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Old 01-14-2011, 04:44 AM   #1
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women and the Universal House of Justice

Okay, so this is my first thread; please point out if I do anything wrong.
I have read a lot about how the Baha'i faith holds up sexual equality as a very important goal. And from what I've researched the Baha'i people do a lot to promote sexual equality.
However, I'm slightly confused about the fact that women cannot be elected to the Universal House of Justice, and I can't find a clear reason for this. Could someone please explain why this is so?
Thanks!
 
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:03 AM   #2
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The reason is because our scriptures state that the House of Justice is to be all male. We don't know the reason for this, although they also state that reason will someday become clear. (Because it's in our scriptures, it's simply nothing we can change.)

In balance, it should be noted also that in addition to working for the equality of women and having women serving in all other positions of the Faith--including positions of prominence like Hand of the Cause of God and Continental Counesllor (while membership on elected bodies such as the House is simply a quiet position of service conferring no special status or priveleges)--, the Baha'i scriptures also award women--ALL women, not just nine or fewer--automatic precedence over all men for receipt of education!

So things aren't as one-sided as some may claim.

Please feel free to ask any further questions--they're always most welcome!

Regards, :-)

Bruce
 
Old 01-14-2011, 05:12 AM   #3
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Ah, right, so its something that will be explained later.
Thanks! Yea, one of the things I really admire about the Baha'i faith is its commitment to sexual (and also racial) equality. That was why I was just a tad confused when I found out about that all-male fact. So is the House of Justice not the highest authority when it comes to issuing directives on Baha'i teachings?
 
Old 01-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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My response is that women not serving on the House of Justice does not imply men are superior to women..

The reason has to do with what was required for that Institution in the Aqdas and in the interpretation of Abdul-Baha..

See:

Women on the Universal House of Justice

Had there been no such guidelines offered it would be different. The Faith was at a crisis after the passing of Shoghi Effendi as he did not leave a successor in a Will..therefore the only Institution that Baha'is could turn to was the House of Justice! Had the Baha'is ignored the requirements of the Aqdas and the interpretation of Abdul-Baha the situation would be far worse.. They'd be accused of ignoring what the Architect laid down for the building of the House.

I invite you to check the history of the Universal House of Justice where you will find there the principle of the equality of men and women in it's pronouncements...and nothing where men are supposed to be superior.

The composition more over of the House itself is not the result of male chauvinism or residual of an "old boy" type of organization.

From the Constitution of the Universal House of Justice:

The provenance, the authority, the duties, the sphere of action of the Universal House of Justice all derive from the revealed Word of Baha'u'llah which, together with the interpretations and expositions of the Centre of the Covenant and the Guardian of the Cause - who, after `Abdu'l-Baha, is the sole authority in the interpretation of Baha'i Scripture - constitute the binding terms of reference of the Universal House of Justice and are its bedrock foundation. The authority of these Texts is absolute and immutable until such time as Almighty God shall reveal His new Manifestation to Whom will belong all authority and power.

There being no successor to Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Cause of God, the Universal House of Justice is the Head of the Faith and its supreme institution, to which all must turn, and in it rests the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the unity and progress of the Cause of God. Further, there devolve upon it duties of directing and coordinating the work of the Hands of the Cause, of ensuring the continuing discharge of the functions of protection and propagation vested in the institution, and of providing for the receipt and disbursement of the Huququ'llah.

Last edited by arthra; 01-14-2011 at 07:47 AM.
 
Old 01-17-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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Ah, right, so its something that will be explained later.
Thanks! Yea, one of the things I really admire about the Baha'i faith is its commitment to sexual (and also racial) equality. That was why I was just a tad confused when I found out about that all-male fact. So is the House of Justice not the highest authority when it comes to issuing directives on Baha'i teachings?
Yes the UHJ is the body responsible to enact the laws of Baha'u'llah (Some have been and some are still to be). The UHJ is given authority by scripture to enact laws that are not in the text.

The UHJ has been granted infallibility and all Baha'is must adhere to what is enacted by the UHJ.

To me this is a wonderful thing, as it leaves no doubt as to what direction a Bah'ai should take - The covenant as written by Baha'u'llah and explained by Abdul'baha is a good foundation in to the beliefs of Baha'is. It is the single most important thing that will see the Faith remain one and not split.

Regards Tony
 
Old 01-18-2011, 02:01 AM   #6
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Interesting, how does then does any statement they make become infallible? Through consensus?
 
