Abrahamic? Am I missing the meaning?

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by Mick, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    I have been away from this forum for awhile. Am I missing something? Why are monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha'i separated? Does anybody here know what Ambrahamic means? Wouldn't it mean derived from the seed of Abraham? Does anybody know that both The Bab and Baha'u'llah, the Prophet/Founders of the Baha'i Faith are both from the seed of Abraham; The Bab through Jesse, and Baha'u'llah through Katureh. Who made this ludicrous change? Was it this guy called I Brian? If it was, could you explain how and why you would want to separate the Baha'i Faith from other Abrahamic religions?



    The feeling I get is this is not a comparative religion forum, but, instead a Christian proselytizing forum. Maybe I'm wrong, but, boy, it sure feels it to me. Why would anybody want to continue to swim in ignorance when there is a chance to become knowledgeable? In fact, the phrase comparative religion suggests "let's share our beliefs with each other."



    If this doesn't seem loving and kind, then it probably suggests how I feel. I am irritated. At a time when the UN General Assembly opens with a prayer read by a member of the Baha'i Faith, at a time when the citizens of the world are turning to the principals that Baha'u'llah has given us, at a time when the recognition of the Baha'i Faith, world wide, is becoming the norm, to have a moderator of a site on the internet to disavow the existence and the veracity of the Baha'i Faith is senseless.



    I would suggest to I Brian and all others involved to turn yourself to the truth of God and quit hiding behind the confusing dogma of antiquated and irrelevant belief systems. Don't get me wrong, I love Abraham, Jesus, Mohammed, and their messages, but have little patience with followers of dogmatic tripe. If this is what we have going here, then I suggest you change the name of the forum from comparative religion to "comparative tripe".



    Thank you for letting me rant, if you actually let this be posted.



    Mick
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I take it you are not a spokesperson for the Bahai...as this thinking would not increase my liklihood to investigate further.
    I would consider that to be wonderful for your faith. However typically everytime I read the actual statistics it is more like Nevada being the fastest growing state for dedades. When the state started out with a population smaller than many major cites, when Vegas and Reno started growing it rapidly doubled the states population...percentage increase...actual increase of citizens they ranked way down the charts...New York and California grew more just due to births... Not saying your concept is skewed but since numbers haven't been provided I can't really address...

    I'd say the Bahai is largely addressed on this site and in these forums. I read threads and posts from all schools of thought Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccan, Bahai and Christians... I'm fairly new but I'd say in quantity of posts and my concept of the actual demographics of Bahai on this planet, if anything Bahai is overrepresented and Muslims and Hindus are underposted...Again, I have no facts and figures to back that up, just my thoughts as I read...

    I've actually not seen a more open truly comparitive religion forum, overall it is admirable how everyone gets along. I however cannot address your concern as to the location of your religion under 'modern' v. 'abrahamic' ...
     
  3. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Wil stated, " I take it you are not a spokesperson for the Bahai...as this thinking would not increase my liklihood to investigate further."

    Nope, and in fact, I am not aware of a spokesperson for the Baha'i Faith. We have no ministry and we are required to search for the truth through individual self-investigation. If you choose not to investigate anything because of what somebody else simple states, then shame on you. But ignorance of anything is a chosen state. Through simple research one can become knowledgeable of a topic and not drift into ignorance.

    Wil stated, " I would consider that to be wonderful for your faith."

    How sarcastic. It is wonderful for the world. I am not talking about conversions to the Baha'i Faith. That is of no cocern of me or any Baha'i. We are, though, concerned with teaching the principles of the Baha'i Faith, and for those that are interested, the Source.

    Some of the principles that Baha'u'llah shared with us and we are driven to disseminate around the world include:

    -The Oneness of Mankind
    -The foundation of all religion is one
    -The Equality of Men and Women
    -Independent investigation of truth
    -The abolition of all forms of prejudice
    -Universal peace
    -Universal education
    -A universal language
    -Spiritual solutions of economic problems
    -Religion must be in accord with science and reason

    We have been accused of proselytizing on this board. We don't do that. The word "conversion" isn't even an operative word in the Baha'i Faith. If somebody recognizes Baha'u'llah and accepts His teachings, then they become Baha'is by choice. If they choose to, they can become a part of the Administrative Order. We have many people that are close to the Faith, have not and probably will not declare, but have designed their life after the principles and have given credit to the Source. They are not Baha'is but their heart is driven by the Truth they recognized. Many people of the world have accepted at least one of the above principles without ever knowing that they came from the teachings of Baha'u'llah. It is why the world is changing at such a rapid rate.

