The testimonies are basic principles with specific applications which are regarded as central to the belief of Friends - Quakers. The following summary of four of Friends' testimonies has been extracted from the writings of Gordon Browne, a sojourning member of our Meeting during his tenure as Executive Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas.
Based on the insight that there is that of God in every person, this testimony held and still holds that there is no room in our Society for discrimination, including that based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation or ethnic origin. From the beginning, Friends have supported equality of the sexes and races.
The peace testimony arises from the same understanding of the nature of God and of human beings. Since we are all potential channels of God's truth, no matter how remote that might seem in certain circumstances, we do not have the right to negate each other. This testimony both opposes war and supports non-violent conflict resolution which is likely to be more relevant in our daily lives.
In the belief that there are many distractions from the Truth, Friends seek to focus attention on the essential and eternal. The testimony of simplicity cautions against becoming overly busy, even in pursuit of 'good' causes, or absorbed by pursuit of power, wealth and other diversions.
Friends believe that the Light illuminates a gathered group as well as the individual human heart, regardless of differences of experience, culture, age or understanding. The testimony of community seeks to nurture and support the best we find in each other, avoiding gossip and detraction.