Reading with New Eyes, Hearing with New Ears

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Tone Bristow-Stagg, Jul 23, 2022.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    There are spiritual texts, indeed there are works in the humanities, that are over 2,000 years old and not only are they still relevant, they have not been surpassed in insight.

    So I don't think we've evolved in consciousness as much as we might think.

    I'm not sure that's a logical argument. The distance between then and now is one of empirical data, not consciousness.

    "Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration."
    OK, but the problem is essentially the same. From a spiritual viewpoint it is the same.

    "The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which the subsequent age may require."
    Absolutely disagree.

    Love? Compassion? Empathy? The exercise of the Golden Rule ... timeless, eternal ...

    "What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the same that shall be done. Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us."
    Ecclesiastes 1:9-10
     
  2. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Not sure why you "absolutely disagree." I think we can meet you halfway in affirming spiritual laws remain unchanging, whereas material laws change.

    Christ appealed to the law of creation when refuting Pharisees that appealed to the law of Moses (Mark 10.1-16), which isn't different at all from "the remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which the subsequent age may require."


    And since change and transformation are among the requirements of all contingent things, the commandments of God are also changed in accordance with the changing times. For example, in the days of Moses, that which was required by and consonant with the conditions prevailing at that time was the Mosaic Law. However, in the days of Christ, those conditions had so changed as to render the Mosaic Law unsuited and ill-adapted to the needs of mankind, and it was therefore abrogated. Thus Christ broke the Sabbath and forbade divorce.
    (Some Answered Questions)
    www.bahai.org/r/430190951


    Among the people of true knowledge, the Holy of Holies refers to the essence of the religion of God and His true teachings, which have remained unchanged throughout all the prophetic Dispensations,
    (Some Answered Questions)
    www.bahai.org/r/133412644
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK, I can meet you halfway on that.
     
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  4. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member

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    We can consider the Son is a Station of the Holy Spirit and also the Father is a Station of the Holy Spirit, as also the 'Glory of God' as that is the Essence of the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit is not a person, it is Manifested in them.

    We are born of the Human Spirit and all humanity are given a soul that eminates from the Spirit.

    That is the concept of the Virgin Birth. The Mesengers are born of the Holy Spirit, they are pre-existant prior to conception. Yet each Messenger is that Holy Spirit given of God, all we can know about God.

    I can only offer one should not dismiss what Baha'u'llah has offered, it should be considered with logic and reason.

    Regards Tony
     
  5. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member

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    You are correct and this has now been explained in great detail. We can discuss this topic with the intent of hearing and seeing it in a different way if you wish to.

    Regards Tony
     
  6. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member

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    As offered you are correct on one aspect of this, that is the aspect of faith that does not change. Then on the other hand we need to consider the following.

    Was nuclear disarmament a concern of the time that Jesus gave a Message?

    One must be fair with these topics and not dismiss them without reasonable input.

    Regards Tony
     
  7. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    As a I am a practicing Jew I imagine you will understand why I find this statement to be ignorant, arrogant, condescending, rude, and disrespectful.
     
  8. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Was Christ concerned with worldly change, or with the hearts and souls of (ordinary) men? Christ consistently did not allow himself to get involved in worldly business..

    “My kingdom is not of this world ... let the dead bury the dead and follow me ... Render unto Caesar what is Caesars and to God what belongs to God ...” etc

    Christ remains timeless and universal, against all human efforts to try to turn his words and message to men’s own temporal cause, whatever that may be at the time, imo ... they come and go, but Christ remains
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  9. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Okay. Thanks for your opinion.

    There will also come a time when Baha'i laws will also become unsuitable.

    Both. Return to Mark 10.1-16 above. Christ forbids divorce. Perhaps Christ knew how men could easily manipulate divorce, leaving women destitute afterwards. This is an example of showing concern for worldly change.
     
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  10. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member

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    The response was to a question from most likely a person of Christian background. If a Jew was to ask a similar question, I know Abdul'baha would frame the reply to suit the person who was enquiring. Thus reading these will indeed be a challenge. Abdul'baha was invited and did give a talk in a synagogue and the topic he chose did meet some very strong resistance. Imagine the courage to do that though!

    I personally see that is a product of our relative understanding of God. Our choices, when submitting our will to the will of God, shape our perception of this world.

    Each day, in my relative choices as a Baha'i, I also submit to the Laws given by God. My understanding is that it is our One God that has told us that these laws are applicable to this age, and that it is God that sent Baha'u'llah to inform us of this.

