Infallibility of the House (was partly in another topic)

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Hasan
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Infallibility of the House (was partly in another topic)

Postby Hasan » Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:04 pm

This topic is vast, and the House has the final say.

Dr. Momen writes that the Lesser Covenant “obliges individual Bahá'ís to accept the leadership of Bahá’u’lláh’s appointed successors and the administrative institutions of the Faith” and “refers to the agreement between a Manifestation of God and his followers regarding the continuation of authority in his religion”.

Of course the Successor of the Blessed Beauty was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as it is established in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd. The continuity of this authority in the Lesser Covenant - Shoghi Effendi would agree, was the successor of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that is to say: the Administrative Order. In this respect Mr. Alí Nakhjavani says: “…the Law of Succession as it was applied not only to Shoghi Effendi, as Guardian of the Faith, but also to the Administrative Order which Shoghi Effendi quite often referred to as: "The Child of the Covenant"-(GPB p.243)”.

Now, this “Child of the Covenant” or Administrative Order rests on two Institutions: the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. To these two Institutions, infallibility has been assured, this is a “conferred infallibility”, not an essential one. The sphere of the infallibility of the Guardian was defined by the Guardian himself. The sphere of the House is not yet defined. What we know is that the “interpretation” function is restricted to the Guardian in an infallible way; and “legislation” is restricted to the UHJ, also in an infallible way. Now, in relation with these two functions, I think that the infallibility of the House assures that "Neither can, nor will ever, infringe upon the sacred and prescribed domain of the other" (WOB p.150), do you imagine the House interpreting the Writings? – God forbids it!

When one talk about infallibility, is important to distinguish infallibility of authority. As the Administrative Order is based on obedience, the principal guide is that we obey not because the Institutions are infallible. Or one should obey and be loyal to an LSA or NSA (or even a Government) because he thinks they are infallible? In a pilgrim note is noted the Guardian says: “We must not live in a fool's paradise by thinking all their decisions (local and National S.A.'s) are guided”. So, “instead of saying "We have infallible institutions", one would then say "We have divinely guided bodies, and the House is infallible in the sphere of legislation”. Regarding to these, Dr. Schaefer said:

I can observe two categories of divine guidance in the scripture:
a general divine guidance that is promised to all elected bodies, which is a relative one, because it depends on certain preconditions, "prime requisites for them that take counsel together" and
a specific divine guidance conferred on the twin pillars which is an absolute one, because it is not made dependent on preconditions. This absolute divine guidance is infallibility.

Of course, legislation is not the only function that the House has. They have others administrative functions, executive and judicial functions. Do not forget the “protection” function, in relation to this, the membership of a believer is defined in the Constitution of the House, this was made in a general, abstract way, and is a legislatory act, but to me the decisions on membership in particular cases are not covered by infallibility.
A friend of mine wrote me about the differences he sees between the House of Justice and the Roman curia (which become corrupt); this can help to see the possibility of moral corruption is greatly reduced.

the House is a democratically elected body, whereas the Catholic Church is an authoritarian form of rulership and thus much more prone to getting corrupted by totalitarian practises.

The Universal House of Justice has been divinely ordained in historic documents; but not Papacy, although it claims to have been established by Jesus Christ.

The Universal House of Justice is, in its executive and judicative functions, under the general divine guidance that has been promised to the elected Bahá’í bodies. Papacy must be regarded as the result of a historic development; this means, it is a human organization to which no promise of divine guidance has been given. The Church’s references to Matthew 16:18, 28:20 are not cogent at all as, the existence of schismatic Churches (Orthodoxy, Protestantism etc.) and their theological arguments clearly prove.

According to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament (I:26) a member of the House, who has committed “a sin, injurious to the common weal”, can be expelled from this body. This right of the Guardian has passed to the House of Justice (see art. IV,2a of its statutes). By virtue of this legal mechanism the danger of becoming corrupted is minimized.


sources:
http://bahai-library.com/?file=nakhjavani_talks_world_order&chapter=2
http://bahai-library.com/?file=schaefer_infallible_institutions
http://bahai-library.com/?file=momen_encyclopedia_covenant
http://bahai-library.com/pilgrims/maxwell.notes2.html

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Re: Infallibility of the House (was partly in another topic)

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:13 pm

Hasan wrote: In a pilgrim note is noted the Guardian says: “We must not live in a fool's paradise by thinking all their decisions (local and National S.A.'s) are guided”.


