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Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to ask a question please e-mail info@freedomfriends.org.

1) You have chosen the Name Freedom Friends Church; Why Freedom, freedom from what? Freedom for what? What makes this a Friends Church?
2) What larger denomination or organization are you affiliated with?
3) You describe the FFC as passionately Christ-centered, passionately Quaker and passionately inclusive. What do these things mean?
4) Your motto is HOLD ON ! LET GO! What does THAT mean?
5) What do you believe?
6) How can I get a copy of your Faith and Practice?
7) Do you believe in the Bible?
8) Are you evangelical?
9) You say you are against fundamentalism. Can you explain that?
10) Are you political?
11) What is your stance on gay rights and gay marriage?

12) What kind of process did you go through to start this church?
13) I like this website, and I would like to use what you have written in our meeting publication, would that be ok?

1) You have chosen the Name Freedom Friends Church; Why Freedom, freedom from what? Freedom for what?

Jesus said that His mission here was to preach the good news to the poor, to heal broken hearts and to set captives free. We believe this is a primary goal of the church, to help people shake off the chains of sin and addictions, to be free from the bondage of shame, to be free from the tyrannical rule of fear. We believe this is done through a relationship with Christ, who came to join us in our captivity and to then break us out of it. This is not freedom from responsibility, but freedom for service.

By choosing this name we do not mean to imply that we think any other church is un-free.

What makes this a Friends Church?

The name Friends comes from the gospel, where Jesus said “I do not call you servants, I call you Friends”. (John 15:15) The Religious Society of Friends or the Friends Church has existed for about 350 years. We are part of that movement founded by George Fox. We hold to the traditional ways and testimonies of Friends; the ministry of every believer, the equality of all people, the presence of the spark of God in every person who is born, the testimonies of integrity and peace, a way of worship that places as much emphasis on listening as on praise or preaching, and a way of doing church business that makes decisions by listening together to God.

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2) What larger denomination or organization are you affiliated with?

At the present time we are an independent Friends Church not affiliated with any larger group or Yearly Meeting as Friends name them. We hope that this is not always the case, but at present there is no Yearly meeting within reasonable geographic distance that is a good fit for us.

Why?

We have good relationships with many Friends in the Northwest both in the evangelical and liberal branches, but the two Yearly meetings in our area are either Christ-centered, but not at ease with members and ministers who are openly gay, or they are inclusive in terms of membership and ministry, but not at ease with an explicitly Christ-centered, semi-programmed pastoral, meeting. We are all of these things.

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3) You describe the FFC as passionately Christ-centered, passionately Quaker and Passionately Inclusive. What do these things mean?

We like passion, we think it makes things more interesting.

We are centered on Christ. This means that we think that Christ is the present head of the church. We think that Jesus died, and rose from the dead, to release us from the fear of death, and addiction to things that hurt us, like sin. We encourage people to start a friendship with Christ that we hope will grow into something more, an intimate loving relationship, but we encourage each person to have their own kind of relationship with Christ.

We are Quaker, which means that we think that the testimonies of the Friends movement have a lot to say to a world that is sick of talk without walk, and top down abusive power. We think that professed faith without justice is hypocritical, and that striving to create a better world without a connection to the Divine will always fail.

We are inclusive. This means we see God in everyone. The only requirement for being present at Freedom Friends is a basic respect for others. The only requirement for membership is that you understand who we are, and what we are about, and that you want to be part of it and can say why. The only requirement for ministry is that in doing ministry you are not a danger to yourself or others.

Again, in saying that we are dedicated to these passions we do not mean to say that others are not also passionate about these things.

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4) Your motto is HOLD ON ! LET GO! What does THAT mean?

Link to Freedom Friends Church HomeWe think this is a lot of fun. Alivia suggested this as the ultimate answer to almost any situation. Either Hold On - to God, to each other, to the truth - or Let Go, of your expectations, fears or anything that keeps your from proximity to God and to freedom. Sometimes the answer is do both.

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5) What do you believe?

We are orthodox in our Christianity, which means that we believe that all the traditional core doctrines of the Christian Church are still true today. We believe in traditional Quaker practice. Our beliefs are described in detail in our Faith and Practice. This document is the best articulation of our beliefs as we presently understand them. This document is dynamic, and can be changed by the monthly meeting, but we would expect that the faith parts would be pretty stable over time.

