The good news of the gospel
Quakers are possibly best-known for their peace testimony. This witness for peace is more relevant today than ever in a country and world afflicted with violence and war.
The peace testimony for early Quakers was rooted in their personal experience of the love and power of Christ. To have an experiential knowledge of the Divine changes our hearts. Paul said in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect." Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. Jesus summarized the law as loving God and your neighbor as yourself — including your enemies.
We seek to sow the seeds of peace. The heart of the peace testimony is transformation — being transformed by God’s love toward a radical vision of the peaceable kingdom. "...What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8. We repudiate war. We seek a world that chooses nonviolent means to accomplish its goals and to heal the hates and hurts of individuals and nations. We ask, "Can war truly be the will of God?"
We seek to stop preparation for war by working for disarmament and seeking to transform war-related technology and industry into peace-devoted alternatives that meet the needs of people. "In days to come ... they shall beat their swords into plowshares..." Micah 4:1,3. We seek to eliminate the seeds of war by working for social and economic justice, respect for all people, the right sharing of the worlds resources and an earth restored by reverence for the natural processes that sustain life. We ponder the words of John Woolman, an 18th century Quaker,
"May we look upon our treasures and the furniture of our houses and the garments in which we array ourselves and try whether the seeds of war have any nourishment in these our possessions or not." Violence is real and pervasive in our world. We support the role of the state in constraining people from hurting others, and we recognize that organized violence requires organized restraint. We are grateful to those who keep us safe, and we honor them with our respect and compassion even as we seek to encourage nonviolent means.
This vision of peace is a radical vision, a message of good news and hope as an alternative to war and violence, the good news of the gospel.