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Old 07-23-2018, 02:25 AM   #1
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Laws

My post>>As mentioned many times the Bahai's, in particular the LSA's are not to burden with laws. That the faith is young and has to go through a growth stage first, then wham, obey laws. Well, that's how it sounds. it sounds ominousness.
.
This has me worried as it makes me feel I don't really know what I'm in for in the future, Especially with the way humans are in their cruelty when it comes to making others comply with Gods' many so called laws as was and is being done in older Teachings.

So, what will happen in the future, I want to know what will happen to those who are unable to comply with God's Laws as defined in the Baha'i Faith?

I know full well how immature humans are, there is no God's Law that will make women and men stay faithful to ones spouse for one and people will go broke paying the gold fine (are women subject to the gold fine for adultery too?). As an example. So, what laws will get people thrown in Baha'i jail or cast out of the faith in the future or are laws broken considered a private failing between the human and God to be reckoned with by God and not other humans.

These paragraphs encourage me,

Wikipedia; "While some of the social laws are enforced by Bahá'í institutions," and "The main source of Bahá'í law is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, but it is supplemented by some supplementary texts written by Bahá'u'lláh, as well as further interpretations by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi, heads of the religion after Bahá'u'lláh's death, as well as legislation by the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Bahá'ís.[3] The writings of Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi are considered fundamental and unchangeable, while the application of some of them depends on decisions by the Universal House of Justice. Legislation by the Universal House of Justice is seen as subsidiary and is subject to alteration and/or repeal by the Universal House of Justice to account for changing circumstances.[4] The laws written by the Báb are not applicable, except when Bahá'u'lláh specifically reiterated them.[3]

Bahá'u'lláh stated that the ordinances of his book of laws was the best method for the maintenance of world order and security, and that Bahá'ís should obey the laws with "joy and gladness", and that true liberty could be obtained by obedience to the laws.[1] "

>>"In Bahá'í literature the laws are not seen as a constricting code, or a ritual, but are described as the "choice wine", and a means to happiness. The laws are generally presented as a set of general principles and guidelines which each individual Bahá'í must apply to their own lives as they see fit.[2] Bahá'í law and teachings do not include details on many aspects of life, and the successive heads of the religion have been reluctant to prescribe specific and detailed codes of Bahá'í behaviour;[3] for example the heads of the religion have stated that details of Bahá'í behaviour, such as how to dress, are a matter of individual choice and not Bahá'í law.[2] This is in contrast to the provisions of Islamic law.[3]

The practice of Bahá'í law is firmly placed on individual conscience, understanding and reasoning.[2] The Bahá'í laws are not considered as binding to anyone until they become a Bahá'í, and becoming a Bahá'í is not conditional on a person's level of adherence to the laws; an individual is expected to gradually apply laws on a personal basis.[3] Bahá'ís are expected to follow the laws not because they will be punished for breaking them, but instead because they love Bahá'u'lláh and that they fear God.[2] The teachings of the Bahá'í Faith state that individuals are answerable to God.[2] The observance of personal laws, such as prayer or fasting, is the sole responsibility of the individual, but some laws may be enforced to a degree by Bahá'í institutions, by the loss of Bahá'í administrative rights, if they bring the Bahá'í community into public disrepute.[3] <<"

Last edited by Mike4591; 07-23-2018 at 03:43 AM.
 
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4591 View Post
there is no God's Law that will make women and men stay faithful to ones spouse for one
I strongly disagree with the notion that adultery is somehow inevitable. I know of many, many couples that have been faithful. The number of such couples greatly eclipses the number I know that had infidelity on the part of one or both partners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4591 View Post
and people will go broke paying the gold fine
So given the current cost of gold that's $1,290.73 USD. That's not an insurmountable number.

And given the severity of the crime, I think it is if anything too low.

Let's not imagine that adultery is a victimless crime. Not only is the adulterer breaking a promise to another human being but, given that sexually transmitted disease is a real, existing thing, when a person cheats on their partner they are risking their partner's life for their own selfish desires.

If a person cheats on their partner, manages to catch, say, HIV, and transmits the virus to their partner, they have effectively killed their partner.

