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Quaker Testimonies

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Exeter Friends from the mid 1950's

Quaker Testimonies

Friends (or Quakers), the terms are used interchangeably, are Christian who do not have a creed to which members must adhere, but they do have certain testimonies which most Friends accept.  Friends believe in God and regard Jesus as head the of the church, but we also believe that there are other paths to God.  Significant testimonies are those of Simplicity, Peace, Equality, Community, Integrity, and Stewardship.

The testimony of equality leads Quakers to treat all persons alike regardless of their station in life. They have always granted women equal status with men; they opposed slavery when it was legal and oppose discrimination today. Early Quaker merchants could be trusted not to cheat their customers.  

The testimony on simplicity leads us to shun ostentation and frivolous activity.  An example of this simplicity is our burial ground, that area outdoors enclosed by the stone wall. There are no grave markers. Early Friends found markers; tombstones could be used as a measure of an individuals heightened sense of worth and/or used to draw attention to themselves and therefore no allowed.

The testimony of integrity leads us to be honest and just in all our dealings, prompt in the payment of debts, and punctual in the keeping of promises. Early Quaker merchants could be trusted not to cheat their customers even when it might be easy to do so.

The peace testimony leads to Quakers to seek alternatives to violence in our daily lives and to work for nonviolent resolution of conflict wherever it occursMany Quakers refuse to bear arms. In times of war, many have taken the position of conscientious objection and have engaged in alternative service often facing serious hazards as smoke jumper fighting forest fires, serving on the front lines of battle as medics, or serving as human guinea pigs to test medical procedures.