I was struck by something Max wrote:
Unfortunately, too many Christians - among them many Friends - are caught up in "notionalism," equating faithful Christianity with particular notions about proper dogmas, doctrines, creeds, formulas, rituals, and social norms.
And I couldn't help wondering, How might this be true of Quakerism itself today?
Are there ways we, as Friends, equate faithful Quakerism with particular notions about proper norms -- proper behavior and thoughts?
Are there ways we look more at how someone -- ourselves or someone else -- fits the external notion of Quakerism, rather than how they are faithful to the Light within, to Quaker worship, or to Quaker process?
How do we tell if they're faithful to the Light within, Quaker worship, and Quaker process, anyway?
How do we tell, when we know someone, if they're a "good Quaker" or not? What do we look for to tell us that?
I was reminded of something Merry Stanford once said in an article in Friends Journal:
...I yearned so strongly to belong that I strove to be a "good" Quaker, rather than an authentic one.
How do we ask each other to be "good" Friends, rather than authentic Friends?