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Old 08-20-2014, 02:21 AM   #81
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Good morning

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Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
I agree. I was deeply confused when, as a seeker, I saw a lot of venom towards people who had disagreed with lines of succession and broken off, and instead of trying to bring them back into the fold and truly demonstrating that the Baha'i vision of global unity could work, the mainline Baha'i organization ultimately has chosen to ostracize them permanently while at the same time claiming to having the answers to bringing about world peace!
First, I find that referring to them as 'vile' is absolutely demeaning to these people, the covenant-breakers. And your arguments, and those of Rythmics, are not based on a knowledge of the circumstance of covenant-breaking, and what it means.

Second, if individuals are expressing venom, then they are seeing things from the wrong perspective. And if you see venom in the works of the Authoratative Figures and Institutions, then you are reading your imagination.

However, by your use of the term 'vile', it is evidently clear that your statements are not based on truth, but what you have imagined.

No person is expelled from the Baha'i Community without good reason, always. No person is arbitarily expelled from the Baha'i community, ever.

Before any such expulsion occurs, there is a lengthy period of trying to work with them, of trying to help them see what they are doing. Expulsion is used only as a last resort.

Think of a cancer in the body. If one does not treat a cancer, then it continues to grow. Sooner or later (and usually sooner). the cancer will mestasticise (spelling?), and then treatment can become sometimes impossible. But if treated early with proper treatments, then that cancer can be turned around, and the patient can be wholly cured.

The covenant breakers are like this cancer. The process of consultation, counselling and so on can help them to voluntarily make that turn-around. But if it is left to fester and grow for too long, then treatment becomes more difficult. When it becomes a time to either excise the cancer for the sake of the rest of the body., or allow it to grow till it takes over the entire body and kills it, then excise must be performed.

These people know what they do. It is not done in ignorance, but in full knowledge. While it's purpose is to form a schism in the body of the believers, disrupt its unity for the personal profit of the perpetrator. If a person is acting in ignorance, then the process of consultation and counselling can help them to know what they are doing, and turn away from it. And if they do not, then they know what they are doing, it is not done in ignorance.

Not vile. Just sick. And in a similar way as, before we had treatments for leprosy which allow a leper to live within society and not infect it, we (society) 'ostracised' the leper by sending them to leper colonies, for the saftey and protection of society, so too are the covenant-breakers expelled from the community of the Greatest Name, and as their disease is contagious, infectious, we are not permitted to asociate with them - shun is the term used in the Writings - or read their works, as otherwise we too can become infected.

Thus, the unity of the body is assured, for the cancer is first treated and, if the treatment is not successful, then cut out of the body.

While your argument would attempt to unite a body in disease, which is not possible, for such a disease leads only to death. Have you ever watched a person die slowly of cancer, right to the moment of their last physical breath? I tell you from experience, it is not pretty.

With greetings

Romane

Last edited by Romane; 08-20-2014 at 03:21 AM.
 
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:49 AM   #82
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Again, even granting that all of that is true, Romane, that all comes from a Baha'i perspective, and there is (unfortunately very little) academic research from non-Baha'i perspectives or even critical perspectives on the Baha'i Faith. Wouldn't it be imperative that that be a part of their research into the Faith? Otherwise, if I just told them what the Baha'is think about, let's just say prominent ex-Baha'is, or what it says about pre-publication review, then all I would be doing is telling them one point of view.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 07:56 AM   #83
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Explain? I don't think it's an ideology at all. If anything it's a choice not to impose any preset ideology on your children.
The ideology of "neutrality", the ideology of "choice".

As an American you will raise your children as Americans, within the American culture. Is that neutrality? Why are they not allowed to belong to another culture?

As an American you will teach your children English. Why are they not allowed to pick their own language?

Simply because it is impossible to do so. By raising children we give them ideas and teach them things that will help them to become good people that can survive in this world. But by doing we inevitably limit them because we close alternatives for them. Which is logical because it is simply impossible to raise someone who is completely neutral.

The same is true for philosophy of life. If you raise a child like a Baha'i you "limit" them by not being other things. But the same is true for raising a child like an agnostic or like an atheist. It is in no way neutral; it is simply just another outlook. Calling that neutral is an illusion.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 08:27 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Sarastro View Post
The ideology of "neutrality", the ideology of "choice".

As an American you will raise your children as Americans, within the American culture. Is that neutrality? Why are they not allowed to belong to another culture?

As an American you will teach your children English. Why are they not allowed to pick their own language?

