Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Beliefs

Baha'i Beliefs Baha'i Beliefs - Unity of God, the Unity of Religion, and the Unity of Humanity


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-28-2014, 12:20 AM   #41
Allahu Akbar
 
Yusuf Mirza Ali's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2014
From: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlinkeyBill View Post
Dear friend but this person continually says he/she is Baha'i, how you can know they are atheist I do not know. But if they were then yes I would speak a little differently. But they continually say they are Baha'i that his/her family goes back to the time of the Bab. But He/she says the most strange things so yes I do not just say I will pray for them but I do, I worry for what is said. I would rather pray for them than do as he/she does attack or criticize.

I pray also for Mankind, I pray for my parents etc, I consider I am doing a loving thing, I will continue to pray both for myself and others.
His signature is:
"Have I exalted myself over you? How can I, I am only an atheist"
 
Join Baha'i Forums


Welcome to Baha'i Forums, an open Baha'i Faith community! We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the Baha'i Forums family!


Old 06-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #42
Senior Member
 
SmilingSkeptic's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: United States
Posts: 726
I would consider my favorite (i.e. the one who has the least problems with their story or claims, and of course setting aside for the sake of argument my atheism) to be Jesus, because of that righteous Sermon on the Mount and the whole "love thy neighbor" bit. In fact, I downloaded a copy of the Jefferson Bible that cut out all the supernatural bits and hell-related silliness and focused on his philosophy, which I consider to be pretty good albeit I think that others are better.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 12:33 PM   #43
Senior Member
 
EternalStudent9's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2013
From: Little Rock, Ar
Posts: 295
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
I would consider my favorite (i.e. the one who has the least problems with their story or claims, and of course setting aside for the sake of argument my atheism) to be Jesus, because of that righteous Sermon on the Mount and the whole "love thy neighbor" bit. In fact, I downloaded a copy of the Jefferson Bible that cut out all the supernatural bits and hell-related silliness and focused on his philosophy, which I consider to be pretty good albeit I think that others are better.
Where did you get your copy of the Jefferson Bible? I remember hearing about it during my short period of Deism, but I never found one.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 12:47 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2013
From: Michigan
Posts: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by EternalStudent9 View Post
Where did you get your copy of the Jefferson Bible? I remember hearing about it during my short period of Deism, but I never found one.
I actually got to see the Jefferson Bible at the Smithsonian. It was fascinating. He had physically cut things out to leave what he saw as the valid material. He put a lot of time and thought and effort into it.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #45
Senior Member
 
SmilingSkeptic's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: United States
Posts: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by kernk View Post
I actually got to see the Jefferson Bible at the Smithsonian. It was fascinating. He had physically cut things out to leave what he saw as the valid material. He put a lot of time and thought and effort into it.
The university I go to had put up a PDF transcript. Really quite a fascinating read, and I consider Jefferson (despite his faults) to have also been a fantastic secular philosopher, building on other greats to lay down core, secular values for this country that inspired people in the entire world.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #46
Senior Member
 
SmilingSkeptic's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: United States
Posts: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yusuf Mirza Ali View Post
His signature is:
"Have I exalted myself over you? How can I, I am only an atheist"
LogicalReason, from what I can tell, seems to think himself both an atheist and a Baha'i. It's odd, but not unheard of, given the existence (albeit VERY small) of atheist Christians.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 02:23 PM   #47
Senior Member
 
Joined: Aug 2013
From: Michigan
Posts: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
The university I go to had put up a PDF transcript. Really quite a fascinating read, and I consider Jefferson (despite his faults) to have also been a fantastic secular philosopher, building on other greats to lay down core, secular values for this country that inspired people in the entire world.
Here is my "amen" for that.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 04:29 PM   #48
Allahu Akbar
 
Yusuf Mirza Ali's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2014
From: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
LogicalReason, from what I can tell, seems to think himself both an atheist and a Baha'i. It's odd, but not unheard of, given the existence (albeit VERY small) of atheist Christians.
How? To be an Athiest you don't believe in Allah (swt) and in the Bahá'í Faith you have to believe in Him.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 05:02 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,773
Its a game

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
LogicalReason, from what I can tell, seems to think himself both an atheist and a Baha'i. It's odd, but not unheard of, given the existence (albeit VERY small) of atheist Christians.
Its a game. Words have meaning and to play with them is like any other set of toys. Consider how children play hide and seek. "You can't see me..." and of course they know you can, but the game is fun.