Old 01-18-2011, 04:50 AM   #7
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Either by consensus if possible, or if not then by majority vote (so state the Baha'i scriptures).

Regards, :-)

Bruce
 
Old 01-18-2011, 05:19 AM   #8
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Interesting, how does then does any statement they make become infallible? Through consensus?
They may also change rulings they make now in the future.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 07:58 AM   #9
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Interesting, how does then does any statement they make become infallible? Through consensus?
The Infallibility of the Universal House of Justice
 
Old 01-18-2011, 02:50 PM   #10
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Interesting, I wonder why Bahais oppose the infallibility of the councils whom were attended by ordained Bishops from the desciples? Still at the time when Christianity was the true religion.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 02:55 PM   #11
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Interesting, I wonder why Bahais oppose the infallibility of the councils whom were attended by ordained Bishops from the desciples? Still at the time when Christianity was the true religion.
Had Jesus left a Writing in His own words detailing how the church was to be set up and what kind of infallibility it was supposd to have.. You would understand how we Baha'is feel about our administration.. Alas Jesus didn't leave such a document but Baha'u'[llah did..
 
Old 01-18-2011, 03:13 PM   #12
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Had Jesus left a Writing in His own words detailing how the church was to be set up and what kind of infallibility it was supposd to have.. You would understand how we Baha'is feel about our administration.. Alas Jesus didn't leave such a document but Baha'u'[llah did..
Once again Jesus left his apostles who he taught for 40 days and they left successors who speak of such roles of Bishop, priest deacon and laymen. We have every good reason to consider the role of Bishop, the leader of the flock when gathered in eccumenical council with consensus as valid and infallible, per the standard of God if the desciples can be trusted.

Last edited by Orthodox; 01-18-2011 at 03:16 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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Once again Jesus left his apostles who he taught for 40 days and they left successors who speak of such roles of Bishop, priest deacon and laymen. We have every good reason to consider the role of Bishop, the leader of the flock when gathered in eccumenical council with consensus as valid and infallible, per the standard of God if the desciples can be trusted.
Only till Muhammad came. Then the Christian dispensation ended.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #14
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Only till Muhammad came. Then the Christian dispensation ended.
That doesn't matter, the council of Nicene and all the ones after it are infallible to Bahai and must be obeyed.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 04:56 PM   #15
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That doesn't matter, the council of Nicene and all the ones after it are infallible to Bahai and must be obeyed.
Baha'is do not uphold Sunni hadiths either, he protects those that are true to him. I have already asserted that this council was ordered by the emperor, not any Christian authority. Who is to say what his true motives were? I am quite convinced his goals were making Christianity easier for his people to understand. This explains things like the trinity, christmas, easter, and resurrection - all found either through greek mythology or pegan beliefs that would have been popular.

You assert your preferred branch of Christianity is the original, awesome, so do those aligned with antitrinitarianism. Can you prove which is more correct? I believe Baha'u'llah has told me, has Christ told you? Maybe God allowed the fallacies as punishment for their alignment to the Emperor over Him?

Last edited by Lunitik; 01-18-2011 at 05:03 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 05:05 PM   #16
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That doesn't matter, the council of Nicene and all the ones after it are infallible to Bahai and must be obeyed.
Abdu'l Baha taught by the second coming of Jesus has given us the fullness of the Trinity as started by the council.

