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Old 10-06-2016, 01:50 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
Aidan may I humbly give my idea about it? I too was confused when I first accepted the faith and I thought more and reached this conclusion:

I clarify with an example. imagine there is a big king in the world. the king of the kings. he lives in a place where no one knows, nor does he let anyone to even meet with him in person. but he has chosen other kings, minor kings who are the complete manifestations of himself. now this king of the kings sends a king each once in a while to some countries so that people can look at him and have an idea of how the king of the kings is. this king (the sent away king) is the complete manifestation of the king of the kings and people have not access in person to the king of the kings. so it is not futile if they call this king, the king of the kings. he is not the king of the kings and at the same time he is because there are no better and more complete manifestations to show people how the king of the kings is. now the king of the kings is God and the king is His manifestations

(oh! too many "king" words! hope you are not confused! )
Thank you little sister, but not very helpful really
 
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:00 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
Thank you little sister, but not very helpful really
yes! I suspected it would be confusing

now look at this quotation:

"The perfection of the Named One (God) is eminently manifested by the fact that He reveals Himself through His Names to the person who does not know Him, so that the Name is to the Named as the outward is to the inward and in this respect the Name is the Named One Himself."
― Abd al-Karim al-Jili, The Perfect Man (cited in Spiritual Ascent, 1034).
 
Old 10-07-2016, 10:24 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Babism View Post
Exodus 7:1, my friend, Exodus 7:1!!*"See, I have made you God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your Prophet."

And Jesus said the same about own followers "we are the gods" in Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34
The both verses mean that Moses and followers of Jesus was spiritual children of God
That's, um, kinda my point.

It's odd to me.

Bible states Jesus was God: People interpreting this insist it must be literal.
Bible states Moses was God: Those same people insist it is metaphor.

There's nothing distinguishing one from another. How can you know that when Jesus says he is God that it means his God is dwelling within him and at the same time know that when Moses says he is God that this is simply a metaphor?? Where is the proof or logic from which your conclusion comes?? If one thing can be one way can't the other be that same way too??

Last edited by Walrus; 10-07-2016 at 10:32 AM.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 10:30 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Babism View Post
God Yahweh didn't punish them, they are punish theirself.
Example #473 in Pawel "answering" me by ignoring my question and stating something completely different than I agree with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babism View Post
Cierpienie

Death and suffering are not destined from the creation of first man and women. When Adam and Eve doesn't fall in sin, they live be everlasting. Separated Adam and Eve from God, was result of their free will. For example person who commite suicide went to hell (you can laugh walrus, it's your choice), death is not solution. After death bad people pick up what they sew, when they sew on earth sad they will be sad in Hell, when they committed violence - they will be tortured by demons, and all people choosed evil and refused goodness.
And once again, no proof offered that death is a bad thing. Just blind assertion that death is bad. Again, you stating your beliefs doesn't answer my questions which are why you believe what you believe. Restating what you believe answers nothing.

I still have no answers on why death is bad, no proof of evil existing, and no explanation about how the narrative of a powerful Satan can be true without blatantly contradicting itself.

I feel I could just ask questions then open up my bible to a random page and read a random verse and I'd get the exact same effect as talking with you.
 
Old 10-07-2016, 11:58 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
Thank you little sister, but not very helpful really
Aidan, This one is a good meditation

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

XXI: O Salmán! The door of the knowledge of…

O Salmán! The door of the knowledge of the Ancient Being hath ever been, and will continue for ever to be, closed in the face of men. No man’s understanding shall ever gain access unto His holy court. As a token of His mercy, however, and as a 50 proof of His loving-kindness, He hath manifested unto men the Day Stars of His divine guidance, the Symbols of His divine unity, and hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the knowledge of His own Self. Whoso recognizeth them hath recognized God. Whoso hearkeneth to their call, hath hearkened to the Voice of God, and whoso testifieth to the truth of their Revelation, hath testified to the truth of God Himself. Whoso turneth away from them, hath turned away from God, and whoso disbelieveth in them, hath disbelieved in God. Every one of them is the Way of God that connecteth this world with the realms above, and the Standard of His Truth unto every one in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. They are the Manifestations of God amidst men, the evidences of His Truth, and the signs of His glory." Baha'u'llah
 
Old 10-07-2016, 05:56 PM   #86
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Jesus, Moses and Baha’u'llah bounce the light of the sun but they are not sun that said Baha’u'llah it's true. Jesus is God in metaphorical sense but he preexist like holy spirit (so that is little difference, because holy spirit is eternal power of God, and this is a Jesus)
 
Old 10-07-2016, 06:00 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Example #473 in Pawel "answering" me by ignoring my question and stating something completely different than I agree with.



