Re: Images of Prophets

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Posted by Loren ( on September 06, 2002 at 15:19:51:

In Reply to: Re: Images of Prophets posted by Darrick Evenson on September 06, 2002 at 13:22:27:

Dear Darrick,

Regardless of who the intended audience of your materials are, the greater question still to be answered is--from who is the material being received?

Perhaps it is a naive supposition on my part that an individual writing to Christians or others with what seems to be the intent of convincing them of the truth of the Baha'i Faith is someone who believes the teachings are true and worth living by.

Even more exacerbating to me is why you would hope to convince anyone of the truth of any religion who's adherents you allege (with some disapproval I guess by your tone) engage in Sodomy and Murder (of fetuses), while at the same time this goes against the very teachings of the Faith itself. I have seen you make these accusations on numerous occasions yet I have never understood the source of your complaint or witnessed anything of the sort in my twenty plus years in the Faith. But if this is true, why would you willfully lead any one to such a deplorable community?

Even if your doubtful assertions and allegations about the community are correct, I fail to see how your own disregard for Baha'i law is justified by the violations of others. I don't see how a spiritually minded person such as you, can arrive at the conclusion that two wrongs will make a right, or that "misbehaving" you might create a situation that will convince others of their own "misbehavior".

I don't agree with your teaching methods, (although you do have some interesting and good content in some of your works) and it is difficult for me to understand what motivates you, but somewhere I presume a deep love for Baha'u'llah in your heart, otherwise your efforts are absolutely incomprehensible to me. If you did not know about the Baha'i principals regarding images of Prophets, I will cite some quotations so you will know:
"There is no objection that the believers look at the picture of Baha'u'llah, but they should do so with the utmost reverence, and should also not allow that it be exposed openly to the public, even in their private homes."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 6, 1939--Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 540 )
"The Faith can certainly be dramatized, but two things must be remembered: No personal presentation of the Bab, Baha'u'llah or the Master, only their Words can be used, but no figure must represent Them; great dignity must be the keynote." (Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 19 )
"The prohibition on representing the Manifestation of God in paintings and drawings or in dramatic presentations applies to all the Manifestations of God. There are, of course, great and wonderful works of art of past Dispensations, many of which portrayed the Manifestations of God in a spirit of reverence and love. In this Dispensation however the greater maturity of mankind and the greater awareness of the relationship between the Supreme Manifestation and His servants enable us to realize the impossibility of representing, in any human form, whether pictorially, in sculpture or in dramatic representation, the Person of God's Manifestations. In stating the Baha'i prohibition, the beloved Guardian pointed out this impossibility." (From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, March 9, 1977--Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 100 )
If you are interested, there are more references in the Baha'i Writings as well as in The Holy Qur'an and the Torah that, similarly prohibit this, and so the Baha'i teachings are really only reaffirming this spiritual principal which originates in our Islamic/Judeo-Christian roots.
Since you suggested you are not willing to be obedient to the very teachings you hope to propagate, if nothing else having deference to the Baha'i customs and laws may serve to create a teaching document more sincere in its intention, and that will not foster bad feelings among the Baha'is, whom you are connected with in love of Baha'u'llah and His teachings, if nothing else.

I hope this will not cause any bad blood between us, and that you will receive this with the same spirit good will it was delivered.


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