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Old 06-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Joined: Jun 2016
From: Hampshire, England
Posts: 3
Greetings from new member (England)

Greetings!

Gizzy here from Hampshire, UK. I lost my faith maybe when I was 11 or 12 (I'm now 30) and on reflection, I consider if I ever felt 'right' in mainstream CofE, but I'm growing increasingly interested in the Baha'i faith and I've recently joined to have a look around the site and maybe ask a few questions.

With warm wishes,
Gizzy

Last edited by Gizzy; 06-24-2016 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Spelling
 
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:44 PM   #2
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Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,274
Welcome!
Feel free to ask questions.
 
Old 06-22-2016, 01:41 PM   #3
Lives in hope
 
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Joined: Dec 2015
From: N Ireland
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Welcome Gizzy, please ask loads of questions
 
Old 06-22-2016, 01:47 PM   #4
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From: Quilimari,Chile
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most welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
Greetings!

Gizzy here from Hampshire, UK. I lost my faith maybe when I was 11 or 12 (I'm now 30) and on reflection, I consider if I ever felt 'right' in mainstream CofE, but I'm growing increasingly interested in Baha'i faith and I've recently joined to have a look around the sight and maybe ask a few questions.

With warm wishes,
Gizzy
Dear Gizzy feel free to ask any and all questions.

bill
 
Old 06-22-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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Joined: Jul 2014
From: colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
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Welcome Gizzy! Plenty to discover around here. Hope your search bears fruit!

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 06-22-2016, 04:13 PM   #6
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Welcome, Gizzy!

gnat
 
Old 06-24-2016, 11:57 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Joined: Jun 2016
From: Hampshire, England
Posts: 3
Thank you all for the kind wishes and words. I have a few questions and I have hope you don’t mind offering your advice.

1. I have a few books, the Kitab-i-Aqdas and “a tutorial on the Kitab-i-Iqan” and The Book of Certitude, which one would you recommend starting with?

2. Coming from a mainstream Church of England (CofE) background and having not followed any particular faith for a number of years (in my 20s I was even describing myself as an agnostic), is there a formal process one goes through to convert? I’ve read mixed messages, some say you need to ‘register’ with the NSA and you get a membership card and other say you need to confide in another Baha’I to formally be accepted? What is the correct (if any) process?

3. What would happen if, as a Baha’i I were to a) smoke a cigarette or b) drink alcohol?

4. What are the views of dating someone not of the Baha’i faith?

5. What are the views on continued membership of the International Rotary Club?

6. What are the views on continued membership of the Freemasons?

7. Depending on the answers to 3a, b, 4, 5 and 6, what are (if any) penalties faced? Does this invalidate being accepted as an individual into the faith?

8. If I am invited to CofE events, am I able to attend as a Baha’i?

9. Am I able to visit any church?

10. Finally, is there anything you would want to say to a 30 year old chap interested in the Baha’i faith?

I thank you all in advance for answers any of the above and helping me on the start of my journey.

Kind wishes
Gizzy
 
Old 06-24-2016, 12:41 PM   #8
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Joined: Sep 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 1,274
Hello gizzy,

I attampt to answer some of your questions.


1. I think it depends on which topics you are after to learn.
For someone with Christian background, i also suggest the Hidden Words of Bahaullah, and Some answered questions by Abdulbaha. You can download them online.
I also suggest reading Book of certitude, before reading the Kitabi Aqdas.

3. Smoking cigarette is not explicitly against the Bahai Laws, but not encouraged. Smoking drugs or drinking is against the Bahai Laws. If the local SA becomes aware, they might do some thing about. Worst thing is, they take away Bahai membership.

4. Bahais can marry non-Bahais. Though, the Bahais are supposed to live a chaste life.
 
Old 06-24-2016, 01:40 PM   #9
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From: colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
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Hello Gizzy,
I will give it a go answering your questions. I am not quoting any writings, and these answers are strictly my understanding. I may stand corrected, we shall see.
1. I would read Baha'u'llah and the New Era and the Book of Certitude first.
2. You do need to enroll as a Baha'i to be official and receive information and news, either getting a membership card from a Baha'i friend, an assembly or online with NSA. Not sure how many options there are to getting a membership card.
3. Smoking cigarettes is strongly discouraged, but we are not to drink or take drugs unless doctor prescribed. The onus is on you to submit to God's will...what you do or don't do is, unless it is damaging to the faith, between you and God.
4. You may date or marry non Baha'i s.
5. I wouldn't think the rotary club would be a problem as it is a civic organization that is open to all who want to join.
6. Not sure about the Freemasons. I don't know much about that organization, but if it is a secret society, not open to all, I would guess that membership would be discouraged.
7. Nobody is responsible for you, but yourself. That may seem simple, but it is an awesome responsibility. You are responsible for your spiritual growth, submission to God's laws, service to others, education, and so on and so forth.
8\9. Yes you may attend church as a Baha'i, you may not be a member of a church, but you are free to visit any church or place of worships. Baha'is recognize other faiths as being founded by one of God's Messengers......progressive revelation.


