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6 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2007 - 9:03PM #1
rachyten
Posts: 1
Hello Everyone,
     I haved been raised in a very rigid protestant family all of my life but lately I have begun seriously questioning my faith.  I have been looking at many different religions and so far Baha'i most closely matches my personal beliefs.   The few members of my family that I have talked to have been closed minded and angry that I would consider converting.  Have any of you dealt with this before and what do you recomend to deal with it better?  Should I just not discuss it even though it is an important decision for me?
Thanks for your help.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 12:50AM #2
maxmar
Posts: 104
[QUOTE=rachyten;177767]Hello Everyone,
     I haved been raised in a very rigid protestant family all of my life but lately I have begun seriously questioning my faith.  I have been looking at many different religions and so far Baha'i most closely matches my personal beliefs.   The few members of my family that I have talked to have been closed minded and angry that I would consider converting.  Have any of you dealt with this before and what do you recomend to deal with it better?  Should I just not discuss it even though it is an important decision for me?
Thanks for your help.[/QUOTE]


"God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. This is his endowment and equipment for the investigation of reality. Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another's ears nor comprehend with another's brain. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God. Therefore depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of all the bounties of God. Turn to God, supplicate humbly at His threshold, seeking assistance and confirmation, that God may rend asunder the veils that obscure your vision. Then will your eyes be filled with illumination, face to face you will behold the reality of God and your heart become completely purified from the dross of ignorance, reflecting the glories and bounties of the Kingdom."    (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 75)

"The Cause of Bahá'u'lláh is the same as the Cause of Christ.  It is the same temple and the same foundation. Both of these are spiritual springtimes and seasons of the soul-refreshing awakening and the cause of the renovation of the life of mankind. The spring of this year is the same as the spring of last year. The origins and the ends are the same. The sun of today is the sun of yesterday. In the coming of Christ, the divine teachings were given in accordance with the infancy of the human race. The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh have the same basic principles, but are according to the stage of the maturity of the world and the requirements of this illumined age."
    (Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 461)

"Tear asunder, in My Name, the veils that have grievously blinded your vision, and, through the power born of your belief in the unity of God, scatter the idols of vain imitation. Enter, then, the holy paradise of the good-pleasure of the All-Merciful. Sanctify your souls from whatsoever is not of God, and taste ye the sweetness of rest within the pale of His vast and mighty Revelation, and beneath the shadow of His supreme and infallible authority. Suffer not yourselves to be wrapt in the dense veils of your selfish desires, inasmuch as I have perfected in every one of you My creation, so that the excellence of My handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? If, in the Day when all the peoples of the earth will be gathered together, any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: "Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self," and if such a man should reply and say: "Inasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I, too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal," such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself."  
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 142)


Since one of the main teachings of Baha'u'llah is UNITY, unity in a family is important.   I would mention that you are "investigating" the Baha'i Faith (as well as others).   Every person has the right to determine his own faith and you have every right to do so.     If in your search by reading the Writings and through prayers,  you come to recognize and believe that Baha'u'llah is the promised one, Christ returned in the glory of the Father, is not this the wish and fulfillment of every true Christian?      This can be very difficult for family members to accept that you might convert to another religion.       If you do become a member of the Baha'i Faith, it might be prudent  not say you have done so for some time.    Just continue to be a loving person, and try to follow the teachings of Baha'u'llah and example of Abdu'l-Baha through living the life, and perhaps in time your family members will accept your decision.     It's been my experience that some family members who were initially opposed to my decision to be a Baha'i changed their views, and a couple did not.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2008 - 12:50AM #3
maxmar
Posts: 104
[QUOTE=rachyten;177767]Hello Everyone,
     I haved been raised in a very rigid protestant family all of my life but lately I have begun seriously questioning my faith.  I have been looking at many different religions and so far Baha'i most closely matches my personal beliefs.   The few members of my family that I have talked to have been closed minded and angry that I would consider converting.  Have any of you dealt with this before and what do you recomend to deal with it better?  Should I just not discuss it even though it is an important decision for me?
Thanks for your help.[/QUOTE]


