Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > General Discussion

General Discussion Open Baha'i Discussion


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-01-2018, 06:33 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Posts: 209
Hell for who?

“Say: He ordaineth as He pleaseth, by virtue of His sovereignty, and doeth whatsoever He willeth at His own behest. He shall not be asked of the things it pleaseth Him to ordain. He, in truth, is the Unrestrained, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.

They that have disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty are the helpless victims of their corrupt inclinations and desires. These shall return to their abode in the fire of hell: wretched is the abode of the deniers!”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp, 284-285

By rejecting Baha'u'llah, have Christians disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty, or are they going to just be a-okay after they die? If it does not matter if they believe in Baha'u'llah or Jesus why do we bother talking to them? I am pretty much at the end of my rope being told I am going to hell or won't have eternal life because I do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. I consider them completely lost, believing Jesus is going to return from the sky on a cloud and hen they are going to rise from their graves or meet Jesus in the air.

And what did Baha'u'llah mean by this? It seems to mean that only Bahais will have everlasting life (eternal life)...

“The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183
 
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 03-02-2018, 05:38 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
camachoe's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2017
From: Mexico
Posts: 196
Hi Trailblazer:

Perhaps the key in these quotes is to understand what "rebelled against God's sovereignty" means, and what "embraceth the truth" means.

Whenever you find a Christian with a pure heart, she is for sure not rebelling against God's sovereignty and she is already embracing the truth contained in Bahaullahs Revelation. Indeed, she is enjoying the divine influence from the same Spirit of Truth, Logos or Manifestation that we all claim to follow.

The truth contained in Bahá'u'lláh revelation has many aspects, but the cornerstone is the call for unity, for detaching from self, for loving mankind.
The Scriptures state that the purpose of religion is the transformation of the human heart.


The readiness of a Christian with a pure heart to understand and accept further laws, facts and concepts of our Faith is a different issue.
We teach all those things, eventually, to help people to increase their ability to come nearer to God and live bountiful lives, inasmuch as people get ready to understand those teachings.

The concept of progressive revelation does not apply ONLY to civilizations across history, but to any individual. God reveals to each one of us (Christians or Bahais) little by little, according to our personal capacity and according to our spiritual needs.

Millions of people have died without assenting intellectually to the fact that Buddha or Jesus or Mohammed or Bahaullah are Manifestations of God, but they have lived their lives as if they knew it.

If they have loved mankind, they have been baha'is.

So let's keep teaching to people from other faiths, with the expectation to serve, not to effectively induce the salvation or damnation of a soul or even worse, with the expectation of being able to pass a judgement on whether that person has either rebelled against God or embraced the truth. That matter concerns entirely to that person and God.

.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 05:46 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 244
I'm not so sure, sometimes I feel that this cause must me accepted for eternal life and I am motivated to spread it, other times I hear people are saved without it which makes me question why even spread it. However my understanding atm is upon hearing about the cause you are liable for not embracing but prior to hearing about it if you follow your faith you are doing no wrong.

He Who is the Dayspring of Truth is, no doubt, fully capable of rescuing from such remoteness
wayward souls and of causing them to draw nigh unto His court and attain His Presence. “If God had pleased He had surely made all men one people.” His purpose, however, is to enable the pure in spirit and the detached in heart to ascend, by virtue of their own innate powers, unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean, that thereby they who seek the Beauty of the All-Glorious may be distinguished and separated from the wayward and perverse. Thus hath it been ordained by the all- glorious and resplendent Pen.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 05:51 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Walrus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Wisconsin
Posts: 888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
“Say: He ordaineth as He pleaseth, by virtue of His sovereignty, and doeth whatsoever He willeth at His own behest. He shall not be asked of the things it pleaseth Him to ordain. He, in truth, is the Unrestrained, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.

They that have disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty are the helpless victims of their corrupt inclinations and desires. These shall return to their abode in the fire of hell: wretched is the abode of the deniers!”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp, 284-285

By rejecting Baha'u'llah, have Christians disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty,
Assuming they have heard and then consciously rejected the message, yes that is the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
or are they going to just be a-okay after they die?
"Hell" and "Heaven", being states of distance and nearness to God, are not a binary, but rather probably should be understood as a spectrum, with Hell/Absolute Distance From God on one side, and the Lote-Tree-Beyond-Which-There-Is-No-Passing on the other side.

Every Prophet aims to bring us closer to God.

With that understanding, each Prophet who's message is accepted by a person helps to move that person closer to the "Heaven" side. We could say something like accepting a Prophet "increases spiritual potential".

Which would mean that a Christian, having accepted a good number of Prophets and Messages, would have a great deal of spiritual potential in themselves, and would be able to move fairly close to God, though as they lack the knowledge of a few Revelations they may not be able to move as close to God as someone with more knowledge might be able to go.