So we have to make allowances for kids, but see past the mischief. Also, what are the motivations behind all this? Is it control? Amusement?

And what is the cost and the outcome? To lead someone astray? Make it hard for them? Those are my issues with the "athiest Baha'i" nonsense. We have to be real with each other, otherwise there is no real conversation. Just game playing, distortion of information, deflection from the truth, etc.

Maybe we need a sandbox thread dedicated to vain imaginings and general mischief where people who need that level of comfort can find solace from the ultimate reality we all have to deal with. Otherwise, its just a bunch of gnats in the face.

Lets play:

"Who wants to be a gnat?" "I do! I do!"
 
Old 06-28-2014, 07:06 PM   #50
Senior Member
 
SmilingSkeptic's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: United States
Posts: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
Its a game. Words have meaning and to play with them is like any other set of toys. Consider how children play hide and seek. "You can't see me..." and of course they know you can, but the game is fun.

So we have to make allowances for kids, but see past the mischief. Also, what are the motivations behind all this? Is it control? Amusement?

And what is the cost and the outcome? To lead someone astray? Make it hard for them? Those are my issues with the "athiest Baha'i" nonsense. We have to be real with each other, otherwise there is no real conversation. Just game playing, distortion of information, deflection from the truth, etc.

Maybe we need a sandbox thread dedicated to vain imaginings and general mischief where people who need that level of comfort can find solace from the ultimate reality we all have to deal with. Otherwise, its just a bunch of gnats in the face.

Lets play:

"Who wants to be a gnat?" "I do! I do!"
I don't really understand what you mean. What ultimate reality that we have to deal with? Why can't people claim what they will about their beliefs? It may be bizarre and may not make sense but if LogicalReason wants to believe he's an atheist Baha'i then fine.
 
Old 06-28-2014, 10:07 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,773
Oxymoron

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilingSkeptic View Post
I don't really understand what you mean. What ultimate reality that we have to deal with? Why can't people claim what they will about their beliefs? It may be bizarre and may not make sense but if LogicalReason wants to believe he's an atheist Baha'i then fine.
To me, its an oxymoron on steriods (or something) which unravels the very usage and value of the written word. He's having fun, and God loves laughter... ;-)

"Can't we all just get a donut?"

Baha'u'llah, in English, translates, as you well know, into the Glory of "God". Hence, for one who recognizes the Glory of God to disbelieve in the God Whose Glory is made manifest is illogical. (or so Spock told me...)

Its all good. (but I don't believe in good)
 
Old 06-29-2014, 08:56 AM   #52
Senior Member
 
SmilingSkeptic's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: United States
Posts: 726
Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
To me, its an oxymoron on steriods (or something) which unravels the very usage and value of the written word. He's having fun, and God loves laughter... ;-)

"Can't we all just get a donut?"

Baha'u'llah, in English, translates, as you well know, into the Glory of "God". Hence, for one who recognizes the Glory of God to disbelieve in the God Whose Glory is made manifest is illogical. (or so Spock told me...)

Its all good. (but I don't believe in good)
Well people believe things others think are silly all the time, such as avoiding black cats. :P
 
Old 07-21-2014, 10:03 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: US
Posts: 233
My favorite messenger of god? Ajita Kesakambali
 
Old 08-15-2014, 08:35 AM   #54
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Netherlands
Posts: 276
My favourite Messenger (Manifestation of God) is Baha'u'llah. Why? Because I know Him the best and because He's the closest to us in time. Baha'u'llah says that all the Manifestations of God speak with the same voice and sit on the same throne, and in essence they are all one and the same. So in that sense I love them all equally. But only because Baha'u'llah says so! He also says that they each have a unique Mission, and the Mission of Baha'u'llah is the peaceful unification of the human race, and this speaks to me more than any other. It's what I truly believe is needed for this time we live in. And His Writings are so beautiful and rich with inner meaning. And the stories I've read of His life, and the effect He had on people speak to me as well.