It's a wonderful journey of discovery, Gizzy, enjoy the ride! You will find your truth. I grew up, and then some, in the Episcopal Church and felt it prepared me very well to seek and find my spiritual truth.

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 06-24-2016, 01:51 PM   #10
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
Thank you all for the kind wishes and words. I have a few questions and I have hope you don’t mind offering your advice.
Welcome Gizzy, great to see you here. We are a diverse bunch from around the world here and love a chat. I hope we can all learn and grow together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
1. I have a few books, the Kitab-i-Aqdas and “a tutorial on the Kitab-i-Iqan” and The Book of Certitude, which one would you recommend starting with?
You have 2 Strong Pillars of the Bahai Faith in both those books. I would start with the Kitab-i-iqan (The book of Certitude) as it lays down the foundation of proof of all of Gods Messages, it is the book we are told to turn to for certitude of Faith.

The Kitab-i-Addas (The book of Laws) is the Sure foundation of Faith, Baha'u'llah has said it is the "Choice Wine" for this age. The laws that would guide Humanity Right. It is a challenging book and there are still a few laws in that book that have not been implemented in the West. The Universal House of Justice will implement them when they see the time is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
2.Coming from a mainstream Church of England (CofE) background and having not followed any particular faith for a number of years (in my 20s I was even describing myself as an agnostic), is there a formal process one goes through to convert? I’ve read mixed messages, some say you need to ‘register’ with the NSA and you get a membership card and other say you need to confide in another Baha’I to formally be accepted? What is the correct (if any) process?
That was also my Background and I was 26 when I was made aware of this faith. Processes in the Bahai Faith are Organic so from year to year they can change to better processes. The best way is to talk to a Baha'i and express interest in declaring a belief. I would think this will then take you through the required process. The process is designed to guide a person as to the basic idea of what the implications of this declaration will mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
3.What would happen if, as a Baha’i I were to a) smoke a cigarette or b) drink alcohol?
Smoking is not forbidden, but purity in the Baha'i Writings is Highly encouraged. The best tablet on this is the Tablet of Purity - Bahá'í Reference Library - Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Section Only), Pages 333-336 This is something to come to terms with over time.

Alcohol is in the Laws as forbidden. It is something a believer has to consider deeply. There are many Baha'i's that have this issue to address and much guidance is available. The issue of Alcohol consumption would most likely be addressed if a believer was bringing the Faith into disrepute through their actions resulting from its consumption.

For me it was easy, I had a grandmother that I loved dearly that had a passionate hate of this and instilled that into me. On the other hand I know Baha'i's of many years that still have issues with the consumption and I know there are Baha'i's that do not partake of it but keep a stock in their house for visitors. This is still a time of Change, one can not be too hard on oneself as we try to implement all the changes required. We just have to keep trying, little by little day by day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
4.What are the views of dating someone not of the Baha’i faith?
A person does not have to choose a partner that is a Baha'i. Chastity in the Baha'i Faith is also Law and I think one of the greatest challenges for youth of this age.

Try to spend the time getting to know each others hearts and hopes as this is what will carry you through the hard times. This is why it is wise to consider a partner that shares Faith as well, though not mandatory.

There is great wisdom in the laws of Baha'u'llah on this subject, here is a link to pursue - http://www.bahaimarriage.net/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
5. What are the views on continued membership of the International Rotary Club?
Many Baha'is are members of Rotary and help with the many Activities. It is a great way to meet more of your community.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
6. What are the views on continued membership of the Freemasons?
Membership in Freemasons has been advised as not appropriate. This link will help with this - Lights of Guidance - Organizations, non-Baha'i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
7.Depending on the answers to 3a, b, 4, 5 and 6, what are (if any) penalties faced? Does this invalidate being accepted as an individual into the faith?
The answer to this is determined in each case by the Local Spiritual Assembly. I would not worry about penalties at this time. Spend this time Talking more about it and come to more understanding as to why there are these laws. What is the purpose of them, how will us implementing them help humanity as a whole?

We have to consider this Faith is given to Unite the World, for this to happen there are a few things that an individual has to give up to allow the whole to bond. If we continue with them the bond is not possible. Personally I see signs of this being so in all the Worlds News.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
8.If I am invited to CofE events, am I able to attend as a Baha’i?
Yes, I go to church with my Mother. One can participate in worship at church as long as one does not take part in a ritual that would compromise the overriding guidance given by Baha'u'llah. Examples Confession or Communion.

