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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2015 - 2:13PM #21
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

May 2, 2015 -- 12:41PM, Aka_me wrote:


May 1, 2015 -- 7:29PM, in_my_opinion wrote:

as you know, we are required to obey scrupulously by our Scriptures, except for a few rare matters of principle.



if I heard what these rare instances are... it was so long ago that I forgot. what are the rare matters of principle in which we don't have to obey the government?




We are forbidden to lie and deny our sincere membership and belief in our Faith. We may be silent about it or leave it blank on a form but other than that, giving up our lives rather than doing so.


We are forbidden to join any political party. When the Shah of Iran decided on his one party rule with all sorts of incentives and disincetives attached, Baha'is were the only group who didn't join, while even the Shi'ite clergy who were his enemies often eagerly got memberships.


"In matters, however, that vitally affect the integrity and honor of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, and are tantamount to a recantation of their faith and repudiation of their innermost belief, they are convinced, and are unhesitatingly prepared to vindicate by their life-blood the sincerity of their conviction, that no power on earth, neither the arts of the most insidious adversary nor the bloody weapons of the most tyrannical oppressor, can ever succeed in extorting from them a word or deed that might tend to stifle the voice of their conscience or tarnish the purity of their faith. Clinging with immovable resolution to the inviolable verities of their cherished Faith, our sorely-tried brethren in Caucasus and Turkistan have none the less, as befits law-abiding Bahá'í citizens resolved, after having exhausted every legitimate means for the alleviation of the restrictions imposed upon them, to definitely uphold and conscientiously carry out the considered judgment of their recognized government. They have with a hope that no earthly power can dim, and a resignation that is truly sublime, committed the interests of their Cause to the keeping of that vigilant, that all-powerful Divine Deliverer, who, they feel confident, will in time lift the veil that now obscures the vision of their rulers, and reveal the nobility of aim, the innocence of purpose, the rectitude of conduct, and the humanitarian ideals that characterize the as yet small yet potentially powerful Bahá'í communities in every land and under any government."


 (Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, p. 162)


"To all administrative regulations which the civil authorities have issued from time to time, or will issue in the future in that land, as in all other countries, the Bahá'í community, faithful to its sacred obligations towards its government, and conscious of its civic duties, has yielded, and will continue to yield implicit obedience. Its immediate closing of its schools in Persia is a proof of this. To such orders, however, as are tantamount to a recantation of their faith by its members, or constitute an act of disloyalty to its spiritual, its basic and God-given principles and precepts, it will stubbornly refuse to bow, preferring imprisonment, deportation and all manner of persecution, including death -- as already suffered by the twenty thousand martyrs that have laid down their lives in the path of its Founders -- rather than follow the dictates of a temporal authority requiring it to renounce its allegiance to its cause."


 (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 372)


"Though his friends appealed to him to escape the turmoil that was fast approaching, he refused to heed their counsel and faced, until his last hour, with complete resignation, the persecution to which he was subjected. A considerable number among the more affluent merchants of his acquaintance offered to pay his ransom, an offer which he rejected. Finally he was brought before the Amir-Nizam. "The Chief Magistrate of this realm," the Grand Vazir informed him, "is loth to inflict the slightest injury upon the Prophet's descendants. Eminent merchants of Shiraz and Tihran are willing, nay eager, to pay your ransom. The Maliku't-Tujjar has even interceded in your behalf. A word of recantation from you is sufficient to set you free and ensure your return, with honours, to your native city. I pledge my word that, should you be willing to acquiesce, the remaining days of your life will be spent with honour and dignity under the sheltering shadow of your sovereign." "Your Excellency," boldly replied Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali, "if others before me, who quaffed joyously the cup of martyrdom, have chosen to reject an appeal such as the one you now make to me, know of a certainty that I am no less eager to decline such a request. My repudiation of the truths enshrined in this Revelation would be tantamount to a rejection of all the Revelations that have preceded it. To refuse to acknowledge the Mission of the Siyyid-i-Báb would be to apostatise from the Faith of my forefathers and to deny the Divine character of the Message which Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, and all the Prophets of the past have revealed. God knows that whatever I have heard and read concerning the sayings and doings of those Messengers, I have been privileged to witness the same from this Youth, this beloved Kinsman of mine, from His earliest boyhood to this, the thirtieth year of His life. Everything in Him reminds me of His illustrious Ancestor and of the imams of His Faith whose lives our recorded traditions have portrayed. I only request of you that you allow me to be the first to lay down my life in the path of my beloved Kinsman."