All best wishes,

Suzanne
 
Old 08-15-2014, 08:56 AM   #55
Senior Member
 
Sarastro's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2014
From: Rome
Posts: 187
Jesus Christus. Because He is the Living Word of God.
 
Old 08-15-2014, 03:13 PM   #56
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2011
From: n ireland
Posts: 1,747
The Bab because He made the supreme sacrifice at such a young age
 
Old 07-03-2017, 01:02 AM   #57
Senior Member
 
Joined: Apr 2013
From: Dorset, England
Posts: 127
Jesus and Guru Nanak are the best!
 
Old 07-04-2017, 01:08 PM   #58
Member
 
CedarTree's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Canada
Posts: 38
I identify as Theravada/Soto Zen Buddhist so I would have to say the Buddha
 
Old 07-10-2017, 10:00 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,106
As a Christian, I would naturally have to say Jesus.

I admire the fact that He was willing to face torture and death, to expose the innocence not only of himself as the pure "Lamb of God" but, by implication, of all innocent victims throughout history (as he said himself: "all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah") who had become scapegoats of baying mobs riled up by self-serving elites to try and pacify their subjects and distract their attention from the real cause of their discontent, societal exploitation.

Jesus willingly sacrificed himself to become a scapegoat for his enemies, rather than abandon His belief in what was true, knowing - I feel - that his perfect innocence and lack of complicity in the false crimes for which He had been accused would be vindicated after his death, as it was when Mary Magdalene re-confirmed the faith of His apostles, and that the knowledge of his death would spread throughout the world, freeing people from the kind of victimization which had resulted in his death.

I admire the fact that even when when being crucified, He still cared about his tormentors and prayed that they might be forgiven for "they knew not what they were doing".

Throughout his life, as recorded in the Gospels, he had demonstrated an hitherto unprecedented concern for the weak, vulnerable and outcasts of society who had no one else to vouch for them, as in this beautiful passage from Luke:

Then Jesus said to the man who had invited Him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they may invite you in return, and you will be repaid. But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, and you will be blessed"

In the end, Jesus died but His enemies won no victory over Him. Instead, through his followers whose lives He had so profoundly transformed, the cross became the subversive symbol of a movement that would go on to utterly dominate the Roman Empire such that by the end of fourth century Jesus was the only "deity" left.

As Abdu'l-Baha explained:

After the Lord Christ suffered, the disciples wept, and gave way to their grief. They thought that their hopes were shattered, and that the Cause was utterly lost, till Mary Magdalene came to them and strengthened them saying: 'Do you mourn the body of Our Lord or His Spirit? If you mourn His Spirit, you are mistaken, for Jesus lives! His Spirit will never leave us!' Thus through her wisdom and encouragement the Cause of Christ was upheld for all the days to come. Her intuition enabled her to grasp the spiritual fact."

(Abdu'l-Baha in London, pp. 104-105)

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-10-2017 at 10:13 AM.
 
Old 07-10-2017, 01:16 PM   #60
Member
 
CedarTree's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Canada
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
As a Christian, I would naturally have to say Jesus.

I admire the fact that He was willing to face torture and death, to expose the innocence not only of himself as the pure "Lamb of God" but, by implication, of all innocent victims throughout history (as he said himself: "all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah") who had become scapegoats of baying mobs riled up by self-serving elites to try and pacify their subjects and distract their attention from the real cause of their discontent, societal exploitation.

Jesus willingly sacrificed himself to become a scapegoat for his enemies, rather than abandon His belief in what was true, knowing - I feel - that his perfect innocence and lack of complicity in the false crimes for which He had been accused would be vindicated after his death, as it was when Mary Magdalene re-confirmed the faith of His apostles, and that the knowledge of his death would spread throughout the world, freeing people from the kind of victimization which had resulted in his death.

I admire the fact that even when when being crucified, He still cared about his tormentors and prayed that they might be forgiven for "they knew not what they were doing".

