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Switch to Forum Live View Baha'i disowning people who convert?
2 years ago  ::  May 30, 2015 - 6:50AM #21
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

May 30, 2015 -- 1:17AM, in_my_opinion wrote:


May 29, 2015 -- 2:04PM, Jupiter6208 wrote:


Wow a lot of rules and regulations..




Not really; it is clarity.


World Citizen is right that it is a big dose of information; but that is the heart of it in just one post.


There is no fine print and we want people to know what it is about. It may be more facts than a person may be accustomed to getting at one go, but it is an honest attempt to be true and open.


Remember that this is one independent world religion.


One can't simply just call oneself a Baha'i and be one, by oneself.


There's no ritual but there is a simple three step process.


1) One  believes; declaring one's belief.


2) A local institution checks one's sincerity.


3) One is put on the rolls as a Baha'i by a higher institution.


That first step is essential but it makes no sense to join up without serious consideration. Although it may take a while to get a good grounding, the important thing is believing and that belief should not sit on a false fancy instead of at least a fair amount of reality.


Mere knowledge is not sufficient either, as there are people who are extremely erudite but get disenrolled as they don't really have the belief, even though they may think that they do.





Hello in_my_opinion




I can agree wholeheartedly with #1   





"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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2 years ago  ::  May 30, 2015 - 10:36AM #22
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

May 30, 2015 -- 6:50AM, Jupiter6208 wrote:


May 30, 2015 -- 1:17AM, in_my_opinion wrote:


Remember that this is one independent world religion.


One can't simply just call oneself a Baha'i and be one, by oneself.


There's no ritual but there is a simple three step process.


1) One  believes; declaring one's belief.


2) A local institution checks one's sincerity.


3) One is put on the rolls as a Baha'i by a higher institution.


That first step is essential but it makes no sense to join up without serious consideration. Although it may take a while to get a good grounding, the important thing is believing and that belief should not sit on a false fancy instead of at least a fair amount of reality.


Mere knowledge is not sufficient either, as there are people who are extremely erudite but get disenrolled as they don't really have the belief, even though they may think that they do.




Hello in_my_opinion




I can agree wholeheartedly with #1   









Well, the first step is familiar and quite customary, almost all denominations of all religions on this planet do it.


The second step, however, is counterintuitive because over the centuries of history it eventually came to one showing up and usually being automatically counted as whatever it was that everybody there believed.


Short of the local clergy thinking that one's ideas were somehow heretical or that one was some sort of infiltrator from an inimical other (usually another close nearby sect) that was it and that was all.


The vast majority of people were not expected to do anything but follow along, because frankly almost all were illiterates, busy trying to scrape by, some few steps ahead of hunger.


In the early days of any Faith, when it was evangelizing and expanding (not merely exchanging the allegiances of already believing members of other congregations, sects or branches of the same religion, or having some sort of revival activity) no one was expected to understand anything. Belief was enough.



But, in these days and this Faith, blind faith is not enough.


One is expected to look where one is going and not blunder in because one is marrying a spouse of that religion, nor because it is fashionable and everybody is doing it, nor because it seems politically/ideologically acceptable/attractive, nor because it is the nearest convenient (and class or caste compatible) local temple, shul, church, masjid, etc.



As a Baha'i the goal is not only individual spiritual health and growth alone.


It also involves participation at the level of family, community, neighborhood service, government loyalty, all the way to a world order based on persuasion, agreement and a united planetary federal government which will finally usher in the era of justice and peace for which humankind has hoped and fervently prayed, usually seeking it most strongly after horrible wars.


The running of this Faith is not relegated to a professional hierarchy, educated rank, extensive constituencies, nor a league.


If, this were a ball game (to put it in the most robust American vernacular) there aren't any spectators, the bleachers are the bench and they vote to put the players on the field. Those players huddle; then they announce each play and referee the game. Everybody uses the same playbooks. So, the bleachers are also the players while the group of players on the field are altogether the elected captain. (Confused? Good, it helps to be humble in this game!)


It is elected with earnest purity of intent, without any political machinations, in the privacy of each soul, by secret ballot, in a reverent atmosphere of prayers.


Well over 99% are completely voluntary, only a miniscule number get paid for what is, for them full-time work, and for which they were almost always further elected as officers.


So, step two is necessary to at least protect people from hurling themselves in, expecting it to be the same as any ordinary everyday group.


The third step is pretty much record keeping, mostly allowing only registered Baha'i membership to contribute to the funds and participate in administration; with a teensy fewer than 1%, who are in the process of reforming themselves so as to get back into good standing, or leave because they don't believe, etc.


Technically we are a single, broadly pervasive, heavily multiethnic and multinational, worldwide, congregation.

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