And, of course, spiritual development doesn't stop with death, so it does not mean a Christian can't learn and grow further past death, nor does it mean we cannot learn and grow further past death.

Eventually there will come another Prophet, and just because we are dead doesn't mean we won't have a duty to recognize that one as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
If it does not matter if they believe in Baha'u'llah or Jesus why do we bother talking to them? I am pretty much at the end of my rope being told I am going to hell or won't have eternal life because I do not believe Jesus is the Messiah.
Eh, just tell them you do believe that Jesus is the Messiah then.

It's merely the question of Trinitarianism vs Unitarianism, and the addition of latter-day prophets, that the Baha'i Faith deviates from mainstream Christianity, but the title of messiah is still something Jesus has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
I consider them completely lost, believing Jesus is going to return from the sky on a cloud and hen they are going to rise from their graves or meet Jesus in the air.
Eh, there's no rush.

If they aren't willing to listen now, perhaps they will be when they die and are in another world. Perhaps talking with deceased saints, prophets, and manifestations will enlighten them. If not, then perhaps in another 800ish years when the next Prophet comes they will be more open to that message.

They have an eternity to learn. They'll probably get there eventually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
And what did Baha'u'llah mean by this? It seems to mean that only Bahais will have everlasting life (eternal life)...

“The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183
Well this particular passage is full of symbolism, specifically alchemical symbolism. Alchemy was the medieval art that was the precursor to chemistry, and was a blend of early science, theology, and philosophy, and was prevalent throughout both Europe, the Middle East, and even China.

Finding a "Divine Elixir" that could transmute lead into gold, cure all diseases, and grant immortality was a central theme of alchemy. This wasn't a literal thing, though, it was a metaphor for enlightenment. They specifically aimed to transmute the "lead" of their soul into "gold".

Baha'u'llah, here, we can see using the same metaphorical language as an alchemist: "Divine Elixir", "transmute into purest gold the dross of the world", "infallible remedy", "everlasting life". All of these are alchemical terms, specifically from the philosophical side of alchemy.

Baha'u'llah speaks in terms of alchemy not infrequently. The Kitab-i-Iqan, for example, speaks of transmuting copper into gold, which philosophy-illiterate critics of the Faith take literally as proof against the Faith, since they are not knowledgeable in the subject of philosophical alchemy.

Thus, in the context of this verse, these alchemical terms Baha'u'llah employs are all synonymous for divine wisdom and enlightenment.

And enlightenment is a thing accessible only to those who accept God's revelations.

Last edited by Walrus; 03-02-2018 at 10:09 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 08:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Kettering, Ohio USA
Posts: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailblazer View Post
“Say: He ordaineth as He pleaseth, by virtue of His sovereignty, and doeth whatsoever He willeth at His own behest. He shall not be asked of the things it pleaseth Him to ordain. He, in truth, is the Unrestrained, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.

They that have disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty are the helpless victims of their corrupt inclinations and desires. These shall return to their abode in the fire of hell: wretched is the abode of the deniers!”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp, 284-285

By rejecting Baha'u'llah, have Christians disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty, or are they going to just be a-okay after they die? If it does not matter if they believe in Baha'u'llah or Jesus why do we bother talking to them? I am pretty much at the end of my rope being told I am going to hell or won't have eternal life because I do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. I consider them completely lost, believing Jesus is going to return from the sky on a cloud and hen they are going to rise from their graves or meet Jesus in the air.

And what did Baha'u'llah mean by this? It seems to mean that only Bahais will have everlasting life (eternal life)...

“The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183
Yes, I would say that by rejecting Baha'u'llah Christians have disbelieved in God and relative to us will have hell, that is, they will be further from God. The fire is about realizing they could have been a lot closer to God and they aren't. But God doesn't treat anyone unjustly. A pure-hearted Christian, however will have a reward:

Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 154)
 
Old 03-02-2018, 12:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Posts: 209
Thanks everyone for your replies. I will try to get back to them later when I have time... Meanwhile, these are a few general thoughts that came to mind...

Just as all Christians have different understandings of Christianity, but all believe in Jesus, All Baha’is have different understanding of the Baha’i Writings but all believe in Baha’u’llah.

Here is my understanding: Just because we accept that all former revelations of God as being truth from God, that does not mean that they are valid for this age in history or that they are as accurate as what was revealed by Baha’u’llah. If all we needed was the older revelations, God would not have sent Baha’u’llah.

