Teaching Christians about Christianity

To resume discussion of the Letter to the World’s Religious Leaders, The Universal House of Justice quotes Baha’u’llah (paragraph 15):

There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them, except a few which are the outcome of human perversity, were ordained of God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose. Arise and, armed with the power of faith, shatter to pieces the gods of your vain imaginings, the sowers of dissension amongst you. Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you.

The House goes on to say,

Such an appeal does not call for abandonment of faith in the fundamental verities of any of the world’s great belief systems.

What are the “fundamental verities” of each religion? How do we know what they are?

The Resurrection, by Giovanni BelliniIf you were to ask a bunch of Christians what the fundamentals of Christianity are, you’d get a lot of answers. But almost all of them would revolve around three essential points: the Incarnation (when God became a human being), the Crucifixion (when Christ died for our sins), and the Resurrection (when Christ rose bodily from the dead). You might call these the Three Pillars of Christianity. Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christians all agree on these fundamentals.

All three of these fundamentals are denied by the Baha’i Faith.

So what does the Universal House of Justice mean when it says, “Such an appeal does not call for abandonment of faith in the fundamental verities of any of the world’s great belief systems”? How can it say that when it (and all Baha’is) call for Christians to abandon three of the most fundamental verities of their faith?

Easy. It redefines the fundamental verities. It tells Christians, “you’ve got Christianity all wrong. Let us educate you about Christianity.” Take this excerpt for example, from a letter dated May 28, 1984:

Concerning the Resurrection of Christ you quote the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, where the account stresses the reality of the appearance of Jesus to His disciples who, the Gospel states, at first took Him to be a ghost. From a Baha’i point of view the belief that the Resurrection was the return to life of a body of flesh and blood, which later rose from the earth into the sky is not reasonable, nor is it necessary to the essential truth of the disciples’ experience, which is that Jesus did not cease to exist when He was crucified (as would have been the belief of many Jews of that period), but that His Spirit, released from the body, ascended to the presence of God and continued to inspire and guide His followers and preside over the destinies of His dispensation.

The Universal House of Justice says the Christian belief about the Resurrection is “not reasonable.” Are the Christians who believe it also unreasonable? It’s as if Christians are blockheads, while Baha’is are smart enough to know that no reasonable person would believe such a silly tale. Greek Orthodox icon of the Descent into HadesI thought Baha’is wanted to promote religious understanding, not flippantly dismiss others’ beliefs.

And why, by the way, is the Christian belief unreasonable? Is it unreasonable for God to bring bodies back to life? Why? Is he not powerful enough? No, it couldn’t be that. He is Almighty, after all. Or is it that he’s too sophisticated? Maybe bodily resurrection is something that would only appeal to those rubes in the trailer park who watch TBN. Spiritual resurrection is so much more refined. Naturally God is nice and bourgeois, like me.

Moreover, the Universal House of Justice’s objection that it’s “not reasonable” would seem to fly in the face of their own faith. Consider what Baha’u’llah says in his tablet Ishraqat:

O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God! Know thou for a certainty that the Will of God is not limited by the standards of the people, and God doth not tread in their ways.

So according to Baha’u’llah, God can do whatever he pleases, regardless of whether we think it’s reasonable.The Universal House of Justice goes on to say that not only is a bodily resurrection not reasonable, but it is also not “necessary to the essential truth of the disciples’ experience.”Says who? The disciples themselves report a physical resurrection, and seemed to think it was important. Later generations of Christians also felt that way. But apparently we’ve all been wrong this whole time. Luckily for us, the Baha’is are on hand to tell us what the essential truth of their experience really was:

Jesus did not cease to exist when He was crucified (as would have been the belief of many Jews of that period), but that His Spirit, released from the body, ascended to the presence of God and continued to inspire and guide His followers and preside over the destinies of His dispensation.

So the unity of religions Baha’is talk about only exists because Baha’is redefine what other religions teach. They dismiss what the believers themselves regard as the fundamental verities of their religion. The substitute them with new fundamental verities, while dismissing the real ones as “not reasonable.” Anyone who talks to Christians this way is simply being patronizing. Remind me again how this promotes world peace?