    "Thou has written concerning the pilgrims and pilgrims' notes. Any narrative that is not authenticated by a Text should not be trusted. Narratives, even if true, cause confusion. For the people of Baha, the Text, and only the Text, is authentic."

    (Abdu'l- Baha: from a previously untranslated Tablet)



Source: http://bahai-library.com/compilations/pilgrims.notes.html

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Re: Infallibility of the House (was partly in another topic)

Postby Hasan » Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:27 pm

Bahai Warrior quotes the Master:
Baha'i Warrior wrote: "Thou has written concerning the pilgrims and pilgrims' notes. Any narrative that is not authenticated by a Text should not be trusted. Narratives, even if true, cause confusion. For the people of Baha, the Text, and only the Text, is authentic."
(Abdu'l- Baha: from a previously untranslated Tablet)


After reading this, it will be official, LSAs and NSAs are NOT infallible (thanks to God). John. B. Cornell made this question to the Guardian:

1. Some of the friends consider that your letter of February 23, 1924, means that local and national assemblies are infallible, or at least not to be criticized, even in the business discussions of the 19-Day Feast. If the assembly decision is "the voice of truth, never to be challenged . . . its verdict truly inspired," does this mean infallibility, with its implications of no need for community or other advice and of the heretical nature of any criticism of an assembly policy or decision?


The Guardian answered:

Regarding your questions: No. 1. There are only two institutions which are infallible, one is the guardianship, the other the International House of Justice. What the Master desired to protect the friends against was continual bickering and opinionatedness. A believer can ask the Assembly why they made a certain decision and politely request them to reconsider. But then he must leave it at that, and not go on disrupting local affairs through insisting on his own views...

////

Also, this is in the book Making the Crooked Straight: “…the infallibility of the national and local bodies is connected to the condition that its consultations are conducted ‘in a spiritual atmosphere of purity and selflessness’(1)—although it would undoubtedly be difficult to find a standard measure for the assessment of this.’ Without realizing that a promise of guidance that is dependent on the fulfillment of the highest of moral demands means that these institutions are not free from error, that conditional infallibility is a contradiction in terms…”

(1) ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s prerequisite

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Dec 12, 2005 6:24 pm

i thought this topic was about infallibility of the House only

besides i never said i thought the LSA or NSA were infallible, in fact i didnt say anything about them

so what's the point of this topic? i didnt see any questions addressed or anything

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Postby Keyvan » Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:27 pm

hes just trying to show you that the pilgrims note he sited is backed by signed/sealed legislation

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Postby Hasan » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:10 pm

Keyvan wrote:hes just trying to show you that the pilgrims note he sited is backed by signed/sealed legislation


bahai warrior wrote:so what's the point of this topic? i didnt see any questions addressed or anything


This is the point: Pilgrim notes are secondary, only to give some relevance, bright and parallel support to the authoritative text, but not the inverse.

Regards,

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:34 am

i know but what was the original point of this topic?

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Postby Hasan » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:03 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:i know but what was the original point of this topic?


You also wrote in the other topic: “so how about we stay on topic” So, I made this topic.

What is the point, purpose, object, etc. of a topic????
Is it not to interchange ideas, to discuss, and finally try to learn about it, etc.? Your question is similary to say: what is the point of this forum's topics?

regards,

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:12 pm

no, why did you make this topic?

The UHJ is infallible, yes.

did you want to discuss why it is infallible, etc.? i don't get it. perhaps you can be more clear as to what you want to discuss, unless you have nothing to discuss

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Postby Hasan » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:59 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:no, why did you make this topic?

