#whitefeather diaries

Only love can overcome evil

Tuesday 27 October 2015

In today's entry John decided not to become a Quaker, but was happy to be part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR). This group grew out of a meeting between British and German Christians on the eve of war.

Today, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFoR) has branches in over forty countries across five continents.

The British branch of FoR was formally launched in 1914 by around 120 Christian peace activists gathered in Cambridge. About half of those attending were Quakers. On 31 December 1914 the gathering formally agreed a set of principles known as the Basis of the Fellowship.

  1. That Love, as revealed and interpreted in the life and death of Jesus Christ, involves more than we have yet seen, that it is the only power by which evil can be overcome, and the only sufficient basis of human society.
  2. That, in order to establish a world-order based on Love, it is incumbent upon those who believe in this principle to accept it fully, both for themselves and in their relation to others, and to take the risks involved in doing so in a world which does not as yet accept it.
  3. That, therefore, as Christians, we are forbidden to wage war, and that our loyalty to our country, to humanity, to the Church Universal, and to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master, calls us instead to a life of service for the enthronement of Love in personal, social, commercial and national life.
  4. That the Power, Wisdom and Love of God stretch far beyond the limits of our present experience, and that He is ever waiting to break forth into human life in new and larger ways.
  5. That since God manifests Himself in the world through men and women, we offer ourselves to Him for His redemptive purpose, to be used by Him in whatever way He may reveal to us.

You can find out more about the International Fellowship of Reconciliation at www.ifor.org
FoR (England and Scotland) www.for.org.uk
FoR (Wales), Cymdeithas Y Cymod, www.cymdeithasycymod.org.uk/saesneg.htm

Related Materials

Cartoon of a Quaker avoiding enlistment
Tuesday 27 October 2015

John Hoare found himself isolated at boarding school after professing his abhorrence of killing at the outbreak of war. As he discovered others who shared his views, among them many Quakers, he began to feel less isolated.

Across the country, however, the political landscape was hardening. Pressure to introduce conscription intensified. During 1915 the ‘Derby Scheme’ began, registering men who said they were willing to fight if the call came. John later recalled the challenges he faced at the time.