Bahaism -- now discussing this religion

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by WormieSaber, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Ghost Chosen One

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    It depends on some premises, but the reasoning is sound. You're fine to disagree with the premises. And like I said, it's not new, that explanation of the Trinity been around since at least Thomas Aquinas, and implied in the Gospel of John.

    No, not objective at all.

    Angels are not minor deities. Is the messenger of a King a minor King? No.

    Jesus is not a demigod. He is not born of a union between God and a woman. Jesus is not half and half. He is fully human and fully God, the incarnation of God. Jesus is God.

    Mary is not a deity. She is a woman, very righteous in her own right, who gave birth to Jesus.

    No, it's not polytheistic. There is only one God.

    If a candle is placed next to a mirror, does its reflection mean there are two candles? No.

    And I wasn't indoctrinated throughout my life.

    Again, Jesus is not a demigod, he is the incarnation of God himself. A more correct analogy would be if Zeus decided to be conceived, born, live, suffer, and die as a human.
  2. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    There are more than 10.000 Catholic saints... If you've ever been to Italy or France you'll know that every single one of these is said to have special powers.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    And has remained garbled nonsense since it was written into the bible through desperate exegesis. It is not implied anywhere except in the imaginations of people urgently trying to sell the idea of Christian monotheism
    Yes, if he wears winged sandels and is named Hermes, or if he wears wings and is named Michael. Or most especially if he is named Lucifer and is given direct power over the souls of men. Try not to be obtuse, Ghost.

    Please try to understand how sill that sounds to someone looking in to the outside. All I see is Yahweh disguised as Zeus impregnating a women who then gives birth to a man who is both human and immortal. If it honks like a transformed God-swan, it's a swan.
    Speaking in tongues is not the same thing as making an argument. If I hold up a religion's bad arguments to a mirror, will they make any more sense backwards? Maybe.

    Let's not forget that Yaweh himself acknowledges the existence of other Gods. He is a jealous god precisely because he envies attention paid to the other gods and forbids his chosen people from worshiping any of them. His wrath in Egypt is all the more wrathful because of his interest in showing he has more impressive supernatural powers than the Egyptian gods. Don't worship other gods. I've chosen you for a reason, so you can worship me and not them.
  4. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Alrighty then [face_coffee] Looks like this thread asploded over the weekend! This is more than I can respond to in a single sitting. I'll be adding posts periodically. Great discussion guys :cool: [face_peace]
  5. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Did nobody care to tell this guy that mods don't have weekends?
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    It's interesting to me that the Bahai Faith does a better job of putting the Holy Trinity into a comprehensible framework than Christianity has ever done for itself. That's the benefit of getting an occasional outside consultant into the office.

    If we think of Bahá'u'lláh as a prophet-messenger with a fancy name, he takes on the same elegant and comprehensible quality as There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger. Jesus fits nicely into that framework as well, but Christians refuse to interpret him in a way that makes any kind of sense. Christians insist doggedly on their polytheism, while building up centuries of deep-seated denial about doing it. But of course the polytheistic roots of the the old testament-Yahweh and his proxy war with the Ugaritic gods and his direct knockdown battle with the Eygptian pantheon-don't make that job any easier for Christians.
  7. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    OK, I'll start here:
    The best way I can answer this is with the Writings themselves. I am, however, aware of the circular logic of using the Wirtings of the Faith to prove the validity of the Faith 8-} but bear with me...
    So, according to the Baha'i Faith there are some seeming differences between the methods and messages of the various Manifestations, Their underlying mission is the same.
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its peoples, that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity

    Simply sublime, at least as compared to:

    [image=http://www.inspired-word.com/images/charts/Trinity%20Chart.jpg]
  9. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Quite so. In fact, the Surah of Mary and the Gospel of Matthew contain almost identical accounts of the conception of Christ. That is to say, in both, the archangel Gabriel (IIRC) appeared to Mary, said "you will bear a child, that child will be the Messiah," *zot* Mary is pregnant with Jesus. Here's an interesting thing about the Bible: the only time that Christ refers to Himself as the Son of God (as compared to others referring to Him as the Son of God) is when He is being questioned by the Pharisees prior to the crucifiction. Even then, it's more like (to paraphrase):

    -Are you the Son of God?
    -If you say so.
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    JM, Darth-Ghost may not understand that the Bahai term of art "manifestation of God" is not interchangeable with "incarnation of God" as generally understood by Christians.
  11. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

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    Not quite. "You have said it." was an idiom meaning, "It's just as you have said."

