Thursday, January 17, 2013

He that is not against us is for us

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

               (John 10:16)

I was just watching a very painful addition of a talk show on Baha’i vs. Christianity. I thought that I would leave some comments when I was finished, but there was a note that comments had been closed for this video. Apparently someone does not want the truth to get out.

It reminded me of accounts I had read about the days of Jesus. He would bring forth proofs and arguments to the learned scholars of the day, and they would reject everything He said because it was not in agreement with their knowledge. Yet the principles of Jesus were so simple that an uneducated fisherman could immediately pick them up.

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

               (Mark 2:17)

Many will tell me that self righteous is what is inferred by the above passage, but if I think I am righteous, is that not being self righteous? And so it is with those who believe they are righteous. No amount of proof can make them change their view. And since they are right everyone else must be wrong.

When confronted with the fact that not all Christians were in agreement with the Christian scholar on the talk show he would brush it off with, “We don’t consider them Christians.” When you are right, you are right and if Jesus Himself comes to you with evidence to the contrary, you will not change. That is why I don’t want to be right. I prefer to learn the Truth.

I find with many devout believers in any sect or religion that it is more important for them to be right than it is for them to know the Truth. They will get angry, deny, and refute any argument that is contrary to their beliefs even to the point that they will crucify One that goes against what they believe.

So how does the ordinary person decide which way to follow? Do we accept a view were only scholars can interpret the Word of God for us? Or do we simply hear His voice and follow Him into the one unified fold?

Those who want division will try to prevent the coming together of the sheep. They will raise all kinds of arguments so that they themselves become the shepherd of a few. Many are these wolves in sheep’s clothing who try to cause division and hatred. They want all others to be destroyed. This is their belief in Unity. Death to all who disagree.

But this is not the Way of God for this day. Today we turn the other cheek. Today we are tolerant and understanding. Today we realize that we do not have all the answers and that we can learn much from entertaining the views of others.

And Jesus said unto him, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

(Luke 9:50)

Just because someone doesn’t follow in the same way I do does not make them wrong. If they are doing good works and following the One True God, it is not for me to forbid them or tell them that they are wrong. The straight and narrow path leads from each of us straight to salvation. The route that path takes depends on the starting point, which is the point we are at now. When I fix my gaze on my destination and progress toward the light, I do not have time to veer off and try to guide you. I only urge you to focus on your goal and tread your strait path. I don’t know what obstacles or distractions you will encounter, because as soon as I focus on you I have lost my own focus and I veer off the strait and narrow path.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

(Matthew 7:14)

Many are the distracters.  They will dispute with us and try to get us angry. They are looking for a fight and, if we give in to their devises we have already lost. I think we all know that the purpose of these talk shows is to try to get a fight going because that is considered entertainment. I am not sure of the wisdom of Baha’is going on such shows, but I have to admit that the two Baha’is on the show I saw exercised a lot of self control. I am not providing a link to it because I feel it is one sided and not conducive to unity and peace. However, if you do come across such a show, be aware that even Christ could not change the mind of the religious leaders of His day, nor was Bahá’u’lláh successful in influencing the majority of the leaders of Islam. It is not our goal to change the minds of the righteous. Let us be content to humbly show the sinners the True Path. No, we will not even lead them there. We will simply introduce them to the Shepherd and He will be their guide. When they fall we will help them get back up. Perhaps when we fall they will do the same for us. We will teach them about the Source of Knowledge and He will give them True Knowledge. We are all progressing to the same point and all have similar challenges. Perhaps together we can make it. Not one insisting his way is correct and attempting to bully everyone else into following himself. No. We all follow the same Way and help each other overcome the obstacles that get in our way.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The healing of all the world

In the Suriy-i-Haykal we read: "That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith."
To me these words of Bahá’u’lláh make sense. It is better to have friends than enemies. It is better to make allies than to go to war.
In the struggle for power, the biggest and the best would win. Small countries soon learned that they needed allies to help them survive against more powerful enemies. There was power in numbers and several small countries could easily overpower one larger one. The more allies one would have, the greater the power they would share.
Once the large countries realized they could no longer bully the smaller ones, they too started forming alliances. Soon it was a competition as to who had the most friends.
Now, for ultimate power we need to every country in the world to be our allies. We need to form friendships with every person on earth. Then, not only would we be unbeatable, but there would be no one left to be our enemy. Yet the best formed alliances are prone to break up. Greed rules and once the friendship is no longer profitable, the allies turn against one another. Each member of the alliance vies for position to be in control of the alliance. Leadership is challenged and the body attacks the head. Now we need a system where everyone shares in decision making and everyone benefits equally from the alliance.
In steps the Divine Physician. Sometimes we must consult the manufacturer. God sends His Messengers to bring the Divine Healing we need. He writes the prescription and, when we follow it, the body of mankind is healed. It becomes one whole being. No longer do its parts fight against one another. Love prevails and unity is established. This is the Ultimate plan of God and it is the Ultimate and most powerful alliance. All the body of mankind turn to Our Creator for leadership and all willingly follow His plan.
From the Suriy-i-Haykal
That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error. Each time that Most Mighty Instrument hath come, and that Light shone forth from the Ancient Dayspring, He was withheld by ignorant physicians who, even as clouds, interposed themselves between Him and the world. It failed, therefore, to recover, and its sickness hath persisted until this day. They indeed were powerless to protect it, or to effect a cure, whilst He Who hath been the Manifestation of Power amongst men was withheld from achieving His purpose, by reason of what the hands of the ignorant physicians have wrought.

               (Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 91, 92)