AN EXAMINATION OF THE BAHA'I FAITH and we wonder if it is the true religion

The Baha'i faith is a relatively new world religion. It claims to be revealed by Jesus and Muhammad and Moses and Krishna and other alleged manifestations of God. Its addition to these figures is Baha’u’llah. Abdu'l-Bahá his son was his successor. The faith regards their religious teachings as infallible and from God.

Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era: An Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith is the book we are consulting. It is written by J. E. Esslemont.

The Baha’i faith is deeply altruistic.

Baha’u’llah said, “If thine eyes be turned towards mercy forsake the things that profit thee, and cleave unto that which will profit mankind” (page 76).

And the cult says we are to love God alone and to love others for his sake which is really just using them to please God and caring about none of them for themselves, “In the highest prayer, men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear Him or hell, or hope for bounty or heaven” (page 90).

Altruism is evil for I am more sure that I exist than that others do so anything I do should be done mainly for me. Religious founders insisted on altruism for it implied that religion came first for commanding it and gave them a justification for controlling their victims who had to forget themselves and serve them.

The book says that the devotee of the religion will “on no account force his ideas on those who do not wish to hear them” (page 77). Why not if there is a God and prayer works for the Spirit will use your efforts to soften them eventually? This is just to bait those who shy away from religions that will use force to get their own way. If a seed can be planted especially by God then this argument of the book shows the religion has no real faith at all. A lot of faith and religious behaviour is role play.

Sin is considered to be the worst evil by Abdul. “Should one become the cause of grief to any one heart, or of despondency to any one soul, it were better to hide oneself in the lowest depths of the earth than to walk upon the earth” (page 78). This is a vicious and harsh doctrine.

In Star of the West, he wrote that to think of an enemy as an enemy and to put up with him instead of liking him is hypocrisy if one claims to love enemies (See quote Baha’u’llah and the New Era, page 79). It is explained that this is not a turning away from reality but realising that there is a potential for good in that person which makes him your friend. That is nonsense for he is not using the power to do good and that makes him an enemy for he is using it only to do evil and one sin defiles all you do for it indicates the good is only being done because the sinner feels like it and not because of a love for righteousness. “If a man has ten bad qualities and one good one” we have to “look at the one and forget the ten” (page 60). The Baha’is don’t mean a word of this when they would imprison murderers and thieves no matter how good they were before and are now.

“The worst human quality and the most great sin is back-biting, more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of back-biting could be shut eternally, and each one of the believers of God unsealed his lips in praise of others, then the teachings of His Holiness Baha’u’llah would be spread, the hearts illumined, the sprits glorified, and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity” (page 80). This is nonsense too. Backbiters only hurt themselves most for everybody knows you can only and should only accuse a person when they are able to defend themselves. And people like gossip so a religion that won’t gossip will not manage to rule the world.

“Dissatisfaction with oneself is a sign of progress. If a person has a thousand good qualities he must not look at them; nay, rather he must strive to find out his own defects, and imperfections…However much a man may progress, yet he is imperfect, because there is always a point ahead of him” (page 81).

This will completely annihilate all self-confidence. Some will say he is only forbidding a refusal to look at your faults and is not saying that we should never notice our good points. But the last line proves that he is saying that. Yet, this cult says we must ignore the faults of others.

It will be replied that we have to ignore the faults of other people because it is up to them to fix them and we have to focus on ours for it is up to us to fix them. But ignoring the faults of others is encouraging them to practice them. We are to root out our own faults and encourage faults in others!

Abdul absolutely forbade lying. “Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of mankind” (page 82). He said that progress and success is impossible without truthfulness. This is really Kant’s delusion that lying is bad for life would be unbearable if everybody lied. This rule makes sleeping and praying wrong. It is a sin to have a lie in or a drink or to talk about the weather.

