Covenant-breaking (who?)

All research or scholarship questions
Guilherme
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Covenant-breaking (who?)

Postby Guilherme » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:29 pm

Hello!!
I would like to know what is the definition of a Covenant-breaking? How I will know when a person is a Covenant-breaking? There are many peoples that hate the faith, and ever ask about the bahai faith but never is interesting, just want to disdain with some way. I really dunno if i must to continue answering these questions, or keep distance of them. ThankS!!

[]´s :)

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:59 pm

only the UHJ can declare someone a C.B'er

if you smell mischief, run away, as Baha'u'llah puts it.

you want to keep away from enemies of the faith in general, esp. those who attack the faith

simple as that

Ketracel

Postby Ketracel » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:08 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:only the UHJ can declare someone a C.B'er


I hope you don't mind if I correct you here. This is a very popular myth so you're not alone. Most Baha'is have this notion but its not true. According to Baha'i scripture the following people (in order) were endowed with the authority to declare a person as CB:

1] the Founder of the Faith (Baha'u'llah)
2] the Center of His Covenant (Abdu'l-Baha)
3] the Hands of the Cause of God (as appointed by Shoghi Effendi - the Guardian) - actually a select group from amongs the Hands, if you want to get technical

No one else and no institution has the authority. Period. Unless you want to warp into an imaginary place where scripture has no significance and we can just 'make up' stuff.

Reference: Will and Testament of Baha'u'llah and W&T of Abdu'l-Baha

Ketracel

Re: Covenant-breaking (who?)

Postby Ketracel » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:18 pm

Guilherme wrote:Hello!!
I would like to know what is the definition of a Covenant-breaking? How I will know when a person is a Covenant-breaking? There are many peoples that hate the faith, and ever ask about the bahai faith but never is interesting, just want to disdain with some way. I really dunno if i must to continue answering these questions, or keep distance of them. ThankS!!

[]´s :)


There really isn't a hard and fast definition but usually its either people who have tried to create a splinter group by setting themselves up as a person of authority or by attacking and harming the Faith. Its tricky because many who have attempted to harm the Faith are not declared CB but rather enemies of the Faith.

How will you know if a person is a CB? Ask Haifa ! There are surprisingly very few people in the world who are CB. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than bumping into one on the sidewalk.

If you're talking to someone and they flat out hate the Faith and are attacking it, use your own judgement as to whether continue talking to them or stop. Trust yourself to make the right choice. If they do happen to be a CB then there really is no choice. So that's easy.

Usually CB don't explicitely attack the Faith (usually). Most are simply interested in getting you involved in some sort of conversation about the events surrounding the passing of SE and the succession of the Custodians. Baha'is are allowed to read CB material and the stuff that I've read is pretty silly. They (Remeyeite, etc.) try to somehow say that Mr. X was the replacement for the Guardian, etc.

Hope that helps :wink:

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:34 pm

"Dealing with Covenant-breaking. Both `Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi were quite emphatic as to the attitude that should be taken by Bahá'ís towards Covenant-breakers: ". . . one of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Covenant-breakers, for they will utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past" (WT 20). Covenant-breakers were described as persons who had an infectious spiritual disease and it was necessary therefore to avoid all contact with them (SoW 1921, 12:233) This spiritual quarantine could only be broken by the head of the Faith or on his instructions."

"The principal change that Shoghi Effendi introduced in the method of dealing with Covenant-breaking was to enforce the policy that whoever maintained links with Covenant-breakers himself or herself became a Covenant-breaker. It was also Shoghi Effendi who established the institutional forms for dealing with Covenant-breaking when he designated this as one of the responsibilities of the Hands of the Cause in conjunction with the National Spiritual Assemblies, although the final decision always lay with him (MBW 122-3)."

"At present the institutions of the Bahá'í Faith are primarily responsible for dealing with any episodes of Covenant-breaking that arise, in particular the Hands of the Cause, the Continental Board of Counselors (q.v.), and their Auxiliary Boards. Individual Bahá'ís may take no action other than reporting any concerns they have to these institiutions.