I find it really hard to sympathize with someone who would risk their partner that way. If a person is dissatisfied with their relationship, they should do the honest thing and divorce, not put their partner at risk of serious illness.

If a person wants to atone for putting their partner at risk, then giving some resources back to society is a good thing, as their actions can potentially harm others. So helping others might repair in part the damage done, not to mention parting with the money would be a probably needed lesson of detachment for the adulterer.

Granted I am of the opinion that this should only be done voluntarily, and of course the UHJ isn't empowered to impose fines on those outside of the faith, nor have I seen provisions empowering them to collect fines, so I think as written it might even have to be voluntarily given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4591 View Post
(are women subject to the gold fine for adultery too?).
Yes, of course. A woman is as accountable for her actions is a man is for his own. Equality of the sexes demands as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4591 View Post
So, what laws will get people thrown in Baha'i jail
Arson and murder are the only two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4591 View Post
or cast out of the faith
One can only be declared a covenant breaker if their trying to actively undermine the faith or divide people.

The standard is higher for that of, say, excommunication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike4591 View Post
in the future or are laws broken considered a private failing between the human and God to be reckoned with by God and not other humans.
General rule of thumb seems to me to be that if it doesn't harm anyone other than yourself, that's on you. The only things that seem to have actual temporal consequences seem to be those that harm or endanger others.

A person smoking opium harms only their own body. A person who kills another person harms that other person. A person that lights a building on fire or cheats on their partner endangers other people. The first has no proscribed punishment, the others do, so I suspect harm or potential harm to others is the unspoken standard.

Last edited by Walrus; 07-23-2018 at 01:15 PM.
 
Old 07-24-2018, 03:26 PM   #3
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there is no God's Law that will make women and men stay faithful to ones spouse for one

Hm, the writings do prohibit adultery, but "punish" it with a fine instead of stoning the women death as past laws (Islamic and Judaic law ) prescribed..

What would you prefer ??

I far as I know all the major faiths list adultery as a sin/crime/ failing

What stops adultery is not the fear of punishment. Fear of punishment stops very few crimes in wider society.

Understanding why an act is wrong, and having love and respect for our fellow man is what stops most crimes.

Yes people will still have moments of weakness and commit crimes or sins from time to time. But making a list of strict laws and severe punishments with not prevent this, building up virtues will reduce there occurrence.

Many Christian churches prohibited divorce in the past, this didnt stop people getting divorced, it just stopped a lot of people going to church!

Better to teach the virtues of chastity, faithfulness, patience, respect and consultation, to prevent people sinning, than to say " you will be punished for adultery or divorce.


My 2 cents worth,
T
 
Old 07-24-2018, 04:53 PM   #4
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I don't see Bahais ever being completely respectable enough nor organized enough to have a sovereign nation of their own, with their own military and police, in my lifetime to even bother to have to worry about how they'd enforce any of God's Laws. They're still reeling in their own internal scandals of their own hypocrits.
 
Old 07-24-2018, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
I don't see Bahais ever being completely respectable enough nor organized enough to have a sovereign nation of their own, with their own military and police, in my lifetime to even bother to have to worry about how they'd enforce any of God's Laws. They're still reeling in their own internal scandals of their own hypocrits.
Good to see you too
 
Old 07-24-2018, 10:55 PM   #6
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
I don't see Bahais ever being completely respectable enough nor organized enough to have a sovereign nation of their own, with their own military and police, in my lifetime to even bother to have to worry about how they'd enforce any of God's Laws. They're still reeling in their own internal scandals of their own hypocrits.
It is not the Baha'i's one should worry about, it is always ones self that we should be concerned with and a healthy fear of God is worth considering.

Regards Tony
 
Old 07-25-2018, 11:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReturnofZealSeeker View Post
I don't see Bahais ever being completely respectable enough nor organized enough to have a sovereign nation of their own, with their own military and police, in my lifetime to even bother to have to worry about how they'd enforce any of God's Laws. They're still reeling in their own internal scandals of their own hypocrits.

not being completely respectable enough----> give me the name of one religion that is completely respectable in the eyes of all people. Muslims are being disrespected by many; Christians are being disrespected by many; so does Jews and Buddhists etc etc. We do not look for receiving respect from people; at least I do not.

to have a sovereign nation of their own, with their own military and police----> we do not need that in order to observe our rules and the penalties. for example a Baha'i that is considered a covenant breaker, will be put out of the community and will be unable to take part in the official affairs within the faith.

