Look, Ask, Walk, Find

Crossroads Monthly Meeting, located in Flint, Michigan with active virtual attenders from across North America, is affiliated with Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative). We are a part of the Religious Society of Friends and practice unprogrammed, waiting worship in the Name of Jesus Christ. As represented in the above painting, “The Presence in the Midst” by Doyle Penrose, Christ is present during our worship.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)

We sit down in silence, quietly waiting for the Lord to speak to our own hearts or someone else sharing thoughts from the Lord out loud. We try to get quiet enough in our minds and bodies to hear what God’s Spirit wants to tell us. This may come as a quiet thought in our minds, from Scripture (Bible) readings or by someone sharing spoken words. We are taking time to hear God and to let God’s Spirit cover our spirits with love.

An appointed person will call those who gather into a time of silent worship and will close worship by welcoming people into a short time of fellowship and conversation.

On our manner of worship.

What are Conservative Friends?

Often we are linked in error to political groups which also use the word “conservative.” These political groups are often indifferent to the plight of the economically deprived but are strong supporters of the nation’s military operations. This is contrary to the life and teachings of our Lord and Savior who instructs us to “love our enemies” and “turn the other cheek”. He expects us to reconcile with our opponents in His holy name.

Conservative Friends, on the other hand, embrace the need for true reconciliation. That is why in unity with George Fox and other early Friends we wait on the Lord for instruction as well as inspiration with the spiritual knowledge that Jesus is present in our worship sessions as Prophet and King in addition to being our enabler who loves us.

That is why when a minister rises to speak to our meeting, he or she does not utter their own words, but is led to reveal Christ’s revelations for us to follow. Political ministers, to the contrary, more often than not, when they speak, it is with the words of their alleged superiors. They claim that they are waiting on Jesus to appear physically before they can be inducted into His Kingdom. To the contrary, we feel Jesus’s presence within us, not only during corporate worship but whenever we submit to the Lord’s will. We therefore pray without ceasing to maintain our adherence to the Lord in all matters.

Most important, we are not satisfied just worshiping the Lord in our community. Rather, in unity with first generation Quakers, we are instructed to preach the everlasting gospel to all people regardless of race and class. Remember that Jesus speaks to all people prepared to listen and obey His commands.

Small wonder we do not identify with any political party, unlike the so-called religious conservatives who align themselves with the rich and powerful. Yes, we would like to minister to these souls along with preaching to all people. But Jesus is our master and we must obey Him in the love that overcomes Satan.

To put it succinctly, we are conservative because we are in unity with the Christianity of our founders whose enunciations we so admire. They preached and lived in the Lord.

Arthur Berk, 01-26-2008

Featured Reflection

This month’s featured selection from the Reflections archives

Gift of Ministry

Sometimes people feel that to become a minister, we need academic training provided by the theological colleges. They do provide outward knowledge such as historical events that occur in Church History in addition to writing a prepared sermon that speaks of God. But as God revealed to George Fox “that being bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not enough to fit and qualify men (women) to be ministers of Christ”.

As the Apostle John illustrated, it is the anointing within that teaches us Jesus’ Truth. But we need to be willing to receive God’s proclamation inwardly. Small wonder that Friends wait on the Lord to discern God’s everlasting ministry. This Truth spoken by the Lord is sent into our hearts for us to discern God’s wisdom. Otherwise we utilize our own knowledge to differentiate between right from wrong.

But we need to pray to our heavenly Father for spiritual understanding. When, as a result of our praying and waiting, Christ in His everlasting mercy, does reveal God’s Truth into our craving hearts. We will become acquainted with and live in, our creator’s will. Through the Lord’s intervention, we will begin to comprehend God’s intentions for the human race.

Likewise, it is the Lord who reveals the power of evil within us. Universities might teach us concepts of right from wrong – and often we justify our participation in Satan’s work through adhering to our outward conceptions. God, though, enables individuals to feel the inward evil. This helps us strive for Jesus’ goodness.

Those of us who strive to be ministers of the everlasting gospel – the Lord’s Truth – must not only be cognizant about the Lord’s inward message but, equally important, need to understand God’s workings in other individuals. Again universities might teach concepts of relationships but God’s power enables His followers to discern His activity in other humans encouraging them to see Jesus’ all embracing love. Of course we need to witness to our devotion to the Almighty before we can influence our Friends to seek Jesus’ guidance. It is because the Lord sends His anointing we can determine that our good Lord continues to communicate.

Continue reading “Featured Reflection”