Simply because it is impossible to do so. By raising children we give them ideas and teach them things that will help them to become good people that can survive in this world. But by doing we inevitably limit them because we close alternatives for them. Which is logical because it is simply impossible to raise someone who is completely neutral.

The same is true for philosophy of life. If you raise a child like a Baha'i you "limit" them by not being other things. But the same is true for raising a child like an agnostic or like an atheist. It is in no way neutral; it is simply just another outlook. Calling that neutral is an illusion.
Of course children will always be influenced by the religions they are exposed to to some degree. My idea of neutrality (which I only discussed when I talked about religion, and so that is what I mean by neutrality) is that no religion would be given preference and they would not be raised as anything or identified as a "x," not that I would somehow "raise them agnostic."
 
Old 08-20-2014, 08:38 AM   #85
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To me that seems rather artificial and pretty much boils down to agnosticism. But that might just be my limited understanding.

Anyway we've probably gone a bit off-topic with this discussion.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 08:41 AM   #86
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To me that seems rather artificial and pretty much boils down to agnosticism. But that might just be my limited understanding.

Anyway we've probably gone a bit off-topic with this discussion.
I tend to find that forum conversations, as in IRL, tend to change topics at some point. That's fine by me.

I would ask what evidence leads you to your conclusion that what I'm saying here is "artificial" and "boiling down to agnosticism." Isn't that what the Baha'i Faith encourages? Or is it really, as Rhythmcs seems to suspect, about promoting the Baha'i viewpoint in general and the Baha'i viewpoint of other religions?
 
Old 08-20-2014, 08:45 AM   #87
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I find it artificial because the idea that you can study all ideas at once without commiting yourself to one automatically implies that the ideal situation is to keep an "outsiders" perspective on them.

The religions exist, some people follow them. But in the end of the day we should not commit to them because we don't know whether they are true or not. (Probably they are not otherwise we would commit to one of them).

Raising your children like that is an agnostic upbringing. Which is of course fine but to call that "neutral" seems to imply that it does not in itself impart and ideology onto the child. In my view that implication is incorrect.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 08:51 AM   #88
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Quote:
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I find it artificial because the idea that you can study all ideas at once without commiting yourself to one automatically implies that the ideal situation is to keep an "outsiders" perspective on them.

The religions exist, some people follow them. But in the end of the day we should not commit to them because we don't know whether they are true or not. (Probably they are not otherwise we would commit to one of them).

Raising your children like that is an agnostic upbringing. Which is of course fine but to call that "neutral" seems to imply that it does not in itself impart and ideology onto the child. In my view that implication is incorrect.
No, what I would be doing is presenting all points of view and all facts (or as many as possible, anyway) on different religions, including my own, my hypothetical wife's, my Catholic parents', etc. It would be difficult, but I think it would be possible to keep these balanced, educate the children in what's verifiably true (science), and leave their choice of religion (or not) about as close to entirely up to them as possible. That's what I mean by "neutral." If that's what you mean by "upbringing" when it comes to religion, however, the actual meaning of the word upbringing would disagree with you on that; by that it is usually meant identifying a child from the outset as a member of one religion and emphasizing only the truth claims of that one faith- for instance baptizing a child Catholic and then only reinforcing that.

Last edited by SmilingSkeptic; 08-20-2014 at 08:53 AM.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 09:04 AM   #89
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Not really. You can raise a child Catholic or Baha'i and still tell them about other creeds, religions and philosophies. Raising a child in certain religious tradition does not mean to keep them ignorant of other faiths.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 09:18 AM   #90
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Not really. You can raise a child Catholic or Baha'i and still tell them about other creeds, religions and philosophies. Raising a child in certain religious tradition does not mean to keep them ignorant of other faiths.
I didn't say that, but think about what "raising" a child as something means in the context of Catholicism. Usually it means choosing their initial identity for them in the form of baptism, taking them to church on Sundays. Sure, you can teach them about other philosophies and religions all you well please, but Catholicism is usually emphasized, and around 82.6% of born Catholics stay Catholic their whole lives: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu:8080/GSS/...orts/soc26.htm.

Again, the Baha'i Faith seems to say not to "raise" your children anything since that locks a child in to one viewpoint. Thankfully that wasn't so much the case with my parents, whose religious outlook was and still is a simple Golden Rule ideology with a dusting of Christianity on top. What else would you have me do OTHER than make sure they aren't identified as any religion from the beginning, teach them as many religious viewpoints as possible and let them know of my own, make sure that their public or private education is religiously neutral, etc.?
 