For example, as I was saying to camachoe on the other thread, Baha’u’llah reiterates a lot of what the Buddha said about attachment to self, but He does not go so far as to say that without self, there cannot be attachment and therefore there can be no suffering. Clearly, a person can suffer because of the illness or death of a loved one, animal or human, that they love. Is this attachment to self? I think not. So I do not believe that all suffering comes from attachment to self. It can also come from love. You can call that attachment to something besides God if you want to; many Baha’is think that way, but I don’t. I find it impossible to love a God that deliberately remains invisible but we all differ in how we relate to that.

I believe that the revelation of Baha’u’llah has superseded the former revelations from God, and in a sense they have been abrogated, relegated to history. This is substantiated by Baha’u’llah:

“This is the Day when the loved ones of God should keep their eyes directed towards His Manifestation, and fasten them upon whatsoever that Manifestation may be pleased to reveal. Certain traditions of bygone ages rest on no foundations whatever, while the notions entertained by past generations, and which they have recorded in their books, have, for the most part, been influenced by the desires of a corrupt inclination. Thou dost witness how most of the commentaries and interpretations of the words of God, now current amongst men, are devoid of truth. Their falsity hath, in some cases, been exposed when the intervening veils were rent asunder. They themselves have acknowledged their failure in apprehending the meaning of any of the words of God.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 171-172

If all the older revelations are just hunky-dory, why bother to have a new revelation? Moreover how can we ever have unity if everyone clings to their former revelations and the beliefs they hold as a result. These beliefs do separate people as much as you might think they do not. That does not mean that we are to reject people who have different beliefs but I do not think we should coddle them either, and pretend we believe what they do, because this is dishonest. For example, the Holy Spirit is not living inside of anyone guiding them and buy agreeing with Christians this is true them there is no way they can ever grasp the fact that Bahaullah was the Comforter Jesus promised to send in John 14, 15 and 16. So we do them no service by not telling them what we believe about that.

So, maybe, just maybe, it is important to God that people relinquish their older religions and maybe that is why Baha’u’llah wrote the following:

“Say: Is there any doubt concerning God? Behold how He hath come down from the heaven of His grace, girded with power and invested with sovereignty. Is there any doubt concerning His signs? Open ye your eyes, and consider His clear evidence. Paradise is on your right hand, and hath been brought nigh unto you, while Hell hath been made to blaze. Witness its devouring flame. Haste ye to enter into Paradise, as a token of Our mercy unto you, and drink ye from the hands of the All-Merciful the Wine that is life indeed.

Drink with healthy relish, O people of Bahá. Ye are indeed they with whom it shall be well. This is what they who have near access to God have attained. This is the flowing water ye were promised in the Qur’án, and later in the Bayán, as a recompense from your Lord, the God of Mercy. Blessed are they that quaff it.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 45-46

And maybe that is why the Bab wrote the following:

“Wert thou to open the heart of a single soul by helping him to embrace the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest, thine inmost being would be filled with the inspirations of that august Name. It devolveth upon you, therefore, to perform this task in the Days of Resurrection, inasmuch as most people are helpless, and wert thou to open their hearts and dispel their doubts, they would gain admittance into the Faith of God. Therefore, manifest thou this attribute to the utmost of thine ability in the days of Him Whom God shall make manifest. For indeed if thou dost open the heart of a person for His sake, better will it be for thee than every virtuous deed; since deeds are secondary to faith in Him and certitude in His Reality. XVII, 15.” Selections From the Writings of the Báb, p. 133
 
Old 03-02-2018, 01:14 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 244
Wow your thoughts give me joy as this is how I feel about being a Bahá'í and Others being a Bahá'í ! However majority of bahais I meet more knowledgable to me kind of don't place importance and would disagree with me which leaves me confused .. Bahá'u'lláh makes me feel like accepting and recognising him is very important and without it you have little chance (which I think is fair and just) but abdul Baha makes me feel like being a Bahá'í holds not such a high station and unity and love is important and you don't need to convert which does not motivate me to spread the cause as what's the point
 
Old 03-02-2018, 03:28 PM   #8
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 4,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Wow your thoughts give me joy as this is how I feel about being a Bahá'í and Others being a Bahá'í ! However majority of bahais I meet more knowledgable to me kind of don't place importance and would disagree with me which leaves me confused .. Bahá'u'lláh makes me feel like accepting and recognising him is very important and without it you have little chance (which I think is fair and just) but abdul Baha makes me feel like being a Bahá'í holds not such a high station and unity and love is important and you don't need to convert which does not motivate me to spread the cause as what's the point
We are told to Look at Abdul'baha and be as he was. Abdul'baha was our greatest example of how to teach.