Throughout his life, as recorded in the Gospels, he had demonstrated an hitherto unprecedented concern for the weak, vulnerable and outcasts of society who had no one else to vouch for them, as in this beautiful passage from Luke:

Then Jesus said to the man who had invited Him, “When you host a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they may invite you in return, and you will be repaid. But when you host a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, and you will be blessed"

In the end, Jesus died but His enemies won no victory over Him. Instead, through his followers whose lives He had so profoundly transformed, the cross became the subversive symbol of a movement that would go on to utterly dominate the Roman Empire such that by the end of fourth century Jesus was the only "deity" left.

As Abdu'l-Baha explained:

After the Lord Christ suffered, the disciples wept, and gave way to their grief. They thought that their hopes were shattered, and that the Cause was utterly lost, till Mary Magdalene came to them and strengthened them saying: 'Do you mourn the body of Our Lord or His Spirit? If you mourn His Spirit, you are mistaken, for Jesus lives! His Spirit will never leave us!' Thus through her wisdom and encouragement the Cause of Christ was upheld for all the days to come. Her intuition enabled her to grasp the spiritual fact."

(Abdu'l-Baha in London, pp. 104-105)

Jesus is pretty dang great, I think we all agree on this
 
Old 07-22-2017, 11:32 AM   #61
Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Kettering, Ohio USA
Posts: 76
My favorite Messenger is Baha'u'llah. He is the Glory of God, majestic and awe-inspiring. I think it is because I know Him best.

Last edited by Duane; 07-22-2017 at 11:39 AM.
 
Old 07-24-2017, 06:17 AM   #62
Senior Member
 
camachoe's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2017
From: Mexico
Posts: 180
My favourite Messenger is the one to come about 900 years from now.

She will face challenges and opportunities that are unthinkable today: e.g. life spans of hundreds of years, the emergence of artificial intelligence with attributes of our rational soul, the contact with extraterrestrial beings with their own revealed religions, ethical debate on how to behave when within virtual realities, the merge of science and revelation, and much more.

Last edited by camachoe; 07-24-2017 at 07:37 AM.
 
Old 07-26-2017, 01:35 AM   #63
Member
 
SoerenRekelBludau's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Germany
Posts: 36
As I was raised a Lutheran Christian I still feel a close relationship to Jesus which has never been that strong in times I was at odds with Church dogma. It was through Jesus and His teachings that I accepted Bahá'u'lláh as His successor and it was through 'Abdu'l-Bahá that I at last found answers to my questions about Church dogma. So my Christian and Bahá'í beliefs strengthened each other mutually.

As to the question whether Bahá'u'lláh was higher in station than all the other Manifestations of God, I quote a letter on behalf of the Guardian which elucidates on this matter using the example of Moses:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoghi Effendi
Bahá'u'lláh is not the Intermediary between other Manifestations and God. Each has His own relation to the Primal Source. But in the sense that Bahá'u'lláh is the greatest Manifestation to yet appear, the One Who consummates the Revelation of Moses; He was the One Moses conversed with in the Burning Bush. In other words Bahá'u'lláh identifies the glory of the Godhead on that occasion with Himself. No distinction can be made amongst the Prophets in the sense that They all proceed from One Source, and are of One Essence. But Their stations and functions in this world are different. (LoG 1552)
And another one concerning identification of Bahá'u'lláh and God Himself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoghi Effendi
As regards your question: Bahá'u'lláh is, of course, not God and not the Creator; but through Him we can know God, and because of this position of Divine Intermediary, in a sense, He (or the other Prophets) is all we can ever know of that Infinite Essence which is God. Therefore, we address ourselves in prayer and thought to Him, or through Him to that Infinite Essence behind and beyond Him. (LoG 1553)

Last edited by SoerenRekelBludau; 07-26-2017 at 01:58 AM.
 
Old 08-14-2017, 01:02 AM   #64
Member
 
Joined: Jul 2015
From: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 74
On my path to the Baha'i Faith and ever since then, I read a lot about the different Manifestations and their teachings, and while I don't want to make a difference between them, I can answer whose teachings were more accessible for me and helped me more on my path than others, subjectively:

Next to Baha'u'llah's writings, of course, it were perhaps the teachings of Jesus and Buddha that left the strongest impression on me and helped me understand some of Baha'u'llah's teachings better.

