Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Teachings

Baha'i Teachings Baha'i Teachings and Doctrine - Social Principles, Greater Covenant, Lesser Covenant


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-07-2016, 04:25 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
Investigate Truth wrote:

Quote:
I think we have to go back to foundarion of Religion, and the mind of Bahaullah.

There was a similar instance in Shia Islam, when the successorship was altered.
It was when Imam Sadiq, had first appointed His son Ismael as the next Imam. But later this was changed, and He selected another son.
This caused a division among the Shia and a sect called Ismaelies were generated. These were the ones who said, God does not change His will and since Ismael was chosen first, they maintained that he was the rightful successor.
The rest of Shia said this is Bada. Alteration in divine Will...

Bahaullah confirmed this was Bada. In Iqan, Bahaullah explained the purpose of Bada is to test the followers.
Investigate Truth:

Thank you for your post and for the comments. I will share some thoughts in response.

The actions of Imam Sadiq appointing an alternative son as Imam appear to be mirrored by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in His Will and Testament where He wrote regarding succession that after Shoghi Effendi “will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendents.” and “It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words: ‘The child is the secret essence of its sire,’ that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.”

It appears that ‘Abdu’l-Baha could foresee a similar possibility happening in the Cause of God and He was very clear in His directions as to how it was to be addressed. It is interesting though that He was not clear in providing direction as to how to address a possibility of there being no one to appoint. Nor did Shoghi Effendi, as the Guardian, expound upon this possibility in his own writings except where he “in clear and unambiguous Language” did explain (‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’) the impacts to the Faith “without such an institution” stating that not only would the future World Order of Baha’u’llah be “permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as `Abdu'l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God.” and further explaining that “the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.” The Guardian directly mentions at least five times in that treatise the “hereditary principle” as being part of the Baha’i Order, both current and future. (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 147, 148, 153 and twice on p. 154).

As for “Bada”, which per my elementary understanding basically means that the Mind of God or the Divine Will had changed, I believe in the examples you have provided the change in appointment actually occurred when Imam Sadiq was still living, and prior to that, when Muhammad was still alive and changed the Qibla and the direction one was to turn to in prayer. As I understand it, it was one or more of the Persian Hands of the Cause of God (being knowledgeable of the Shia concept of Bada) who proposed the idea to the other Hands that Bada may have occurred in the Cause given the absence of information from Shoghi Effendi about an appointed successor. It is important to recognize that as sincere as that proposal may have been, it did not come from the Guardian or the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

LR
 
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 06-08-2016, 11:17 AM   #42
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by noogan View Post
But I wonder if that is what Baha'u'llah intends? Does God will it?
Yes. DEUS VULT!!

Okay, so I just wanted to shout "Dues Vult" because shouting "God wills it" in Latin is fun.

On to serious part of the answer:

Of note: this is not unprecedented. Muhammad set forth a similar position for his dispensation, the position of Imam. And the line of the imams ended after al-Askari, the eleventh Imam, who was the last Imam until the Bab (who as the Mahdi was the 12th). The Imams led Islam until 874 when al-Askari died, which means from 874-1844, the Muslim community apparently did not need a formal leader.

This fits an interesting pattern, of diminishing leadership structures. The early prophets set up a complex priesthood, Jesus appointed his disciples to serve as leaders in his place after he left, Muhammad set forth a line of Imams that were eventually phased out, and set forth some authority for scholars of the faith, and Baha'u'llah set up a Guardianship that was phased out even sooner and eliminated any form of clergy.

One must wonder if the spiritual development of the progressive revelation is allowing us to act with less and less guidance as more and more is revealed. It seems, at the very least, that this is the trend in revelations.
 
Old 06-08-2016, 01:53 PM   #43
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Yes. DEUS VULT!!

Okay, so I just wanted to shout "Dues Vult" because shouting "God wills it" in Latin is fun.

On to serious part of the answer:

Of note: this is not unprecedented. Muhammad set forth a similar position for his dispensation, the position of Imam. And the line of the imams ended after al-Askari, the eleventh Imam, who was the last Imam until the Bab (who as the Mahdi was the 12th). The Imams led Islam until 874 when al-Askari died, which means from 874-1844, the Muslim community apparently did not need a formal leader.

This fits an interesting pattern, of diminishing leadership structures. The early prophets set up a complex priesthood, Jesus appointed his disciples to serve as leaders in his place after he left, Muhammad set forth a line of Imams that were eventually phased out, and set forth some authority for scholars of the faith, and Baha'u'llah set up a Guardianship that was phased out even sooner and eliminated any form of clergy.

One must wonder if the spiritual development of the progressive revelation is allowing us to act with less and less guidance as more and more is revealed. It seems, at the very least, that this is the trend in revelations.
Yes an interesting thought. It does appear we will always need Guidance though, it appears there is a long way to go in understanding this Gift we are given and indeed the true extent of how embracing it is.

Regards Tony
 
Old 06-08-2016, 04:25 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
BlinkeyBill's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Quilimari,Chile
Posts: 4,213
Dear Noogan if we study more closely I feel some things are revealed to us.
As you say follow science, but in the study of science the origin of man it always starts or ends with the words theory it does not say that science has proved as fact that man came from apes it is a theory which change over time, so we need to watch and see what is discovered in the future.
As for homosexuality well science has proven certain things that have shown the beloved guardian as wrong and again it has been shown that the guardian was not to be correct in everything.

Loving regards
bill
 
Old 06-08-2016, 05:14 PM   #45
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
Like all talks and replies given by Abdul'baha and Shoghi Effendi, taken in context to the situation, audiences and further guidance given at other times. To me there is no "Wrong" advice ever given.

Science has a long way to go in determining the source of all mans afflictions.

We have so little knowledge as to the resulting effect on the body and mind of the foods we eat and the other products we put into the body.

In the future it is more than most likely we can change many things and heal many things with just diet and suppression of ingestion of unnessesary substances.

