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Category: Holiness

Test the Spirits: An Address to North Carolina Quaker Elders Conference

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already”. 1John 4:1-3 Ministers and Elders cannot escape the responsibility of spiritual discernment. To avoid it is to assume an emblem of the false prophets. They refuse God’s command to make a distinction between righteousness and wickedness. Instead they blur that…

Six Things That Holiness Is Not And One That It Is

Introduction I have spent virtually my whole life in a denomination that has made high claims of the possibility of sinless perfection. Wesley admitted that some of his basic ideas about sanctification he derived from Quakers, with some modifications. I have listened to a great number of sermons and lectures on the topic of holiness in my time. Running throughout those many lectures and sermons I have noticed some recurring themes, which I have concluded are false and lead at best to a truncated view of holiness, at worst – to a shabby substitution for the real thing. What I would like to do is to describe six of these basic themes and contrast them with the one thing that…

Ordered Grace

Had lunch in an Amish farm kitchen a while back, with some Quaker pastors. Our Amish hostess had 12 children, 61 grandchildren, and counting. She looked remarkably cheerful for someone feminists would say is oppressed and reduced to baby making. The topic of shunning came up – which the Amish practice according to Mt. 18. Our hostess described one of her sons-in-law who abandoned his wife and seven children – “because he preferred a pick-up truck to his family.” His name was removed from the book containing the names of all the Amish community members within a square mile. The community pitched in to help the abandoned wife and children. A local Quaker pastor recently convinced the man to return…