Question.—What is the meaning of the Trinity, of the Three Persons in One?
Answer.—The Divine Reality, which is purified and sanctified from the understanding of human beings and which can never be imagined by the people of wisdom and of intelligence, is exempt from all conception. That Lordly Reality admits of no division; for division and multiplicity are properties of creatures which are contingent existences, and not accidents which happen to the self-existent.
The Divine Reality is sanctified from singleness, then how much more from plurality. The descent of that Lordly Reality into conditions and degrees would be equivalent to imperfection and contrary to perfection, and is, therefore, absolutely impossible. It perpetually has been, and is, in the exaltation of holiness and sanctity. All that is mentioned of the Manifestations and Dawning-places of God signifies the divine reflection, and not a descent into the conditions of existence. 1
God is pure perfection, and creatures are but imperfections. For God to descend into the conditions of existence would be the greatest of imperfections; on the contrary, His manifestation, His appearance, His rising are like the reflection of the sun in a clear, pure, polished mirror. All the creatures are evident signs of God, like the earthly beings upon all of which the rays of the sun shine. But upon the plains, the mountains, the trees and fruits, only a portion 114 of the light shines, through which they become visible, and are reared, and attain to the object of their existence, while the Perfect Man 2 is in the condition of a clear mirror in which the Sun of Reality becomes visible and manifest with all its qualities and perfections. So the Reality of Christ was a clear and polished mirror of the greatest purity and fineness. The Sun of Reality, the Essence of Divinity, reflected itself in this mirror and manifested its light and heat in it; but from the exaltation of its holiness, and the heaven of its sanctity, the Sun did not descend to dwell and abide in the mirror. No, it continues to subsist in its exaltation and sublimity, while appearing and becoming manifest in the mirror in beauty and perfection.
Now if we say that we have seen the Sun in two mirrors—one the Christ and one the Holy Spirit—that is to say, that we have seen three Suns, one in heaven and the two others on the earth, we speak truly. And if we say that there is one Sun, and it is pure singleness, and has no partner and equal, we again speak truly.
The epitome of the discourse is that the Reality of Christ was a clear mirror, and the Sun of Reality—that is to say, the Essence of Oneness, with its infinite perfections and attributes—became visible in the mirror. The meaning is not that the Sun, which is the Essence of the Divinity, became divided and multiplied—for the Sun is one—but it appeared in the mirror. This is why Christ said, “The Father is in the Son,” meaning that the Sun is visible and manifest in this mirror.
The Holy Spirit is the Bounty of God which becomes visible and evident in the Reality of Christ. The Sonship station is the heart of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is the station of the spirit of Christ. Hence it has become certain and proved that the Essence of Divinity is absolutely unique and has no equal, no likeness, no equivalent. 115
This is the signification of the Three Persons of the Trinity. If it were otherwise, the foundations of the Religion of God would rest upon an illogical proposition which the mind could never conceive, and how can the mind be forced to believe a thing which it cannot conceive? A thing cannot be grasped by the intelligence except when it is clothed in an intelligible form; otherwise, it is but an effort of the imagination.
It has now become clear, from this explanation, what is the meaning of the Three Persons of the Trinity. The Oneness of God is also proved.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 05:44 PM   #17
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Lunitik, you propose a conspiracy theory against St Constantine whom your very own prophet commends for his faith? No, you have misrepresented the council. Constantine had no say it in it, nor did he preside over it, though he was a witness to its events as Eusibius of Ceaserea tells us. The Bishops were called by St Constantine to settle the dispute between the Orthodox catholics and the Arrians whom followed Arrius. The Bishops who attended had valid apostolic succession and represented the flocks of their local parishes all around the world and they came against Arrius in the end. So No you cannot infer this tired constantinian conspiracy.

Now those modern anti trinitarians cannot claim any sort of apostolic succession going back tot he apostles and that is where your responce does fail. Now what makes it funny is that you say that God deliberately mislead the Bishops as punishment or something to that extent because they favoured the Emporer. No, lol. That is just absurd. Those same Bishops were the Bishops who were tortured by the last emporer Diocletian which was the worst Christian persecution by the government yet and you think they woould just woo over the emporer Constantine? Not a chance.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 05:45 PM   #18
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Now Livin, the problem is, the council is clear on what it means by the trinity. You can read the creed yourself. And it under bahai logic and beliefs I feel must be considered infallible. So it did not need correction. So how is it that these two trinitys contradict and are yet both infallible? one says there is three persons one essence. The other says not really.
 
Old 01-18-2011, 09:48 PM   #19
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Once again Jesus left his apostles who he taught for 40 days and they left successors who speak of such roles of Bishop, priest deacon and laymen. We have every good reason to consider the role of Bishop, the leader of the flock when gathered in eccumenical council with consensus as valid and infallible, per the standard of God if the desciples can be trusted.
The problem is, true succession and infallibility is not clear in the Christian scriptures. It is because it is not clear that there is many divisions of the church. If you could quote scripture to give no doubt as to who was appointed succession and infallibility by Christ, then there would be no denying this and we would have to abide.

There is no doubt in the Baha'i Scriptures and thus no way of splitting the Faith. This is a fulfillment of the biblical promise of one shepherd for the one flock in the last days


New International Version (©1984)
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

New Living Translation (©2007)
I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

English Standard Version (©2001)
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

International Standard Version (©2008)
I have other sheep that don't belong to this fold. I must lead these also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I also have other sheep that are not from this pen. I must lead them. They, too, will respond to my voice. So they will be one flock with one shepherd.