The Amir was stupefied by such an answer. In a frenzy of despair, and without uttering a word, he motioned that he be taken out and beheaded. As the victim was being conducted to his death, he was heard, several times, to repeat these words of Hafiz: "Great is my gratitude to Thee, O my God, for having granted so bountifully all I have asked of Thee." "Hear me, O people," he cried to the multitude that pressed around him; "I have offered myself up as a willing sacrifice in the path of the Cause of God. The entire province of Fars, as well as Iraq, beyond the confines of Persia, will readily testify to my uprightness of conduct, to my sincere piety and noble lineage. For over a thousand years, you have prayed and prayed again that the promised Qá'im be made manifest. At the mention of His name, how often have you cried, from the depths of your hearts: 'Hasten, O God, His coming; remove every barrier that stands in the way of His appearance!' And now that He is come, you have driven Him to a hopeless exile in a remote and sequestered corner of Adhirbayjan and have risen to exterminate His companions. Were I to invoke the malediction of God upon you, I am certain that His avenging wrath would grievously afflict you. Such is not, however, my prayer. With my last breath, I pray that the Almighty may wipe away the stain of your guilt and enable you to awaken from the sleep of heedlessness."[1]


[1 "He took off his turban, and, raising his face towards heaven, exclaimed, 'O God, Thou art witness of how they are slaying the son of Thy most honourable Prophet without fault on his part.' Then he turned to the executioner and recited this verse: 'How long shall grief of separation from Him slay me? Cut off my head that Love may bestow on me a head.'" (Mathnavi, Book 6, p. 649, 1, 2; ed. Ala'u'd-Dawlih.) ("A Traveller's Narrative," Note B, p. 174.)]"


 (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 446)


"... in the light of the Master's statement that the deliberations of Assemblies must be secret and confidential, it is not possible to have a non-Assembly member in the National Spiritual Assembly meeting. You must always remember that in matters of principle, there can be not deviation; ... Highly personal subjects, damaging to the honor and happiness of others, are often taken up by National Assemblies, an the danger that confidence will be betrayed is already great enough with the 9 chosen representatives of the whole community, let alone introducing non-Assembly members. You will just have to make your minutes a  46  little more compact and sacrifice, if necessary, a certain amount of efficiency in order to follow this very important principle."


(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, July 5, 1950: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 19)


 (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 45)


"the Assembly may make a mistake, but, as the Master pointed out, if the Community does not abide by its decisions, or the individual Bahá'í, the result is worse, as it undermines the very institution which must be strengthened in order to uphold the principles and laws of the Faith. He tells us God will right the wrongs done. We must have confidence in this and obey our Assemblies. He therefore strongly urges you to work directly under your Bahá'í Assembly, to accept our responsibilities as a voting member, and do your utmost to create harmony within the community."


(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer in 1949: Ibid, p. 27)


284. Obedience, Patience and Restraint


"The friends should therefore not feel discouraged at the differences of opinion that may prevail among the members of an Assembly for these, as experiences has shown, and as the Master's words attest, fulfil a valuable function in all Assembly deliberations. But once the opinion the majority has been ascertained, all the members should automatically and unreservedly obey it, and faithfully carry it out. Patience and restraint, however, should at all times characterize the discussions and deliberations of the elected representatives of the local community, and no fruitless and hair-splitting discussions indulged in, under any circumstances."