"These then investigate the matter but the final decision lies with the Universal House of Justice".


source:

Covenant, The, and Covenant-breaker

by Moojan Momen

http://bahai-library.com/?file=momen_encyclopedia_covenant

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:44 pm

oh yeah:

"It is better not to read books by Covenant Breakers because they are haters of the Light, sufferers from a spiritual leprosy, so to speak. But books by well meaning yet unenlightened enemies of the Cause can be read so as to refute their charges."
(From a letter dated 19 March 1945 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer)

Ketracel

Postby Ketracel » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:09 pm

I see that you have decided to warp into an imaginary place where scripture has no significance and just 'make up' stuff. Go right ahead. Sadly I can't join you on this trip.

According to Baha'i holy scriptures the UHJ does not have the authority to declare anyone a CB.

If you doubt this, please ask the UHJ itself and/or provide us with the relevant passage which proves that they do.

That is, if you decide to postpone the trip and come back to join us in realityland.

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:40 pm

the UHJ can take away a Baha'is voting rights, but I'm not sure if they can declare him a covenant breaker or not. but if someone's voting rights has been taken away, that is because he has broken the Covenant

but we should still avoid someone who has had his voting rights taken away as we would avoid a leper, as 'Abdu'l-Baha puts it



"The Guardian, like the Master before him, has not considered it advisable to as yet permit any person or Assembly to put another person out of the Cause of God. There is sharp distinction between depriving a believer of his voting rights, which is severe disciplinary measure and not a spiritual sanction, and pronouncing a former believer to be a truly spiritually diseased soul, a soul in the condition the Master referred to when, in His last cable to America before His ascension, He said: ' he who sitteth with a leper catcheth leprosy'. The Guardian has, within the last few years, considered the National Assemblies strong enough to wield the instrument of sanction in the sense of depriving a Bahá'í of his voting rights. But no one but himself can pronounce a person to be in the diseased condition we call 'Covenant-breaking', and no one but he can reinstate a Covenant-breaker.

Ketracel

Postby Ketracel » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:10 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:but we should still avoid someone who has had his voting rights taken away as we would avoid a leper, as 'Abdu'l-Baha puts it


Please provide referenence in Baha'i scipture.

Don't bother. Its not there. Those who have been sanctioned by removal of rights are NOT to be shunned, as you suggest. (sigh) I really don't know where you get all this stuff.

Please try and ground your statements in the Writings. This is a public forum and just throwing out personal opinion or plucking 'laws' out of thin air may lead those who don't know any better to confusion about the true Baha'i principles and laws.

Hope you don't take that the wrong way. I mean no offense.

Guilherme
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Postby Guilherme » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:10 pm

Thanks!! Baha'i Warrior and Ketracel...both help me to much!!

I know a case here in my country that one person has defined like "CB", and his son (bahai) needed to keep way from him. Also the mail of National Assembly show about who the CB...I dunno if they use the word CB, or that "lose of rights"... Another dubt i have, somebody know some case that a CB changed and has become a Bahai? (my english really bad)....
Thanks again!!

bye :)

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:05 pm

"Time and again have We admonished Our beloved ones to avoid, nay to flee from, anything whatsoever from which the odor of mischief can be detected."

Source: http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/gwb/043.html



"Whenever we find a person who opposes some fundamental of our Faith, such as Institution of the Guardianship, we must first be sure this is not due to ignorance or lack of proper training, before we take action. We must not suppose immediately that that person is necessarily tainted by the spirit of Covenant-breakers. If, however, this should prove to be the case, then strong action must be taken by the Assembly."

(From a letter date 24 June 1948 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer)


Note: you can be "tainted by the spirit of Covenant-breakers" but not be a Covenant breaker yourself. If someone familiarizes himself with the "attacks" of Covenant breakers, and uses them on Baha'is, we should "flee" from that person, if we detect the "odor of mischief," according to Baha'u'llah.


In principle, no person can be considered a Covenant-breaker unless he has been so designated by the Head of the Faith. However, it is strongly advised not to associate with those who have fallen under the pernicious influence of groups such as the "Orthodox Bahá'ís". They are infected with the spirit of Covenant-breaking, even if they are not all designated as such. Accordingly, the friends should not answer queries from individuals who obviously seek to draw them into the consideration of the spurious claims and logic of the Covenant-breakers.

