What is the Bahai view on atonement?

Sep 2018
5
Colorado
#1
When I was younger, I was raised within a Christian household, and I grew up with an understanding of atonement through a Christian doctrine.

What is the Bahai view on atonement?

From the Bible, Hebrew 1:1-4:

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.​

Christianity says Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb to pay for all of mankind's sins, and only Jesus can do this because of His divine and sinless nature. How does the Bahai Faith reconcile with this doctrine to promote the unity of all religions?

Thanks in advance.
 
Sep 2010
4,508
Normanton Far North Queensland
#2
When I was younger, I was raised within a Christian household, and I grew up with an understanding of atonement through a Christian doctrine.

What is the Bahai view on atonement?

From the Bible, Hebrew 1:1-4:

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.​

Christianity says Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb to pay for all of mankind's sins, and only Jesus can do this because of His divine and sinless nature. How does the Bahai Faith reconcile with this doctrine to promote the unity of all religions?

Thanks in advance.
I came from a weak Christian Background and as such none of these past rituals had much meaning to me.

I have found when we study all of Gods Messengers, we soon note they they all sacrificed their lives to give the Message that God had entrusted to them.

When we study the life of the Bab, we will note that is is uncannily similar in events to that of the life of Jesus the Christ. Baha'u'llah suffered over 40 years to give Gods Message and has said no Messenger has had to suffer as He did. In saying that, they all willingly submitted to that sacrifice and each would give their lives over and over to do the same thing again.

Christ said He would return and this passage helps us understand there is more to do;
Hebrews 9:28 ?'So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation".​
Thus we understand that the Messenger of God comes to draw us away from our animal nature, this is a lesson that Christ sacrifice has taught us, Baha'u'llah has come to guide all of Humanity to salvation in the realization we are all but one people on one planet, with One God.

Regards Tony
 
Likes: Vince
Mar 2013
562
Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
#3
Vince,

I find it quite striking that the verses you quoted from Hebrews, especially verse 3, is a beautiful explanation of what Baha'u'llah taught regarding the reality of God and His Manifestation. "The Son is the radiance of God's Glory and the exact representation of His being". Note the subtle difference, Paul is not saying the Son is God's being, but rather He is an exact representation of it. The New Testament is full of examples like this, where the majority of Christians interpret it one way, but there are clearly other ways to interpret them, and a true understanding must reconcile all of them.

Concerning your question about atonement, we can think about the history of sacrifice and atonement in religions of the past, including animal sacrifice, doing penance, wearing "sack cloth and ashes" etc. With the coming of Christ, an amazing thing happened, through His sacrifice, He took away our sins. What does this actually mean, though? Christ sacrificed Himself for all men, yet only those who have faith are saved. Is it faith alone, or works also? Does faith have any meaning at all unless it is shown through works? Was it only after Christ's death on the cross, and His sacrifice made, could sin be taken away? No, He forgave the sins of many during his ministry, told the prostitute who was about to be stoned, to go and sin no more. And what about those who profess faith in Jesus, are baptized, then keep sinning?

Baha'u'llah taught that all of the Manifeststions of God sacrificed their lives. Only two that we know of were killed, Jesus and The Bab. The others made a living sacrifice, endured torment, rejection and betrayal. They brought the living water, the cause of eternal life to man and that was rejected by the great majority of people at the time. After the Manifestation's own life of sacrifice, many early believers also gave their lives, became martyrs, gave up earthly possessions in order to spread the Gospel, the Good News to mankind. This process is common to all religions, although there are also differences due to the conditions and circumstances of the time. The two religions that most resemble one another in this regard are Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. Islam and Judaism are more similar to each other than they are to other faiths. All have teachings with regard to atonement for sins.

Baha'u'llah said He consented to be bound with chains so that mankind may be freed. In a sense this builds upon, does not take the place of, the sacrifice that Jesus made. He taught that both faith and works are necessary for salvation "one is not acceptable without the other". He taught that we should not confess our sins to other men, but rather pray to God directly for forgiveness, and to "take thyself to account each day", that is, to consider each day what you have done that is good or bad and strive for each day to be better than the day before.

Jcc


When I was younger, I was raised within a Christian household, and I grew up with an understanding of atonement through a Christian doctrine.

What is the Bahai view on atonement?

From the Bible, Hebrew 1:1-4:

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.​

Christianity says Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb to pay for all of mankind's sins, and only Jesus can do this because of His divine and sinless nature. How does the Bahai Faith reconcile with this doctrine to promote the unity of all religions?

Thanks in advance.
 

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