Tom’s comment below pointed out to me that I need to clarify my usage of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Christianity. For fun, I will hereinafter refer to it as Idiot’s. Now, Idiot’s is totally nonjudgmental about all denominations, beliefs and practices. It only describes them, and delineates the differences among them. When I say that I like a particular denomination, I only quote from Idiot’s to show why I like it. So Idiot’s does not say that it’s good that Quakers avoid creeds, rituals, and other aspects common to other denominations; it only says that they do so, and I’m the one who said it’s something I like about them.
So any opinions about whether a particular aspect of a denomination is to my liking are my opinions. Any facts about a particular denomination are usually from Idiot’s.
Tom also asked how, if they don’t do the Lord’s Supper or baptism, it can be said that Quakers try hard to recreate the spirit of Christianity as it was practiced in the first century after Jesus’s death. As a bona fide religious moron, I can’t answer this question, so I will quote Idiot’s again:
Think of Quakerism as the end result of the Reformation’s effort to get rid of all the things that human beings added to the Christian faith since the time of Christ. Luther and Calvin got this process started, but Anabaptists didn’t think they went far enough. However, Quakers think that the Anabaptists didn’t go far enough either, since they kept baptism, communion, ordination of ministers, and other practices that kept people from having a direct experience with God.
So sayeth Idiot’s. Whether this answer is brilliant or vacuous, the reader must decide.