(From a letter dated 3 July 1997 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual)




"Participation by enemies of the Faith or members of Covenant-breaker groups may, indeed, occur in the dialogue on electronic forums. It is not advisable for the institutions of the Faith or its individual members to become directly involved in such discussion. It is neither wise nor possible to interfere with postings on public forums, but if it is observed that such activity is taking place on Bahá'í-only forums National Assemblies should be alerted so that they may provide appropriate advice to the administrator of the forum. The greatest protection to the Faith will not be through intervention on either open or closed electronic forums, but through ongoing deepening of the Bahá'í community in the Covenant and the history and Teachings of the Faith."

(From a letter dated 24 February 1995 written by the International Teaching Centre to a Continental Board of Counsellors)




CONCLUSION:


If we smell mischief, and if we think someone has been infected with the venom of Covenant breakers (by what he says), we are to act just as we would act if he were actually a Covenant breaker. My source? The UHJ (see above quote): "They are infected with the spirit of Covenant-breaking, even if they are not all designated as such."

And thus, in light of this guidance, if I were the moderator of the forums, I would delete anything that I recognized as a "Covenant breaker" attack, and I would ban his I.P. address. Being a Baha'i, I would see no other way. Letting someone say whatever he wants, even if it is obviously intended to undermine the Faith, may be considered "scholarly," "professional," and "P.C." by some, but I consider it like letting a room become contaminated with anthrax and not making any effort to remove it.

And we should also react to "Orthodox Bahá'ís" in the same fashion.

I am not expressing my own views necessarily, since my views are solely based on the Writings.


—Warrior

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:14 pm

Ketracel wrote:
Baha'i Warrior wrote:only the UHJ can declare someone a C.B'er


I hope you don't mind if I correct you here. This is a very popular myth so you're not alone. Most Baha'is have this notion but its not true. According to Baha'i scripture the following people (in order) were endowed with the authority to declare a person as CB:

1] the Founder of the Faith (Baha'u'llah)
2] the Center of His Covenant (Abdu'l-Baha)
3] the Hands of the Cause of God (as appointed by Shoghi Effendi - the Guardian) - actually a select group from amongs the Hands, if you want to get technical

No one else and no institution has the authority. Period. Unless you want to warp into an imaginary place where scripture has no significance and we can just 'make up' stuff.

Reference: Will and Testament of Baha'u'llah and W&T of Abdu'l-Baha





MESSAGES FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
1963-1986

"COVENANT-BREAKER A Bahá'í who attempts to disrupt the unity of the Faith by defying and opposing the authority of Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation of God for this Age, or His appointed successor, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, or after Him, the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice. Bahá'ís who continue, despite remonstrances, to violate the Covenant are expelled from the Faith by the Universal House of Justice. This provision preserves the unity of the Faith, which is essential to achieving its cardinal purpose of unifying humankind. It also preserves the purity of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings from the disruptive influence of egoistic individuals who, in past Dispensations, have been responsible for dividing every religion into sects, disrupting its mission, and frustrating to a large degree the intention of its Founder. See also Covenant."




6-7. To maintain the unity and incorruptibility of the Faith, the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh established a Center of authority to which all are to turn. This Center has been, successively, Abdu'l-Baha, Who is uniquely the Center of the Covenant; Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith; and the Universal House of Justice, which is the apex of its Administrative Order. A Bahá'í who turns against and defies this Center breaks the Covenant and, if he is adamant in his disobedience, is expelled from the Faith as a Covenant-breaker.


Source: http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/messages.1963-86.html

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:21 pm

Also, just for clarification, I wanted to point out that you shouldn't shun someone if his administrative rights have been taken away, because he can always change his ways and be admitted back in to the Faith. He has only lost his social rights. For example, someone could have lost his administrative rights because he was stealing from the Fund, even though he otherwise believes in the Covenant.

Ketracel

Postby Ketracel » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:27 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
6-7. To maintain the unity and incorruptibility of the Faith, the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh established a Center of authority to which all are to turn. This Center has been, successively, Abdu'l-Baha, Who is uniquely the Center of the Covenant; Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith; and the Universal House of Justice, which is the apex of its Administrative Order. A Bahá'í who turns against and defies this Center breaks the Covenant and, if he is adamant in his disobedience, is expelled from the Faith as a Covenant-breaker.

