Guestbook

In the old days of the World Wide Web, people put guestbooks on their homepages for visitor comments.

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26 Responses

  1. Jonah, I love your blog and thought I would leave this here just to remind you :p I would love to see you on a broader range of issues, I love your Baha’i related posts and they always tend to reflect my own opinions or encourage me to explore my own opinions – but I would love to see some more of your posts be about Catholic spirituality and whatever else interested you.

    The Baha’i blogosphere is blessed to have you though.

    God Bless,
    Gerald

  2. Allah’u’Abha,

    Your blog is wonderful. Exactly what I have been looking for. I have been Baha’i for about 8 years, though the past couple years I have been exploring Christianity more seriously.

    Actually, there was a class on how to teach Christians about the Baha’i Faith and it actually sparked my interest in Christianity.

    Honestly, I’ve felt some unease with the Baha’i Faith for a while, even though I am a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly. Not that it isn’t a valid faith, but just not what satisfies my current spiritual needs.

    I have inquired with my local Catholic Church about beginning the RCIA after much research and exploration of the various denominations within Christianity.

    The Baha’i Faith will always remain important to me… it was where my spiritual journey began. At first I thought my draw to Christianity was the desire be an insider in a larger community, but it’s grown into something more.

    God Bless,

    Justin

  3. I pity the poor blind who stands in the sun and is asking if the sun is shining.
    with much love
    hexxler

  4. Thank you for this site. I too was a long-time Bahai until recently. Now I am actively converting to Catholicism and as a former Christian, rejoice at coming home again. I look forward to reading your blog.

  5. What a pity! That means you are going to the past instead of to future. Don’t you know, that the christian era found an end, when Mohammad appeared? Which way would you go, when it comes to international law? The Nazarene way? Or the way of King Herodes? You are using modern systems like this – you want to go back to the hieroglyphs?
    All in all: You make me sad!
    With loving greetings.
    helmut drexler

  6. Dear Helmut,
    It’s not entirely an intellectual thing, although partly it is. Even as a Bahai, I don’t see it as a pity when somebody finds one’s home in a Christian Church or in Islam after being not really happy as a Bahai. One can talk endlessly about which doctrine is the most ‘true’, but no community is perfect, no individual is up to all challenges, and what remains across denominations is that the only true blessing is to get closer to God, and closeness to God (at least to my understanding) is not determined by doctrine or denomination.
    Warmest greetings

  7. Dear Jonah,

    I appreciate what you’re doing with this blog. For me and I believe for others as well it stimulates examination of one’s own faith. Doctrine, but also personal relationship with God, our state of happiness and community life. Whatever decisions my flow from this, it deepens faith, which is a blessing.

    “One of the teachings is that love and faithfulness must so prevail in the hearts that men may see the stranger as a friend, the sinner as an intimate fellow, may count enemies as allies, regard foes as loving comrades, call their executioner the giver of life, consider the denier as a believer and the unbeliever as a faithful one”

    Greetings

  8. Hi Joah,
    Thank you so much for your blog. You thoughts are incisive and ask important questions. I have given the matter of Christianity vs. Baha’i much thought myself. For me, they have become inseparable.

    Of course you already know, that as a Baha’i, one is also an adherent of all True Religions of God. About 10 years ago I discovered a special and profound relationship between Christ and Baha’u’llah. I have integrated the teachings of Jesus and Baha’u’llah through A Course in Miracles. – Some of the articles on my blog address the connection between the two. http://xrl.us/bevzu5

    -Blessings, Oraea

  9. I ceased being a Baha’i on the day I realized that I no longer believed that Bahaullah was a manifestation of God. I wrote to the National Spiritual Assembly and turned in my card. It was quite liberating to stop worrying about bringing others into the fold so that we could have world unity under one banner of faith. I no longer saw people as potential Baha’i’s.
    Several years later, I accepted the lordship of Jesus Christ. I came to understand the idea of God’s love for us in Christ’s experience on the cross. I tried a little exercise in which I tried not to sin for a day and then for an hour, and then for fifteen minutes. I became convicted of my sinful nature. And then I found the need and the realization of forgiveness. In my nine years as an enrolled Bahai these concepts were never touched upon. I don’t think that Bahais have a glimmer of this fundamental difference in our religious perspective.
    For Christians, – Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox – the Resurrection and Ascension and Pentecost are real events, not poetic metaphors. Saying that inspiration is the Holy Spirit doesn’t make it so, and saying that dying in bed is an ascension does not make it so.