    The Baha'is today have over 7,000,000 members. This has been accomplished in 162 years. There is not a country without a Baha'i living in it that I am aware of. There is not a language that Baha'u'llah's teachings are not being mentioned in. The reason for this diverse and worldly dissemination is so these world changing principles can be shared with everybody.

    Baha'u'llah stated, "The world will unite one heart at a time..." And so it is. And may we thank God and Abraham and Jesus and the Buddha and Mohammed and all the Manifestations that gave us directions, suffered, sacrificed and continued the Progressive Revelation of God so that we, you and I, could be here, today, to see His Promises Fulfilled.

    thank you

    Mick
     
  4. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    you know, tonight it is very cold outside where i live. we live in a rather cold world where it is very difficult to trust. it looks to me like you are proselytizing for yourself.

    i dont think criticizing others is going to get you real far, especially based over where your religion is located. are you paying for this space?
    CR is by far the best & most caring forum i have ever visited & been a member of & i am proud to be a part of that. the people who come here & decide to stay actually try to love each other & get along even when it hurts. i dont think you should be putting down the host & founder of this well established forum. He is a fair man & puts a lot of effort into this site & he wants to see people grow & love each other.

    the feeling i get is this IS a comparative religion forum & what i see is people sharing their beliefs with each other. the people who stay here may not be real knowledgeable & as smart as you are, but we do learn & know how to get along with each other. busting down the door & burning down the house is not the way to get your point across.
    i think what you are missing is very simple. if you dont like it here then there is no one making you stay here.

    I have made a lot of mistakes in my life but i like it here & i dont like it when people say mean things to others with a poor objective, because it causes pain. there is enough pain in the world, so maybe put down the loaded guns, reconsider & try a more peaceful approach.

    thank you
     
  5. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Well, the distinction between putting Baha`i outside of Abrahamic faiths escapes me too. However, it will do no good to rant. We'v e just gone through a period where Baha`i posts were not welcome, and the Baha`i's here already do not want to go through that again.

    So as one Baha`i to another: This is not a place for debate and argument, the moderator does not like it, and it is a cause of disunity. So let's not do it. If you want a forum where the Baha`i's are categorized with Abrahamic faiths and some further engagement is allowed try:
    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/

    and

    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/

    See you there!

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  6. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Thank you Scott, I'll check that site out.

    On the other hand, I am really not interested in debating or arguing with anybody about religion. 'Abdu'l-Baha stated that religion should not be the cause of disunity and that we should look for common things that we can discuss and agree upon. Well, then, it is important that somebody point out to whomever that The Bab and Baha'u'llah both trace their lineage to Abraham and They are part of the Promise from God that His seed would inherit the earth. This is not argumentative but factual.

    Like Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts, Maam!" That's all I am trying to impart here. Just the facts.

    Look, this all started in 1844 when The Bab stated, 'I have come to prepare the world for Somebody greater than myself...The Comforter...The Unifier.' and was reaffirmed by Baha'u'llah in 1863 when He stated, 'I am the promised One of all religions and if there is a religion that has been forgotten by man and it had a promised One, I am Him too. I am the Comforter, the Unifier.'

    That these declarations were made is a fact. Whether one chooses to accept them is up to each individual. God gave us free will, but the declarations are a fact. The Bab, miraculously, waited until 18 individuals sought Him out without Him announcing who He was. It is documented by the writings and the western press as well. Baha'u'llah made His declaration in the Garden of Ridvan, outside of Baghdad, as He prepared for His prophetic journey, not of His making, to Constantinople, Adrianople, Alexandria and eventually the prison city of Akka, where He settled in. It is history, not belief. It can't be argued or debated. It happened, just as the lineage of these two Manifestations of God cannot be argued about. It is simply the truth.

    So there isn't any misunderstanding here, I am not interested in debate or argument. I will discuss facts with anybody. A belief system, when based on dogma, not Holy Writings, has little interest to me. I am not interested in proselytizing nor converting. Hey, we are all on a journey. It is up to each individual to investigate while looking for the truth of God. Each individual controls the direction of this journey. We do not believe that if an individual doesn't accept Baha'u'llah there is a bad destiny for them. We do believe that if an individual sees the wisdom in the principles that Baha'u'llah has shared with us, their life will fulfill.

    warmly,

    Mick

    edited for typos
     
  7. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, the moderator has too broad a definition of "proselytize"; but we have to live with that. I put up a provisional translation of "Ode to the Dove" for comment in the Baha`i section and he took it down because it was proselytizing. You and I would not take that as proselytizing if it was Christian material inj the Christian section (stuff from the Essene scrolls of Qumran, for instance). nor would we take it amiss if someone put up material otherwise unavailable in English, from Rumi or Khayyam in the muslim section. But that's the way it is. The two other sites properly categorize the faith, and provide for meaningful discussion and even allow the posting of material newly available in English and that's good. This site has many good qualities, and some of those good qualities stem from the strict moderation by Brian, so taken on balance its not bad.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Can someone answer me as to how saying..