Source: http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/messages.1963-86.html


I'm still waiting for scriptural evidence for the UHJ to have authority to declare anyone a CB. There is clear scriptural evidence for Abdu'l-Baha to have such authority. There is also clear scriptural evidence for the Hands of the Cause of God to have such authority. But there is none for the UHJ to have such authority. If you disagree, then please show me from the Baha'i Writings. For me, that is the only thing that matters. No offense, but the opinions of you, as well the opinions of the UHJ are irrelevant as no one other than the Guardian (SE) is authorized to interpret the Writings.

And btw, the UHJ is not the 'apex' of the AO because it is the twin institutions of the Guardianship *and* the UHJ that are at the head of the Baha'i administrative order.

Ketracel

Postby Ketracel » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:30 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Also, just for clarification, I wanted to point out that you shouldn't shun someone if his administrative rights have been taken away, because he can always change his ways and be admitted back in to the Faith. He has only lost his social rights. For example, someone could have lost his administrative rights because he was stealing from the Fund, even though he otherwise believes in the Covenant.


Glad you're taking this erroneous claim back. But you inadvertantly make another one. Having one's rights removed does not mean that you're 'out' of the Faith (for you to then be admitted 'back into the Faith'). Please read a bit about what exactly it means to have your rights removed. But, again, I'm glad that you're on your way to trying to really understand what all these terms and jargon mean. Too many Baha'is just throw them around without really knowing their significance.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:23 pm

Ketracel wrote:
Baha'i Warrior wrote:
6-7. To maintain the unity and incorruptibility of the Faith, the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh established a Center of authority to which all are to turn. This Center has been, successively, Abdu'l-Baha, Who is uniquely the Center of the Covenant; Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith; and the Universal House of Justice, which is the apex of its Administrative Order. A Bahá'í who turns against and defies this Center breaks the Covenant and, if he is adamant in his disobedience, is expelled from the Faith as a Covenant-breaker.

Source: http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/messages.1963-86.html


I'm still waiting for scriptural evidence for the UHJ to have authority to declare anyone a CB. There is clear scriptural evidence for Abdu'l-Baha to have such authority. There is also clear scriptural evidence for the Hands of the Cause of God to have such authority. But there is none for the UHJ to have such authority. If you disagree, then please show me from the Baha'i Writings. For me, that is the only thing that matters. No offense, but the opinions of you, as well the opinions of the UHJ are irrelevant as no one other than the Guardian (SE) is authorized to interpret the Writings.

And btw, the UHJ is not the 'apex' of the AO because it is the twin institutions of the Guardianship *and* the UHJ that are at the head of the Baha'i administrative order.



In a previous post you had said:

"If you doubt this, please ask the UHJ itself and/or provide us with the relevant passage which proves that they do."


So now that I have shown you that the UHJ would indeed tell me themselves that they have the right to declare someone a Covenant Breaker, you want evidence in the Writings.

Since Shoghi Effendi did not appoint a successor, it is logical that the UHJ now has this power because the unerring spirit of the Guardian protects them and watches over them.

Also, I'm not going to bother looking this up so you can just take my word for it—the UHJ have exercised this power and declared some Baha'is Covenant-Breakers. In fact, I believe they sent out a letter to the NSAs warning the Baha'is about these Covenant-Breakers. If you need proof then perhaps someone else could locate this letter for you.

Just to let you know in advance, I have a strong feeling that you will challenge whether or not the Writings allow the UHJ to declare Baha'is Covenant-Breakers. I am not interested and therefore will not participate in such, as these types of discussions are usually fruitless. If you are a true Baha'i and have faith in the Covenant, then you won't need to question the authority of the House.

Good luck,

—Warrior

Ketracel

Postby Ketracel » Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:02 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Since Shoghi Effendi did not appoint a successor, it is logical that the UHJ now has this power because the unerring spirit of the Guardian protects them and watches over them.



Your argument is fallacious since it relies on its own proposition (that the UHJ says it has this authority) in order to support its central premise. Basically, the statement assumes that its assertion is already proven and uses this and only this to support itself.

When I said that you ask the UHJ and/or look for scripture, I certainly did not mean entering into circuitous logic and quoting the UHJ.

Abdu'l-Baha did not quote himself when asked where He got the authority - instead He would point the questioner to the Will & Testament of Baha'ullah. Likewise the Hands would point to the W&T of the Master.

