I sense that our motives for taking part in an action for peace are crucial to the effectiveness of that action. But I am not clear about my motives. I can’t say with confidence that I am moved more by love for enemies (in this case, warmongers and other violent people) than by a desire…
In 1 John, the apostle makes the explicit identification of God and agapē — universal love — that can serve as the primary interpretive principle for post-theistic Friends in our reading of both scripture and the Quaker tradition.
A 21st-century adaptation of George Fox’s Epistle CXXX, “To all Friends, to dwell in the truth, the life of God, the light, &c.” (1656).
Abiding in worship’s deep silence, our moral certainties suspended in trusting openness to the spirit that was in Jesus, we experience judgment in truth here and now.
Life in agapē is life in the “freedom of the children of God,” the liberty of those whose Spirit is divine. It differs radically from the ersatz liberty of the human spirit that, breathing where it believes it should, remains nonetheless enclosed.
In John’s story of the discovery of the Resurrection by Mary the Magdalene, Mary speaks my heart. As have I, she moves from sorrow over loss of a God-object to trust in a Christ-spirit to which we cannot cling.
The current versions of Section I, “Introduction,” and Section II, “The Life of the Spirit,” of my Quaker Faith & Practice for the 21st Century are now available for download as a single PDF document.