be not conformed to this world Quaker Christian witness

Be Not Conformed to this World

by Kenneth S. P. Morse
from The Friend of Truth #14, Tenth Month, 1940.

It would seem appropriate at this time to call attention of concerned readers to the fact that it is just as possible to be conformed to the world in speech as it is in dress. In most of the European languages, there seems to be an absurd idea that it is disrespectful and impolite to address people as "thee" or "thou." These pronouns are reserved to be used to children, servants, cats, dogs, horses, to dearly beloved ones, to those one wishes to insult, and to God! For the stranger, or superior, or the ordinary acquaintance, other forms are invented, such as, You, They, Your Grace, Your Lordship, The Lord, and Your Excellency. Of course "thou" is still good enough to use to God in prayer! There is no real or reasonable doubt that the use of "you" in speaking to one person arose in the same way in English. What was the origin of such a peculiar shunning of the pronoun "thou?" The result is plain: men felt that the language they used to God was not good enough for man, and so there surely was something wrong about the "you" language. It may definitely be said, that it is an invention of the fallen nature. The example of God and Christ and the holy apostles, as recorded in the Bible, is to use "thou," "thee," and "thy" when speaking to but one person. Is there not likewise something worldy about such usages as "Good morning," "Merry Christmas," "Happy New Year," and the common titles "Mister," "Misses," "Sir," "Madam," "Reverend," and the like? The world certainly has no scruples about using them, accepts them heartily, and expects them. Do not these titles belong to the honor which is from below, from the world, and not to the honor which comes from God? "How can ye believe, who receive honor one from another, and seek not the honor which comes from God only (John 5:44)?

The same kind of exalting of man as tho he were at least equal with God occurs in the uncovering of the head, which is done in time of prayer, and also to show respect to man, sometimes dead, and sometimes living. Brethren, these things ought not so to be!
be not conformed to this world Quaker Christian witness
be not conformed to this world Quaker Christian witness
be not conformed to this world Quaker Christian witness
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Epistle 169

"The Anchor Holds"

TO all the Elect, Chosen and Faithful, who . . . are the Gold tried in the Fire. Who have been tried by Goods spoiling, by Bonds, by Whippings, by Mockings and Reproaches . . . and some have been tried unto Death; and ye have proved to be the pure Gold, that hath come out brighter and brighter. Who have not feared the Waves of the Sea, nor the Winds; who fears not the Storms nor the Weather; whose Anchor holds, which is the Hope, the Mystery, which anchors the Soul which is Immortal, to the Immortal God. . . ...

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