You have yet to show any scriptural texts which give such an authority to the UHJ. Until you do such a statement - made by you or by anyone else - is a non sequitur. I'm afraid as much as you'd like it to be true, simply saying it, doesn't make it so.

We as Baha'is have a higher standard to uphold. If we do not base our understanding and insight upon the Holy texts and wander off into the wilderness of vain imaginings, we are treading on very shaky and dangerous ground.

childintime
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Postby childintime » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:49 am

"Authority for the expulsion and reinstatement of Covenant-breakers remains with the Hands of the Cause of God. All such matters will be investigated locally by the relative Continental Board of Counselors in consultation with any Hand or Hands who may be in the area. The Continental Board of Counselors and the Hands concerned will then make their reports to the International Teaching Center where they will be considered. The decision whether or not to expel or reinstate will be made by the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land who will, as at present, submit their decision to the Universal House of Justice for approval." Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986, 132.6

As there is only one remaining Hand of the Cause, the responsibility to identify Covenant-breakers is now devolving upon the Continental Boards of Counsellors, who are carrying on the work of the Hands of the Cause.

As a side issue: Isn't it curious, Ketracel, that you make statements regarding the high standards that Baha'is must maintain, especially where scripture is concerned, and yet make statements that bely a borderline arrogance toward the supreme governing body of our Faith. An institution that was ordained by Baha'u'llah, described and extolled by 'Abdu'l-Baha, and painstakingly prepared for by Shoghi Effendi. Described as the "source of all good, freed from all error", and yet you talk of them as nothing more than a source of self-serving opinions. High standards include respect and reverence.

As for "circuitous logic", why would you challenge someone to ask the House of Justice for their views on the matter, and then declare their views to be irrelevant since they are not scriptural?

childintime
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Postby childintime » Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:30 am

On Friday November 25 2005, Ketracel wrote:

There really isn't a hard and fast definition but usually its either people who have tried to create a splinter group by setting themselves up as a person of authority or by attacking and harming the Faith. Its tricky because many who have attempted to harm the Faith are not declared CB but rather enemies of the Faith.

If you're talking to someone and they flat out hate the Faith and are attacking it, use your own judgement as to whether continue talking to them or stop. Trust yourself to make the right choice. If they do happen to be a CB then there really is no choice. So that's easy.

Usually CB don't explicitely attack the Faith (usually). Most are simply interested in getting you involved in some sort of conversation about the events surrounding the passing of SE and the succession of the Custodians. Baha'is are allowed to read CB material and the stuff that I've read is pretty silly. They (Remeyeite, etc.) try to somehow say that Mr. X was the replacement for the Guardian, etc.


In actual fact, there are clear criteria for naming someone a Covenant-breaker, and they are easily found in the Writings. Neither of the conditions you cite have anything to do with it. Merely setting up a splinter group or setting oneself up as a person of authority doesn't constitute Covenant-breaking. The Talisman group could be called a splinter group, but none of them have (to my knowledge) been declared Covenant-breakers. Many Baha'is claim to be people of authority, but there are many kinds of authority. Covenant-breaking occurs when someone challenges the authority of the recognized Centre of the Faith, and continues to do so in spite of exhaustive attempts to convince him/her to retract his/her claims.

Attacking or hating the Faith also has little to do with it, because Covenant-breakers love the Faith as much as most Baha'is, and they are not attacking it. They are attacking the leadership of the Faith. "Enemies of the Faith" and "Covenant-breakers" are entirely different. The only way to know if someone is a Covenant-breaker is if they have been declared so by the Hand of the Cause and Counselors who are authorized to do so, and their declaration has been approved by the Universal House of Justice. You will hear about it through correspondence from the World Centre, your National Assembly, or your Local Assembly. Associating with them and relying on your own good judgment to know them can be described as spiritual self-abuse.

As for reading the literature of Covenant-breakers:

"And now, one of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Covenant-breakers, for they will utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 448)

Wouldn't you agree that we are not permitted to read it? We can read literature written by them before they were declared Covenant-breakers, but with the caution that we are aware of who wrote it and that some of their thoughts may have contained the seeds of rebelliousness long before they became openly expressed. Many Baha'is have read their literature, from both before and after they were expelled, thinking that it was "independent investigation" or that their faith was strong enough to withstand such "silly" ideas. Many of those Baha'is are no longer Baha'is. Even such a staunch Baha'i as Hand of the Cause Taraz'u'llah Samandari constantly asked the friends to pray for him to remain steadfast to the end of his life. Covenant-breaking has been described by the Master as spiritual leprosy - do you want to hang around with lepers in order to test your health?