Old 08-20-2014, 09:22 AM   #91
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What you do is your own choice.

The only thing I was "objecting" to was the use of the word neutral for agnostic. The method you describe seems agnostic to me as I explained above. I personally don't consider that neutral. That's all.
 
Old 08-20-2014, 09:49 AM   #92
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What you do is your own choice.

The only thing I was "objecting" to was the use of the word neutral for agnostic. The method you describe seems agnostic to me as I explained above. I personally don't consider that neutral. That's all.
Well, in the nonreligious sense, agnostic necessarily equals neutral.

(in a nonreligious context) having a doubtful or noncommittal attitude toward something.
"until now I've been fairly agnostic about electoral reform"
 
Old 08-20-2014, 05:25 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romane View Post
Good morning



First, I find that referring to them as 'vile' is absolutely demeaning to these people, the covenant-breakers. And your arguments, and those of Rythmics, are not based on a knowledge of the circumstance of covenant-breaking, and what it means.

Second, if individuals are expressing venom, then they are seeing things from the wrong perspective. And if you see venom in the works of the Authoratative Figures and Institutions, then you are reading your imagination.

However, by your use of the term 'vile', it is evidently clear that your statements are not based on truth, but what you have imagined.

No person is expelled from the Baha'i Community without good reason, always. No person is arbitarily expelled from the Baha'i community, ever.

Before any such expulsion occurs, there is a lengthy period of trying to work with them, of trying to help them see what they are doing. Expulsion is used only as a last resort.

Think of a cancer in the body. If one does not treat a cancer, then it continues to grow. Sooner or later (and usually sooner). the cancer will mestasticise (spelling?), and then treatment can become sometimes impossible. But if treated early with proper treatments, then that cancer can be turned around, and the patient can be wholly cured.

The covenant breakers are like this cancer. The process of consultation, counselling and so on can help them to voluntarily make that turn-around. But if it is left to fester and grow for too long, then treatment becomes more difficult. When it becomes a time to either excise the cancer for the sake of the rest of the body., or allow it to grow till it takes over the entire body and kills it, then excise must be performed.

These people know what they do. It is not done in ignorance, but in full knowledge. While it's purpose is to form a schism in the body of the believers, disrupt its unity for the personal profit of the perpetrator. If a person is acting in ignorance, then the process of consultation and counselling can help them to know what they are doing, and turn away from it. And if they do not, then they know what they are doing, it is not done in ignorance.

Not vile. Just sick. And in a similar way as, before we had treatments for leprosy which allow a leper to live within society and not infect it, we (society) 'ostracised' the leper by sending them to leper colonies, for the saftey and protection of society, so too are the covenant-breakers expelled from the community of the Greatest Name, and as their disease is contagious, infectious, we are not permitted to asociate with them - shun is the term used in the Writings - or read their works, as otherwise we too can become infected.

Thus, the unity of the body is assured, for the cancer is first treated and, if the treatment is not successful, then cut out of the body.

While your argument would attempt to unite a body in disease, which is not possible, for such a disease leads only to death. Have you ever watched a person die slowly of cancer, right to the moment of their last physical breath? I tell you from experience, it is not pretty.

With greetings

Romane
Excellent explanation Romane. Thank you.
 
Old 08-21-2014, 12:22 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
I agree. I was deeply confused when, as a seeker, I saw a lot of venom towards people who had disagreed with lines of succession and broken off, and instead of trying to bring them back into the fold and truly demonstrating that the Baha'i vision of global unity could work, the mainline Baha'i organization ultimately has chosen to ostracize them permanently while at the same time claiming to having the answers to bringing about world peace!
Dear friend I wish to try and correct something here, " mainline Baha'i organization ultimately has chosen to ostracize them permanently.

This is not true at all, We as Baha's have a covenant, handed down by Baha'u'llah, if and when the covenant breakers wish to obey it, they can be forgiven and re enter the faith.

So to say they are permanently banned/barred/ostracized is not correct.

Loving regards
 
Old 08-21-2014, 01:18 PM   #95
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Dear friend I wish to try and correct something here, " mainline Baha'i organization ultimately has chosen to ostracize them permanently.

This is not true at all, We as Baha's have a covenant, handed down by Baha'u'llah, if and when the covenant breakers wish to obey it, they can be forgiven and re enter the faith.

So to say they are permanently banned/barred/ostracized is not correct.

Loving regards
As I've said before, I would still show the viewpoints of people who believe...differently than you do on the Baha'i Faith let's just say.
 