"O ye servants of the Blessed Beauty!… It is clear that in this day, confirmations from the unseen world are encompassing all those who deliver the divine Message. Should the work of teaching lapse, these confirmations would be entirely cut off, since it is impossible for the loved ones of God to receive assistance unless they teach.
Under all conditions, the teaching must be carried forward, but with wisdom. If the work cannot proceed openly, then let them teach in private, and thus engender spirituality and fellowship among the children of men. If, for example, each and every one of the believers would become a true friend to one of the unheeding, and, conducting himself with absolute rectitude, associate with this soul, treat him with the utmost kindness, himself exemplify the divine instructions he hath received, the good qualities and behaviour patterns, and at all times act in accord with the admonitions of God—it is certain that little by little he will succeed in awakening that previously heedless individual, and in changing his ignorance to knowledge of the truth.
Souls are inclined toward estrangement. Steps should first be taken to do away with this estrangement, for only then will the Word take effect. If a believer showeth kindness to one of the neglectful, and, with great love, gradually leadeth him to an understanding of the validity of the Holy Cause, so that he may come to know the fundamentals of God’s Faith and the implications thereof—such a one will certainly be transformed, excepting only those seldom-encountered individuals who are even as ashes, whose hearts are ‘hard as rocks, or harder still.’
If every one of the friends should strive in this way to guide one soul aright, the number of believers will double every year; and this can be accomplished with prudence and wisdom, and no harm whatever would result therefrom.
Furthermore, the teachers must travel about, and if spreading the Message openly should cause a disturbance, then instead, let them stimulate and train the believers, inspire them, delight them, rejoice their hearts, revive and refresh them with the sweet savours of holiness."

Note the passages about 'No harm will be done' and 'disturbances', then consider internet forums and words.

Deeds are the greatest teacher in this day. I have found this to be so, yet I continue with words far to often? Strange, very strange

Regards Tony

Last edited by tonyfish58; 03-02-2018 at 03:33 PM.
 
Old 03-02-2018, 03:42 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: Birmingham
Posts: 244
-

Trailblazer with your points I'm not sure how in tune they are with Abdul Baha's understanding as

“I have never heard of Bahá’u’lláh,” said a young man. I have only recently read about this 106 movement, but I recognize the mission of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and desire to be a disciple. I have always believed in the brotherhood of man as the ultimate solvent of all our national and international difficulties.”
“It makes no difference whether you have ever heard of Bahá’u’lláh or not,” was the answer, “the man who lives the life according to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is already a Bahá’í. On the other hand a man may call himself a Bahá’í for fifty years and if he does not live the life he is not a Bahá’í. An ugly man may call himself handsome, but he deceives no one, and a black man may call himself white yet he deceives no one: not even himself!”
 
Old 03-02-2018, 04:23 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Joined: Jul 2017
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Posts: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Trailblazer with your points I'm not sure how in tune they are with Abdul Baha's understanding as

“I have never heard of Bahá’u’lláh,” said a young man. I have only recently read about this 106 movement, but I recognize the mission of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and desire to be a disciple. I have always believed in the brotherhood of man as the ultimate solvent of all our national and international difficulties.”
“It makes no difference whether you have ever heard of Bahá’u’lláh or not,” was the answer, “the man who lives the life according to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is already a Bahá’í. On the other hand a man may call himself a Bahá’í for fifty years and if he does not live the life he is not a Bahá’í. An ugly man may call himself handsome, but he deceives no one, and a black man may call himself white yet he deceives no one: not even himself!”
That might be true that if someone recognizes the mission of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and desires to be a disciple, believes in the brotherhood of man as the ultimate solvent of all our national and international difficulties, they do not need to sign a Baha'i card and join the Baha'i Faith....

That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about Christians who vehemently disagree with Baha'is and do not think that a new message or Messenger is necessary and they reject Baha'u'llah on the grounds that He is not the same man Jesus. Not only that, they condemn everyone who is not a Christian to hell.

Here is a similar passage to that passage you quoted:

“When asked on one occasion: “What is a Bahá’í?” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied: “To be a Bahá’í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.” On another occasion He defined a Bahá’í as “one endowed with all the perfections of man in activity.” In one of His London talks He said that a man may be a Bahá’í even if He has never heard the name of Bahá’u’lláh. He added:—
The man who lives the life according to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is already a Bahá’í. On the other hand, a man may call himself a Bahá’í for fifty years, and if he does not live the life he is not a Bahá’í. An ugly man may call himself handsome, but he deceives no one, and a black man may call himself white, yet he deceives no one, not even himself.

One who does not know God’s Messengers, however, is like a plant growing in the shade. Although it knows not the sun, it is, nevertheless, absolutely dependent on it. The great Prophets are spirits suns, and Bahá’u’lláh is the sun of this “day” in which we live. The suns of former days have warmed and vivified the world, and had those suns not shone, the earth would not be cold and dead, but it is the sunshine of today that alone can ripen the fruits which the suns of former days have kissed into life.”

Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, pp. 71-72
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > General Discussion

Tags
hell



Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2018 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.