Are Quakers Christian?

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The Religious Society of Friends is an evolutionary transformation of Western, English, Protestant, Puritan Christianity that arose in the mid-1600s during the English Civil War. The movement sought to revive the radical spiritual life of primitive Christianity. Early Quakers were persecuted as heretics.

Today, many “convinced” Friends, who have been attracted to join our search for spiritual immediacy, bring with them some more, some less of their Christian faith. Others, who have been raised as Quakers, continue in the radical Christianity of the early Friends. Still others simply do not self-identify as Christians. For “unprogrammed, liberal” Friends, which includes Friends Meeting at Cambridge, the Quaker version of Christianity does not include a creedal statement of belief, the authority of priests, ritual observance of the sacraments, or adherence to doctrinal Biblical interpretations. Even more importantly, because we seek to live in the Light that takes away the occasion for wars, Liberal Friends have left behind the exclusivity of Christian belief. Thus, Universalists and those from other religious backgrounds are welcome as members.

What has persisted in the Quaker movement is the belief in radical spiritual life for those who sit in expectant worship and walk the talk in social action. Many of us have experienced the growing reality of the inner Christ, the seed, the Light within, the inner teacher. We believe that the love and Light of God, which showed in all its perfection in the life and teaching of Jesus, is available to everyone even today, however they may choose to identify it.

So, the question is, is this the form of Christianity that you are seeking? If not, you may wish to explore other branches of Quakerism that have different Christian profiles.