetings. And, at the time this was written, some of us were working with programmed Quakers in Kenya. Articles on this page relate (in a very general way) to subjects which we feel represent similarities between the teachings of Quaker in Australia (i.e. unprogrammed Quakers), and the teachings of the Jesus Christians. Some articles were written without any conscious reference to Quakerism. However, they have, on reflection, touched on subjects which are of interest to Australian Quakers, and this has led to them being added to this book. There are even a couple of articles which suggest dis-similarities between Jesus Christians and Quakers.

Please bear in mind that due to the very nature of Quakerism, no individual Quaker can make a definitive statement on what Quakers believe. The articles on this page should, in no way, be taken as representing some official statement by Friends, whether in Australia or elsewhere.

Although this study defends the ideals of both anarchism and pacifism in general, it also examines the error in trusting them in preference to the teachings of Jesus as the cornerstone for our beliefs.

William Penn's essay No Cross, No Crown is the basis for this article about how the world commonly reacts to someone with true spiritual authority.
(See also Why Did They Kill Jesus?, and Peace that Disturbs.)

The subject is grace, and the letter is in response to a reader who questioned whether a heathen could be saved without someone preaching to him or her. This is the most complete answer to that question that we have so far given. It is recommended for anyone who is having problems with our position on the grace of God. In particular, it deals with the double-think that is so prevalent in the churches, which applies grace to people inside the institution, but the law to those outside.
(See also Universalism, Pros and Cons, What is Faith? and What is a Christian?)

Jesus Christians don't pray out loud in public meetings. But it does not stop us from having prayer meetings. This article lists several options.
(See also Constant Prayer, Two Witnesses, and The True Conscience.)

This study on the Virgin Army of Revelation 7 and 14 stresses the sincerity of members of that body. Although unprogrammed Quakers do not teach the traditional evangelical “plan of salvation” (recognition of sin, confession, a change in lifestyle, and on-going fellowship) this article suggests a link between the two different approaches, by showing how all of those steps can naturally flow from sincerity, something which does seem to be more in line with the Quaker approach to spirituality.
(See also The Twelve Tribes, In Search of Truth, and The Virgin Army, part 2.)

Does God really speak to people today? Yes, definitely! Christine has listed eight ways that our community has used to discern God's will. The best part is that it works!
(See also Hearing from God, Dreams, and Hearing What We Don't WANT to Hear.)

Four powerful arguments are given to support the right (and responsibility) of true followers of Jesus to break the law at times.
(See also Character, Jesus and the Law, Peace that Disturbs, and Why Did They Kill Jesus?)

Most people can see the error in trusting political solutions in some areas, but they are inclined to overlook the error in other areas. Christianity is not a matter of choosing the right candidate for an earthly government; true Christianity is based on faith in a completely different kingdom, ruled by a completely different government.
(See also Our Mission, and Thy Kingdom Come.)

Joe discusses this popular phrase as it relates to the JC concept of sincerity and the Quaker concept of "plain speech".

A tiny, almost insignificant rule: Don't call anyone 'father' except God. Sounds easy to follow too. And yet Jesus Christian attempts to obey Jesus even with this simple rule have stirred up a hornet's nest of opposition.
(See also Protestant Popes, Titles, and The Social Conscience Part 1.)

How often have you hidden (or hidden from) the truth? Yet honesty sets people free. If others don't want to hear the truth, at least be honest with God and with yourself about what is really going on. Historically, Friends used the term “plain speech” to refer to the use of “thee” and “thou” to obliterate class distinctions; but it also lends itself well to the idea of Integrity, which is one of the fundamental Quaker “testimonies”.
(See also Disagreements, Insanity, and The True Conscience.)

Dave considers how much sincerity is a part of real prayer, and how much it is not a part of religious pretences at praying.
(See also Constant Prayer, and Hearing from God.)

Christine has put together a thorough summary of our position with regard to water baptism in this letter to an enquirer. (Note: The enquirer later became a member.)
(See also Water Baptism.)