King James Bible
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

American King James Version
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

American Standard Version
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.

Bible in Basic English
And I have other sheep which are not of this field: I will be their guide in the same way, and they will give ear to my voice, so there will be one flock and one keeper.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

Darby Bible Translation
And I have other sheep which are not of this fold: those also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

English Revised Version
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.

Webster's Bible Translation
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Weymouth New Testament
I have also other sheep--which do not belong to this fold. Those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice; and they shall become one flock under one Shepherd.

World English Bible
I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.

Young's Literal Translation
and other sheep I have that are not of this fold, these also it behoveth me to bring, and my voice they will hear, and there shall become one flock -- one shepherd.

Cheers Tony
 
Old 01-19-2011, 01:55 AM   #20
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It certaintly is clear, simply read the acts of the apostles and we see the apostles as overseers of the church as a whole, we also see Paul speaking of this authority and the role of the Priest within the epistle to Timothy, with Paul having to go to them to be approved. And not only that we have the desciples of those blessed apostles. Why should we ignore their words? We shouldn't. We should not ignore St Ignatius and st Iraneas whom were of the apostles in a direct link.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 04:53 AM   #21
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Now Livin, the problem is, the council is clear on what it means by the trinity. You can read the creed yourself. And it under bahai logic and beliefs I feel must be considered infallible. So it did not need correction. So how is it that these two trinitys contradict and are yet both infallible? one says there is three persons one essence. The other says not really.
They did not have the fullness of the Trinity as Abdu'l Baha has having been taught directly by the second coming. All Christian teachings are given their fuller meanings through Muhammad the Bab and Baha'u'llah.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 04:56 AM   #22
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It certaintly is clear, simply read the acts of the apostles and we see the apostles as overseers of the church as a whole, we also see Paul speaking of this authority and the role of the Priest within the epistle to Timothy, with Paul having to go to them to be approved. And not only that we have the desciples of those blessed apostles. Why should we ignore their words? We shouldn't. We should not ignore St Ignatius and st Iraneas whom were of the apostles in a direct link.

We don't ignore thier words but they are only valid till Muhammad's dispensation started which then brings the level of knowledge of God to a new level.

So in fact by being Baha'i we are "Orthodox" Christians,Muslims,and Bab'is

Last edited by Livindesert; 01-19-2011 at 05:05 AM.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 05:43 AM   #23
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Once again Jesus left his apostles who he taught for 40 days and they left successors who speak of such roles of Bishop, priest deacon and laymen. We have every good reason to consider the role of Bishop, the leader of the flock when gathered in eccumenical council with consensus as valid and infallible, per the standard of God if the desciples can be trusted.

We follow the Baha'i Faith for the same reasons that Christians do not follow Judaism. Many Jews today will tell you that Christianity is false since it contradics God's message as given to the Jews when in fact it just makes the relationship with God closer. Christians have made the same mistake not recognizing Muhammad and Muslims the same for not following the Bab and Babis for not following Baha'u'llah. (all from the Baha'i view anyways )

Now this is not to say that prior dispensations are bad or false, they are revlelations from God for the time. But why stop at one messange when other messengers of God have arrived.

Last edited by Livindesert; 01-19-2011 at 05:47 AM.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 07:54 AM   #24
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Once again Jesus left his apostles who he taught for 40 days and they left successors who speak of such roles of Bishop, priest deacon and laymen. We have every good reason to consider the role of Bishop, the leader of the flock when gathered in eccumenical council with consensus as valid and infallible, per the standard of God if the desciples can be trusted.
The problem is though the Apostles themselves.. What was there capacity at the time..

One betrayed Jesus to the Temple authorities..

One denied Jesus three times before the sunrise on the day He was betrayed..

and the rest scattered...

There were no written down instructions..

He did say not to call anyone "Father" but your Father in heaven...

And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven.

Acts described the tensions between the apostles that is already well known..

Look up what Paul called "Judaizers"

We'll accept that Peter was designated for some special honor..

