Queries and Advices
The purpose of the Queries is to direct
attention to the true source of spiritual strength, to promise and
encourage individual faithfulness to Christ, to keep the (Church) Meeting
in a healthy condition, and to cause the individual and Meeting to be
actively employed in a ministry acceptable to God.
Queries for Monthly Meetings
These Queries are to be read three times each year.
1. Do you strive for the constant
realization of God's presence in your life? Are you sensitive and obedient
to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Do you endeavor to advance your
spiritual growth by the prayerful study of the Bible and other devotional
2. Are all meetings for worship and for
business duly held, and are you regular and punctual in attending them? Do
you come with heart and mind prepared for communion with God and fellowship
with one another? Do you individually assume your rightful share in the
responsibility of the work and worship of the Meeting?
3. Do you love one another as becomes the
followers of Christ? Are you careful of the reputation of others? When
differences arise, do you make earnest effort to end them speedily?
4. Do you practice the daily reading of the
Scriptures in your families, giving time for reverent meditation? Do you
make your home a place of hospitality, friendliness, peace, and Christian
fellowship? Do you promote the moral and spiritual life of your children
through careful supervision of their education, recreation, and
5. Do you seek the conversion and spiritual
development of your young people? Do you endeavor to instruct them in the
principles and practices of Friends? Do you strive to create a community of
life that will promote their spiritual, mental, and physical well-being?
6. Do you observe simplicity and moderation
in you manner of living? Do you give proper attention to the rules of
health? Are you careful to avoid all places of amusement that are
inconsistent with Christian character? Do you practice total abstinence
from tobacco, narcotics, and alcoholic beverages?
7. Do you avoid such undue expansion of
your business as to endanger your personal integrity? Are you truthful and
honest in your business transactions, punctual in fulfilling your promises,
and prompt in payment of your debts?
8. Do you make diligent effort to acquaint
yourselves and those under your care with the spiritual needs of the world?
Do you support by prayer and systematic giving those who are laboring to
extend Christ's kingdom? Do you use your spiritual gifts in serving
humanity as God grants you light to see such service?
9. Do you consistently practice the
Christian principles of love and goodwill toward all people? Do you work
actively for peace and for the removal of the causes of war? Do you
endeavor to make it clear to all whom you can influence that war is
inconsistent with the spirit and teaching of Jesus?
10. Does your attitude toward people of
other races indicate your belief in the rights of other races? Do you
believe in the spiritual capacity of people of all races, and do you
recognize their equality in the sight of God? Are you aware of your
responsibility as a Christian to help in the elimination of racial
discrimination and prejudice?
1. Sanctity of the Home
Marriage, when rightly conceived and
faithfully maintained, is regarded by Friends to be the most sacred of all
social arrangements. Christ used the family to illustrate the nature of the
Kingdom of Heaven. He honored and blessed marriage as the truest example of
divine-human cooperation in perfecting a social structure for the help and
continuance of the human family and for the mutual assistance and comfort
of both sexes that they may be helpmates to each other in things temporal
and spiritual. Marriage, therefore, should be entered upon discreetly,
soberly, and in the fear of the Lord. It can never be truly accomplished by
church formalities, legal sanctions, or ministerial pronouncements, but
should be consummated as an inward, voluntary, spiritual union of hearts,
in the free initiative of mutual choice and outwardly expressed by the
contracting parties. Sanction of church and state are the social
acknowledgements of the true marriage into which those enter "whom God has
joined together" but are, however, to be held in high regard and to be
observed with strict fidelity.
Failure to practice mutual consideration
and to search for divine guidance in all the interests and problems of
family life often destroys the cohesive power of love, causes the
disruption of the home, and, in many instances, leads to divorce against
which Friends have maintained a strong testimony. The faithful fulfillment
of the marriage covenant is essential to the welfare of the family, the
proper nurture of children, and the strength of the social structure. Every
effort should be made in the spirit of mutual forbearance and forgiveness
to reconcile all differences arising in family life. Even in extreme
situations, the preservation of family unity is the better part of
Christian integrity and practice. Homes should be testimonials to the grace
of God in human relationships and, if established under the care of the
church and continued in warm Christian fellowship, have great assurance of
permanence and success.
