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Old 12-11-2014, 05:13 PM   #1
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How do I undeclare...

Can someone tell me how to undeclare, i.e., how to officially leave the Baha'i Faith? Thank you.
 
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dennis King View Post
Can someone tell me how to undeclare, i.e., how to officially leave the Baha'i Faith? Thank you.
Very simple, I'd say. Remember what you signed when you declared: that you believe in Bahá'u'lláh. Now just do the opposite: tell your NSA in writing that you no longer believe in Him, and ask them to disenroll you.

Best,

gnat
 
Old 12-11-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
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You can also do that through your local spiritual assembly. If you would like we could discuss the issue that led to that type of Decision!

God bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 12-11-2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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In my experience,some people feel that they have "let down" Jesus or Mohammad. If only they'd realise that this is so far from the truth. Au contraire, they are expressing loyalty and devotion to Jesus and Mohammad
 
Old 12-12-2014, 05:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis King View Post
Can someone tell me how to undeclare, i.e., how to officially leave the Baha'i Faith? Thank you.
Dear friend I wish you all the best, to leave the faith is a simple thing. As it is if you ever wish to return.
God only wants strong believers, otherwise you are given free will to do as you wish.
Any way I wish you all the best in your future, stay and be a contributing member of the forum also.

Loving regards
bill
 
Old 12-12-2014, 09:19 AM   #6
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You can write a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States:

National Spiritual Assembly
U.S. Bahá'í National Center
1233 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 733-3400


Now, why do you want to undeclare?
 
Old 12-12-2014, 12:03 PM   #7
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"Leaving" The Faith

Thank you gnat, Tony Fish, Aidan, Blinkeybill and Matthew Light.

No offense whatsoever to anyone, but I'd like to say that I am most appreciative of the simple response of Matthew, although, due to my "age," I was not surprised at some of the other responses (which made me smile, actually), which are responses that are--and again, I mean no offense--quite typical of religious people of various religions; responses such as,

"God only wants strong believers."

Okay.

In my younger days, I would have had a "strong," and (from my perspective) religiously, spiritually, and logically correct response to such responses. But, at my age, I've long overcome the temptation to be drawn into a tit-for-tat battle on what "God wants," or on religious doctrine.

As regards to why I wish to un-declare, I find it very interesting that, in the mind of one person here, "un-declaring" equates to no longer believing in Bahaullah. Might there be various ways to believe in Bahaullah? I'll leave that for others to think about (or not). As I said (or hinted), my days in "proving" my religious debating prowess, and my days of "defending God" (a ridiculous, as well as hilarious, idea that, in my youth, virtually amounted to a requirement, in my, and others, minds) have long ago ended.

Now to answer (I hope) Matthew's question. In 2003, I was invited to Naw Ruz by a Baha'i friend. I was not a Baha'i at that time. While in the Temple (Wilmette) I sensed that I had a "spiritual experience," though I could not define what it was.

The scripture of the previous religion that I'd belonged to required that, when a Messenger (Manifestation; Prophet, whatever) appeared, with signs, that Messenger must be accepted. I considered it POSSIBLE that the "experience" I'd received was a sign that Bahaullah was a Messenger. I have no doubt that he was, in fact.

Before I had that experience, I had read virtually nothing about Baha'i, and had no feeling for it whatsoever. But, my intention was to follow what God said: accept the Messengers. Weeks later, I accepted, then read and learned about The Faith.

Now, my experience is my experience, and I can't expect anyone here to accept it, or understand it fully, because it's MY experience, and I have to play this out for myself. Let there be, I hope, no particular reflection on the truth of The Faith that Baha'is believe in. I speak for myself.

From 2003 until today, I have received only ONE spiritual dream. For me, that is quite strange. In my previous religion, I received many, many spiritual dreams, some of which were very deep. And the ONE spiritual dream I received since being Baha'i was weak. That always bothered me. It never settled with me.

The relationship with God is, primarily, a PERSONAL one. I said, PRIMARILY. And, prior to becoming Baha'i, the dreams, in my view, served as perhaps a tiny, but powerful, "statement," by God, that I had developed a certain level of personal relationship with God [This isn't sounding right, but words can be inadequate], and I became used to that.