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17 Responses

  1. Thank you for this dialogue about the letter from the Universal House of Justice. I have also been curious about the miracles of God, which are unbounded. Here is a possible understanding to reconcile the bodily resurrection of Christ in the Christian and Bahai dialogue: namely, that the soul of Jesus did manifest Itself again for the physical eyes of the disciples to see. Once the soul is free of the body, that Soul (Jesus) can still chose to visually appear in front of the disciples again by re-materializing, like a hologram. I wish I understood how this works better. The fact is that Baha’u’llah did the same thing, which is the key to reconciling our understanding of this. When Baha’u’llah was physically being held in prison in Palestine there was a mob going through the streets to kill Bahais at the same time in Iran, a thousand miles away. Baha’u’llah appeared in the street in Iran and commanded one of His followers to find safety immediately. That believer saw Baha’u’llah “in the flesh” and heard His words and obeyed Him. Only later did this person realize that Baha’u’llah Himself was confined in Palestine at the time! So Jesus and Baha’u’llah had the same power to re-manifest themselves. Jesus could appear in front of you right now if He chose. “We are nearer to you than your life vein.” God bless.

  2. Hi Michael, thanks for your comment.

    I wasn’t aware of this incident in the life of Baha’u’llah. Where can I read about it? There is a similar experience in the life of the Bab related in the Dawn-Breakers, as I’m sure you know. When the Bab was being held in either Mah-ku or Chihriq (I forget which) his jailer saw him outside the fortress praying by a stream, but when he went back to the prison he found that the Bab had never left.

    These are examples of bilocation. This is a phenomenon sometimes attributed to Christian saints. A recent example would be Padre Pio, a 20th-century Italian saint. You can read about some of these occurences here: http://www.tanbooks.com/doct/mysteries_marvels.htm
    Stories of bilocation are also attributed to holy people in other religions.

    This is not quite the same thing as the post-crucifixion appearances of Jesus, but I see what you’re saying, and I appreciate your attempt to reconcile the two religions. As a matter of fact, though, you’re simply illustrating my point, which is that Baha’is change Christian teachings.

    This point is so important, that I can’t bear to put it in the comment box, so I will write a post about it.

  3. […] As I’ve said before, one of the three pillars of Christianity is the Incarnation: when God became a human being. This joining of human to divine is at the heart of the Gospel. That is what brings us into eternal life. And the Bible mirrors this by also being a joining of divine and human. […]

  4. I was raised Catholic, but became very interested in the Bahai faith around the time I was to be confirmed. I found this article interesting and tend to lean toward the defensive side as my fellow Catholic has written. What do Baha’is have to say about doubting Thomas? Did Jesus ask him to touch his side to prove his physical presence while in actuality just being a mere hologram? It is interesting to see how the stories are interpreted, in either case Christ can still be viewed as the divine power both religions deem him to be. As Jonah said, though I think we need to take care not to rewrite truths and expect both religions to just be ok with the new version. As well as Catholics and other faiths not being blind to new ideas just because they may feel offended at first. Interesting points, I will continue to investigate and enjoy learning new views of old teachings.

  5. Thanks for your comment, Amy.

    You asked how Baha’is would respond to the story of Thomas touching the wounds of the resurrected Christ. It would be great if some Baha’is themselves would chime in, but since they’re not, I’ll tell you what I would say when I was a Baha’i.

    It goes like this (putting my Baha’i hat on): the Manifestation of God has the power to make himself appear in physical form to people. So Jesus could have appeared physically to his disciples, even though the physicalness is not intrinsic to his nature. In other words, he doesn’t have a physical body all the time, post-crucifixion. But he can conjure one when necessary. (Now I’m taking the Baha’i hat back off.)

    As Jonah said, though I think we need to take care not to rewrite truths and expect both religions to just be ok with the new version. As well as Catholics and other faiths not being blind to new ideas just because they may feel offended at first.

    I wholeheartedly agree. We should always be open to new ideas. But being open to new ideas is not the same as believing any old thing regardless of the evidence.

    We do need unity in the world, but what the Baha’is offer isn’t real unity. You can’t bring unity simply by changing the definitions of things.

    By all means, continue to investigate, Amy. You’re doing a lot more than I did when I became a Baha’i. I didn’t bother to investigate the other religions. I just made assumptions about them.