Consensus rule, while used in almost all groups at times, is seen as the most easily abused form of government, in this comparison between consensus and democracy.

A whole new slant on how to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Clue: It has nothing to do with what religion they profess.
(See Another Cornerstone, The First Rule is: There are no Rules, The Unknown God, and The Cross.)

Unlike abject poverty, liberated poverty is inspiring and exciting. One can be neat, clean, healthy, and happy by living a simple life. Our poverty can be a testimony to God's simplicity and order.
(See also Pleading Poverty, Bearing Burdens, and Contentment.)

Is the Bible the Word of God? Is Jesus the Word of God? Did the Bible create the world? Are the Koran and the Baghavad Gita holy writings? Can people be inspired when they speak today? If so, are they speaking the words of God? Are they infallible? Find the answer (as understood by Jesus Christians) to these questions and more in this thought-provoking study.
(See also The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth, The Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit, and The Bible.)

Religion seems to get in the way of faith - both for those who accept religion, and for those who reject it. But a genuine search for truth should take us beyond religion and into a quest for meaning. And we feel that real meaning can best be found in the teachings of Jesus.
(See also Convenient Doctrines, and Which Christ are You Following? part 4)

An explanation of the reasoning behind us staying with the Quakers despite widespread and persistent condemnation of ourselves by some of the weightiest Quakers in Australia. 

The tensions that we are experiencing between Jesus Christians and Quakers has led many people to ask (including ourselves), "Why do you bother persevering with the Quakers?  Why not leave?"

The New Testament approach to pagan idolatry is radically different to the Old Testament approach. Sincere pagans are tolerated more lovingly now, while covetousness within the ranks of the "chosen people" (see Colossians 3:5 and Ephesians 5:5) is condemned as the real source of idolatry.
(See also I-Dollar-Tree, The Unknown God, and Missionaries.)

Shows how loving enemies can actually end up making them friends, and even if it doesn't, it will make you a better friend to those who are closest to you.
(See also Space Without Spice.)

Meetings, organisations, and the mystical Body of Christ all get a mention in this essay on the role God must play in creating genuine religious unity.
(See also Armageddon for Beginners, chapter 7, The Missing Week.)

Miserly greed takes many forms, but one of the most depressing is the endless whinge about being poor, that so many Christians get into. Fund-raisers use it, and so do Christians who offer stingy hospitality. God loves a cheerful giver, so stop whinging and start giving.
(See also No Strings Attached, and Ananiases.)

How do miracles differ from magic? For that matter, do miracles differ from magic? And what about the difference between Christian faith and primitive superstitions? Are they as different as what some people think they are?
(See also Heal the Sick, and Miracles.)

Tells how to actually solve problems and to arrive at the best possible decisions, as opposed to scoring points when discussing plans and problems.
(See also Singles or Doubles?, and Eight Ways to Know God's Will.)

Using a favorite Quaker verse about walking in the Light, Dave reflects on his history of using the media to communicate, in contrast to people who have relied on gossip and anonymity to challenge us and the message for which we stand.  It was written at a time when Quakers were saying that the Jesus Christian faith and practice is "incompatible" with Quaker faith and practice (but giving no specific examples to back it up).

If you're tempted to blame your parents for your faults, why not change parents? This article tells you how.
(See also Malcontents.)

A brief summary of Quakerism, with a number of similarities noted between what they teach and what we teach. Includes a hint of caution about some tendencies in Quakerism as seen through the eyes of Jesus Christian emphasis.
(See also Musings on Quakerism, Many Paths Up the Mountain, and Universalism, Pros and Cons.)

As Quakers themselves, Dave and Cherry examine what they consider to be similarities (and some differences) between Australian Quakerism and the teachings of the Jesus Christians.
(See also Quakerism.)

An 'Easy English' article on the need for quietness when living in community, and the tendency for people in the modern world to be addicted to noise.
(See also Prayer Meetings, and Buying Time.)

