Baha'i afterlife??

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nnnick
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Baha'i afterlife??

Postby nnnick » Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:02 am

what does Baha'i teach about sin, righteousness and salvation? is there a heaven or a hell, and by what means do you go to either?
seek and you shall find

onepence
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Postby onepence » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:06 am

Baha'u'llah
The Glory of God
said

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/ESW/e ... ight#pg132

‘Where is Paradise, and where is Hell?’ Say: ‘The one is reunion with Me; the other thine own self, O thou who dost associate a partner with God and doubtest.’

which hast allowed this apostle of His to enjoy His Paradise and the moment that His Rememberance ceases the fire and agony of selfish desire creates the Hell of neglectful life.

//////

in plain english

first the soul must
through its' own efforts
seek to know God
and if it is His {good pleasure}
he allows the individual to remember God at all times and under all conditions ... which is heaven/paradise ... being in His Presence and being aware of His Law and actively engaged in persuing deed/s in accordance to the Law ... yet if the soul is negligent and forgets God even for one second the soul falls into the Hell trap{s} of selfish desire {{s}} of seeking to place ones' own will in replace of Gods' will.

Hell ... fire & brimstone & damnation ... will become more and more a topic of popular discussion as God's Healing Retribution takes hold on the American continent ... for the "new world", as America was called by the europeans, failed to find, let alone seek, to understand God.

oneness
the apostle dean

hugobjzq
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Re: Baha'i afterlife??

Postby hugobjzq » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:03 pm

Most Baha'is have no concept of "sin". Most Baha'is would interpret "Heaven" to mean accepting Baha'u'llah and "Hell" to mean not accepting Him or not knowing about Him. The Afterlife for most Baha'is is one big "?".

Baha'u'llah did list a number of "satanic deeds" which include ZINA (fornication and adultery) and LIWAT (homosexuality).

Regarding "righteousness" Baha'u'llah commanded that His followers lead righteous lives. Most Baha'is interpret that to mean lives involved in noble causes, such as supporting the UN, NAACP, the ERA, Democratic presidential candidates and being concerned about the environment.

Most Baha'is have not a clue about what "Salvation" is other than believing we are "saved" from not being concerned about World Peace or Race Unity by being Baha'is.

It's pitiful, I know.



nnnick wrote:what does Baha'i teach about sin, righteousness and salvation? is there a heaven or a hell, and by what means do you go to either?

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:27 am

Although this is a little off-topic, Darrick, if I may make an observation...

As you mentioned you had formerly been an active Mormon, I got to thinking about understanding your perspective a little more (always having been raised within a Baha'i community myself).

You do have some very valid concerns, I think, but maybe it might be helpful to consider the gradual progression required for most Baha'is to distance themselves from their culture of origin; in the U.S. at least (at least the urban North), this does, I would also say, seem to include among many (though by no means an overwewlming majority) an overemphasis on external social causes (including among some individuals regrettable partisan leanings).

Note that support of common social causes has in fact been encouraged by Shoghi Effendi and the House of Justice, while both have also made note about the need not to get overly absorbed in such movements (not the partisan ones, nor those which go against our basic teachings of course) so as to detract us from the work only we can do. They have also made strong emphasis on the need for reaching minorities as well as promotion of racial unity. The Faith is not restricted to appealing to whites (nor of course rejecting them), no matter the sensibilities of such a group. This was evident in letters of Shoghi Effendi when certain believers in the South at that time were neglecting teaching blacks for the sake of appeasing the whites they wanted to bring into the Faith.

Coming from someone who grew up in the community, I took it as a given (especially to the degree one submerges oneself in the Baha'i Writings) that there is an infinite amount of self-improvement to be done by the community (as well as ourselves)--while not getting unconstructively down about shortcomings, as encouragement and realistic optmiism have always been shown and called for by our Writings and institutions--and there was always the clear distinction made between our Faith and Baha'is as a community in time and space.

This passage from Shoghi Effendi might underscore this common trend in religious history upon which we might reflect:
How great was the obstinacy with which the Jewish converts among the early Christians adhered to the ceremonies of their ancestors, and how fervent their eagerness to impose them on the Gentiles! Were not the first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem all circumcised Jews, and had not the congregation over which they presided united the laws of Moses with the doctrine of Christ? Is it not a fact that no more than a twentieth part of the subjects of the Roman Empire had enlisted themselves under the standard of Christ before the conversion of Constantine? Was not the ruin of the Temple, in the city of Jerusalem, and of the public religion of the Jews, severely felt by the so-called Nazarenes, who persevered, above a century, in the practice of the Mosaic Law?

(World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 57)


Shoghi Effendi in this case, however, goes on to point out how the Bahá'í community has, in contrast, shown a great deal of loyalty and acceptance of the teachings. We ought also--as our Writings themselves do-- consider the positive achievements of the converts to the Faith, even while we recognize its shortcomings. As Shoghi Effendi stated:
The Baha'is themselves as a body have one great advantage: They are sincerely convinced Baha'u'llah is right; they have a plan; and they are trying to follow it. But to pretend they are perfect, that the Baha'is of the future will not be a hundred times more mature, better balanced, more exemplary in their conduct, would be foolish."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 5, 1947: Teaching Work Among the Masses, p. 2)


This chapter of Century of Light is also most instructive: http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/ ... ury12.html .