Of course, this brings up the question of WHY God would lead me to Baha'i, and then lead me OUT of it. I think I know a few reasons, a couple of which I will not mention. Mostly, though, I think that He wanted me to RECOGNIZE, and accept, Bahaullah as a Messenger (Manifestation; Prophet) of God. That I have done, and still do.

And since my journey on this earth is not one that requires the inclusion of others along that journey, then I am not required to allow others to tell me HOW I should accept Bahaullah, however "strange" or different my acceptance might sound to Baha'is. I walk my path alone. I stand before God alone, especially in the next life. There will be no lawyers. The UHJ will not be there. The NSA will not be there. The LSA will not be there. My spiritual and religious life is my own.

As regards someone's statement about feeling bad for "abandoning" Jesus, or Muhammad, or Krishna, or Asar, or any other Manifestation, that is irrelevant in my case. It is not even possible for me to feel as if I have abandoned any Messenger or Manifestation of God, as no such idea has ever been part of my religious and spiritual makeup. I never felt that I "abandoned" anyone when I accepted The Faith. My acceptance of The Faith was a POSITIVE one, mostly based, as I said above, on my desire to please God by accepting a Messenger that had demonstrated God's Signs.

Before becoming Baha'i, I never distinguished between Messengers. So, the issue of "abandoning" any particular Messenger was, and is, a non-issue for me because I have no religious concept that distinguishes between Messengers. They are all sent by God, so it is not possible to abandon any ONE of them, unless you decide to abandon ALL of them and become an atheist.

For me, it's just that something does not seem right, such as, as I stated above, the issue of having had only ONE spiritual dream in all these years as a Baha'i. And I've been thinking about this for the last two years, until, finally, last week, I decided to leave Baha'i. The decision is definitely final, and I have resumed the practices of my former religion, as well as given my allegiance to the particular group that follows that religion. The deed is done.

I wanted to know of a simple way to un-declare, without fanfare, because I happen to work at a certain Baha'i facility on this earth. And, although MOST Baha'is are decent people, I have encountered some that are...QUESTIONABLE, and borderline hostile. Those, of course, are very few. And that just means that they're HUMAN, and I have to be careful, because I cannot jeopardize my job--especially at my age.

In our world, no one wants to hire someone that's over 50. That is just pure fact. So, I need a way to un-declare, so that I can be true to myself, and honest to The Faith, as well as honest to the religion that I have returned to.

I have NO ill-feeling towards The Faith whatsoever. Indeed, quite frankly, I hope that The Faith is successful in its vision, just as I hope that the particular group that I have resumed my allegiance to is ALSO successful, as "contradictory" as that would sound to the average religious person.

I see Almighty God has rolling out a future for human beings that involves the enlightenment of people of all different religions, spiritual traditions, "consciousness" movements, etc., etc. Although I align myself to one group now, I simply do not see that one group as being the only way that Almighty God is carrying out his work. That group simply is the group THROUGH WHICH I wish to take part in God's work for us.

Now, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say the following. There is another reason, and it's not a profound one, I admit: I miss my previous community VERY much. I was wholly satisfied with it. I did not leave it for any negative reasons. As I said, I do not know all of the reasons why God led me to Bahaullah, but He did, and now, I truly believe, He wants me back where I was.

Also, there might be one psychological reason that I left my previous group, and this has come into my mind recently. I suffered a horrible divorce while in my previous group. The woman I had married was also a member of that group. I have noticed (no matter the religion) that, oftentimes, when religious people suffer a divorce, they feel extremely ashamed, and no longer want to show their faces at their place of worship, or around their religious community. That certainly happened to me. I was not the only one that happened to, of course, but it did happen to me.

I now feel that it is possible that ONE factor in my decision to leave was my broken heart over the dissolution of my religious marriage. I was with my previous community for 30 years. I had two children in that marriage. To lose my family was more hell than Dante, or the Catholics, or anyone else, could imagine. I discontinued going to religious services, and this was long before I became Baha'i. I discontinued talking to people, except for two friends. I could barely fulfill my religious requirements (prayers, etc), and I was just heart-broken. Perhaps, as time rolled by, I just needed to get away. And then, my Baha'i friend introduced me to The Faith.

