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3 years ago  ::  Dec 24, 2011 - 10:59AM #1
world citizen
Posts: 5,541
The opening posts in this thread have been transferred from the general discussion/debate board because they're of an internalizing nature between (and inviting to other) Baha'is.

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Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 24, 2011 - 11:03AM #2
world citizen
Posts: 5,541

Posted by Aka_me Dec 24, 2011, 12:40 AM



Dec 22, 2011 -- 11:36AM, world citizen wrote:



Rather, they should concentrate every ounce of energy on the winning of the goals ... confident in the knowledge that whatever may happen in the world, however calamitous it may outwardly appear, will promote God's unalterable purpose for the unification of mankind.   (~ Universal House of Justice, 2 June 1976 letter to an individual, Compilation: “Lights of Guidance,” p. 128)



I'll have to google the 5 year plan to remember what the goals are.


my wife was recently complaining about feeling pressured to teach, since she's one of a hand full of spanish speaking people in the community where there is desire to teach the latino residents. and asked me "why is it so difficult for Baha'is to realize the difference between open minded seekers, and people unreachably stuck in their own ideology". I'm still working on answering that for her.


on the one hand, the western desire for instant results is impossible to eliminate across the entire Baha'i community. on the other hand the childrens classes won't reap fruits for 10 to 20 years.


after googling the 5 year plan... key phrases jump out including "program of growth" and "increasing intensity"


which subliminally or otherwise can cause pressure inside people to deliver the expected results.


the message is always phrased in such a way that makes it sound like "victory is within reach" so the implied "lack of victory" is directly due to the believers.


and I might take it a bit too personal... but this society AND this world, are not ready to embrace the message.


we simply need to hold the fort down, until the calamity. then will soils be tilled enough to bear fruit.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 24, 2011 - 11:08AM #3
world citizen
Posts: 5,541

Posted by LilWabbit Dec 24, 2011, 12:54 AM



Salutations upon my friend Aka,


Dec 24, 2011 -- 12:40AM, Aka_me wrote:

Dec 22, 2011 -- 11:36AM, world citizenwrote:

Rather, they should concentrate every ounce of energy on the winning of the goals ... confident in the knowledge that whatever may happen in the world, however calamitous it may outwardly appear, will promote God's unalterable purpose for the unification of mankind.   (~ Universal House of Justice, 2 June 1976 letter to an individual, Compilation: “Lights of Guidance,” p. 128)



"I'll have to google the 5 year plan to remember what the goals are.

my wife was recently complaining about feeling pressured to teach, since she's one of a hand full of spanish speaking people in the community where there is desire to teach the latino residents. and asked me "why is it so difficult for Baha'is to realize the difference between open minded seekers, and people unreachably stuck in their own ideology". I'm still working on answering that for her."


The Plan is quite explicit on teaching receptive populations rather than trying to shove the Faith down the throat of those who are unintrested. However, sometimes people are interested but do not dare to ask direct questions. Often an open and sincere dialogue with such individuals reveals whether they're interested in hearing more or not.



"on the one hand, the western desire for instant results is impossible to eliminate across the entire Baha'i community."




This is true. But the desire for instant gratification is gradually tempered by the simple lack of results from preachy and imposing teaching methods.



"the message is always phrased in such a way that makes it sound like "victory is within reach" so the implied "lack of victory" is directly due to the believers."




Actually I do not see the message in that light at all. But you would be right to say that some of the dear friends (perhaps the impatient types who seek instant results) would read the message in such light and disseminate it in such light to others. We must understand that they are also very sincere in their impatience and are simply tired of seeing the world the way it is. And you would be right to say that the messages do highlight a certain sense of urgency to act, which should not be mistaken for pressure for instant numerical results.



"and I might take it a bit too personal... but this society AND this world, are not ready to embrace the message."




Some are, some aren't. Hence the distinction between receptive and unreceptive populations and individuals in the Plan.



"we simply need to hold the fort down, until the calamity. then will soils be tilled enough to bear fruit."




No, we cannot be Bahá'ís loyal to the teachings and the House, while choosing not to teach. We need to act now in reaching out to the receptive populations rather than focus on our selves and our families, while depriving thirsty souls of the living waters of the Cause of God. Even in cynical and irreligious Finland we are having new enrolments all the time. As a small example of spiritual transformation, two atheist friends of our family declared some four years ago and now they're such firebrand Bahá'ís, and so bent on being virtuous and moral beings, as to make me feel positively ashamed of myself.

With kind regards, LilWabbit


Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 26, 2011 - 8:19AM #4
Kalzera
Posts: 260

The wonderful thing about college is that I can "Teach" in so many ways that all you adults in the real world can't. In fact, it seems so much harder to teach in the real world because you're so limited in what you can do.


I've had numerous conversations already, and a lot of my religous friends continue to ask questions as new situations arise as they're curious what we Bahá'ís think. Moreover, I'm hoping to bring the secretary of my LSA to school this fall to talk about the Situation in Iran, since she left around 1977/1978. And I'm always sure to tie it into my essays in the hopes it'll stimulate even the slightest bit of interest among my professors. Sometimes I almost feel that I'm being annoying about it.


I think a few months ago my LSA had cards they were hanging on doorknobs announcing the Faith. I also heard an LSA in Atlanta went door-to-door just introducing themselves to the community. When I joined the Faith I thought these activities were restricted to Christianity, so I"m honestly not so sure how I feel about them. In my mind all this door-to-door stuff is just watered-down proselytization. I'd like it more if LSAs just announced public events and firesides in the paper, online, and in public forums, and participated in community events, rather than do all this door-to-door stuff.

However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 26, 2011 - 10:58AM #5
world citizen
Posts: 5,541

Kalzera,


You don't mention whether your school has a Baha'i Club?  Many youth have begun such clubs at their colleges.  If you don't belong to one and might be interested in starting one, send me a message and I'll put you in touch with other college students who have had success with this on campus and might give you some pointers.


P.S.  Received an A on an essay about the Faith years ago but, like you, never received any questions or interest from the professor.  I think they concentrate more on spacing, punctuation, spelling, footnotes, etc., than the actual content.  Undecided

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 26, 2011 - 1:53PM #6
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

Howdy Kalzera,


We had a Bahá'í-inspired university association by the name of Global Discourse when I was studying. I was one of the founding members. It was open not only for students but also for faculty members. Every month we would have a seminar with an introduction by an expert (sometimes we managed to get really high-profile speakers) on the theme, followed by discussion and constructive debate. There was always a moderator. The only "restriction" to the themes was that they had to have something to do with the improvement of the human condition, whether individually or collectively. As such, all the themes provided plenty of room for naturally introducing Bahá'í solutions to real current issues. The introductory statement of Global Discourse mentioned that it was Bahá'í-inspired and geared towards delving into the deeper moral and ideological assumptions underlying the crises and development challenges under discussion. After each seminar we would invite all participants to continue more "informally" socializing and discussing at a nearby café or a restaurant. In true Bahá'í spirit, there were no "hidden agendas". Only sincere interest in the issues under discussion by the Bahá'ís. If someone was interested to ask more questions about the Faith, it was entirely up to them.


Boy, can't believe it's already seven years since my last Global Discourse seminar. Miss it.


Best regards and good luck with all your sincere efforts! Wisdom and courage go hand in hand. Indeed, Shoghi Effendi as well as the House of Justice have written that door-to-door methods are not suitable nor dignified for proper teaching, but perhaps they could, occasionally, be used for handing out invitations to some neighbourhood events, rather than trying to shove the Faith into the face of a poor stranger in 5 minutes.


LilWabbit

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2011 - 1:13AM #7
Kalzera
Posts: 260

Dec 26, 2011 -- 10:58AM, world citizen wrote:

Kalzera,


You don't mention whether your school has a Baha'i Club?  Many youth have begun such clubs at their colleges.  If you don't belong to one and might be interested in starting one, send me a message and I'll put you in touch with other college students who have had success with this on campus and might give you some pointers.


