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Old 02-14-2016, 01:55 AM   #1
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Joined: Feb 2016
From: United States
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Talking Almost Baha'i

Hi everyone! I just wanted to make a quick introduction.

I was raised Christian, which I believed in without question until my college years, about 20 years ago. It was then I started exploring other religions and I eventually found the Baha'i faith. Baha'i was extremely close to the beliefs that had grown within me after much independent searching. One would think that such an exquisite find would lead me to declare rather quickly. Not so. After just over 20 years of study I still have not declared myself a Baha'i!

I've had several near misses, however. At one point I even wrote a letter stating that I wanted to be a Baha'i to the National Spiritual Assembly. They put me in touch with some local Baha'is, but being an intense introvert I never actually met up with them. As a result, I called myself a Baha'i for a few years, completely oblivious to the fact that I was supposed to sign a registration card to make things official. And never mind the fact that I had never even attended a Baha'i feast!

Since then, I've wandered back and forth between Christianity and Baha'i. I've finally met up with a few local Baha'is over the past few years to sate some of my curiosity. It was interesting to get to know a few of them. Still, it was not enough to get me to declare. I still clung to Christianity a bit too much.

Lately, I've entered another "Baha'i phase" and I've been thinking of declaring again. If I simply followed my heart, I would declare without hesitation. However, my head keeps coming up with excuses! I'm finally beginning to understand that there may never come a perfect time to officially declare, and that I should just get it over with. I have no doubt this would please the few local Baha'is that I've met. Until then I'll just have to make due with a private sort of faith that many potential Baha'is have before they enroll (if they ever do at all).

Anyway, I'm glad to have found these forums. I may not participate regularly, but you can be sure I'll be lurking around regardless.
 
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:05 AM   #2
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welcome to the forum Scribe
the story of you coming to the Bahai faith is interesting and I like to mention one thing. there are some countries in the world in which people cannot sign any official papers when they become a Baha'i; I mean those countries in which the faith is banned. so many people in the world are Baha'is and yet they don't have a card. religion is a matter of the heart. of course it is much better that if you have the chance of registration you do it, but if you don't you are still a Baha'i only that you cannot take part in Baha'i elections (just like me!)
I wish you a pleasant journey in your life and I wish you good times here in the forum. we have very knowledgeable members here who can always help others (I am not one of them tho! )
 
Old 02-14-2016, 07:23 AM   #3
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From: United States
Posts: 239
Welcome Scribe! I myself knew of the Faith for 6 years before I declared. I always liked it, but Bahá'u'lláh had to convince me He was divine and not just a wise man before I declared.

I hope you find answers here, but more so a community you can identify with. We are all seekers of truth, converging from different walks of life.
 
Old 02-14-2016, 02:33 PM   #4
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There are a number of unregistered Baha'is. The Master said that in order to be Baha'i, and I paraphrase, one must love all humanity and work toward world unity and world peace.
 
Old 02-14-2016, 02:58 PM   #5
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As for registered and active Baha'is, I heard recently at a conference that Shoghi Effendi gave six qualifications to earnestly call oneself a Baha'i. Does anybody know what quote this speaker may have referred to?
 
Old 02-14-2016, 11:37 PM   #6
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post
Hi everyone! I just wanted to make a quick introduction.

I was raised Christian, which I believed in without question until my college years, about 20 years ago. It was then I started exploring other religions and I eventually found the Baha'i faith. Baha'i was extremely close to the beliefs that had grown within me after much independent searching. One would think that such an exquisite find would lead me to declare rather quickly. Not so. After just over 20 years of study I still have not declared myself a Baha'i!

I've had several near misses, however. At one point I even wrote a letter stating that I wanted to be a Baha'i to the National Spiritual Assembly. They put me in touch with some local Baha'is, but being an intense introvert I never actually met up with them. As a result, I called myself a Baha'i for a few years, completely oblivious to the fact that I was supposed to sign a registration card to make things official. And never mind the fact that I had never even attended a Baha'i feast!

Since then, I've wandered back and forth between Christianity and Baha'i. I've finally met up with a few local Baha'is over the past few years to sate some of my curiosity. It was interesting to get to know a few of them. Still, it was not enough to get me to declare. I still clung to Christianity a bit too much.

Lately, I've entered another "Baha'i phase" and I've been thinking of declaring again. If I simply followed my heart, I would declare without hesitation. However, my head keeps coming up with excuses! I'm finally beginning to understand that there may never come a perfect time to officially declare, and that I should just get it over with. I have no doubt this would please the few local Baha'is that I've met. Until then I'll just have to make due with a private sort of faith that many potential Baha'is have before they enroll (if they ever do at all).