And once again, no proof offered that death is a bad thing. Just blind assertion that death is bad. Again, you stating your beliefs doesn't answer my questions which are why you believe what you believe. Restating what you believe answers nothing.

I still have no answers on why death is bad, no proof of evil existing, and no explanation about how the narrative of a powerful Satan can be true without blatantly contradicting itself.

I feel I could just ask questions then open up my bible to a random page and read a random verse and I'd get the exact same effect as talking with you.
I ask you : did you see God? Answer is - no, so why you believe in his existence?
 
Old 10-10-2016, 05:49 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babism View Post
I ask you : did you see God? Answer is - no, so why you believe in his existence?
My answer is actually yes. So now what??
 
Old 10-10-2016, 02:13 PM   #89
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Hi Aidan and gnat

Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
There's only one God and Bahaullah certainly is not God as I know Him and I could not remain in this Faith if it maintains that Baha'u'llah is in fact God
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Do we? I've obviously missed something during all these years as a Bahá'í.

gnat

Please note that I stated "as God".

Here are a couple of quotes for you. Abdul-Baha in every prayer He revealed elevated Baha'u'llah to the status of God:

“Thou hast asked regarding the phrase, ‘He is God!’ written above the Tablets. By this Word it is intended that no one hath any access to the Invisible Essence. The way is barred and the road is impassable. In this world all men must turn their faces toward ‘Him-whom God-shall-Manifest.’ He is the ‘Dawning-place of Divinity’ and the ‘Manifestation of Deity.’ He is the ‘Ultimate Goal,’ the ‘Adored One’ of all and the ‘Worshipped One’ of all. Otherwise, whatever flashes through the mind is not that Essence of essences and the Reality of realities; nay, rather it is pure imagination woven by man and is surrounded, not the surrounding.”
(Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas, p. 485)



Also Baha'u'llah Himself states categorically in Gleanings LXXXIV:

"The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. By this is meant that whatever pertaineth to the former, all His acts and doings, whatever He ordaineth or forbiddeth, should be considered, in all their aspects, and under all circumstances, and without any reservation, as identical with the Will of God Himself. This is the loftiest station to which a true believer in the unity of God can ever hope to attain. Blessed is the man that reacheth this station, and is of them that are steadfast in their belief."

This is not to say that Baha'u'llah IS the Essence of God, but rather He is to be REGARDED as God.

Hope this helps
Kam
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:48 PM   #90
Have Mercy, O my God
 
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It is foolish to believe the Almighty would create an advesary for Himself. He is the All-Powerful and the All-Merciful, He would not create hellfire or a Satan for humanity's burden, let alone His own.

Ya Bahá'u'l-Abhá

Last edited by Israel Meheret; 01-20-2017 at 10:20 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2017, 11:22 PM   #91
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I'll have to defend Aidan here. The teachings about Devils are not as clear in the Bahai faith as people here want them to be. Everybody knows this quote "God didn't create an evil spirit". Such statements Must be taken with a grain of salt and investigated, before judging others for interpreting them "wrong". I am pretty sure that Hitler was an evil Spirit and God created him. We know that God has created evil humans, so it is not against the Bahai faith to think, that God also created evil Aliens/Spirit beings, that could be the Satan from the Bible or Quran.

No, God didn't create Hitler evil, he chose to be evil, he chose to destroy humanity. The same applies to the Satan. He was created good, but chose to destroy humanity, and he is not a human. Satan could be a Hitler like Spirit, and there is no contradoction to Bahai teachings in that theory.
 
Old 01-21-2017, 06:56 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by save View Post
The same applies to the Satan. He was created good, but chose to destroy humanity, and he is not a human.
I actually have no problem theologically with the idea of a spirit entity rebelling against God.

But where I think it becomes theologically inconsistent is the idea that the rebellious spirit has power. Most belief in "the Devil" or whatever one calls it comes paired with a belief that the entity exerts tangible influence on our world... which just... citation needed. I can't find any theological or scriptural evidence of that being the case. The greatest extent of his powers were only ever in scriptures: Talking to Jesus. Talking to the Buddha. And that's only if you're going with a pure literalist viewpoint.

I'm not yet fully sure on my feelings about the Book of Job, but in that book Satan (in this story, he is a pre-rebellion Satan) has no power of his own and must ask God for power to act.