In the Baha'i Faith we know when and where Baha'u'llah revealed how our communities were to be establsihed and we have the original documents.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 12:03 PM   #25
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Livin you say they did not have the full understanding of the trinity yet the fathers of the church clearly defined the doctrine of the trinity to the point that it cannot be contested. They were not being metaphorical in describing three persons they were being quite literal. And since such a decree is infallible it must be followed if we are to follow bahai logic.

Now arthra, you forget to mention the Holy spirit coming on the apostles during acts of the apostles and giving them the ability to preach to the world with such fervor. Their very deaths, such as Peter dying in Rome and others prove they can be trusted. Yes the desciples did fall, they were men, they weren't perfect. Your universal council is not perfect either I imagine. This does not corrupt their ability or suggest they taught false doctrine.

Now Arthra, when it speaks of Father, what does it mean? Clearly it is not literal. Let us take the words of St Paul.

Corinthians 4: 14 I write not these things to confound you: but I admonish you as my dearest children. 15 For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

Paul is describing himself as a father, yet he does not find it wrong. the Point of such a verse that Jesus speaks of is that we are to recognise one father in heaven above all else. It is not wrong to call a priest father, nor does that shy away from the issue at hand.

Now arthra, I have explained we dont need explisite instructions written down. As the church used oral and written tradition.

2nd Thess, 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who has loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope in grace, 17 exhort your hearts and confirm you in every good work and word.


Therefore we can trust the beliefs of those fathers of the next generation, St Ignatius, St Clement, St Iraneaus as valid hearers of holy tradition and they put it to text. Or else we accuse Jesus of not being able to choose suitable desciples and tha thte desciples failed and therefore God failed in sending Jesus because the message was instantly corrupted.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 12:04 PM   #26
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That being said, they could not only be infallible untill Muhammad came. that makes no sense, Infallible means absolute, not subject to change or correction.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 12:58 PM   #27
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Livin you say they did not have the full understanding of the trinity yet the fathers of the church clearly defined the doctrine of the trinity to the point that it cannot be contested. They were not being metaphorical in describing three persons they were being quite literal. And since such a decree is infallible it must be followed if we are to follow bahai logic.

Now arthra, you forget to mention the Holy spirit coming on the apostles during acts of the apostles and giving them the ability to preach to the world with such fervor. Their very deaths, such as Peter dying in Rome and others prove they can be trusted. Yes the desciples did fall, they were men, they weren't perfect. Your universal council is not perfect either I imagine. This does not corrupt their ability or suggest they taught false doctrine.

Now Arthra, when it speaks of Father, what does it mean? Clearly it is not literal. Let us take the words of St Paul.

Corinthians 4: 14 I write not these things to confound you: but I admonish you as my dearest children. 15 For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

Paul is describing himself as a father, yet he does not find it wrong. the Point of such a verse that Jesus speaks of is that we are to recognise one father in heaven above all else. It is not wrong to call a priest father, nor does that shy away from the issue at hand.

Now arthra, I have explained we dont need explisite instructions written down. As the church used oral and written tradition.

2nd Thess, 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who has loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope in grace, 17 exhort your hearts and confirm you in every good work and word.


Therefore we can trust the beliefs of those fathers of the next generation, St Ignatius, St Clement, St Iraneaus as valid hearers of holy tradition and they put it to text. Or else we accuse Jesus of not being able to choose suitable desciples and tha thte desciples failed and therefore God failed in sending Jesus because the message was instantly corrupted.
I think another statement of Baha'u'llah is quite important in reply to this. He says that unity is most important, and thus majority should be accepted unquestionably. He then states that even if this decision is made in error, it is easier to correct the error later than it is to reunite the groups that apposed one another - feelings can be hurt, grudges created, etc.

Perhaps this is how God kept the Catholic faith together, allowing error since it kept everyone mostly united, and now Baha'u'llah has corrected the errors. Note, however, that Jesus has never appointed anyone with infallibility, he has only promised to keep the church together - and certainly since the Muhammadian dispensation it has been anything but united, thus our assertion that this promise has expired. Leadership does not automatically infer infallibility, only authority over direction which provides that unity.

That being said, it is the assertions of Catholic leadership which today drive people away from God. Their throwing about of claims of heresy, their nonsensical assertions that are routinely mocked in support of atheism. It is much too easy to mock, whereas Baha'is are taught things must be compatible with logic and reason - the word religion comes from the Latin "religio" which means "to re-bind or re-connect", the word legion comes from the same Latin root. Many of your stances are about separating people, this is entirely contrary to the very word.

