Put God at 
the center of your life.

 

Do all Friends practice silent worship?
How many Friends are there?
Are Friends Christians?
How do Friends view Christ?
Do Friends have a creed?
Are Quakers the same as the Amish?
What are Friends attitudes toward sacraments and Scripture?

Do all Friends practice silent worship?
No. There are many "programmed" or "pastoral" Friends Churches where the worship service is similar to that in other Protestant denominations. Quakers in the programmed and unprogrammed traditions share many beliefs and testimonies, but are also different in significant ways.

How many Friends are there?
There are approximately 300,000 Friends in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America, one third of whom live in the United States and Canada.

Are Friends Christians?
Though Quakerism has deep Christian roots, not all Friends consider themselves Christian. Friends have always held that Christ as spirit is available to everyone and has been at work since the beginning of creation. Unprogrammed meetings, often characterized by theological diversity, take this perspective while still experiencing a profound spiritual life.

How do Friends view Christ?
Many Friends see Jesus Christ as a great religious teacher, or at least someone inspired by God to live an exemplary life. Others see Christ as a source of salvation, although in a different sense than most other Christian religions. Quakerism concerns itself with life in this world rather than the next, and has no theology of heaven and hell. George Fox taught that redemption through Christ and the Second Coming should not be thought of as past and future events. Both can only be experienced in the present, as spiritual truth, independent of history. He believed that "Christ has come to teach his people himself," and that we can be as Adam was before the Fall if we open our hearts to the Inward Teacher.

Do Friends have a creed?
No. Friends avoid written creeds, especially in unprogrammed meetings. We want people to attend very carefully to what the Inward Guide is trying to open to them, and to express whatever truth they discover as honestly as they can in their own words. Pre-formulated statements can short-circuit this process and may hamper true spiritual growth.

Are Quakers the same as the Amish?
No. Although both are "peace" churches, they have few similarities.

What are Friends attitudes toward sacraments and Scripture?
Friends don’t believe in outward sacraments of communion and baptism as practiced in Christian churches. We seek an inward reality. We believe that all of life is sacred, and that all great human experiences are of a sacramental nature. We value Scripture as it helps us to encounter the Spirit that inspired it. We don’t believe that only the Spirit is sacred, but also the words. We believe in continuing revelation and use many different doors to enter into an experience of the Spirit.

What is the Friends' peace testimony?
When George Fox was asked to take sides in the English Civil War, he answered that "he lived in the Life and Power that takes away the occasion for war." Quakers seek to avoid violence on both the personal and the societal level, and affirm that the Spirit that takes away the occasion for war is available to everyone, everywhere, in all situations.

What are the other Friends' testimonies?
Our testimonies of simplicity, integrity, equality, community, and peace aren’t formulated rules, but ways of being in the world. They’re based on our accumulated experience of the divine, including what’s written in the Bible, but also including our modern day experiences.

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