"Real" belief in the teachings implies acceptance of the administrative machinery (despite even its local and national not being immune from error) as well as patient and active engagement in the loving but determined education of the community, of which we ourselves are a part.

As far as the topic of salvation, we have been urged in our Writings to emphasize more of the moral teachings, as well as countless admonitions to study the "proofs", which of course cannot be done without an understanding of such fundamental religious concepts.

We do not take the extreme (and non-Biblical) position that works are not necessary, but our Writings do emphasize the primacy of faith.

We do not believe in the non-Biblical idea of original sin, but we do believe we are all sinners and that we are saved by a recognition of God and obedience to His teachings. Since complete adherence is impossible, we cannot claim to be absolutely saved (we should aim to a higher standard, including a firm and genuine (yet not fanatical) fear of God as well as hope for His mercy. Heaven and Hell, while our Writings deemphasize their being places...

There is certainly a future life. Heaven and hell are conditions within our own beings."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 14, 1947)


...nevertheless also emphasize that they are real, that Hell, while not a place is still a real phenomenon which may in the future include such emotions as gnawing remorse, and that approach to God depends on the mercy of God, and not simply dictated by our own whims. This is a very expansive topic, for which it is best to explore the Writings firsthand.

best wishes,
Brett

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:38 am

You have asked about:

sin
righteousness
salvation
is there a heaven
is there a hell
by what means do you go to either

A proper response would take thirty pages.

The call to righteousness is the same in all the divine Revelations; so it is the same in Christianity as in the Baha'i Faith:

"The purpose underlying the revelation of every heavenly Book, nay, of every divinely-revealed verse, is to endue all men with righteousness and understanding, so that peace and tranquillity may be firmly established amongst them. (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 205)

The entire orientation of the Baha'i Faith is service to others, not seeking of self-interest. So as you see from that quotation, the purpose of righteousness is so that peace and tranquility is established among all mankind; not only so that the righteous person can have personal peace in this world and in the next -- though that is also a result.

Baha'u'llah wrote to the followers of Christ:

"O people of the Gospel! They who were not in the Kingdom have now entered it, whilst We behold you, in this day, tarrying at the gate. Rend the veils asunder by the power of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bounteous, and enter, then, in My name My Kingdom. Thus biddeth you He Who desireth for you everlasting life... We behold you, O children of the Kingdom, in darkness. This, verily, beseemeth you not. Are ye, in the face of the Light, fearful because of your deeds? Direct yourselves towards Him... Verily, He (Jesus) said: 'Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.' In this day, however, We say: 'Come ye after Me, that We may make you to become quickeners of mankind.'" (The Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, p. 91)

Again, the focus of the Baha'i Revelation is to orient our eyes towards all humanity.

"The Tongue of Grandeur hath, however, in the day of His manifestation proclaimed: 'It is not his to boast who loveth his country, but it is his who loveth the world.' Through the power released by these exalted words He hath lent a fresh impulse, and set a new direction, to the birds of men's hearts. . . " (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 95)

The good-pleasure of God is not found merely by faith, and by righteousness; so that a person is saved and goes to heaven. This self-focus is incomplete. However, Shoghi Effendi did direct his secretary to write on his behalf:

"To 'get to heaven' as you say is dependent on two things -- faith in the Manifestation of God in His Day, in other words in this Age in Bahá'u'lláh; and good deeds, in other words living to the best of our ability a noble life and doing unto others as we would be done by. But we must always remember that our existence and everything we have or ever will have is dependent upon the Mercy of God and His Bounty, and therefore He can accept into His heaven, which is really nearness to Him, even the lowliest if He pleases. We always have the hope of receiving His Mercy if we reach out for it." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 12, 1957; Lights of Guidance, p. 209)

Both heaven and hell are images; not places. They are an effort to communicate to the human mind, spiritual conditions that are beyond human experience. Imagine trying to explain to a babe in the womb, about your experience of climbing a mountain in springtime; or watching a great play being performed. The child in the womb understands the sound of its mother's voice and of its mother's heartbeat; it understands mostly darkness but a faint glow of light at times; and it understands water. So whatever you want to communicate to it, you have to use the symbols it understands.

Similarly, when God wants to explain what a life lived in accordance with His good-pleasure will bring, He speaks in terms of the limited vocabulary of human experience. So heaven is full of music, and beautiful women, and wine, and good food, and golden streets. Hell is fire and stench.

If you are a serious seeker who wants to know what the Baha'i teachings on heaven are, I suggest you go to a Baha'i search engine and plug in the word "heaven", you will find plenty of substance that will greatly enhance your life.

This is the Day whereon the true servants of God partake of the life-giving waters of reunion, the Day whereon those that are nigh unto Him are able to drink of the soft-flowing river of immortality, and they who believe in His unity, the wine of His Presence, through their recognition of Him Who is the Highest and Last End of all, in Whom the Tongue of Majesty and Glory voiceth the call: "The Kingdom is Mine. I, Myself, am, of Mine own right, its Ruler." (Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 33)

Brent


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