Comforter and Prince of Truth

Apr 2011
I had explained to you in the mail why the Baha'i view will not convince a Christian. Because it does not reflect the Christian revelation, but continues an Islamic understanding of revelation, a purely quantitative view of prophets.
Christian revelation assumes that God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Beyond that there can be no revelation.
Not necessarily. Consider Jewish Christianity. It is much closer to the Islamic view. Mani, who had belonged to a Jewish Christian group before he announced his revelation, is an example.
Jul 2017
Olympia, WA, USA
I had explained to you in the mail why the Baha'i view will not convince a Christian. Because it does not reflect the Christian revelation, but continues an Islamic understanding of revelation, a purely quantitative view of prophets.
Christian revelation assumes that God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Beyond that there can be no revelation.
I am not trying to convince any Christians. I simply present the truth about the Baha’i Faith if and when it comes up in a conversation.
It is logical that there can be no revelation beyond the essence of God. A new prophet cannot correct the essence of God, he can at best bring a message that corresponds to the essence of God. I had explained that to you. Now you say that the Dispensation of Jesus Christ has been unconditionally abrogated. That makes no logical sense. How can the revelation of the being of God be abolished? That is completely illogical.
Are you saying that Jesus Christ was the Essence of God, the being of God? If you are saying that this is diametrically opposed to Baha’i beliefs. As clearly written by Baha’u’llah God cannot incarnate His Essence and become a man. Jesus was a Manifestation of God, just like Baha’u’llah.

“Know thou of a certainty that the Unseen can in no wise incarnate His Essence and reveal it unto men. He is, and hath ever been, immensely exalted beyond all that can either be recounted or perceived. From His retreat of glory His voice is ever proclaiming: “Verily, I am God; there is none other God besides Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. I have manifested Myself unto men, and have sent down Him Who is the Day Spring of the signs of My Revelation. Through Him I have caused all creation to testify that there is none other God except Him, the Incomparable, the All-Informed, the All-Wise.” He Who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known except through His Manifestation, and His Manifestation can adduce no greater proof of the truth of His Mission than the proof of His own Person.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 49

That passage means that Jesus could not have been the Essence of God, since no Manifestation of God (Prophet) was the Essence of God.

I am not the one who said that the former religious Dispensations have been unconditionally abrogated by the Revelation of Baha’u’llah. Shoghi Effendi said it.

“In conclusion of this theme, I feel, it should be stated that the Revelation identified with Bahá’u’lláh abrogates unconditionally all the Dispensations gone before it, upholds uncompromisingly the eternal verities they enshrine, recognizes firmly and absolutely the Divine origin of their Authors, preserves inviolate the sanctity of their authentic Scriptures, disclaims any intention of lowering the status of their Founders or of abating the spiritual ideals they inculcate, clarifies and correlates their functions, reaffirms their common, their unchangeable and fundamental purpose, reconciles their seemingly divergent claims and doctrines, readily and gratefully recognizes their respective contributions to the gradual unfoldment of one Divine Revelation, unhesitatingly acknowledges itself to be but one link in the chain of continually progressive Revelations, supplements their teachings with such laws and ordinances as conform to the imperative needs, and are dictated by the growing receptivity, of a fast evolving and constantly changing society, and proclaims its readiness and ability to fuse and incorporate the contending sects and factions into which they have fallen into a universal Fellowship, functioning within the framework, and in accordance with the precepts, of a divinely conceived, a world-unifying, a world-redeeming Order.”
God Passes By, p. 100

A dispensation is as a distinctive arrangement or period in history that forms the framework through which God relates to mankind. In another passage, Shoghi Effendi states that it was only the former Dispensations that have been abrogated. The religions themselves have not been abrogated because a religion can never be abrogated since it is part of the unfolding revelation from God to man.

