But as I had forsaken the priests, so I left the separate preachers also, and those esteemed the most experienced people; for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition”; and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.”
—George Fox, 1647
The Religious Society of Friends of the Truth arose as a radical Christian sect in 17th century Puritan England and evolved to minister to the spiritual needs of the 21st century by holding to these nine basic beliefs (as articulated by Arthur Larrabee on QuakerSpeak):
- There is a living, dynamic spiritual presence at work in the world that is both within us and outside of us.
- There is that of God in everyone.
- Each person is capable of the direct and unmediated experience of God.
- Our understanding and experience of God is nurtured and enlarged in community
- The Bible is an important spiritual resource and the life and teachings of Jesus are relevant for us today.
- The revelation of God’s truth is continuing and ongoing.
- Our inward experience of God transforms us and leads us into outward expressions of faithful living, witness, and action.
- Modeling God’s presence in our lives is more important than espousing beliefs.