Posted by Stuart (126.96.36.199) on September 26, 2003 at 08:55:10:
In Reply to: Re: Question about posted by Brett Zamir on September 26, 2003 at 00:28:25:
The distinction made between an ardent follower, whether disciple or apostle, and an "official" disciple or apostle, is indicated by the use of capitalization.
E.g., we can certainly refer to our two ardent Bahai followers Jonah or Brett as apostles or disciples (not capitalized.) Should history decide that their contributions to Bahai have been or shall be so high of merit they might then, by decree of the UHJ perhaps, be designated as Apostles, along with the 19 or (if one includes the Bab, a retroactive predictive designate) 20 offical Apostles.
There are countless disciples and apostles of Bahai when the definition of "ardent follower" is used. In every religion there are terms that designate ardent followers who have not been "canonized" as Apostles. (Boddhisatvas in Buddhism, for example.)
The terms "saint" or "saintly" have the same nuance with serious differences in meaning. One can be saintly without being a Saint, since a Saint is one who has been officially canonized by his or her Church. An adjective such as "blessed" equally so. Blessed Beauty must be spelled with a capital "B". There is an enormous difference between "the blessed children" and "the Blessed Children". Our Blessed Forefathers normally refer to those of our forbearers who are deceased.
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