Anyway, I'm glad to have found these forums. I may not participate regularly, but you can be sure I'll be lurking around regardless.
Good on You and God bless your Journey and choices in Life. Always welcome here for a chat.

Regards Tony
 
Old 02-27-2016, 12:40 PM   #7
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From: La Vergne, TN
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welcome to the community scribe, Id signed my card 5 years ago, and I come from an atheist background, It took a lot of effort to believe in God, but to accept Baha'u'llah was almost immediate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
The Master said that in order to be Baha'i, and I paraphrase, one must love all humanity and work toward world unity and world peace.
dear scribe I'll suggest you keep Aidank words in your thoughts, and also remember, as long as you accept Baha'u'llah for what He claims to be, and as long as you follow his commandments, not for fear of hell, but because you love God and all his manifestations, and show obedience to the UHJ, then you are a Baha'i .
Allah'u'abha Brother
 
Old 02-27-2016, 01:07 PM   #8
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From: colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
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Hi Scribe....welcome to the forums! It is a wonderful place to learn and share. My simple advice is to listen to your heart, it is the repository of all knowledge. To me, the heart is the connection between soul and brain.

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 02-28-2016, 10:43 PM   #9
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Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,773
Watching and doing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post

Lately, I've entered another "Baha'i phase" and I've been thinking of declaring again. If I simply followed my heart, I would declare without hesitation. However, my head keeps coming up with excuses! I'm finally beginning to understand that there may never come a perfect time to officially declare, and that I should just get it over with. I have no doubt this would please the few local Baha'is that I've met. Until then I'll just have to make due with a private sort of faith that many potential Baha'is have before they enroll (if they ever do at all).

Anyway, I'm glad to have found these forums. I may not participate regularly, but you can be sure I'll be lurking around regardless.
Scribe,
. There are a lot of sports fans out there who watch soccer, basketball, boxing, swimming, etc. A better analogy might be that we are watching the House of Worship being built in Chile, or earlier ones in India or Wilmette.
. Do actually "do" the work, rather than watch, is a whole 'nother level.
. On another level still is teaching the Baha'i Faith.

. Shoghi Effendi said: "If you wish to experience the confirmations of the Holy Spirit, you will find it in rich abundance in the teaching field."

. So moving from the observer to becoming active in the Faith may well answer your final questions within your own mind, and maybe even quiet that self-talk. Laying bricks and reading about concrete are two different things entirely.
 
Old 11-07-2016, 06:41 AM   #10
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Joined: Nov 2016
From: Hereford England
Posts: 12
Hello I have today joined forum and belive that if you say you are a Baha'i you are. I heard Adib Terezadeh giving a talk many years ago.
He said in order to be a Baha'i you need to do three things:
Accept Baha u llah as messenger of God
Accept their are institutions which should be obeyed
Accept their are laws to be obeyed
That is a declaration and as such no one evenue nweds to be aware of that. If you register as a Baha'i you claim your right to vote in Baha'i elections, which are of course one of the obligations mentioned earlier.
That said I understand some countries don't even register Believers.
 
Old 11-07-2016, 07:54 AM   #11
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Joined: Aug 2014
From: Blue Planet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herefordrob View Post
Hello I have today joined forum and belive that if you say you are a Baha'i you are. I heard Adib Terezadeh giving a talk many years ago.
He said in order to be a Baha'i you need to do three things:
Accept Baha u llah as messenger of God
Accept their are institutions which should be obeyed
Accept their are laws to be obeyed
That is a declaration and as such no one evenue nweds to be aware of that. If you register as a Baha'i you claim your right to vote in Baha'i elections, which are of course one of the obligations mentioned earlier.
That said I understand some countries don't even register Believers.
thank you so much for this reply. make me specially happy
 
Old 11-07-2016, 11:03 AM   #12
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From: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post
As a result, I called myself a Baha'i for a few years, completely oblivious to the fact that I was supposed to sign a registration card to make things official.
Actually you aren't supposed to do any such thing .

Quote:
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:—
Declare, or don't. Sign up and get a card, or don't. Do whichever you please!! Card or cardless, Feast attender or introverted thinker, as long as you're for peace and brotherhood you're a Baha'i enough.
 
Old 11-08-2016, 04:58 PM   #13
Jcc
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From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
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Dear Scribe,
Welcome to the forum!

As you may know, the Universal House of Justice is encouraging Baha'is to welcome everyone to participate in Baha'i activities such as devotional gatherings and study circles who wishes to do so, including those who are close to the Faith, or are newly interested, or those who believe in other religions but wish to have fellowship with Baha'is. In most places 19 day Feasts are still for Baha'is only, but not everywhere. During my recent visit to Taiwan I learned that the National Assemlby there has opened up all Baha'i gatherings including Feasts to non-Baha'is as well. You do need to be a declared believer to give to the Fund and serve on an Assembly or vote in Baha'i elections, of course. So, there is no pressure to declare, but if and when you wish to make that commitment to Baha'u'llah you may do so.
 