"God has given man the eye of investigation by which he may see and recognize truth. He has endowed man with ears that he may hear the message of reality and conferred upon him the gift of reason by which he may discover things for himself. This is his endowment and equipment for the investigation of reality. Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another's ears nor comprehend with another's brain. Each human creature has individual endowment, power and responsibility in the creative plan of God. Therefore depend upon your own reason and judgment and adhere to the outcome of your own investigation; otherwise you will be utterly submerged in the sea of ignorance and deprived of all the bounties of God. Turn to God, supplicate humbly at His threshold, seeking assistance and confirmation, that God may rend asunder the veils that obscure your vision. Then will your eyes be filled with illumination, face to face you will behold the reality of God and your heart become completely purified from the dross of ignorance, reflecting the glories and bounties of the Kingdom."    (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 75)

"The Cause of Bahá'u'lláh is the same as the Cause of Christ.  It is the same temple and the same foundation. Both of these are spiritual springtimes and seasons of the soul-refreshing awakening and the cause of the renovation of the life of mankind. The spring of this year is the same as the spring of last year. The origins and the ends are the same. The sun of today is the sun of yesterday. In the coming of Christ, the divine teachings were given in accordance with the infancy of the human race. The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh have the same basic principles, but are according to the stage of the maturity of the world and the requirements of this illumined age."
    (Compilations, Baha'i Scriptures, p. 461)

"Tear asunder, in My Name, the veils that have grievously blinded your vision, and, through the power born of your belief in the unity of God, scatter the idols of vain imitation. Enter, then, the holy paradise of the good-pleasure of the All-Merciful. Sanctify your souls from whatsoever is not of God, and taste ye the sweetness of rest within the pale of His vast and mighty Revelation, and beneath the shadow of His supreme and infallible authority. Suffer not yourselves to be wrapt in the dense veils of your selfish desires, inasmuch as I have perfected in every one of you My creation, so that the excellence of My handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? If, in the Day when all the peoples of the earth will be gathered together, any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: "Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self," and if such a man should reply and say: "Inasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I, too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal," such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself."  
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 142)


Since one of the main teachings of Baha'u'llah is UNITY, unity in a family is important.   I would mention that you are "investigating" the Baha'i Faith (as well as others).   Every person has the right to determine his own faith and you have every right to do so.     If in your search by reading the Writings and through prayers,  you come to recognize and believe that Baha'u'llah is the promised one, Christ returned in the glory of the Father, is not this the wish and fulfillment of every true Christian?      This can be very difficult for family members to accept that you might convert to another religion.       If you do become a member of the Baha'i Faith, it might be prudent  not say you have done so for some time.    Just continue to be a loving person, and try to follow the teachings of Baha'u'llah and example of Abdu'l-Baha through living the life, and perhaps in time your family members will accept your decision.     It's been my experience that some family members who were initially opposed to my decision to be a Baha'i changed their views, and a couple did not.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2008 - 11:35AM #4
aegregory
Posts: 73
[QUOTE=rachyten;177767]Hello Everyone,
     I haved been raised in a very rigid protestant family all of my life but lately I have begun seriously questioning my faith.  I have been looking at many different religions and so far Baha'i most closely matches my personal beliefs.   The few members of my family that I have talked to have been closed minded and angry that I would consider converting.  Have any of you dealt with this before and what do you recomend to deal with it better?  Should I just not discuss it even though it is an important decision for me?
Thanks for your help.[/QUOTE]

Other people have experienced this dilemma so you're not alone...

Baha'is also stress unity in the family so respecting your relatives is important , of course our spirtual life and choice is uppermost but being discrete with them and not waving a red flag in front of them would be important too.

Baha'is can attend or participate in activities of your Christian relatives as long as we do not represent ourselves as a member of say of a church, i.e., it would probably be misrepresentation for us to say take communion as that implies church membership or to be baptized, etc. but just attending a service with a family member is alright.

Eventually and given time your Christian relatives will respect your choice i believe.. given more time they may even particpate in some Baha'i activities..given more time they may join you!

