“You are my Friends if you do what I command you”
P.O. BOX 465
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
QUAKERS AND HOMOSEXUALITY
It is common knowledge that Quakerism is early Christianity revived and therefore can never be developed in isolation from historic Christianity. Christianity is not a notion but a way and a life. Therefore, Quakerism being historic Christianity revived can never be construed to become merely subjective. It is a living inward experience of righteousness in a Quaker’s life and if one does not follow this inward experience then his or her religion is a mere delusion or he/she has deviated from the Truth. Quakers are the children of Light and must be walking in the Light.
During George Fox’s time, (the founder and father of Quakerism) in the Seventeenth Century, there was a time when some “less stable characters worked havoc by going out from the Spirit of God into their own notions”. When George Fox noticed this anomaly, he wrote a “wise letter” to Friends and cautioned them that “they might depart from the truth into their earthly wills, and so give room for the enchanter and sorcerer and the airy Spirit”. He warned that as soon as Friends “left the cross and that which was pure and eternal and let in that which was mortal to be servants to it, there, the image of God in them would come to be lost”. (Fox, Epistles No.32).
What is pure and eternal in the Spiritual journey of a Quaker especially in terms of marriage and relationships? Is it homosexuality or heterosexuality? Is it same sex marriage or opposite sex marriage?
What is Biblically pure in the eyes of God in terms of human sexuality? Homosexuality is a sin that is roundly condemned in scripture. Gen. 19:5, Lev. 18:22-23, Rom. 1:26-27, 1Cor. 6:9-11, Eph. 5:3-5, Gal. 5:19-21, 1 Tim. 1:9, 10, Jude 7.
God’s attitude toward the vile behaviour of homosexuality is clear. He prohibited and condemned homosexuality in Gen. 19:5 when He destroyed the city of Sodom. It is clear that the homosexuality of the people of Sodom carried an uncontrollable lust that defied restraint so that even when the people were blinded they still tried to fulfil their lust (Gen. 19:11). Actually God outlawed all homosexuality and bestiality as sexual perversion that should not be tolerated. All sexual perversions were worthy of death, indicating their loath sameness before God.
Homosexuals are those who have deliberately deviated from what is normal sexual practices as God intended it to be, to bad behaviour of transverstism, sex changes and other gender perversions. As Quakers and for that matter Christians, we are supposed to discern and have more knowledge than the gay people and therefore greater accountability will be required of us. We cannot and will not give ourselves over to sexual immorality. Instead, we urge those practicing this immorality to abandon this abomination and repent and change their ways so that the Lord can forgive them.
According to the Faith and Practice of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1972) marriage is between husband and wife. Who is a husband and who is a wife? With reference to the Oxford University Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, husband means “man to whom a woman is married”, and wife means “married woman, especially in relation to her husband”.
In the Church Government of Britain Yearly Meeting (1980) the certificate of marriage is signed during the wedding “by the man (husband) and the woman (wife) with her surname used immediately prior to marriage”(907). According to this book, one of the conditions observed in preparation for marriage is the completing of form B (for man) or form C (for woman).
With reference to the book of Margaret Fell, the mother of Quakerism, by Isabel Ross-1984, PP 56 “Marriage is between man and woman who appear personally before their meetings for clarity purposes prior to their wedding.”
When George Fox married Margaret Fell he reminded Friends “how God did join man and woman together before the Fall. And man had joined in the Fall but it was God’s joining again in the restoration ……………” Journal P.506). God did not join man and man or woman and woman.
By re-branding sexual immorality to mean human rights and by confusing that of God in everyone to mean Spiritual liberty would mean departing from Quaker core values of truth and uprightness as Children of the Light into our own earthly wills. How can we abandon that which is pure and eternal and still consider ourselves to be the Light of the world and good salt of the earth? Then we are not worthy of our calling. Modernizing Christianity to meet our own selfish desires is immoral. The God of yesterday is the same today and tomorrow and His commandments have remained and will remain forever.
For this matter, Friends Church in Kenya condemns homosexuality in the strongest term possible without reservation.