Wilmer Cooper

Wilmer Cooper, in his book A Living Faith (p. 157), defines normative testimonies across the various expressions of Quakerism as "the outward sign of the inward spiritual leading and commitment of a faithful life."

Religious (Inward) Testimonies

  • A belief that we can have a direct inward experience of God which reveals ongoing revelation.
This experience is named in a multitude of ways to describe the many attributes of the Divine Spirit waiting within: Light within, Inward Teacher, Heart of hearts, Beloved, Still small Voice.
  • The enlightenment of the Light within is not for spiritual ecstasy but for turning of the life towards the work of the Spirit in the world.
This turning requires the illumination of where we have fallen short or held onto our own personal desires when they do not have love at their core.
  • Religious experience is not solely a personal experience but necessarily a communal experience of the spirit that informs and nurtures the personal experience of God.
Living together calls us into accountability and responsibility to one another -– Members one of another.
  • A sacramental view of life. All life is holy.
Lives become the outward expression of the inward life of the Spirit

Social (Outward) Testimonies

  • Peace. A way of life that embodies the way of peace and justice in personal relationships and structures of society.
  • Simplicity. A way of life that uncomplicates our lives, allowing for ongoing spiritual growth and appropriate preservation and a loving sharing of natural and human resources.
  • Equality. Based in the realization of God’s love for all and its required expression through our actions regardless of race, gender, creed, or social standing.
  • Integrity. A calling to be persons of honesty and authenticity between our religious life and the way we live.