  6. Well, there are a bunch of issues and they’ll take a lot of time, but I’ll make a start.

    First of all, it is incorrect to say that the Baha’i Faith believes that it is superior to Christianity and that it denies the crucifixion. As to the resurrection of Christ, we understand it to be symbolic, and I’ll come to that later. As to the incarnation, we understand that God became man in a different way than incarnation is explained. These are all huge subjects, I’ll address them as I can.

    First, a bit about me. I was raised Catholic, and had the benefit of a Catholic education in elementary school (St. John Baptist de la Salle in Granada Hills, California), high school (Bishop Alemany in San Fernando, California) and college (a year and a half at St. Mary’s College in Moraga California; three and a half years at Loyola University of Los Angeles — now Loyola Marymount.) During the time at St. Mary’s I was a seminarian at the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Seminary in Lafayette, California. My parents were good Catholics, and I praise God for them; they were good parents. I deeply appreciate the nuns and priests who entered my life; I had the benefit of outstanding people who are a credit to the Catholic Church. In particular, Sister Mary Martin, now living at the retirement center at Mount St. Mary’s; and Monsignor Peter O’Sullivan, were important to me in my earliest days. I left the seminary because I felt that a 19 year old living on a mountain top, and a decade or so of isolated book education and then ordination, was not the way to learn how to help people with their problems. I decided to leave the seminary, and if I could live by the New Testament, then maybe I’d be able to help others how to live by it. (I’m still trying.) Father Ron Carignan was a gem during my seminary days; he’s been a missionary in Africa for years now, and again, a wonderful, well-grounded priest.

    I felt that the Gospel was not just for my salvation, but for the healing of the world. I tried to find a way to apply the New Testament to the social needs of the day; and the ones that were uppermost at Loyola were peace, racial justice, and the equality of the sexes. I felt that the answer *had* to be in the New Testament. I found that the New Testament abounded in love; but I did not see how love alone was sufficient guidance to heal the world. How does a head of state use the Gospel for guidance in his or her deliberations? Does turn the other cheek mean, don’t fight in wars? If not, what divine guidance is there for the use of military force? After a couple of years I found the Baha’i Faith, and came to accept that it is in the same Covenant of God, and fulfills promises in the Bible. it is not a different religion, in the same sense that Christianity is not a different religion from Judaism — both come from God, and are connected by a Covenant. Christ fulfills the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah (prophecies in Daniel, Isaiah, Zechariah, Malachi, many more). I have been a Baha’i since 1971.

    The Baha’i Faith views the divine revelations as remedies for the soul-sicknesses of the world. (I will come back to the use of the word “Prophet” in reference to Jesus Christ, in a future posting.) Baha’u’llah writes:

    “The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its peoples, that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity. To none is given the right to question their words or disparage their conduct, for they are the only ones who can claim to have understood the patient and to have correctly diagnosed its ailments. No man, however acute his perception, can ever hope to reach the heights which the wisdom and understanding of the Divine Physician have attained. Little wonder, then, if the treatment prescribed by the physician in this day should not be found to be identical with that which he prescribed before. How could it be otherwise when the ills affecting the sufferer necessitate at every stage of his sickness a special remedy? In like manner, every time the Prophets of God have illumined the world with the resplendent radiance of the Day Star of Divine knowledge, they have invariably summoned its peoples to embrace the light of God through such means as best befitted the exigencies of the age in which they appeared. They were thus able to scatter the darkness of ignorance, and to shed upon the world the glory of their own knowledge. It is towards the inmost essence of these Prophets, therefore, that the eye of every man of discernment must be directed, inasmuch as their one and only purpose hath always been to guide the erring, and give peace to the afflicted.”
    (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 79)

    That is, the divine revelations are not only for the inner guidance of the individual, to bring the eternal soul into union with God. In addition, they are a remedy for the social ills of the world — crime, immorality, war, injustice, etc. There are plenty of prophecies about this in the Bible. And just as the remedy for a certain stage of the illness is different from the remedy at a later stage, and neither remedy is superior to the other; the divine remedies are appropriate to the age in which they appear. I did not find the divine remedy for world peace in the Gospel. In the Bible I found promises that peace would come; but not a path to get there. The Baha’i revelation is the divine remedy for today. It comes in fulfillment of promises in the Old and New Testaments and other scriptures.