Generally, to come to any clear consensus amongst differing views, there must be compromise. The Baha'i Faith necessitates compromise of all as a prerequisite of entering the faith. I have supported this view in other threads, so will not again.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #28
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That being said, it is the assertions of Catholic leadership which today drive people away from God.
Can I make one small correct Lunitik

The last known time that anybody was condemned as a heretic in the Catholic Church was in 1826. The term has never be used since then and today's post Vatican-II Church would certainly never call another human being a heretic. The term heresy however was used intermittingly throughout the 19th century and is still a concept in Catholic theology, although as I say I have never heard it used in my lifetime, my parents or grandparents lifetimes etc.. Remember though that only a Catholic can commit a heresy (and incur the penalty which is excommunication)- not that any have been been condemned as such that I know of in the last century, but in that way it is similar to Covenant-breaking in the Baha'i Faith, except that a heretic can still come to Mass and be involved in the community. He/she would only, hypothetically, be barred from communion. Also, the Church may not be popular with modern, materialistic society in its stance on abortion, alcoholism, drug-use etc. but it doesn't seek popularity, rather it seeks to be a "voice crying in the wilderness".

The last high profile Catholic who I think was condemned as a heretic and excommunicated was Napoloeon Bonaparte, who kidnapped the Pope and declared himself "Emperor of the Church".

That's all my friend You know me

Last edited by Yeshua; 01-19-2011 at 02:00 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #29
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Can I make one small correct Lunitik

The last known time that anybody was condemned as a heretic in the Catholic Church was in 1826. The term has never be used since then and today's post Vatican-II Church would certainly never call another human being a heretic. Also, the Church may not be popular with modern, materialistic society in its on abortion, alcoholism, drug-use etc. but it doesn't seek popularity, rather it seeks to be a "voice crying in the wilderness".

The last notable person excommunicated and called a heretic was I believe Napoloeon Bonaparte.
That's all my friend You know me
I didn't mean to emphasize heresy in particular, except in its position as the basis for the need to discover clear rules and positions. This aligns with what I asserted towards Orthodox as his insistence on sorting into groups of right and wrong, black and white with no room for grey. I apologize.

While it might not be the purpose of Catholicism to gain a majority, Baha'is are told that eventually the world will accept our faith, thus anything that is widely denounced must in part be justified and conveyed in such a way as to be acceptable to the masses. For me, every assertion made by atheists that I have seen are directly addressed by Baha'u'llah in such a way that there is limited room for disbelief in my view - the proofs of him drive home anything people may still question. For a Baha'i, the very purpose of man is to know and love God, thus refusal is to defeat your purpose for being.

This being said, he also states that atheism is better than religion if the latter creates hostilities. As I asserted, religion means to rebind, thus for it to be the cause discourse is to defeat its very purpose. Of course, atheism is becoming confrontational and a religion in and of itself nowadays too, except it concentrates exclusively on material - physical - existence, with no consideration for moderation and avoiding selfishness at all. For me, these flaws are exactly what is wrong with the world today.

As I have put forth many times, serpent is of the same root as self in hebrew, thus for me, the very first lesson in the bible is about the dangers of selfishness. Every version of the Golden Rule conveys the same message of consideration for others. There is no greater lesson in religion than selflessness.

Last edited by Lunitik; 01-19-2011 at 02:10 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:07 PM   #30
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I didn't mean to emphasize heresy in particular, except in its position as the basis for the need to discover clear rules and positions. This aligns with what I asserted towards Orthodox as his insistence on sorting into groups of right and wrong, black and white with no room for grey. I apologize.

While it might not be the purpose of Catholicism to gain a majority, Baha'is are told that eventually the world will accept our faith, thus anything that is widely denounced must in part be justified and conveyed in such a way as to be acceptable to the masses. For me, every assertion made by atheists that I have seen are directly addressed by Baha'u'llah in such a way that there is limited room for disbelief in my view - the proofs of him drive home anything people may still question.
No worries I fully understand my friend My only point is that most religious leaders - Baha'u'llah included - were people who spoke out against the status quo and it wasn't always welcomed by the world en masse but only the receptive few whose hearts are not hardened. One can call to mind the archetypical image of the Hebrew Prophet, dressed in sackcloth and ashes and condeming the excesses, popular currents and debaucheries of society.

