Friday, October 3, 2008

Life Cycle of a Church & Government

I'm reading If I Were the Devil: ... Contemporary Challenges Facing Adventism, by George R. Knight (Review & Herald Publishing, 2007). In chapter 4, he wrote, "In many ways, if not most, the early Sabbatarian Adventists would find themselves distinctly uncomfortable in Adventism as we know it today" (43). Makes me wonder how George Fox would find the Liberal Friends (Quakers) today -- perhaps comfortable with our silent worship, but wondering why we aren't traveling around the world spreading the word? I know others have written about the stages of church development and church history as applied to why did Friends stop evangelizing? And perhaps one response to the often-expressed feeling that we are diminishing in numbers relative to the world's population is reflected in the Convergent movements?

I'm also thinking about an analysis I read that said that Pennsylvania didn't survive as a "Quaker state" despite being an ideal model for government in many respects, because its citizenry was threatened by Native American, British, and French violence. The pacifist Friends refused to deal with this issue--leaving the settlers unprotected and being decimated--and also refused to allocate funds for a militia. The non-Quakers in the government went ahead and formed the militia....

Since this particular book is a brief history of religion in the U.S., I'm left wondering what peace-making measures were taken, if any, by Pennsylvania Quakers?
More to research when I have the gumption to take me past idle curiosity.

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