Old 08-22-2014, 01:05 PM   #96
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As I've said before, I would still show the viewpoints of people who believe...differently than you do on the Baha'i Faith let's just say.
Dear friend, I just wished to correct the incorrect statement re Covenant breakers being permanently banned whatever.

As for what you now say, I am a little confused, because as I have said before, yes we teach according to our faith, but also ensure the child is free to investigate all beliefs from other perspectives. By them going to the other faiths, for information or studying in public libraries, how is this different from what you say? or would do?
 
Old 08-23-2014, 10:05 PM   #97
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Another example

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As I've said before, I would still show the viewpoints of people who believe...differently than you do on the Baha'i Faith let's just say.
Skeptic,
. I assume that you drive a car, and are familiar with traffic laws, and that you obey them, seeing the overall wisdom in doing so, their absolute necessity, etc.

. The people have elected representatives who have fashioned laws for us by which we are governed. Thus, a covenant has been established, and we submit to the social order for our own benefit and that of others.

. Now when we enter upon a high speed freeway, we have the expectation that people will follow the rule of law and not drive their car in the wrong lane and destroy themselves and others in the process. Without this expectation, who would enter the freeway, especially with a car load of kids?

. This is a simple illustration.

. The Covenant of God, Baha'is believe, has been given to us so that we have a single system and a common understanding. We recognize the Authority of Abdul Baha, the Beloved Guardian, and the Universal House of Justice, all provided for in the Writings of the Blessed Beauty.

. Those who adhere to this Covenant are protected by the sheltering Branch. Those who stray from this Covenant are cut off. It is even as a swimmer who refuses to inhale air while he is above the water, teaching others that they can breath beneath the waves.

. We can "see" who is drowning, and who is reaching the intended shore, even as we can see that driving according to the law gives favorable results. What I am suggesting is that yes, it is possible over time to "see" who is surviving, spiritually, in this Sea, and who is not.

. One can argue to no end, load up a car with kids and adults, and enter the freeway headlong into traffic. One can do this, and have... as the damage becomes obvious - obvious in the physical/biological sphere.

. There is a parallel, a real parallel, in the spiritual sphere, which preceeds the obvious cause and effect in the realm of the senses. That the senses we commonly refer to cannot recognize this truth simply means it is beyond those instruments.

. Other, higher instruments are required to perceive the reality and wisdom of that of which we speak, which are available to each one of us, in potential. They are attained, and refined, through obedience to the divine Laws, not by opposing them.
.
.
 
Old 08-24-2014, 01:15 AM   #98
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That's your point of view. Mine is that ALL viewpoints should be represented when talking about real history. Or do we just not analyze why the Nazis thought the way they do, because we are afraid that showing our children what the Nazis did would make them want to repeat this?
 
Old 08-24-2014, 02:35 AM   #99
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Nazis, etc

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That's your point of view. Mine is that ALL viewpoints should be represented when talking about real history. Or do we just not analyze why the Nazis thought the way they do, because we are afraid that showing our children what the Nazis did would make them want to repeat this?
. It is one thing to analyze intellectually the grand plans of the Third Reich prior to the Halocaust, even then associating with professed racists knowlingly, perhaps after Krystalnacht. How much broken glass does one need to see before disassociating oneself from such tainted and depraved souls? How many ovens must be lit before the smell becomes too apparent.

. It is really not "the views" purported. We all have views. We are talking about a history of people consistently and purposely designed to sabotage a well-planned, highly organized, divinely inspired Institution which will alone safeguard the ultimate best interests of humanity.

. If one sets about constructing a much needed, highly sophisticated hospital, and over time observes people with bulldozers destroying the edifice as it is being built for a greatly suffering humanity, asking them why they are doing so? And their response is "me, me, me. Its all about me. Can't you see? Bow down to me. Serve me..." and their method is specifically and carefully crafted to intentionally subvert the authority of the goodwill and intentions, as well as the bloody sacrifice of those who believe in the Cause of God, and you wish to join that spirit of contention and conflict, which is specifically prohibited in context of the Writings of Baha'u'llah, then whats up with that?