A brief discussion of the ins and outs of obeying Jesus with regard to using titles for various people. It deals with some of the complications that can arise as well.
(See also In the Name of the Father, and Forsaking Your Parents.)

Dave writes as a Quaker to other Quakers, asking if they really want to head down the path that is being encouraged by so many weighty Quakers in New South Wales, which is to "tighten up" their theology in such a way as to be able to exclude any "cults" which may possess the power to "take over" the 350 year old Religious Society of Friends.

A short plea to liberal Quakers to respect the faith of those Quakers who feel offended when God is harshly criticised or ridiculed.
(See also Universalism, Pros and Cons.)

Reflections on a number of disappointments that were happening at the time, and how they all had a bright side if we would just reflect on it.

This article deals with the paradox that an organisation which does not have any avowed loyalty to Jesus appears to have come closer to following him over a period of 350 years than most other organisations that declare loudly that Jesus is their Lord and Saviour. And it considers a couple of explanations for this paradox.

After reading Tolstoy's Confession and What I Believe, we were amazed to learn that he had experienced much the same treatment that we have experienced as a result of discovering the teachings of Jesus. It is reassuring to hear someone else affirm the truths we have found in the teachings of Jesus.
(See also Faith and Sincerity, and Anarchy and Pacifism.)

This article traces the history of pacifism over the past few centuries, and comments on its consistent links with the teachings of Jesus. It calls for renewed interest in the rest of what Jesus taught, in particular, about money, the future, and living by faith.

Careful analysis of the Catch-22 used by those who supposedly persecute us for having a persecution complex.  Gets specific about some tactics used by various Australian Quakers in an effort to destroy our reputation.

An interesting comparison between different branches of Christianity and their approaches to finding the will of God.

Why don't we Jesus Christians have any sacraments? Sacrifices were to the Jews what sacraments have become to the institutional church. "Mercy" is hard to institutionalise, and that may be why sacraments have proven to be so much more popular.
(See also Water Baptism, and Living in Community.)

Some ground rules for Christian ethics that are all too often overlooked by supposedly Christian missionaries.
(See also Idolatry, Non-Christian Religions, and The Unknown God.)

The Apostle Paul demonstrates a gracious approach toward non-Christian religions when he builds on what the two beliefs have in common, rather than attacking the opposition. This more universalist approach to non-Christian religions is shown to be an extension of an Old Testament teaching about the God with an unpronounceable name.
(See also In Search of Truth, The Good Hindu, Idolatry, Universalism, Pros and Cons, and Father and Son.)

This letter to one who questioned whether a Hindu could get to heaven, challenges the lie that good works have nothing to do with faith, grace, or salvation, and the sister lie that religious affiliation does.
(See Non-Christian Religions, Amazing Grace, and The Unknown God.)

There are problems whether we bury anger or express it. To resolve it, we must come to terms with what can (and cannot) be done about changing both ourselves and the person with whom we are angry.
(See also Forgiveness, From Bitter to Better, and Bitterness.)

Jesus instructs us to address God as "our" Father (and not “my” Father), apparently to keep us aware of our need for others besides ourselves along our various spiritual journeys.
(See also Two Witnesses, Loose Cannons, and Living in Community.)

A short article on "clutter", including a humorous illustration of how being "poor in spirit" makes life both simpler and happier.
(See also Living by Faith -- How to Do It.)

Americans in particular are targeted in this article, which explains just what we mean by "materialism".
(See also The Xmas Spirit, The American Dream, and The Root of All Evil.)

We Jesus Christians are mystics (people who have a personal relationship with the spiritual force behind the universe). In this article, some strong points are covered, along with some shortcomings of mysticism.
(See also The Role of Experience in the Quest for Truth.)

According to this article, three changes are needed to make the political left truly effective in changing the world. But how many are willing to make them?
(See also Anarchy and Pacifism.)

Blind faith in an organisation can be a barrier to real faith in a God who is bigger than the organisation. It pays to question even your most treasured dogmas at times.
(See also Dogmas, Churchies, and System Worship.)

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