Both Baha'u'llah and Abdul'Baha attended the Mosque while they were alive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
9.Am I able to visit any church?
Yes - This is encouraged by Abdul'Baha - There are Baha'i's that do this out of service to this cause. We all worship the same God and attending churches means we live this truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
10.Finally, is there anything you would want to say to a 30 year old chap interested in the Baha’i faith?
God bless you journey dear Gizzy. The path is full of Love Joy Hope and many Tests as you examine your own self. What I would offer is that always remember the Tests you will face are a great bounty for growth. Always Remember God never tests His servants beyond their capacity. Above all enjoy the journey, it is most wonderful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
I thank you all in advance for answers any of the above and helping me on the start of my journey.

Kind wishes
Gizzy
Thank you for asking and may we have many discussions over many years. Remember we are here to help as all here have faced many situations on this far stretching path and in turn can offer a little advice in various ways.

Regards Tony
 
Old 06-24-2016, 02:48 PM   #11
Member
 
Joined: Mar 2016
From: American Continent
Posts: 30
Welcome!

Dear Gizzy,welcome to the forum and thanks to all the friends who took pains in answering your questios, I think it is also convenient to contact Bahais of your community, if you have a Bahai community near you, they will invite you over To firesides and you can feel free to ask them any question.
Also there is a lot of reliable information on Bahai sites, mainly , bahai.org which can help you learn more.
Good luck and welcome again!
 
Old 06-24-2016, 03:33 PM   #12
Jcc
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Posts: 419
Gizzy,

With regard to formal enrollment in the Faith, that is officially handled by your National Spiritual Assembly, and you may either contact them directly or via a Local Spiritual Assembly. It used to be done with enrollment cards, although I would not be surprised if it were to be possible to do it on-line now. It will include a statement by you that you believe in Baha'u'llah as God's Messenger, and that you understand that there are certain laws and teachings that we must strive to follow as Baha'is. No one is expected to be 100% perfect in the Faith, but it is a sign of Faith that we try to be a little better each day.

It is not necessary to be an enrolled Baha'i to participate in the great majority of Baha'i activities, in fact we encourage non Baha'is to join us in most activities. The exceptions are the "19 day Feasts" which are for declared Baha'is and include discussion of administrative issues. Also, contributions to the Funds are only accepted from declared Baha'is, so to have the privilege of being able to contribute you need to enroll. You also need to enroll to vote in elections or hold office, such as membership in a Spiritual Assembly.

For the individual and personal aspects of the Faith, such as daily prayer, study of the Writings, developing the qualities of the spirit, such as love, humility, generosity, kindness, starting to comply with teachings such as refraining from the use of alcohol and drugs except by medical prescription, observing the period of fasting, avoiding partisan political activity, etc., you of course don't need to enroll, every person can start to do those things on their own.

Last edited by Jcc; 06-25-2016 at 03:17 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2016, 04:26 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Joined: Mar 2015
From: Bend, Oregon
Posts: 127
Gizzy:

Welcome. “Coming from a mainstream Church of England (CofE) background”, you might consider reading the books by George Townshend, one in particular titled ‘Christ and Baha’u’llah’. See the attached links of that book and some biographical information. Along with the suggestions provided by others, I hope you find these links informative and useful in your further investigation and study of this great Cause.

Christ and Baha'u'llah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George...C3%A1%27%C3%AD)

George Townshend – Bahai Chronicles

LR
 
Old 06-25-2016, 04:19 PM   #14
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Joined: Oct 2013
From: United States
Posts: 1,203
Welcome Gizzy. It is great to see you here. I hope we can answer all of your questions!
 
Old 07-02-2016, 08:19 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Joined: Jun 2016
From: Hampshire, England
Posts: 3
Thank you all for your replies, they are gratefully received. By means of an update, I contacted a friend who was born in Iran (a local teacher of mathematics and an incredibly intelligent friend) who put me in contact with a local Baha’i. I am now being invited to a meeting, so exciting times and I now have the Book of Certitude (delivered today) so can’t wait to get reading.

Kind wishes
Gizzy
 
Old 07-02-2016, 11:59 AM   #16
Lives in hope
 
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Joined: Dec 2015
From: N Ireland
Posts: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
Thank you all for your replies, they are gratefully received. By means of an update, I contacted a friend who was born in Iran (a local teacher of mathematics and an incredibly intelligent friend) who put me in contact with a local Baha’i. I am now being invited to a meeting, so exciting times and I now have the Book of Certitude (delivered today) so can’t wait to get reading.

Kind wishes
Gizzy
Dear Gizzy you are beginning such a journey of discovery
 
Old 07-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #17
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post
Thank you all for your replies, they are gratefully received. By means of an update, I contacted a friend who was born in Iran (a local teacher of mathematics and an incredibly intelligent friend) who put me in contact with a local Baha’i. I am now being invited to a meeting, so exciting times and I now have the Book of Certitude (delivered today) so can’t wait to get reading.

Kind wishes
Gizzy
May all the pearls and wonders to be found be yours. Enjoy the book and let us know if you have questions.

Regards Tony
 
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