What is the Baha'i message in simple words?

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Ahanu

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But who decides@@Ahanu?

The Manifestation of God decides using that proverbial sword of truth.

Whether or not you believe they even happened, Christ's miracles demonstrate to even the simplest person his ability to alter physical reality -- which is the basis of relational thinking: what I see is what I think I see, it's not the all of reality? It's clear from scripture (the gospels). He fed the 5000, etc

Yet, assuming these miracles are literal for the sake of argument, Christians stated those that didn't believe Christ literally raised the dead were completely wrong. Where's the relational logic in that? Christians also believe Christ's first band of disciples were able to physically raise the dead, and so they, with the power of the Holy Spirit, were able to perceive this level of reality and alter it as well. However, I see no Christian around me who is able to alter their physical reality by raising the dead in any literal way whatsoever. That depth of truth for Christians never continued (after the invention of cameras?), and so I would conclude it was never a higher level of truth to begin with since it never remained in human consciousness. If it doesn't remain in human consciousness, maybe it was never a higher reality of truth to begin with, isn't an example of relational thinking, and must be reinterpreted because the higher understanding was symbolical in nature the whole time . . .

As I have posted elsewhere and modified a bit here, I'll give a modern example of relational thinking. If you pin a multi-colored beach ball - or any multi-colored ball for that matter - in front of a three year old, show him your side, show him his side, and ask: “Hey, what color do you see, George? Red? Good! What color do I see?” George will say red even though you are looking at blue and showed him that you were facing that color earlier. Toddlers can’t yet understand your perspective until they reach a later stage of development. They are highly egocentric. Once the child ages past seven years of age, he can then consider your perspective, and he can know it is also true that you see blue.

I imagine that most of humanity was egocentric like the three year old above at one point in its history. You couldn't drop relational logic on such a group and expect them to comprehend it. Baha'u'llah extends the stages of a human's development to the entire human race, and the Manifestation of God has decided it is time for mankind to think more relationally and be more relational because the majority of humanity now is spiritually receptive for it at this time and place in history.
 
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Ahanu

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He raised Lazarus, and the little girl back to ordinary worldly life. The final resurrection of the dead is something else.

Were you born Baha'i @Ahanu? Or did you convert from another religion, or from no religion? Just asking, no need to answer if it's personal

Yes, you are right. The final resurrection of the dead is something else. Lazarus, on the other hand, died again after being resurrected.

I come from a Baptist Christian background.
 
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Tone Bristow-Stagg

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Born again - by accepting Bahaollah as the latest manifestation of Allah and accept his teachings over the teachings of our various religions and sects. You want a mono-polar world! Correct Tony?

Personally I want all people of the world to have the same opportunities I have had in life. I want available for them the basic necessities of life, education, housing, jobs, hope, justice peace and love.

Regards Tony
 

Tone Bristow-Stagg

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In an interfaith dialogue setting, I'm not questioning their beliefs. If it is a core belief of the Baha'is that they must evade any straightforward but possibly uncomfortable questions, that just makes interfaith dialogue really hard.

Hi Cino, that is not a core belief, it is more about the fruits of discussion and each person's level of understanding.

In a world that prides itself on liberty, one can then understand that if a give the Baha'i view of what is true liberty, then that has the potential of conflict. Likewise when it comes to the subjects of gender.

There is guidance on how we should speak of the Faith, and that guidance is not easy to follow when we come from a very material and argumentative background. It is better to say little than to say too much.

I still say way to much, way too many times.

Regards Tony
 

Tone Bristow-Stagg

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Exactly my point - this is our modern times, but the Baha'i message, advertised as for these our modern times, is a massive throw-back to a Restoration Age, pre-WWI social order.

Now you can see why quotes are needed. Look at the conflict in the world then read this.

"The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath written: The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny. … Remainder here - https://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-117.html

Some of that is yet to happen :) Regards Tony
 

Tone Bristow-Stagg

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So what is it with the reluctance to actually talk freely about your faith, warts and all?

One gets banned from some forums when one tries to have an honest discussion.

Consider, that would require offering what the Baha'i Writings say on many topics, some of those writings people are not ready for and as such it will only result in an argument, which Baha'u'llah offered we are not to be involved in, as then both are wrong.

Regards Tony
 

Ahanu

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But truth for whom? A priest may believe it wrong not just to kill, but even to speak a harsh word; a soldier may believe it justified to kill in defence of home and kinfolk etc, but not to shoot a man in the back. A thief might believe it justified to steal to feed his family, but not to take from friends, etc.

Every individual has a personal code, and it is only when he steps outside his own code that he feels guilt. It is the person who doesn't have any personal code, that is truly frightening, imo.