. As we speak, the bulldozers destroy cemetaries in Iran purchased and maintained by Baha'is who are deprived of jobs, education, and life itself, erasing the very last trace of such victims as the ten women hung, one after another, in June of 1983, and hundreds of other believers, simply for displaying the ultimate courage of refusing to deny their Lord, Baha'u'llah. My dear friend Nagmeh's brother's gravestone was so destroyed. My friend Iraj's sister has suffered confinement in a one meter by two meter cell with another female Baha'i, for seven years of a 20 year sentence for no crime other than that of following the teachings of Baha'u'llah. My wife's aunt and young children were imprisonded as a means to get to her husband, kill him, and those he was with. They do not have an intellectually comfortable academic perch to ponder from afar their own condition, but willingly sacrifice their homes, being with their families, saving their own lives as a "testimony" of Faith. What testimony is more worthy to consider? That of the sincere believers in the Covenant brought by Baha'u'llah, which depends upon the following belief: "Nothing short of the unity of the entire human race will suffice to heal the ills which afflict mankind." or the "viewpoint" of those, in every age, who have crucified and beheaded the Prophets and their followers.

. The CBs of which you speak seek to damage this Faith of such noble souls by undermining the very Covenant brought to mankind by Bahau'llah, the Author of this single, most viable Instrument got the unification of the human race. The damage they meanwhile have afflicted at the heart of His Faith has only strenthened it by means of the steadfast adherence to that Covenant, at all costs of personal success in this life, advantage removed, business destroyed, property confiscated, etc, etc, etc... a sacrifice not shared by those who have consciously chosen to break the bonds of this sacred Covenant.

. Choose wisely, my friend, or choose otherwisely. Build your life upon a firm foundation with the most great blueprint, or castles of sand on a beach destined to washed away, leaving no trace. Either we, who have given ourselves over to the Cause of God, some for many decades, some with family and friends tortured, jailed, and killed, are sincere and well studied on the matter, have only the best of intentions to convey that of which we have unfortunately witnessed, coming as warners only, or have got it all wrong.

. "Let them choose the path to their Lord..." Baha'u'llah frees them to do so.

. Do you wish to tear down this hospital or help build it. We could use a hand and a good mind if instead you see the wisdom and need of constructing, rather than destructing, such a world encompassing edifice already responsible for gathering some 6 million souls from every nation, race, tribe, religion, and economic class into a single whole, a whole the likes of which the world has never seen, while respecting and maintaining their own traditions and cultures while elevating the status of women as equals, races as part of one single race, former enemies as lifelong friends with a common vision.
. Peace be unto you, my brother
. Dale
.

Last edited by dale ramsdell; 08-24-2014 at 03:01 AM. Reason: error correction
 
Old 08-24-2014, 07:18 AM   #100
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For all you who work so tirelessly for God's Faith...

O thou who art carried away by the love of God! The Sun of Truth hath risen above the horizon of this world and cast down its beams of guidance. Eternal grace is never interrupted, and a fruit of that everlasting grace is universal peace. Rest thou assured that in this era of the spirit, the Kingdom of Peace will raise up its tabernacle on the summits of the world, and the commandments of the Prince of Peace will so dominate the arteries and nerves of every people as to draw into His sheltering shade all the nations on earth. From springs of love and truth and unity will the true Shepherd give His sheep to drink.
'Abdu'l-Baha'
 
Old 08-24-2014, 08:14 AM   #101
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For all you who work so tirelessly for God's Faith...

O thou who art carried away by the love of God! The Sun of Truth hath risen above the horizon of this world and cast down its beams of guidance. Eternal grace is never interrupted, and a fruit of that everlasting grace is universal peace. Rest thou assured that in this era of the spirit, the Kingdom of Peace will raise up its tabernacle on the summits of the world, and the commandments of the Prince of Peace will so dominate the arteries and nerves of every people as to draw into His sheltering shade all the nations on earth. From springs of love and truth and unity will the true Shepherd give His sheep to drink.
'Abdu'l-Baha'
Yes and so it shall be.
 
Old 08-24-2014, 10:18 AM   #102
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For all you who work so tirelessly for God's Faith...

O thou who art carried away by the love of God! The Sun of Truth hath risen above the horizon of this world and cast down its beams of guidance. Eternal grace is never interrupted, and a fruit of that everlasting grace is universal peace. Rest thou assured that in this era of the spirit, the Kingdom of Peace will raise up its tabernacle on the summits of the world, and the commandments of the Prince of Peace will so dominate the arteries and nerves of every people as to draw into His sheltering shade all the nations on earth. From springs of love and truth and unity will the true Shepherd give His sheep to drink.
'Abdu'l-Baha'
"Blessed are the peacemakers:for they will be called children of God" Jesus
 
Old 08-24-2014, 09:41 PM   #103
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. It is one thing to analyze intellectually the grand plans of the Third Reich prior to the Halocaust, even then associating with professed racists knowlingly, perhaps after Krystalnacht. How much broken glass does one need to see before disassociating oneself from such tainted and depraved souls? How many ovens must be lit before the smell becomes too apparent.