“Let no one, however, mistake my purpose. The Revelation, of which Bahá’u’lláh is the source and center, abrogates none of the religions that have preceded it, nor does it attempt, in the slightest degree, to distort their features or to belittle their value. It disclaims any intention of dwarfing any of the Prophets of the past, or of whittling down the eternal verity of their teachings. It can, in no wise, conflict with the spirit that animates their claims, nor does it seek to undermine the basis of any man’s allegiance to their cause. Its declared, its primary purpose is to enable every adherent of these Faiths to obtain a fuller understanding of the religion with which he stands identified, and to acquire a clearer apprehension of its purpose. It is neither eclectic in the presentation of its truths, nor arrogant in the affirmation of its claims. Its teachings revolve around the fundamental principle that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is progressive, not final. Unequivocally and without the least reservation it proclaims all established religions to be divine in origin, identical in their aims, complementary in their functions, continuous in their purpose, indispensable in their value to mankind.” The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, pp, 57-58

From: Fundamental Principle of Religious Truth
I don't know what other religious influence you have in talking about Christians with such a disrespectful and distorted assessment. It is unbelievably hypocritical to produce such statements and then claim that you are concerned about the unity of religions. The truth is that you want people to follow your religion because your ego can't bear that there may be other alternatives.
You are they one with the ego problem if you are trying to tell me what I am doin, what I should do, and what I am concerned about.

Nothing I say has anything to do with what *I want* so it is not about my ego. I simply present accurate information about the Baha’i Faith and what it teaches. If I am going to call myself a Baha’i, there is no other alternative but to follow the Manifestation of God *for this age* because Baha’u’llah enjoined me to do that. In the following passage, “His Manifestation” is Baha’u’llah.

“This is the Day when the loved ones of God should keep their eyes directed towards His Manifestation, and fasten them upon whatsoever that Manifestation may be pleased to reveal. Certain traditions of bygone ages rest on no foundations whatever, while the notions entertained by past generations, and which they have recorded in their books, have, for the most part, been influenced by the desires of a corrupt inclination. Thou dost witness how most of the commentaries and interpretations of the words of God, now current amongst men, are devoid of truth. Their falsity hath, in some cases, been exposed when the intervening veils were rent asunder. They themselves have acknowledged their failure in apprehending the meaning of any of the words of God.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 171-172

I speak only what I have been told by Christians who I have been having ongoing discussions with on forums for about seven years. I do not make things up. What I say comes from Christians who have said them. There is nothing disrespectful about repeating what Christians have told me, namely that they are waiting for the same Jesus to return from the clouds. I shared what I think about that belief because I am on a Baha’i forum, but I have also told Christians what I think about it, that it is a fantasy and that is not going to ever happen. I have offended no Christians by sharing my opinions and they share their opinions that Baha’u’llah was a false Prophet and an antichrist, because that is what people do when they are having an honest conversation, they share what they believe. Truthfulness is the foundation of all virtues, as Abdu’l-Baha said.
I have no idea why you believe that Christianity consists of waiting for anything. Christians wait for nothing, they already have a connection to the living God, as they say. Long before Baha'i existed, Christianity took care of things like providing for the poor. Social sacrifice is an important issue. How many hospitals have Baha'i founded in the world? How many people received practical help? If there is an example of practical work for others, it is Christianity.
I do not know why you have to make this a competition between Christianity and the Baha’i Faith. Of course Christianity has done more than the Baha’i Faith, it comprises 33% of the world population and Baha’i is a paltry 0.1%. What do you think the Baha’i Faith can do to compete?

You must have your head in the sand if you do not know that most Christians are still waiting for Jesus to return, either that or the Christians in your country are much different from the ones in the United States.
If there is no new message then it was also not necessary to send a new prophet and then the one who says to be a prophet is perhaps not a prophet.
Of course Baha’u’llah brought a new message, the unity of mankind, in direct fulfillment of what Jesus promised:

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Also from a Christian point of view Baha'u'llah might be a man with prophetic speech. Christians should pay attention to prophetic speeches because they point to God who revealed Himself for them in Jesus Christ. If Christians would now turn away from Jesus Christ, as you demand on the basis of your apologetics, then they would no longer have any basis for being able to recognize someone in Baha'u'llah who speaks prophetically. And then they would also not be able to recognize that what Baha'u'llah speaks is "good," because the yardstick for evaluating what is good is, for a Christian, the essence of God that has shown itself to him in Jesus Christ.
I never demanded any such thing, I never said that Christians should turn away from Jesus Christ, but logically speaking if Christians believe Jesus is The Only Way, and they do, there is no way they could ever recognize Baha’u’llah for who He was.

