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The Trinity

Discussion in 'Religious Society of Friends ' started by Howard, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Howard

    Howard New Member

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    Are Quakers required to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity? I believe that Jesus is divine, yet I don't attempt to explain how this is possible.
     
  2. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    It would be helpful if a Quaker would answer this question?

    I want to know if the unprogrammed Quakers believe in the trinity. It seems that there are some Evangelical Quakers that do?

    Jensen
     
    #2 Jensen, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  3. Quakerguy

    Quakerguy Member

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    Most Quakers, with the exception of some Liberal Quakers, believe in the Trinity. I'm not sure if most Quaker Churches would require belief in the Trinity.
     
  4. icebuddy

    icebuddy Does the devil lift Jesus up?

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    Wow, a Quaker Question... Yes the Quakers believe in the Trinity. Required? The only Requirement to my knolledge is that one Loves and Believes Jesus is their Lord and Saviour. Looking at the Theif on the cross, what did he believe? Yet he was saved!

    The Trinity is something I personaly believe, but only Jesus knows your heart... He will reveal himself to you through the Holy Spirit in time if you only ask.

    What are your thoughts on 1 Cor 10:1-4 with Isaiah 44:6-8

    In Love,
    Tom
     
  5. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Hi Ice, have you read this from a Quaker site? I find it very interesting:yes:....and so different from what you have said in the past.

    about.quakerworship.org/what-do-quakers-believe-christian/


    Are Quakers Christian?

    Undoubtedly, there are many, perhaps (though it is by no means certain) even a majority of Quakers in Britain who would self-define as Christians – according to their own understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Because of our history, Quakerism is generally assumed by many outsiders to be a denomination of the wider Christian Church, like Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, or the Church of England.

    It isn’t really that simple, though. For the last 1700 years or so, most Christian Churches have held to more or less strict criteria as to what is required in order to be considered a Christian. Almost all of them require assent to:

    the Nicene Creed which refers to such things as the circumstances of Jesus’s conception, birth, execution, and resurrection,
    the doctrine of Trinitarianism which says God is comprised of the Father as creator, the Son as Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and
    the acceptance of the biblical Jesus as one’s Lord and Personal Saviour.

    Individually, many denominations also require assent to extra beliefs, either to be considered a Christian at all or just to be part of their own Church, such as:

    belief in the Apostolic Succession, whereby all members of the church hierarchy must be able to trace their lineage by the laying on of hands right back to the apostle Peter,
    baptism, be it a splash of water as an infant or total immersion as a believing adult,
    the taking of communion in the form of bread and wine, and
    the belief in the Bible as the infallible and inerrant Word of God.

    By these criteria, it has to be accepted that most other Churches and many individual Christians might not consider The Religious Society of Friends in Britain or some individual British Quakers to be Christians, due to our lack of assent to those same criteria. Technically, the Religious Society of Friends is considered to be a Protestant church by virtue of it not being part of the Roman Catholic church, but in fact it could said that Quakerism in Britain has always been just as much a ‘protest’ at the theology and practice of most Protestant churches as at the Catholic church.

    However, Quakers don’t rightly care for the criteria of others, considering that creeds and statements of faith are divisive and exclusive, turning people away from God rather than bringing them towards God. We also particularly don’t care for creeds because of our sense that God is much too big to be reduced to a few short sentences or snappy slogans. It is however interesting to note that despite this, most other Churches are very keen to keep us involved in ecumenical bodies and initiatives such as Churches Together in Britain and Ireland or the World Council of Churches, feeling we do have essential challenges to offer them, and include special ‘Quaker clauses’ in their constitutions in order for us to be able to participate without subscribing to anything credal.

    A number of Quakers are starting to use the term ‘post-Christian’, meaning they are rooted in Christianity (not least as a result of our heritage and common western culture) but open to new light, feeling that the old language of Christianity has some metaphorical value but does not necessarily express the Truth as they see it, and wish to be free to continue to find other language which does. Another popular description individual Quakers use is that of being ‘a humble learner in the School of Christ’. A number of other Quakers have actively found inspiration in the writings and practices of non-Christian faiths, most notably Judaism and Buddhism, and use for themselves the language of dual membership, self-defining as Jewish Quaker, or Buddhist Quaker. And there are indeed a number of British Quakers, be it through bad experiences in the past or simply the path of their own spiritual journey, who will have no truck with Christianity whatsoever, finding its language and concepts completely outside their own faith.


