Quakers and conflict

Abigail Maxwell reflects on unity and conflict

Quakers should approach conflict in Meeting positively and as an inevitable part of life. We should not seek it out, but we should welcome it. When we reveal what is in our hearts, what grows out of our individual life experience, openly and honestly, we are bound to disagree. If people are scared of confrontation, resentment can build and break out later. In 1662 Edward Burrough exhorted Friends:

…to proceed in the wisdom of God, not in the way of the world, as a worldly assembly of men, by hot contests, by seeking to outspeak and over-reach one another in discourse as if it were controversy between party and party of men, or two sides violently striving for dominion…

Quaker faith & practice 2.87

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