    When I was in the seminary, our theology teacher taught us that all humanity was “the body of Christ.” This is akin to the spirit of the Baha’i teaching of the oneness of humanity. All people are recipients of God’s love.

    The Baha’i Faith is not an amalgam of several faiths. It has its own divinely-revealed scriptures, which are of the same stature as the Old and New Testaments. They are the Word of God. You can read them here http://www.bahai.org or here http://reference.bahai.org

    I suggest Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, and Some Answered Questions by Abdu’l-Baha, as starting points for Christians. Tablets of Baha’u’llah contains The Most Holy Tablet, also known as the Tablet to the Christians, which is a call to the Christian world by Baha’u’llah, and expresses fulfillment of Gospel verses.

    I am grateful for the spirit of kindness and inquiry in this blog, and would like to accept the invitation to dialogue. We may or may not agree, but we can accept one another as co-workers in the Body of Christ, and I do hope to provide accurate information from the Baha’i Writings themselves.

    I will make a separate post about a few other points.
    Brent

  7. As to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ: First of all, the Baha’i Writings expressly accept that He was crucified. “The crucifixion as recounted in the New Testament is correct.” (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, July 14, 1943; Lights of Guidance, p. 491 #1646)

    There is reference in the Baha’i Scriptures to the atonement:

    “Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence  86  exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.

    “We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified.

    “Leprosy may be interpreted as any veil that interveneth between man and the recognition of the Lord, his God. Whoso alloweth himself to be shut out from Him is indeed a leper, who shall not be remembered in the Kingdom of God, the Mighty, the All-Praised. We bear witness that through the power of the Word of God every leper was cleansed, every sickness was healed, every human infirmity was banished. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.”
    (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, XXXVI, p. 85)

    While the crucifixion atoned for sins, I think it is accurate to say that from the Baha’i point of view this is over-emphasized in Christianity. Rather, the entire ministry of Christ and every Word He revealed, was for redemption. And in the Baha’i teachings, redemption is not so much about doing wrong things and being forgiven for them; as it is a fundamental change, a transformation of human character and the human spirit. Abdu’l-Baha wrote:

    “…then the sweet and holy breathings of the Spirit of God (Jesus) were shed across Jordan and the land of Galilee; the cloud of Divine pity overspread those skies, and rained down the copious waters of the spirit, and after those swelling showers that came from the most great Sea, the Holy Land put forth its perfume and blossomed with the knowledge of God. Then the solemn Gospel song rose up till it rang in the ears of those who dwell in the chambers of heaven, and at the touch of Jesus’ breath the unmindful dead that lay in the graves of their ignorance lifted up their heads to receive eternal life. For the space of three years, that Luminary of perfections walked about the fields of Palestine and in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, leading all men into the dawn of redemption, teaching them how to acquire spiritual qualities and attributes well-pleasing to God. Had the people of Israel believed in that beauteous Countenance, they would have girded themselves to serve and obey Him heart and soul, and through the quickening fragrance of His Spirit they would have regained their lost vitality and gone on to new victories.

    “Alas, of what avail was it; they turned away and opposed Him. They rose up and tormented that Source of Divine knowledge, that Point where the Revelation had come down — all except for a handful who, turning their faces toward God, were cleansed of the stain of this world and found their way to the heights of the placeless Realm. They inflicted every agony on that Wellspring of grace until it became impossible for Him to live in the towns, and still He lifted up the flag of salvation and solidly established the fundamentals of human righteousness, that essential basis of true civilization.

    “In the fifth chapter of Matthew beginning with the thirty-seventh verse He counsels: “Resist not evil and injury with its like; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And further, from the forty-third verse: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and thou shalt not vex thine enemy with enmity.’ But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth down the rain of His mercy on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?”

    “Many were the counsels of this kind that were uttered by that Dayspring of Divine wisdom, and souls who have become characterized with such attributes of holiness are the distilled essence of creation and the sources of true civilization.” (Abdu’l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 80-82)

    That is, “redemption” is not only God wiping the slate clean. It is a renewal of character that is only brought about through the divine revelations. It comes through a combination of human effort, and divine grace. Prayer and the potency of the Word of God uplift us.

    The incarnation is a big subject. It is addressed as one of the major themes of The Book of Certitude (Kitab-i-Iqan in the original language). Lengthy portions of this Book are included in the Gleanings.