They're still reeling in their own internal scandals of their own hypocrites---> I am not sure if the sources you have studied are reliable enough, if you have studied at all.
 
Old 07-26-2018, 12:23 PM   #8
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Friends,

In my opinion, we do not need to worry about what trajectory the laws may take in the future or how they will be implemented, but rather, only whether or not Baha’u’llah is the Manifestation of God and if we wish to acknowledge him.

The laws of Baha’u’llah are not just laws. They are not just written injunctions to understand and obey. They are something much deeper, mystical, metaphysical, and dynamic. Baha’u’llah revealed:

“Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine…” Aqdas, K.5

“Indeed, the laws of God are like unto the ocean and the children of men as fish…” Aqdas, pp. 6


Consider that wine is not something that produces clarity and rational decisions. Instead, it causes inebriation, confusion and euphoria; the rational thoughts become subjugated to the feelings and emotional faculties of the heart.

Additionally, when we reflect on the verse that we are all like fish immersed in God’s law like it were an ocean; we understand that it is something dynamic and all encompassing. A fish is not sensible to the ocean at all, and yet, it is completely immersed in it. The fish swims in its invisible influence of its currents that are constantly moving, and though the fish cannot see it, sometimes it swims with and sometimes it swims against its currents. The ocean is the source of life itself for the fish. It is the source of food, the source of the very atmosphere on which it depends. It is the very space in which the fish exists and moves. It is dynamic, it is ever changing and moving and none can escape or alter its influence.

Sometimes we do not like the laws and are not keen to observe them, but even still, they have an effect on our actions. Baha’u’llah revealed:

“I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight.” Tabernacle of Unity 1:14


Consider that a bird that is broken and with drooping wings is surely not happy to take flight, and that a falcon is a predatory animal. This poor bird takes flight for fear of its life. Nevertheless, the fear impulse is not always something bad, and it can be used for great good. For example, when a shepherd moves his sheep, the sheep move away from the psychological pressure produced by the presence of the shepherd. He advances towards the flock, and the flock moves in the opposite way of his advance because they are animals of prey and it is their natural fear response. However, the shepherd knows sheep behavior and uses this knowledge to achieve the desired effect.

A similar demonstration of how our fear is exploited for our good exists in the story of the lover and the watchman told by Baha’u’llah in the Seven Valleys. A man is suffering years of separation from his beloved and comes to the point where he feels he can live without her no more. He sets out for the market:


“On a sudden, a watchman followed after him. He broke into a run, with the watchman following; then other watchmen came together, and barred every passage to the weary one. And the wretched one cried from his heart, and ran here and there, and moaned to himself: “Surely this watchman is ‘Izrá’íl, my angel of death, following so fast upon me; or he is a tyrant of men, seeking to harm me.” His feet carried him on, the one bleeding with the arrow of love, and his heart lamented. Then he came to a garden wall, and with untold pain he scaled it, for it proved very high; and forgetting his life, he threw himself down to the garden.

And there he beheld his beloved with a lamp in her hand, searching for a ring she had lost. When the heart-surrendered lover looked on his ravishing love, he drew a great breath and raised up his hands in prayer, crying: “O God! Give Thou glory to the watchman, and riches and long life. For the watchman was Gabriel, guiding this poor one; or he was Isráfíl, bringing life to this wretched one!”

Indeed, his words were true, for he had found many a secret justice in this seeming tyranny of the watchman, and seen how many a mercy lay hid behind the veil. Out of wrath, the guard had led him who was athirst in love’s desert to the sea of his loved one, and lit up the dark night of absence with the light of reunion. He had driven one who was afar, into the garden of nearness, had guided an ailing soul to the heart’s physician.

