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Old 01-25-2017, 08:01 PM   #41
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"I propose that God either intends the elective structure as a part of a process to ensure the Ismah of the whole institution, OR the elective structure serves some other process. Either way, the election is an important part and our participation in it divinely mandated.

We should use our votes to guide the UHJ and trust that God guides us through our votes as he guides them in theirs. It's all part of the same Plan.
Report Post ..."

. Of course our participation is required in accordance to our active submission to the Will of God as devoted followers of the Cause in development of the Divine Civilization, which is our destiny. This is conditioned upon obedience to the Laws of God and that which hath been revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, which directs us to be unified in our obedience to the Supreme Institution, the Universal House of Justice, and not to oppose it.

. For to oppose the Universal House of Justice is to oppose God Himself, even as opposition to the Guardian or the Center of the Covenant or the Manifestation of God Himself, Who has created this Divine Institution by which all men may ultimately be governed with "Justice", which flows out from this House in accordance with: "He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth that which He pleaseth."
 
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:02 AM   #42
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@Esmeryld

I have just read this this morning, and i think that it relates to your question about the use of alcoohol (relatively to how people in the past used to drink it) :

Even so, certain groups believe that all the ordinances current amongst them are unalterable, that they have ever been valid, and that they will forever remain so. Consider a further passage, glorified and exalted be He: “These words are being uttered in due measure, that the newly born may thrive and the tender shoot flourish. Milk must be given in suitable proportion, that the children of the world may attain to the station of maturity and abide in the court of oneness.” For instance, some believe that wine hath ever been and shall remain forbidden. Now, were one to inform them that it might one day be made lawful, they would arise in protest and opposition. In truth, the people of the world have yet not grasped the meaning of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth”, nor have they comprehended the significance of Supreme Infallibility. The suckling child must be nourished with milk. If it be given meat it will assuredly perish, and this would be naught but sheer injustice and unwisdom.
Tabernacle of Unity, 2:32
 
Old 01-26-2017, 05:49 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dale ramsdell View Post
For to oppose the Universal House of Justice is to oppose God Himself, even as opposition to the Guardian or the Center of the Covenant or the Manifestation of God Himself, Who has created this Divine Institution by which all men may ultimately be governed with "Justice", which flows out from this House in accordance with: "He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth that which He pleaseth."
Annnnnd this is why I don't like this topic.

Every time I say "The UHJ can be wrong." there's always, without fail, at least one person who seems to insist on hearing "We should disobey the UHJ" instead of what I actually said.

The UHJ can be wrong. We should follow it anyway. The fact we should follow it does not mean that it is always right, but that following it in error is better then breaking apart the faith into a multitude of arguing sects. Working together, error can be corrected. Breaking apart, we'll have a situation of some sects being right and others being wrong, and that benefits no one as a whole.

That's ALL I'm saying.

I'm not interested in having this conversation further if words are going to be put in my mouth.
 
Old 01-26-2017, 04:58 PM   #44
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
Annnnnd this is why I don't like this topic.

Every time I say "The UHJ can be wrong." there's always, without fail, at least one person who seems to insist on hearing "We should disobey the UHJ" instead of what I actually said.

The UHJ can be wrong. We should follow it anyway. The fact we should follow it does not mean that it is always right, but that following it in error is better then breaking apart the faith into a multitude of arguing sects. Working together, error can be corrected. Breaking apart, we'll have a situation of some sects being right and others being wrong, and that benefits no one as a whole.

That's ALL I'm saying.

I'm not interested in having this conversation further if words are going to be put in my mouth.
Frame of Reference dear Walrus We appreciate what you are saying

I would suggest that no one is attempting to put words in anyones mouth, I see it as each giving a thought on this subject from their Frame of Reference.

I think what we are saying is that we are attempting to see only the Light that comes from the Universal House of Justice and do not at all consider any thing else but this. Basically seeing as Abdul'baha would ask us to see.

The Light is all that can be seen and all that can happen, if One looks only to the good, it is the Will of God, and not a vain imagining from our own selves.

Thus we never have to contemplate any possibility of error.

Is that worded any better?

