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Author Topic: What is the Bahá'í Faith?  (Read 6420 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 19, 2011, 07:31:29 PM »

Saw someone on a message board believing in this faith, all I know about it is it originated in the 19th century and something about spiritual unity?

Was there originator another Muhammed archetype?
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 07:40:06 PM »

The Bahai religion was formed in 19th Century Iran by a fellow named Bahá'u'lláh. It is a syncretic religion that believes all religious expressions are true, and that all religious texts really say the exact same thing. They are, in a sense, a revival of the Manichaeian Gnosticism (an Iranian heresy from the late 3rd Century AD, famously abandoned by St. Augustine in favor of Orthodoxy). Their Christology is similar to Arianism, denying that Jesus and God are consubstantial and coeternal; they view him as an "enlightened being" along with the other prophets, Buddha, Muhammad, etc.  
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 07:42:36 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 07:43:04 PM »

So it's sort of like a New Age movement of synthesizing the spiritual aspects of each faith.

One has to wonder if Bahaullah could even read, and if he did ever read the Quran and the Bible.
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 07:45:41 PM »

So it's sort of like a New Age movement of synthesizing the spiritual aspects of each faith.
Yep. It's an "Old New-Age" movement.  Wink
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 07:50:55 PM »

A sect of a sect of a sect of a sect of a sect of a sect or Islam.
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 08:38:33 PM »

So it's sort of like a New Age movement of synthesizing the spiritual aspects of each faith.
Yep. It's an "Old New-Age" movement.  Wink

Kind of a "Best Of World Religions" religion.
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 08:47:57 PM »

So it's sort of like a New Age movement of synthesizing the spiritual aspects of each faith.
Yep. It's an "Old New-Age" movement.  Wink

Kind of a "Best Of World Religions" religion.
The Muslim version of the Unitarian Universalists.

Go to the generic brand aisle, and you will find them next to each other in the boxes labeled "Religion."
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 08:50:41 PM »

^^ LOL
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 08:53:41 PM »

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy  Perfect!
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 06:47:37 AM »

So it's sort of like a New Age movement of synthesizing the spiritual aspects of each faith.

One has to wonder if Bahaullah could even read, and if he did ever read the Quran and the Bible.

Yes, he was a very literary writer: he quotes the Quran and traditions, the Bible, classical Persian poetry, and refers to writers in the medieval Arabic tradition, on history and philosophy. Considering that he was a prisoner most of his adult life, and presumably had little access to books, it's an amazing performance.

His first long work, the Kitab-e Iqan or Book of Certitude, is largely an exegesis of the little Apocalypse of Matthew 24, verses 29-31. You can read the book online or download it, at
http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KI/ki-1.html#pg24 (the link is to the page where the exegesis begins: the book was written for a Persian Muslim who had asked some questions, so it begins with references to the Quran)

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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 06:57:47 AM »

Welcome!

So Sen why are you in the Bahai faith? And what brings you to this board?
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 10:52:25 AM »

Welcome!

So Sen why are you in the Bahai faith? And what brings you to this board?

Your question as to whether Bahaullah could read summoned me here. I'm a compulsive question-answerer.

I'm a Bahai by conviction and conversion, in which many factors played a part: what I think and experience about God and spirituality and the transcendent in human beings in the first place; what I see in the history of religions and their role in society second, and what I see in the Bahai Faith following that.

There's a thread on Bahai Forums in which a researcher has asked people how they became Bahais. My answer is there along with about a dozen others:
http://bahaiforums.com/new-users/3089-how-did-you-discover-bahai.html
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 07:35:18 PM »

I just find it interesting I make a thread on this and the same day you join this board and are associated with the faith, this just a mere coincedence?

That's why I wonder what brings you to Orthodox Christianity.
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 07:37:45 PM »

I just find it interesting I make a thread on this and the same day you join this board and are associated with the faith, this just a mere coincedence?

That's why I wonder what brings you to Orthodox Christianity.

google much?
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 07:45:38 PM »

I just find it interesting I make a thread on this and the same day you join this board and are associated with the faith, this just a mere coincedence?