    Our guy says our religion is the best and he said he was the answer to all your prayers, and therefore you should come check us out...

    is not proselytising.

    This seems to be a great forum for debate and discussion. It isn't to great a place for closed minds of any school of thought.

    I think and could be wrong, often am, and someone will sure to tell me so; I think that if your first post to this thread said... As X&Y were desecendents of Abraham...why isn't the Bahai listed under Abrahamic Religions?

    Now personally I didn't draw the lines in the sand, nor create the thread...But as you indicated Bahai started in the 19th century..but it appears you that shouldn't be considered Modern?

    But again, just so you know, not critizing just making you aware. I have seen Bahai speakers at ecumenical services, and much information around, and many posts here. What is said often intrigues me. I love Ocean as a resource and commend your group for that. But with the intrigue and the interest to find out more information along comes something that 100% turns me off. That is just me, and I imagine it must be ok. But I thought you may be intererested in knowing that affect occurs.
     
  9. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Wil, I am glad you asked. Actually, I never stated that anybody said our religion was the best. We don't see ourselves in competition with anybody else. Just part of the Progressive Revelation of God. Nor did I write that anybody made a claim they were the answers to all your prayers. I am not sure what you have been praying for and Baha'u'llah surely didn't claim that as well. If The Bab and Baha'u'llah were "the answer to all your prayers", then everybody would simply pay attention to them. I suspect that there are more things that are prayed for than there are stars in the heavens.

    Proselytizing means (check your dictionary, this definition comes from a program I use called Word Web)...Convert to another faith or religion.
    We are not trying to convert anybody. In fact I explicitly stated that. We also state that The Bab and Baha'u'llah made very specific statements that have made many people uncomfortable. But the fact is they made them. We suggest you investigate them and make a decision on their veracity. Or simply reject them if you choose, but at no time could this be construed as "conversion" or attempting to convert. There isn't a Baha'i in the world that was converted. It is not a word that even works in the Baha'i Faith.

    I am pleased to hear that you have had personal experiences with Baha'is. I am of the pioneer spirit and a little rough around the edges. Most Baha'is are wonderful and loving individuals as I have known them. I am more in the forefront of the teaching effort and this puts me in front of the firing line and keeps my edges roughened.

    Regardless, Wil, it is still your decision. I cannot and will not try to make you happy so that you will accept the teachings of Baha'u'llah. In fact, many of the teachings are controversial and you may not be prepared to accept them. That is simply up to you. I wish you well on your journey. You seem to have an open mind while you are searching for truth.

    warmly,

    Mick
     
  10. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Greetings, Mick! :)

    M>Does anybody here know what Ambrahamic means? Wouldn't it mean derived from the seed of Abraham? Does anybody know that both The Bab and Baha'u'llah, the Prophet/Founders of the Baha'i Faith are both from the seed of Abraham; The Bab through Jesse, and Baha'u'llah through Katureh. Who made this ludicrous change? Was it this guy called I Brian?

    First off, I don't know why you're complaining about Brian. He, the moderator here, is not a Baha'i, and so far as I know, has nothing to do with the fact that the Baha'i Faith is Abrahamic.

    And "Abrahamic" means precisely that: descended from Abraham!

    You see, Abraham had (if you read the Tanach, or Jewish scriptures--not to mention the Old Testament) three wives: Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah.

    Well, as it happens, Jesus is descended from Abraham through Sarah (via David, which is important for other prophecies).

    Muhammad is descended from Abraham through Hagar.

    So the Bab, being a descendant of Muhammad, is also clearly a descendant of Abraham through Hagar.

    And Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, is descended from _both_ Sara (again, through David) _and_ Keturah, and is thus a descendant of Abraham through two distinct lines!

    These are important because they fulfill certain prophecies.

    (And as it happens, Shoghi Effendi, who headed the Baha'i Faith from 1921 to 1957, was a descendant of _both_ the Bab and Baha'u'llah, and was therefore descended from Abraham through _all three_ of His wives!)

    So we can assure you that the Baha'i Faith is indeed very, very much Abrahamic! :)

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  11. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    hi BruceDLimber:)

    if bahai says buddha is a prophet, is he a descendant of abraham also?
    since there is no God the Creator in the buddha religion, what did buddha prophecy about & who did he prophecy for?

    thank you in advance
     
  12. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

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    Hi!

