Leave them alone

Jul 2014
832
colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
#11
When you meet those whose opinions differ from your own, do not turn away your face from them. All are seeking truth, and there are many roads leading thereto. Truth has many aspects, but it remains always and forever one.
Do not allow difference of opinion, or diversity of thought, to separate you from your fellowmen, or to be the cause of dispute, hatred and strife in your hearts.
Rather, search diligently for the truth, and make all men your friends.

Paris Talks: Addresses Given by 'Abdu'l-Baha' in Paris in 1911

Certainly an attribute to aspire to....
 
Nov 2012
949
Florida
#13
"The believers, as we all know, should endeavour to set such an example in their personal lives and conduct that others will feel impelled to embrace a Faith which reforms human character. However, unfortunately, not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self. What every believer, new or old, should realize is that the Cause has the spiritual power to re-create us if we make the effort to let that power influence us, and the greatest help in this respect is prayer. We must supplicate Bahá’u’lláh to assist us to overcome the failings in our own characters, and also exert our own will power in mastering ourselves."
- Shoghi Effendi
 
Jul 2014
832
colorado/summer-Oklahoma/winter
#14
Absolutely Josh...the power of prayer should never be doubted, questioned or taken for granted!
 
Oct 2013
697
Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
#15
Good morning Sarasto

Why torment yourself by keep hanging around here? :D
Your question sent my mind on a tack of thought that I wish to share. Whether this train of thought has any use, however, is an entirely different matter.

In the final analysis, everything but everything serves the Cause of God. From the movement of the mighty bodies in this infinite universe, from the advances in scientific thought, from the divisive forces in this world of shadows, to the denial of the world of the spirit, to the development of technological marvels unheard of even a brief 100 years ago, to every aspect of our knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

In many instances, I feel the same frustration as yourself. The most difficult thing to learn is to remain resigned, and to learn to have trust that all things serve the Cause of God.

In this world of shadows, there is not one of us who can tell the moment and circumstances of their passing over to the next higher realm of existence. How many who woke in the morning for whom life appeared to still have many years left to run who were being mourned by nightfall. Even the soldier who goes into battle, knowing that he may possibly be killed, knows likewise that many live beyond a battle, and considers with hope that he may be one of those, and even if killed, still cannot tell the moment and circumstances of his death beforehand. Even the old person, knowing his death is immanent, cannot tell how many more days the breath will pass in and out of his lungs before he takes that final breath.

There is a time coming for the Baha'is in the west when, as a result of the expansion and growth of this Faith, the clergy of not only the Christian Faith, but the many other of the Faiths of the world, will arise in their pulpits as one to condemn this Cause and to speak in a derogatory manner against its followers. At that time, not only will the Baha'is be heavily tested, but also those of pure heart and good intent from all walks of life and every following and all earlier Dispensations. At that time, it will, on the part of others, become an act of great courage to stand against the swell of popular opinion, knowing that they may possibly face ridicule or worse for their effort. This act of courage is expected of the Baha'is, they are expected to stand firm even to the point of being willing to suffer all manner of afflictions, or even death. But for these others, though it may be a human responsibility, are not bound by the same demands of our Faith, and so the voluntary nature of such an act becomes far more obvious than it will be for the Baha'is who stand similarly courageous against this tide.

Should SmilingSkeptic be still alive at that time, should this circumstance arise during his lifetime, then He will face this dilemma, but as his now-girlfriend and hopefully then-wife is a Baha'i, I feel certain, as his knowledge of the truth of our Teachings and beliefs is clear from his association with us even if he does not agree, that he will have that courage to, irrespective his personal acceptance or not of the claims of Baha'u'llah, stand forth and proclaim the truths of our beliefs against the falsities that will be spread, for at heart his ideals are, in my own perception, to stand against falsehood and lies, even though his idea of the truth and ours differ. And what is this difference but a difference in perception, for the truth remains the truth, no matter our perspective.

I give you my loving greetings

Romane
 
Nov 2012
949
Florida
#16
There is a time coming for the Baha'is in the west when, as a result of the expansion and growth of this Faith, the clergy of not only the Christian Faith, but the many other of the Faiths of the world, will arise in their pulpits as one to condemn this Cause and to speak in a derogatory manner against its followers. Baha'is are expected to stand firm even to the point of being willing to suffer all manner of afflictions.
That is exactly what Abdu'l-Baha said would happen.:D

"...my purpose is to warn and strengthen you against accusations, criticisms, revilings and derision... They are the very confirmation of the Cause, the very source of upbuilding to the Movement. May God confirm the day when a score of ministers of the churches may arise and with bared heads cry at the top of their voices that the Baha'is are misguided. I would like to see that day, for that is the time when the Cause of God will spread. Baha'u'llah has pronounced such as these the couriers of the Cause. They will proclaim from pulpits that the Baha'is are fools, that they are a wicked and unrighteous people, but be ye steadfast and unwavering in the Cause of God. They will spread the message of Baha'u'llah." --Abdu'l-Baha
 
Oct 2013
697
Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
#17
Good morning Josh

Deep appreciation for adding this quote. I never added any as my mind was distracted by what I had planned to do in the yard today :)

There are likewise other quotes, not only from the Master, and perhaps they can end up being placed forward also.