Perhaps my connection to Jesus is due to my cultural background -- although I never was an active Christian, I live in a predominantly Christian country and a couple of my friends are practizing Christians. Of course I knew celebrations like Christmas and Easter ever since I was a kid, and I went to religious class at school. So I think there has been a kind of old "childhood connection" to Jesus all the time in my life.

It was only lately that I started reading more about Buddha and His teachings, and I felt He made me understand much better what Baha'u'llah meant by "detachment" and "meditation". In fact, I started mindfulness meditation ca. 2 months ago and do it daily ever since, and it had a very strong effect on me. I was even surprised to see it having such a quick and remarkable effect! Because Buddha does not teach about God, He also helped me to understand better what it means that we cannot know God at all, except through the Manifestations: It's still fascinating, though, that you can come closer to God without even adoring Him... but only logical, because any kind adoration implies making an image of God after all.


While I am very curious about the other Manifestations, and reading about them inspires me too, to some extent, they are still somewhat "alien" to me, for the lack of a better word:

The stories about Abraham and Moses in the Old Testament are very much rooted in their time (and the needs of people in the past), I guess, so it's a bit hard for me to feel a connection to reports of a very personified and vengeful God. It was the best medicine for the people at that time, I know ... but my modern ear is easily alienated by many of these stories, so I have a hard time connecting to them.

It's similar about Quran revealed by Muhammed. The first problem is that I don't speak Arabic, so I have to rely on translations, and I assume much of the poetic side of Quran is lost this way. Yet I found a couple of very beautiful and inspiring thoughts in Quran. But on the bottom line, I feel similar to Quran as about the Old Testament: It addresses people in a world that is alien to me. So it is hard to find a connection.

Literature about Zarathustra in German is sparse. I tried to find some, but it wasn't much. So I hardly know anything about Zarathustra's teachings.

As for Krishna, I read the Bhagavad Gita, but also found it a bit hard to access. There are so many references to a culture that are alien to me. And I also learnt that the tradition and creation of this text is very unclear, so I'm not sure how much of the "real" Krishna still is in this text.

Last edited by Sebastian; 08-15-2017 at 02:23 AM.
 
Old 08-14-2017, 10:02 AM   #65
Senior Member
 
becky's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2014
From: colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
Posts: 784
Through Christ, I found Baha'u'llah....whom I had been seeking. Through my love of Baha'u'llah, I found all God's other manifestations. Learning about Zoroaster has been special, his teachings go straight to my heart and life. Because of Baha'u'llah, I am able to connect with all the Manifestations. Baha'u'llah has expanded my capacity to love all faiths and all peoples. He is the Word.
 
Old 10-10-2017, 12:47 AM   #66
Member
 
Joined: Nov 2015
From: Canada
Posts: 55
I am going to be a bit broader here and just speak on the religious figures that strike a chord with me the most.

The one who drew me to the faith, whose story is engraved with such care in my mind, is the Bab - His story is very powerful, and, admittedly, I can be soft hearted, it often makes me teary eyed when remembering it.

I also have become very fond of Kapila, son of Kardama, who was a prajapati (The best way to describe this is as a variant of a Manifestation of God, which is very similar yet with a different purpose) and Devahuti, daughter of Swayambhuva Manu. I have been studying Hinduism for a while now and have found myself innately drawn to the vast swathe of topics Hinduism covers. My reading of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the words of Kapila have taught me a lot.

Thirdly, though he is not a Manifestation, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. I learned much about God because of his writings, and in being a Sikh prior to my discovery of Baha'i, I was truly set on my path of searching for the truth. His life and character I find fascinating.

I think if this included just religious figures, I'd put the Bab, Abdu'l-Baha, and Guru Nanak, as Abdu'l-Baha's words have been like fuel to the flame of spiritual passion inside of me.
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Beliefs

Tags
favorite, messenger, personal



Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.