Salvation requires that we learn to discern and attend to something deeper than conscience, something that can properly orient and illumine the conscience; namely, the hidden light of love within us, which, as we have seen, Friends identified with the life and power of God. Only that can give us “a new heart” by leading us out of our self-centered schematic bias.
If deep change is to occur, somehow a powerful dissonance must be triggered; our well-established schematic network of core beliefs must be challenged by love.
We are pacifists because, re-centered in God-who-is-agapē, we find that love is stronger than our fear and anger.
We may initially come to religion in flight from pain, but the image of Christ in the “doubting Thomas” story warns us that to flee from love’s wounds is to flee from “the way, the truth, and the life.”
If, when I’m feeling a little playful, someone were to ask me to summarize Quakerism in a sentence or two, I might say this: You have a heart. Use it. If the person looked puzzled or expectant, I might say more: It’s not the heart your parents gave you. […]
“Walk cheerfully over the earth, answering that of God in everyone” is certainly a rich and challenging exhortation; however, it’s not one that George Fox actually gave.
George Fox rejected military service and participation in war not because he was a pacifist but because he was a saint.