Also, Christians will never recognize Baha’u’llah as long as they believe Jesus was the Essence of God, God incarnate. No, it is not adequate for Christians to believe that what Baha’u’llah speaks is merely “good” but Jesus is better because Jesus was God. God also revealed Himself through Baha’u’llah. They either accept that Baha’u’llah is the Manifestation of God for this age or they are not a Baha’i. Jesus was not God. That is a basic Baha’i belief and also Jesus never claimed to be God. To agree with Christians who believe that is dishonest.

This is not about any apologetics of mine, it is about what Baha’u’llah proclaimed, what He wrote with His Own Pen:

“Give ear unto that which the Dove of Eternity warbleth upon the twigs of the Divine Lote-Tree: O peoples of the earth! We sent forth him who was named John to baptize you with water, that your bodies might be cleansed for the appearance of the Messiah. He, in turn, purified you with the fire of love and the water of the spirit in anticipation of these Days whereon the All-Merciful hath purposed to cleanse you with the water of life at the hands of His loving providence. This is the Father foretold by Isaiah, and the Comforter concerning Whom the Spirit had covenanted with you.Open your eyes, O concourse of bishops, that ye may behold your Lord seated upon the Throne of might and glory.

Say: O peoples of all faiths! Walk not in the ways of them that followed the Pharisees and thus veiled themselves from the Spirit. They truly have strayed and are in error. The Ancient Beauty is come in His Most Great Name, and He wisheth to admit all mankind into His most holy Kingdom. The pure in heart behold the Kingdom of God manifest before His Face. Make haste thereunto and follow not the infidel and the ungodly. Should your eye be opposed thereto, pluck it out. 2 Thus hath it been decreed by the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by Him Who is the Lord of the entire creation. He, verily, hath come again that ye might be redeemed, O peoples of the earth. Will ye slay Him Who desireth to grant you eternal life? Fear God, O ye who are endued with insight.”
The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 63-64

(Continued on next post)
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Jul 2017
Olympia, WA, USA
What I have tried to convey to you is that you will not convince a Christian unless you can tie in with the Christian understanding of revelation. How could the Christian believe that you have a new revelation if you have not even understood the old one? It's like someone who claims to want to go to grade 12 now, but has not yet finished grade 10. Logically this makes no sense.
I am not trying to convince any Christians of anything. That is not the job Baha’u’llah has given me to do. Baha’u’llah clearly wrote that the faith of no man can be conditioned by anyone except himself. Moreover, if they became a Baha’i because I pandered to them and agreed that Jesus was God they would find out soon enough that is not a Baha’i belief.
Just as you will not convince a Christian to distance himself from the knowledge of God and simply follow a new prophet quantatively, you will not be able to build a bridge to Christians without a clear understanding of the Christian conviction just by repeating inflationary quotations from Baha'u'llah. You need a logical argument and this must tie in with the knowledge of the Christian faith.
Again, I am not trying to convince Christians of anything. I simply present the truth about the Baha’i Faith. If they are interested they can ask more questions or pursue it further on their own. Moreover, I rarely have dialogues with Christians anymore because most of them are completely closed to Baha’i beliefs. I mostly dialogue with nonbelievers who I consider more rational than fundamentalist Christians. However, as of late I have had dialogues with liberal Christians. We get along really well, but I am not trying to teach them the Baha’i Faith, we just talk about God.
Yes, that is true, and that is the reason why the statement that the revelation of Jesus Christ was abolished makes no real sense. You say the revelation was abrogated and at the same time you say Baha'u'llah has brought no ethical innovations. But if Baha'u'llah did not bring any innovations, it means that the revelation of Jesus Christ is still valid. And this, too, if one takes the Christian point of view, is logical: from a Christian point of view there can be no prophecy that proclaims anything other than the essence of God. And that is another reason why Baha'u'llah cannot bring ethical innovations.
I said the Dispensation of Jesus Christ has been abrogated which essentially means what it says in that passage above. A dispensation is as a distinctive arrangement or period in history that forms the framework through which God relates to mankind, and God is now relating to mankind through Baha’u’llah, not through Jesus.