    Ice, have you noticed this part?

    However, Quakers don’t rightly care for the criteria of others, considering that creeds and statements of faith are divisive and exclusive, turning people away from God rather than bringing them towards God. We also particularly don’t care for creeds because of our sense that God is much too big to be reduced to a few short sentences or snappy slogans.

    Now, as I see it, the trinity is a creed.

    Jensen
     
    #5 Jensen, Jun 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  6. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Hi ice,

    (Underlining and highlighting is added by me.)

    about.quakerworship.org/
    Quakers and the Bible, and other ‘holy books’

    Almost overwhelmingly, Quakers hold that the Bible is a collection of writings of human beings in ancient times, trying to express in the best way they could their understanding of God, and God’s relationship with them specifically and humanity in general. Few, if any, Quakers see the Bible as the Infallible Holy Word of God – we see far too many inconsistencies in it for that – rather, it is a collection of words about God. For many it is an important and divinely inspired collection, and for some it remains the most important set of writings about God available to us. By and large, Quakers hold to what theologians call ‘continuing revelation’, meaning God didn’t start talking to us with the Book of Genesis and stop talking with the Book of Revelation, but rather God has also spoken, and continues to speak, to us over time through other writings, whether significant religious texts such as the Qu’ran or the Bhagavad Gita, or through other spiritual writings such as Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, or through music, painting, sculpture, poetry, or even mainstream theatre or film.
    Almost every single Quaker household and meeting house will have a book called Quaker Faith and Practice (which has the rather formidable subtitle of being the ‘Book of Discipline’). The purpose of this book is twofold: the first part, which many Quakers in Britain nostalgically refer to as Church Government has the position of being the formal constitution of the organisation, detailing procedural matters on such as marriages and funerals, outlining the responsibilities of various roles within a meeting, and informing how the various committees and groups which make up the wider organisation relate to each other and what they do. The second, more substantial part is effectively ‘our story’. It is a collection of inspirational writings of various individual Quakers, and groups of Quakers, through to minutes of meetings, to statements which all of us at our annual main meeting for church affairs and beyond have made on various aspects of what it means to be a Quaker today. Some of the writings included are modern, and some of them date from the earliest years of Quakerism. Topics covered include social justice issues, education, faith and action, bereavement, relationships and sexuality, Quakers and the State, peace, Meeting for Worship, creativity, suffering, simplicity, and just about anything else you can think of and how it relates to spirituality.
    It is not a top down set of instructions of how we should behave and what we should believe, rather it is a set of bottom up descriptions by individuals and groups of their own thoughts, which were thought sufficiently inspiring by the committee which compiled the book and then the whole of us who ratified it to include in it and share with others. Since the first edition of the book in 1782 it has been revised roughly every generation, with the most recent major revision in 1995. Consequently, it remains at all times always a fresh and modern explanation of ‘where we think we’re at’. and one big advantage of our relatively small size is for any given Quaker it is quite possible they might have met or even know as a friend at least one other Quaker who is quoted in it – which further helps to bind us together as a community. Throughout the whole Quaker world, most yearly meetings will have a similar document, which can be as small as a pamphlet just containing the main constitutional rules and following the Bible as a whole for spiritual guidance, or have a book as extensive as the British one.
    Rather than worrying about what we each individually believe, for Quakers what we feel is most important to unite around is our collective response to our beliefs. Faith in Action is what we live together by, and it is through this we not only unite with each other in Britain, but also unite with Quakers around the world, some of whose beliefs might be starkly different to our own. It is through our Meeting for Worship, the way we make decisions together (our ‘Business Method’), and our testimonies. In the next chapter, I’ll tell you more about Quaker testimonies, what they are, and how they come about.
    ,
     
    #6 Jensen, Jun 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  7. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Hi ice, thought you might like to read this too.
    Do Quakers believe in God?