Then we also get verse in the Quran about how Satan has no power: "The truth has come, and Iblis can neither create anything nor resurrect." (34:49)

The idea that God would allow the devil tangible power over this world, far greater power than any human has, and power quite on par with that of the Manifestations themselves, doesn't make any sense to me. In Job we can learn the rebelious angel only ever gained power through God, and the Quran with authority states Iblis is as powerless as an idol. Yet a lot of people seem to think he has some sort of great power or influence in this world... which makes no logical sense (why would God permit such a being to posses prophet-level power??) and is contradicted by authoritative writings like the Quran (and, obviously, while Law can be abrogated through subsequent revelation, a writing explaining metaphysics can not (unless I am mistaken, and the nature of the universe itself can change with each revelation---in which case this universe is far more interesting than I thought), so Muhammad's Ismah should guarantee here with infallibility that even an existent Iblis has no power over us as humans. Heck, in the second Surah of the Quran, we humans were given dominion over Iblis!! (or, at least Adam was... but that still sort of paints a metaphysical image of humanity being greater than that of the angelic))

Last edited by Walrus; 01-21-2017 at 07:01 AM.
 
Old 01-21-2017, 09:05 AM   #93
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Yes, I also don't agree with the christian interpretation that the devil is stronger than God in some ways, or is capable to do anything against God's will. Imo that is just a flawed way to answer the problem of evil, but the christian and islamic interpretation of Satan has no scriptural basis for me. Since, I have never seen spirits, I don't even believe in them. For me, Satan or Iblis are just people, maybe real, maybe just a metaphor for such people in general. But I don't see a problem, when a Bahai believes, that an evil spirit is out there to get us, and it is called Satan. God allows evil people to have power, if evil spirits exists, they could have power too.
 
Old 01-21-2017, 09:26 AM   #94
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Ya Allah, no evil spirit would have power against Him. He is the All Powerful and All Forgiving.
 
Old 01-21-2017, 11:04 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by save View Post
God allows evil people to have power, if evil spirits exists, they could have power too.
This is true, but I'd say the degree of power he is attributed to having is quite absurd. Especially because we know via scripture that in the spiritual realm those who are "strongest" and "wealthiest" are those who are closest to God. (Metaphysically speaking, this could be an explanation for how "Saints" across various faiths work!!) From the bit of what we know about what spiritual life is like, a spirit like that of Iblis would be among the weaker (unless the Yazidi narrative is correct, and the Devil eventually repented. Interesting faith, that of the Yazidi!!).

Random thought that is (disclaimer) pure speculation but the Zoroastrian term for the Devil is plural, "Angra Mainyu", "destructive spirits". Perhaps a hint that evil spirits could only influence through working in tandem?? (Again. PURE speculation/wondering and not even something I believe at this time. Just thoughts.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by save View Post
For me, Satan or Iblis are just people, maybe real, maybe just a metaphor for such people in general.
There's a quote somewhere (recently quoted on this forum, but I don't have enough time to look it up) that says that djinn can be a metaphor for someone who is "fiery" by nature, either quick to emotion or fiery in Faith of God.

With that lens, looking at the story of Adam and Iblis as presented in the Quran, we'd potentially have a story about Adam being made chief of the humans and Iblis rebelling against the decision because he believed, as a "being of fire", he had stronger faith than Adam.

Last edited by Walrus; 01-21-2017 at 11:09 AM.
 
Old 01-22-2017, 12:17 AM   #96
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I have a book that was originally published by Stonehaven Press a few years ago called The Metropolis of Satan. It's a short one, but it talks about the Christian and Baha'i views of Satan and evil. The end of the book contains a thorough selection of Baha'i quotes on the matter. I highly recommend it, as it is very pertinent to the conversation in this thread. You can still buy the book at the Stonehaven Press web site. It is a great guide for the dialogue between Christians and Baha'is on the subject. It will save a lot of work for those who want to be able to support the Baha'i perspective with actual Baha'i scripture.

EDIT: I spent some time rereading the original chapters of this book. It answers all of the issues raised in this thread so completely that I cannot recommend it enough, especially to Baha'is who are convinced they have a clear view of the issue. There are multiple nuances to the argument that simply must be addressed if you are dealing with Christians, and if you do not you will probably fail miserably in being an effective witness for the Baha'i cause. You can take my word for it as someone who was raised a Christian and who has struggled with the same issues. Upon request, I can provide quotes from the book, but there are so many quotes that I wanted to include that I didn't even know where to begin. It's been a long time since I've read The Metropolis of Satan, and I had forgotten how well-written it is. It does more to clarify the Baha'i position on evil and Satan than anything I have ever read on the internet.

Last edited by Scribe; 01-22-2017 at 03:42 AM.
 
Old 02-01-2017, 12:27 PM   #97
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Then we also get verse in the Quran about how Satan has no power: "The truth has come, and Iblis can neither create anything nor resurrect." (34:49)

You are correct, but the Devil did go down to Georgia! :-) He lost, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

The thing with the devil is that he always achieved his aims through influence and suggestion. That's where the whole "sold your soul to the devil" idea comes from.

"Satan" may not have power, but the rebellious one can whisper in someone's ear, stroke the ego, tell them want they want to hear, pushing them into a certain direction.