I think it is easier to step out of those codes you mentioned than more abstract concepts about reality itself - such as the last things or final ends and such that religions and people within religions often disagree about. Don't you think? o_O

We have societal laws for the good of society, but they are only that. They are not individual moral judgements. Those come from somewhere else.

Societal laws reflect collective moral judgements composed of individual moral judgements. "You cannot drink from this fountain, @RJM, because we believe other races are lesser than. Our scientific racism reflects this fact. Our moral judgements also reflect this fact. Therefore, this societal law exists."
 

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Now you can see why quotes are needed. Look at the conflict in the world then read this.

"The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath written: The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be tenddone, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny. … Remainder here - https://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-117.html

Some of that is yet to happen :) Regards Tony
God says people have to get together for a conference. All rulers must attend, to find a way for peace. This means they need to all agree: a nation that attacks another will be unilaterally stamped down. So the world won’t need armaments any more, except for internal order. This means war will end. We hope it happens ...

How hard was that?
 

Ahanu

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Relational logic seems similar to me to Godel's incompleteness theorem.
 
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Tone Bristow-Stagg

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But it is 150 years later. Reinterpretation of Baha'i scripture ceased, hard, with Shoghi Effendi. So the Baha'i community will be stuck with a 1950ies understanding of their scriptures for the next 850 years, it seems.

At what point will they drop the "modern, contemporary" taglines?


Most of what Baha'u'llah offered has not yet been implemented. It is suited to a society that has brought about the peace and security of humanity.

We are in the age of transition, building foundations for the future. Many who have not looked at the plans, only see the confusion of a construction site.

Regards Tony
 

Ahanu

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Perhaps, but tell that to a leper in Zimbabwe ...

And your point is what? That it is not helpful for somebody suffering from disease? It is helpful for humanity as a whole, however, in the way we relate to one another. Then it helps the leper in Zimbabwe in a way.

Christianity doesn't have much (if any) relational logic to help us in a global society. So, if the leper is humanity, then Christianity has no solution, because it is focused on individual salvation.
 
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Tone Bristow-Stagg

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God says people have to get together for a conference. All rulers must attend, to find a way for peace. This means they need to all agree: a nation that attacks another will be unilaterally stamped down. So the world won’t need armaments any more, except for internal order. This means war will end. We hope it happens ...

How hard was that?

Is it applicable now? Easy question.

Also, that is one of hundreds of passages about what needs to be done.

Who else has given such a world embracing solution?

Regards Tony
 

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Christianity doesn't have much (if any) relational logic to help us in a global society. So, if the leper is humanity, then Christianity has no solution.
And your point is what? That it is not helpful for somebody suffering from disease? It is helpful for humanity as a whole, however, in the way we relate to one another. Then it helps the leper in Zimbabwe in a way.

Christianity doesn't have much (if any) relational logic to help us in a global society. So, if the leper is humanity, then Christianity has no solution, because it is focused on individual salvation.

Repeat:
The Catholic Church is the biggest non-gov charity on earth, and has missionaries working with lepers and aids patients in the most difficult and dangerous places in the world
https://catholicherald.co.uk/a-worldwide-force-for-good/

The world’s biggest charity


"Stalin famously said of the Church, “The Pope! How many divisions has he?” Less well known is Churchill’s response that Stalin “might have mentioned a number of legions not always visible on parade”. Indeed, the reach and influence of the Church are not easily described by statistics alone, yet the raw statistics are staggering enough.

The Church operates more than 140,000 schools, 10,000 orphanages, 5,000 hospitals and some 16,000 other health clinics. Caritas, the umbrella organisation for Catholic aid agencies, estimates that spending by its affiliates totals between £2 billion and £4 billion, making it one of the biggest aid agencies in the world.

Even these numbers only tell half the tale. Caritas does not include development spending by a host of religious orders and other Catholic charities, while most of the 200,000 Catholic parishes around the world operate their own small-scale charitable projects which are never picked up in official figures. Establishing like-for-like comparisons is hard, but there can be little doubt that in pretty much every field of social action, from education to health to social care, the Church is the largest and most significant non-state organisation in the world.

A sceptic might point out that that influence can be both positive and negative. So, for example, it might be queried whether the Church’s work in education or health would be more effective if control was switched to the state. In some ways, this is the wrong question – in much of the developing world, if the Church was not involved, the services would not be provided at all. But there is a good deal of research which has attempted to compare the performance of Catholic provision of education or health with that of other providers and, in general, Catholic institutions come out rather well.