With my warmest greetings

Romane
 
Jun 2014
726
United States
#18
There is a time coming for the Baha'is in the west when, as a result of the expansion and growth of this Faith, the clergy of not only the Christian Faith, but the many other of the Faiths of the world, will arise in their pulpits as one to condemn this Cause and to speak in a derogatory manner against its followers. At that time, not only will the Baha'is be heavily tested, but also those of pure heart and good intent from all walks of life and every following and all earlier Dispensations. At that time, it will, on the part of others, become an act of great courage to stand against the swell of popular opinion, knowing that they may possibly face ridicule or worse for their effort. This act of courage is expected of the Baha'is, they are expected to stand firm even to the point of being willing to suffer all manner of afflictions, or even death. But for these others, though it may be a human responsibility, are not bound by the same demands of our Faith, and so the voluntary nature of such an act becomes far more obvious than it will be for the Baha'is who stand similarly courageous against this tide.

Should SmilingSkeptic be still alive at that time, should this circumstance arise during his lifetime, then He will face this dilemma, but as his now-girlfriend and hopefully then-wife is a Baha'i, I feel certain, as his knowledge of the truth of our Teachings and beliefs is clear from his association with us even if he does not agree, that he will have that courage to, irrespective his personal acceptance or not of the claims of Baha'u'llah, stand forth and proclaim the truths of our beliefs against the falsities that will be spread, for at heart his ideals are, in my own perception, to stand against falsehood and lies, even though his idea of the truth and ours differ. And what is this difference but a difference in perception, for the truth remains the truth, no matter our perspective.
Although I've seen some idiotic articles from online kooks calling Baha'is Satanic, Christianity in the United States, and religion in general, has more immediate battles to fight than picking on a religion that's much smaller than it and so not as much of a threat (~30,000 US Baha'is vs 100 million or so formally affiliated Christians). However, that may change as religious influence on the United States declines (the religious category of "none" is now 30% of Americans and growing) primarily due to an increasing liberalization on social issues as gay rights, church/state separation, and abortion and Christian extremists take the reigns in a last gasp for relevance.

This could take centuries but let us suppose that within, say, twenty years, American Christians begin to take notice and go head to head with Baha'is as the Baha'i Faith (the reasons for this don't matter) has grown large enough to challenge it for slices of a very small and shrinking pie of religious Americans. Disregarding factors external to this thought experiment (such as Russia causing global disaster- oh boy, don't get me started but I told my gf today that Putin's made it one of if not the worst countries- or climate change doomsdays), what would be considered "condemning" and "derogatory"?

If it's just that people think you're wrong and occasionally mock you for it, like if say a liberal Christian church says that all faiths that don't have gay marriage or full leadership roles for women are antiquated- then suck it up and let them
have reasonable disagreement. (I think that, irrespective of hypotheticals, the Baha'i Faith has failed to take off in the US because it's too much of a departure for conservative Christians and doesn't go far enough for young Christians and nones who will define America's religious makeup for the next century, but no matter).

What would be considered over the line for me (assuming as Romane said that I'm now married to my gf) is if Westboro Baptists protested Baha'i funerals, if religious adoption agencies, businesses, etc refused to provide service to "cultists" as they do to gay people in open defiance of constitutionality, if state governments tried to impose restrictions on Baha'is anywhere similar to Iran, if my or my wife's friends started disassociating with her and me by extension to "save their souls," if my Baha'i kid/s suffered bullying at school, or if the criticism of the Baha'is was not based on anything reasonable people might take issue with such as social policy, administrative policy, handling of dissenters, etc but instead on stereotypes based in its Middle Eastern roots (Orientalism), false accusations of syncretism, Anti-Christ myths, what have you.

What I would do is what atheists, secular humanists, etc. have done on behalf of LGBTQ Americans, whenever a religious minority is harassed by Christians (recall the Ground Zero mosque fight), and whenever the state doesn't stay far away from religious issues- protest, write books, protest some more, and raise a ruckus until reason prevails. Now, to be clear, if say the police started brutally beating up Westboro Baptists or Klansmen at their rallies, I would still side with their right to have their beliefs and against the police. So I would fight on behalf of persecuted Baha'is even though I have made my disagreements clear.

It also doesn't matter if Christians want to go back to Leviticus or if Muslims start trying to impose sharia and go on the warpath against minorities including Baha'is- I, and most reasonable atheists, and other reasonable people would oppose all of it. After all, atheists are no strangers to being on the wrong end of persecution (sadly I have been harassed as well, although thankfully I live in a country where atheists aren't put to death) and don't want that for anyone else.
 
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Nov 2012
949
Florida
#19
There are likewise other quotes.
"We have only to refer to the warnings uttered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in order to realize the extent and character of the forces that are destined to contest with God’s holy Faith."

"His parting message to the cousin of the Báb, uttered these prophetic and ominous words: “How great, how very great is the Cause! How very fierce the onslaught of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Ere long shall the clamor of the multitude throughout Africa, throughout America, the cry of the European and of the Turk, the groaning of India and China, be heard from far and near. One and all, they shall arise with all their power to resist His Cause. Then shall the knights of the Lord, assisted by His grace from on high, strengthened by faith, aided by the power of understanding, and reinforced by the legions of the Covenant, arise and make manifest the truth of the verse:
‘Behold the confusion that hath befallen the tribes of the defeated!’

Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p 17
 
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#20
Consort with all men, O people of Baha', in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of whi ch others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindness and goodwill. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should refuse it, leave him unto him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit; it clotheth the words with meaning; it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding....

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah
Yes dear becky a most wonderful instruction, but in sometimes heated forums, this proves the ideal and not always what happens.

The reason for my thread.
 

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