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The relationship between religions and the Baha'i Faith, and reasons to believe.

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  • The relationship between religions and the Baha'i Faith, and reasons to believe.

    Robrecht is requested not to post in this thread.

    Originally posted by Sen McGlinn
    Indeed -- and I am sorry if you have encountered Bahai boosterism, or "triumphalism" to use the usual.
    Debates of the differences between religions and the reasons I believe in the Baha'i Faith is not boosterism nor triumphalism.

    Baha'i belief in the unity of religion(s) rests not only on religion's common origin in the Absolute, and the transforming power that, at their best, religion(s) exhibit, but also in the idea that the religions have all pointed in one direction, and that the Baha'i faith is "the next step." That linear element is a seductive invitation to triumphalism: the idea that the values and truths and community structures of the new religion make the others obsolete and they must fall away.
    This represents a naïve view of the relationship of the Baha'i Faith and its relationship with other religions. Yes, indeed there are aspects of ancient religions, Doctrines and Dogmas that are indeed obsolete. I can list many, and yes they are open to debate as the reason to believe in the Baha'i Faith. This does not preclude the fact that there are aspects of the world religions that represent eternal truths that are part of the Baha'i Faith

    The two big problems with triumphalism for Bahais are first that it is a self-defeating prophecy, because a new religious community that goes around telling others that their religions are outdated and they are doomed to eventually merge into the new paradigm naturally creates resistance, and distance between the new religious group and the culture around it, so it ends up as a marginal cult. Baha'is have done lots of that.
    This is naïve, and misrepresents my view. I do not debate that the religions are entirely outdated. I debate the aspects of religions that are indeed outdated and the reason why I am a Baha'i and do not belong to an ancient world view and try force fit it into the modern world.

    The second problem is that it isn’t true. Just look at history. How many new world religions have emerged since the time of Krishna, yet there are many millions of followers of Krishna today? Of ancient religions, Hinduism and Buddhism have prospered, Zoroastrianism has almost died out, and Judaism has held its own and kept adapting. That's the pattern of world religious history: "This has been the way of God with those who have gone before: there is no alteration in the ways of God." (Quran 33:62, my translation)
    Of course there is no alteration of the eternal ways of God. But the much in the Doctrines, Dogmas, Laws and Theology of ancient religions do not represent the eternal ways of God. Many here propose that the religion they believe in will evolve to fit the modern world, others believe that their belief will not change, because they believe that adopting to the modern world is in some way evil or wrong. The reality is that efforts to change and manipulate ancient religions to 'fit' the modern world represents humanist efforts to reform religion and results in more divisions in the religion between those that ant to change and those who do not.

    I do not think that Baha’u’llah ever envisioned or said anything so simple, and absurd, as Baha'i replacing the other religions. His vision is of the evolution of a world religious system, as one organ in a World Order. We can compare it to the evolution of the world economic system, and the world political system.
    I do not believe 'I do not think . . .' represents what Baha'u'llah envisioned or said concerning the relationship of the Baha'i Faith to the other religions. The evolution of a world religious system and World Order is in the Baha'i scripture and cannot be compared to a secular world economic system, though the evolution of a world economic system and world political system would reflect the Revelation of the Baha'i World Order. It is a given that the Baha'i Faith endorses and includes the positive universal aspects of the ancient religions of the world, but it is naïve to assume that there are not aspects of ancient religions that are no longer relevant to the modern world, and these are issues of debate the reasons why one believes in the Baha'i Faith, and not one of the other possible choices.

    In the Baha'i scripture there is a World Order described as replacing the other religions for those that believe in the Baha'i Faith, and yes the writings support the view that yes, this World Order will eventually replace older world orders. With your academic background you should know better.

    It basically true that all religions believe in a form of triumphalism of their belief system. It is naïve to propose that this is not so.


    The evolution of a global religious system does not threaten the continuity of the constructive part of existing religions' activities or their institutions, whether clerical or lay.
    No, the intent of the evolution of a Baha'i global religious system does not intend to threaten the continuity of the constructive part of the religious' activities or their institutions whether clerical or lay, but it would be naïve to assume that the Baha'i Faith would advocate the continuation of the clerical hierarchical system.

