Megan Personett

The Religious Society of Friends is a great denomination that is open to everyone. They believe in equality and silent worship. They show their faith through their everyday lives by being a witness to God, honest, and righteous. Quakers do not participate in elaborate ceremonies or rituals. They are simple and down to earth. It was all started by a great man wanting his questions answered in the 1600’s. This man created a widespread religion based on “the light of God” found in everybody day to day.In 1647 great changes occurred in George Fox’s life. He grew up with Anglican parents until he was nineteen. Then he began to wonder if there was something more to religion. He started asking preachers and priests various questions, none of which could be fully answered for George. Until one day he heard a voice. This voice led him to four conclusions. One, Christ is not just a holy figure from the past; He is present with us today. Second, a Christian is someone who has gone from death to life in an encounter with Jesus. Third, the Church is not just a building but a community of believers who are inspired by Christ. Fourth, Priests are not just intelligent human beings but people inspired by Christ to bring Christ into others lives. These four beliefs became the basis of the Quaker religion in 1647, founded by George Fox.Quaker worship is very different from the worship of most Christian churches. It doesn’t follow a set liturgy or code of rules. A worship meeting has no structure or person leading it. Quakers do not have clergy because they feel that when two or more people come together to worship, nothing more is needed. The Religious Society of Friends steers away from hierarchical structure. Although there is no organization that has authority over the worldwide denomination, the structure is organized through meetings. At a local level they are Preparative Meetings, larger district levels are Monthly and General Meetings, and at a national level it is Yearly Meeting. Quakers function as a whole body of members brought together to live their daily lives with the light of God shining upon them.The Religious Society of Friends has its’ beliefs streaming from Christian views. They believe God is love and that the light of God is in every person. Anyone who lets their days be guided by this light can have a direct occurrence with God without mediation. For this reason, many Quakers reject the idea of priests but believe in the priesthood of believers. Quakers actively strive for peace, social justice, and human rights, including free will, in the world today. The Society of Friends firmly believes in the importance of community life and environmental issues. Quakers believe that all humans contain goodness and are equally worthy of respect. They welcome diversity and don’t discriminate. Quakers truly believe in following their ‘inner light’ rather than external laws.Quakers are members of a universal religion with many Christian elements. They do not celebrate Christian festivals such as Christmas or Holy Days. Quakers regard the Bible as an inspirational book filled with wisdom but they do not see it as the only one. They read other books that can guide their lives. Quakers do not have elaborate worship ceremonies or rituals; most groups of Quakers meet for regular worship consisting of silent waiting for an insight from God. Participants center down by taking deep breaths, relaxing, praying, and humming. Worship usually lasts an hour. Quakers have worship practices with a minimum of planned events; they rely on revelations from the Holy Spirit. Quakers do not practice baptism or Eucharist; they instead try to live life in the spirit through their daily routine.Quakers have many beliefs concerning society, the environment, and morals. They try to live an honest, humble life filled with worship and hard work. They believe in treating men and women equally. Quakers also believe in animals’ rights. They do not gamble and use tobacco or drink moderately. Quakers do not have an overall, common view on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, or euthanasia. Many Quakers use contraceptives and make ‘living wills’, stating that if they have no chance for survival without artificial life support, they be allowed to die a natural death. Quakers strive for justice in the world by staying actively involved in politics and society. They do not believe in war and feel that it is God’s wish to strive for peace and unity. Although Quakers do not have set beliefs on all aspects of life, they all strive for honest, just, and good lives.The Religious Society or Friends, or Quakers, is an amazing and deep denomination with many beliefs but the key one and most important of all is the belief that every human being has “the light of God” inside them. This “light of God” lives through them every day. The Society of Friends is a great church that anyone could be interested in. Their beliefs and moral codes are very open and stay away from strict teachings and abuses. Quakers may have vague belief systems and structures but they have great faith and unity. Is this denomination for you?

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