Baha’u’llah asserted that the higher spiritual teachings could only be taught by God speaking to you in your heart when you pray (page 86). This is bigoted nonsense and it is saying that if a religionist abandons religion or if a Baha’i switches religions they are doing what they know is wrong.

Abdul taught that if you don’t adore God as he is revealed in his manifestations or prophets then you are worshiping your image of him, a fantasy god, and an idol for you cannot picture or understand God (page 87). This is untrue if God is love for all you have to do is to understand love. He means that this idea of God as love is idolatry for the perception might differ from real love. But your perception of the manifestations can do the same and make them idols.

Those who believe that congregational prayer is unnecessary are wrong for soldiers who are part of an army are stronger and feel stronger than those who fight on their own (page 90). But prayer is not like fighting. If people need the support of others to serve God when they could repose on faith and his grace alone they are sinning for you can’t side-step God to reach God. He should be your rock and your shield and nothing else.

The religion teaches that any suffering that follows doing wrong is just to teach and improve us and that calamity is always brought about by disobedience expect when the person wishes to suffer for the sins of others (page 91). But if you sinned you knew it was wrong and had nothing to learn. Turning your life around is the only improving you need. The teaching is not a very sympathetic one and accuses people of causing their own suffering. By the way, now you see just how horrible belief in God is.

Abdul answered the objection that suffering for the sins of others is unfair and unloving to yourself by asserting that recompense will be made in the next life (page 92). That is a vicious teaching for it says that it is good of God to harm or endorse harm when he will make it up later on. It is unloving for others to use your suffering for they could pay for their own sins.

Abdul said that the body is not able to live forever for it is made of parts implying that the real person that lives on is the spiritual soul - a being that has no parts – which survives bodily death (page 97). Spirit is an incoherent concept for I must be power and how could that power be love and intelligence at the one time which are two powers? A being made of parts can live forever when those parts are not tampered with and made to break down.

The cult says that positive evil does not exist (page 179). Evil is the absence of good for the creation is God for God is infinite so there can be no power that is not a part of him. But one might as well say that good is the absence of evil! Or why not say that what we think is good is actually amoral and evil is just the absence of amorality? Amoral can pass for good for think of how people may find an amoral person delightful. If you had to decide between saying evil is not real and saying that then you know what to do. It is better to call evil the absence of amorality than the absence of good. Why? Calling it the latter forces you to pretend that people's lived experience of evil as a power, depression for example is a power, and an evil one, is somehow not real so the victim is deluding themselves that it is. That is more personal and evil than any theory about evil. So instead of saying that about a person in order to uphold good (it is not really good if you have to do that!) we are better to say that evil and what it feeds off, amorality are both toxic. If evil is parasitic on amorality not goodness then it is no wonder the person has that evil experience. We can empathise then and have compassion.

Baha’u’llah taught that the universe never had a beginning but was always held in existence by God (page 188). Against that some philosophers say, "If time never began there must have been an infinity of moments until now. But you cannot get to now if that is so for the same reason that if you have to go through an infinity of moments so to reach moment X then you can never reach moment x for it is an infinity ahead of you. You would have to be able to go through an infinity of events to get to the present meaning you have completed an infinity to get to the present but you cannot complete infinity. So time had to have had a start." Others say this argument confuses an endless series with the whole series. I would focus on how if there is a God then he should be always able to keep a universe in existence. It destroys the first cause argument that persuades most people to believe there is a God.

Isaiah 9:2-7 is stated to have predicted Baha’u’llah and not Jesus Christ. Christians think it is about Jesus. But their ideas are hardly reliable when they rely on a version of the work not the work itself. The Septuagint Old Testament is only a loose translation and is not really the Old Testament. The book says that unlike Jesus he brought light to most people on earth. He did not. The burning of war in the prophecy is alleged to be the atomic bomb. Enough said! We are told that Baha’u’llah unlike Jesus, took government on his shoulders by advising countries. But Jesus gave moral teaching and supported the Law of Moses and did the same thing in the same way but through his messengers and directly through divine inspiration. And the expression taking government on shoulders would mean more than advising them. It means something heavy and hard. It means BEING the government.

