richard wrote: Well, BW, i appreciate you comments and question because they will help me to better understand myself and my relationship with our One and Only God, as well as with all others in His Universal Family... That said, i know it may seem your basic question, and the answer to it are simple, but i assure you it is not simple for me, and in fact, after i deeply examine my heart, mind, soul, and being, i hope i can find an answer that makes spiritual sense, not only to you, but to myself.
No argument there. Indeed, until you are fully sure, you should not identify with any creed. But you do, however, believe Baha'u'llah is God's newest Manifestation, and that the Baha'i Faith is His Religion, so there's some interest there.
richard wrote:Please have patience with me. When faced with difficult questions my best thoughts and "answers" come better after the passage of some time, prayer, and worship, as well as some good night sleeps with my heart, mind, and soul in a non-cognitive mode more open to the spiritual leadings of the indwelling Spirit of our One and Only God.
I apologize if I was too direct. I only asked because by you stating that Baha'u'llah is a Manifestation of God you are "near-Baha'i" or even maybe Baha'i, though not formally as of yet.
richard wrote:Pray for me, BW, and know that i may be more surprised with my answer than you will be. And then again, will i be able, in this matter, be able to count on a clear answer from our God, or will He leave it up to my human freewill to make a choice that may be right or wrong, but will hopefully lead to spiritual learning what ever i do?
Sure, I'd be happy to send a prayer your way. You ask if God will give you a clear sign that the Baha'i Faith is the correct religion, or if He will leave it up to your own free will. Well, He has directed you to the Faith, hasn't He? How many laymen have heard of the Faith? At least in America—as I'm sure you'll agree—few (in places like India it might be a different story though). So isn't this His sign to you? He has directed you to a Faith and you yourself readily have recognized the Baha'i message and attested to its truth and to the truth of the claim of its Author. And I don't sense any hesitation in your saying that you believe that Baha'u'llah is a Manifestation ('Prophet') of God.
richard wrote:Thanks again for your thought provoking comments and question... richard
And thank you for your fine reply. I have confidence that God will guide you in the right direction as He has been doing thus far. It is obvious that He has opened your spiritual eyes, and, being beyond the "Accept Jesus as your personal Savior" thing, you now see that there is much more to religion than merely believing in something or someone and thiniking God will take care of the rest. Religion has to better the individual and
society, and it needs relevant teachings for its appointed Day. You see how holding fast to ancient beliefs (which have been annulled), or having no religious beliefs whatsoever, is not going to make the world a better place. In fact, quite to the contrary. Indeed, as I have said before, 'Abdu'l-Baha states that everying in this world is either in a state of progression or regression. This is an important point to keep in mind I think.
When most religions have been worn out, closed-minded people tend to emphasize the problems such as seen in sectarianism/violence, or whatever it may be, and attribute those problems to all
the religions. Also they tend to scoff at religions claiming to have a new message for an ailing human race. Until recently the Baha'i Faith has not been recognized in religious text books or books on world religions. Ten years ago, one would have been hard hard-pressed to even find a single mention of the Baha'i Faith in any of the books in the "religion" section at Barnes and Noble. There is always initially is much resistance a new Religion (the Baha'i Faith), and there are many reasons why. Because society, having done away with religion, lost, has now turned to its own wayward lusts which it has been promoting with great fervor. They instead want to build their own man-made religion (because we all have an inherent need to believe in something
), which today is called "Political Correctness," which, among many things includes promotion of atheism, banning of any mention of God in the classroom, promoting deviant sexual paraphilias (such malignant ideologies having infiltrated our movies, our music, our news, our text books, etc.), rebellion against figures trying to uphold morality and a belief system which includes belief in a God, etc. Even Christian sects, which were originally man-made, are now becoming even more man-made so that they conform with Political Correctness' standards (or lack thereof). God for them is just a "feel good" thing, and changing religion a political statement, but they won't let a God get in their way by prohibiting the things which excite their distorted, destructive lusts.
Man's only shelter today is religion. Without religion (or religious beliefs), the majority of people turn to the things which God banned—for good reason—in the first place. Most everyone is confused because there is no standard anymore to base what is moral as opposed to amoral. Then the people themselves have to decide to what is moral, but their decision is heavily influenced by the evil forces in society anyway, and thus their beliefs of what is/isn't moral has really no meaning. And then other societies for themselves will decide what is moral. And so, now the word "moral" is just a relative term, and might as well not exist. So: Having no direction, men turn into animals, concerned only with their own benefit, disgruntled and psychotic mothers kill their own dear babies (it's in the news practically every day—the other day in fact a mother microwaved her baby to death), everything "abnormal" is now being made "normal," and mankind is marching backwards into the darkness of barbarism. Yet those leading on the march don't see it in this light. And they don't realize that the problems that exist in society—the few problems which they do admit
to—is the cause of irreligion, the monster that they themselves have created. The only Force that can fight this evil are the Legions of God, more specifically, the "legions of the army of Bahá'u'lláh" in the words of Shoghi Effendi. The only safeguard against a world destroying itself is indeed religion, that is, True religion, not man-made religion!
As always, I look forward to your superlative response.