God bless all and regards Tony
 
Old 02-02-2017, 04:12 PM   #45
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Esmeryld,

As someone who feels I am continuously seeking, I had many of your same concerns when I first started studying the Baha'i faith seriously, which was back in 2011. I still haven't formally enrolled, and I'm not super enmeshed yet.

Here is the conclusion I've come to.

One can either look for a belief system that is true, or one can look for one that already agrees with everything that one thinks.

We have to admit that we don't know everything in order to find the truth. Otherwise you're just seeking confirmation bias. We have to acknowledge that we're not always right. That what we feel about a subject, no matter how well-intended, may not always be the absolute truth. We have to allow our most deep-set feelings to be vulnerable to change.

So are you willing to admit that you do not know everything? Are you willing to have your preconceived notions about society, politics, the cosmos, death, etc., challenged?

If you are not yet ready to challenge your own beliefs, the journey might be a little longer, and that's okay. Just keep your mind and heart open to guidance and it will come.

I've seen several people over the years say things like, "I loved everything about the Baha'i faith until I got to homosexuality. That's when I walked away." And to me, it's like, really? You are so sure of your own opinion on something that you would throw away that precious gift? Isn't it possible that, perhaps, there is a more nuanced truth to be found? There's something a bit odd to me about shopping for a religion like it's cereal. What is the point, if you're just going to look for something that has nothing to teach you, that already 100% agrees with everything you think. What would be the point? At that point, we're just kind of worshipping ourselves.

It's amazing how much social media and peer trends can influence our beliefs. Many people might not have held this belief if they were around 100+ years ago; it's largely dictated by society right now. And certainly it's progress, and it is good. We don't want to treat people like animals or stone them or condemn them for things like that. The Baha'i writings tell us to support and love people, and to overlook things in a person to find the positive in all of us.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't let these challenges scare you away. Let them pull you in. Let them help you look deep inside yourself. Be open to learning, and be open to change.
 
Old 02-03-2017, 12:51 AM   #46
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Quote:
" the UHJ clearly can make an incorrect ruling:
...
If it is, as Shoghi says, the Guardian's duty to insist reconsideration to the members of the UHJ for the above stated reason, then it necessitates that it is possible for the UHJ for them to create an "enactment [in] conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Bahá'u'lláh's revealed utterances."
The conclusion -- the UHJ clearly can make an incorrect ruling -- does not follow from the quote. An enactment of the UHJ may depart from the spirit of the scriptures, or even conflict with their meaning, because the scriptures give general ideals, while the enactments of the House of Justice say what must be done now. If the ideal is truly ideal, there will always be a gap between the practicable and necessary, and what is ideal. The scriptures and the Guardian are there to remind us and the UHJ of that gap.

https://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/200...annot-overide/

However, the conclusion " the UHJ clearly can make an incorrect ruling:" does follow from a statement of the House of Justice itself:
Quote:
... the Universal House of Justice is not omniscient; like the Guardian, it wants to be provided with facts when called upon to render a decision, and like him it may well change its decision when new facts emerge....
(The Universal House of Justice, 1977 Aug 22, Clarification on Infallibility)
 
Old 02-03-2017, 10:34 AM   #47
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Useful and helpful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sen McGlinn View Post
The conclusion -- the UHJ clearly can make an incorrect ruling -- does not follow from the quote. An enactment of the UHJ may depart from the spirit of the scriptures, or even conflict with their meaning, because the scriptures give general ideals, while the enactments of the House of Justice say what must be done now. If the ideal is truly ideal, there will always be a gap between the practicable and necessary, and what is ideal. The scriptures and the Guardian are there to remind us and the UHJ of that gap.

https://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/200...annot-overide/

However, the conclusion " the UHJ clearly can make an incorrect ruling:" does follow from a statement of the House of Justice itself:
Sen,
Thank you for this useful and helpful comment. My understanding of the "infallibility" of the Universal House of Justice is that it is indeed the Institution to which humanity must turn for His guidance and that in doing so, we shall be approaching favorably His heaven while yet on earth.
We will always be approaching, and never fully arriving, which would indeed limit the destination, making the creation equal to the Creator, in some sense, or the infinite reduced to the finite.
Where, then, would free will occur? Or an "ever-advancing civilization"? I take comfort that the Divine Institution relies upon research and accumulation of new data or "facts" to make its decisions, judging accordingly. This truly lends itself to the supreme goal of "Justice" as the members "see through thine own eyes, and not through the eyes of others, and know of thine own knowledge, and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor..."
As knowledge increases, so does justice, and they remain infallibly guided towards this supreme goal, while yet relying upon the will of the gatherers of information provided to them.
 