I feel very comfortable, as well as extremely happy, on my return to my community. Bahaullah is a Manifestation of God, and that is beyond any doubt whatsoever. That is my belief. So, the idea of un-declaring, in the sense of stating that I "no longer believe in HIM," makes no sense in my case.

I suppose what I would like to un-declare is my membership in the Baha'i Faith, not my belief that Bahaullah is a Manifestation. But, since I fully understand the thinking of religious people, then if the process of un-declaring implies that one "no longer believes" in Bahauallah; and if there is no other way to un-declare, then I will state, for the sake of paper-work that I "no longer believe in Him," but knowing fully well what is in my heart: that Bahaullah is a Manifestation of God.

As regards my gig, I am working up the nerve to tell my superiors of my decision, although my trust in human beings, as a whole, ain't that great. I certainly do not wish to live a double-life, or a hypocritical life, religiously or spiritually. I have to work that part out, and trust in God that no animosity will be shown towards me, on my gig, or that I won't be fired.

I'm not anyone important. I have a "lowly" job, so my "leaving" The Faith will not be of any consequence whatsoever to anyone, especially since my faith in Bahaullah as a Manifestation is strong.

There is no doubt whatsoever that some members of my previous community (well, the community that I have returned to, that is) will be DYING for me to tell them that I found Bahaullah to be "false," and to even give a speech about that. LOL!! This is the unfortunate "natural" way of religious people. They will be quite disappointed, I can assure you, because I will NEVER declare Bahaullah as false, because he is TRUE and a Manifestation of God.

I hope I have answered your question.

Peace to all.
 
Old 12-12-2014, 12:28 PM   #8
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Dear Matthew King,

Thank you for your long and very interesting story. Actually, to tell you the truth, when I told you to tell your NSA in writing that you no longer believe in Bahá'u'lláh, I did it as a tongue-in-cheek, conscious provocation, eagerly awaiting your response, because I knew that I had touched upon the core question.

You obviously are a Bahá'í. All other matters are just consequences - unwanted, unexpected, unbearable - of your acceptance of Bahá'u'lláh. You can wriggle like a worm on the hook, but the basic fact is, yes, you are a Bahá'í, and the funny thing is that the basic thing is not a matter of will or determination. Your heart has made that decision, and most likely it is forever.

Oh, dear, coming to terms with that package deal that comes with accepting Bahá'u'lláh - that is a lifetime struggle. The only good advice I can give to us worms is: stop wriggling!

I really understand your regret for your spiritual dreams. I used to have some before, but now that I've gone through a terrible spiritual battle for five years, usually when I remember my dreams, they concerned mundane and stupid matters. I can just laugh at the seeming emptiness of my dream world.

Best,

from

gnat

P. S. And I'm old enough to say to myself when I find myself at the bottom of a pit of misery: "So what, what the heck!" And then I go and have an espresso at my favourite cafe.

Last edited by gnat; 12-12-2014 at 12:32 PM.
 
Old 12-12-2014, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis King View Post
Thank you gnat, Tony Fish, Aidan, Blinkeybill and Matthew Light.

I hope I have answered your question.

Peace to all.
Dear Dennis - Very detailed reply dear friend

I wish you well on your journey to God on into the future.

If I may I will offer a few thoughts.

Yes just as our belief is the responsibility of none other, thus it also must be considered likewise that the actions and belief of another is also not ours to judge and be used to justify any choice we make.

I personally have had maybe One, maybe two dreams that I can remember as being Spiritually Wonderful in over 30 years as a Baha'i. Pure Dreams are a bounty to whom God Wishes to Give. Thus they are also a Test. Does one really need a dream to believe? Would that not be Testing God? Would it not be saying give me the dreams or I will not believe?

Thus would not True Pure belief be partaking of every test and affliction in life while being given no proof that God Exists, but still saying when asked "Am I not Your Lord", your Reply would be "Verily You are"!

The comment "God only wants strong believers" was not meant as a put down dear friend in God, it was a loving call to strength and self reflection. If a comment given in love and hope to an individual, is then taken as a negative comment, One has to consider are we approaching the subject immersed in the Love of God?