I for one hold strong and firm that it is Science that is yet to learn in these matters.

Regards Tony
 
Old 06-09-2016, 07:44 AM   #46
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Yes an interesting thought. It does appear we will always need Guidance though, it appears there is a long way to go in understanding this Gift we are given and indeed the true extent of how embracing it is.

Regards Tony
Yes... perhaps I phrased my thoughts wrong. Rewording: "Perhaps as we gain more information through revelation, and have more of God's Guidance, we require less earthly guidance by intermediaries."
 
Old 06-11-2016, 12:25 PM   #47
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
Sen wrote:
Quote:
The Guardianship emerged as a surprise in Abdu'l-Baha's Will and Testament. It might well be something that Baha'u'llah discussed with Abdu'l-Baha, but we know that neither Baha'u'llah nor Abdu'l-Baha referred directly to it in their voluminous writings, prior to the W&T of Abdu'l-Baha. Baha'u'llah gives us some unspecified allusions to the role of his descendants, the Aghsan, but that is all. So the Guardianship is not exactly the cornerstone of the Bahai teachings. It was and is an inspired creation of Abdu'l-Baha, which had the effect of ensuring unity, and of ensuring that no-one could claim any authority of his own interpretations: to do so would be lesse majesteit, trying to stand in the shoes of the Guardian. This is still true today.
Sen:

Thank you for your comments. I always appreciate and respect the individual perspectives and the insights you offer which are no doubt a reflection of your many years of scholarly and in-depth study of the Baha’i Faith. That said, after spending time pondering on some of the thoughts you presented, I will respectfully offer in response some supportive comments as well as some alternative perspectives for your and the others’ interest and consideration.

As you mentioned, the appointment of the Guardianship “emerged as a surprise” to the Baha’i world, and it was apparently an overwhelming and weighty surprise to Shoghi Effendi himself too. In a talk given by Hand of the Cause of God, Leroy Ioas in 1958 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mr. Ioas relayed what Shoghi Effendi had said about his appointment: “Shoghi Effendi was a very remarkable young man, and of course, he just worshipped Abdu’l-Baha. And when Abdu’l-Baha passed away, the whole world became dark for him. All light had gone out. When he returned to the Holy Land, he had in mind from the things which Abdu’l-Baha had said to him, (and I am now telling you what he said), ‘that I had in mind that Abdu’l-Baha would give me the honor of calling the great conclave, which would elect the Universal House of Justice. And I had thought in His Will and Testament, that that probably was what He was instructing to be done.’ But, he said, ‘Instead of that, I found that I had been appointed as the Guardian of the Cause of God,’ and he said, ‘I didn’t want to be the Guardian of the Cause. In the first place, I didn’t think I was worthy. The next days, I didn’t want to face these responsibilities. . . .’ He said, ‘I didn’t want to be the Guardian. I knew what it meant. I knew that my life as a human being was over. I didn’t want it, and I didn’t want to face it, so as you remember, I left the Holy Land, and I went up in the mountains of Switzerland, and I fought with myself until I conquered myself. Then I came back and I turned myself over to God, and I was the Guardian. . . . ‘ “

You also mention “that neither Baha’u’llah nor ‘Abdu’l-Baha referred directly to (the Guardianship)” prior to the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. “Directly” - that may be true, but I would like to share one example I have come across in my studies of a very close “direct” reference to the Institution of the Guardianship made by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in a 1909 letter to Corinne True, some 12 years prior to the contents of His Will and Testament being known. “According to the ordinances of the faith of God, women are equals of men in all rights save only that of membership on the Universal House of Justice, for, as hath been stated in the text of the Book, both the head and the members of the House of Justice are men.” Here ‘Abdu’l-Baha clearly mentions a male “head” of the Universal House of Justice (as differentiated from the male “membership” of the House of Justice). We can compare this to His Will and Testament where ‘Abdu’l-Baha writes: “. . . the guardian of the Cause of God is its (Universal House of Justice) sacred head and the distinguished member for life of that body. . . .” (Part 1) The other interesting thing about this letter is that He refers to is what “hath been stated in the text of the Book”. We can also compare His words “as hath been stated in the text of the Book” to what Shoghi Effendi wrote in his ‘Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’ treatise in reference to “the verses of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas the implications of which clearly anticipate the institution of the Guardianship”, and that “It should be noted in this connection that this Administrative Order (as alluded to by Baha’u’llah and as designed in ‘Adu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament) is fundamentally different from anything that any Prophet has previously established, inasmuch as Bahá'u'lláh has Himself revealed its principles, established its institutions, appointed the person to interpret His Word and conferred the necessary authority on the body designed to supplement and apply His legislative ordinances. Therein lies the secret of its strength, its fundamental distinction, and the guarantee against disintegration and schism.” (World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 145)

You wrote that “the Guardianship is not exactly the cornerstone of the Baha’i teachings.” By the “teachings”, I not sure exactly what you mean, but if you are referring to those spiritual Principles and Verities that “differentiate” the “soul of the Faith” from its “administrative machinery”, I do agree. (Shoghi Effendi, cited in World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 73). But further considering the cornerstone or foundational stone concept, I will offer for consideration that the Institution of the Guardianship is one of the “essential” Covenant based institutions of the Cause of God, described by Shoghi Effendi over and again as one of the “the twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structure”. He also wrote that “The pillars that sustain its authority and buttress its structure are the twin institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice.” ('Dispensation' treatise) Of Guardianship Institution, ‘Abdu’l-Baha wrote in His Will and Testament, “The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the guardian of the Cause of God." (Part 1) From my perspective, the Institution of the Guardianship is that “vital” spiritual and “essential” link between the Revelation of Baha’u’llah (the "soul of the Faith”) and those administrative and legislative institutions, being the “machinery” of the Faith. The Guardian of the Cause of God treads in two spheres of jurisdiction – his own sphere as Interpreter of the “Book” where he provides the “means required to enable (the Faith) to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations” (progressive interpretation?), and overlapping to some degree into the other sphere as a participating permanent “fellow-member”, and the “sacred” and “permanent head” of the Universal House of Justice where he provides “the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives . . .” (‘Dispensation’ treatise and Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha).