Old 02-05-2017, 07:46 AM   #48
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Sen:

Thank you for your insightful comments, the quotes you provided, and the link to your wordpress article.

You quoted:

Quote:
... the Universal House of Justice is not omniscient; like the Guardian, it wants to be provided with facts when called upon to render a decision, and like him it may well change its decision when new facts emerge....
(The Universal House of Justice, 1977 Aug 22, Clarification on Infallibility)
Those words of the House of Justice appear to reflect the “elasticity which characterizes the functions of His appointed ministers” and the requirement for them to "adapt loyally and intelligently the Faith to the requirements of progressive ("ever-changing") society" as explained by the Guardian.

To reinforce your (and others’) comments on this topic, I will offer for consideration some additional explanation and insight from Shoghi Effendi:

“They (Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá) have . . . in unequivocal and emphatic language, appointed those twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship as their chosen Successors, destined to apply the principles, promulgate the laws, protect the institutions, adapt loyally and intelligently the Faith to the requirements of progressive society, and consummate the incorruptible inheritance which the Founders of the Faith have bequeathed to the world.” . . . .

“Both in the administrative provisions of the Bahá'í Dispensation, and in the matter of succession, as embodied in the twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Gardianship, the followers of Bahá'u'lláh can summon to their aid such irrefutable evidences of Divine Guidance that none can resist, that none can belittle or ignore. . . . Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá have both revealed and even insisted upon certain details in connection with the Divine Economy which they have bequeathed to us, their followers. . . . (E)mphasis has been placed in their Will and Testament upon the powers and prerogatives of the ministers of their Faith.


For nothing short of the explicit directions of their Book, and the surprisingly emphatic language with which they have clothed the provisions of their Will, could possibly safeguard the Faith for which they have both so gloriously labored all their lives. Nothing short of this could protect it . . . in future. . . .
(underlined emphasis mine).

“It should also be borne in mind that the machinery of the Cause has been so fashioned, that whatever is deemed necessary to incorporate into it in order to keep it in the forefront of all progressive movements, can, according to the provisions made by Bahá'u'lláh, be safely embodied therein. To this testify the words of Bahá'u'lláh, as recorded in the Eighth Leaf of the exalted Paradise: 'It is incumbent upon the Trustees of the House of Justice to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book, and to enforce that which is agreeable to them. God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth, and He, verily, is the Provider, the Omniscient.' Not only has the House of Justice been invested by Bahá'u'lláh with the authority to legislate whatsoever has not been explicitly and outwardly recorded in His holy Writ, upon it has also been conferred by the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá the right and power to abrogate, according to the changes and requirements of the time, whatever has been already enacted and enforced by a preceding House of Justice. In this connection, He revealed the following in His Will: 'And inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same. Thus for example, the House of Justice enacteth today a certain law and enforceth it, and a hundred years hence, circumstances having profoundly changed and the conditions having altered, another House of Justice will then have power, according to the exigencies of the time, to alter that law. This it can do because that law formeth no part of the divine explicit text. The House of Justice is both the initiator and the abrogator of its own laws.' Such is the immutability of His revealed Word. Such is the elasticity which characterizes the functions of His appointed ministers. The first preserves the identity of His Faith, and guards the integrity of His law. The second enables it, even as a living organism, to expand and adapt itself to the needs and requirements of an ever-changing society.”


Thank you to all those making comment on this topic. LR
 
Old 02-05-2017, 02:49 PM   #49
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Additional information regarding LR post #48. The source for Shoghi Effendi's quotes are from his letter dated March 21, 1930 titled 'The World Order of Baha'u'llah - Further Considerations' and published in 'The World Order of Baha'u'llah', pp. 19-23.

-LR
 
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