Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On being a "Quasi" Quaker

I was talking on the phone a few days ago to a friend whom I haven't seen in a couple of years. She and her husband used to be part of a house-church with Carla and I. Prior to that, her husband and I were in leadership together at the same Vineyard church.

When I told her that Carla and I have been attending a Quaker church, she was shocked. As we discussed it more, it became evident that she was equating Quakers to Amish or other ultra-conservative Mennonite sects. "I used to have the same misconception.", I said, and explained to her that Quakers generally don't dress anachronistically and have actually tended to be very progressive in many ways. I recounted how I had discovered that many of the values and practices which we had been pursuing together in our house-church were things that the Quakers had been doing for 350 years. It just seemed to fit for us.

The next day, while rummaging around in a pile of pamphlets at church, I came across a piece written by Gregg Koskela entitled The Top Ten Reasons I’m a Quaker (click to read).

Koskela followed that list up with another: The Top Ten Ways Quakers Make Me Crazy.

Although my own Top Ten lists would be slightly different, I can relate to both the pros and cons that Gregg enumerates (although, regarding #5 on the "Make Me Crazy" list, we have been blessed to find a group of Quakers who embrace the Charismatic gifts--albeit quietly).

I have not quite crossed the line of referring to myself as a Quaker. I am a "Quasi-Quaker" and by Quasi I mean almost. At some point I'm sure I will cross that line and begin to think of myself simply as a Quaker but I'm content to let that happen naturally. The self-description that I hope always over-arches every other is follower of Jesus.


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