Another concept we might consider is that the Guardianship is the “pivot(al)” Institution of the Administrative Order and the future World Order of Baha’u’llah. In His Will, ‘Abdu’l-Baha describes the Guardianship as the “Center of the Cause” (Part 3) to whom all “must turn”, including the Universal House of Justice (Part 1). Similarly, Shoghi Effendi refers to the Institution of the Guardianship as “the pivot of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament” (letter May 4, 1953; published in Messages to the Baha’i World: 1950-1957), which he wrote “may be viewed as the Charter of the New World Order which is at once the glory and promise of this most great Dispensation.” (‘Dispensation’/World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 144). In Ruhiyyih Khanum's book 'Twenty-Five Years of the Guardianship’ (approved twice by Shoghi Effendi for publication) she writes of the “the two Wills — those of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master — are so strongly constructed and so authentic beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is impossible to divorce the body of the teachings from their provisions. The principle of successor ship, endowed with the right of Divine interpretation, is the very hub of the Cause into which its Doctrines and Laws fit like the spokes of a wheel — tear out the hub and you have to throw away the whole thing.” [originally published in The Bahá'í World, Volume XI, 1946-1950, pp. 113-126; also reprinted in A Compendium of Volumes of The Bahá'í World, I-XII, 1925-1954, pp. 242-255.)

In fairness to your comments, I will add that Shoghi Effendi himself did write (when comparing the role of the Guardianship to the Revelation of Baha’u’llah and to the role and rank of ‘Abdul-Baha as the Center of the Covenant) that, “Exalted as is the position and vital as is the function of the institution of the Guardianship in the Administrative Order of Bahá'u'lláh, and staggering as must be the weight of responsibility which it carries, its importance must, whatever be the language of the Will, be in no wise over-emphasized.” (‘Dispensation’ treatise/ The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p.150). I of course agree that Institution of the Guardianship should not be over-emphasized in comparison to those holy Figures and Their roles, but just as importantly, the Guardianship’s “essential” “exalted”, “vital” and “weight(y)” “position” and role should not be de-emphasized or underemphasized either. It is what it is, and as Shoghi Effendi has clearly explained, “without such an Institution” there will be impacts to the Faith and to the future World Order of Baha’u’llah (‘Dispensation’/World Order of Baha’u’llah, 148). I believe that time will prove out if there is validity in the Expounder’s words – I believe there is.

In closing, and for now, I will suggest that we consider that when a primary bodily limb (“Branch”) has been severed (“mutilated”), it has impacts on the body’s ability to fully function as designed. I will also affirm my belief that the sincere membership of the “no less essential institution of the Universal House of Justice” will continue to function into the future, as best as possible, without the participation of the Institution of the Guardianship.

Respectfully,

Larry Roofener
 
Old 06-11-2016, 02:42 PM   #48
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
It seems that it could be considered that an earthly Guardian was needed for this cause for the time that Shoghi Effendi was the Guardian. All these time frames are Gods Will.

Shoghi Effendi fulfilled the Task that was required, He Guarded and Guided the Faith in the Direction it needed to go in the midst of the storm of Covenant Breaking all the while giving it the final detailed instructions the Crew would need to Sail the Arc safely on in the Future.

Once through the Major Storm it was then He left the Arc in Good Hands. The First few storms after His passing were well navigated to show that All that was Provided is Sufficient for the Arc of God to now Sail on as the Universal House of Justice.

We are not without the "Station" of all the Messengers, we are not without Abdul'Baha, we are not without the Guardian, we are not without the Martyrs, the Hands and the Knights of Baha'u'llah. The Arc is Safe from any storm it now faces.

Gods Will has been done and may it be so for all of us. Yabaha'ul'abha

Regards Tony
 
Old 06-11-2016, 02:58 PM   #49
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Roofener View Post
In closing, and for now, I will suggest that we consider that when a primary bodily limb (“Branch”) has been severed (“mutilated”), it has impacts on the body’s ability to fully function as designed. I will also affirm my belief that the sincere membership of the “no less essential institution of the Universal House of Justice” will continue to function into the future, as best as possible, without the participation of the Institution of the Guardianship.

Respectfully,Larry Roofener
Larry, I am sorry can not go with that consideration at all. This cause ushered in the Day of God awaited by all the Messengers of the Past. There is no mutilation or flaw in how it unfolds but what we make of it, Gods Will is the motivating Factor here.

My comments above will suffice.

Regards Tony
 
Old 06-11-2016, 05:32 PM   #50
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
Thank you for your comments Tony. I sincerely attempt to develop my perspectives based on what the Expounder's writings actually convey, both before and after all the male Aghsan abandoned the directions and urgings of the Guardian. I respect that you are free to hold and express your own perceptions.

I appreciate Sen's comment too that "It's our bad luck that this happened in the first generation - for this I blame not Shoghi Effendi, but the other Aghsan who could have been named, had they lived up to the requirements of the position, for Shoghi Effendi lived to an age where he must have been aware that he would remain childless; therefore, he must have considered the potential of all the Aghsan for this role."

Take care.

LR
 
Old 06-12-2016, 08:03 PM   #51
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Jcc's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
Orange,

I think I know what you are referring to. It is actually not obscure at all, and is found in verse 42 of the Aqdas:

The institution of the guardianship, among other things, is an institution based on the aghsan, ie the male progeny of Baha'u'llah. Shoghi Effendi was of the aghshan and he was the only guardian. Although Abdu'l-baha was not called so, he might be regarded as a guardian too in that he was aghsan and appointed head of the faith. The term guardian first occurs in the will and testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, but guardian is aghsan. In the passage it is possible to see a sequence of successor-ship emerge:

1. Baha'u'llah
2. the Aghsan (Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi)
after them
3. The House of Justice

It seems to me that it is a reasonable conclusion that Baha'u'llah did in fact know that the rule by Aghsan would not endure and that there would not be a situation where the guardian and House co-existed. Naturally we do still have the guardianship, which is the legacy of Shoghi effendi, the final guardian ie aghsan head of faith.