(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 18, 1939: Ibid, pp. 18-19)


285. Criticism to Assemblies


"The Bahá'ís are fully entitled to address criticisms to their Assemblies; they can freely air their views about policies or individual members of elected bodies to the Assembly, Local or National, but then they must whole-heartedly accept the advice or decision of the Assembly, according to the principles already laid down for such matters in Bahá'í administration."


(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand, p. 55)


286. No Protection for Faith Unless Friends Submit to Administrative Bodies


"... There can be no protection for the Faith unless the friends are willing to submit to their administrative bodies, especially when these are acting in good faith; the individual believers are not in a position to judge their national Body. If any wrong has been done we must leave it in the hands of god, knowing, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá said, that he will right it, and in the meantime not disrupt the Cause of God by constantly harping on these matters."


(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 3, 1957: The National Spiritual Assembly, p.37)


287. If Bahá'ís Undermine Leaders


"The Guardian believes that a great deal of the difficulties from which the believers... feel themselves to be suffering are caused by their neither correctly understanding or putting into practice and administration. They seem -- many of them -- to be prone to continually challenging and criticizing the decisions of their Assemblies. If the Bahá'ís undermine the very leaders which are, however immaturely, seeking to coordinate Bahá'í activities and administer Bahá'í affairs, if they continually criticize their acts and challenge or belittle their decisions, they not only prevent any real rapid progress in the Faith's development from taking place, but they repel outsiders who quite rightly may ask however expect to unite the whole world when we are so disunited among ourselves!"


(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 26, 1943: The National Spiritual Assembly, pp. 34-35)


 (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 81)


"There is one fundamental point which Shoghi Effendi wishes me to emphasize. By the principle of non-interference in political matters we must not mean that only corrupt politics and partial and sectarian politics are to be avoided. But that pronouncement on any current system of politics connected with any government must be shunned. We should not only take side with no political party, group or system actually in use, but we should also refuse to commit ourselves to any statement which may be interpreted as being sympathetic or antagonistic to any existing political organization or philosophy. The attitude of the Bahá'ís must be one of complete aloofness. They are neither for nor against any system of politics. Not that they are the ill-wishers of their respective governments but that due to certain basic considerations arising out of their teachings and of the administrative machinery of their Faith they prefer not to get entangled in political affairs and to be misinterpreted and misunderstood by their countrymen.


"In the light of this principle it becomes clear that to contribute articles on current political affairs to any newspaper must inevitably lead the writer to express, directly or in an indirect manner, his view and his criticisms on the subject. He is, in addition, always liable to be misinterpreted and misunderstood by the politicians. The best thing to do, therefore, is simply not to write on current policies at all."


(From a letter written on behalf of the Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 2, 1934)


 (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 451)


There are some few others besides these three; that is no dissimulation of faith, no membership in political parties, and maintenance of privacy of personal matters in a Spiritual Assembly. There are also exceptions, such as the NSA (of that LSA) and the UHJ being completely privy to the last one should they wish.

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2015 - 2:24PM #22
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

May 2, 2015 -- 1:44PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


Apr 28, 2015 -- 2:35AM, Aka_me wrote:


Apr 27, 2015 -- 9:18PM, in_my_opinion wrote:


Apr 27, 2015 -- 2:22AM, Aka_me wrote:


my bad... as it's your thread you decide what it was intended to discuss.


 


Thought that you wanted to talk about God, and just facilitated by starting the thread for you.



the interest was in the message of teaching campaigns.




"...Our teaching methods should allow a certain degree of elasticity in establishing contacts with various types of individual seekers. Every inquirer has to be approached from his own angle. Those who are essentially of the mystic type should first be given those teachings of the Cause which emphasize the nature and value of spiritual realities; while those who are practically minded and of a positive type are naturally more ready and inclined to accept the social aspect of the Teachings. But of course, gradually the entire Message, in all its aspects and with the full implications it entails, should be explained to the newcomer. For to be a believer means to accept the Cause in its wholeness, and not to adhere to some of its teachings. However, as already stated, this ought to be done gradually and tactfully. For conversion is after all a slow process."


