I often get frustrated with a favorite song of Quakers, sung in multi-part harmony by the Very Special Quaker Choir: The Religious Society Of Friends Is The Most Special Thing Ever. This choral piece is in a theme and variations format, and can last longer than Der Ring des Nibelungen when opportunity arises. It must be preformed fortississimo with eyes closed, so that the choristers are in no danger of seeing or hearing other, nonQuaker believers doing what is sung as a shiny Quaker distinctive.
This overweening specialness- I have a tendency to let it get to me. I have claimed in the past that Quakers are mainly unique for their willingness to see their special snowflakeness everywhere they go.
On that point, however, I stand corrected. I made that claim without being aware of the Baptist Briders, a concept which does not seem to be limited to the only true Baptist paper in Canada.
You can read any of the papers at that link to get a sense of the theology, but here’s the short version: all Christians go to heaven. Baptists are the Bride of Christ at the wedding feast, and all the other Christians are the guests at the wedding. That is, Baptists get to live in New Jerusalem, while all the other Christians can just come visit once in a while.
Baptists, it turns out, are God’s favorite flavor of Christian ever. (Independent) Baptists have a special intimacy with God that no other kind of Christian can fathom, due to their particular ecclesiology, focus on separation, and willingness to name Billy Graham as a heretic. Baptists will be presented to God pure and undefiled, presumably with the rest of us arrayed by denomination as beauty pageant losers, softly crying our makeup off while bringing out the tiara and roses.
So, my sincere apologies to any Quaker who has heard me rant about how stinking special Quakers think they are. The Baptist Briders have us beat by a mile.
Unrelatedly, is there any way not to love this piece about how Patrick of Ireland was really a Baptist?