    [quote=Sen McGlinn]

    And so Baha'u'llah can be entirely sincere in revealing for us, a prayer to be said for the progress of Islam:

    Source: Baha'u'llah



    He is God – Exalted be He, the Lord of Majesty and Power!

    I plead my grief and sorrow unto God, the Lord of all humankind. The affairs of men have been shaken, the nations have become perturbed and Islam has been weakened thereby. The enemies have afflicted it from all sides and it remains encompassed by them. Thus it behooveth the people of God to invoke Him in the morning and the night-season, to beseech Him to graciously aid the Muslims, one and all, to do that which is pleasing and seemly, to exalt them by His Command and through the power of His Sovereign Might, to make them aware of that which will exalt their stations, to change their abasement into might, their poverty into wealth, their destruction into advancement, their distress into peace of mind and their fear into security and tranquility. Verily, He is the All-Merciful. There is none other God but Him, the Compassionate, All-Bountiful.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Good citation, but does not address the real issues at hand.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  • #2
    I understand the relationship factor between Bahai and other religions, but I don't see in the above the reason to believe that "god did it." Are we to take that as a given!
    Last edited by Zymologist; 06-25-2015, 10:34 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JimL View Post
      I understand the relationship factor between Bahai and other religions, but I don't see in the above the reason to believe that "god did it." Are we to take that as a given!
      No, I have never taken this as an assertion, nor 'that we can take this as a given.'

      I am more interested in how a world view functions in the real world not what a religion claims. As far as I am concerned the Baha'i Faith, and the Humanist (Unitarian, Agnostic/atheist) function well in the real world when dealing with universal concerns of humanity. Ancient world views like Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not. They make many anecdotal claims as to how they are trying, should function or want to function in terms of the universal concerns of humanity, but they fail for various reasons addressed in this thread.

      The primary focus of this thread is comparing the Baha'i Faith and other religions is how they function where the rubber meets the road, reality in the real world. Siam and others make many claims, but I focus on the bottom line.
      Last edited by Zymologist; 06-25-2015, 10:34 AM.
      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

      go with the flow the river knows . . .

      Frank

      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
        Robrecht is requested not to post in this thread.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          Robrecht is requested not to post in this thread.
          Why? I believe you are abusing this privilege Shunny.
          That's what
          - She

          Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
          - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

          I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
          Stephen R. Donaldson

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
            Why? I believe you are abusing this privilege Shunny.
            This is the privilege of everyone on Tweb concerning their own threads. robrecht has a tendency to go off topic aggressively with an agenda that is not the topic of the thread.

            Robrecht may start his own thread to address the issues he believes in.

            If you wish to participate, please respond to the subject of the thread.
            Last edited by shunyadragon; 06-23-2015, 11:58 AM.
            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

            go with the flow the river knows . . .

            Frank

            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                This is the privilege of everyone on Tweb concerning their own threads. robrecht has a tendency to go off topic aggressively with an agenda that is not the topic of the thread.
                No he doesn't. robrecht is one of the kindest, most patient posters on this entire website. You don't want him posting in your thread because you don't like that he counters your posts with well thought out, on topic replies, and because he has the patience to put up with your ridiculous nonsense for pages at a time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                  Grow up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                    Grow up.
                    Likewise. Robrecht can easily start a thread that addresses his agenda of choice.
                    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                    go with the flow the river knows . . .

                    Frank

                    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                      No he doesn't. robrecht is one of the kindest, most patient posters on this entire website. You don't want him posting in your thread because you don't like that he counters your posts with well thought out, on topic replies, and because he has the patience to put up with your ridiculous nonsense for pages at a time.
                      Again, if he wishes robrecht may start a thread that addresses his own agenda. You may also do likewise.

                      If you wish to participate please respond to the subject of the thread.
                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                        This is the privilege of everyone on Tweb concerning their own threads. robrecht has a tendency to go off topic aggressively with an agenda that is not the topic of the thread.

                        Robrecht may start his own thread to address the issues he believes in.

