Sex before marriage

Aug 2013
471
Michigan
#61
Some quotes about administrative rights...

“...not everyone achieves easily and rapidly the victory over self. What every believer, new or old, should realise 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, Unfolding Destiny, p 441

Giving guidance to Assembies, the Guardian said:

“You should not pry into people's affairs, and only in cases of flagrant immorality should you consider imposing sanctions . . . be patient and forbearing. The emphasis should be on education rather than on rigid enforcement of the law...”

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p 382

“Assemblies are, of course, discouraged from probing unnecessarly into details of personal lives...”

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p 395

“...under no circumstances should any Baha'i ever be suspended from the voting list and deprived of his administrative privileges for a matter which is not of the utmost gravity.”

Shoghi Effendi, Messages to Canada, p 51

----

“depriving a believer of his voting rights...is a severe disciplinary measure and not a spiritual sanction.”

Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p 16

“The suspension of voting and other administrative rights of an individual, always conditional and therefore temporary...constitutes merely an administrative sanction...”

Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p 81
 
Feb 2014
16
Australia
#62
Sex Before marriage

Dear Kernk,

I agree entirely with you and apologise if my comments caused offense. I meant acceptable in the strictly administrative sense of the word. Of course people can live as they want, no one can judge them and we love everyone. If someone wants administrative rights they must obey all the laws of Baha'u'llah as applied. Outside of that anyone is free to live their lives according to their conscience. Even if someone's voting rights are removed as an ADMINISTRATIVE sanction, we still love them, they are welcome to most of our gatherings and can participate in all our society building efforts. English is not my mother tongue and if I have caused offense I apologise for giving the wrong impression
 
Aug 2013
471
Michigan
#63
Dear Kernk,

I agree entirely with you and apologise if my comments caused offense. I meant acceptable in the strictly administrative sense of the word. Of course people can live as they want, no one can judge them and we love everyone. If someone wants administrative rights they must obey all the laws of Baha'u'llah as applied. Outside of that anyone is free to live their lives according to their conscience. Even if someone's voting rights are removed as an ADMINISTRATIVE sanction, we still love them, they are welcome to most of our gatherings and can participate in all our society building efforts. English is not my mother tongue and if I have caused offense I apologise for giving the wrong impression
Fzaer,

No offense was taken. The import ants of the Baha'i teachings on personal behavior can not be over stressed, however, in the west (in the U.S.) where I live, there it a great deal of emphasis in popular (not Baha'i) religions (Christianity and Islam) for instance, that put all sorts of emphasis on judging and condemning people who don't follow the laws of Christianity and Islam (even people who don't subscribe to those faiths!!!). I don't believe this is what religion is about...and I don't believe it is what Christianity and Islam and the Baha'i Faith teach religion is about.

Therefore, I am very sensitive to the suggestion that members of any faith, or no faith, can be, should be, "judged" based on their ability to completely subscribe to the laws of ANY faith.

I don't suggest that people should not try their best to follow these laws, but we are all on a difficult and individual path, and one person may be working very hard on prejudice, or kindness, or self-forgiveness - and beating them selves up over 10 other laws that they haven't perfected yet doesn't help. Therefore I tend to focus on loving encouragement rather than pointing out strict adherence and the remote possibility of administrative sanction.

I believe spiritual people know that they need to work on these things...

I think the writings about administrative sanction I posted above also lead towards this approach. Therefore, I think it is important to point out to Baha'is and those interested in the Faith that, you will not loose your administrative rights because you have not been able to fully embrace and fully live the teachings and guidance of Baha'u'llah! After all, no one can.

Also, I think it is important to point out that the purpose of administrative sanctions is NOT to force a person to modify their personal behavior but to promote the unity and protect the integrity of the Faith. So, unless one's personal behavior is a direct and calculated attack on the unity or integrity of the faith, the amount and speed with which one CHOOSES to adjust their personal behavior to meet the teachings of the faith is entirely up to them.


"He hath entrusted every created thing with a sign of His knowledge, so that none of His creatures may be deprived of its share in expressing, each according to its capacity and rank, this knowledge. This sign is the mirror of His beauty in the world of creation. The greater the effort exerted for the refinement of this sublime and noble mirror, the more faithfully will it be made to reflect the glory of the names and attributes of God, and reveal the wonders of His signs and knowledge. Every created thing will be enabled (so great is this reflecting power) to reveal the potentialities of its pre-ordained station, will recognize its capacity and limitations, and will testify to the truth that “He, verily, is God; there is none other God besides Him.”…

"There can be no doubt whatever that, in consequence of the efforts which every man may consciously exert and as a result of the exertion of his own spiritual faculties, this mirror can be so cleansed from the dross of earthly defilements and purged from satanic fancies as to be able to draw nigh unto the meads of eternal holiness and attain the courts of everlasting fellowship."
-Baha'u'llah (Gleanings p 262)​