Having been a regular worshiper at a Quaker church for a few years while in college, I would say that the Quaker rejection of water baptism reflects a dualism between matter and spirit that is quite foreign to Orthodox sacramental spirituality.
Oh, I don't know - I think Orthodox also distinguish the two, but they value both - for example, there is resurrection of the physical body and the spiritual soul. I think all the sacraments have both a spiritual and physical aspect.
Besides that, I think the last several posts in this thread have given verses distinguishing the baptism with water from the baptism or coming on of the Holy Spirit. eg. I think Ashman made a good point of St Paul's words in Acts 10, where Paul encouraged baptism with "water" "in the name of Jesus" for some people who already had received the Spirit.
Two problems I have with the Quaker view are that:
1) Christ told the disciples to baptise all nations "in the name of" the Trinity, and Acts 10 suggests this means an act of water baptism that uses its name. And the example of the apostles shows they understood it as an act they performed. So I see water baptism as following His instruction, even if it can be rationalized away.
2) Even if one accepts the Quaker view that water baptism is actually unnecessary and the spirit's baptism is what counts in Christ's instruction, the Quakers aren't even really following that because they themselves do not do acts of spirit baptism. They do not directly pray for other individuals to get the spirit, which would mean this kind of baptising others
in the spirit. Admittedly some Quakers may do this from time to time as a coincidence, but their teaching does not give this as a general instruction.
But Peter, it sounds like an interesting story you have. Have you written on the internet about coming to Orthodoxy, or perhaps you were visiting the Meeting while Orthodox because of the depth of Quaker spirituality, which admittedly has overlap with Orthodoxy?Be good.