  10. There is a german chatforum “Geistige Nahrung”, which is really worth to visit!
    helmut drexler

  11. Wow, your story is amazing. Wish I knew more about the Baha’is. Anyway, God Bless you. If you want another Catholic blog to check out, here is mine. Blessings to you.

    http://sjdemoor.wordpress.com

    Seth J. DeMoor

  12. Hello,
    I am a former Baha’i of 30 years, now returned to the Episcopal Church. What struck me as I delved deeply into the Eucharist is the fact that neither Islam nor the Baha’i Faith addresses this most central teaching/act/belief of Christianity. There are some words in SAQ about it that frankly sound Unitarian.

    The Christians in the lands where Baha’u’llah lived were either Orthodox or Catholic mainly. Why did he not address them in terms of their most central religious belief?

    What strikes me is that both religions so blythely dismiss the Trinity. This belief is original to Christianity. It did not arise as the result of the misunderstandings of men. We can see it historically by the end of the first century. It is not an innovation. How can you claim Christ as a “prophet” and dismiss the Holy Trinity?

  13. Jonah, I really enjoy your blog. It was helpful to me to see a catholic perspective on baha’i teachings, especially considering that you were once baha’i. I’m a cradle catholic who had been exploring baha’i, but I couldn’t accept it for many of the reasons you state here (and many you haven’t yet). Many of your posts were uplifting because I knew I wasn’t the only one who had this struggle.

    You are also respectful and intelligent about your Catholic faith, which is rare on the internet! I’ve shared some of my thoughts about the journey I had here (if you are interested): http://ceterispar.blogspot.com/2010/12/coming-and-going-part-2.html

    God bless and keep you for your faithful witness.

  14. Hello,

    my name is Roxanna. My sister Petronella and me are watching out for Mr Helmut Draxler. He is about 70 years old. In the past he helped me and our familiy in romania. He religion is Bahai. I try to find him so many years. Is there somebody who know him?

    Please help me – he was so nice and helpful and it would be great if I will get in contact with him.

    Thanks and kind regards,
    Roxanna

  15. Jonah,

    As a former Baha’i and a Catholic convert like yourself I want to write to you to express my gratitude for your blog. I didn’t “decide” to leave the Baha’i faith so much as I grew away from it. From your writing I can tell that you’ve encountered the living Christ so I think you know what brought me to Catholicism.

    Anyway your blog has helped me immensely with some of my own struggles with the Baha’i faith and its teachings. You aren’t afraid to tackle the tough questions and you are one of the few ex-Baha’is I’ve encountered who speak of the Baha’i faith with respect and love. Your approach is fair, loving and, dare I say it, Christian.

    You have brought me peace and for that I am grateful to you.

    God bless you.

  16. Yes, everything I see here is great. I made my comment on the “divorce posting”. Please keep up the writing!
    Regards from Japan

