Do we overvalue the writings of Abdu'l-Baha an Shoghi Effendi?

May 2017
3
United States
#1
Hi everyone this is my first ever post. I hope to create constructive dialogue on this forum. Healthy dialogue is a great way to transform humanity.

I really feel like people quote Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi like they are directly saying the word of God which is wrong and not true. Baha'u'llah is the actual word of God. His words are completely raw and not edited by any human. They are masterfully crafted words that are intended to transcend over hundreds of years and to every culture to come. I know Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi are very spiritual people but whatever they say or write is not the word of God. People often use what they say is cold hard evidence of God's word but it's not. Everything they say is a secondary source. Every thing they say is watered down. It is very watered down in my opinion compared to an actual diety who is totally more powerful and all-knowing. Comparing the knowledge of the All-Glorious, All-Powerful, All-knowing God to some human who lived a measily human life span is no competition. I think it's an insult to God himself for us to look at Abdu'l Baha and Shoghi Effendi's writings as equal to His yet people do it a ridiculous amount. People seem to do it more often than not. A lot of people seem to prefer their writings over God's. Neither Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi are God. They are both humans and should start being treated as humans. Why is Abdu'l-Baha's and Shoghi Effendi's writings considered sacred writings? They aren't sacred writings. They are writings by humans. They are writings by devout believers, but by listening to devout believers instead of God himself is how the teachings get skewed and watered down. I don't understand why people water down the teachings already. The religion is so new, yet it's already being watered down right off the bat.

I don't want to come across as somebody who thinks Shoghi Effendi and Abdu'l-Baha are not honorable people. They are very honorable people. They are some of the most honorable people to every walk the Earth no doubt. But they are people. Every person is an ant to God. If you agree or disagree please comment. I know there is definitely different perspectives I haven't looked through and facts I don't know about. I really want to understand their place in the Baha'i faith because it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me right now.
 
Jun 2011
1,542
Somewhere "in this immensity"
#2
Hi,

Just a quick response this, as I feel it is worthy of discussion.

I think your view is half right and half wrong. It is true, that only the Bab and Baha'u'llah spoke with the word of God in our faith, as his manifestations. However, in those same writings there are explicit statements related to the Covenant, making it clear that turning away from 'Abd'ul-baha is the same as turning away from Baha'u'llah and that following him is to follow God. "Abdu'l-Baha similarly extended this to Shoghi Effendi. Therefore, while their writings are not the same as the Manifestations, this doesn't diminish them since their power and authority flows from the covenant.

Cheers
 
May 2013
1,773
forest falls california
#3
Tools in His hand

I don't want to come across as somebody who thinks Shoghi Effendi and Abdu'l-Baha are not honorable people. They are very honorable people. They are some of the most honorable people to every walk the Earth no doubt. But they are people. Every person is an ant to God. If you agree or disagree please comment. I know there is definitely different perspectives I haven't looked through and facts I don't know about. I really want to understand their place in the Baha'i faith because it doesn't really make a lot of sense to me right now.
If you go to a mechanic, you expect him to fix your car with his hands, but in his hands are tools. Their movement is his movement. Their repair is his repair.

It is this way with Baha'u'llah, Who continues to work in this world through the Divine Tools which He fashioned through the Instruments of His Will.

Indeed the Hands of the Cause of God were such willing instruments the He called them the Hands of His Cause. How much more the Center of the Covenant and the Guardian of the Cause of God. Do you think that He, Baha'u'llah, is incapable of investing His Tools with His Movement? That their movement is His movement?
 
Nov 2013
26
Costa Rica
#4
As the others have pointed out, Baha'u'llah has indicated that we turn to Abdu'l-Baha. Abdu'l-Baha being aware of this has set the suitable example for us to follow. Where He says, "these are the Teachings of Baha'u'llah", we listen not as we would to anyone who is giving out his own personal opinions, but as we would to one who has been instructed to say so by Baha'u'llah Himself.
 
Jul 2017
78
Denver, CO
#5
It is utterly clear in Baha'u'llah's writings that we are to seek after unity, both within the faith and within our human species at large.

The following verses in the Kitab-i-Aqdas seem relevant here:

"Should differences arise amongst you over any matter, refer it to God while the Sun still shineth above the horizon of this Heaven and, when it hath set, refer ye to whatsoever hath been sent down by Him. This, verily, is sufficient unto the peoples of the world. Say: Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels"

- Verse 53

"When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root."

- Verse 121

"O people of the world! When the Mystic Dove will have winged its flight from its Sanctuary of Praise and sought its far-off goal, its hidden habitation, refer ye whatsoever ye understand not in the Book to Him Who hath branched from this mighty Stock."

- Verse 174

Clearly Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi are not Manifestations of God. What are they, then? Abdu'l-Baha is a man who was indicated as being worthy of special attention by Baha'u'llah himself. (I imagine, but do not know for certain, that the appointment of Abdu'l-Baha was set down explicitly in writing by Baha'u'llah at some point -- I hope someone more knowledgeable will fill in the gap here.)
 
Sep 2017
320
Earth
#6
Interesting thought. Bahaullah has a verse which says 'shun not meat' (don't stop eating meat) and abdul baha says eating meat goes contrary to compassion, and also that it's better to not eat it. However if killing animals is contrary to compassion then so is walking on grass because we are killing insects but that's besides the point the point is here abdul baha actually says something contrary to the teachings