Now if the lover could have looked ahead, he would have blessed the watchman at the start, and prayed on his behalf, and he would have seen that tyranny as justice; but since the end was veiled to him, he moaned and made his plaint in the beginning. Yet those who journey in the garden land of knowledge, because they see the end in the beginning, see peace in war and friendliness in anger.

If thou be a man of communion and prayer, soar up on the wings of assistance from Holy Souls, that thou mayest behold the mysteries of the Friend and attain to the lights of the Beloved. “Verily, we are from God and to Him shall we return” (from The Valley of Knowledge).


The law of God is able to move us in ways that we do not know and is not dependent on our comprehension to be effective and achieve its intended good. Think about a master archer. Some hundreds of meters away is a target that he intends to mark. But he does not only point at the target and shoot. He considers the shaft, its imperfections, and its balance. He considers the direction and force of the wind. He considers the distance and range. Then he seems to aim at a patch of sky and shoots. If you witnessed it, you might imagine he was shooting not at a target but perhaps at a distant bird or the moon. The shaft strikes the bulls-eye.

I wonder. Do we understand the purpose of the laws of God? Their aims and objectives? Maybe we do. Or maybe we think we do. Perhaps we are ignorant sheep moving under the influence of the all-knowing shepherd.

Some have talked about the laws of the Aqdas and try to reason them and understand them even though some of them cannot possibly be implemented at this time because there is no such thing as a Baha’i state, for example. Nevertheless, people still worry about it and judge its wisdom. I was thinking about that recently and something occurred to me. Consider the often-criticized law of putting a mark on a thief. Suppose that a hundred years from now, a Baha’i state exists. Supposing the House of Justice at that time deliberated on that law. How would they understand the meaning of it? How would language have changed in a century? What would be the differences in society in that time? The economy, the conduct, the morality? Perhaps it could be decided that the law be literally interpreted and it is determined that a hot firebrand be used to put a ‘thief’ mark on the head. I admit, it sounds terrible. But suppose in that day, and by the time such a state emerges, a single theft is almost unheard of, let alone a repeat offense. It may sound ridiculous to us, and it is hard to imagine a society where nobody steals. But a hundred years ago, it would be hard to imagine a society where there were no duels with pistols. Suppose Baha’u’llah had revealed a law that duelers be pistol-whipped. As harsh as it sounds, it would be moot in this day, where nobody engages in such conduct anymore. Perhaps the House of Justice of a hundred years in the future would interpret “mark the thief’s head” in a way that is incomprehensible to us in this day. Would it mean they were unfaithful to the law of God? I don’t think so, not if we consider that God knew how it would be interpreted and enacted before it was revealed. Perhaps the laws he has written are not as they seem literally, but have a certain foreknowledge and cunning in their middle that always fulfill what was truly intended. After all, isn’t God all-knowing? Is it possible for his laws, which are like the ocean, to go unheeded or unfulfilled? I don’t think so, even if it seems so to us, when we are only ignorant and lowly.

“The unbelievers plotted and schemed but so did God; unsurpassed is God at scheming.” Qur’an 3:54

Perhaps the apparent letter of the law will never be fulfilled but the outcome of the law will always be the Divine Intention.

Just some of my thoughts on the topic.

Cheers

Last edited by Luqman; 07-26-2018 at 01:29 PM.
 
Old 07-26-2018, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
not being completely respectable enough----> give me the name of one religion that is completely respectable in the eyes of all people. Muslims are being disrespected by many; Christians are being disrespected by many; so does Jews and Buddhists etc etc. We do not look for receiving respect from people; at least I do not.

to have a sovereign nation of their own, with their own military and police----> we do not need that in order to observe our rules and the penalties. for example a Baha'i that is considered a covenant breaker, will be put out of the community and will be unable to take part in the official affairs within the faith.

They're still reeling in their own internal scandals of their own hypocrites---> I am not sure if the sources you have studied are reliable enough, if you have studied at all.
Also we don't necessarily need a nation of Baha'is to have a Baha'i nation.
 
Old 07-26-2018, 01:03 PM   #10
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Also we don't necessarily need a nation of Baha'is to have a Baha'i nation.
We have no boundaries

We have a Universal House of Justice, a Nation of earth and the stars and beyond..no limit!

Regards Tony
 
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