Continuing Revelation

What does “Continuing Revelation” mean?


Collected From an Open Online Survey
7/26/09 – 7/30/09

Spirit didn’t stop speaking to people after Spirit spoke to those who wrote the Bible.  Spirit is always available to us, and sometimes we are open enough to know new things

-Lu from Rochester, NYYM


t means that God isn’t finished with us yet.  The spirit of the eternal gave human beings free wil land then didn’t see what all they would do with it, so the spirit must continue to reveal new truth as it becomes clear.

-Liz/Savannah Friends (SEYM)


To me it means that God did not stop communicating with humans once the Bible contents werewritten. God continues to be revealed in our lives. It also means that as I grow in my relationship with God, new insights and understandings are revealed to me, so that I may know God in a deeper way.I do not think it means that God changes, but that human perceptions of God are continually changing as we experience God in a deeper way. (Some people see contradictions in the Bible anduse this to discount its wisdom. For me the Bible includes the comforting message that humanscan learn as we go and God keeps trying to help us out of our ignorance.)

-Susan Lee Barton, Clear Creek MM, Ohio Valley YM


Spirit always speaks, Spirit is always present.  We must trust and listen and once we do, way is opened.

-Anonymous, Perry City Friend


The creator can reveal information to individuals that is not codified in writings or in creeds of the past.

-Pam Rider


It means that just because you think you know the answer does not mean that you do not have to continually test that answer from the perspective of “let us see were love leads us.”

-Kenn Harper, Rochester Meeting, NY


I think of it as meaning something both pro-active and wonderful as well as something that negatively defines another idea in Christianity.

First, the positive.  Continuing Revelation is a fundamental corallary to “There is that of God in Everyone,” and “Listen for the Still Small Voice within.” Without the notion of continuing revelation,those ideas would be hollow. I understand this to mean that because there is that of God withineveryone, and if we listen that of God within us can guide us in ways that we have no directconscious, rational access to. I speak of leadings, intuitions, callings, etc.

If there is no continuing Revelation, then it follows, as it does for some, that turning to the Bible is the only source for Truth (and yes, I do mean it to have a capital “T” as that is how some understand the Bible). BUT, because, as the UCC church has it, “God is still speaking,” we have ready access to current, organic, culturally appropriate insights that, with corporate discernment,or clearness committees, we can feel comfortable acting upon, even if they disagree with some Biblical teachings, or teachings of the church.

The negative part of this is that it creates a real rift between those of us who believe that God was listened to by the Biblical writers who wrote out of their own cultural and spiritual context and those who believe that the Bible is the literal, infallible truth. Those same folks have very ingenious ways for getting around some of the edicts laid out in the Bible (women silent in church, no braids or adornments, etc. etc.), but the fact is, some gyration is needed in order to both be a modern person believing in equality between sexes (or equal valuing by the Divine and humans) and a believer in the infallible Truth as it is set down in the Bible. The current, classic argument thatrequires the most gyration is the whole arena of LGBQT issues. It seems “cleaner” to me to simplyaccept that the Bible is an historical record, God is still speaking and that as we grow into theKingdom, some things we used to do (stone adulteresses comes to mind!) simply don’t reflect ournew understanding of a compassionate, inclusive and loving God.

-Sue Tannehill Buffalo, NY


God continues to teach those who make themselves available to be taught how to live according to the Divine Will in the present day.  Continuing Revelation does not involve a new Gospel, but teaches us how to live out the Everlasting Gospel in our current circumstances.

-Lloyd Lee Wilson – Rich Square Monthly Meeting, NCYM(C)


It means that God/Spirit continues to reveal His/Her/Its purposes and guides and directs us.  It means that every day we can receive new revealed wisdom from Spirit.

-Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson, Redwood Forest Friends Meet


To me it means that how God reveals God’s self to us is not static. It is a dynamic relationship andI continue to open more to what God is and what God offers to me/us. It also means that God is not ‘boxable’ – meaning, once I (think I) know something about God, it’s not a once-and-for-all knowing. God is larger than what I think I know and God will continue to open me to who God is.

-Mary Kay Glazer, Ticondaroga Worship Group, NYYM


“Continuing Revelation” means that, as Rufus Jones said, “If God ever spoke He is still speaking.”Unlike other Christian denominations, Quakers believe (and believed) that the Holy Spirit’s creative activity among us did not end with the first generation of Apostles at Pentecost. The Spirit continues to speak and reveal God’s insight and wisdom to us if we are willing to listen. While God is “unchanging,” our understanding of God’s wisdom is not, and may increase or diminish overtime and over generations.

-Anonymous, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting