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how bad would it be if you?...

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:46 pm
by Guest
What is the "degree" of the "sin" if say, you have intercourse with a girlfriend that you truly do love. Love as in, it's not just lustful sex. If it's meaningful.

Is it REALLLY bad? Obviously, this law is for our own good, but just how bad is it "rated" as?

How about if you did it with your girlfriend purely through lust/loss of self-control? Is it then "rated" worse?

I bet there's nothing written about this specifically in the Faith, and it's up to the individual to rate it, but if there is, let me know. If there is not literal writngs on it, please don't bother responding, as it will only be an opinion.

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:43 am
by CJ
Recorded by Ann M. Boylan
Walking today in the gardens by the Hudson River in the early morning, I had the privilege of being with Abdu'l-Baha, and I told Him how some people have tried to spread the untruth that the Baha'is teach "free love."
He answered: "The marriage bond is very important." He repeated it again: "Very, very important. Marriage must be strict and pure. You must all be very careful about this."
He continued: "Women and men must not embrace each other when not married, or not about to be married. They must not kiss each other. If women kiss women, that is not bad. If men kiss men, that is not bad. But men and women must not embrace. Such conduct is not taught in the Baha'i Revelation. AND IT MUST NOT BE DONE. IT IS NOT PERMITTED. If they wish to greet each other, or comfort each other, they may take each other by the hand.

Certain prohibitions are absolute and imperative for all: he who commits that which is forbidden is detested by God and excluded from the number of the elect. This applieth to the things forbidden by an absolute prohibition and of which the perpetration is a grave sin; they are so vile that even to mention them is shameful.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 334)
the spiritual and social implications of the violation of the
laws of morality and, concerning the penalty here described,
He indicates that the aim of this law is to make clear to all
that such an action is shameful in the eyes of God and that,
in the event that the offence can be established and the fine
imposed, the principal purpose is the exposure of the
offenders -- that they are shamed and disgraced in the eyes of

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 200)

shameful in the eyes of God, fines imposed, absolute prohibition, grave sin, you must all be very careful about this, it must not be done, it is not permitted (re embracing)

hmmm, seems pretty black and white to me.....

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:45 pm
by Baha'i Warrior
common sense would tell us that if a sin is premeditated, this is worse than if it "just happened"

God is forgiving, but let us not forget that what we do will have consequences in the next life

so maybe God might forgive you, but you're really shooting yourself in the foot spiritually

also common sense tells us that if you kill someone then eat his flesh, this is worse than having intercourse with a prostitute. however, both are forbidden and both will have a negative impact on your spirit. let us learn to take control of our base natures thru prayer and meditation. our spiritual nature wants to marry the girl then have legal sex with her, whereas our animal nature wants to fornicate with her before marriage, and possibly also break away from her and go for another, etc.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:31 pm
by Guest
Warrior Dude, you really creep me out man.... 'kill a man and eat his flesh'...?!?!


Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 1:47 am
by childintime
Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 49:
God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice: nine mithqals of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offence. Such is the penalty which He Who is the Lord of Names hath assigned them in this world; and in the world to come He hath ordained for them a humiliating torment. Should anyone be afflicted by a sin, it behoveth him to repent thereof and return unto his Lord. He, verily, granteth forgiveness unto whomsoever He willeth, and none may question that which it pleaseth Him to ordain. He is, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the Almighty, the All-Praised.

Kitab-i-Aqdas, note 77:
Although the term translated here as adultery efers, in its broadest sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), 'Abdu'l-Bahá has specified that the punishment here prescribed is for sexual intercourse between persons who are unmarried. He indicates that it remains for the Universal House of Justice to determine the penalty for adultery committed by a married individual. (See also Q and A 49.)
In one of His Tablets, 'Abdu'l-Bahá refers to some of the spiritual and social implications of the violation of the laws of morality and, concerning the penalty here described, He indicates that the aim of this law is to make clear to all that such an action is shameful in the eyes of God and that, in the event that the offence can be established and the fine
imposed, the principal purpose is the exposure of the offenders -- that they are shamed and disgraced in the eyes of society. He affirms that such exposure is in itself the greatest punishment. The House of Justice referred to in this verse is presumably the Local House of Justice, currently known as the Local Spiritual Assembly.

Lights of Guidance, p. 344:
Sex relationships of any form, outside marriage, are not permissible therefore, and whoso violates this rule will not only be responsible to God, but will incur the necessary punishment from society."

I am not sure just what you are getting at with this idea of "how bad" is a sin. 'Abdu'l-Baha states that we should be so educated that we would rather cut our own throats than tell a lie. Baha'u'llah makes it quite clear in the Kitab-i-Aqdas that a true believer would never break any of God's commandments, regardless of how serious the offence. I personally hope that in the future, Baha'i law will not deteriorate into the present legal notion of "the severity of the crime".

From what I have read, it is the breaking of the law that is the sin, not the action itself. I regret not offering "literal writings" on this, but intercourse is intercourse, whether with someone you love or with a complete stranger.

Your justification of meaningful sex with someone that is truly loved reminds me of when I came into the Faith at the end of the Counter-Culture movement, with its infamous attitude of "free love". Now as Baha'is, we believed that we all loved each other spiritually, and therefore sex was justified. Only God knows how many broken hearts, unwanted pregnancies, and ill-fated marriages there were in Baha'i communities in those days. Once we admitted our misconception, we still maintained that only intercourse was forbidden; necking, petting, kissing, groping, and oral sex were okay. Unfortunately, having gone that far not even the Fear of God would stop most people, so the unfortunate statistics continued.[/i]

Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:20 pm
by Dawu d
I think we're confusing several different issues here:

(1) "Free love" (i.e. indiscriminate sex)--good or bad?

(2) Unmarried men and women hugging and/or kissing--good or bad?

(3) Unmarried men and women making love (i.e. love + sex)--good or bad?

I'll grant you (1) but suggest that Abdul-Baha was overly priggish about (2) and (3).

As Darth Vader once said to Luke Skywalker, "Search your feelings. You know it to be true."

Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:20 pm
by childintime
Since you offer only two choices to each question, I'll go with "bad" over "good" for each. Since you offer only two choices as to whose opinion matters, I'll take 'Abdu'l-Baha's over yours.

In response to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (not my usual choice when looking for spiritual guidance), I'll choose 'Abdu'l-Baha's description of the criteria for truth, pp. 21-2 of Promulgation of Universal Peace: "The fourth criterion I have named is inspiration through which it is claimed the reality of knowledge is attainable. What is inspiration? It is the influx of the human heart. But what are satanic promptings which afflict mankind? They are the influx of the heart also. How shall we differentiate between them? The question arises: How shall we know whether we are following inspiration from God or satanic promptings of the human soul?"

The reason for marriage is to control the sex impulse. The purpose of marriage is to bring forth children who will remember God. Therefore, sex is only permissible inside marriage. Anything else is an abuse of its purpose. Kissing and hugging are included in this, because they invariably lead to sex. As for your judgment of priggishness (?!?): "This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?"

Posted: Sat May 13, 2006 2:20 am
by Dawu d
What third alternative would you like? I don't see any way out of it--either it is always wrong for unmarried (and unrelated) men and women to hug and kiss, let alone have sex; or Abdul-Baha was at least partly wrong. You can't have both your kisses and your Abdul-Baha!

Posted: Sat May 13, 2006 11:53 am
by childintime
How about the fact that few things in the Baha'i teachings are ever black and white? If you attend Baha'i gatherings in the West, you will often see men and women hug each other, as a gesture of greeting, spontaneous emotion, or farewell. This is not good or bad, it is simply a cultural habit that we have not brought into conformity with 'Abdu'l-Baha's advice. There is also the reality that little is written specifically concerning hugging and kissing. What is forbidden in the Kitab-i-Aqdas is intercourse between unmarried couples. Hugging and kissing are discouraged by the Guardian because they "often lead(s) them to go too far, or arouse(s) appetites which they cannot perhaps at the time satisfy legitimately through marriage, and the suppression of which is a strain on them." Also, consider what the House of Justice said regarding masturbation, that while it is not expressly forbidden in the Writings, the usual fantasizing that accompanies it is definitely against the spirit of the teachings. Clearly it can be see that context and comprehension have a lot to do with the idea of "sin" in the Baha'i Faith. Many, many Baha'is would feel quite uneasy with the simple choice of "good" or "bad".

We can have fun

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:08 pm
by majnun
Yes sometimes we do hug and kiss on the cheeks, but
it is not an obligation neither an interdiction. I do it mostly
with women i had a spriritual talk with, not with guys. With them,
a handshake is enough to express the joy of seing them again or
in saying goodbye. These customs vary from time to time, from
different cultural background. For a bahai, it should not be connected
with any affective (or emotive or sensual) personal needs.

Customs vary around the planet, and it should not be a big deal.
Recently, i learned from tv that philipinos can't eat with a fork alone.
That is a custom, not a religious beleif, and it should not become
a big fuss, like we dont make it a diplomatic brawl because some
people prefer wood stics instead of fork and knife (or spoon).

Masturbation is permitted by aqdas paragraph no 74, and i wrote about
that last year, and the tread was closed off. Still, we are lucky to have
no preasts, and we can see the scriptures with and by our OWN (inner) eyes.

As a bahai, i feel free to listen to nice songs by Roy Orbison every time
I wish, even tho some say these songs are suggestive, i dont care.
Life on earth does not have to become a perpetual sacrifice,
especially if we enjoy Bahai scriptures. I drove allllll niiiiight....


Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:17 am
by Keyvan
lets keep in mind that what was presented here from Abdu'l Baha was a PILGRIMS NOTE


1438. Pilgrim's Notes Reporting the Master's Words on Embracing and Kissing

"The pilgrim's note reports the Master as saying: 'Women and men must not embrace each other when not married, or not about to be married. They must not kiss each other... If they wish to greet each other, or comfort each other, they may take each other by the hand.' In a letter to an individual written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi it is said: 'The Master's words to... which you quoted, can certainly be taken as the true spirit of the teachings on the subject of sex. We must strive to achieve this exalted standard.' (October 19, 1974)

(From a letter of the Universal of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, February 10, 1974)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 439)

Re: We can have fun

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:14 pm
by tiptoe
majnun wrote:Masturbation is permitted by aqdas paragraph no 74

Are you sure? This statement merely abrogates the uncleanliness of semen. Much of this Holy Book has allusions and subject matter very foreign to the West dealing with other cultures as well as our own. The Universal House of Justice has discussed this matter extensively. Check it out. On another point, I believe it is very important that we let God in Revelation speak for Himself to the seeking heart unless there is a matter of erdudition and accuracy. That is the way of all true Faiths. And these Words are not just studied and scrutinized but absorbed and loved as the food of life. On another topic, sex is a tough issue, no small thing - being the most powerful force in the biological world besides death. Abstention before marriage is obviously edifying and worth great respect. I cannot see that letting it go to mere individual discretion has led to the good of humanity. Check out Africa, the spread of many diseases and the proliferation of unwanted children world-wide. Of course, there must be a mechanism that can keep mankind safe, and I feel this from the depths of my heart. There are about 6 billion of us currently. We have to be utterly practical about how to improve the lot of mankind, and it starts with us in the habitual way we live. About the quote of 'Abdu'l-Bahá above concerning romantic kissing, obviously this is a sexual act. If not then try it with just anybody. To me it is also about brinksmanship and playing with fire if the reader has certain instilled values. This great power, used throughout the media to sell banal things and traded on the free market in-and-of itself. Tied to sexual liberties think of extremes like contemporary female slave trading. There is no limit once the door is open and no moral stand taken. Should there be stand to whom do we turn for a universal standard? I once saw a wry African painting of a house of prostitution where condomes were being thrown out of windows. Worth at least a thousand speeches. One NGO spokesman stated emphatically on the BBC that the African disaster is due to loss of respect for the marrital vow. Science just cannot solve everything. Marriage in the Bahá'í Faith is called a "Fortress of Well-Being". Finally, about "sin". If you really are tempted to commit the "Most Great Sin" then slander another behind their Back - also derived from 'Abdu'-Bahá's Teachings. But that's too easy, too common. We focus on the messy complicated stuff agonizing over our little personal peccadilloes. We, myself included, need to grow up and out, looking at the big picture. This is general and not meant to belittle anyone.

Re: We can have fun

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:44 pm
by Hasan
majnun wrote:Masturbation is permitted by aqdas paragraph no 74

I think masturbation is no-advisable, it creates vain imaginations (this is forbidden), and body impurities, in the Faith, it advices that the energies should go to bahá'í activities, sports and other health activities.