    The resurrection of Christ is also a big subject. It is partially addressed in Some Answered Questions. However, there is a lot more to understanding the Baha’i view; which is that it does not mean that Jesus physically arose from the dead; nor that the disciples saw a ghost or spirit after His crucifixion. There is another meaning of “seeing” Him that I will be glad to go into on another occasion.

    The Baha’i Faith is not a collection of laws and principles and institutions. It also is centered upon a Person. The spirit of Baha’u’llah is the same as the spirit of Christ. In one of the official Baha’i books it is stated that the Book of Certitude (again, these passages are also in the Gleanings) “proclaims unequivocally the existence and oneness of a personal God” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 139)

    My next subject will be the return.

    Brent

  8. If the blog owner can assist me, I’d be grateful. I cannot set this so that I receive notification of responses. WordPress requires me to enter a username and a password. I registered a long time ago, and had forgotten both the username and the password. I had it send me the password — but I no longer know the username. If you can assist me I’d be grateful. Thanks
    Brent

  9. OK I got it.
    Brent

  10. I’ve just now seen Brent’s comments. Often months go by without my looking at the blog, so I lose track of comment threads. I’ll post my responses now.

    Brent wrote:
    As to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ: First of all, the Baha’i Writings expressly accept that He was crucified.

    The pillar of Christianity that I referred to is not the historical fact that Christ was crucified. So what if Baha’is acknowledge it? Even atheists do that. What makes it a pillar of our faith are all of the spiritual implications arising from it.

    There is reference in the Baha’i Scriptures to the atonement…

    [Quotes from Gleanings clipped.]

    That this is not what Christians mean by the atonement. If it were, then Baha’is would understand why subsequent Manifestations would be superfluous.

    While the crucifixion atoned for sins, I think it is accurate to say that from the Baha’i point of view this is over-emphasized in Christianity.

    What is over-emphasized? The crucifixion? If you think that, then you really do deny the second pillar of Christianity.

    Your comments are illustrating exactly what I wrote in my post:

    First, you insist that Christians and Baha’is believe the same fundamental verities.

    Then, you redefine what the fundamental verities of Christianity are. “The crucifixion is over-emphasized. The essence of Christianity is really about the sermons and parables.”

    Well, do we believe the same things or different things? Which is it?

    That is, “redemption” is not only God wiping the slate clean. It is a renewal of character that is only brought about through the divine revelations.

    From a Catholic standpoint this is a non-sensical argument because Catholicism doesn’t make a distinction between removing sin and changing character. They are two ways of saying the same thing.

    Sin is by definition an impairment of character. When the character is repaired, we no longer sin.

    It is impossible to overestimate how basic this concept is in Catholic theology. Given your background, you really should have known better.

    It comes through a combination of human effort, and divine grace.

    Again, this is a fundamental Catholic idea, and a staple of Catholic-Protestant debate. How do you not know this?

    Look, you’ve been out of the Church for 40 years. That’s a long time. I’ve been out of the Baha’i Faith for less than 10 years, and I can see how much I’m forgetting because I don’t study the Writings anymore.

    It looks like you’ve forgotten what the Catholic Church teaches. You’ve immersed yourself in the Baha’i Writings (with their mistaken notions of Christianity) and the Baha’i way of seeing things, and that has taken over.

  11. Jonah, your personal attacks on Brent seem to suggest that you are not, in fact, seeking a respectful dialogue. You are certainly not seeking to educate or inform him about (your interpretation of) Catholic views.

    While this blog is a good idea, it will only work if each respects the other and refrains from antagonistic and personal attacks.

  12. In brief, O ye believers of God! The text of the divine Book is this: If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the divine questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 56)

  13. Suppose someone represents himself as being very knowledgeable about the Baha’i Faith. Then they say the Baha’i Faith doesn’t put much stress on the oneness of God. Are you saying it’s wrong to tell that person that they don’t know what they’re talking about?

    Then someone else comes along and says your belief in the oneness of God is just your _interpretation_ of Baha’i teachings. What would your reaction to that be?

    Or have I misunderstood your point?

    We can’t have a respectful dialogue if the Baha’i participant gets to define Christianity and the Christian isn’t allowed to correct him.

    If I’m missing something, please correct me.

