George Fox and Jesus Christ

some observations by Arnold Neumaier
http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum/sciandf/eng/born.html


Page numbers refer to:
The Journal of George Fox (ed. by J.L. Nickalls),
Religious Society of Friends, Philadelphia 1997.
(The passages referred to are quoted at the end of this document.)

Friends, go back to your roots!

George Fox knew that Jesus is King, Lord over all, who purchased us by giving his life, who rose from death to his present power.
In His service he worked and exhorted people and suffered persecution; with His power he overcame all obstacles to showing people the true life.
His Friends were all who love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure heart. [cf. p.68]
For him, there was no question about the identity of the teaching of Scripture and his.

But now the connection is hardly recognizable.

What George Fox gained for the Friends is in danger to be lost.
People are no longer turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, but to a code of conduct.
The Light, known by him to originate from Jesus [cf. p.225/6] has degenerated into something that points no longer to the Lord, but only to an ethical standard.
God's authority is no longer recognized or obeyed; yes, even his existence is called into question.
Human authority under the guise of experience [cf. p.123] governs teaching and meetings.


Learn discernment!
You let any spirit speak in the name of the Light, but note that Satan also masquerades as light.
Take care that you are not listening to human spirits, but to God's spirit of Truth!

Among you is a spirit of timidity, of not hurting anyone with your message -- not the spirit of George Fox [cf. p.186/7] or that of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ says: ``I did not come to bring peace but a sword!'' (Matth. 10:34-35). And George Fox knew, and suffered the sword.

With the spirit prevailing now, the whole movement started by George Fox would never have gotten off the ground.

Would he not now have to preach against you what he in his time had to preach against the churches, that they left the teachings of their founder?


Who still has a true message from the Lord, authorized by him?
Who still knows or is taught what would be their condemnation? [cf. p.110]
Who still has knowledge of the fear of the Lord?
Who still dares to warn people to repent, and that the day of the Lord is coming upon all sin and wickedness? [cf. p.91]
Who still dares to claim (and stand with his life for it) that there is no salvation but by the name of Jesus? [cf. p.125]
Who still dares to turn people to the spirit of God by which they might know God and Christ and know the Scriptures? [cf. p.217]

Or was George Fox deluded about all these things? His enemies thought this already 350 years ago. But the power of the Lord was over all, and many were convinced.

Where is today the power of the Lord?

If you have ears to hear, listen! Return to the first love!


Some quotes from his Journal

p.34/5: Now, when the Lord God and his son, Jesus Christ, did send me forth into the world to preach his everlasting gospel and kingdom...

p.35: I was to bring people off from their own ways to Christ, the new and living way, ... to the Church in God ... which Christ is the head of

p.48: how the Lord was come to teach them himself, and of the Seed of Christ in them; how they were to mind that, and the promise that was to the Seed of God within them, which is Christ.

p.49: that they should fear the Lord and repent and prize their time

p.63: what was the first step to peace, and what was it by which a man might see his salvation

p.68: To all you that love the Lord Jesus Christ with a pure and naked heart, and the generation of the righteous: Christ was ever hated; and the righteous for his sake.

p.74: I was moved to speak to him and the people in the mighty power of God, of the truth of God and the day of the Lord, and the light of Christ within them, and of the spirit, and of God's teaching by the spirit, and that God that made the world did not dwell in temples made with hands.

p.90: I spoke ... of the day of the Lord that was coming upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness, and how that Christ was come to teach his people himself, and warning them to repent.

p.91: so I declared God's everlasting Truth amongst them and warned them to repent, and that the day of the Lord was coming upon all sin and wickedness.

p.110: I had declared the Truth and word of life to them, and showed them how they might know Christ and the Scriptures, and what would be their teacher and what would be their condemnation

p.111: Many ... received the word of life and stand to this day under Christ's teaching

p.123: one of them ... said he could speak his experiences as well as I; but I told him experience was one thing but to go with a message and a word from the Lord as the prophets and the apostles had and did, and as I had done to them, this was another thing.

p.125: All such were gathered into the name of Jesus, whose name was above every name, and there was no salvation by any other name under the whole heaven but by the name of Jesus.

p.137: the Lord Jesus Christ the way and free teacher was set up and his everlasting Gospel and word of life was preached

p.149/50: for the Lord was come to teach his people himself by his spirit, and Christ saith, `Learn of me, I am the way' which doth enlighten every man that cometh into the world, that all through him might believe; and so to learn of him who had enlightened them, who was the Light

p.186/87: And you are such as they that used their tongues and said, ``Thus saith the Lord'' when the Lord never spoke to them; and such as followed their own spirits and saw nothing, but spoke forth a divination of their own brain

p.187: Christ, the one sheperd which he has set over his flocks

p.187: how they were like ... such ... that minded earthly things and served not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies

p. 208: So then I bid the people take out their Bibles to search...

p.213: people were turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, their teacher and saviour, their way, their truth and their life.

p.217: And we had a very glorious meeting amongst them and turned them to the spirit of God by which they might know God and Christ and know the Scriptures and so to learn of God and Christ as the prophets and apostles did

p.223/4: And so the Lord's day was proclaimed and set over all: and people began to see the apostacy and slavery they had been in ... and they came to know their teacher the Lord Jesus who had bought them and purchased them and made their peace betwixt them and God

p.225/6: And I turned the people to the divine light which Christ the heavenly and spiritual man had enlightened them withal; that with that Light they might see their sins and how they were in death and darkness and without God in the world; and with the same Light they might see Christ from whence it came, their Saviour and Redeemer, who has shed his blood for them and died for them, who was their way to God, their truth, and life.

p. 665: so the Son of God is to be heard in all things, who is the Saviour and the Redeemer; and has laid down his life, and bought his sheep with his blood.

p.699: The principle of the Quakers is the Spirit of Christ, who died for us, and is risen for our justification; by which we know we are his. He dwelleth in us by his spirit; and by the spirit of Christ we are lead out of unrighteousness and ungodliness.

See also p.134ff (the Scripture as witness)



See also: George Fox on ministry: excerpts from his journal

A Quaker Understanding of Jesus Christ (by Arthur Roberts)
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Links


My Views on the Christian Way of Life
my home page (http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum)

Arnold Neumaier (Arnold.Neumaier@univie.ac.at)