    "And when he was gone forth into the way, a certain man running up and kneeling before him, asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may receive life everlasting? And Jesus said to him, Why callest thou me good? None is good but one, that is God." - Gospel of Mark

    He wasn't saying he is not good - he was saying, "If I am good, then who am I?"

    "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad. The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple. " - Gospel of John

    They were trying to stone himself because he said he was God by saying that before Abraham existed, he is. Not that he was before Abraham, but he is - that is, he is an eternal person who has entered into time.

    Then there is the early Christian hymn that John opens his gospel with. Roman Catholics, until fifty years ago, at least after the Council of Trent (before in some places) sang this in Latin at the conclusion of every Mass:

    John is rather explicit in his identification of Jesus Christ as the Incarnate God Himself.

    Why didn't Jesus Christ just tell the Pharisees, "It was a funny ha-ha guys, I'm not actually God."

    Because, well, that's why they tried to him kill (and eventually succeeded).

  12. Ghost Chosen One

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    I do know that, see the first two pages of this thread. The Baha'i "Manifestation of God" is basically a human who purely reflects all of God's attributes... they are pure mirrors of God's light, when most humans are flawed mirrors of all of God's attributes.

    Wrong. See the gospel of John, which has the whole "I live in God, God lives in me, let the people be one and live in me, and I in them, so God can live in them and them in God" passage.

    And you said it was a personal belief I made up, but it's from Thomas Aquinas (whom Catholics and Protestants respect) so that was wrong too.


    Seriously, you're the one being obstuse here. No one worships angels. I wouldn't even call belief in Angels a necessary belief of Christianity. And nowhere in the Bible is "Lucifer" given power over the souls of men.

    How is saying Jesus and Mary aren't demigods "silly"?

    God didn't disguise himself and have sex with a mortal woman. Unlike Zeus, the God of the Bible isn't a womanizer. Mary's pregnancy is NOTHING like the Zeus/swan myth.

    And Jesus wasn't immortal. He died, and had to be brought back to life by the power of God. That's the point. Jesus was 100% human and 100% God.


    You definitely don't have any idea what you're talking about, then.

    This isn't speaking in tongues, it is making an argument. Is the reflection of a candle a second candle? No. That's how the Trinity works.

    And the light/mirror metaphor is used to explain the Baha'i faith, Jedi Merkurian and I have discussed it before.
  13. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    See, this right here smacks of rationalizing the irrational. If Jesus is god then why would the power of god be needed to bring him back to life? I imagine god being more akin to Captain Picard going, "Make it so," and it happens. If Jesus were god then what's the point of the whole 'sacrificing his only son'? The separation there seems more like Jesus was a demigod, not actually god. And in any case the rationalization goes as thus: god sent Jesus to Earth to die for man's sins. It doesn't say: God sent himself to earth to die for man's sins.

    So I'd say there's more to the polytheistic interpretation of Christianity than you're letting on, but heey...


    [image=http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/9514/tadah.jpg]

    If that basic storyline makes sense to you, more power to ya.

  14. Ghost Chosen One

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    Jesus' body died (proving he was man), then God (the whole Trinity, including Jesus as the Son) brought Jesus' body back to life on the third day. I'm not sure how that's irrational? God, the Trinity, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit... they all still existed, even when Jesus was dead. The Son and the soul left Jesus' body, and then came back to it on the third day.

    The whole point of the sacrifice was to for a human to perfectly and unconditionally love (Jesus died to give everyone the opportunity of eternal life and joy) and thereby allow everyone to become one with God, and for God to truly experience all fundamental aspects of being human (including death).



    To move this back to the Baha'i faith, I made a list of religions once that divided the major twelve into two categories: religions where God is never human and relies on messengers, and religions where God has become human. It came to an interesting conclusion, on Hinduism and Christianity and Baha'i, I'm going to try and find the paper.
  15. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    On my phone so I'll make this short and snappy: it's irrational to think that Christianity is monotheistic when you have stuff like that happening. Even you speak of Jesus as a selarate person than god. And if Jesus is separate then he's not god.
  16. Ghost Chosen One

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    Jesus is not a separate person than God. God is not a person, God is a force/essence, that's personified in three spiritual persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Jesus is the incarnation of the Son. His body died, but the Son didn't die, and the body was brought back to life.
  17. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    Riiight...and that all seems logical to you? o_O
  18. Ghost Chosen One

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    Why not? You can disagree with the premises, that's fine, but if you accept the premises then it's logical. The Son was incarnated in the body of Jesus, but the Son wasn't only the body of Jesus. When Jesus died, the Son left the body, but returned a couple days later.