Old 11-12-2016, 01:10 PM   #14
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From: Quilimari,Chile
Posts: 4,213
Welcome scribe (Christian) Considering the next step to God.
Christianity is truly the faith of God, but God's faith is progressive, as you learn in one class you move on to the next.
Listen to your heart, pray often, read the words of the Messengers, again take note of your heart, do what you consider correct, may God guide and bless you.
bill
 
Old 11-17-2016, 07:10 PM   #15
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Joined: Feb 2016
From: United States
Posts: 67
I found it interesting that this thread has been "resurrected" after all this time, and it's nice to see that I'm still getting warm welcomes!

Just a quick update: I'm still not officially Baha'i, though I do visit the forums now and then and still occasionally read from Baha'i Writings. I don't really feel that I belong to any specific religion at this point, which is about normal for me. An abiding faith in God is about the only thing that remains constant. I guess that's a good thing.

Anyway, back to lurking...
 
Old 11-22-2016, 02:23 PM   #16
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From: Quilimari,Chile
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Dear scribe who is officially Baha'i , I learn daily fall into gloom when I feel I have slipped back, but then realize the Baha'i faith is one of continually learning, learning of God's unfailing love and forgiveness.
Love to all
bill
 
Old 11-26-2016, 05:37 PM   #17
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Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,773
lurking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post
I found it interesting that this thread has been "resurrected" after all this time, and it's nice to see that I'm still getting warm welcomes!

Just a quick update: I'm still not officially Baha'i, though I do visit the forums now and then and still occasionally read from Baha'i Writings. I don't really feel that I belong to any specific religion at this point, which is about normal for me. An abiding faith in God is about the only thing that remains constant. I guess that's a good thing.

Anyway, back to lurking...
Scribe, People watch boxing matches, but don't know what boxing is. You have to get punched in the head to understand.

Declaring yourself to be a Baha'i is like becoming a Boxer. You're gonna start getting punched in one way or another and will start seeing stars. Nine-pointed stars... all over the place.

"If one seeks the confirmations of the Holy Spirit, they can find it in rich abundance in the teaching field." Shoghi Effendi

Howard Cosell observed Muhammad Ali throughout his boxing career, but he never faced Joe Frazier in the ring.

Another analogy would be sitting on a fence watching the cowboys in a rodeo.
It just ain't the same as riding a wild bronc or a bull.

Maybe give this a try. Start saying the short obligatory prayer every day at noon. Do it faithfully, washing your face and hands, facing the Qiblih. Read from the Writings of the Bab and Baha'u'llah every morning and evening. Sooner or later you will begin to feel something out of "this world", as you enter the next.

Allah'u'Abha
 
Old 12-03-2016, 12:46 AM   #18
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Joined: Feb 2016
From: United States
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlinkeyBill View Post
Dear scribe who is officially Baha'i , I learn daily fall into gloom when I feel I have slipped back, but then realize the Baha'i faith is one of continually learning, learning of God's unfailing love and forgiveness.
Love to all
bill
Officially? Well, that's still up for debate.

I also find it all too common to fall short of the ideals presented in the holy scriptures. It's easy to forget about God's forgiveness sometimes, which is strange given my Christian background and its emphasis on forgiveness. Oh well...
 
Old 12-03-2016, 01:09 AM   #19
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Joined: Feb 2016
From: United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
Declaring yourself to be a Baha'i is like becoming a Boxer. You're gonna start getting punched in one way or another and will start seeing stars. Nine-pointed stars... all over the place.
I think I'd face a lot of knockout matches, with me being the one on the floor!

Really, I sometimes wonder just what kind of a Baha'i I'd be. My life is and has been a mess. I'm not sure what the needs would be of the small Baha'i community in my area, but I would be reluctant to formally declare myself a representative of it. I feel something in common with Groucho Marx when he said, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member."

Well, okay...maybe not that bad, but close. I'm not sure I would be an example of a good Baha'i.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
Maybe give this a try. Start saying the short obligatory prayer every day at noon. Do it faithfully, washing your face and hands, facing the Qiblih. Read from the Writings of the Bab and Baha'u'llah every morning and evening. Sooner or later you will begin to feel something out of "this world", as you enter the next.
A few years back, I actually followed this routine for long stretches of time, with some breaks in between. Like I said in the original post, for a long time I considered myself a Baha'i, even if I didn't formally declare. I adhered to the basic practices. I admit that I never successfully made it through the whole month of fasting, though... Still, I did feel much more in touch with the Baha'i faith, unlike now when such practices are lacking in my life.
 
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