What did Jesus come down to Earth to do????

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hugobjzq
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What did Jesus come down to Earth to do????

Postby hugobjzq » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:39 pm

What was Jesus' "mission"? The New Testament says it was to atone for the sins of mankind. Baha'is say it was to "unite cities"(?). I ask Baha'is what they meant?

Alexander the Great united cities and countries. So did the Roman legions. John Adams of Massachusetts help "unite" the colonies. Is this what Jesus came for?

Where in Baha'i Scripture does it say Jesus came to "teach peace and to improve the status of minorities and women"? I cant' find it. I've looked since 1981.

British_Bahai
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Re: What did Jesus come down to Earth to do????

Postby British_Bahai » Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:54 pm

Darrick_Evenson wrote:What was Jesus' "mission"? The New Testament says it was to atone for the sins of mankind. Baha'is say it was to "unite cities"(?). I ask Baha'is what they meant?

Alexander the Great united cities and countries. So did the Roman legions. John Adams of Massachusetts help "unite" the colonies. Is this what Jesus came for?

Where in Baha'i Scripture does it say Jesus came to "teach peace and to improve the status of minorities and women"? I cant' find it. I've looked since 1981.
:up2: In the Gleanings, Bahaullah also says the same thing about Himself... I have to dig out the quote again... OR someone else can do that for me, lol ;)


In addition, I will also answer your main question when I get the correct quote.
I dont want to say "In the (insert bahai book name) it says blah blah blah..." because I always like to back my points with quotes, to show that what im saying isnt from the Kitab-i-Hearsay

Fadl
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Re: What did Jesus come down to Earth to do????

Postby Fadl » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:01 am

Darrick_Evenson wrote:What was Jesus' "mission"? The New Testament says it was to atone for the sins of mankind. Baha'is say it was to "unite cities"(?). I ask Baha'is what they meant?

Alexander the Great united cities and countries. So did the Roman legions. John Adams of Massachusetts help "unite" the colonies. Is this what Jesus came for?

Where in Baha'i Scripture does it say Jesus came to "teach peace and to improve the status of minorities and women"? I cant' find it. I've looked since 1981.


So Darrick,

Pray tell, what, in your opinion, DID Jesus come down to do?

By the way, can I start calling you Darrick "rhetorical" Evenson? ;-)

Seriously, rather than coming in and dropping "questions" then vanishing without actually ever contributing to any discussion that may ensue, why not go further than begging the question?

As for this particular complaint, and your numerous others, that "Baha'is say" or "Baha'is do" could you be more specific? I mean, if it is your allegation that the Baha'i writings themselves contradict what the Gospels taught about the mission of Jesus, post a couple quotes with references so that we can know specifically where the alleged contradiction is. If it is just a matter of you hearing "such and such a Baha'i said such and such," why do you agitate so much over it?

I too have on occasion heard a Baha'i say something that seemed out of touch with the teachings (or at least my understanding of them) and I've always chocked it up to our imperfect human nature, or the error of myself or the individual, rather than putting the entire Baha'i world community on trial for not understanding the "true" teachings. I think the Faith is big enough to accommodate an occasional error or imperfect human into it, don't you?

I don't know you personally, but I certainly know and am familiar with your various pet causes and the various complaints you have raised about "the Baha'is" over the years. The strange thing is, most of the complaints you make about us, I have not personally experienced or witnessed at all, or only in some very rare incident, and I've been a Baha'i for 25 years who has lived in a great many communities in America and even several outside it. Are you actively involved in the Baha'i community? If you're not, that's okay, but if so, couldn't it be so that you are simply out of touch with the community? It seems to me that you might be, at least just a little. I hope I don't offend you in saying so, I have no wish to. I'd like to embrace you as a brother rather than engage you in an argument.

I don't know what your status is, but it seems to me that you are at some level a Baha'i, or you wouldn't have the interest in and passion for Baha that you obviously do. I think you are also very well acquainted with the writings. So...let me ask you a rhetorical question: Where in the writings does our faith promote maverickism or vigilantism? You and I both are aware of those which teach unity, but there are those Baha'is who become reclusive and sadly walk the lonely path of "I know I'm right." Maybe this doesn't describe you, only you know that. But maybe you know what I'm talking about and have witnessed it in others, and so I am interested in your thoughts on the matter.


Cheers, and happy Naw Ruz!



Loren

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Postby brettz9 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:35 am

Conquerors have achieved a kind of unity, and the Baha'i Writings have even praised its historical role in some cases:

A conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war becomes the powerful basis of peace, and ruin the very means of reconstruction.

If, for example, a high-minded sovereign marshals his troops to block the onset of the insurgent and the aggressor, or again, if he takes the field and distinguishes himself in a struggle to unify a divided state and people, if, in brief, he is waging war for a righteous purpose, then this seeming wrath is mercy itself, and this apparent tyranny the very substance of justice and this warfare the cornerstone of peace. Today, the task befitting great rulers is to establish universal peace, for in this lies the freedom of all peoples.

("The Secret of Divine Civilization", 2nd ed. (Wilmette: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1983), pp. 64-67, 70-71) [22]


The unity achieved by the Prophets is of quite a different, and more lasting nature, than the unity achieved by even noble conquerors.

As far as reference to the role of the previous Manifestations of God, including the truly Wondrous Christ:

The Divine Messengers have been sent down, and their Books were revealed, for the purpose of promoting the knowledge of God, and of furthering unity and fellowship amongst men.

