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Testimony on Simplicity

Even in times when life was less complex than it is today, Friends emphasized the importance of simplicity. The heart of Christian simplicity lies in the singleness of purpose which is required by the injunction to seek first the Kingdom of God. As men seek to express the spirit of God in their daily lives they realize the necessity of putting first things first.


Simplicity does not mean that all conform to uniform standards. Each must determine in the light that is given him what promotes and what hinders his compelling search for the Kingdom. The call to each is to abandon those things that clutter his life and to press toward the goal unhampered. This is true simplicity.


Early Friends refrained from using the customary names of the months and days of the week since some of these were unquestionably derived from names of heathen gods.


Pertaining to dress, our principle is to let decency, simplicity, and utility be our guide. When one is truly trying to seek first the Kingdom of God he will not be a slave to fashion. Since we believe our bodies are the temples of the living God, we should dress simply and modestly. As in dress, so in all our phases of living, we should each one of us strive to follow the dictates of the Light of Christ within.


Another basic belief of Friends is in the equal worth of all men in the sight of God. Early Friends avoided titles of respect, tipping of the hat, and the use of the plural word “you” when addressing one person, because these customs originated from the practice of showing undue respect to those in authority and wealth.