Could Quakerism be the radical faith that the millennial generation is looking for?

A few thoughts on this by Chris Venables:

  • Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, while cliché, continues to be a useful heuristic.
  • A commenter on Facebook had a brutally pithy response: “At least some parts of our culture seem more eager for our message than has been the case in a long time. I’m not sure, though, that they are especially eager for our Society.”
  • It so happens that I was talking recently with a young Friend who goes to the college near my local meeting. He had started a Quaker worship group on campus, but it never got off the ground due to lack of interest. So there’s a data point against this article’s thesis.
  • Progressive faith traditions, including Quakerism, are all falling off a cliff in terms of membership, which suggests a deeper disengagement with institutional religion that a better social media game or a more streamlined church bureaucracy won’t solve.
  • I’d put the dilemma of Quakerism in the 21st century this way: It’s not just that our treasures are in jars of clay, it’s that no one would even know the treasures were there, and it seems like they’re easier to find elsewhere. And how do we know that what we have are even treasures?

Saltmarshes of the heart

I am at least as susceptible as anyone I know to self-deception and wishful thinking, to being untrue to myself and to God, and to looking outside myself, at the external aspects of thought and practice among people of faith, trying to distract myself from the work of the Spirit in my heart. But it is less easy to distract the Holy Spirit, and so I have been called back again and again to these uncomfortable, at times downright dangerous, places, out in the saltmarshes of the heart.

Mike Farley