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 12)


The aim of this Wronged One in sustaining woes and tribulations, in revealing the Holy Verses and in demonstrating proofs hath been naught but to quench the flame of hate and enmity, that the horizon of the hearts of men may be illumined with the light of concord and attain real peace and tranquillity.


and

O ye that dwell on earth! The religion of God is for love and unity; make it not the cause of enmity or dissension. In the eyes of men of insight and the beholders of the Most Sublime Vision, whatsoever are the effective means for safeguarding and promoting the happiness and welfare of the children of men have already been revealed by the Pen of Glory. But the foolish ones of the earth, being nurtured in evil passions and desires, have remained heedless of the consummate wisdom of Him Who is, in truth, the All-Wise, while their words and deeds are prompted by idle fancies and vain imaginings.

(Baha'u'llah, Book of the Covenant, http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/b ... tb/13.html )


Atoning for the sins of mankind is indeed to overcome such sins (that's why something is a sin, as it hurts oneself or others--not that it hurts God) as disunity, warfare, racial arrogance, and so on.

One passage in the Bible seems to often be overlooked in discussions seeking to make a dichotomy (in a Christian context at least) between faith and works:

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
Bible, James 2:20


Or as 'Abdu'l-Baha put it on Saturday, April 6, 1912, as published in Mahmud's Diary (a work which is per the House of Justice, a "reliable account of `Abdu'l-Bahá's travels in the West and an authentic record of His utterances, whether in the form of formal talks, table talks or random oral statements"):

In the evening some clergymen announced a meeting to observe the crucifixion of Christ. The Master remarked, `Their speeches in the meeting will be to the effect that Christ sacrificed Himself in order to redeem us from our sins. But they do not understand the inner meaning.' After the meeting He spoke extensively on this subject. `The redemption of sins', He said, `depends on our acting upon the admonitions of Christ, and the martyrdom of Christ was to cause us to attain praiseworthy morals and supreme stations.'


As far as improving the status of minorities, while Jesus' laws no doubt did improve the status of women and "minorities", this does not mean that such teachings were explicit at the time, nor even that people were fully ready for such teachings. It was only with the Baha'i Faith that slavery was explicitly prohibited, that the full equality of women and men was pronounced, and so on.

If you are questioning whether it should be a mission in our Faith now, this passage makes it quite evident to it is to be our mission:

"Freedom from racial prejudice, in any of its forms, should, at such a time as this when an increasingly large section of the human race is falling a victim to its devastating ferocity, be adopted as the watchword of the entire body of the American believers, in whichever state they reside, in whatever circles they move, whatever their age, traditions, tastes, and habits. It should be consistently demonstrated in every phase of their activity and life, whether in the Bahá'í community or outside it, in public or in private, formally as well as informally, individually as well as in their official capacity as organized groups, committees and Assemblies. It should be deliberately cultivated through the various and everyday opportunities, no matter how insignificant, that present themselves, whether in their homes, their business offices, their schools and colleges, their social parties and recreation grounds, their Bahá'í meetings, conferences, conventions, summer schools and Assemblies. It should, above all else, become the keynote of the policy of that august body which, in its capacity as the national representative, and the director and coordinator of the affairs of the community, must set the example, and facilitate the application of such a vital principle to the lives and activities of those whose interests it safeguards and represents.

(Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice)


As far as the development of the city-state and its role in religion, you are indeed at least partially correct:

"Regarding your questions: It is not the City State, but the National State which Muhammad's teachings fostered. Christ had nothing to do with the City State concept in any direct manner."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 22, 1949)


However, this does not mean that Christ's teachings did not have an indirect influence, as they certainly played their role in unity, as the above quotations (and a vast number of others) clearly indicate:

This will indeed be the fitting climax of that process of integration which, starting with the family, the smallest unit in the scale of human organization, must, after having called successively into being the tribe, the city-state, and the nation, continue to operate until it culminates in the unification of the whole world, the final object and the crowning glory of human evolution on this planet. It is this stage which humanity, willingly or unwillingly, is resistlessly approaching. It is for this stage that this vast, this fiery ordeal which humanity is experiencing is mysteriously paving the way. It is with this stage that the fortunes and the purpose of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh are indissolubly linked.

Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day Is Come, pp. 121-22


Brett

British_Bahai
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Re: What did Jesus come down to Earth to do????

Postby British_Bahai » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:19 am

Loren wrote:So Darrick,

Pray tell, what, in your opinion, DID Jesus come down to do?

By the way, can I start calling you Darrick "rhetorical" Evenson? ;-)

Seriously, rather than coming in and dropping "questions" then vanishing without actually ever contributing to any discussion that may ensue, why not go further than begging the question?

Because Brettz9 (a.k.a. the walking encyclopaedia) always fully answers Darrick's posts...
(I always learn a lot from Brettz9).

I also find Darrick's questions to be interesting because he asks them from different perspectives

Sen McGlinn
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Postby Sen McGlinn » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:02 pm

I guess Darrick is thinking of this passage, from 'the Greatest Holy Leaf':

How often we heard the Master, the Centre of the Covenant, say: 'At the time when Christ rose out of this mortal world and ascended into the Eternal Kingdom, He had twelve disciples, and even of these, one was cast off. But because that handful of souls stood up, and with selflessness, devotion and detachment, resolved to spread His holy Teachings and to scatter abroad the sweet fragrances of God, disregarding the world and all its peoples, and because they utterly lost themselves in Christ -- they succeeded, by the power of the spirit, in capturing the cities of men's hearts, so that the splendour of the 124 one true God pervaded all the earth, and put the darkness of ignorance to flight.
(Compilations, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 123)


The metaphor is the same as "onward Christian soldiers" : Alexander (the Great/the destroyer) and his like conquer cities, the spiritual warriors conquer the cities of hearts.


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