That's why I wonder what brings you to Orthodox Christianity.

google much?
I tried googling it, nothing populated. Usually it takes google a day to register a new thread.
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 07:51:46 PM »

I just find it interesting I make a thread on this and the same day you join this board and are associated with the faith, this just a mere coincedence?

That's why I wonder what brings you to Orthodox Christianity.

google much?
I tried googling it, nothing populated. Usually it takes google a day to register a new thread.

Nope. This board is indexed at least hourly:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=One+has+to+wonder+if+Bahaullah+could+even+read%2C+and+if+he+did+ever+read+the+Quran+and+the+Bible.
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 07:53:18 PM »

I just find it interesting I make a thread on this and the same day you join this board and are associated with the faith, this just a mere coincedence?

That's why I wonder what brings you to Orthodox Christianity.

google much?
I tried googling it, nothing populated. Usually it takes google a day to register a new thread.

Nope. This board is indexed at least hourly:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=One+has+to+wonder+if+Bahaullah+could+even+read%2C+and+if+he+did+ever+read+the+Quran+and+the+Bible.


Quite shocking the power of google, heh?

I've seen threads indexed within ten minutes (not here necessarily).
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2011, 08:00:46 PM »

My thing is though is how exactly did he find this site though. Because I searched generic terms regarding the faith, and this thread did not show up on google.
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2011, 08:12:01 PM »

My thing is though is how exactly did he find this site though. Because I searched generic terms regarding the faith, and this thread did not show up on google.

He could be TtC for all I know, but you can set up google queries which are run frequently and return you their results. Maybe this guy had one about Bahai, the dude named, and reading and orthodoxy, who knows.

Don't underestimate the power of a zealot.
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 05:46:40 AM »


google much?

Yes, every day. I run a Bahai current-affairs site,
Sen's daily : http://sensday.wordpress.com/
so I google twice a day when I can, using the "last 24 hours" option under "advanced search."

Alternatively, you could believe that the Illuminati are running everything, and sent me to bug you.  Cheesy

I won't bug you of course, but I can answer questions
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 08:01:44 AM »

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Go to the generic brand aisle, and you will find them next to each other in the boxes labeled "Religion."


Post of the month award nomination.
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 10:15:57 AM »


google much?

Yes, every day. I run a Bahai current-affairs site,
Sen's daily : http://sensday.wordpress.com/
so I google twice a day when I can, using the "last 24 hours" option under "advanced search."

Alternatively, you could believe that the Illuminati are running everything, and sent me to bug you.  Cheesy

I won't bug you of course, but I can answer questions

And of course, the feeling is mutual.  Any questions you have, I think we have very capable members here who can answer them very well.

Welcome to oc.net Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 12:50:53 PM »

Quote
Go to the generic brand aisle, and you will find them next to each other in the boxes labeled "Religion."


Post of the month award nomination.

If you want to nominate it you should do it in another way:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19897.0.html
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2011, 04:15:49 PM »


google much?

Yes, every day. I run a Bahai current-affairs site,
Sen's daily : http://sensday.wordpress.com/
so I google twice a day when I can, using the "last 24 hours" option under "advanced search."

Alternatively, you could believe that the Illuminati are running everything, and sent me to bug you.  Cheesy

I won't bug you of course, but I can answer questions

Behold the power of orthonorm!
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2011, 07:06:48 PM »


google much?

Yes, every day. I run a Bahai current-affairs site,
Sen's daily : http://sensday.wordpress.com/
so I google twice a day when I can, using the "last 24 hours" option under "advanced search."

Alternatively, you could believe that the Illuminati are running everything, and sent me to bug you.  Cheesy

I won't bug you of course, but I can answer questions
Is Iran trying to eliminate the public expression of Baha'ism, or Baha'ism itself?
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« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2011, 07:57:58 PM »


google much?

Yes, every day. I run a Bahai current-affairs site,
Sen's daily : http://sensday.wordpress.com/
so I google twice a day when I can, using the "last 24 hours" option under "advanced search."

Alternatively, you could believe that the Illuminati are running everything, and sent me to bug you.  Cheesy

I won't bug you of course, but I can answer questions
Is Iran trying to eliminate the public expression of Baha'ism, or Baha'ism itself?
The religion itself.
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2011, 07:43:20 AM »

Is Iran trying to eliminate the public expression of Baha'ism, or Baha'ism itself?

