||"Faith of the Free"
-- A forum dedicated to "free-thinking, openly questioning, radically-inclusive, ethically-engaged, reform-oriented religion in the Unitarian and Universalist tradition. --
Joined: 16 Apr 2007
|Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:40 am Post subject: APD Master List
|"The world is now too dangerous for anything but the truth,
too small for anything but brotherhood."
"Let no one say that it is difficult to know what Unitarianism is, or that it contains no areas of agreement. It is the most affirmative of all religions, the boldest in its claims, and the widest in its outreach and inclusiveness. Instead of a creed, it agrees to follow the living truth, and it sets its people free to do so. Instead of ritual pieties, it asks devotion to the deeds that make the world more righteous and its people more just. It separates itself from no company of believers, whether Christian or otherwise, except as they deny its claim for freedom. It asks no wide dominion for its institutions; only a liberty of access for its faith. It trusts that, in the years before us, Unitarian freedom will be claimed in all denominations, all communions; and meanwhile, it must humbly do its best to lead the way."
"The belief that there are natural rights which all mankind may justly claim relies in the end
upon religion. This is not to say that they rely upon some particular creed or that their
basis is dogmatic, but only that they cannot be credibly asserted except upon the
assumption that human nature is moral and spiritual, and that we so accept it....
The theological way of putting it was that each human individual possessed these
rights because he was the child of God. The soul was sacred. To encroach upon its
independence was sacrilege. Each man was accountable at last not to society, certainly not
to the state, but to his own conscience and to his Creator....Let us understand then,
as over against all who deny that these rights are natural and that they should be accounted
inalienable, that they do not have to be biologically natural in order to be morally so,
and that unless they are held inalienable the very basis itself of modern civilization will be eroded and all that has been erected upon it must fall."
(...from a sermon delivered February 5, 1956)
"If we are what Channing called 'the universal church, from which no man is excluded except by the death of goodness in his own breast,' then we should begin to be that church. The world is waiting for it."
"The years of all of us are short, our lives precarious. Our days and nights
go hurrying on and there is scarcely time to do the little that we might.
Yet we find time for bitterness, for petty treason and evasion. What can we
do to stretch our hearts enough to lose their littleness? Here we are—all
of us—all upon this planet, bound together in a common destiny, living our
lives between briefness of the daylight and the dark. Kindred in this, each
lighted by the same precarious, flickering flame of life, how does it happen
that we are not kindred in all things clear? How strange and foolish are these
walls of separation that divide us!"
-- Rev. A. Powell Davies
"But what a pity it is! That any church anywhere should be disfigured
by a barrier of reservations, a fence of authoritarian requirements, a wall
of creed and dogma! What a shame it is that there is anything in churches
that shuts men out! For what is a church but dreams and hopes and
yearnings? And what is its worship but the longing of the lonely human
heart? What is a church but faith struggling with doubt....What is a church
but truth sifted painfully from error, good saved from evil, beauty cleansed
from the world's pollution?...What is a church but hunger and thirst for the
bread of life--without which we perish?
How, then, from the portals of any church is it possible for one human soul
to turn away another? What folly it is---and what vanity---that some of us
should say to others of us, 'Believe as I believe or you cannot share in my
church!' For what are we all but ignorant? How much does any of us know?
Which of us is wise enough--and which good enough... to shut another out?
Which of us dares say to his brother, 'This is my church but it cannot be
your church. The longing in your heart is not like the longing in mine. The
need you have is not my need. The God you seek is not a God who can be
fond of both of us.' Which of us dares say these things?"
-- Rev. A. Powell Davies
(...from his sermon of 11/1/1953 on "The Reformation: Why Not Complete It?")
"We cannot go back, we are not meant to go back; Biblical Christianity will never again rule communities
as once it did; the old simplicities are over. But that does not mean a bankruptcy of faith and hope.
It does not mean there will never be standards, or pride in life, or human dignity. On the contrary, we are
going forward until we bring to pass a nobler level of life than the world has ever known...we do not get our
religion from what is reported in newspapers; we get it from what we feel in the life about us as day to day
it confirms itself in our own hearts. And inasmuch as human courage is unquenchable, and the power
of a dream beyond the mind of man to measure, we shall put our courage and our dreaming together
and make a better world."
--- Rev. Dr. A. Powell Davies
(...from a sermon delivered in April of 1940)
"Beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." -- Rumi
"The Reformation Must Continue!" --- Friedrich Schleiermacher
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