Threshing

by Dr. Bruce Arnold

[Still thinking about some random topics while working on larger, more difficult posts. The following is a reflection that arose during meditation. Funny, the term “threshing” came up in another Quaker blog, in another context, just a day or two ago. Synchronicity.]

I believe that there will be a threshing-out that will take place in the Religious Society of Friends. The current situation is untenable. We can’t be all things to all people. Those who have found shelter with us for a while, because we pose no creedal tests, will find at some point that they are imposing upon our hospitality.

Quakerism is within the Christian tradition. We allow a lot of latitude on what that means. I’m rather a latitudinarian myself. That doesn’t mean anything goes. We are not an ethical society that meditates together once a week. We are not syncretists. We are not, for heaven’s sake, Unitarian Universalists who actually shut up every so often.

That doesn’t mean all the non-Christians should leave, or will. The threshing-out that I foresee will be that those who cannot stand to hear a Christian message, or work within a Christian framework, however broadly defined, will realize that they are abusing our good nature.

They won’t be thrown out. This is important:

They will leave, as cherished guests do, because the time has come to move on.

Not today, and probably not tomorrow; in the fullness of time.

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