Welcome to Inward Light
Welcome to Inward Light
In the midst of the political, religious and cultural
turmoil of 17th century England, a revolutionary new religious
movement was born. It was based on
the idea that the faith community can be led directly by God in the present day. It represented a radical departure from
most organized religions in many respects including:
· A radical approach to worship in which worshipers
settle into silent communion with the Holy Spirit and wait expectantly for God
direct vocal preaching and prayer through leadings that may come to any worshiper, not merely to a designated priest or pastor.
· A radical approach to church government in which a
facilitator attempts to discern the voice of God through the efforts by all
those present to hear what the group is led to do.
· A level of participation by women in preaching and
community decisions that was unknown for another two centuries in the
Judeo-Christian tradition outside of female monastic orders.
Unfortunately, many of these
approaches have been forgotten or distorted in many Friends meetings
today. Their revolutionary
impact has been hugely watered down by the substantial abandonment of universal
priesthood and spirit-led worship in branches of Friends that utilize pastors
- and the secularization and loss of spiritual power in a large proportion of
the Quaker meetings that still utilize unprogrammed worship without pastors.
The purpose of this website is
to promote increased understanding and use of these early Quaker
practices. It is not organized like most blogs, though you are welcome to sign up for this site's blog notification of new
posts. Instead the site is
organized primarily around subject matter:
Willingness explores our personal capacity to
lean on God and live faithfully. Our modern society erects many barriers to a trusting dependent relationship on the God who is at the heart of our lives and all creation.
Worship describes the process of
waiting expectantly on God with others and spirit-led vocal ministry.
Reaching Out addresses outreach to those outside our own faith community about our beliefs and what was once called "public ministry" - including travel under religious concern. (There is obviously overlap with vocal ministry during "waiting worship"!)
Faith Community deals with ways in which meetings seeks to discern
and follow God's guidance as a group through meetings for business, mutual
accountability, corporate acts of discipleship, issues around membership and pastoral care of each other.
Eldership focuses especially on the gift of prayerfully upholding community worship and nurturing the spiritual gifts of others within one's faith community.
The Testimonies refer to corporate
positions that Friends have come to as a religious community over the centuries on key social
issues as well as lifestyle expectations of members.
Faithful Sexuality. Many
Friends today no longer share that the traditional Christian assumption that sexual ethics can be boiled down to "if it's within a heterosexual marriage it's right, if it's not it's wrong." Friends who feel this way have no shared understanding as to what they do believe as alternative. This section reflects my own efforts to discern God's truth in this area - along with those of others.
Health, Healing &
Death explores ways that we can
experience more fully God's love & care for our bodies through out the
lifecycle, even beyond the boundary of death.
This site does not represent the official viewpoint of
any Quaker body: the views are those of the authors and of the site's creator,
Peter Blood-Patterson. Articles are by Peter unless otherwise noted.
I am glad to consider posting
articles that support the overall values and vision of the site, especially by
those who do not have their own blogs or websites. If you have written or
are aware of writing that you feel would fit in well with the purposes of the
site, please contact me at peter at
quakersong dot org.
For the meaning and my use on this
site of the terms "Inward Light", "Holy Spirit", and
"Christ", see a few comments
on terminology on this website.