Cheers
Fadl,

What you have noted here deserves emphasizing. As the Universal House of Justice itself noted in The Ministry of the Custodians , not only was the break in the line of succession of Aghsan foretold by Baha'u'llah, but even the period of time where the line of Aghsan ended and before the Universal House of Justice could be established was also foreshadowed:

"None hath the right to dispose of them without leave from Him Who is the Dawning-place of Revelation. After Him, this authority shall pass to the Aghsán, and after them to the House of Justice—should it be established in the world by then—that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the Places which have been exalted in this Cause, and for whatsoever hath been enjoined upon them by Him Who is the God of might and power. Otherwise, the endowments shall revert to the people of Bahá who speak not except by His leave and judge not save in accordance with what God hath decreed in this Tablet.—"

It is certainly true, as Shoghi Effendi said, that the Cause is deprived of the many benefits that the Guardianship brings, apart from the legacy of Shoghi Effendi himself, as the first and only Guardian. However, it should not be thought for a minute that because of this God's Purpose might not be fulfilled.

You could think of it as like when Baha'u'llah wrote to the kings and rulers and invited them to embrace His Cause. If they had, it might have hastened the establishment of the Kingdom of God and prevented a lot of suffering, but the fact that they all rejected Baha'u'llah will not prevent the establishment of His Cause and the Most Great Peace. Even though Baha'u'llah knew that His message would be rejected, He still sent the letters, providing the kings a choice to follow Him or not.

Likewise, the succession of Aghsan was mentioned by Baha'u'llah, and implemented by 'Abdul-Baha in the form of the Guardianship. Baha'u'llah knew when and how it would end, but still provided many opportunities for His descendants and then those of 'Abdul-Baha to show faith and loyalty. Sadly, they did not, but they could never prevent the Cause from fulfilling God's purpose.
 
Old 06-13-2016, 04:19 AM   #52
Junior Member
 
Joined: Jun 2016
From: UK
Posts: 6
"Science" must mean that which is truly proven or demonstrated. Evolution by natural selection is a theory that has so many holes in it that it's exponents keep having to shore it up with modifications to explain away the discrepancies. "Evolution" is compatible with theism but Darwinian natural selection is explicitly atheistic and incompatible with faith in God.
 
Old 06-13-2016, 08:25 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
Fionvarin:

Welcome. Your comment has captured my attention and interest. Would you be so good as to elaborate further as relevant to this thread?

LR
 
Old 06-15-2016, 09:08 AM   #54
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by fionvarin View Post
"Science" must mean that which is truly proven or demonstrated. Evolution by natural selection is a theory that has so many holes in it that it's exponents keep having to shore it up with modifications to explain away the discrepancies. "Evolution" is compatible with theism but Darwinian natural selection is explicitly atheistic and incompatible with faith in God.
Do you mean Darwinian evolution as a whole or specifically just Darwinian natural selection??

Because Darwinian natural selection is demonstrably wrong (Darwin's understanding of how parents passed on traits to offspring was ultimately incorrect, Gregor Johann Mendel's inheritance rules would be found to be correct, disproving Darwin's idea of "random variance" in traits), but even if it is incorrect nothing about that specific aspect of Darwin's theory seems to contradict any sort of theism. "Darwinian natural selection" was just a theorem that random variance caused a generation in a species to have differing traits and that the ones best suited to survive would reproduce and pass on those traits.

Darwin's theory as a whole (which honestly was mostly just ripped off from Lemark's theory of evolution, with a single correction to an error Lemark had made) does contradict theism, as Darwin explicitly stated that the original creature that gradually became all other creatures came into existence without a God (this is one of many things he blatantly stole from Lemark's theory). So Darwin's overall theory is contrary to theism, AND is provably incorrect due to him not understanding Mendelian genetics, but I don't see why the "natural selection" part in specific is contrary to theism.
 
Old 06-16-2016, 12:13 AM   #55
Senior Member
 
Sen McGlinn's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: New Zealand mainly
Posts: 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Roofener View Post
...I would like to share one example I have come across in my studies of a very close “direct” reference to the Institution of the Guardianship made by ‘Abdu’l-Baha in a 1909 letter to Corinne True, some 12 years prior to the contents of His Will and Testament being known. “According to the ordinances of the faith of God, women are equals of men in all rights save only that of membership on the Universal House of Justice, for, as hath been stated in the text of the Book, both the head and the members of the House of Justice are men.”
Thank you, that's a great observation. Now where, in the text of the Book, is there reference to a 'head' ?? This warrants more thought, but my first supposition is that it is in the word "aghsan" - the aghsan being male.

As for the essential, vital, pivotal status of the Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi had reason, especially in the beginning of his ministry, to emphasise that the Guardianship was closely woven into the fabric of Bahai teachings, because the North American Bahai community was dealing with Ruth White and Sohrab: with the claim that the Will and Testament must be forged because when Abdu'l-Baha explained the Covenant to the Bahais, he had not mentioned the Guardianship. The question of his day was, why is there are Guardian at all? Our question is, how much difference does it make, that the living guardianship has ended? We need not apply the emphasis that he did, because we are not arguing against the forces he was arguing against.
 