Dear Dennis, there could be so much to discuss, but we will leave that to you and just wish you all the best with your decision. It is not hard to unroll and you have been shown the way. God bless you decision - Regards Always Tony
 
Old 12-12-2014, 12:50 PM   #10
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I cannot offer any help really or any knowledge. I'm new. I don't know much.

But like you I once had a different religious community. It was a home, rather like being raised in a friendly village existing invisible in a much larger city. To be removed from it was extremely painful. In my case, my choices led to shunning and I wouldn't change it for the world. They'd let me come back I suppose, but then you can never really go back. Can't bathe in the same river twice, just won't be the same again. I am glad you will have, whatever happens, the comfort of knowing that Baha'u'llah is with us all. On waking we do not remember all our dreams.


Quote:
The story is told of a mystic knower, who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, “Why dost thou not follow?” The grammarian answered, “O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.” Then the knower cried, “Forget what thou didst read in the books of Síbávayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajíb and Ibn-i-Málik, and cross the water.”
The death of self is needed here, not rhetoric:
Be nothing, then, and walk upon the waves
.


-from the Four Valleys
 
Old 12-12-2014, 12:51 PM   #11
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Dear Dennis King,The only good advice I can give to us worms is: stop wriggling!

Best, from gnat

P. S. And I'm old enough to say to myself when I find myself at the bottom of a pit of misery: "So what, what the heck!" And then I go and have an espresso at my favourite cafe.
Dear Gnat - Oh that I could

P/S Could not that espresso be donated........ mmmm, that I could do that as well

That what the Heck voice in a Nemesis! Well to me anyway

God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 12-12-2014, 01:01 PM   #12
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Talking about that package deal, just look at this quote from God Passes By:

"From the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, ordained as a house of worship by Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the representatives of Bahá’í communities, both local and national, together with the members of their respective committees, will, as they gather daily within its walls at the hour of dawn, derive the necessary inspiration..."

We are supposed to get up before dawn! And I hate such early mornings. Another thing to come to terms with!

Best,

from a

nocturnal gnat
 
Old 12-12-2014, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Talking about that package deal, just look at this quote from God Passes By:

"From the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, ordained as a house of worship by Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the representatives of Bahá’í communities, both local and national, together with the members of their respective committees, will, as they gather daily within its walls at the hour of dawn, derive the necessary inspiration..."

We are supposed to get up before dawn! And I hate such early mornings. Another thing to come to terms with!

Best,

from a

nocturnal gnat
Luckily for me for many a year that is what I have done as work required it, now it is automatic I have a 4:30 to 5 inbuilt clock

But when 9 in the evening comes, walking Zombie!

God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 12-12-2014, 01:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Talking about that package deal, just look at this quote from God Passes By:

"From the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, ordained as a house of worship by Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the representatives of Bahá’í communities, both local and national, together with the members of their respective committees, will, as they gather daily within its walls at the hour of dawn, derive the necessary inspiration..."

We are supposed to get up before dawn! And I hate such early mornings. Another thing to come to terms with!

Best,

from a

nocturnal gnat
I get up before dawn.. just before the next day's dawn.
 
Old 12-12-2014, 02:03 PM   #15
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dear Dennis King

I read with interest your reply, and yes I have to confer with others who have said, no matter what you do, while you still believe in Baha'u'llah we will continue to look upon you as such (a Baha'i), no matter what you call yourself.
Now I do not appologise for my comment concerning God only wants strong believers, it was said with love, and I believe it is so, no matter what you wish to call yourself, or what religion you wish to belong, does not God require full commitment of us? I believe He does. But of course that commitment is for you to work out, for as you rightly say only God is our judge, but I personaly feel that it is something we need to meditate upon deeply, so few do, I feel.

Now I also stand by the rest of my message to you, I wished you the very best for your future that was honest and said from my heart, I do. Also my offer to please stay and contribute in the forum, it is open to all, not just Baha'is.

Anyway loving regards to you whatever your decission.
 
