Friday, December 31, 2010

George Fox's conversion and the New Year for You

God is Ultimate Reality; the essence of ethical religion is real and true, though religion itself is not literally factual. The way to Truth is relational not propositional, though speculating about philosophical and theological abstractions is productive and creative if such theorizing leads to enhanced ethical action.

On the other hand, much in the way of theology and ritual—that which divides, causes intolerance, ethnocentrism, suffering, and war—is wrong, not divine at all.

This was so creatively experienced by George Fox, the founder of the Friends. Though he often acted in un-Christlike ways including seeking judgment against his enemies, God’s love was powerfully manifest in his life when he lost all hope in formal religion and reached the end of his own human efforts.

At that dark point, Fox experienced God’s eternal love and care. Out of that transforming experience, he preached the Good News of Jesus all over Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, and in colonial America.

Here is his own account of his spiritual/mystical encounter with Christ Jesus:

“But as I had forsaken the priests, so I left the separate preachers, also and those esteemed the most experienced people; for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. When all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing upwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said,

"There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition"; and when I heard it, my heart did leap for joy.”

Have you, too, found that so often the secular side of life, politics, and especially religion--in particular Christian churches--have let you down, and haven’t provided the mercy, peace, and compassion and communion that you and all human individuals so long for?

If so, turn (metanoia in biblical Greek) to Christ, and be transformed in this New Year.

In the Light of God,

Daniel Wilcox

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