Re: Freemasonry cannot be compatible with Baha'i

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Posted by Rob ( on October 19, 2003 at 15:43:12:

In Reply to: Re: Freemasonry cannot be compatible with Baha'i posted by Joe Ohlandt on October 19, 2003 at 11:28:21:


The Baha'i Faith's policy on being a member of the Baha'i Faith while also being a member of another society, church, or organization has changed from the days of 'Abdu'l-Baha. 'Abdu'l-Baha did allow Baha'is to remain as members of particular churches, societies and organizations which latter Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian did not permit. As the Faith developed over time, its laws have been enforced. There are still Baha'i laws which have yet to be enforced.

For this reason, 'Abdu'l-Baha's talks sometimes indicated directly or by inference that membership in both the Faith and another organization was acceptable, for in fact dual membership was permitted during His Ministry. 'Abdu'l-Baha's more generous attitude permitting dual membership should not be understood as a validation of all the beliefs in those groups which later the Guardian did not permit membership in, but was more likely a period of grace during a time the new Baha'i community was still learning what being a Baha'i entailed in terms of beliefs.

During that period, the Baha'i were still learning what the Faith's teachings were on various subjects, and as time went by, as these teachings unfolded, they discovered that this or that group which they belonged to had teachings counter to that of the Faith.... so there came a time when Shoghi Effendi announced that Baha'is could not belong to certain groups because the differences of belief were finally understandable to the rank and file Baha'is... and it would be hypocritical to claim membership in organizations with counter beliefs. At the same time, disbandonment of membership in ones church or society was not to mean total disassociation.

Baha'is can belong to other organizations so long as the organization does not have as any of its tenets or policies something that is counter to Baha'i beliefs. And for those groups Baha'i cannot belong to in terms of offical membership, often friendly association is encouraged.

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