I see religion as the voice that cries out and condemns the injustices of the world. Well, thats how religion should be anyway, in my POV It isn't always populist. Just think of Baha'u'llah, the lowly prisoner of Akka sending letters to all the regions of the world and upbraiding Kings, Emperors and even the Pope for their chosen ways of life and you can see that trend by which religion swims against the current of contemporary society.

Last edited by Yeshua; 01-19-2011 at 02:14 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:13 PM   #31
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No worries I fully understand my friend My only point is that most religious leaders - Baha'u'llah included - were people who spoke out against the status quo and it wasn't always welcomed by the world en masse but only the receptive few whose hearts are not hardened. One can call to mind the archetypical image of the Hebrew Prophet, dressed in sackcloth and ashes and condeming the excesses, popular currents and debaucheries of society.

I see religion as the voice that cries out and condemns the injustices of the world. Well, thats how religion should be anyway, in my POV It isn't always populist.
It is interesting that my edit and your reply really discuss exactly the same topic
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #32
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Why would God ever allow someone to fall into error? Does God like to have his people fall away from him? No of course not. God loves all humanity. But the council is to be regarded I believe as infallible because it was committed by all of Christian leadership The bishops and they had direct apostolic succession. the Authority of the Bishop is discussed time and time again in the writings of the fathers, but I might point to the example of the council of Jeruselum whose commands had to be followed. Might we rule this council as infallible? Remember the apostles were not only kept to gether but they had the authority to bind and loose.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #33
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It is interesting that my edit and your reply really discuss exactly the same topic
Fascinating! What a weird coincidence. Great minds think alike as they say LOL
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:21 PM   #34
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Why would God ever allow someone to fall into error? Does God like to have his people fall away from him? No of course not. God loves all humanity. But the council is to be regarded I believe as infallible because it was committed by all of Christian leadership The bishops and they had direct apostolic succession. the Authority of the Bishop is discussed time and time again in the writings of the fathers, but I might point to the example of the council of Jeruselum whose commands had to be followed. Might we rule this council as infallible? Remember the apostles were not only kept to gether but they had the authority to bind and loose.
I do not believe Catholics have fallen away from God, I believe they have only erred in their understanding of irrelevant details.

That said, to assert infallibility, you must provide proof of this intent from Christ. Note, however, that to question leadership creates disunity and eventually separation, thus is even more erroneous.

For every Baha'i, ultimate authority is exclusively with God, and we have found enough proof that what Baha'u'llah has conveyed is direct from God as described in his prior revelations. Every prior manifestation or revealer of Gods Cause has described the progressive nature of God's religion in laying down signs of the next. In doing so, they have given us the ability to investigate Baha'u'llahs claims, along with the claims of all others that assert similar statements. Christ tells us we must beware of false prophets, but he also tells us God will send another.

Last edited by Lunitik; 01-19-2011 at 02:30 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #35
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This being said, he also states that atheism is better than religion if the latter creates hostilities. As I asserted, religion means to rebind, thus for it to be the cause discourse is to defeat its very purpose. Of course, atheism is becoming confrontational and a religion in and of itself nowadays too, except it concentrates exclusively on material - physical - existence, with no consideration for moderation and avoiding selfishness at all. For me, these flaws are exactly what is wrong with the world today.

As I have put forth many times, serpent is of the same root as self in hebrew, thus for me, the very first lesson in the bible is about the dangers of selfishness. Every version of the Golden Rule conveys the same message of consideration for others. There is no greater lesson in religion than selflessness.
Yes, I quite agree! Christ said, "No man hath greater love than that he be willing to lay down his life for his friends". I always see the crucifix as the archetypical image of self-sacrificing love - Jesus offering himself up for the world.

And Baha'u'llah was very wise to say that Atheism is better than religious friction. He is right, if religion only serves to divide and promote intolerance of other peoples' beliefs then even atheism would be preferrable. But of course we know that real religion is the very realization and way of peace
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #36
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I would point to those apostles, those people appointed by Christ whom had authority over the laymen in the early church. One had to go to the apostles to be baptised or those approved of by the apostles in order to join the church, we can see this in the example of Paul whom after spending three years in arabia (was it three years?) went ot the apostles to confirm revelation given to him. he did not like the protestants start a church away from any sort of succession but was grafted into the desciples and then began to evangelise.