  17. hello peeps, great to see your progressive minded blog

  18. Dear Jonah,
    I just happened to run across your blog for the first time today. I was researching something about Christianity and the Baha’i Faith and it popped up. First of all, what a great idea! Second of all, so sorry to see the number of unkind and discourteous folks who have posted comments. I didn’t take the time to look through all the threads, but you seem to have some interesting ones. I wanted to make a general comment. Hopefully that would be OK to do here, as I wasn’t sure which thread to do it in. Just for background: I come from a mixed family; father’s family were long-time Roman Catholics from what is today Poland, though they were German, Russian, Austrian, etc depending on where the borders were drawn. My mother came from Protestant traditions; her father was Seventh Day Adventist; her grandfather/grandmother had left the Anglican Church in England and immigrated to the US in the 1800s to support the Seventh Day Adventist movement here; before then her father’s line were Anglican back to the time of Henry VIII (well, there was a Quaker and Methodist convert also along the line); Roman Catholic before then. I had a great interest in religion when I was a teenager; read the Bible since a child (we had no former religious education in our home but the Bible was on a table beside the sofa); read the Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Dhammapada, etc when I went through my own searching years. Although I sometimes attended church or synagogue with friends, I could not bring myself to join any organized church or religion. The spiritual message of the various scriptures attracted me, and I felt there was truth in them beyond a mere man-made kind of philosophy; but the doctrines and dogma that had developed after the founders were gone, made no logical sense to me. I heard about the Baha’i Faith when I was 18, studied it for about 6 months, and enrolled as a Baha’i on my 19th birthday. I am 59 now and more convinced than ever that it is the religion which satisfies me, and that in it I find more of the teachings of Jesus than I do in the doctrines and dogma of any church. That said, please understand: I mean no disrespect to anyone’s beliefs. I have been married to a Christian (Anglican) for 13 years now; I attend church with him and enjoy the liturgy, hymns, preaching, fellowship, and service to mankind that is part of Christian life. When an Anglican church is not near, he goes to a Catholic Church, and I always remember with affection (and a candle) my Catholic grandmother. My husband has some very animated discussions with his Christian friends about the nature of Christianity, and I often help him with researching topics and related scriptures on the internet. I deeply love Christ. I deeply love the message of the Gospels. I deeply respect and admire the self-sacrificing examples set by the believers in the early church, particularly of their charity which was extended to Jews and Pagans also and caused a Roman emperor to bewail the fact the pagan Roman government had no such system and had to turn to their Christian neighbors for help. But once you get to the doctrine and dogma periods of the major councils, when the simple and beautiful Apostolic Creed was added to or modified, I start to feel the injection of human error. One of my husband’s Christian friends came with him to pick me up from a Baha’i study class (this was in Africa, where we live part of the year). Being friendly and conversational, he asked what I had been doing. I told him I had been teaching a class to our youth about the unity of religion, and that the differences between Christian and Muslim teachings were not so great, that we were all children of Abraham and should be able to live in peace as brothers (this country is roughly half Christian and half Muslim, and also animist, and there are often conflicts between the religions which become violent and deadly). He (by the way, raised a Christian, converted to Islam, converted back to Christianity) said there was no way for Islam and Christianity to ever be close because Muslims cannot accept that Christ is God’s “only begotten son”. I told him that there is no conflict between the Quran and Bible on this matter; the Quran acknowledges Christ was born of the Virgin Mary (by the way, there are more verses about Mary in the Quran than in the Bible) and the word “begotten” isn’t in the new testament. He said, yes it is, it’s right in my King James translation. I said, check the original Greek. It’s not there. Long story short, he came to understand it was an intentional mistranslation when the new testament was being translated from Greek to Latin, probably done for good intentions of a doctrinal nature, but that the word is more correctly translated as “special or unique”, not begotten. So I said to him, think how many other people also think this one word will forever cause distance between Muslim and Christian in this country, and the word isn’t even there. I bought a Greek interlinear translation for him the following Christmas. This same man had spent a year the year before trying to convince me to leave the Baha’i Faith and join any Christian Church I liked so I would be saved. He had the best of intentions, and we are great friends to this day, but he was so persistent that he use to shout at me and wave the Bible at me and tell me I couldn’t believe in Jesus if I was a Baha’i, and I shouldn’t believe in Baha’u’llah because he isn’t in the Bible. He asked me once how I can be sure that Baha’u’llah brings God’s word if he isn’t in the New Testament, and I said, the same way Peter looked into the eyes of Jesus and knew he was the Messiah, long before there was a New Testament published that he could read and study. Long story short: if you have found your faith in a Christian Church, great! Be the best Christian you can be, and the world will be a better place. If you have found your faith in Islam, great! be the best Muslim you can be, and the world will be a better place. If you have found your faith in Judaism, great! Be the best Jew you can be, and the world will be a better place. And if you have found your faith in the teachings of Baha’u’llah, great! Be the best Baha’i you can be, and the world will be a better place. If I can lift up my husband and his Christian friends so they can feel closer to Jesus Christ, that is surely the holy spirit and work. If others can lifet me up and support my closeness to Baha’u’llah, that is surely also the holy spirit at work. Don;t focus so much on what “Christians say” or “Baha’is believe.” Focus solely on the scriptures themselves; what we understand Jesus taught, what Baha’u’llah wrote, etc. We may not agree on doctrine and dogma, but the result of our beliefs will be the same: transformation of our natures to more Godly people. My husband is unable to understand my view on this. He sees each religion as a separate and distinct thing, unrelated to each other except by artificial means. For me, since I was a teenager, I have known with certainty that all the founders of the major world religions are part of one message from God, reminding us to love Him, and love each other…. the simple, pure message of the Gospels; the simple, pure message of Islam; the simple, pure, message of Baha’u’llah. Ignore the trappings, the doctrine, the dogma, the ceremony, etc. Think of Christ at the last supper, asking his followers to love one another as he loved them. Think of how that love can be shown in action… knowledge, volition, and action are the pillars. Do this and all will be good.

  19. p.s. I really like Pope Francis! I’ve been watching with interest how he is focusing on the Church’s support for the poor among us, and his own simpler lifestyle. I am very impressed!

  20. In response to comment from a couple years back about the Trinity. The Baha’i Faith doesn’t dismiss the Trinity. In my opinion, it teaches the Trinity as expressed in the original Apostolic Creed of the early Church, minus the “resurrection of the body”. But, it does not correlate to the concept of the Trinity as expressed a few centuries later in the Nicene and later creeds (Athanasian, etc).