    If you ask this of your pet Quaker, the answer will almost certainly start off along the lines of “Well, it depends upon what you mean by ‘God’…”, be followed by much hand wringing, and no doubt continue along similar lines. By the end of the answer you may be none the wiser, but more than likely after digesting it you could be forgiven for responding “A simple ‘yes’ would have sufficed”! Your pet Quaker wasn’t deliberately trying to be evasive or unclear; the somewhat wordy reply stems partly from our suspicion of anything which looks like a creed, partly from the difficulty which follows on from that of giving an answer which might be considered to be speaking on behalf of other Quakers, but mostly to honestly check what you actually mean by ‘God’!
    Certainly few, if even any, Quakers today believe in the traditional image of God as an old bloke with a long white robe and a long white beard sitting on a throne on a cloud giving orders to passing angels and generally running the show, so we don’t want you to think we do. To be fair, few if any people in other churches believe in that image of God either. But it seems that most people on the ‘outside’ of religion have the impression of that being the God people on the ‘inside’ of religion believe in, and we want to take extra care to correct that misconception.
    Although most Quakers do at heart believe ‘in God’, a significant number might not actually use that word – replacing it instead with terms such as ‘the Light Within’, ‘the Creator’, ‘the Spirit’, ‘Inward Teacher’ etc. This might partly be due to not wanting to upset the sensitivities of others, and partly as a result of any previous bad experiences themselves have had. Either way, whatever different words Quakers use or hear other people using, there is a shared understanding we all refer to the same ‘life force’ which binds the Universe together. Quakers do not worry about what name we give to God – after all, if an English speaker refers to ‘God’ and an French speaker refers to ‘Le Dieu’, they are still both referring to the same God.
    Needless to say, there are a small number of Quakers who reject the whole concept of God entirely, considering it at best to be irrelevant and at worst to be superstition.


    also from: about.quakerworship.org/


    (underlining and highlighting by me)


    Jensen
     
  8. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Ice, am I wrong in assuming that by this, being a Quaker means that one can decide almost completely what it is that one believes? That one may decide for themselves how much of the orthodox beliefs that one accepts? That one could be a Quaker and decide completely for oneself what one believes? That I could be a Quaker and not believe in the trinity, hell-fire...etc? If this is the situation, I'm half way there.:clap

    Jensen;)
     
  9. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Ice, I suppose that you are not of that kind of Quaker, but more of this kind that is no different than Lutheran, baptists and a numerous other orthodox Christians,, which rises the question, how are you still Quaker when the beliefs are so different.

    The evangelical friends are nothing like the friends of the past, so why keep a name that really no longer identifies you. Here are some of the differences...

    ttp://www.evangelicalfriends.org/6

    We believe God created mankind in His image to enjoy perfect companionship with God. Disobedience to God's authority destroyed that companionship creating a void in the human heart. This void can only be filled by a repaired relationship with God made possible by Jesus' sacrifice.

    We believe the Church is the community of all who believe on Jesus Christ - the living presence of Jesus in the world proclaiming His good news and transforming the world by its presence, service and love for others.

    Friends General Conference | Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

    It sounds like Quakers can believe anything they like―is that so?

    Quakers invite the word of God to be written in our hearts, rather than as words on paper¬ówe have no creed. But we also believe that if we are sincerely open to the Divine Will, we will be guided by a Wisdom that is more compelling than our own more superficial thoughts and feelings. This can mean that we will find ourselves led in directions or receiving understandings that we may not have chosen just from personal preference. Following such guidance is not always easy. This is why community is important to Quakers, why we turn to each other for worshipful help in making important choices, and why we read the reflections of other Quakers who have lived faithful lives.

    :facepalm:
     
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  10. romana03

    romana03 Member

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    Hello, I'm a Quaker :)

    I do not believe in the Trinity, nor in the divinity of Jesus.

    Quakers are not necessarily even Christian, I don't think you can generalise like that.
     