    Christianity is monotheistic, just like the Baha'i faith, or Judaism/Islam.
  19. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    This is not making an argument. You have yet to make an argument. Just saying that "we don't understand" doesn't prove anything.

    This is silly. Hermes had a whole domain of special powers unto himself. None of the angels do. Worship of Hermes was welcomed, and indeed seen as a religious obligation. The angels saw worship of themselves as abhorrent, and strictly denied possessing a divine nature. Your method relies on strained, over-extended analogies that violently break every principle of basic sociology. It only works if you ignore almost everything said about the subject by the actual object of study and substitute your own opinions instead.

    Yes, some things in monotheistic religions have functions analogous to the gods of polytheist religions. That doesn't mean the former isn't montheist. In the same way, monarchs play some of the roles of a President or prime minister (and vice versa). That doesn't mean Saudia Arabia has a democratic form of government. It just means that things that are recognizably distinct can nonetheless have analogous functions.

    As if all that weren't enough, your central argument is horribly stupid. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam don't qualify as truly monotheistic because their collection of saints, prophets, and angels qualify as demigods. Yet, Bahai, which endorses not just one set of these, but all of them, simultaneously, with several others besides, is somehow the most monotheistic? How is a "Manifestation of God" more legitimate than a "person of the Trinity" within Christianity? Not only is your analysis deeply flawed, it doesn't even bother with internal consistency.
  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Angels, Satan and demons are just about the only class of demigods in the Christian pantheon that Christians don't directly worship, but the angels do behave like demigods in every other respect. Unlike the angels of Islam, they have an independent will (to the extent that some of them may be fallen). They aren't just messengers. In the old testament, an angel of the LORD massacres an Assyrian encampment. In the new testament an angel breaks Peter out of jail.

    And in any case the old testament Yahweh, the deity of the entertaining J author, believes much more fervently in the existence of other gods than you do. Yahweh is polytheistic.

    Finally, the Bahai Faith accepts Jesus as a perfect prophet/messenger of God's will (and that's all manifestation means) for his time without accepting all the other gibberish of Christianity, which in any case the Bahai Faith characterizes as helpful lies God told his followers in earlier times when the faithful were less prepared for more sophisticated truths. Throughout history, God has sent his people the best possible prophet/messenger capable of communicating to them in a language they were capable of understanding. Or something like that. It's all nonsense too, just like the rest of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, but it isn't polytheistic nonsense.
  21. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    I'll continue with
    Here's what I found:
    caveat: In the Baha'i Faith, any interpretation of Scripture is strictly personal. How I interpret this passage is that it's not an idiom, but the Pharisees just resorting to trumped-up kangaroo court style judgement. But that's just me.
    Wow. I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree about interpretations, because that's not how I would interpret that passage. At all.
    Actually, it's the Greatest of All Plotters. There are several references in the Quran to the schemes and plots of men to do evil, but the immediate next phrase is something to the effect that "Allah is the Greatest of Plotters," and always turns their evil to good ends. For example:
    There is also a prayer in the Baha'i Faith that "All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding."

  22. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    *pssst* "Original sin" isn't actually in the Bible [face_shhh]
  23. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Back to OZK for a moment:
    Actually, the Quran makes several references to how "People of the Book" (i.e., Jews & Christians) have misinterpreted various aspects of the Book (i.e., the Word of God). One such misinterpretation put forth several places in the Quran is that Christians believe that Jesus is literally the Son of God. However, in Islam, the notion that God would become a human male and lie with a human female to beget a child ascribes a physicality to Him that is considered blasphemous. Also, there is this rather lengthy passage from Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah:
  24. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Seeing as this is "the Baha'i thread," ;) I'll just link to the most concise passage I know of from the Baha'i Faith on the topic: Some Answered Questions by Abdu'l-Baha; Chapter 27: "The Trinity." This is also one place that makes numerous references to mirrors.

    EDIT: Also, in the Baha'i Faith, the resurrection of Christ is considered to be symbolic rather than literal; the corpse of Jesus was not re-animated. However, in the Gospels, Christ did hang out with His disciples for quite awhile. Here's one to think about from the Baha'i perspective though ;) The Apostles, those who hung out with Jesus day and day out, didn't recognize Him when He came back and spent a great deal of time with them. Why do you suppose that is?
  25. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    In a bit of thread necromancy and drive-by posting [face_mischief], today is the celebration of the birth of the Bab, the Herald of the Baha'i Faith.