    Also, I am very happy for anyone to find their spiritual path, wherever it leads them. Christ is a messenger of God, His special and unique Son, so you can only go right in following him! Abdul-Baha affirms that “Christ reigns forever” from a “heavenly throne,” that “His Word conquered the East and the West. His kingdom is everlasting” and that we would all eventually “dwell in love and charity, drinking together the Water of Life from Christ the Eternal Spring.”

    I am sorry so many people feel they have to choose between divine messengers, as if accepting one means rejecting the other. There is spiritual truth in all the major world faiths. They are not different religions, but one faith in one God. Or, as Jesus said, “for whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40)

    Also, one person commented they were now relieved at not having to tell others about their faith as they had converted from Baha’i to Christian. But like Baha’u’llah, Christ’s lat command to his followers was a great commission to go into the world and preach the gospel. The only difference is that Baha’i teachings give a little more detail on how to balance this privilege of sharing God’s word with our fellow men, with the need to respect the principle of independent investigation of truth. Baha’is are told not to proselytize or in any way be disrespectful of each individual’s need to have their own spiritual journey; in fact, we are told that though we should raise our children in the Faith, we must also encourage them to seek spiritual truth for themselves so as not to be members of the the Baha’i Faith only out of tradition. Each person must go where their spirit and soul leads them, and each must feel the confirmations of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

  21. If the Bahia think that Jesus is the special and unique son of God who reigns forever (so now also) then his word and teaching are more reliable than those of mortals. Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit to lead all men to truth, not that he would send further prophets or messengers. It is my understanding that messengers are Angels so they are Spirits that God sends to us with a message. Prophets are mortal men or women inspired by God. There are some very significant difference in what different “messengers” say is the way to heaven and eternal life so I do think it is important for to discern the messengers and the message.
    The whole Christian faith rests on the Resurrection. To deny the Resurrection is to deny Christ so he cannot be counted as one of your valid messengers. Some think that he or the Father faked his death but a God who would trick and mislead like that is not worth believing, following or trusting. The Resurrected Jesus was seen by hundreds and the shock of that is the only explanation for the explosion of Christianity that continues to this day, 2000 years later! By world standards Jesus was a nobody from nowhere in his day. He left nothing he wrote himself and died the most humiliating and undignified death possible. Only divine will could explain why more human beings know his name than any other person who has ever lived and why 2000 years later he still causes so much turmoil.

  22. Please keep up the writing!

  23. New Testament documents enjoy superior manuscript evidence. Despite the fact that The Church began with a few frightened, uneducated, unworldly followers it constantly grew despite often severe opposition and persecution. That today we have more than 5500 copies and partial copies in Greek and other languages of the New Testament (ancient classical Greek and Roman texts have fewer than 10 each), is astonishing considering that the writing and preservation of written letters and manuscripts was far more expensive and uncommon then today (especially by the Earliest Christians).

    Recent, objective and scientific methods of evaluation are demonstrating that the New Testament tests were originally written within living memory of Christ and the accuracy of modern translations to the originals is similarly astonishing.

    The notion that the written and oral teaching of Christ had been corrupted or deliberately and maliciously altered is unsupportable. There are a couple of passages that are disputed and were likely added by over-zealous scribes or copyists but they do not add anything new, just emphasize the original doctrines. This is why force, intimidation, ridicule, fabrications and other dishonest methods are required to shake people out of Christianity.

    For more information see: http://carm.org/questions/about-jesus/was-jesus-just-myth
    http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/archaeology-and-the-historical-reliability-of-the-new-testament
    http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/the-historicity-of-the-new-testament

    Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAN3kQHTKWI
    And http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5slYSWUTNI8

  24. 안녕하새여

  25. Jonah,
    Thank you for this blog. I can certainly understand your frustration with it; it seems that so many of the people here are unwilling to listen and seek only to promote their own understanding and interpretation of Christianity, regardless of reality. I just want you to know that it’s not in vain; you are helping people here.
    I am a cradle Catholic who, for a variety of reasons, felt alienated from the Church. After a lot of searching, I started to think that perhaps I would join the Baha’i religion, because it would be much easier. Reading your blog has helped me to look past my own emotional issues and try to rigorously pursue the truth. I am now trying to re-establish my relationship with Christ and his Church, thanks in part to you.
    May God bless you.
    Rachael

  26. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.
    Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
    but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.

    adelaidestreetpreachers@outlook.com

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