If you ask this of your pet Quaker, the answer will almost certainly start off along the lines of “Well, it depends upon what you mean by ‘God’…”, be followed by much hand wringing, and no doubt continue along similar lines. By the end of the answer you may be none the wiser, but more than likely after digesting it you could be forgiven for responding “A simple ‘yes’ would have sufficed”! Your pet Quaker wasn’t deliberately trying to be evasive or unclear; the somewhat wordy reply stems partly from our suspicion of anything which looks like a creed, partly from the difficulty which follows on from that of giving an answer which might be considered to be speaking on behalf of other Quakers, but mostly to honestly check what you actually mean by ‘God’!
Certainly few, if even any, Quakers today believe in the traditional image of God as an old bloke with a long white robe and a long white beard sitting on a throne on a cloud giving orders to passing angels and generally running the show, so we don’t want you to think we do. To be fair, few if any people in other churches believe in that image of God either. But it seems that most people on the ‘outside’ of religion have the impression of that being the God people on the ‘inside’ of religion believe in, and we want to take extra care to correct that misconception.
Although most Quakers do at heart believe ‘in God’, a significant number might not actually use that word – replacing it instead with terms such as ‘the Light Within’, ‘the Creator’, ‘the Spirit’, ‘Inward Teacher’ etc. This might partly be due to not wanting to upset the sensitivities of others, and partly as a result of any previous bad experiences themselves have had. Either way, whatever different words Quakers use or hear other people using, there is a shared understanding we all refer to the same ‘life force’ which binds the Universe together. Quakers do not worry about what name we give to God – after all, if an English speaker refers to ‘God’ and an French speaker refers to ‘Le Dieu’, they are still both referring to the same God.
Needless to say, there are a small number of Quakers who reject the whole concept of God entirely, considering it at best to be irrelevant and at worst to be superstition.