The above photo was taken a year ago during the FCNL annual meeting in Washington DC. OYM sent an elder, an overseer and a minister from our Yearly Meeting as prayer warriors during that session. This year we refined a letter to be published publicly out of a concern brought to our Yearly Meeting for Christians to live in the love of God.
A Christian Call from Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative)
We are Christian Friends (Quakers) from various walks of life, political persuasions, ages, and backgrounds. We share both a desire to obey the Lord and a growing concern that our nation bring itself to the path of righteousness and mercy that Jesus taught.
Again and again, Christ calls us to love. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Deuteronomy 6:5, Luke 10:27, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30-31). When we are Christians, this is not optional. If our hearts are full of love, there is no room for fear, because “perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18) Being blessed with God’s abundant love, we should be keeping families together, be welcoming to the strangers, and show compassion to those in need. We should see the best in each other regardless of political affiliation.
We know that “the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14) And who is our neighbor? Jesus’ answer is the parable of the good Samaritan. Only the Samaritan shows mercy to the beaten man. Only the Samaritan is a true neighbor in the eyes of the Lord (Luke 10:35-37). Today, are we acting the part of the priest and the Levite, or of the Samaritan? Is each of us willing to be a good Samaritan only to those who are like us, or who like us, or whom we like?
We are to follow Him who is the Truth (John 14:6). In an era of confusion between falsehood and truth, we risk leaving Christ's side when we listen to only what pleases us. (2 Timothy 4:3-4) For the sake of Christ, it is worth investigating the truth, wherever it may lead. In the words of Isaac Penington (a 17th century Friend). “truth will not lose ground by being tried.”
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Is that what we are showing the world? As Christians, we are called to live exemplary lives that glorify God (I Peter 2:13) Standing on the True Foundation, the Rock of Christ, let us return to His path, stand in the Light of Christ Jesus that reveals all things, and bears witness to our Lord above all – above party, above friends, above media, and above ourselves.
Philip W. Helms, Clerk Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative)
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