. It is really not "the views" purported. We all have views. We are talking about a history of people consistently and purposely designed to sabotage a well-planned, highly organized, divinely inspired Institution which will alone safeguard the ultimate best interests of humanity.

. If one sets about constructing a much needed, highly sophisticated hospital, and over time observes people with bulldozers destroying the edifice as it is being built for a greatly suffering humanity, asking them why they are doing so? And their response is "me, me, me. Its all about me. Can't you see? Bow down to me. Serve me..." and their method is specifically and carefully crafted to intentionally subvert the authority of the goodwill and intentions, as well as the bloody sacrifice of those who believe in the Cause of God, and you wish to join that spirit of contention and conflict, which is specifically prohibited in context of the Writings of Baha'u'llah, then whats up with that?

. As we speak, the bulldozers destroy cemetaries in Iran purchased and maintained by Baha'is who are deprived of jobs, education, and life itself, erasing the very last trace of such victims as the ten women hung, one after another, in June of 1983, and hundreds of other believers, simply for displaying the ultimate courage of refusing to deny their Lord, Baha'u'llah. My dear friend Nagmeh's brother's gravestone was so destroyed. My friend Iraj's sister has suffered confinement in a one meter by two meter cell with another female Baha'i, for seven years of a 20 year sentence for no crime other than that of following the teachings of Baha'u'llah. My wife's aunt and young children were imprisonded as a means to get to her husband, kill him, and those he was with. They do not have an intellectually comfortable academic perch to ponder from afar their own condition, but willingly sacrifice their homes, being with their families, saving their own lives as a "testimony" of Faith. What testimony is more worthy to consider? That of the sincere believers in the Covenant brought by Baha'u'llah, which depends upon the following belief: "Nothing short of the unity of the entire human race will suffice to heal the ills which afflict mankind." or the "viewpoint" of those, in every age, who have crucified and beheaded the Prophets and their followers.

. The CBs of which you speak seek to damage this Faith of such noble souls by undermining the very Covenant brought to mankind by Bahau'llah, the Author of this single, most viable Instrument got the unification of the human race. The damage they meanwhile have afflicted at the heart of His Faith has only strenthened it by means of the steadfast adherence to that Covenant, at all costs of personal success in this life, advantage removed, business destroyed, property confiscated, etc, etc, etc... a sacrifice not shared by those who have consciously chosen to break the bonds of this sacred Covenant.

. Choose wisely, my friend, or choose otherwisely. Build your life upon a firm foundation with the most great blueprint, or castles of sand on a beach destined to washed away, leaving no trace. Either we, who have given ourselves over to the Cause of God, some for many decades, some with family and friends tortured, jailed, and killed, are sincere and well studied on the matter, have only the best of intentions to convey that of which we have unfortunately witnessed, coming as warners only, or have got it all wrong.

. "Let them choose the path to their Lord..." Baha'u'llah frees them to do so.

. Do you wish to tear down this hospital or help build it. We could use a hand and a good mind if instead you see the wisdom and need of constructing, rather than destructing, such a world encompassing edifice already responsible for gathering some 6 million souls from every nation, race, tribe, religion, and economic class into a single whole, a whole the likes of which the world has never seen, while respecting and maintaining their own traditions and cultures while elevating the status of women as equals, races as part of one single race, former enemies as lifelong friends with a common vision.
. Peace be unto you, my brother
. Dale
.
Dale, you're basically asking me as a non-Baha'i parent to just presume that the Baha'i view of its own history is the correct one because it is somehow divinely ordained that this be the case. I think that whatever happened or didn't happen, personally the idea of calling some people "covenant breakers" is as suspicious and bizarre as the "suppressive persons" classification in Scientology or disfellowshipping in Jehovah's Witnesses. You can believe what you want, but when it comes to my children's education on the history of religions, they WILL truly understand the perspective of ALL mainstream and dissident organizations in ALL religions and to do otherwise would be to deprive them of information and make a mockery of their "independent investigation."
 
