George Fox live from 1624 to 1691. When he was just a young man he became very unsatisfied with the way churches, clergy, and the teachings of scripture were done. He believed that everyone had the possibility t have Christ in their life. He called in the light of Christ and it didn't matter who you were. He believed that the church was not a building but the people who made up the congregation. Because of this he traveled around and preached everywhere he went. On many occasions he was arrested for his teachings as well as methods and he was persecuted on many occasions as well. In this week I have chosen to read one of his entries in his journal and to discuss some interesting aspects of it.
The strangest part of this reading came to me near the end. It speaks of when George Fox went to Lichfield. He claimed to have been called and directed by God to go to this place. When he arrived he first met with some shepherds and a sudden urge came over him to take off his shoes. So he took them off and gave them to the shepherds saying only give them to someone who pays. He comes back later to pay for them. He then presides into the city yelling "Woe to the bloody city of Lichfield". At first he apparently doesn't understand why he has done this. After he left God again opened his eyes to see that in the past Christians had been killed in the city. At this point it apparently all makes sense to him. This part of his journal I found to be the strangest action.
Now as a final thought I am going to construct a fictitious conversation with George Fox on the idea of religious freedom in the United States. This conversation will be between myself and Mr. Fox and simply based on the reading and what I can defer from his character.
"We have the freedom to practice any religion we chose in the United States," I would start off saying to him.
"So you allow those who do not believe in the one true God to practice their faiths?" He would ask.
"Yes. We believe all people should have freedom to worship in any way they chose."
"It seems as though you are too afraid to do what God has called us to do as Christians."
Why would you say that?"
"Well it seems to be as though you don't wish to upset anyone or try to teach them in the one true path so you just let them practice in their heathen ways."
"I wouldn't say that at all. There are many people who do go out and witness to these people. But forcing them into believing something they have not believed for most of their life isn't the way to win souls for Christ."
"Why not? If they are forced to see the truth they will eventually come around and come to believe in it as well."
"I don't think that would be the case. I think that by forcing any sort of belief on anyone, being true or not, is the way to get people to turn away."
"If they turn away than perhaps they were never meant to go to heaven and be with God and Christ in the first place." Silence on my part at this. "I am getting a message from God...." From there on out the conversation turns south and any hope of an understanding is gone.