Baha'i Social Practices - Laws, Marriage, Work, Places of Worship

Jul 2014
That is between you and God. If your behavior reflects badly on Baha'is, another Baha'i might lovingly ask you to reflect upon what you are doing, but they should not judge you. We all face trials in following the Word of God, and He alone will judge us. But as a diabetic, I am not sure wine or beer is a healthy choice....

Loving regards,
Apr 2017
I look at these laws as signs or warnings to protect us from harm.
Ignoring the warnings do not guarantee disaster, and following the warnings do not guarantee salvation.

If you exceed the speed limit on the road, you will not necessarily crash. If you respect the speed limit, you will not necessarily avoid crashing.
If you drink a glass of wine, you will not necessarily ruin your health. If you abstain, you will not necessarily live healthier and longer.
If you forget to say your obligatory prayer, you will not necessarily forget God. If you never forget to pray, you may still live in hell.

Take the biography of any living person you admire. Most likely, they have cheated, lied, bullied someone, neglected something. And they have not just survived but flourished.

Will we then approve cheating, drinking, bullying, exceeding speed limits, etc.?
No. Living by principle means obeying laws that protect us because we know that, most of the times, and in most of circumstances, they will work in favour of our spiritual progress.
This does not mean that at all times and circumstances, breaking the law will lead us immediately to disaster, or that we will have no resources to get around it.

This is why we must also rely in our personal reasoning, in our intuition, and in consultation with those who love us or know more than us. The Holy Spirit works through all these channels as well, not just through Scripture.
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Jun 2015
Perth, Australia
The Holy Spirit works through all these channels as well, not just through Scripture.
I've always found this concept fascinating. How do we know that the guidance we are receiving, or the guidance we conclude on giving ourselves is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit?

There's been a LOT of harm done, all in the name of the Holy Spirit......

For me Scripture is the only origin of the Holy Spirit available to us as humans. We may think that we are concluding something good for ourselves, but if it be good, then the source will always be Scripture, not us.

The only time we are guided by the Holy Spirit is when we and Scripture are one and united:

"And a wayfarer in this stage leaves the wilderness of annihilation and perplexed wandering and comes upon the shore of the boundless ocean and limitless sea: "And in yourselves do you not see?" And he enters the rose-garden of the reality and the garden of the guidance of: "Read your own book, your self is sufficient to give an account against you today." And he sees the glimmering of the effulgences of the Beauteous One shining from the dawn of his own beauty; and he finds the breezes of the Paradise of Reality blowing from the fields of oneness and the gardens of detachment which are green and verdant"

- Abdu'l-Baha from the commentary on the Hidden Treasure.