Old 08-25-2014, 10:11 PM   #104
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Have an awareness

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
Dale, you're basically asking me as a non-Baha'i parent to just presume that the Baha'i view of its own history is the correct one because it is somehow divinely ordained that this be the case. I think that whatever happened or didn't happen, personally the idea of calling some people "covenant breakers" is as suspicious and bizarre as the "suppressive persons" classification in Scientology or disfellowshipping in Jehovah's Witnesses. You can believe what you want, but when it comes to my children's education on the history of religions, they WILL truly understand the perspective of ALL mainstream and dissident organizations in ALL religions and to do otherwise would be to deprive them of information and make a mockery of their "independent investigation."
Skeptic,
. I may well be presenting my concerns in a manner which appears skewed to you. I accept that this may be the case, but what I think needs to happen is simply to have an awareness about them when viewing the various sites which spring up. You can draw your own conclusions, and I don't mean to deny you that.

. As to your concern on calling a spade a spade, well... a spade is an earth breaker. Thats what its made for. It breaks the earth, as does a plow. Both are designed to upset the soil. I come from farm country, where we call a spade a spade, and make no bones about it.

. So I don't wish to make a mockery of your independent investigation by any means. It just that language is intended to convey a meaning, and the more precise the descriptive, the better. The term "covenant-breaker" is very precise: one who has broken the Covenant of God. It can be no more precise than this, nor more concise. It is not to be dumbed down, either.

. I don't mean to over-respond to your objections, and honor your concerns.
.
 
Old 08-25-2014, 10:38 PM   #105
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I understand what the term covenant breaker means. But the term is incredibly loaded and of course I will not use it except to describe the Bahai names for certain high profile dissenters and only explain the FACTS of what happened.
 
Old 08-26-2014, 11:19 AM   #106
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Beat this horse to death...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
I understand what the term covenant breaker means. But the term is incredibly loaded and of course I will not use it except to describe the Bahai names for certain high profile dissenters and only explain the FACTS of what happened.
Skeptic,
. I trust what you say and your integrity. A thought just went through my head about what is meant by "spirit" when talking about a horse, for example. If you have ever seen a horse that has had its spirit broken, you know what I mean.
. Also, a dog can appear to have a wounded spirit, skirting about with its tail between its legs. A child can be so saddled as to lose his/her confidence in their abilities.

. On the other hand, a victorious "can do" spirit propels one to great heights. Consider Muhammad Ali, going up against the likes of Joe Frazier or Sonny Liston, and many others. It was more than physical strength and training, and I think that is part of what is meant by the term spirit. There is something we also term about it as "transcendent", kind of like when an airplane transcends the pull of gravity by tapping into the power of the wind.

. So when people have learned to tap into the power of the spirit of unity, whatever poisons that spirit has actual consequences, particularly to those who are new to it and subject to the influence of doubts, seeded by those whose goal is achieved by such means as cause doubt. If Muhammad Ali had doubts in his abilities, he would have lost to Liston in the first fight.

. So this does speak to the reality of faith, or confidence, in oneself, but also to whatever it is that we tap into which transcends the limitations of our own self. In other words, although faith is an abstract concept, it is real, just like the wind is real, so long as we do not put up barriers to it, or let others destroy our windmills.

Last edited by dale ramsdell; 08-26-2014 at 11:41 AM. Reason: link
 
Old 08-28-2014, 11:01 AM   #107
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Well, what would you have me do then, when my kid asks about this period of Baha'i history?
 
Old 08-28-2014, 11:49 AM   #108
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SmilingSkeptic, just tossing in my 2 cents: tell your kids everything you know, from all sides. Let them come to their own conclusions from there.
 
Old 08-28-2014, 12:52 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EternalStudent9 View Post
SmilingSkeptic, just tossing in my 2 cents: tell your kids everything you know, from all sides. Let them come to their own conclusions from there.
That's what I've been saying, I think.
 
Old 08-28-2014, 10:00 PM   #110
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Electromagnet

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
Well, what would you have me do then, when my kid asks about this period of Baha'i history?
. Its not for me to put any words in your mouth. I wouldn't want to do that.

. A thought went through my head just now which might be useful. Find, or create an electromagnet. Get some iron filings, or sandpaper some rust off of something will do. You know, the paper thing, with the pattern showing the lines of force. Then cut one wire to the electromagnet. What just happened?

. The "power of the Covenant" is just that. There must be a flow connected to a current. Whatever interupts that flow destroys the unity and the particles again disperse.

