A Faith for Today from 1747 to the present.
I am the worlds youngest Shaker since 1995 and spent two and a half years at the community in Maine.
I am attempting to form a community at my house on a golf course in suburban San Diego CA. Our theology is both progressive, liberal and extreme in the conservativeness of dedication required to live the Christ life. We no longer require celibacy and communal finances.
I would describe myself as Shaker Zen practitioner who appreciates love and compassion but I find labels odious not all that helpful. I value honesty highly but have noticed it tends to get you crucified.
I believe on Christian non resistance to violence as a better way in this present dispensation.
Br. Ted said it best:
We strive daily to put into practical terms, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The central teaching of the New Testament is quite simply love, the love of God for man and that of man for God as evidenced in the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. This same love was always and is today the very cornerstone of Shakerism. For us as followers of the Christ we feel we show that peace as pacifists. This does not mean merely refusing to bear arms against another, it also requires us to never feel bitterness, never to feel any desire for revenge, but always to seek only the highest good of every person no matter what they may do to us. We further believe in the practice of universal Brotherhood as well as equality for all, the Shakers being forerunners in applying this to our daily life over two hundred years ago.
Shakerism is not, as many would claim, an anachronism; nor can it be dismissed as the final sad flowering of nineteenth century liberal utopian fervor. Shakerism has a message for the this present age--a message as valid today as when it was first expressed. It teaches above all else that God is Love and that our most solemn duty is to show forth that God who is love in the World. Shakerism teaches God's immanence through the common life shared in Christ's mystical body. It values human fulfillment highly and believes that we fulfill ourselves best by being nothing more nor less than ourselves. It believes that Christian love is a love beyond disillusionment, for we cannot be disillusioned with people being themselves. Surely God would not have it otherwise for it is in being ourselves--our real selves--that we are most like Christ in his sacred oneness.