Old 12-12-2014, 02:15 PM   #16
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Dennis go in peace
 
Old 12-12-2014, 02:20 PM   #17
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidan View Post
Dennis go in peace
I wish that for all of us :-)

God bless all with Faith - Regards Tony
 
Old 12-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #18
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I am sometimes tempted to go back to my previous religion "Islam" not because I don't have spiritual dreams anymore (and I really don't!!) but because I sometimes doubt everything; I am still weak. but I don't walk back because to me it is like jumping down from above a skyscraper that may kill me. I am sure If I come back to Islam, I can't have the same feeling which I once had. if leaving ones' old religion was not this difficult, these many people would have not been disillusioned....
anyway I wish you success in what you have chosen, Denis

Last edited by maryamr; 12-13-2014 at 10:16 AM.
 
Old 12-14-2014, 12:50 AM   #19
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I often wonder are the dilemmae which led to ones leaving a faith ever fully resolved in order to allow ones return
 
Old 12-14-2014, 09:49 AM   #20
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Dennis, I wish you a safe journey. While reading this morning and coming upon this passage from Baha'u'llah, I thought of you. God Bless!

"Therefore, O brother! kindle with the oil of wisdom the lamp of the spirit within the innermost chamber of thy heart, and guard it with the globe of understanding, that the breath of the infidel may extinguish not its flame nor dim its brightness. Thus have We illuminated the heavens of utterance with the splendours of the Sun of divine wisdom and understanding, that thy heart may find peace, that thou mayest be of those who, on the wings of certitude, have soared unto the heaven of the love of their Lord, the All-Merciful."

Kitab-i-Iqan, p 61
 
Old 12-14-2014, 10:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis King View Post
Can someone tell me how to undeclare, i.e., how to officially leave the Baha'i Faith? Thank you.
So, to sum it up, if I were in charge of registration, I'd never accept your withdrawal from the Faith. Dear fellow-Bahá'í: you're stuck!

Best,

from

gnat
 
Old 12-14-2014, 12:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
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So, to sum it up, if I were in charge of registration, I'd never accept your withdrawal from the Faith. Dear fellow-Bahá'í: you're stuck!

Best,

from

gnat
Well, from what I've read, you don't necessarily have to declare that you don't believe in Baha'ullah in order to leave. You can be a Baha'i without being part of the organization. You just have to state that you wish to withdraw, although perhaps cogent reasons may help make it clearer.

I would check out this resource to make sure all your bases are covered: How to Resign from the Baha'i Faith: 6 Steps - wikiHow
 
Old 12-15-2014, 08:59 AM   #23
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Thank you Dennis for that explanation. Very enlightening indeed!

I wish you all the best in your spiritual journey!
 
Old 12-16-2014, 12:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis King View Post
Thank you gnat, Tony Fish, Aidan, Blinkeybill and Matthew Light.

No offense whatsoever to anyone, but I'd like to say that I am most appreciative of the simple response of Matthew, although, due to my "age," I was not surprised at some of the other responses (which made me smile, actually), which are responses that are--and again, I mean no offense--quite typical of religious people of various religions; responses such as,

"God only wants strong believers."

Okay.

In my younger days, I would have had a "strong," and (from my perspective) religiously, spiritually, and logically correct response to such responses. But, at my age, I've long overcome the temptation to be drawn into a tit-for-tat battle on what "God wants," or on religious doctrine.

As regards to why I wish to un-declare, I find it very interesting that, in the mind of one person here, "un-declaring" equates to no longer believing in Bahaullah. Might there be various ways to believe in Bahaullah? I'll leave that for others to think about (or not). As I said (or hinted), my days in "proving" my religious debating prowess, and my days of "defending God" (a ridiculous, as well as hilarious, idea that, in my youth, virtually amounted to a requirement, in my, and others, minds) have long ago ended.

Now to answer (I hope) Matthew's question. In 2003, I was invited to Naw Ruz by a Baha'i friend. I was not a Baha'i at that time. While in the Temple (Wilmette) I sensed that I had a "spiritual experience," though I could not define what it was.

The scripture of the previous religion that I'd belonged to required that, when a Messenger (Manifestation; Prophet, whatever) appeared, with signs, that Messenger must be accepted. I considered it POSSIBLE that the "experience" I'd received was a sign that Bahaullah was a Messenger. I have no doubt that he was, in fact.

Before I had that experience, I had read virtually nothing about Baha'i, and had no feeling for it whatsoever. But, my intention was to follow what God said: accept the Messengers. Weeks later, I accepted, then read and learned about The Faith.

