Here are a podcast and notes on Bahá’í & 21st Century Tolerance (18 minutes).
To download the podcast, right click on "download" and select "save link as" or "save target as" and you can download the podcast and listen to it later.
LESSON 7: Bahá’í & 21st Century Tolerance
- Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892)
- From the perfect font of all wisdom, Wikipedia: "The canonical texts are the writings of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice, and the authenticated talks of `Abdu'l-Bahá."
- Persia, India, Iran, and many other countries
- Realize that the differences among the various world religions outweigh the similarities.
- Rethink what tolerance means (tolerance of persons, not tolerance of ideas!).
- Affirm the general spiritual "unity" of mankind in the sense of Acts 17:28. Yet take a stand on the more specific fact that only those born again are sons and daughters of God (Galatians 3:36-37; John 3:3,5,7; etc).
- Explain how Christianity is both inclusive and exclusive.
- Tell your friend you wish the Bahá’ís were right, but in life wishing for something doesn't necessarily make it so. For colorful illustration / humor, take a look at some of the bizarre religions people have invented in recent times.
- Re-study the doctrine of the Narrow Road in the Bible.
Further study: World Religions
- Order the AIM DVD series on Worldviews -- about 9 hours of study of the major religions of the world.
- Read Jesus & Islam.
- Visit the Worldviews section of my Amazon store for many helpful titles.
- Read chapter 11 of Compelling.
- Further facts:
- The Bab (1819-1850) the "John the Baptist" of Baha’i, was martyred in 1850.
- In 1852 Baha-Ullah received a vision, while in prison, of a divine woman who declared him to be “The Beauty of God amongst you.” Baha-Ullah claimed to be:
- the second coming of Christ—that John 14:16 was about him
- Maitreya—the second coming of Buddha.
- the new incarnation of Krishna
- the fulfillment of the “Day of God” in the Koran.
- The new religion began in Iran, then moved to Iraq and Lebanon before flooding the world.
- Ba’hai is the culmination of all the world’s religions. Progressive Revelation: Moses -> Krishna -> Buddha -> Jesus -> Muhammad -> Baha’Ullah. “Religious truth is not absolute, but relative.”
- No priests, no ceremony. Emphasis: good deeds, helping the poor, education.
- Monotheistic, but God is unknowable (“the most Exalted, the Inaccessible”).
- Strong emphasis on equality, education, peace.
- Salvation comes through keeping the law as handed down by Baha-Ullah.
- Jesus didn’t die for our sins, because he did not have to. Claims we’re imperfect, but not lost.
Response from a Baha'i:
Dear Dr. J, I just found, and listened to your podcast. I enjoyed listening to it. Thank you!
Here is a challenging question for you: Can you be both a Bahai and Christian at the same time? I believe the Bahai Faith is not so broad as you make it out to be. As a Bahai I have to follow a narrow path too. By this I mean - I have to believe that Baha'u'llah is the latest Manifestation of God and then I must worship God by serving humanity (which I do -so I am a Bahai). It also means that I have to believe in Jesus Christ too. Therefore, I am still a Christian. No one can tell me that I do not love Jesus and that I am not "saved". Only God can do this. As a Bahai , I know there are many differences between the world religions, but I also know that they are all part of God's plan. In closing, I would have to agree with when you say: you wish the Bahá’ís were right, but "in life wishing for something doesn't necessarily make it so". Those that want to know, and truly pray to know, if Baha'u'llah is the Promised One of all religions, will find the truth. Oh, another challenging question: Why does history have to repeat itself when it comes to accepting the next Manifestation of God? (ie: Many didn't accept Moses and become Jewish. Many Jews are still awaiting the Messiah and haven't recognised Christ And most Christians (not this one) are still awaiting Christ's return.)
Please feel free to use my letter as you wish.
Any my reply:
Of course I agree that Baha’ís have a definite position; an exclusive claim is being made.
But I must halt well before the time of Baha’u’llah. The Old Testament foretells the coming of the final Messiah — the Lord himself, God incarnate, making a visit to our planet, living among us and giving his life for us.
The New Testament warns against listening to any future claimants. Galatians 1:6-9, Jude 3, and other passages confirm this position. Muhammad, or his followers, tortuously argued that HE was the fulfillment of the promise in John 14 — that after Jesus’ ascension the Holy Spirit would be among us! That will not work. Last, I suppose that Christians’ centuries of hypocrisy, especially since the 4th century, make the claim of Baha’ís sound quite reasonable.
Yours most sincerely -- DJ