Finally, on Monday November 28 2005, you state that the Universal House of Justice is not the apex of the Administrative Order. Well, it is, and here's the proof:

"Resting on the broad base of organized local communities, themselves pillars sustaining the institution which must be regarded as the apex of the Bahá'í Administrative Order (emphasis added), these (National) Assemblies are elected, according to the principle of proportional representation, by delegates representative of Bahá'í local communities assembled at Convention during the period of the Ridvan Festival;..."
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 332)

childintime
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Postby childintime » Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:11 pm

While I will acknowledge that there is no prohibition regarding it, I will reiterate the words of the Master:

"And now, one of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause of God is to shun and avoid entirely the Covenant-breakers, for they will utterly destroy the Cause of God, exterminate His Law and render of no account all efforts exerted in the past."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 448)

In my simple little world, being emphatically warned by the Blessed Beauty, the Primal Point, the Centre of the Covenant, the Beloved Guardian, or the Universal House of Justice is a de facto prohibition. I have struggled for so many years to develop what tenuous faith I have, and I am not about to risk it for the sake of curiosity. As the House states, some people have the odious task of reading this material as part of their responsibilities in dealing with Covenant-breakers. They also have been appointed to this station and therefore have an extra degree of protection afforded them by the authority that appointed them.

So, you are right in what you say, but I personally see no merit in even acknowledging the distinction. If you jump out of an airplane at 30000 ft., you won't NECESSARILY die. You may not even NECESSARILY get badly injured. To paraphrase Harry Callaghan, do you feel lucky?

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Postby Hasan » Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:06 pm

dear warrior, here comes again, as ever. Let's take a look on what warrior said:

1) Warrior, first off:
"spirit of the Guardian protects them and watches over them"
I have never heard such a thing, there is absolutely no scriptural base to assert that, second, it is Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb themselves who protects the House from error (in what specific areas is another thing to look up)

2) Warrior, second,
"Also, I'm not going to bother looking this up so you can just take my word for it—the UHJ have exercised this power and declared some Bahá’ís Covenant-Breakers. In fact, I believe they sent out a letter to the NSAs warning the Bahá’ís about these Covenant-Breakers. If you need proof then perhaps someone else could locate this letter for you".
The Guardianship's function of protection passed to the House as an administrative necessity, but there is no scriptural base to assert that this passed in an "infallible" way, on the contrary, take a look and see that the Hands of Cause also had the power to declare Covenant-Breakers (W&T). We have to learn to separate, one thing is the authority of the House to do that now, and another thing is to believe that these or other decisions are error-free or to think taht Covenant breakers or ex-bahá'ís or even bahá'ís who lost their rights are no-remedy or bad persons.... so literalistic thinking the even their "breath" is pernicious, LOL, thanks to God, the Guardian made clear it is not so literal.

3) Also: In general, there is an insane attitude inside the community to judge people, whether they are inactive or not whether they lose administrative rights or not, thinking that they are spiritual sick or something like that.... So, I see a HUGE difference between someone who lost his administrative rights or was removed from the rolls and a Covenant breaker, covenant breaking is a spiritual disease, the main problem with them is that they could be a very bad influence to the community's unity and spirit, but they are persons with civil rights as any other...and remember they are not lost forever, even Mirza Yahya could have his chance..... Whatever, I don't think that judicial processes are always correct, and in this stage of administration, there are a lot of injustices; maybe in the future it will be greatly reduced.


As I see, the main characteristic of the Administrative Order is obedience, and this is one of the main differences from democracy, but why is this? To maintain something primordial: UNITY. So, we should obey not because we think Institutions are always right, but because this is the main teaching of the system. You don't obey your parents or the government for you think they are infallible. The authority of the NSAs is not based on infallibility, The House is infallible on legislation and on main issues, we should obey administrative or judicial decissions to mantain the unity of the system, not because they are ALWAYS right.

onepence
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Postby onepence » Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:24 pm

interesting
been following this thread
glad i so far am not in the thick of this yet

also am glad that i am learning a lot

but feel kinda sad
about seeing us
as teachers
using tones of condescending nature

wish that we had voices
that instead of speaking down
would instead just state their own positions

and celebrate the Scripture

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAQ/ ... hlight#gr2

"Know that infallibility is of two kinds: essential infallibility and acquired infallibility."