Old 06-18-2016, 07:20 PM   #56
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
In response to Larry Roofener post #47, Sen McGlinn wrote:
Quote:
As for the essential, vital, pivotal status of the Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi had reason, especially in the beginning of his ministry, to emphasise that the Guardianship was closely woven into the fabric of Bahai teachings, because the North American Bahai community was dealing with Ruth White and Sohrab: with the claim that the Will and Testament must be forged because when Abdu'l-Baha explained the Covenant to the Bahais, he had not mentioned the Guardianship. The question of his day was, why is there are Guardian at all? Our question is, how much difference does it make, that the living guardianship has ended? We need not apply the emphasis that he did, because we are not arguing against the forces he was arguing against.
Sen:

Thank you for your comments about the necessary emphasis (or over emphases?) placed by Shoghi Effendi on the Institution of the Guardianship during the early years of the Formative Age of the Faith for its protection from those attacking the Will and Testament, the Guardianship, as well as the other new administrative institutions then emerging and taking shape. For myself, I place equal value in Shoghi Effendi’s writings during his earlier years as Guardian as I place in what he continued to consistently write mentioning the unfoldment of the Institution of the Guardianship (and other institutions) in his later letters and cablegrams, even after he expelled the remaining Aghsan and other family members of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. As I have not found anywhere where Shoghi Effendi began de-emphasizing the Institution of the Guardianship in later years, I will respectfully and politely challenge your comments.

In His ‘Dispensation’ treatise dated February 8, 1934, the Guardian writes of “the emphasis He (‘Abdu’l-Baha) has placed upon the hereditary principle and the law of primogeniture as having been upheld by the Prophets of the Past”, and writes that in this element, as well as the several other factors he mentions, “we can discern the faint glimmerings and discover the earliest intimation of the nature and working of the Administrative Order which the Will of ‘Adu’l-Baha was at a later time destined to proclaim and formally establish.” (World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 147). There are four other places in that treatise where he refers directly to the hereditary principle and/or the law primogeniture when discussing the Baha’i World Order in comparison to the past and existing (at that time) religious and political systems.

In the Guardian’s letters and cablegrams written in later years (to site some examples after the expulsion of the last of the ‘Aghsan, being December 1951), he writes of the need to acquire extensive properties “in the vicinity of the Bab’s Sepulcher destined serve as site of future edifices envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Baha to house auxiliary agencies revolving around twin institutions of Guardianship and House of Justice.” (Cablegram, December 24, 1951) Related, he wrote three years later that the construction of the Archives building “will in turn herald the construction , in the course of successive epochs of the Formative Age of the faith, of several other structures, which will serve as the administrative seats of such divinely appointed institutions as the Guardianship, the Hands of the Cause, and the Universal House of Justice. . . .” and that “The ultimate completion of this stupendous undertaking will mark the culmination of the development of a world –wide divinely-appointed Administrative Order . . . which will synchronize with the Lesser Peace and the evolution of Baha’i national and local institutions . . .” (November 27, 1954). Shoghi Effendi wrote of the “preliminary measures (appointment of the Hands of the Cause of God), heralding the unfoldment of the institution of the Guardianship, the pivot of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament . . .” (May 4, 1953). Again, he wrote that the institution of the Hands of the Cause of God was a “vital and indispensable organ of the embryonic and steadily unfolding Baha’i Administrative Order” that was “closely associated in the provisions (of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will) with the institution of the Guardianship, (and) destined to assume in the fullness of time, under the aegis of the Guardian, the dual sacred responsibility for protection and propagation of the Cause of Baha’u’llah.” (Cablegram, April 6, 1954). Of the Hands of the Cause of God and the National Spiritual Assemblies, he wrote that they occupy, “with the Universal House of Justice, next to the Institution of the Guardianship, foremost rank in the divinely ordained administrative hierarchy of the World Order of Baha’u’llah.” (Cablegram, June 4, 1957), and of the “accelerating the march of the institutions of His world-redeeming Order, and of hastening the establishment of His Kingdom in the hearts of men.” (letter, October 1957) In the month between these two last letters, or between the October letter and his passing on November 4, 1957, I do not find where the Guardian of the Cause of God de-emphasized at all the need for the Institution of the Guardianship because there was no one to appoint, or because there would not be a need to argue and defend the Cause against opposing forces in the future. I would invite examples of Shoghi Effendi’s writings that explain otherwise if any indeed exist.

At this point in my individual study of the Baha’i World Order, based on what was actually written, I cannot accept the supposition that it may make no difference to the Cause of God whether the Seat of the Guardianship is filled or not. At the same time, I recognize there is no Aghsan or other institution that can fill it unless some document prepared by Shoghi Effendi prior to his death is discovered. As there is nothing known that was written by Shoghi Effendi to address this situation, the future will reveal if those impacts to the Cause of God described by him were only applicable to the early years of the Formative Age of the Cause, or will become more apparent at some point in the coming years.

For me, firmness in the Covenant of Baha’u’llah means that I must give credence to, and place validity in, what was actually and consistently written by the Guardian of the Cause of God and the Expounder of the words of God over those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions and individuals at and since his passing.

Respectfully,

LR
 
Old 06-18-2016, 07:39 PM   #57
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
We have the Universal House of Justice that will clarify all that is now needed. We are very fortunate indeed that we can have our own ideas and know that if they need clarification we can ask. In the end our task is to be obedient to all decisions made, right down to the Local Spiritual Assembky level. The guidance given to that obedience is a great way forward for all of us.

One can only now move forward to the Unity Baha'u'llah has given us to obtain for the Lesser Peace.

May Gods Will be done for all.

Regards Tony
 
Old 06-20-2016, 08:28 AM   #58
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: _
Posts: 508
A discussion on what can be a baffling part of our order. And tony, it seems like you repeatedly try to capstone the discussion with statements like the above.

We're not a relgigion of wrote and mindless obedience. Obedience yes, but it appears to me, and I may be wrong, you wish to end the discussion. I've seen it before.


I'm finished here. I have nothing left to say.
 
Old 06-20-2016, 01:25 PM   #59
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by noogan View Post
A discussion on what can be a baffling part of our order. And tony, it seems like you repeatedly try to capstone the discussion with statements like the above.

We're not a relgigion of wrote and mindless obedience. Obedience yes, but it appears to me, and I may be wrong, you wish to end the discussion. I've seen it before.


I'm finished here. I have nothing left to say.
Noogan - Is not all we know about Faith Baffling, can any one say they have grasped even the most insignificant of signs or truths.

