What is the status of people outside your belief?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Truthseeker9, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    The Baha'i Faith doesn't see believers outside of Baha'i as being damned.

    What informs me best about this is this passage:

    Death proffereth unto every confident believer the cup that is life indeed. It bestoweth joy, and is the bearer of gladness. It conferreth the gift of everlasting life.

    As to those that have tasted of the fruit of man’s earthly existence, which is the recognition of the one true God, exalted be His glory, their life hereafter is such as We are unable to describe. The knowledge thereof is with God, alone, the Lord of all worlds.


    , “Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh” , 165.2

    The first paragraph to me refers to believers in all Messengers of God. The second paragraph refers to Baha'is. The reason I believe the second paragraph refers only to Baha'is is because in Baha'u'llah's Writings it is clear that those who investigate the Baha'i Faith and don't recognize God reflected in Baha'u'llah and His Writings don't really recognize the one true God in their own Messenger, because all of the Messengers reflect that one true God. Though in their human station the Messengers differ in what they emphasize in their message, the social and material commandments that they bring and the intensity of their Revelation, in their Divine station they are one. Most people miss the next Messenger because of things like being attached to the particulars of their religion, taking literally some of their Revelation, and because of that not realizing the commonality of the new religion. People get attached to the lamp of their religion and fail to see the common light the next religion has with their religion. They fail to see the one true God in the next religion.

    The first group gets everlasting for confident believers. I'm not sure what He means by confident believer. He's probably referring to the certitude in their Messenger. I don't know why Baha'u'llah doesn't mention good actions, but it is clear elsewhere that one's spiritual level is a combination of the degree of one's faith and one's actions.

    A person can also advance spiritually in the next world. He advances there by praying to God for their own advancing closeness to God, other people's prayers in the next world and in this one, and good deeds done in their name in this world. God can give mercy to whoever He pleases no matter whatever a person's faith and actions. Only in this world can a person advance by their own actions.

    Heaven is closeness to God and hell is being far from God, and this is relative. There are different degrees of this, not just two extremes. One person's heaven compared to someone closer to God can be called Hell in comparison. In some Baha'i Writings there is reference to those that didn't recognize the light in the Baha'i Revelation as being dead spiritually compared to those who recognize the light of God as being in Baha'u'llah's Revelation and person.

    I believe that references to hell to non-believers in previous Revelations reflect this same reality.
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Isn't this what's commonly understood as "being damned"? Being in hell?

    How about those "in hell", then, those far from God? Are the denizens of hell not damned, to a Baha'i? That's nice!

    I have a different understanding of the passage you quoted, but it would require you to let go of the lamp of your religion to accept it, I suspect ;) Here it is: A confident belief in the reality of death precludes a next world and a next life, and reveals this life in this world in all its glorious, everlasting wonder.
     
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  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    It's tribal: us and them. We the good guys, them the enemy. Often with justification as tribes attack and kill. But is that how the God who contains and surrounds infinite galaxies perceives things?
     
  4. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Established Member

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    What .. those people who arrogantly turn away from God? What about them?
    On the other hand, G-d knows who is sincere and who is not!

    As RJM says, It is NOT about which nation you belong to, for example.
     
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  5. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    These passages from Quran are often quoted to answer such a question, yet some Muslims believe it to no longer be applicable - I am not of that opinion.

    "Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve."

    (Quran 2:62)

    "Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve."

    (Quran 5:69)
     
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  6. KnowSelf

    KnowSelf Active Member

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    It is not about religion, it is the pure in heart.
     
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  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    By which authority can verses from the Quran become 'no longer applicable'?
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    For the context, refer to @Truthseeker9 s post. He pointed out a rather nice aspect of his religion, but expressed it in the heaven-and-hell frame of reference, which I found strange.

    Moving on to your point, about the direction one is facing with respect to God, and God's insight into one's sincerity, what are your thoughts on the age-old question of the hypocrites, facing God without sincerity? What are your thoughts about a sincere skeptic or atheist?
     
  9. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I agree. So your heart would not mete out damnation to the unbelievers?
     
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Established Member

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    I think it applies in a legal sense. We know the chronological order that the Qur'an was revealed, and any conflict would be resolved likewise.
    As you probably know, as presented by chapter and verse, it is NOT in
    chronological order.
     
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  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Established Member

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    As a human being, one can only assume that what a person claims to believe or disbelieve is true,
    especially if it is borne out by their actions.
    The reality though, is that only G-d knows who is sincere and who is not.
     
  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ok. So we are looking for a verse (b) that contradicts another verse (a) and then demonstrating that (b) was said/written/ recorded later than (a)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  13. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    Yes, my saying being damned and being in hell is a reference to the same thing.

    Being far or near to God is relative, some will be very far from God, some somewhat better, some very close, and all grades in between.

    Your interpretation does not take into account other passages from the Baha'i Writings. It has nothing to do with the lamp of religion. It is just my understanding as an individual of the Baha'i Writings. I'm not rejecting the other religions, which is the point I was trying to make about the lamp of religion.
     
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Established Member

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    ..not so much contradict, but expound.
     
  15. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    At what distance to God does Hell start, in this picture? Or is it like @muhammad_isa indicated, more a matter of which direction one is facing?

    I don't know very many Baha'i writings, that's true, please excuse if I misused the term.

    You mentioned people getting attached to the light of their particular religion and failing to notice commonalities with "the next" faith. I don't like to line up faiths in any kind of order, neither "prior, next", nor "lesser, greater". Any such order would be very subjective, and potentially condescending to those whose faiths "fall short" in such an exercise, and in any case the person doing the ordering usually puts their own faith first and foremost, naturally.
     
  16. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Plus the person being sincere or insincere, no?

    How about the arrogance you mentioned a few posts back? Do you need to be offended on God's behalf by actions that seem arrogant to you?
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    My belief doesn't damn anyone...no belief in a critter as the he devil, no belief in heaven or hell.

    I do believe we can damn ourcellves into a hell of our own creation during our lives.
     
  18. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    I just dug up the second quote for a Baha'i friend on another forum. It did not include that part of having their reward from their Lord, I'm glad to see that. Every Muslim should accept those verses. I don't believe that to be incompatible with other verses in the Qur'an.
     
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  19. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    I don't think it makes any difference what the chronological order was. It's all true. A later verse doesn't really nullify an earlier verse. It's a matter of finding the interpretation for the seeming conflict.
     
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  20. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    I'm just talking about the chronological order if that was unclear. But this can apply to how a person of any faith looks at any other faith, including mine.

    Hell does not start at any particular distance. Hell differs according to different perspectives. Person 1 who is less close than person 2 could be called in hell. But compared to person 3 person 1 could be considered to be in heaven.
     

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