    We Baha'is tend to define "proselytizing" as telling others what they should believe. So technically, the above doesn't qualify.

    But more important, I agree with the other Baha'is here that this is a statement unlikely to be said by any knowledgeable Baha'i! It's possible that some Baha'i or other actually said it, but if so, that person was probably not well-informed: after all, NONE of us is perfect, Baha'is definitely included!

    Further, there are explicit prohibitions against trying to "make up others' minds" or influencing them unduly, the more so given that one of the central Baha'i tenets is what we call Individual Investigation of Truth, which says that each person has the responisibility of investigating the various religions, deciding where the truth lies, and then following that whether it happens to be Baha'i or not!

    So while we freely and frequently give out information and do our best to answer questions, this in itself really isn't proselytizing becuase the decision still rests with every individual.

    That may be, but given that you didn't state clearly WHAT it was, there's not much I--or most of us--can say.

    Once again, Baha'is as a group are NOT into "converting" people or interfering with their prerogatives....

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  13. Mick

    Mick World Citizen

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    Bandit

    Answer to your first question...NO

    Answer to the second question..Personally, I don't know. I am somewhat ignorant of the Buddhist religion. In A Basic Baha'i Dictionary published in 1989 if you look up Buddha, this is what you will find; "A title meaning 'Enlightened One', given to Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of the religion of Buddhism. Baha'is accept Buddha as a Manifestation of God and believe that prophecies attributed to Buddha about the coming of the Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha of universal fellowship, refer to Baha'u'llah."

    You mentioned there is no God in the "Buddha", (Buddhist) religion. I am curious, aren't there any Buddhists that believe in God? The Guatama Buddha Himself, was a Hindu priest, as I recall and the Hindu religion has no problems with God. Are you saying that The Buddha sat under the Lotus Tree for fourty days and the revelation that came to Him was that there is no Creator or Spritual Guide or Soul? Is this the thinking that Buddhism has evolved too or is this the thinking that the Buddha taught? Remember, I am just curious.
     
  14. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    i dont have a real big interest in Buddha. personally it just seems all real basic stuff to me & it does not make sense how he fits into the religion of Bahai as someone sent by God, because i dont see where Buddha gave any glory to God. all i know is everyone i have met who calls themselves a buddhist does not believe in God as in an entity/Creator, especially the monotheistic & it appears often there is a streak of some kind of jealousy say from the far right buddhists. or might i say those who convert from something else to Buddha.

    i am not putting anyone down, it is just an observation which is confusing because i dont see how that fits as a manifestation of God when there is nothing in it that has anything to do with God, let alone manifesting God.
    it is all, self self self.

    i am sure this has been discussed somewhere else before & i dont have the answer, just a curiosity of my own as well.
    but thanks for the reply & dictionary on the other.:)
     
  15. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    I think others have already said what has to be said and see no progress in this thread any more. If you want to read about Baha'i views about Buddha they've been covered in a few other threads. If you want to see about Abrahamic vs Modern, it's been done in several threads. If you want to talk about unfair comparisons and the place of information in changing people's minds and what kind of standard is allowed around here it's in several threads already.

    Let's keep what levels of participation we can maintain going.
     
  16. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    is the answer to my question about it covered there?
    where?
    thanks smkolins.
     
  17. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Yes it's been discussed.

    There are twleve pages on a thread here much of it about how Baha'is consider Buddha a Manifestation when the nominal pov of Buddhism is there is no god. Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith have been a topic in three threads as I recall. Each time it got into this issue one way or another.
     
  18. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

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    Bandit from the Baha'es I have talked with they have a very weak answer for the Buddha question. Them trying to make Buddha one of their Prophets is like trying hit a square Peg in a round hole.
     
  19. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Bites on tounge. :(
     
  20. Bandit

    Bandit Well-Known Member

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    thanks smkolins & everyone. i will have a look at the 12 pages.

    i guess my point is not just the buddha within the Bahai religion, but maybe if we all would start admitting (& i do mean in all religions, including the scientists & politicans & my very own brothers in Christianity) would admit that there are things in our religions & beliefs that we just do not have all the answers for, & some of the doctrines just do not add up, then maybe the few who are willing to do that would become closer & the few who are really searching would be able to see more together.

    IOW- if i give an inch is something, will you meet me on your end?

    not saying we have to give up the basic foundation of our faith in God.
    but it cant be done if we keep insisiting we are the only ones. the older i get the more gray i see & the more i have to say, "I cant say that is for sure".

    i dont expect it to change in the radical sense because we are only human & we have fears & wonders & no one wants to be lied to any more.
    i guess i still have hope, & i say it because CR offers a pretty good opportunity for us to try.:)
     

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