Ok, Alice had a post about this http://www.am464.net/archives/2005/10/quaker_grace_hi.html
and I've been mulling it over a bit.
Somehow I'd never really thought about quakerism in terms of the second coming. It just has never been part of the equation for me (depsite having taken "Quakerism" in eighth grade at my quaker school, and having been a quaker for a long time, my quaker theology is a tad sketchy, I fear...)
So, the deal is, I'm pretty excited by this idea. That Christ (spirit) is alive and moving in the world. That we are part of the second coming (I wrote a bit about this in a previous post - the call to be the Messiah, rather than just to worship him.)
The problem is, "Jesus language" still kinda freaks me out. Many people who go by the name "christian" seem much more intent on forming "I'm in, you're out" sort of "clubs" and figuring and refiguring who's gonna burn for eternity for not toeing the line (or toeing it the right way). This is, to me, not only inconvenient and disturbing, but feels like what some would call Satan. - a worship of disunion and disparaging of love at its truest.
I know lots of Christians aren't like that, that's not (all of) it exactly....
I dont' believe that Jesus was the son of God in way that's fundamentally different from how I'm the child of God. I believe he said and did a lot of really good stuff, but I really have no basis (in my heart, in my spirit, in my historical understanding) to believe that he "achieved perfecction" or anything else, either.
I mean really, I know nothing about him. I never met him in person, and I don't really feel like I've met him in spirit. Am I doing something wrong? (or not?)
I am eager to learn, to join the movement, to take up my cross, leave behind my worldly goods, as called.
I am not eager to worship, to debase myself, to hand over my will to another being (listening to a voice within myself with a higher (more pure?) call than my two-year-old "I want it!" self is a totally different thing, I think, and I am eager to do that)
But do I have to worhsip the bearded white man on my Grandmother's wall? Do I need to believe in the magic of the virgin birth, or the resurrection? Do I need to "devote my life to Christ" rather than to truth, or spirit?
Do the names matter more than the attentiveness?
I don't know.