Historical Background

Friends are reminded that our Religious Society took form in times of disturbance, and that its continuing testimony has been the power of God to lead men and women out of the confusions of outward violence, inward sickness, and all other forms of self-will, however upheld by social convention. — Advices, I

The Religious Society of Friends is committed to a life of obedience to God’s Spirit both as individuals and as meetings. This commitment leads Friends to support much that is creative in public life, education and business. It also leads Friends to oppose practices and institutions that result in violence, oppression and exploitation in the world around us. History, however, demonstrates that Friends have not always been united in perceptions of what obedience to Spirit requires, and the Society has been beset from time to time by conflict and misunderstandings. Yet out of such conflicts, painful as they have been, the Religious Society of Friends has continued to strive for clarity in its commitment and unity in its witness.