The UHJ is infallible, yes.

did you want to discuss why it is infallible, etc.? i don't get it. perhaps you can be more clear as to what you want to discuss, unless you have nothing to discuss


Ok warrior man, I want to discuss about conferred infallibility, especially of the House, it is mainly to have a clear panorama about the matter, just to talk.

cheers,

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:06 pm

why, thank you Hasan man! :mrgreen:

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Postby Hasan » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:04 am

Baha'i Warrior wrote:why, thank you Hasan man! :mrgreen:


If one believes in infallibility of the House (outside legislative function), so, here he can express his views and it will be interesting to dialogue about it. Thus, try to examine the reasons and try to get a wider knowledge on this matter.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:11 am

what... no "cheers" or "regards" this time? he he he :badgrin:

the only thing i was saying is that true, the House only is infallible in regard to their legislative capacities, but it is hard to imagine that they (or Shoghi Effendi) could say something wrong even if it was out of the scope of their infallibility. if God is watching over them, then no matter what they can never say something that is "wrong," whether legislative or not. to me, this is just common sense.

but it's not a big deal, that's all i was saying in the previous post. i could be wrong, but thats just what i think

but anyway, i don't think the UHJ will ever do anything that is not perfect—no matter what—because they are guided by God Himself.

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Postby Hasan » Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:57 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:what... no "cheers" or "regards" this time? he he he :badgrin:


:roll: I forget it!

Baha'i Warrior wrote:what... no "cheers" or "regards" this time? he he he :badgrin:

i don't think the UHJ will ever do anything that is not perfect—no matter what—because they are guided by God Himself.[/quote]

Yet, it is a possibility if infallibility has not been assured outside legislative sphere, but, sometimes they do not prefer to pronounce in a complex or unclear subject.

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Postby Hasan » Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:58 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:what... no "cheers" or "regards" this time? he he he :badgrin:


:roll: I forget it!

Baha'i Warrior wrote: i don't think the UHJ will ever do anything that is not perfect—no matter what—because they are guided by God Himself.


Yet, it is a possibility if infallibility has not been assured outside legislative sphere, but, sometimes they do not prefer to pronounce in a complex or unclear subject.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:02 pm

yes, that is true

Justin

Postby Justin » Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:56 am

Baha'i Warrior wrote:but anyway, i don't think the UHJ will ever do anything that is not perfect—no matter what—because they are guided by God Himself.


The thought is rather unappealing, I agree. Yet, there are provisions for just such a possibility - the Guardian provides the check and balance by being able to ask them to reconsider the decision in question.

Of course, we don't have a Guardian - so this function can't be performed.

But the existence of the contingency does show that it is possible for the House of Justice to do something, shall we say, 'less than perfect'.

Understandably, we all prefer to think of the UHJ as perfect. It sort of reminds me of a child who looks up to their father and thinks he is the smartest, strongest, bestest... and then grows up and realizes while their father is a wonderful person, reality is a bit more naunced.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:13 pm

Justin wrote:The thought is rather unappealing, I agree. Yet, there are provisions for just such a possibility - the Guardian provides the check and balance by being able to ask them to reconsider the decision in question.


Yeah.

Justin wrote:Understandably, we all prefer to think of the UHJ as perfect. It sort of reminds me of a child who looks up to their father and thinks he is the smartest, strongest, bestest... and then grows up and realizes while their father is a wonderful person, reality is a bit more naunced.


Yeah, but I still think they are "perfect," and I think as a Baha'i I am safe to think that 8)

Also, I don't know what the word "naunced" means. Doesn't show up in the dictionary.

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Postby Hasan » Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:29 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:
Yeah, but I still think they are "perfect," and I think as a Baha'i I am safe to think that 8)


Hi warrior,
If you equals “perfect” to “infallible in legislation”, is Ok.
What do you mean with safe?
Cheeeeers,

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:07 pm

by safe i mean what i am saying is an opinion that does not necessarily contradict what the Writings have to say about the House's infallibility

Justin

Postby Justin » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:45 pm

Baha'i Warrior wrote:Yeah, but I still think they are "perfect," and I think as a Baha'i I am safe to think that 8)




Go right ahead. You can think that they are literally "9 plump peaches" or that the UHJ is "a glowing orb of uranium"...whatever works for you. The reality of their role and station is not changed one iota by your thoughts.


Baha'i Warrior wrote:Also, I don't know what the word "naunced" means. Doesn't show up in the dictionary.



It seems that 'u' hopscotched away -> nuanced.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:57 pm

Justin wrote:Go right ahead. You can think that they are literally "9 plump peaches" or that the UHJ is "a glowing orb of uranium"...whatever works for you. The reality of their role and station is not changed one iota by your thoughts.


Thank you for the permission.

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Postby Jonah » Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:27 pm

I think this thread has trickled to an end, so I'm closing it. Thanks, -Jonah


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