Creeds and Quakers
Creeds and Quakers: What's Belief Got To Do With It? By Robert Griswold ISBN 0875743773 April 2005 $4.00 Pendle Hill
Quaker spiritual authority lies not in belief systems – in creeds - but in the direct communion between individual Friends and the Divine Spirit. All other forms of authority, “be they written words, steeple-houses or a clerical hierarchy,” cannot replace this direct communion. While early Friends’ refusal to formulate a creed threatened existing religious practice and brought them great persecution, this historic witness against creeds is not fully appreciated by Friends today. The pamphlet’s author asserts that Friends too often hold Quaker testimonies as ideals, as ends in themselves, rather than as fruits of the Spirit. Without spiritual grounding, testimonies become creeds. In the absence of the profound authority of a faith that defies verbal comprehension and words, the historic Quaker witness to the world is in danger.