Now, my experience is my experience, and I can't expect anyone here to accept it, or understand it fully, because it's MY experience, and I have to play this out for myself. Let there be, I hope, no particular reflection on the truth of The Faith that Baha'is believe in. I speak for myself.

From 2003 until today, I have received only ONE spiritual dream. For me, that is quite strange. In my previous religion, I received many, many spiritual dreams, some of which were very deep. And the ONE spiritual dream I received since being Baha'i was weak. That always bothered me. It never settled with me.

The relationship with God is, primarily, a PERSONAL one. I said, PRIMARILY. And, prior to becoming Baha'i, the dreams, in my view, served as perhaps a tiny, but powerful, "statement," by God, that I had developed a certain level of personal relationship with God [This isn't sounding right, but words can be inadequate], and I became used to that.

Of course, this brings up the question of WHY God would lead me to Baha'i, and then lead me OUT of it. I think I know a few reasons, a couple of which I will not mention. Mostly, though, I think that He wanted me to RECOGNIZE, and accept, Bahaullah as a Messenger (Manifestation; Prophet) of God. That I have done, and still do.

And since my journey on this earth is not one that requires the inclusion of others along that journey, then I am not required to allow others to tell me HOW I should accept Bahaullah, however "strange" or different my acceptance might sound to Baha'is. I walk my path alone. I stand before God alone, especially in the next life. There will be no lawyers. The UHJ will not be there. The NSA will not be there. The LSA will not be there. My spiritual and religious life is my own.

As regards someone's statement about feeling bad for "abandoning" Jesus, or Muhammad, or Krishna, or Asar, or any other Manifestation, that is irrelevant in my case. It is not even possible for me to feel as if I have abandoned any Messenger or Manifestation of God, as no such idea has ever been part of my religious and spiritual makeup. I never felt that I "abandoned" anyone when I accepted The Faith. My acceptance of The Faith was a POSITIVE one, mostly based, as I said above, on my desire to please God by accepting a Messenger that had demonstrated God's Signs.

Before becoming Baha'i, I never distinguished between Messengers. So, the issue of "abandoning" any particular Messenger was, and is, a non-issue for me because I have no religious concept that distinguishes between Messengers. They are all sent by God, so it is not possible to abandon any ONE of them, unless you decide to abandon ALL of them and become an atheist.

For me, it's just that something does not seem right, such as, as I stated above, the issue of having had only ONE spiritual dream in all these years as a Baha'i. And I've been thinking about this for the last two years, until, finally, last week, I decided to leave Baha'i. The decision is definitely final, and I have resumed the practices of my former religion, as well as given my allegiance to the particular group that follows that religion. The deed is done.

I wanted to know of a simple way to un-declare, without fanfare, because I happen to work at a certain Baha'i facility on this earth. And, although MOST Baha'is are decent people, I have encountered some that are...QUESTIONABLE, and borderline hostile. Those, of course, are very few. And that just means that they're HUMAN, and I have to be careful, because I cannot jeopardize my job--especially at my age.

In our world, no one wants to hire someone that's over 50. That is just pure fact. So, I need a way to un-declare, so that I can be true to myself, and honest to The Faith, as well as honest to the religion that I have returned to.

I have NO ill-feeling towards The Faith whatsoever. Indeed, quite frankly, I hope that The Faith is successful in its vision, just as I hope that the particular group that I have resumed my allegiance to is ALSO successful, as "contradictory" as that would sound to the average religious person.

I see Almighty God has rolling out a future for human beings that involves the enlightenment of people of all different religions, spiritual traditions, "consciousness" movements, etc., etc. Although I align myself to one group now, I simply do not see that one group as being the only way that Almighty God is carrying out his work. That group simply is the group THROUGH WHICH I wish to take part in God's work for us.

Now, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say the following. There is another reason, and it's not a profound one, I admit: I miss my previous community VERY much. I was wholly satisfied with it. I did not leave it for any negative reasons. As I said, I do not know all of the reasons why God led me to Bahaullah, but He did, and now, I truly believe, He wants me back where I was.