Next have you done Rhui Book 8 as yet, or have you looked at the subject of the covenant in some detail?

This discussion is not about what I say in any way shape or form, it never has been, it is about what is not said in open ended comments.

Open ended comments are dangerous ground to play with, you may note I do not play on Dangerous Grounds and will point out when other people do play on them.

Where is dangerous grounds, well here is one "over those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions".

The greatest tool of the Covenant Breakers of the past was to niggle with doubt over and over and over until the seed takes root. Now I do not accuse LR of doing this, but the statement above is worded and intended for a reason.

If Larry wishes to state the reason of the wording openly and the Institution he refers to, then we may get somewhere.

Regards Tony

Last edited by tonyfish58; 06-20-2016 at 01:29 PM.
 
Old 06-20-2016, 07:35 PM   #60
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
In response to Noogan's post #58, Tony wrote in post #59:

Quote:
Noogan - Is not all we know about Faith Baffling, can any one say they have grasped even the most insignificant of signs or truths.

Next have you done Rhui Book 8 as yet, or have you looked at the subject of the covenant in some detail?

This discussion is not about what I say in any way shape or form, it never has been, it is about what is not said in open ended comments.

Open ended comments are dangerous ground to play with, you may note I do not play on Dangerous Grounds and will point out when other people do play on them.

Where is dangerous grounds, well here is one "over those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions".

The greatest tool of the Covenant Breakers of the past was to niggle with doubt over and over and over until the seed takes root. Now I do not accuse LR of doing this, but the statement above is worded and intended for a reason.

If Larry wishes to state the reason of the wording openly and the Institution he refers to, then we may get somewhere.

Regards Tony
Tony:

First of all, I would like to thank Noogan for his courage to post #1 which initiated the communications in this thread, and for his comments above in his post preceding yours.

I have been a member of the Baha’i Faith for nearly four decades now, and not once over those years have I questioned the validity of the Revelations of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, or the appointed roles of ‘Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, or the intended administrative and legislative roles of the Universal, Secondary, and Local Houses of justice, or the intended role of the Hands of the Cause of God.

I truly believe I was prepared for and guided to this Faith following my intense search for truth, meaning, and purpose in life, and after a lengthy general study of the major belief systems of the world as part of that search. Upon recognizing Baha’u’llah, I first “immersed” myself in those teachings of the Faith giving more focus to our spiritual reality. In my early years as a Baha’i, I tended to readily accept the things I was told and taught by those believers who I perceived as being much more “learned” than I. Over time, I began to realize that one of the most basic and important principles taught in this Faith is individual investigation of truth. The actual implementation of this divine principle in my life and in the study of this Cause has expanded my perspectives more than I ever imagined. And at the same time, I am the first to admit that I am no more than a know nothing-no body when it comes to understanding the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. Yet I continue to seek out the truths of this unfolding Revelation in all areas of this divine Cause, including the Administrative Order and the New World Order of Baha’u’llah. This explains my motive Tony.

Now I will politely request that you not judge me and question my faith based on your own personal experiences and understandings of this great Cause. It is not for you, who really knows nothing of me, to imply (more than once) that my current perspectives and the content of my communications are somehow related to covenant breaking.

You continue to emphasize taking the Ruhi courses, especially Book 8 on the Covenant. For your information, as part of my studies I have taken several Ruhi courses over the years, including Book 8, units 1 and 2. That is all I will say regarding Ruhi at this point and on this thread.

I will continue to post on this thread as long as I perceive my comments are a contribution to the thread topic originally initiated by Noogan.

Have a good evening - at least in my part of the world.

LR
 
Old 06-20-2016, 11:09 PM   #61
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Roofener View Post
In response to Noogan's post #58, Tony wrote in post #59:

Tony:

First of all, I would like to thank Noogan for his courage to post #1 which initiated the communications in this thread, and for his comments above in his post preceding yours.

I have been a member of the Baha’i Faith for nearly four decades now, and not once over those years have I questioned the validity of the Revelations of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, or the appointed roles of ‘Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, or the intended administrative and legislative roles of the Universal, Secondary, and Local Houses of justice, or the intended role of the Hands of the Cause of God.

I truly believe I was prepared for and guided to this Faith following my intense search for truth, meaning, and purpose in life, and after a lengthy general study of the major belief systems of the world as part of that search. Upon recognizing Baha’u’llah, I first “immersed” myself in those teachings of the Faith giving more focus to our spiritual reality. In my early years as a Baha’i, I tended to readily accept the things I was told and taught by those believers who I perceived as being much more “learned” than I. Over time, I began to realize that one of the most basic and important principles taught in this Faith is individual investigation of truth. The actual implementation of this divine principle in my life and in the study of this Cause has expanded my perspectives more than I ever imagined. And at the same time, I am the first to admit that I am no more than a know nothing-no body when it comes to understanding the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. Yet I continue to seek out the truths of this unfolding Revelation in all areas of this divine Cause, including the Administrative Order and the New World Order of Baha’u’llah. This explains my motive Tony.

Now I will politely request that you not judge me and question my faith based on your own personal experiences and understandings of this great Cause. It is not for you, who really knows nothing of me, to imply (more than once) that my current perspectives and the content of my communications are somehow related to covenant breaking.

You continue to emphasize taking the Ruhi courses, especially Book 8 on the Covenant. For your information, as part of my studies I have taken several Ruhi courses over the years, including Book 8, units 1 and 2. That is all I will say regarding Ruhi at this point and on this thread.

I will continue to post on this thread as long as I perceive my comments are a contribution to the thread topic originally initiated by Noogan.

Have a good evening - at least in my part of the world.

LR
Dear Larry thank you for your reply it is appreciated. I also hope Noogan stays around to discuss this further.

Please understand I do not judge you. I look at the comment and the wording as such and I address the Words. I address them, would appreciate, from my view of the journey I have walked in this cause.