I am somewhat sympathetic to AidanK's conundrum, because I have had occasion to wonder if these evil pervasive influences we see draping the world aren't part of an organized effort. It is particularly scary.

I read somewhere (perhaps on this forum) that there is a tradition in Islam about casting away evil thoughts being a praise worthy action because it requires effort. Perhaps this is the "rebellious one", our baser self's, that can influence us in the wrong direction.

Orange D-

Last edited by OrangeD; 02-01-2017 at 12:29 PM.
 
Old 02-01-2017, 12:57 PM   #98
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The thing with the devil is that he always achieved his aims through influence and suggestion. That's where the whole "sold your soul to the devil" idea comes from.

"Satan" may not have power, but the rebellious one can whisper in someone's ear, stroke the ego, tell them want they want to hear, pushing them into a certain direction.
Even that, though, if talking about a literal supernatural entity, that is more power than any Scriptural source ascribes to the entity. The basic question would come up again: Why would God give a stronger ability to Iblis to influence the world than to virtuous souls??

So ultimately I'd agree with your conclusions of it being symbolic of a baser nature, which is what the Scriptures say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeD View Post
I am somewhat sympathetic to AidanK's conundrum, because I have had occasion to wonder if these evil pervasive influences we see draping the world aren't part of an organized effort. It is particularly scary.
The mantra to counteract that feeling is written in the Quran and proscribed in the Seven Valleys: "Repeat the gaze: Seest thou a single flaw?"
 
Old 02-01-2017, 05:53 PM   #99
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No, he doesn't. It's just emptiness screaming.

gnat
 
Old 02-03-2017, 10:49 AM   #100
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Good observation

And once again, no proof offered that death is a bad thing. Just blind assertion that death is bad. Again, you stating your beliefs doesn't answer my questions which are why you believe what you believe. Restating what you believe answers nothing.

I still have no answers on why death is bad, no proof of evil existing, and no explanation about how the narrative of a powerful Satan can be true without blatantly contradicting itself.
... [/QUOTE]

Good observation there. I've never heard it expressed that way. For if we only "knew" what awaits us on the other side of this life, so long as we have recognized the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His Laws, and been obedient to the ordinances of God, then surely "death is a messenger of joy."

. When an untimely death occurs, it can shatter the hearts and cause grief on "this side of the line" of mortality, for we only see what is within the walls of the earthly womb, and are unable to assess the outcome.

. It is God's will and wisdom that the post-mortal realm remain veiled to us, perhaps because Faith is the necessary and proper bridge to that immortal realm, and "you can't get there from here" by any other way.
 
Old 02-04-2017, 01:51 PM   #101
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A search through the Baha'i Writings using Ocean shows at least 261 references to Satan. by the Bab, Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha. In the great majority of these references, they are used in a similar way as they are in the Bible and Quran, where they are traditionally interpreted as being literal references to a particular evil being or fallen angel.

Of course, even in the Bible and Quran, there are clues which ought to indicate that perhaps Satan is not a literal evil being, for instance where Jesus speaks to Peter and says "get behind me Satan." Most Christians don't pick up on that.

Regardless, there are clearly reasons why the Baha'i Scriptures very frequently speak of Satan in a very similar way as it is mentioned in the Bible and Quran. Maybe it is the same reason why these references are made in the older scriptures. I don't think it is to provide a convenient fiction to scare people into acting right. I actually think that when the older scriptures were new, they were not interpreted literally to the extent they were by subsequent generations, people were more in tune with the spirit of the Revelation. See 1 Corinthinans 2:10-16
 
Old 02-21-2017, 02:35 AM   #102
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Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 8)

We shouldn't let disunity come about because of relatively small differences in personal beliefs. If we all honestly search for the truth together with compassion, it will come out.

After all, we are all Bahai's - what could be a greater reason for being on the same side?
 
Old 05-18-2017, 11:00 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
...I feel we deny his existence at our peril.
I wonder why people who believe in Satan as a literal, supernatural being, would feel that denying such a belief would endanger their soul.

First, evil is evil and we must avoid it, even if we discovered that evil does not come from other source than from inside my mind.

Second, if you ask me, acknowledging that Satan is everything within me which opposes God, should make more alert and careful than ever. What monster would be more dangerous, than the monster that lives in me? If I understand that Satan breathes in me, goes with me everywhere, every single day, because it is part of my mind, I better watch out!

This is why Peter says "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8)

and Third, knowing that Satan has only the powers that I choose to give him, makes me entirely responsible for my spiritual well being. In the metaphor of the Fall in Genesis, Adam and Eve get the consequences of their wrong choice even when they try to shrugg off their responsability by accusing the serpent. ("The serpent deceived me, and I ate")

Last edited by camachoe; 05-18-2017 at 11:14 AM.
 
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