Here’s my latest installment at Barclay Press. As you’ll notice I worked at weaving a number of ideas I’ve had together and tried to initiate a forward step in a Quaker understanding of “liturgy.” More on this to come.
What Quakers were against wasn’t forms but rather things that became objects and ultimately obstacles for our belief. Anything that takes the place of or “prevents us from experiencing the true reality” of our social situation or the reality of the kingdom of God was to be questioned by the church. Two assumptions play into this reading, first in every generation we have to ask this question again, “what is preventing us from experiencing the reality of our social situation, from the reality of the kingdom of God?” It’s not enough to simply duplicate a black and white copy of everything the first generation of Friends did – that requires no faith and betrays yet again a faith fixated on something else. But neither can we simply dismiss their keen insights either. As Pink Dandelion has argued silence itself has become a form, a fixation, that can lead to disbelief but neither can we get rid of this because we know that rituals, pastors, etc. can also become obstacles to faith.