And Baha’u’llah came to make peace on earth but Jesus came to bring a sword allegedly showing that the prophecy was not about Jesus. But Christians say Jesus meant he would be the indirect cause of war for he said that father would turn against son over him though he wanted only peace. Baha’u’llah brought a sword in the same sense. Baha’u’llah claimed to be the Eternal Father and Jesus claimed to be the Son. But if Jesus taught the Holy Trinity he would have called the being of God Father without meaning the person of God the Father alone. If Jesus was God then he was the Eternal Father though not God the Father. If Jesus as not God he could have entered the eternal state and be the father of our relationship with God by the salvation he won for us. There is no proof that the prophecy must be talking about Baha’u’llah.

It is interesting that the faith shows it does not regard Jesus as highly as you would expect. Jesus is really just there to be used as a bait to get the attention of Christians.

Baha’u’llah means the Glory of God and so the passage in Isaiah 40 which says that one must tell Jerusalem that she is forgiven and every hill will be made low and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see that it is alleged to name him (page 199). The book dares to admit that it was partly fulfilled with the coming of John the Baptiser and Christ showing that it could mean anything even to a Baha’i. All flesh did not see Baha’u’llah. And the reason for saying it means that man is that the prophecy says that Jerusalem’s warring will be finished before the glory appears and it was not even after Jesus died. But Jerusalem’s warring is not over yet.

Matthew 13 which says that the son of man will send his angels at the end of the world to judge and throw the wicked into the fire is spiritualised. It is supposed to speak of Baha’u’llah whose coming to judge the world but ends the age not the world and who symbolically sends symbolic angels to put sinners into an imaginary fire. Anybody can say that they are the fulfilment of any prophecy if they are going to take bits or all of it as symbols. It smacks of dishonesty.

Baha’u’llah did the same with prophecies from Joel 2 and the Koran (page 209). We read that it would be absurd and therefore wrong to take them literally for the moon will not turn to blood or the stars will not fall on earth for they are too big (page 210). But God could do these things. He could make the stars smaller.

Jesus said that he would come back for his disciples to take them to Heaven (John 14:2). The book claims that Baha’u’llah was the second coming of Jesus. He took nobody to Heaven and Jesus’ apostles are dead. It is most likely that Jesus meant his own apostles – perhaps risen from the dead – and was not speaking to the world.

It is pointed out that Jesus said John the Baptiser was Elijah though he had a different body from Elijah and the pair had different mothers and yet in spirit and power they were the one person (page 206). It is supposed to be the same with Jesus and Baha’u’llah.

Baha’u’llah argued that if Jesus visibly came down from Heaven with clouds and angels nobody would be able to believe or disbelieve for sheer shock so the non-literal interpretation is right. He tried to back this up by saying that it would be the crime of forcing some to believe which of course utterly contradicts what he just wrote (page 213). But the predictions never said that we were meant to be able. And Jesus said that he wanted belief and holiness not mere belief and that belief could not go on forever but one day people would know there was a God for they would meet him. Forcing a person to believe in Jesus is not the same as forcing them to be Christians. Moreover, he could be visible only to believers so that unbelievers will decrease rapidly upon hearing their testimony and then see the vision when they start to believe. The hypocrite Baha’u’llah agrees with people going to Heaven and being forced to keep believing by seeing God and enjoying him.

He said that the clouds symbolised what is against the desires of men and that Heaven symbolises glory from Heaven (page 211). Fanciful interpretations these. The clouds could picture something that hides – that could be what they are most likely to mean if they stood for something. And Heaven cannot picture exalted glory – but only elevation. The symbolic interpretations are implausible.

This religion and its divine manifestations would fail a theology exam. That says it all.  This religion is not the true religion and like Christianity and Islam and perhaps everything else is not even a candidate.

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