(From a letter dated 28 December 1936 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)


Our approach should be tailored to each individual. What matters is the seeker's receptivity and that ultimately the entire truth that is the Bahá'í Faith is embraced. Otherwise there will be various kinds of shocks upon becoming a Bahá'í which may result in disenrollment. I like the way Shoghi Effendi emphasizes "conversion is after all a slow process". The real problem is the impatient and short-sighted pursuit of instant and outward declarations, whether they be "social activists" or "mystics".


Based on this and other pieces of guidance I daresay that those that have become 'Bahá'ís' without a deep appreciation of its spiritual and theological truths have really not become Bahá'ís at all. They will eventually leave the faith. But the same applies to those who are only drawn to the mystical teachings and do not really see the spiritual and the practical as inexctricable flip sides of the same coin.


We are neither 'personal salvationists' preaching about a 'God' utterly disconnected from our social predicaments, nor are we conventional 'social activists'. Their approach to improve the human condition is not only disorganized, fragmented, myopic and narrow-minded. But it is also superficial and severely handicapped by a materialist assumption of human reality.


Kind regards,


Sam







+1

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2015 - 2:59PM #23
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

"The insistence of its members, while obedient in all matters of a purely administrative character to the civil statutes of their country, on adhering to the fundamental spiritual principles, precepts and laws revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, requiring them, among other things, to hold fast to truthfulness, not to dissimulate their faith, observe the ordinances prescribed for marriage and divorce, and suspend all manner of work on the Holy Days ordained by Him, brought them, sooner or later, into conflict with a regime which, owing to its formal recognition of Islam as the state religion of Persia, refused to extend any recognition to those whom the official exponents of that religion had already condemned as heretics.


The closing of all schools belonging to the Bahá'í community in that country, as a direct consequence of the refusal of the representatives of that community to permit official Bahá'í institutions, owned and entirely controlled by them, to transgress the clearly revealed law requiring the suspension of work on Bahá'í Holy Days; the rejection of all Bahá'í marriage certificates and the refusal to register them at government License Bureaus; the ban placed on the printing and circulation of all Bahá'í literature, as well as on its entry into the country; the seizure in various centers of Bahá'í documents, books and relics; the closing, in some of the provinces of the Haziratu'l-Quds, and the confiscation in some localities of their furniture; the prohibition of all Bahá'í demonstrations, conferences and conventions; the strict censorship imposed on, and often the non-delivery of, communications between Bahá'í centers in Persia and between these centers and Bahá'í communities in foreign lands; the withholding of good-record certificates from loyal and law-abiding citizens on the ground of their avowed adherence to the Bahá'í Faith; the dismissal of Government employees, the demotion or discharge of army officers, the arrest, the interrogation, the imprisonment of, and the imposition of fines and other punishments upon, a number of believers who refused either to cast aside the moral obligation of adhering to the spiritual principles of their Faith, or to act in any manner that would conflict with its universal and non-political character -- all these may be regarded as the initial attempts made in the country whose soil had already been imbued with the blood of countless Bahá'í martyrs, to resist the rise, and frustrate the struggle for the emancipation, of a nascent Administrative Order, whose very roots have sucked their strength from such heroic sacrifice."