Based upon Friends belief in the
authenticity of Scripture, the practice of homosexual acts falls short of
the truest example (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Although we do not condone the
practice of homosexual acts because it is incompatible with Christian
teaching as understood by Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends, we view all
people, regardless of sexual preference, as persons of sacred worth. The
church must work redemptively will all. Friends believe the very purpose of
the church is to glorify God through worship and to be an agent of change
to bring persons into the Kingdom of God. In so doing, the church humbly
reaches out to heal those who are broken, for whatever reason, and to
preserve the sanctity of the home.
2. Recreation and Amusement
Recreation is necessary to every normal
person in the maintenance of physical, mental, and spiritual health. The
type of activity pursued must be selected in light of accepted Christian
principles and standards. Some basic questions that should be considered
are: Does the activity violate any principle of Scripture? Does it give the
appearance of evil (I Thessalonians
5:22)? Will engaging in this activity be a
stumbling block to anyone? Will this activity help or hinder one's
spiritual experience and growth? The Scripture "Whatsoever ye do, do all to
the glory of God" must be given careful thought. Activities that seem
questionable, after due consideration, should be avoided.
The community and the church, as part of
the community, have a responsibility to provide wholesome and constructive
recreation which provides for social and mental as well as physical needs.
Friends should be active among those who insist upon high standards of
quality and moral influence in all forms of entertainment. The natural
desires of youth for activity and social fellowship must be recognized with
wisdom and understanding, and sympathetically guided into wholesome
3. Alcohol and Narcotics
The testimony of Friends regarding the use
of alcohol is based on the belief that the human body is the temple of God
and that to harm it in this way is to dishonor Him. Any pleasurable or
exhilarating effects produced by intoxicants are but temporary and tend to
react injuriously on both mind and body. Friends advocate total abstinence
because any use of intoxicants is harmful and because occasional indulgence
frequently leads to excess which results in loss of self-control and
enslavement to appetite. Scientific research and experimentation show that
alcoholic beverages tend to dull the ethical senses, impair the judgment,
affect the eyesight, and slow up muscular control and coordination.
Furthermore, intemperance has long been known to be a major cause of
marital and family problems, immorality, and crime. Friends for many years
have been opposed to the entire liquor traffic as detrimental to human
A desire for social approval often leads to
participation in so-called "social drinking." The Christian should avoid
recourse to such false supports of social standing and should recognize the
responsibility for others, as expressed by Paul, "If what I eat is going to make another Christian sin, I will never eat
meat again as long as I live--for I don't want to make another Christian
stumble." (1 Corinthians 8:13 NLT).
Friends have consistently borne testimony
against the use of tobacco as a self-indulgence which tends generally to
make the constant user indifferent to the discomfort they thrust upon
others. Scientific research has shown that smoking is the cause of lung
cancer and is harmful to the body in other ways as well. This testimony
appropriately applies to the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of tobacco,
as well as users of it.
4. Gambling and Lotteries
Friends are strongly urged to abstain
completely from seeking pecuniary gain or personal pleasure or
entertainment through any form of gambling methods or devices. To receive
value when no value is given results in wrong attitudes towards property
and is destructive in character. The precarious gains of the winner are at
the cost of many losers, a procedure in no wise compatible with the
admonition to provide for "things honorable, not only in the sight of the
Lord, but also in the sight of men." (II Corinthians
5. Judicial Oaths
Persons who are conscientiously opposed to
oaths for judicial and other legal purposes are generally exempt by law
from such procedure. Requests for the affirmation will be respected by all
officers acquainted with the law, and those who are ignorant of it should
be informed of its provisions. The words of Jesus, "Swear not at all,"
emphasize the importance of honesty in speech. Friends position in regard
to taking of the judicial oath is not merely a negation of a procedure
which they believe to be wrong, but it is a positive evidence of an ideal
by which they endeavor to regulate their lives. They base their attitude
upon the principle that the truth is to be spoken at all times and that "a
man's word is as good as his bond." Taking the affirmation is not only a
protest against an objectionable practice, but it is a witness to the
construction influence of integrity and veracity.
6. Secret Organizations
The rights of individuals to freedom of
action within proper bounds must be maintained, but it is the duty of the
church to warn its members against whatever may interfere with the
development of Christian character. Although secret organizations may have
benevolent and useful provision for their members, Friends are cautioned
against membership in any organization which will directly or indirectly
diminish sympathy with any portion of mankind or tend to take the place of
Jesus Christ as the center of their interest and activity.
Iowa Yearly Meeting of Friends believes abortion to be contrary to the
will of God. Friends are urged to work to develop compassionate alternatives
to abortion such as adoption, moral education and counseling, and supportive
social structures for parents.
[ Back to Top | Home Page ]