Peace, Love and Unity
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Hi again, Brian!
Or at least, not for many centuries to come!
This is because the Baha'i scriptures explicitly state 1) that no new Divine Messenger will appear for at least a millenium (now down to about 840 years) and 2) that this statement is literal. Here’s the passage:
"Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise."
-- The Book of Laws, p. 32
So we are definintely not expecting anyone new at least until that time (which fits the general pattern for how often new Messengers / new religious dispensations appear).
Now, we clearly can't state absolutely that Baha'is definitely won't miss the boat the next time around (which you and I obviously don't have to worry about), but there is also a passage that states that this is a Day that won't be followed by night, which at least gives hope that maybe next time, humanity will finally get it right and not repeat the same old pattern of rejection we've so often seen in the past....
Thanks for the reply Bruce - much appreciated.
I think herein lays the conundrum - Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism, all make quite specific statements as to what constitutes their own equivalence of "Messiash" as well - often literal.
Also - does the process of Progressive Revelation ever imply that the Baha'i faith can be subject to the same flaws of "literal interpretation" that the other faiths are subjected to from a Baha'i point of view?