You said early in the post that these discussions raise strong replies and yes it does as you would appreciate for very good reason.

I am more then happy to know if we sat down and were able to discuss this the common ground would be found more quickly. Such is the internet and most likely my inability to correctly word a response on such a medium.

You are very aware of the rolls and functions given to the Institutions of Our Faith and it is known by you the process of the Covenant.

Thus to clarify this discussion, expand upon this aspect of your comment;

'For me, firmness in the Covenant of Baha’u’llah means that I must give credence to, and place validity in, what was actually and consistently written by the Guardian of the Cause of God and the Expounder of the words of God over those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions and individuals at and since his passing".

What are "those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions and Individuals" that are in any way shape or form not of the Covenant of Baha'ullah, given all the information we have to date.

May you be happy and well always. Regards Tony
 
Old 06-21-2016, 06:02 AM   #62
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Jcc's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sen McGlinn View Post
Thank you, that's a great observation. Now where, in the text of the Book, is there reference to a 'head' ?? This warrants more thought, but my first supposition is that it is in the word "aghsan" - the aghsan being male.

As for the essential, vital, pivotal status of the Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi had reason, especially in the beginning of his ministry, to emphasise that the Guardianship was closely woven into the fabric of Bahai teachings, because the North American Bahai community was dealing with Ruth White and Sohrab: with the claim that the Will and Testament must be forged because when Abdu'l-Baha explained the Covenant to the Bahais, he had not mentioned the Guardianship. The question of his day was, why is there are Guardian at all? Our question is, how much difference does it make, that the living guardianship has ended? We need not apply the emphasis that he did, because we are not arguing against the forces he was arguing against.
I appreciate the historical perspective but from my understanding and belief, the Central Figures that revealed the structure and institutions of the Faith had foresight and prescience that their critics and enemies lacked. The true nature of the Bab's station was misunderstood by many during His ministry. Likewise, Baha'u'llah's station was not fully revealed for many years, and that of 'Abdu'l-Baha was not understood until He explained it. The Bab and Baha'u'llah had full knowledge of future events and were the channels of God's Revelation. 'Abdu'l-Baha was given knowledge of the future as required to fulfill His mission. He clearly knew that his grandson Shoghi, even as a child, had the qualities to lead the Faith, but none of Baha'u'llah's other male descendants did. Whether He knew that the line of Aghsan would end with Shoghi is another question, but it is possible that He did not. It depended on at least one of Baha'u'llah's male descendants showing the same spiritual qualities and faithfulness that Shoghi Effendi did, and He may have prayed that this would occur. Shoghi Effendi also would have prayed for that.

In fact, the institution of the Guardianship did play a crucial role in the God's plan. There were provisions in the design of that institution to work together with the Universal House of Justice, but the functions of the UHJ do not require the presence of a Guardian, and in the end there was not one by the time the UHJ was first elected. That is unfortunate and may have resulted in slowing the growth of the Faith and prolonging the terrible condition the world is in, but will not prevent God's will from being fulfilled.
 
Old 06-28-2016, 11:03 PM   #63
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend area, Oregon
Posts: 142
In post #61, Tony wrote:

Quote:
Thus to clarify this discussion, expand upon this aspect of your comment;

'For me, firmness in the Covenant of Baha’u’llah means that I must give credence to, and place validity in, what was actually and consistently written by the Guardian of the Cause of God and the Expounder of the words of God over those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions and individuals at and since his passing".

What are "those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions and Individuals" that are in any way shape or form not of the Covenant of Baha'ullah, given all the information we have to date. . . .
Tony:

To first clarify, in your post #61 on June 20th on this thread (quoted in part above), the words: "those suppositions and interpretations proposed by institutions and Individuals" are my words, and the words “that are in any way shape or form not of the Covenant of Baha'ullah, given all the information we have to date. . . .” are your words added to my words. To further clarify, the Covenant of Baha’u’llah is not at all in question here. I am referring to “suppositions” proposed by others related to the Institution of the Guardianship since Shoghi Effendi’s passing.

Since your #61 posting, I have been pondering how to carefully, clearly and fully present my “supposition” comments in response to your invitation in a manner that is not threatening to you and others, or misinterpreted as challenging the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, or perceived as disrespecting or undermining the institutions of the Faith – a Faith that we both deeply believe in, are totally committed to, and are privileged to hold an administrative membership in. At the same time, we do have some theological differences in our current understandings. I do encourage you and those reading my previous comments above in this thread do so with an open and investigative mind, and go to the actual sources referenced therein and read for themselves those writings quoted within the context in which they were all written.

I will state that by “supposition” I mean a belief formed and held to be true without clear proof. Within the context I have been commenting on in this thread, “clear proof” would be something Shoghi Effendi himself had “clearly” explained (preferably in writing) that would confirm or validate (or not) a developed and held belief about the Institution of the Guardianship after his passing.

Further considering “clear proofs”, in ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, He referred to Shoghi Effendi as ”the Guardian of the Cause of God” (“Ḥażrat-e Waliy-e Amrallāh”), and as the “mubayyin ayat alláh”, referring to one who makes things clear or manifest. In Shoghi Effendi’s translation of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdul-Baha, he translated the phrase “mubayyin ayat allah” as “the expounder of the words of God”, and in his ‘The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah’ treatise, he translated the same phrase as “the Interpreter of the Word of God”. In that same treatise, Shoghi Effendi stated he was writing in “clear and unambiguous language” which is the standard (the “principle”) by which we should study what he himself wrote, what he directed to be written on his behalf, and what he clearly spoke to the pilgrims who in turn recorded their impressions of his utterances. The Expounder’s (Interpreter’s) clear words should not need further interpretation by the members of the institutions or by individual believers.