  14. Jonah, I can’t speak for Tony of course, but let me add my own 2-cents on your question about his quotation from TDP. The quote is in the context of Abdul-Baha telling Baha’is in the US, obviously in the very early days of our Faith before too many books were published and just following WWI, that they should travel to other countries to spread the glad tidings as many people had seen the destructive power of war and were now open to the world-enlightening rays of peace. In describing the qualities these teachers should show forth as they go out to spread the teachings, one of the points he addresses is the need to avoid controversy or contention in any meetings where the teachings are being given. In other words, he’s telling the Baha’i travelling teachers not to argue in front of seekers about Baha’i doctrine or teachings. The text immediately following the part Tony shared above is:

    “The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God is this: That between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no contention and dispute may arise; that they may speak with each other with infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of controversy, they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their discussions no longer, but ask the reality of the question from the Interpreter. This is the irrefutable command!”

    So I read it that he was telling the American Baha’is that should there be a difference of opinion between them, they not argue it contentiously before seekers, but submit the question to Abdul-Baha (the Interpreter) and await His explanation.

    I don’t see this as in any way preventing two people, especially of different faiths, from courteously and respectfully discussing and explaining their understanding of each other’s doctrines and teachings. After all, how else can we have independent investigation of truth? But I do believe that anytime discussions degrade into arguments (not in the legal sense, but the sense of emotional shouting and name calling etc) it is better to break them off for a time and let everyone remember the true purpose of religion… love.

  15. https://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2013/10/christs-new-name-and-our-new-name.html

    Interesting Worldwide Church of God in links one and two support Christ coming to earth to establish His world government as an eventual process, the anti Christ are actually the Christian churches of today. Then the third like says, Christ will have a new name. Many Christian sects believe Jesus will return to establish His kingdom on earth and by a new name, our new name are Baha’is followers of the Light, that will not be followed by night.

  16. The true purpose of religion is Salvation .

    That is our ultimate destiny : To be with God in all eternity

    Salvation comes , amongst other ways , through the promulgation of TRUTH as dispensed by the HOLY SPIRIT

    Truth and salvation are intrinsically united with one another and WHAT we believe ultimately determines our actions and how we dispense of these gifts that have been given us

    This idea that we must “always” consult in matters of faith does not appeal to me as a universal law . I don’t specifically object to it in principle, but I do object to it being applied universally

    Reason 1
    Not everybody is willing to consult in matters of faith .
    Some can and will propagate certain beliefs without consultation . A refutation of certain errors is often required without consultation because one our both parties are not willing to consult .

    The importance of TRUTH must be a priority and a the first principle of any personal assertion , otherwise consultation is nothing more than a “utopian ideal”

    Reason 2
    ObjectiveTruth stands independent of consultation .
    Just because two parties have reached a consensus does not mean they have arrived at the truth .
    Consultation does not always result in authentic certitude

    Reason 3
    Abdul Baha did not always consult in regards to everything he propagated as true , but rather dispensed of his personal opinions independent of the beliefs of others .

    Reason 4
    The Bahaullah dispensed of his own version of truth too and he himself did not always consult with the leaders of other faiths , namely the catholic Pope Pius IX .

    Instead he wrote this beautiful “love” letter to pope Pius IX admonishing him for hoarding riches that were not even his , criticising monks and religious for devoting themselves to a life of chastity in imitation of their Lord .

    He then insinuates in this love letter that the Pope will take his
    ( Bahaullah) life just like the Pharisees did Jesus….of course this never happened

    The Bahai faith does not adhere to this principle at its core level . The Bahai faith is propagating its very own version of truth in the absence of consultation . but it also propagates untruths about religions too without having first consulted with them .

    One such example is the false assertion that Catholics worship statues .
    Bahai.org is propagating this fallacy without the prudent consultaion of catholics that it so ardently professes as a means to unity .

    Instead Bahai.org has taken this protestant fallacy and adopted it as one of their own……….without consultation .

    If their was a true spirit of consultation , then Bahai.org would have realised that this protestant assertion is not true , and catholics do not worship Idols

    All this talk of consultation is nothing more than a smokescreen for what really belies the Bahai faith .

  17. Tony . Jonah did not make any personal attacks on
    Brent . I think you are being over-sensative .

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