Oswald Chambers My Utmost for his Highest, a book of devotionals published after his death in WWI, fascinates and perplexes me. In today's reading, he sounds much like a Quaker:
"When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about him. ... 'Believe also in Me,' Jesus said, not 'Believe certain things about Me.' Leav[ing] the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come."
I see the problem with creeds that Chambers spells out: Our beliefs about God or what God "should be," can block our direct, unmediated experience of what God IS. Quakers are rightfully concerned about having that direct experience. However, I also understand how in Quakerism the lack of structure or framework can lead to a spreading, anything-goes dilution, like wine spilled out from a container. We learn in the Bible that we need new wineskins not no wineskins.
I also wonder if Quakers make an idol--or a creed--of not having creeds.
What do you think? Leaving aside our own sense that "creeds are bad," does it help or hinder Quakers to be adamantly against creeds?