Because time is limited, I will offer for now only one “supposition” for consideration, that being the statement: “The Guardian is the Interpreter of Baha’u’llah’s Teachings after ‘Abdu’l-Baha; with him the task of interpretation was complete, and no one has the authority to interpret Baha’u’llah’s Words for the remainder of His Dispensation.” (‘Arising to Serve’, Ruhi series, Book 2, Section 2, pp 60-61). This statement should be near and dear to your heart because as you have expressed above in your post #15 on this thread: “To me there is no doubt that Shoghi Effendi left all that the Guardian needed to give us in this Dispensation.” And in your post #48 where you stated: “Shoghi Effendi fulfilled the Task that was required, He Guarded and Guided the Faith in the Direction it needed to go in the midst of the storm of Covenant Breaking all the while giving it the final detailed instructions the Crew would need to Sail the Arc safely on in the Future.” It would be most helpful if you would provide some references from Shoghi Effendi that actually state that he had provided “all that (he) needed to give us in this Dispensation” or that he had provided “the final detail instructions” in his letters and cable grams to the Baha’i world.

We both certainly agree that “the Guardian is interpreter of Baha’u’llah’s Teachings after ‘Abdu’l-Baha” and that he was the only one that could “authoritatively” interpret the words of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdul-Baha because as Shoghi Effendi himself wrote: “the Guardian has been specifically endowed with such power as he may need to reveal the purport and disclose the implications of the utterances of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha . . .” What I question is the “supposition” in that sentence that teaches that “the task of interpretation was complete”.

The word “complete” means having every necessary part or element; finished or perfected; concluded; fully carried out; lacking nothing, total; entire; . . . We can definitely agree that authoritative interpretation ended with Shoghi Effendi’s unexpected passing, but stating that “the task of (authoritative) interpretation is complete” is not consistent with what is in the Teachings of the Faith.

We may want to consider that in the Kitab-i-Iqan, Baha’u’llah wrote (when referring to some biblical terminologies, being “sun” and “moon”) that “manifold are the meanings they have intended for these terms.” (p. 63); And again in Baha’u’llah’s Commentary on the Surah of the Sun, He further states, “Know assuredly that just as thou firmly believest that the Word of God, exalted be His glory, endureth for ever, thou must, likewise, believe with undoubting faith that its meaning can never be exhausted. They who are its appointed interpreters, they whose hearts are the repositories of its secrets are, however, the only ones who can comprehend its manifold wisdom. . . . Oh, would that the world could believe Me! Were all the things that lie enshrined within the heart of Baha, and which the Lord, His God, the Lord of all names, hath taught Him, to be unveiled to mankind, every man on earth would be dumbfounded. . . . How great the multitude of truths which the garment of words can never contain! How vast the number of such verities as no expression can adequately describe, whose significance can never be unfolded, and to which not even the remotest allusion can be made! How manifold are the truths which must remain unuttered until the appointed time is come! Even as it hath been said: ‘Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.’ . . . Of these truths some can be disclosed only to the extent of the capacity of the repositories of the light of Our knowledge, and the recipients of Our hidden grace. We beseech God to strengthen thee with His power, and enable thee to recognize Him Who is the Source of all knowledge, that thou mayest detach thyself from all human learning, for "what would it profit any man to strive after learning when he hath already found and recognized Him Who is the object of all knowledge?" Cleave to the Root of knowledge, and to Him Who is the Fountain thereof, that thou mayest find thyself independent of all who claim to be well versed in human learning, and whose claim no clear proof, nor the testimony of any enlightening book, can support.” (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, LXXXIX).

Consider also that Shoghi Effendi emphasized over and again the principle that “religious truth is not absolute but relative”. Shoghi Effendi writes: “Repudiating the claim of any religion to be the final revelation of God to man, disclaiming finality for His own Revelation, Baha’u’llah inculcates the basic principle of the relativity of religious truth, the continuity of Divine Revelation, the progressiveness of religious experience. His aim is to widen the basis of all revealed religions and to unravel the mysteries of their scriptures.” (The Promised Day is come, p. 108). Even though Shoghi Effendi usually appears to associate the principle “religious truth is not absolute but relative” with the overarching principle of “Progressive Revelation”, please note that he also mentions “the progressiveness of religious experience”. Related, the Guardian wrote that Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha have “in unequivocal and emphatic language, appointed those twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship as their chosen Successors, destined to apply the principles, promulgate the laws, protect the institutions, adapt loyally and intelligently the Faith to the requirements of progressive society, and consummate the incorruptible inheritance which the Founders of the Faith have bequeathed to the world.” (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 19-20). He also wrote that it was for the Institution of the Guardianship to provide “the means required to enable (the Faith) to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations . . .” (The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 148).

In reading the words of Baha’u’llah and Shoghi Effendi (being one of those “appointed interpreters” referred to by Baha’u’llah in the quote above), I certainly cannot agree that “the task of interpretation was complete” with Shoghi Effendi’s passing. Ended yes, but not complete.

In response to your comments in post #38:

Quote:
“I would consider the direction taken was the result of a gathering and prayerful contemplation of a number of "Hands of the Cause" who fulfilled the task and offerd explanations as it should be.

In turn the Universal House of Justice then offered more on the subject, now the Rhui Book 8 Course contains all this material. If one wishes to be well grounded, then the Rhui Book 8 course with friends is priceless.”
I will let the Universal House of Justice speak to that: “The interpretations written by the beloved Guardian cover a vast range of subjects and are equally binding as the Text itself. . . The Guardian reveals what the Scripture means; his interpretation is a statement of truth which cannot be varied.” (In a letter to a National Spiritual Assembly dated 9 March 1965, quoted in Wellspring of Guidance) “In the Bahá'í Faith there are two authoritative centers appointed to which the believers must turn, for in reality the Interpreter of the Word is an extension of that center which is the Word itself. The Book is the record of the utterance of Bahá'u'lláh, while the divinely inspired Interpreter is the living mouth of that Book – it is he and he alone who can authoritatively state what the Book means.” (In a letter to an individual dated 7 December 1969, quoted in Messages of the Universal House of Justice)

Until later on, LR
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Teachings

Tags
bad, feel, understand



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.