Of course Baha’u’llah brought many new social teachings and He renewed and reiterated the ethical teachings of Jesus, but the most important thing He brought was a new message, the oneness of God, the oneness of religion and the oneness of mankind. This is diametrically opposed to what Christians believe so there is no way to combine the two.

I already know what Christians believe, that nobody can come after Jesus or be better than Jesus and that cannot be made to fit with what Baha’is believe, progressive revelation.
Shoghi Effendi obviously lacked the knowledge of the Christian faith. He says it is moral and disciplinary because that is the line of argument for the coming prophet. But Christianity was never about morality and discipline, quite the opposite. For Christians, Christianity is about the encounter with God in Jesus Christ, who for them, as already written, is the absolute yardstick in the evaluation of morality and prophecy. So it is not about the rules, but about the essence behind the rules. That is why a prophet who says he has new rules is not a continuation of Christian revelation.
What Christians believe is not what Jesus taught. The religion of Christianity is based upon the doctrines of the Church which are patently false. George Townshend explained that in his book Christ and Baha'u'llah. He did not mince words and neither will I.

As Jesus prophesied, the false prophets contrived to change the essential meaning of the Gospel so that it became quite different from that which the Bible recorded or Jesus taught. Matt. Vii 15-23 and see pp. 11, 12.​
It has long been generally believed that Jesus Christ was a unique incarnation of God such as had never before appeared in religious history and would never appear again. This tenet made the acceptance of any later Prophet impossible to a Christian. Yet there is nothing in Christ’s own statements, as recorded in the Gospel, to support this view, and it was not generally held during His lifetime.​
Jesus emphatically claimed to reveal God, Whom He called Father, but continually differentiated Himself from the Father. In many such references as “Him that sent me,” “my Father is greater than I,” John xiv 28. “I go to the Father,” John xvi 16. “I will pray the Father,” John xiv 16. “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me,” John vii 28. He made this abundantly clear, and even stated specifically that the Father had knowledge which was not possessed by the Son. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark xiii 32. He referred to Himself as the Son, and as a Prophet, Matt. Xiii 57, Luke xiii 33 and was so regarded, Matt. xxi 11, Luke vii 16 and related His Mission to those of Moses and Abraham before Him, and to others to come after Him, specifically “he, the Spirit of truth, “who would reveal the things which Jesus did not. John xvi 12, 13.
The followers of every world religion have invented for themselves a similar belief in the uniqueness and finality of their own Prophet. The result has been that no religion has acknowledged a Prophet of a later religion. The Hindus do not acknowledge Buddha, the Buddhists did not acknowledge Christ, nor yet do the Zoroastrians. The result of this delusive belief has been that the world religions have not tended to the unifying of mankind but rather to its further division.​
Another opinion which Christians universally hold about Christ is that His teaching was absolute and final. They believe that if the Truth were partly withheld from them for a time because they could not bear it, it was divulged at Pentecost in its fullness and that now nothing remains to be revealed. But there is nothing in the account of Pentecost to suggest such an interpretation and there is no one who will believe that Jesus would have named the false prophets as characteristic of His age if this warning was to be followed by an immediate release of all Truth to the Church. What the Bible shows is rather a succession of teachers—Abraham, Moses and Christ, each measuring His Revelation to the needs and maturity of His authors: Jesus, for example, changes the divorce law and says, “Moses gave you this because of the hardness of your hearts but from the beginning it was not so.” Many times He says, Ye have heard it said by them of old time . . . but I say unto you . . .”
Another universal opinion among the Christians is that Christ was the Lord of Hosts of the Old Testament. Yet the Jewish Prophets had foretold that when the Lord of Hosts came He would not find the Jews in the Holy Land, all would have been scattered among the nations and would have been living in misery and degradation for centuries; but when Jesus came Palestine was full of Jews and their expulsion did not begin until the year 70 A.D.; it may be said to have continued till the year 1844.​
