Quaker Universalist Conversations

On being a Christian Universalist Quaker

Rachel Findley writes:

Christian Universalism is the basis on which I can deeply align with Christianity. Reading Sam Caldwell on “The Inward Light” helped to bring home to me how Quakerism unites Christianity and Universalism.
“It is my own view that Quakerism is neither exclusively Christian, as some Quaker Christians would have it; nor is it exclusively Universalist, as some Quaker Universalists would have it. The fact is Quakerism has always been a powerful amalgamation of both. My thesis is that not only is it possible to be both Christian and Universalist at the same time, but it has always been the very essence and peculiar genius of Quakerism to join the two in holy matrimony! I wish to explain how this is so. ”
– from Caldwell, posted at Freedom Friends Church, http://www.freedomfriends.org/Forum/viewtopic.php?id=80

Phil Gullley expresses a related thesis in his book “Why God will Save Every Person.”

Phil Gulley was the Elizabeth Watson lecturer at the FGC Gathering last summer. This talk, sponsored by QUF, was published in the Friends Journal (Jan 2011) and will be published online at the QUF website as soon as your editor finds time to post it.—Anthony Manousos

Richard Wigton writes:

As a Christocentric Quaker Universalist I understand the comment Jesus made–”I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”—to mean that Jesus ultimately decides who will get into Heaven. He never said you had to be his follower. It just means that Jesus would judge your heart. And I believe that Jesus gives up on no one. Even after death he will beckon people to come to him and in the end ALL will accept him. I believe that Jesus loves each of us so much that he will keep reaching out to us for as long as it takes.


Only Breath Rumi (Coleman Barks translation) Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or in the next, did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being. **** Within Silence below stories, below emotion, below even concepts, the world opens up to include everything held in forgiveness and love. It can't be taught, only pointed to. It must be experienced directly. It comes when the conditions are right as a matter of grace and more than grace, of alchemy and personal transformation in which the universal is seeing through you, just you in all your particularity. It changes everything, leaving room for virtues to arise without effort, because of what's needed in the moment, and action thusly. The early Friends (who were startlingly awake) knew this intimately; today we are lost in words as if these familiars are a sufficient explanation of the world. There is a deeper calling to return home. The student asks "What is Buddha?" The master responds "Great intimacy!" This is what's meant by rediscovering Friends in the time of the founding, at least to me. May we all be intimate with the universe in its oneness and in its particularity, which are one and the same, and act accordingly from where we are truly home.
I have a humble question. I often feel closer to God reading the posts of modern Quakers than I do than reading the Bible. Is it possible, it seems to me that it is that the writings of modern people are a very real voice for God, as real a voice as scriptures from long ago? Kathy
I agree. From the Quaker literature (up until sometime in the 19th century) it would appear that many, if not most, Friends were Christian universalists. This theme occurs again and again in the writings of Fox, Penn, Penington, Woolman, Job Scott, Elias Hicks and others. Then something happened to disturb the balance, and first Christianity in the Protestant sense was emphasized, and then non-denominational universalism came in during the 20th century and has since become increasingly dominant. I can't see anything wrong with the original myself, and feel it gave a sense of cohesion to the Society which is now lacking.
i appreciate the comments here as I am not a Quaker but have new found appreciation of the doctrine of universalism in Christianity which has been growing over the last year. In the past I wanted to be a part of your Society and after having attended I left with a cold feeling as an outsider. I was disappointed.
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