- Art
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2008 - 7:47PM #5
ramadasi
Posts: 102
Hi, I suggest go to a Bahai church for a while,familiarise yourself with the community and what they do and see if it is right for you later. I have known many people who have moved religions and come back to their own in a big, big way - religious beliefs are part of your culture, tradition and in many cases keep families together. It is something you really have to think about very hard. The Bahai faith is progressive in its belief system but to remember - its core believers are Persians who are as traditional and as rigid as your protestant family. BUT, on the other hand your local Bahai church may have many converted believers and may be practising the faith in more progressive ways, that too. Only time can tell. Dont' assume there is no rigidity or conservativism among Bahais and do also investigate progressive Protestant churches that may help your family unity also.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2008 - 11:16PM #6
maxmar
Posts: 104
Ramadasi's idea to "familiarise yourself with the community" is a good suggestion.

Baha'is do not have "churches" but they do have temples in each continent e.g. the beautiful "Lotus Temple" in New Delhi, India,  and the temple for North America in Wilmette near Chicago in U.S.   Temples are open to anyone to attend a service.   

Generally, Baha'is attend the 19-day Feast which is somewhat equivalent to "church" which may be held in a community centre or other venue and in smaller communities in members' homes.   Altho the Feast is generally open to Baha'i members only, most Baha'i communities hold Devotional Gatherings which are open to anyone, and have children & youth classes.

As far as Ramadasi's comment "its core believers are Persians who are as traditional and as rigid as your protestant family." is concerned it may be true more Persians are found in large cities.   In my experience in Canada this is not the case in smaller communities where there may be no Persians or a few, which is the case in my present community and my former one.  I think this varies greatly depending what country & locale you reside.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2009 - 8:51PM #7
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,278

Why do Baha'i's only have 1 temple in each Continent?

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2009 - 1:24PM #8
maxmar
Posts: 104

Jun 1, 2009 -- 8:51PM, Jupiter6208 wrote:


Why do Baha'i's only have 1 temple in each Continent?




"In anticipation of the day when Bahá'í Houses of Worship will be built, not only in every continent, but in many different countries, the beloved Guardian included the purchase of additional Temple sites in the subsidiary Plans which he assigned to the new National and Regional Assemblies formed since 1953. "     (Custodians, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 139)


info.bahai.org/article-1-6-0-7.html<...

The building of temples is an ongoing program now under the jurisdiction of the Universal House of Justice.    The most recent temple undergoing construction now is in Chile, designated as the 'mother temple of the South American continent', called the "Temple of Light".


www.youtube.com/watch?v=juHMqwnlSws<...

 


 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2009 - 2:47PM #9
Ruhi19
Posts: 529

Jun 1, 2009 -- 8:51PM, Jupiter6208 wrote:


Why do Baha'i's only have 1 temple in each Continent?





It takes time and money to support a building or a series of buildings.   We call the "temples"  Houses of Worship.  They are designed to be a series of buildings:  the House for worship and ancillary buildings such as a hospital, school, etc. 


May I remind you that there weren't that many churches after 165 years of Christianity either.  As we grow, more and more centers are created/purchased.  Each community which does that needs the funds to purchase the land, build and pay for utilities and materials afterwards.  That takes more than 50 believers which is approximately the average number of believers in each locality.  Small communities may have only 2 or 3 believers while cities may have 500 or so.  It is not uncommon for communities outside a city to join together to erect a center. 


As for why there is 1 House of Worship on each continent, isn't that the best way to spread the bounty of having a House of Worship.  All of the Baha'is (about 6-7 million) contribute to the cost of each House of Worship.  Only Baha'is can contribute to this activity.  The first to be built (in 1908) was in Ashqabad, Turkey.  It was confiscated by the Soviet Government in 1938 and demolished in 1962 after being damaged by an earthquake. 


The House in Wilmette, IL was second and built between 1921 and 1953.  The newest, for now, was built in New Delhi, India.  One is scheduled to be built in Chile soon. 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2009 - 8:20PM #10
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,278

I e-mailed my local Baha'i Community twice Not a peep from them i just wanted to go and see and maybe a devotional  not very welcoming....

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.
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