  11. Nateswift

    Nateswift New Member

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    A little history of Quakers in The US would be helpful. The answer for the Quakers in Britain was sufficient (ok, without becoming smarmy, it was outstanding)
    You have to understand that during the "great awakening" people came into Quaker Meetings who did not understand the processes, and who had been steeped in doctrines that Quakers had essentially avoided. As a result, most of the "Quakers" in the US are evangelical and have programmed Meetings with little left of distinct Quaker ideas. Most of the "unprogrammed" Meetings will be of the liberal tradition similar to the description of British Quakers, with some Conservative Meetings also.

    Traditionally, Quakers have avoided dogmas and doctrines and instead have "testimonies" which have more to do with living in community than theology.
     
  12. icebuddy

    icebuddy Does the devil lift Jesus up?

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    i have been away for a long time.

    Nateswift,
    what are you asking? Do you want my testimony or did you have a question? The Friends Quakers do believe in the Trinity and that God has expressed himself to us in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. i was reading a book about the Universe and how it is Space, Time, and Matter. The book pointed out that alot of creation is made up of 3's like this. (Man=Body, soul, spirit)

    Anyways, if your still around, lets talk...

    In Love,
    tom
     
  13. icebuddy

    icebuddy Does the devil lift Jesus up?

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    i guess my first question to you would be what is a "Christian" to you?

    in Love,
    Tom
     
  14. icebuddy

    icebuddy Does the devil lift Jesus up?

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    No, We believe in creeds, we just dont have any creeds that define our religion as seperate from mainstream christianity, such as Jehovahs Witnesses...
     
  15. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Hi Tom,

    I think that you need to study up on the past history of Quakers and their origin, and get an idea of what the original Quakers believed. It is not, or at a least was not, what your Quaker church of today believes. The beliefs of your church have little to do with the beliefs of Quakers of the distant past. So again, why called yourselves by a name that had beliefs that were, and are, so different to what your church today believes?

    Jensen
     
  16. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Jehovah's Witnesses have set beliefs but as far as I know they do not have creeds that are stated and that one most believe in.

    I have been studying with Witnesses for two years now.....and as before when in the past when I had studies with them......creeds have never been mentioned. Just beliefs.


    Jensen
     
  17. icebuddy

    icebuddy Does the devil lift Jesus up?

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    There are 2 Kinds of Quakers BTW. Not sure what you have read or studied, but the web is full of information and Im not sure if all of it is accurate. Just type in the word Evolution and you will know what im talking about...

    Tom
     
  18. icebuddy

    icebuddy Does the devil lift Jesus up?

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    Jensen,
    i also studied with JW's and they are very nice people, but what ran me away was when Hinretta (88 year old JW in 2007) told me that Jesus already returned in 1914 and set up or picked the WTBS as his only true followers I started to question Gods so-called organization.

    The JW's have allot of good beliefs and family ideas, but just as I remembered the Jim Jones followers that drank 95% punch, but it only took 5% poison to kill them...

    Anyways, if the JW and the WTBS is truely from God then we shouldnt see such changes over history as to the Worship of Jesus on and off. The changing of dates of when Jesus would return only to say over and over 1914,1925,1975 and then say you know what, we must of been right in 1914 only it was invisable. So i asked, if Jesus was running the WTBS since 1914, then why didnt anyone know until 1975 or way after? The questions kept piling up...

    Sure they said, Like many other religions, we have made mistakes. but more questions arose: i said first off the WTBS is unique in that they believe Jesus already returned in 1914, so there should be no mistakes coming from Jesus and the fruits of the WTBS's tree where not Jesus like in my opinion...

    However, the JW's I know still today are nice to me, but we dont talk religion anymore to each other. We work together and some play hockey with my son, but they no longer attend, but are still JW's. (Not sure how that works exactly)

    Its like Republicans and Democrats that all read the same constitution but all have different views of it... To me, Jesus is Jehovah and I worship the Father, Son, and holy Spirit as my God and Savior in a orderly fashion.

    What I do know is that God loves us and his only Son Jesus died for our sins and if we believe that and repent the Holy Spirit will begin to work in out lives. But dont forget one thing

    Mat 12:32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

    Why do you think the WTBS says the Holy Spirit is Just a power and not a living being? have they denied the Holy Spirit? I believe the WTBS wants to control and keep its believers from finding truth from the Holy Spirit by denying him.

    Jhn 14:17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

    In Love,
    Tom
     
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