Also, there might be one psychological reason that I left my previous group, and this has come into my mind recently. I suffered a horrible divorce while in my previous group. The woman I had married was also a member of that group. I have noticed (no matter the religion) that, oftentimes, when religious people suffer a divorce, they feel extremely ashamed, and no longer want to show their faces at their place of worship, or around their religious community. That certainly happened to me. I was not the only one that happened to, of course, but it did happen to me.

I now feel that it is possible that ONE factor in my decision to leave was my broken heart over the dissolution of my religious marriage. I was with my previous community for 30 years. I had two children in that marriage. To lose my family was more hell than Dante, or the Catholics, or anyone else, could imagine. I discontinued going to religious services, and this was long before I became Baha'i. I discontinued talking to people, except for two friends. I could barely fulfill my religious requirements (prayers, etc), and I was just heart-broken. Perhaps, as time rolled by, I just needed to get away. And then, my Baha'i friend introduced me to The Faith.

I feel very comfortable, as well as extremely happy, on my return to my community. Bahaullah is a Manifestation of God, and that is beyond any doubt whatsoever. That is my belief. So, the idea of un-declaring, in the sense of stating that I "no longer believe in HIM," makes no sense in my case.

I suppose what I would like to un-declare is my membership in the Baha'i Faith, not my belief that Bahaullah is a Manifestation. But, since I fully understand the thinking of religious people, then if the process of un-declaring implies that one "no longer believes" in Bahauallah; and if there is no other way to un-declare, then I will state, for the sake of paper-work that I "no longer believe in Him," but knowing fully well what is in my heart: that Bahaullah is a Manifestation of God.

As regards my gig, I am working up the nerve to tell my superiors of my decision, although my trust in human beings, as a whole, ain't that great. I certainly do not wish to live a double-life, or a hypocritical life, religiously or spiritually. I have to work that part out, and trust in God that no animosity will be shown towards me, on my gig, or that I won't be fired.

I'm not anyone important. I have a "lowly" job, so my "leaving" The Faith will not be of any consequence whatsoever to anyone, especially since my faith in Bahaullah as a Manifestation is strong.

There is no doubt whatsoever that some members of my previous community (well, the community that I have returned to, that is) will be DYING for me to tell them that I found Bahaullah to be "false," and to even give a speech about that. LOL!! This is the unfortunate "natural" way of religious people. They will be quite disappointed, I can assure you, because I will NEVER declare Bahaullah as false, because he is TRUE and a Manifestation of God.

I hope I have answered your question.

Peace to all.
Unless your previous organization requires you openly remove yourself from the roles of the Baha'i Faith, then you need do nothing. As I've said in other posts, the new Teachings of God as given through Baha'u'llah says there aren't past Religions/Faiths, there are past Teachings. As was said, 'there are better non Baha'i then some who call themselves Baha'i' (My interpretation, not a word for word quote.) We're all are on the same path regardless of what we personally wish to align with, even Atheist's are one the same path. The only thing that following the Baha'i Faith can do for the soul is perhaps if taken to heart, is that the soul will in some ways be better prepared for the life after this mortal existence, and that the World may come to a peace sooner is our belief. And FYI: as a Baha'i you need not withdraw from the rolls even if you wish to participate with your friends of your previous group. Unless your previous set of Teachings requires you to 'legally denounce and remove yourself, nothing in Baha'i faith says you have to dis-enroll to be a part of your old group, except that you cannot be a card carrying member of your old group. Unless they require you to become an 'official' you can still be an enrolled Baha'i. But regardless, in the Teachings of the Baha'i Dispensation you are going to be alright, the main goal is to become a more spiritual person, which you sound like a very concerned and caring person. Baha'i are strongly encouraged to attend worship with all groups and become fast friends with people of all groups!

Last edited by MichaelAW; 12-16-2014 at 12:40 PM.
 
Old 12-16-2014, 01:03 PM   #25
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Joined: Oct 2011
From: Quilimari,Chile
Posts: 4,208
Quote:
Baha'i are strongly encouraged to attend worship with all groups and become fast friends with people of all groups!
I assume you are aware there are limitations to what you have said?
We are told to make it quite clear that we do not belong to the old faiths, and are not to engage in their rituals. That being understood then yes we can join with others in the worship of God.

Loving regards
 
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