P.S.  Received an A on an essay about the Faith years ago but, like you, never received any questions or interest from the professor.  I think they concentrate more on spacing, punctuation, spelling, footnotes, etc., than the actual content. 


With regards to a campus club, I attempted to found one, but realized it'd be too much on me being the only Bahá'í on campus. Instead I'm focusing my attention and personal resources on being president of our school's Interfaith council. It's almost the same thing.

However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2011 - 1:18AM #8
Kalzera
Posts: 260

Dec 26, 2011 -- 1:53PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Best regards and good luck with all your sincere efforts! Wisdom and courage go hand in hand. Indeed, Shoghi Effendi as well as the House of Justice have written that door-to-door methods are not suitable nor dignified for proper teaching, but perhaps they could, occasionally, be used for handing out invitations to some neighbourhood events, rather than trying to shove the Faith into the face of a poor stranger in 5 minutes.


LilWabbit





I wasn't aware of this, very good to know. Do you have the dates of the letters or titles of the works the responses are in?

However men try to reach me, I return their love with my love; whatever path they may travel, it leads to me in the end - Bhagavad Gita 4:11

"Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" - The Four Valleys; Hadith
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2011 - 2:02AM #9
Lilwabbit
Posts: 2,901

Dec 28, 2011 -- 1:18AM, Kalzera wrote:


Dec 26, 2011 -- 1:53PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Best regards and good luck with all your sincere efforts! Wisdom and courage go hand in hand. Indeed, Shoghi Effendi as well as the House of Justice have written that door-to-door methods are not suitable nor dignified for proper teaching, but perhaps they could, occasionally, be used for handing out invitations to some neighbourhood events, rather than trying to shove the Faith into the face of a poor stranger in 5 minutes.


LilWabbit





I wasn't aware of this, very good to know. Do you have the dates of the letters or titles of the works the responses are in?



Here're a few statements on the subject:


"He [Shoghi Effendi] feels that to distribute Bahá'í pamphlets from door-to-door ... is undignified and might create a bad impression of the Faith. No doubt, it is the eagerness and devotion of the friends that led them to make this proposal, but he does not think that the best interests of the Cause are served by such a method..." (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 592)


"Care, however, should, at all times, be exercised, lest in their eagerness to further the international interests of the Faith they frustrate their purpose, and turn away, through any act that might be misconstrued as an attempt to proselytize and bring undue pressure upon them, those whom they wish to win over to their Cause." (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 66)


Here's from the recent Ridvan Message 2010 from the Universal House of Justice:


"Those who serve in these settings, both local inhabitants and visiting teachers, would rightly view their work in terms of community building. To assign to their teaching efforts such labels as "door-to-door", even though the first contact may involve calling upon the residents of a home without prior notice, would not do justice to a process that seeks to raise capacity within a population to take charge of its own spiritual, social and intellectual development."


And here is a letter from the House of Justice (written in 2007) on the subject to a questioner.


With kind regards,


LilWabbit



 

"All things have I willed for you, and you too, for your own sake."
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2011 - 6:42PM #10
Aka_me
Posts: 12,297

Dec 26, 2011 -- 8:19AM, Kalzera wrote:

In my mind all this door-to-door stuff is just watered-down proselytization. I'd like it more if LSAs just announced public events and firesides in the paper, online, and in public forums, and participated in community events, rather than do all this door-to-door stuff.



I agree. and I think it will take some time for Baha'i consensus to come to this realization, but it will.


in my area there is a teaching committee working feverishly figuring out which communities to "focus on" in an effort to "make the Faith appear active" and engaged with the community.


but the human resources are far too small to "reach out" and actually find individuals in the valley of search.


by making announcements and letting them come to us... we connect with the receptive souls, we conserve our limited human resources, and give no impression of proselytizing.

The UN says the ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days or else the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan.
this is absolutely fantastic as it unites the world into being OUR problem rather than THEIR problem.
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