"Now the members of the House of Justice have not, individually, essential infallibility; but the body of the House of Justice is under the protection and unerring guidance of God: this is called conferred infallibility."

infer what you will
but my position is

the House of Justice is conferred infallibility

oneness
the apostle dean

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:21 pm

onepence: To say that the House has conferred infallibility is not doxa, it has scriptural base.

Not directing to any personally but talking in a general way, I think many people do not realize that thinking in both extremes is so prejudicial to the community’s health. The two extremes are to think too liberal (administrative and moral laxity) and too conservative (dogmatic, hard, red tape, plutocracy).

Baha'i Warrior
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:21 pm

I think 'Abdu'l-Baha says this (or maybe Shoghi Effendi--I'd have to check), that even if, say, the National Spiritual Assembly, makes an error, we should still obey them to maintain unity.

it's like (pardon the dumb example) a parent who tells his child to stop, say, dusting a table. the child may have been dusting the table for an elderly person, which is a nice thing, and this is certainly a good dead (so the parent may have been wrong), but so that authority and unity is maintained and so that anarchy won't break out, we must all obey the law (in this case, Baha'i law). another related example would be a parent not wanting you to marry someone because the other person is of a different nationality or race, which is a wrong reason, but we still have to obey and have parental consent never the less.

so basically, obey the institutions (and, put another way, obey God)

childintime
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Postby childintime » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:35 pm

Once again I find myself musing on the verb "segue". It seems to me this thread began with discussion on aspects of Covenant-breaking, and now it has morphed into one dealing with infallibility. I appreciate the importance of both topics, and I could charitably acknowledge that they are somehow related. However, the scope of this forum is immense, and it would be a simple thing for those of you who wish to expound on infallibility to do so on a new thread. Please and thank you.

onepence
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Postby onepence » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:41 pm

I actually think Infallibility, whether conferred or essential, must be understood in any sort of discussion about Covenant Breaker/s/ing .

It is my understanding that all aspects of the Covenant is based upon the Infallibility of God.

Therefore, in whatever language and whatever various forms, Covenant Breaker/s/ing is about trying to destroy or at the very least eroding the servants beliefs in Infallibility.

Hypothetically speaking one could argue if there is a Merciful and Just Infallibility of God then why blah blah blah ......

Personally I appluad The Universal House of Justice for its' wise judicial decisions and I can envision a system in which if a person is convicted of nine accounts of any form of Law/Covenant infractions then that person would be deemed a Covenant Breaker ... anything from minor trafic viloations to business fraud or other more hedious offenses ... similiar to the three strikes your out usa law/s ... but that is just my own idealistic thoughts who knows what the future Universal House of Justice will write into Law ???

For me at least Covenant Breaker/s/ing are all about trying to accomplish the impossible task of destroying the Infallibility.

a person of oneness,
the apsotle dean

onepence
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Postby onepence » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:58 pm

Hasan wrote:onepence: To say that the House has conferred infallibility is not doxa, it has scriptural base.

...


Hasan:

Everything
from praise to feces
is scriptual base

not of Me

Draw thy sword

oneness
the apostle dean

childintime
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Postby childintime » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:32 pm

Allow me to repeat: I appreciate the importance of both topics, and I could charitably acknowledge that they are somehow related. Obedience is also important where the Covenant is concerned, as is faith, understanding, loyalty, self-abnegation, humility, and just about every spiritual virtue. And then, there's discipline.....

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:17 pm

I would like to offer my views on this subject.

First, it has been stated that "according to Baha'i scripture" only the following had the authority to declare a person as a Covenant-breaker: Baha'u'llah, the Master, the group of nine Hands of the Cause who worked most closely with the Guardian.

1. Baha'u'llah
There is nowhere in the Baha'i Writings that says that Baha'u'llah has the authority to expel Covenant-breakers.

There is nowhere in the Baha'i Writings that says that Baha'u'llah has the specific authority to do *anything* in the Baha'i Faith. That is because as the Author of the Baha'i Faith, He had inherent authority to do anything He chose to do.