The health analyst Kenneth White, of Virginia Commonwealth University, found Catholic hospitals in the US to be on average more efficient than equivalent secular hospitals. This was a particularly remarkable finding given that he also discovered evidence that Catholic hospitals, reflecting their mission to reach out to disadvantaged communities, were providing more compassionate care and stigmatised services (to groups that often face discrimination) than other providers.

In Africa, a recent research review found not only that maternal care at Church-run mission hospitals was of the same or better quality than at public facilities, but that Church hospitals were also more likely to offer services accessible to the poor.

Looking at education, although it is well established that Catholic schools perform exceptionally well on standard academic criteria …"
read full article



QNLF3129.jpg

https://www.johnbradburne.com/leprosy/

Rock on, chaps.
It's word salad to me ...
 
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Ahanu

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one·ness
/ˈwən(n)əs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the fact or state of being unified or whole, though comprised of two or more parts.
    "the oneness of man and nature"
    • identity or harmony with someone or something.
      "a strong sense of oneness is felt with all things"
  2. 2.
    the fact or state of being one in number.
    "belief in the oneness of God"

same·ness
/ˈsāmnəs/
noun
  1. lack of variety; uniformity or monotony.
    "there is a sameness about all the political parties"
    Similar: similarity similarities between people of different nationalities"

Given the actual definitions of these two words, and that you associate oneness with what is perceived by the Baha'i faith as relative to the Baha'i faith, I remain unconvinced that the Baha'i faith has any other intent than to clump everyone together under the philosophy of the Baha'i faith. Again, how is this any different than functioning as a communistic religion?

Communism seeks to impose sameness. There are no distinctions amongst individuals in a communistic religion. Everybody must adopt the same belief. Cannot see Baha'u'llah as God in the Baha'i Faith? No problem. You can believe he is a prophet. The Baha'i Faith allows for individual differences in belief under the umbrella of oneness/unity.

It's inevitable that everybody will not agree with Baha'i thought.

In the broader scope of society outside of the Baha'i Faith, atheists, for example, can be seen to be correct in their own degree/station. There is no God in the universe after all, so their affirmation that there is no God can be seen as correct in this sense in my opinion. I cannot force you to accept the Baha'i Faith. We must respect your degree/station. You may continue believing there is no God without any fear of forced conversions.
 

Ahanu

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Repear:
The Catholic Church is the biggest non-gov charity on earth, and has missionaries working with lepers and aids patients in the most difficult and dangerous places in the world
https://catholicherald.co.uk/a-worldwide-force-for-good/

Yes, Christians have done remarkable and praiseworthy work with hospitals throughout history. It is quite exceptional! Not so sure about education. Too many forced conversions. There's the destruction of Indigenous languages and cultures through re-education that proves to me Christianity wasn't built for a global society that values differences. If only they had had a strong sense of relational logic in their scripture to guide them . . .

Pope apologizes for 'evil' committed at Canada's Indigenous residential schools : NPR

Word salad it is not.
 
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Ahanu

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Yes, the social and political implications of the Baha'i laws suck, from my point of view. Inheritance laws for example. Or marriage laws.

Why do you think inheritance laws and marriage laws suck, Cino?

Note I am not calling you disrespectful, ignorant, or whatever other insult for your statement.
 
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Cino

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There is guidance on how we should speak of the Faith, and that guidance is not easy to follow when we come from a very material and argumentative background. It is better to say little than to say too much.

I still say way to much, way too many times.

Regards Tony

Personally, I feel the times when you speak from your own experience of living your faith give me a much better understanding what it means to be a Baha'i than any amount of quotes of scripture.

What you wrote about being invited to a Christian service was something I could relate to. What you wrote about moving to a remote part of the country and trying to find spiritual friends there was, again, something I could recognize. Those discussions did a lot to give me an impression of your life as a Baha'i. If you had adhered strictly to your guidance, I would have felt as if kept at a distance, allowed to see only the glossy advertisements, as it were. I think that your guidance prevents you from showing a realistic picture of Baha'i life.

Just my two cents.
 

Cino

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Why do you think they suck, Cino?

Note I am not calling you disrespectful, ignorant, or whatever other insult for your statement.

But it might make you feel better if you did ;)

I think the separation of Church and State is a really important, hard-won civilatory gain. Humanity is better off for having made steps to make that cut, and I think any attempts to undo this are a dangerous backsliding into worse conditions. Just open a history book, or newspaper, to see examples of what happens when politics and faith get enmeshed - it is to the detriment of both domains, and to the detriment of humanity as a whole.

But the laws outlined in the Aqdas are designed to set up a Theocracy.

It is my personal opinion that Theocracies suck. I can go into the gory details, but I feel it is not necessary.
 
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