To confirm orthodox Christian opinion it is customary in all churches to read on Christmas morning, as if it referred to Jesus, the passage which Isaiah wrote about the Lord of Hosts (Isaiah ix 6-7).
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”​
Yet the descriptive titles given do not belong exclusively to Christ, while some of them He specifically repudiated as if to make such a mistaken reference to Himself impossible. He disclaimed being the Mighty God when He called Himself “the Son of God;” John v 18-47 where Jesus repudiates the charge that He claimed equality with God, disclaimed being the Father when He said, “my Father is greater than I;” (John xviii 36) and being the Prince of Peace when He said, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” He disclaimed bearing the government upon His shoulder or that it would be His judgment and justice forever when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John xviii 36).
Many of these false interpretations involve repudiation of the Word of God in favor of the word of man. This impious act is so craftily performed, with such an air of humility, that it might escape the notice of the most sincere and devout of worshippers. Probably few churchgoers realize today that the Gospel of Christ as known to the few in the pulpit is wholly different from the Gospel which Christ preached in Galilee as recorded in the Bible.​
In spite of Christ’s promise of further revelation of Truth, through the Comforter, through His own return, through the Spirit of Truth, the Christian Church regards His revelation as final, and itself as the sole trustee of true religion. There is no room for the Supreme Redeemer of the Bible to bring in great changes for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. In fact this Kingdom is often described as a world-wide Church.​
Having thus closed God’s Covenant with the Bible, sacred history—God-directed—came to an end, and secular history, having no sense of divine destiny nor unity, began.​
Jesus’ revelation was purely spiritual. He taught that “My kingdom is not of this world” and that the “Kingdom of heaven is within you.” His great gift to man was the knowledge of eternal life. He told men that they might be physically in perfect health and yet spiritually sick or even dead. But this was a difficult truth to communicate and Jesus had to help men to realize it. He would say that He was a spiritual physician and that men whom He cured of a spiritual disability were cured of blindness, deafness, lameness, leprosy and so on. This was the real meaning of His remark at the end of a discourse, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” For a hearer might hear the physical word of Jesus and yet fail to comprehend the spiritual meaning. Jesus, in other words, was forever trying to heal spiritual infirmities. He thus would be understood by His disciples as a healer of spiritual ailments but by others He might be taken as relieving physical ills only.​
Doubtless Jesus could, and often did, heal bodily ills by spiritual means, but this was nothing to do with His real work as a Redeemer. On the other handthese spiritual cures which he effected might be misinterpreted as physical miracles, and so were little stressed by Him. (“See that no man know it.) Matt ix 30.​
Christ’s spiritual mission was, at an early date, materialized, specifically in regard to such things as the miracles, curing the blind and deaf, raising the dead. Even His own resurrection was made physical, missing the point entirely. Moreover, none of the complex order, of the ceremonies, rituals and litanies of the Church can be attributed to Christ. All are man-made, by inference or invention.​
Well might Christ warn His followers that false prophets would arise and misinterpret His teachings so as to delude even the most earnest and intelligent of His believers: from early times Christians have disputed about Christian truth in councils, in sects, in wars.​
To sum up, if Christians say “our acts may be wrong,” they say truly. If they say “however our Gospel is right” they are quite wrong. The false prophets have corrupted the Gospel as successfully as they have the deeds and lives of Christian people.​
That's not true. It's not. Again, Shoghi Effendi obviously never did any serious Bible study.
It is true, because there were not even any nations to unify back in Christ’s time. Nations were built during the Dispensation of Muhammad. Clearly, the unification of mankind was not the mission of Jesus. The whole world had not even been discovered 2000 years ago and there was no way to unify mankind since there were no mass communications.
"For all of you are sons of God in Christ Jesus by faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There are no more Jews and Greeks, no more slaves and free men, no more men and women; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. But if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to the promise." Gal3,26-29