We do not in any way require that anyone agree with everything in the faith and practice as a requirement of participation in the community.

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6) How can I get a copy of your Faith and Practice?

Click here for the online version. What We Believe.

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7) Do you believe in the Bible?

Absolutely. It is our primary spiritual text. You will find elsewhere on this website a Biblical reference page which lists references for every section of our Faith and Practice. We believe that the scriptures are given to us for instruction, enlightenment and encouragement. We believe that when they are interpreted with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and an understanding of the historical context, that they are an unfailing source of truth. We also understand that good Christians and good people can disagree about the interpretation of scriptures. We are determined not to let these differences of interpretation become a source of rancor among us, or between us and other believers. There are many opportunities to study Scripture at FFC. We believe in being lifetime learners. We believe that anyone, regardless of their education level or giftedness, can be a good student of the Bible.

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8) Are you evangelical?

Yes, if you use a broad definition of the word. This word comes to us from the Greek, and it simply means ‘one who shares good news’. We intend to share the source of our hope and power with anyone who is interested. This word is often used to describe a particular brand of conservative, Protestant, and often fundamentalist Christian religion. We don’t have much in common with that movement.

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9) You say you are against fundamentalism, Can you explain that?

Fundamentalism is the practice of asserting the absolute truth of your own beliefs and practices to the deliberate exclusion of the possibility of truth in the beliefs and practices of others. We believe that religious fundamentalism, be it Islamic fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism or Christian fundamentalism, is an especially nasty poison in human relations - resulting in rancor, strife, and in the extreme, hatred, violence and genocide. We DO believe that there is absolute truth, we just don’t believe that we can be absolutely sure that we have it. This can be a little uncomfortable at times, but we think it is a healthy discomfort. We think that tolerance of this discomfort is a sign of spiritual maturity.

We are sure that we don’t have Truth in its entirety - to assert that, would be blasphemy. So we humbly seek the Truth together. We preach those parts of the Truth which seem most solid and time tested in our experience. The core of this truth, for us, is relationship with Christ - this has never failed us. We do the best that we can at seeking, finding and articulating Truth, believing that when we leave this life and are re-united with Truth Itself, that our different understandings of the Truth will be resolved.

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10) Are you political?

Freedom Friends Church takes no stands on political candidates or parties. We do believe that all of us need to be aware of the privileges and responsibilities that we have in this country, and to be as active as we can in educating ourselves. We encourage everyone to vote and be involved in governmental processes as they feel led. We believe in promoting peace and justice through our governmental processes. We do think that the traditional American notion of the separation of church and state is a good idea.

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11) What is your stance on gay rights and gay marriage?

Freedom Friends is fully inclusive. Being gay, lesbian, bi or trans sexual is not an impediment to membership or ministry. We call everyone to healthy and grace filled standards of integrity, fidelity, honesty and dignity in every area of their life including their sexuality. We adamantly and actively support the human and civil rights of all persons. All marriages are honored and celebrated. Freedom Friends has taken, and will continue to take a public stand as a welcoming congregation, supporting justice and equality on these issues. You can find our full statement on sexuality in our faith and practice section. You can read our membership policy here.

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12) What kind of process did you go through to start this church?

It started as a dream and a vision that Alivia and Peggy had individually and together. We seasoned the idea and waited for external confirmations that we were on the right track - many of these followed. We started writing and sharing our writing with people we knew. We prayed a lot. We had many different kinds of people read our Faith and Practice and give us feedback. We took the idea into our spiritual direction and personal counseling settings. We talked with family. We eventually called a clearness committee to help us discern the most grace-filled path to do this. We have talked with our pastor, and the elders of our church. We have tried to have a face to face conversation with everyone that this will directly affect.

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13) I like this website, and I would like to use what you have written in our meeting publication, would that be ok?

Freedom Friends Church is an independent Friends church, not presently affiliated with any larger Quaker Yearly Meeting or organization. Our published materials represent our own faith and practice and none other. Quakers are a diverse group, and we respect that diversity, where it is in harmony with our beliefs and where it is not. If our materials appeal to you, if they speak to and for your condition, you may wish to quote or use them in some way. We are interested in seeing Quaker witness broadcast in the world. We ask that you contact us about the use of our materials at info@freedomfriends.org We look forward to hearing from you.

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