As I've been reading Fox's Journal I've been struck by the fact that he's a bit crazy. I wonder if he showed up in one of our meetings today what we would think of him. Would we accept his teaching as prophetic, or would we write him off as a lunatic? Here are some reasons:
1. He preached for hours on end.
2. When he got beaten up in a town, sometimes he immediately went back and got beaten up again.
3. When someone was particularly "rude" to him, and died shortly thereafter, he says they were condemned by God for their treatment of him.
4. He often wouldn't accept money from people, even for food.
5. He was utterly convinced that his way was "the Truth," and that anyone who didn't immediately jump on the bandwagon was evil.
6. One time when he met someone who was a fairly jolly person, he counseled him to not laugh so much, and when he met him again and he was then "sober," he thought the man had much improved.
7. He wrote a lot of long-winded and convoluted letters to his oppressors (I suppose we still do this today in the form of minutes against wars, etc.).
There are probably others but those are the ones that are coming to mind right now.
So what would we think of him?
Or perhaps more importantly, what would he think of us? Are any of us as Friends living in a way he would approve? Are we "living in virtue of that life and power", Jesus Christ? If so, what do we have to show for it? Where are our fruits? In what ways are we called to, and do, challenge the status quo?