. "May the Force be with you... "
 
Old 11-05-2014, 03:00 AM   #111
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Returning to the Original Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidan View Post
Locally I think this is a problem. At summer school i noticed that all the organisers etc come from middle class professional backgrounds often knowing each other socially. On the local council, some second generation Baha'is are succeeding their parents. I see a wealth of talent among less affluent people seemingly being ignored. What a pity!
Dear Aidan,

For some time, I have been considering your first statement here, as quoted above. I recognize so well what you describe. It's something that every so often has struck me during my thirty-odd years as a Bahá'í. It's taken me many years to come to terms with the fact that Bahá'í communities, just like any other human gatherings are subject to the forces best described by disciplines such as sociology and psychology.

I believe that the only way to handle these phenomena is a) have a lot (!!!) of patience; b) always remember that what you do for the Faith, for the community, for the Bahá'ís, first of all is done for Bahá'u'lláh. This approach has helped me. I'm glad if other Bahá'ís express gratitude for the things I do for the Faith, but if they don't, or - which also happens - they are dissatisfied, I turn to my prayer book for guidance, and try to the best of my ability (which at times seems extremely limited) to follow the road that seems to be indicated to me (however one really can determine)

Best

from

gnat (who feels no urge whatsover to become a royal falcon - gnats have more fun)
 
Old 11-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Dear Aidan,

For some time, I have been considering your first statement here, as quoted above. I recognize so well what you describe. It's something that every so often has struck me during my thirty-odd years as a Bahá'í. It's taken me many years to come to terms with the fact that Bahá'í communities, just like any other human gatherings are subject to the forces best described by disciplines such as sociology and psychology.

I believe that the only way to handle these phenomena is a) have a lot (!!!) of patience; b) always remember that what you do for the Faith, for the community, for the Bahá'ís, first of all is done for Bahá'u'lláh. This approach has helped me. I'm glad if other Bahá'ís express gratitude for the things I do for the Faith, but if they don't, or - which also happens - they are dissatisfied, I turn to my prayer book for guidance, and try to the best of my ability (which at times seems extremely limited) to follow the road that seems to be indicated to me (however one really can determine)

Best

from

gnat (who feels no urge whatsover to become a royal falcon - gnats have more fun)
Dear gnat (swat swat)

I would like to say how I agree with your post.
We need to always keep our concentration on Baha'u'llah and God, when we start to look around us at His followers we then can be discouraged etc.
Whatever we do in the faith it should be for God, nothing else.
We are told that our institutions are still in there infancy, and oh yes I have seen this many times, but we are working for God, not the people who make up these institutions.

Yes retreat into the Writings and overlook what others say or do, that we feel is not correct, use the sin covering eye, of course we are told to lovingly critizise and try to show a better way when speaking to an Assembly (institution) then when the message is given it is in God's hands, we do not concern ourselves with it any more.

Love to you gnat (swat swat) he he, gnats can be annoying at times.

26 God does not shy from drawing comparisons even with some-
thing as small as a gnat, or larger: c the believers know it is the truth
from their Lord, but the disbelievers say, ‘What does God mean by
such a comparison?’ Through it He makes many go astray and leads
many to the right path. But it is only the rebels He makes go astray:
27 those who break their covenant with God after it has been con-
firmed, who sever the bonds that God has commanded to be joined,
who spread corruption on the earth–– these are the losers. 28 How can
you ignore God when you were lifeless and He gave you life, when
He will cause you to die, then resurrect you to be returned to Him?
29 It was He who created all that is on the earth for you, then turned
to the sky and made the seven heavens; it is He who has knowledge
of all things.
Quran, The Cow, 26-29
 
Old 11-05-2014, 04:59 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Dear Aidan,

For some time, I have been considering your first statement here, as quoted above. I recognize so well what you describe. It's something that every so often has struck me during my thirty-odd years as a Bahá'í. It's taken me many years to come to terms with the fact that Bahá'í communities, just like any other human gatherings are subject to the forces best described by disciplines such as sociology and psychology.

I believe that the only way to handle these phenomena is a) have a lot (!!!) of patience; b) always remember that what you do for the Faith, for the community, for the Bahá'ís, first of all is done for Bahá'u'lláh. This approach has helped me. I'm glad if other Bahá'ís express gratitude for the things I do for the Faith, but if they don't, or - which also happens - they are dissatisfied, I turn to my prayer book for guidance, and try to the best of my ability (which at times seems extremely limited) to follow the road that seems to be indicated to me (however one really can determine)

Best

from

gnat (who feels no urge whatsover to become a royal falcon - gnats have more fun)
You are totally right beloved brother. Also what right have I to be upset by such goings on? Absolutely no right is the answer. I should concentrate on being the best Baha'i that I can be and disregard others
 
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