Re: Images of Prophets

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Posted by Loren ( on September 13, 2002 at 20:55:37:

In Reply to: Re: Images of Prophets posted by Darrick Evenson on September 12, 2002 at 15:25:13:

Dear Darrick,

The criticism I have of your "methods" in fact has nothing to do with it differing from the "standard method" as you call it. Actually in spite of your criticism of Baha'i teaching methods, numerous approaches exist and are practiced, including the so called "standard method" of which you object. Many Baha'is employ teaching methods that use very similar logic as you do, and with good results!

So why, in my opinion, is your method not ranked with those others? Primarily, it is the spirit of your method, as well as your over confidence and self exuberance. Your logic is fine, but your manner course.

Secondarily, (not in importance) certain of the "facts" which you use and often favor, are not authenticated by those with the authority to do so (i.e. Central Figures and the UHJ), and occasionally contradict the authenticated teachings. Many of us Baha'is occasionally make similar mistakes for whatever reason, perhaps out of misunderstanding or ignorance of the actual teachings, but I have never encountered someone who would persist in it so blatantly, and so full of pride, and with such certainty that his view was more correct than any other, as you do. Surely you are aware of Baha'u'llah's teachings of humility, tolerance, consultative will, and the necessity of obedience to the House of Justice? If your works incorporated some of these, and stated those "facts" which are somewhat debatable, as your "opinions", your methods would be so much better in both spirit and scholarship.

Regarding you objections to the "Gay" and abortion issues, current approach of the Baha'is under guidance of The House, IS in accordance with the teachings, by virtue of the provision in the writings for the "gradual unfoldment" of the laws, and by virtue of the fact that even for the most flagrant violation of a Baha'i Law (unless it also happens to be a civil law) there can be no recourse other than the suspension of voting rights, which sadly I have witnessed, and assure you does happen.

Understand also, that The Baha'i Faith is not against homosexuality, it merely does not and cannot sanction the practice of it. We are both sympathetic and aware of the possibility that it is a condition which may arise from conditions not chosen by the homosexual, and therefore the difficulty of resisting something that to the homosexual may seem very natural. We still don't allow it, as we are bound by our own writings, and should someone be flagrant in violating this, would be at risk of losing their voting rights. As to the one who struggles with it and strives to resist, and maybe fails at times, in my mind this is altogether different, and I would be most empathetic and prayerful for such a person.

As for abortion, there can be instances where it is sanctioned. What these are the House will have to decide (if they chose) at some point. But they have abstained presently, perhaps because of its (abortion) current political ramifications. But the teachings on the sanctity of life, creation of the soul at conception, etc., etc., are not veiled from the community, and the House has brought these to the attention of the believers and for the time being left the personal application of them to the individual's decision in accordance with their own understanding of, and faithfulness to the teachings.
The House of Justice's opinion on this matter IS the Baha'i Law, until they change it. So for you to suggest Baha'is violate this law is not in accord with the divine teachings, giving the House the sole authority to rule on such matters, and incidentally the mandate given them (The House) to gradually unfold the fullness of the law on a time table determined by their wisdom and authority.

Finally, inconsideration of the topic, displaying the picture of Prophets, if displaying these pictures in the homes of possibly hundreds of people on their home computer screens, by virtue of your website does not constitute: "Photographs displayed openly in the home", (your words) then what does?


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