From the Co-operative Bank to singing out
The Co-operative Bank
So, the Co-operative Bank is up for sale again. Over the years there has been much stirring amongst Friends and our business community to establish a new bank with Quaker values true to our testimonies. Many Friends’ organisations and Meetings bank with the Co-op. Is this the golden moment for us to continue this ethical movement? Working in partnership with other churches, faiths, charities and organisations of goodwill can we seize the initiative? Clearly, the bank clearing house system means we can never be pure. But we could be in the vanguard of social change at a time when new ideas and old ideals are desperately needed and the financial system is the right place to start. Let us be the people to help in the bringing of hope.
Theism and nontheism
I liked what Gerald Drewett quoted about the Spirit in his letter of 27 January on this debate. I also share a similar confusion about nontheism.
The discussion on this topic seems to have become polarised at the two edges, leaving out a huge chunk in the middle. When debates become polarised like this it is never helpful, though I respect David Boulton’s attempt in his latest book, Through a glass darkly, to try and find an amicable way through it.
In David Boulton’s book I find a concentration on God as transcendent, but there is no mention of God as incarnate, as the Light at the core of all of us. There is much mention of religion, but spirituality is never mentioned. There is little mention of experience of God as ‘being’, when this for me is central to being a Quaker. Instead, the argument is about God as ‘a being’.
At the end of the day, though, it really does not matter. What does matter is whether or not your particular vision helps you to become more loving and compassionate or not – that lifelong process of gradual transformation. If it does, then great. If it does not, then a re-think is called for. It is the outcome that matters, not any particular belief. The proof is indeed in the pudding!
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