 (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 362)

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2015 - 3:43PM #24
in_my_opinion
Posts: 4,107

"That the Spiritual Assemblies of today will be replaced in time by the Houses of Justice, and are to all intents and purposes identical and not separate bodies, is abundantly confirmed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá Himself. He has in fact in a Tablet addressed to the members of the first Chicago Spiritual Assembly, the first elected Bahá'í body instituted in the United States, referred to them as the members of the "House of Justice" for that city, and has thus with His own pen established beyond any doubt the identity of the present Bahá'í Spiritual Assemblies with the Houses of Justice referred to by Bahá'u'lláh. For reasons which are not difficult to discover, it has been found advisable to bestow upon the elected representatives of Bahá'í communities throughout the world the temporary appellation of Spiritual Assemblies, a term which, as the position and aims of the Bahá'í Faith are better understood and more fully recognized, will gradually be superseded by the permanent and more appropriate designation of House of Justice. Not only will the present-day Spiritual Assemblies be styled differently in future, but they will be enabled  7  also to add to their present functions those powers, duties, and prerogatives necessitated by the recognition of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, not merely as one of the recognized religious systems of the world, but as the State Religion of an independent and Sovereign Power. And as the Bahá'í Faith permeates the masses of the peoples of East and West, and its truth is embraced by the majority of the peoples of a number of the Sovereign States of the world, will the Universal House of Justice attain the plenitude of its power, and exercise, as the supreme organ of the Bahá'í Commonwealth, all the rights, the duties, and responsibilities incumbent upon the world's future super-state."


 (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 5)

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3 years ago  ::  May 02, 2015 - 4:46PM #25
Aka_me
Posts: 14,464

May 2, 2015 -- 1:44PM, Lilwabbit wrote:


"...Our teaching methods should allow a certain degree of elasticity in establishing contacts with various types of individual seekers. Every inquirer has to be approached from his own angle. Those who are essentially of the mystic type should first be given those teachings of the Cause which emphasize the nature and value of spiritual realities; while those who are practically minded and of a positive type are naturally more ready and inclined to accept the social aspect of the Teachings. But of course, gradually the entire Message, in all its aspects and with the full implications it entails, should be explained to the newcomer. For to be a believer means to accept the Cause in its wholeness, and not to adhere to some of its teachings. However, as already stated, this ought to be done gradually and tactfully. For conversion is after all a slow process."


(From a letter dated 28 December 1936 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)


Our approach should be tailored to each individual. What matters is the seeker's receptivity and that ultimately the entire truth that is the Bahá'í Faith is embraced. Otherwise there will be various kinds of shocks upon becoming a Bahá'í which may result in disenrollment. I like the way Shoghi Effendi emphasizes "conversion is after all a slow process". The real problem is the impatient and short-sighted pursuit of instant and outward declarations, whether they be "social activists" or "mystics".


Based on this and other pieces of guidance I daresay that those that have become 'Bahá'ís' without a deep appreciation of its spiritual and theological truths have really not become Bahá'ís at all. They will eventually leave the faith. But the same applies to those who are only drawn to the mystical teachings and do not really see the spiritual and the practical as inexctricable flip sides of the same coin.


We are neither 'personal salvationists' preaching about a 'God' utterly disconnected from our social predicaments, nor are we conventional 'social activists'. Their approach to improve the human condition is not only disorganized, fragmented, myopic and narrow-minded. But it is also superficial and severely handicapped by a materialist assumption of human reality.


Kind regards,


Sam



this has been of tremendous value, thank you.

I dream in my lifetime uhmericans will come to realize hezbollah, hamas, and isis gain followers by helping society AND the only way to defeat them is to perform greater good.

the average person is 8 times more likely to be murdered by a cop than a radical terrorist
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3 years ago  ::  May 04, 2015 - 8:42PM #26
Aka_me
Posts: 14,464

May 2, 2015 -- 2:13PM, in_my_opinion wrote:

There are also exceptions, such as the NSA (of that LSA) and the UHJ being completely privy to the last one should they wish.



very thorough, thank you for taking the time to post.

I dream in my lifetime uhmericans will come to realize hezbollah, hamas, and isis gain followers by helping society AND the only way to defeat them is to perform greater good.

the average person is 8 times more likely to be murdered by a cop than a radical terrorist
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