Collection and Synthesis of
Queries and Advices from Various Sources,
Including Bible Verses and Other Quotations
This page provides a sort of sketch pad for watching our network's
discernment on spirituality and sexuality take shape. If you
would like to suggest additions or revisions to this page, please
our email list and entering into discussion about it there. You may also share your thoughts with the webservant. Also be sure to look over our page of
excerpts from the Faith and Practice editions of various
yearly meetings. Implicitly, this page of alternative queries
and advices explores whether revisions to Faith and Practice
would be desirable.
On Queries and Advices: Historically, Quakers
have been highly resistant to using creeds to describe our faith
since many feel that individuals must ultimately discern truth
for themselves, ideally in the context of a mutually supportive
community of faith. Still, Quakers have attempted to give form
to their faith communities, in particular through books of discipline,
or Faith and Practice, as many yearly meetings now call them.
For more than 300 years, such efforts have often turned to using
queries instead of issuing declarations, especially among unprogrammed
Friends. Describing a faith perspective with questions instead
of answers profoundly places responsibilty back on individuals
for their own discernment and actions. In addition, "advices"
share the experiences and insights of weighty Quakers and others
over many years. They are not prescriptions; they are simply
Synthesis of Queries
from Various Sources
Synthesis of Queries
Queries Collected from Various Sources
From Elizabeth Watson's Sexuality: a Part of Wholeness.
1. How did we get here? What in our Quaker experience has
trained us to ignore, suppress or deny the pervasive sexual abuse
in our midst?
2. What are sources of strength? Do Friends' testimonies,
history, process and scripture offer us models or new ways? Have
we integrated our sexuality with our spirituality? Do we apply
our spiritual commitment to resolving issues of sexuality?
3. Do we stand up to violence in personal relationships as
we stand up to other forms of violence in our society?
4. Do we love those who have been hurt by sexual violation,
support them and respond to their needs?
5. Do we love our perpetrators as well as we should?
6. Are we willing to do the hard work of changing ourselves,
or do we just want to change others?
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among
you? Do they not come even from your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot
obtain. Ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume
it upon your lusts.
21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
Commentary: This passage draws a clear connection,
to my thinking, between our concern regarding sexuality and the
peace testimony. Perhaps "lust" in this passage is
meant more broadly than just sexual lust. Even so, the focus
on satisfying our own wills at the expense of God's will applies
to both sexual and non-sexual lusts, and either can result in
violence towards each other and alienation from God. Moreover,
should we not consider how our sexual and non-sexual lusts might
be related to each other?
Ken Stockbridge, 5/13/2002