I think it's good to end this conversation. You should get closer to Christianity. The Baha'i faith says you should look for the truth. Your apologetics are not based on the search for the truth and not on knowledge, that is unfortunately a crucial problem.
Yes, it is time to end this conversation. I have no apologetics. I just accurately present what the Baha’i Faith teaches and support that with the authoritative writings of the Baha’i Faith. This is a Baha’i Forum so I consider it important to present accurate information.

I do not need to look at Christianity or any of the older religions because their dispensations have been abrogated, but I do look at Christianity when I am posting to Christians because I need to know what it says in the New Testament.
Aug 2019
Not necessarily. Consider Jewish Christianity. It is much closer to the Islamic view. Mani, who had belonged to a Jewish Christian group before he announced his revelation, is an example.

Yes, there are some unrepresentative groups with a Gnostic background who have created a private theology. In contrast to the established churches, however, they do not carry out scientific research and investigation of their own faith and its foundations and do not examine it. One could also say that they do not try to find out the truth, but are content with the statements of their founder, no matter how inconsistent they are. Jewish Christianity today is usually part of the Evangelical spectrum and does not believe anything fundamentally different from modern Christianity. For me, a serious religion implements the Baha'u'llah principle of searching for truth.

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Aug 2019
I do not need to look at Christianity or any of the older religions because their dispensations have been abrogated.
With this sentence you have expressed all the arrogance of your approach. Because you are not looking for the truth, but only repeating it, you do not notice mistakes in the statements you are repeating. Someone who wonders why Buddhists who are agnostics don't acknowledge someone who has proclaimed God can no longer be helped objectively. By the way, Buddha is recognized by many Hindus, but for that you would have to deal with the religions you so righteously judge.

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Oct 2019

These kinds of discussions are not uncommon when speaking to followers of the Abrahamic religions. The background is that Abrahamic monotheism thinks exclusively and assumes that one's own founder is the only way to truth. The unity of religions can only be realized from this point of view if people follow their own founder.

That unity exists behind religions and is founded in the common transcendent reality can only be understood where people have deep experiences of this reality. If they lack this experience, they usually only follow the cultural tradition and see only the divisive when people follow another tradition.
Mostly there is the fear that if someone goes an alternative way, his own religion could be questioned.

The fact that God wants the unity of people and that this already exists on a deeper level can be recognized because every religion also contains the inclusive way of thinking: In Christianity it means "outside the church no salvation". Modern theologians interpret this approach in such a way that wherever salvation happens there is church, independent of the institution. In Islam the term Muslim means pleasing to God. Every person who is pleasing to God is from this point of view a Muslim. In Hinduism every human being is a devotee, because all human beings are parts of God and therefore inevitably serve God. Even if they are materialists, because the material energies are also God's energies.

The Baha'i faith from my point of view offers the idea that all prophets are qualitatively and essentially one, the Word of God, and therefore all religions point to the one reality. This can be well experienced in devotions where prayers from all religions are used and people can participate regardless of their faith. As far as I have understood Baha'u'llah and as it has already been suggested in the discussion, it is not about blind imitation, but about testing the facts to get a picture of the truth.

Cheers, Siddhanta
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Jul 2017
Olympia, WA, USA
Trailblazer said: I do not need to look at Christianity or any of the older religions because their dispensations have been abrogated.

With this sentence you have expressed all the arrogance of your approach. Because you are not looking for the truth, but only repeating it, you do not notice mistakes in the statements you are repeating. Someone who wonders why Buddhists who are agnostics don't acknowledge someone who has proclaimed God can no longer be helped objectively. By the way, Buddha is recognized by many Hindus, but for that you would have to deal with the religions you so righteously judge.
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With what you have said you have expressed all the arrogance of your approach.
The audacity you have to tell me I am not looking for the truth... There are no words I can say, but Baha'u'llah had already said them for me.