We know that He did expel people. Here, Baha'u'llah describes His expulsion of Siyyid Muhammad Isfahani, the Antichrist of the Baha'i Revelation:

"Subsequently, he committed that which -- I swear by God -- hath caused the Pen of the Most High to weep and His Tablet to groan. We, therefore, cast him out; whereupon, he joined Mirza Yahya, and did what no tyrant hath ever done. We abandoned him, and said unto him: "Begone, O heedless one!" After these words had been uttered, he joined the order of the Mawlavis . . . " (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 164)

Further explanations of Baha'u'llah's words regarding Covenant-breakers are found quoted by the Master in His Last Tablet to America, found towards the back of "Baha'i World Faith."

2. Abdu'l-Baha
There is no place in the Writings of Baha'u'llah stating that `Abdu'l-Baha had the specific authority to expel Covenant-breakers. There is nothing *within driving distance* of stating that `Abdu'l-Baha had the power to expel Covenant-breakers.

All that there is, is this statement:

"The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsan, the Afnan and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch." (Kitab-i-`Ahd, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 221)

This reiterates what Baha'u'llah had written to all the Baha'is in Paragraph 121 of the Aqdas.

The entire authority of `Abdu'l-Baha was contained in the single word, "turn". In the Tablet of the Branch, Baha'u'llah added that whoever turned toward `Abdu'l-Baha had turned toward God, and whoever had turned against `Abdu'l-Baha had turned away from Baha'u'llah. (The World Order of Baha'u'llah p. 135)

The entire authority of `Abdu'l-Baha, in the greatest Covenant ever written by a Manifestation to guide His followers, was placed in that single word, "turn" This is Covenant language. The authority of `Abdu'l-Baha to Himself write a Covenant, which He did in His Will and Testament, was contained in the word, "turn". `Abdu'l-Baha's powers were not, in any way, defined or limited.

The authority of `Abdu'l-Baha to expel Covenant-breakers *was not specified in the sacred Text*. It was inherent in the word "turn," which established the Master as the Head of the Cause.

This same word, "turn"; with the same promise of divine blessings on those who turn, and the same warning of divine punishment to those who turn away, is found in the Master's Will when He writes of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship (pp. 11 and 26).

The Hands of the Cause were authorized by the Master in His Will to expel Covenant-breakers. However, Shoghi Effendi as the Head of the Faith, withheld this power from the Hands during his lifetime, and only exercised it himself. He had the supreme power in the Cause, bestowed by the Master's Covenant. Under the Master's Will, the Hands of the Cause were directed by the Guardian of the Cause; so there was never any conflict in the authority in the Cause, and without hesitation they followed him.

Similarly, the House of Justice has this supreme authority in the Cause. Under the general power of the Covenant contained in the word "turn," the Hands of the Cause turned to and were directed by the Universal House of Justice. The ability to expel Covenant-breakers was ultimately the decision of the House itself; though the expulsion would be under the signature of the body of the Hands.

The House of Justice is not merely the supreme legislative body in the Faith. It is described by Shoghi Effendi as "the institution which must be regarded as the apex of the Bahá'í Administrative Order" (God Passes By, p. 332). It is promised infallible divine guidance flowing from both of the Manifestations, in the same sentence where this guidance is promised to the Guardian of the Cause (p. 11 of the Master's Will). The Universal House of Justice is given the same general authority as the Guardian was given, i.e. that everyone should turn to it, in the same sentence of the Master's Will as this authority was given to the Guardian of the Cause (p. 26).

The authority of `Abdu'l-Baha to expel Covenant-breakers rests not on a specific grant of authority to do so, but on Baha'u'llah's command that the Baha'is "turn" to `Abdu'l-Baha.

The authority of Shoghi Effendi to expel Covenant-breakers rests not on a specific grant of authority to do so, but on `Abdu'l-Baha's command that the Baha'is "turn" to the Guardian of the Cause and the Universal House of Justice.

The authority of the Universal House of Justice to expel Covenant-breakers rests not on a specific grant of authority to do so, but on `Abdu'l-Baha's command that the Baha'is "turn" to the Guardian of the Cause and the Universal House of Justice.

Pilgrimbrent


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