    So, as I Baha'i, knowing that your purpose is also to submit to God and practice God's Laws, I would see we have a lot in common and that the diversity we have in worship, need not be a point of separation, but a point of unity in God.

    We can choose a unity in our diversity with our relative understanding.

    Regards Tony
     
  11. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member

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    I would offer that as a Baha'i I embrace the infinity of Christ.

    Could it be that men in power, by limiting Christ to a relative literal understanding of a Message given 2000 years ago, that it may be that those men that have made it temporal, limited and exclusive?

    Just a thought to consider, as in the end we must unite in our Love of God, become the flowers of the one garden, the kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.

    Regards Tony
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Sounds more like a politician...than someone discussing eternal truths and agreement between abrhamic.religions
     
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  13. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member

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    Abdul'baha spent a lifetime balancing discussions to suit the hears state of mind and capacity. So he was very diplomatic, and at the same time very just.

    Regards Tony
     
  14. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I think Christ's message is timeless and not concerned with temporal world affairs, but touches the soul of every person, especially the hopeless and the lost. I believe men have always tried to take possession of Christ's words to suit their own agenda. And yet the true Christ outlasts them all -- and will always continue to -- while the world will always continue to war and materialism
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Tony —
    You might, but but 'we' – Trinitarian Christians – do not, as that is contrary to what Scripture says.

    Here we draw a distinction:
    If the Holy Spirit is manifested in persons – people – then the Holy Spirit is prior to its manifestation, so there is a distinction to be drawn between the Holy Spirit in and of Itself, and its manifestations.

    Reading the New Testament, the distinction between 'Father' and 'Son' are clearly drawn. The Son acts as Paraclete, His prayers of intercession with the Father on our behalf are numerous. His declared mission is His Father's, and He acts according to His father's will – although He clearly has His own will and freedom of choice and operation.

    The Holy Spirit is spoken of as 'another' (cf John 14:16) – a third – neither Father nor Son – with His own mission, as directed by Them. That's why we speak of 'Person', rather than in the abstract.

    We are careful neither to confuse nor confound the Holy Spirit with those persons in history He acts in and through.

    To a Trinitarian, the Baha'i doctrine seems to have co-opted the concept of the Trinity, but ignoring or misinterpreting the data of Scripture.

    I have, and it seems to me the logic is flawed. I can run you through it, if you like?

    You said above:
    And I applaud such an ideal ... but I wish, then, you'd live by it, for clearly the Baha'i seeks not unity in diversity, but 'unity' in understanding that the Baha'i doctrine assumes to correct our errors. "We are all equal, but I am more equal than you."
     
  16. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Okay. But . . .

    The following words indicate a human form: "He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come" (John 16.13). Disembodied spirits do not have ears to hear or mouths to speak. Also, these words are reminiscent of what Christ says throughout the gospels about speaking what he hears or doing what he sees rather than speaking from his own viewpoint (John 12.49, 8.42, 8.26, 5.30, 5.19).

    The Holy Spirit was already with Christ (Luke 4.18, Qur'an 2.253), so there's no point in saying "the Paraclete will not come to you" if he doesn't depart (16.7) unless he also had in mind another prophet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  17. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Jesus the Christ fulfilled his mission, was crucified, died, was resurrected and ascended. He was not present for long in human form. The Paraclete is purely spirit. The Paraclete came upon the apostles soon after the Ascension. Not 600 yrs later as Muhammad, or 1800 yrs later as Baha'u'llah. I don't know where these ideas come from

    He often spoke of the Father too as 'He' and obviously not intended as a human form.

    Everyone likes to take the parts they want from the Gospels and interpret selected parts as they wish to, but it's not what the gospels say, imo
     
  18. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    You know this, how? God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, and from a cloud to John at Jesus's baptism.
     
  19. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Those messengers - some of them We caused to exceed others. Among them were those to whom Allāh spoke, and He raised some of them in degree. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit [i.e., Gabriel]. If Allāh had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allāh had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allāh does what He intends.
    Quran 2: 253
    — Saheeh International

    “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
    Luke 4:18
    New International Version

    Christians regard Christ as higher than all the angels. Christians do not regard the Quran as authoritave or accurate in its references or pronouncements regarding Jesus
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    The Bahai interpretation of religious texts differs greatly in the eyes of many believers in the texts he interprets.

    While of course in this manner many believers believe differing interpretations and have created many divisions, denominations and sects...the Bahai take it a step further to me.

    I honor them for being in an interfaith place trying to find agreement...but indont see folks have achieving agreement....finding common ground seems much more feasible.
     

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