(This is a part of my “Top Ten things that drive me crazy about Quakers” list.)
8. Pride in our peculiarities
While we often give lip service to our frustration at being a marginalized minority, we can also take a quixotic pride in our uniqueness. We seem to like being different a little too much. Our distinctives become our definition, which sometimes means we turn the original purpose of our peculiarities upside down. The Quaker distinctives of peacemaking, equality, social justice, and simplicity (to name a few) are just branches. Leafy, fruit-bearing branches organically sprung from the Jesus-trunk, rooted in God’s ever-speaking Holy Spirit. We need to stop lopping off branches and planting them in the ground as our center. Branches belong on the trunk.