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By Jonas Cox
Are Quakers Christian?
I need to repeat my standard disclaimer. Quakers are a non-creedal religious group, so there are a variety of positions held by members.
However, the Society of Friends, commonly referred to as Quakers, has deep Christian roots and most Quakers consider themselves Christian on some level. Further many who might be called Christian, want to differentiate themselves from the mainstream evangelical Christian culture in the U.S. They sometimes prefer to say they are followers of Christ rather than Christians, while others fully embrace the evangelical movement.
Our local meeting Spokane Friends Church, is what we call Christ centered, meaning we seek to understand what Christ would have us do and try and follow that leading of the spirit. It makes for very long business meetings and slow decision making, but often consensus can be reached about what Christ intends and then the way forward is clear.
Jonas Cox is a tenured faculty member at Gonzaga University where he works in the Department of Teacher Education. He is a lifelong Quaker, spanning the spectrum of experience from a conservative meeting in Southern Oregon to a very liberal meeting in Washington DC. He currently serves as the clerk of Spokane Friends. When he isn’t teaching, he runs a small farm out on the West Plains where he and his wife of 33 years grow cattle, hogs chickens and Labrador Retriever puppies. You will often find Jonas in the shop where he will tell you the only reason, he farms is so he can have tractors to fix and equipment to build.