Not only this but we see this from the writings of the fathers the generation after. I dont need to quote them as I am sure you have seen me quote them before. And Since the authority of the apostles falls down to the next generation and we could consider the council of Jeruselum infallible, why not consider hte same of the eccumenical councils?
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:27 PM   #37
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I would also say unity is not the most important thing, God is. God is above all ties, though God has instituted a community the church.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:53 PM   #38
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I would also say unity is not the most important thing, God is. God is above all ties, though God has instituted a community the church.
Church means "the entire body, or membership of a group", thus the church of God includes all that believe in him, not just those that believe in the trinity exclusively. This has been obscured by the naming of Christian buildings of worship, similar to the obscuring of the true meaning of Israel and Jerusalem.

Unity is definitely the most important thing, however. To disagree is to utterly miss the point of the oneness of God. If we accept there are many Gods, man might squabble over which God is best, or segregate himself based on his favorite. If there is no central God figure, everyone ventures off on their own and ignores our need as a species for social interaction - this is, for me, the issue with asceticism - ie, monks and the like. For a Baha'i, being part of building a successful community is proof of our servitude to God, and what we accomplish here is evidence of our collective faith. For us, the progressive nature of revelation is to set forth a plan for what we should be striving for here collectively.

What Christ came to accomplish has been done, enough people after 650 years had accepted him as the bringer of salvation that God could send another to set the groundwork for his Kingdom. This promise will come to completion during the next 1,000 years according to Baha'u'llah. Thus, Babs assertion that his announcement is the beginning of the age of fulfillment.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 03:02 PM   #39
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No the church is not just a matter of belief but being born into the church through baptism, this is how one enters the church. That concept of the church you described is of the protestant ilk, not the ancient church ilk whom knew the apostles. There is a line of apostolic succession that assures the church unity but how can the church encompass people who utterly contradict each other? How can a calvanist and a orthodox be a part of the same church? They cannot, for they contradict each other so much, this is no Theologumia, but fundamental doctrine.

Unity is not the most important thing. Do we go to teh crowd if it tells us we are to burn children alive? No. God is the most important thing. However the protestants misunderstood that and have ignored unity altogether branching into thousands of contradictory groups. So my original position is clear. The council must be infallible if the same standard of Bahai is to be placed on it, with patriarchal tradition and the apostles.
 
Old 01-19-2011, 03:52 PM   #40
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This is not true. I have already shown how a logical mind refuses the trinity. It doesnt make sense from the standpoint of logic. It also doesnt make sense from the standpoint of Jesus talking to himself on the cross when he says why has God forsaken him. He is not talking to himself here he is talking to another entity. Many many ways the trinity is a bad concept misleeding and is obviously a concept that arose out of the confusion of Christs station. The simpleminded people of this church couldnt see what Jesus meant when he said "I am God". And "I am the Son." So they invented the trinity. Simple, end of story...
And no we dont acknowledge that council to be infallible...


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Livin you say they did not have the full understanding of the trinity yet the fathers of the church clearly defined the doctrine of the trinity to the point that it cannot be contested. They were not being metaphorical in describing three persons they were being quite literal. And since such a decree is infallible it must be followed if we are to follow bahai logic.

Now arthra, you forget to mention the Holy spirit coming on the apostles during acts of the apostles and giving them the ability to preach to the world with such fervor. Their very deaths, such as Peter dying in Rome and others prove they can be trusted. Yes the desciples did fall, they were men, they weren't perfect. Your universal council is not perfect either I imagine. This does not corrupt their ability or suggest they taught false doctrine.

Now Arthra, when it speaks of Father, what does it mean? Clearly it is not literal. Let us take the words of St Paul.

Corinthians 4: 14 I write not these things to confound you: but I admonish you as my dearest children. 15 For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.

Paul is describing himself as a father, yet he does not find it wrong. the Point of such a verse that Jesus speaks of is that we are to recognise one father in heaven above all else. It is not wrong to call a priest father, nor does that shy away from the issue at hand.

Now arthra, I have explained we dont need explisite instructions written down. As the church used oral and written tradition.

2nd Thess, 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who has loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope in grace, 17 exhort your hearts and confirm you in every good work and word.


Therefore we can trust the beliefs of those fathers of the next generation, St Ignatius, St Clement, St Iraneaus as valid hearers of holy tradition and they put it to text. Or else we accuse Jesus of not being able to choose suitable desciples and tha thte desciples failed and therefore God failed in sending Jesus because the message was instantly corrupted.
 
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