- Mar 2013
- Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
Hi!Umm...whoa...do you think you could quote that one for me? I believe that he may have said something to the effect of abrogation, but saying that the Bible should be "put on the bookshelf," as in ignored? Wow. That's an attitude that is sure to build walls. If you can't see the value in the supreme revelation of God that was valid for thousands of years, that attitude is going to ooze through everything you try to communicate, and shoot attempts at unity in the foot. I imagine it would be abject arrogance in the eyes of Christians.
Not sure what you're trying to accomplish, as your attitude sounds similar to a colonist missionary trying to extinguish the old faith of the natives they want to convert. It's kind of scary really, and seems utterly opposed to all attempts at spreading the Baha'i faith I've ever encountered....thank God! I might never have accepted Baha'u'llah if I ran into such an attitude among Baha'is.
Perhaps it is time to humbly study the teachings of the Bible, and begin to see value in what it has to offer. Find connections and build bridges, not invisible walls in your heart. There are many, many important spiritual lessons to be learned from the Bible that will be completely valid throughout the Baha'i era. As a former Christian, I almost feel pity for you that cannot seem to find value in the Bible. Do you have the same attitude toward the Qur'an, the teachings of the Buddha or Krishna, or, for that matter, the Bab? Really, even the religions of various native populations across the globe that don't stem from major Manifestations are given serious credibility among Baha'is. Their perspectives are highly valued and offer many contributions in the context of the Baha'i faith.
My advice: Back off from the "Baha'i supremacy" angle and try to build unity. You'll find that people of other faiths are far more receptive.
Other than that, good question in the original post. I've always wondered about the "Prince of this World" thing and I like the answers and perspectives that have been offered in this thread.
In my experience, different Baha'is have different opinions about whether they should study the Bible, Qur'an or other scriptures, based on their own history with other faiths. That's normal because they may have had bad experiences or found it unproductive to study the Bible with certain Christians, or whatever. Abdu'l-Baha frequently quoted the Bible when speaking with Christians and had profound knowledge of its meaning. There are many Baha'is who are quite familiar with the Bible, study it frequently and are able to have productive discussions with Christians about it, provided they are at least somewhat open minded. Likewise, the Scriptures of other religions.
The point is, we need to meet each person where they are, whether Baha'i, Christian, or whatever.