                        If you wish to participate, please respond to the subject of the thread.
                        In case you missed it, Shunny, this area of the forum is under MY jurisdiction. In my capacity ad Department Head, I believe you are abusing the privilege we afford posters who have a history with others that tends to lead to flame wars at every interaction. However, for now, the owners are allowing this. Unless it is a subsequent moderator notice, this will be my last post on this thread.
                        That's what
                        - She

                        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                        Stephen R. Donaldson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          In case you missed it, Shunny, this area of the forum is under MY jurisdiction. In my capacity ad Department Head, I believe you are abusing the privilege we afford posters who have a history with others that tends to lead to flame wars at every interaction. However, for now, the owners are allowing this. Unless it is a subsequent moderator notice, this will be my last post on this thread.
                          I understand your authority, but your opinion should not interfere with your responsibility as a monitor of this thread.
                          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                          go with the flow the river knows . . .

                          Frank

                          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                            Robrecht is requested not to post in this thread.
                            I find that unfriendly, uncollegial ... indeed, unBahai. What would Abdu'l-Baha say?

                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                            In the Baha'i scripture there is a World Order described as replacing the other religions for those that believe in the Baha'i Faith, and yes the writings support the view that yes, this World Order will eventually replace older world orders. With your academic background you should know better.
                            Perhaps you will enlighten me, and other readers, by showing us where the Bahai scriptures speak of a World Order replacing other religions. In decades of diligent study I have never found the verses that say that.

                            Rather, the new religion transforms the world, and the old religions are transformed, but not obliterated. Not for thousands of years. Abdu’l-Baha says:

                            … the breezes of Christ are still blowing; His light is still shining; His melody is still resounding; His standard is still waving; His armies are still fighting; His heavenly voice is still sweetly melodious; His clouds are still showering gems; His lightning is still flashing; His reflection is still clear and brilliant; His splendor is still radiating and luminous; and it is the same with those souls who are under His protection and are shining with His light.
                            (Some Answered Questions (old translation), 152)
                            and in another place:

                            “… the body of Christ was crucified and vanished, but the Spirit of Christ is always pouring upon the contingent world, and is manifest before the insight of the people of assurance. (Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 193)
                            Not only do the past religions still have their share of the Spirit, their institutions still have a future, although they like all other social institutions have to adapt to a globalising world and a postmodern society. Shoghi Effendi writes:

                            Such institutions as have strayed far from the spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ must of necessity, as the embryonic World Order of Baha’u’llah takes shape and unfolds, recede into the background, and make way for the progress of the divinely-ordained institutions that stand inextricably interwoven with His teachings. The indwelling Spirit of God which, in the Apostolic Age of the Church, animated its members, the pristine purity of its teachings, the primitive brilliancy of its light, will, no doubt, be reborn and revived as the inevitable consequences of this redefinition of its fundamental verities, and the clarification of its original purpose.
                            (The World Order of Baha’u’llah, 185)
                            In The Secret of Divine Civilization, Abdu’l-Baha proposes not just ways to revive the fortunes of Iran and bring peace, but also ways to revive the Faith of God there (Shi’ah Islam) through a Reformation analogous to that instituted by Luther:

                            Now if the illustrious people of the one true God, … should adopt procedures for spreading the Faith and should bend all their efforts to this end, it is certain that His Divine light would envelop the whole earth.
                            (The Secret of Divine Civilization, 43)
                            There and in A Traveller’s Narrative he argues for religious tolerance, so that people of all religions can live side by side.

                            It seems that Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi look forward to a revival of Christianity, Islam and other religions, which, because they rediscover the universal in their own teachings, will learn to work together. I do not know anywhere where they look forward to the extinction of other religions.

                            Baha'u'llah's prayer for Islam does seem relevant to me. I'm sorry you don't see it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One qualification on the definition of 'triumphalism' is that most religions, churches, theologians and philosophers consider it in a negative light. IF taken in a context as most do, I never proposed a 'Triumphalism' approach to the Baha'i Faith when I debate the issues concerning the problematic beliefs of ancient religions. I never judged any religion as totally false or condemned as many of other religions consider those who believe differently. Again I am debated individual issues concerning the reason I believe in the Baha'i Faith.
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment

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