26: SON OF BEING! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10

66: O EMIGRANTS! The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 45
Apr 2011
Yes, there are some unrepresentative groups with a Gnostic background who have created a private theology.
How do you know Jewish Christians represented a "private" theology of their own creation? "Sometimes," says one scholar, "genuine Christian traditions and concepts, which became forgotten in mainstream Christendom, were kept alive in heretical Christian circles." We really don't know much about the first Christians, so to say they did not believe in ongoing revelation in the future is a hasty conclusion in my opinion.

In contrast to the established churches, however, they do not carry out scientific research and investigation of their own faith and its foundations and do not examine it.
How do you know Jewish Christians did "not carry out" research and investigate their own faith?

Jewish Christianity today is usually part of the Evangelical spectrum and does not believe anything fundamentally different from modern Christianity.
A totally different topic.
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Oct 2019
Trailblazer & Certitude,

the basic problem is that you're arguing from 2 different angles:

On the one hand is the Baha'i revelation, which proceeds from a qualitative unity of the revelators. Revelation takes place here in time and the prophets serve as moral guidelines. The prophets play a role here as historical personalities, whereby nowadays it is unclear whether really all prophets were historical personalities, but at least in this example the historical Jesus is relevant.

On the other hand, Christian revelation, which proceeds from qualitative differences between the revelators. The progressive revelation here does not take place in time, but in the revelators themselves. For the Christian faith is not the historical Jesus relevant, but what the people in Jesus have recognized. This knowledge/revelation focuses on the "Christ of faith", not on the historical Jesus.

The interesting thing is that the Baha'i religion would have to spend much more time on historical research because it is based on real historical personalities. For the Christian religion this would not be so relevant at all, because the foundation stone was laid by a transcendent experience of man with God, which is passed on over generations.

The first perspective, here the Baha'i perspective, expects that people always follow the current revelator, because the mere fact that God sends a new revelator is in itself proof enough to accept the revelator.

The second perspective, the Christian perspective, sees in the revelators a successive increase. This means logically that with a certain revelator the climax is reached, in this case in Jesus Christ. Other revelations that follow must therefore be measured against Jesus Christ, because he is the climax of all revelations.

Both concepts have an inner logic.
The Christian concept carries the risk, at least theoretically, of remaining on a status quo.
The Baha'i recipe adopted from Islam carries the risk that there will no longer be an ethical standard because it is only a matter of following the current prophet. The curiosities already mentioned here arise, for example that believing people are accused of why they do not follow an agnostic/atheistic doctrine like Buddhism, after all Buddha is a newer prophet than Krishna.And the Buddhists, who are agnostics/atheists, why should they suddenly become believers just because a new manifestation says so? That's not convincing.

The basic problem is that we need a central moral standard by which we can measure all prophets and teaching systems. Only then will we be able to separate good from bad.

Christianity has solved this question through the revelation of Jesus Christ. I do not see the solution to this problem in Baha'i faith, because it is only about progressiveness and not about a timeless, eternal, ethical truth.
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Aug 2019
Hi Trailblazer,

You mentioned two important statements from Baha'u'llah. If you reflect on yourself, are you sure in your statements about Christians to do justice to the claim Baha'u'llah made? You don't have to answer this question to me, maybe you can solve it for yourself.

You have written several times that you feel it is a problem if Christians do not acknowledge Baha'u'llah or, to put it somewhat casually, they stand in their own way. At the same time you wrote that you are not interested in missionizing Christians. For me both statements do not fit together. I have tried to show you how the Christian understanding of revelation differs from the Baha'i understanding of revelation. If Christians are to acknowledge Baha'u'llah, then they would have to give up their entire Christian faith if we did not build them a bridge that cannot be based on our faith, but must start with the self-understanding of Christianity.

It is precisely the view that Baha'u'llah confirms the revelation of Christ that says in the end that the revelation of Christ is still valid and not cancelled.

Many greetings,