Government policy aims at strangling the community and creating an underclass, without educational or economic opportunities, but there may be some religious fanatics who would like to kill the Bahais.

Quote
Iran’s anti-Bahá’í actions are not random acts, but deliberate government policy. In 1993, concrete evidence emerged that the government had in fact adopted a secret blueprint for the quiet strangulation of the Bahá’í community.... The document indicates, for example, that the government aims to keep the Bahá’ís illiterate and uneducated, living only at a subsistence level, and fearful at every moment that even the tiniest infraction will bring the threat of imprisonment or worse.... The memorandum says, for example, that all Bahá’ís should be expelled from universities; that they shall be denied “positions of influence,” and instead only be allowed to “lead a modest life similar to that of the population in general”; and even that “employment shall be refused to persons identifying themselves as Bahá’ís.”
Source:
The Bahai Question : http://question.bahai.org/002.php


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« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2011, 04:03:01 PM »

Sen McGinn, what do Bahais think about the material world? Is it good or evil, permanent or transient, an illusion, subservient or superior to a higher spiritual reality, those kinds of things. Are humans material and spiritual beings? Is being both material and spiritual an "ideal" state, or is it something to be surpassed?
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« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2011, 06:21:33 PM »

Sen McGinn, what do Bahais think about the material world? Is it good or evil, permanent or transient, an illusion, subservient or superior to a higher spiritual reality, those kinds of things. Are humans material and spiritual beings? Is being both material and spiritual an "ideal" state, or is it something to be surpassed?

The world is real, and is honoured as God's creation (which is not to deny material explanations of the development of the universe and the evolution of plants and animals). Humans are material, temporarily, and also spiritual, permanently. The creation is permanent, and has no beginning, for God has always been and will always be The Creator, therefore there is always a creation - but not necessarily in the same form. I'm not sure about your last question: whether our material and spiritual condition is ideal, depends rather on what we make of it. I think it was GB Shaw who said, "whether life is worth living or not, is a question of the liver."

Some quotes, not an exhaustive selection:

Quote
And whensoever thou dost gaze upon creation all entire, and dost observe the very atoms thereof, thou wilt note that the rays of the Sun of Truth are shed upon all things and shining within them, and telling of that Day-Star's splendours, Its mysteries, and the spreading of Its lights.

   (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 41)

Quote
Reflect upon the inner realities of the universe, the secret wisdoms involved, the enigmas, the inter-relationships, the rules that govern all. For every part of the universe is connected with every other part by ties that are very powerful and admit of no imbalance, nor any slackening whatever. In the physical realm of creation, all things are eaters and eaten: the plant drinketh in the mineral, the animal doth crop and swallow down the plant, man doth feed upon the animal, and the mineral devoureth the body of man. Physical bodies are transferred past one barrier after another, from one life to another, and all things are subject to transformation and change, save only the essence of existence itself -- since it is constant and immutable, and upon it is founded the life of every species and kind, of every contingent reality throughout the whole of creation.
   (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 157)


Quote
Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the  reviving spring is here. All things are now made new. Arts and industries have been reborn, there are new discoveries in science, and there are new inventions; even the details of human affairs, such as dress and personal effects -- even weapons -- all these have likewise been renewed. The laws and procedures of every government have been revised. Renewal is the order of the day.

And all this newness hath its source in the fresh outpourings of wondrous grace and favour from the Lord of the Kingdom, which have renewed the world. The people, therefore, must be set completely free from their old patterns of thought, that all their attention may be focused upon these new principles, for these are the light of this time and the very spirit of this age.
   (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 252)
Quote
... when the Holy Manifestation of God, Who is the sun of the world of His creation, shines upon the worlds of spirits, of thoughts and of hearts, then the spiritual spring and new life appear, the power of the wonderful springtime becomes visible, and marvelous benefits are apparent. As you have observed, at the time of the appearance of each Manifestation of God extraordinary progress has occurred in the world of minds, thoughts and spirits. For example, in this divine age see what development has been attained in the world of minds and thoughts, and it is now only the beginning of its dawn. Before long you will see that new bounties and divine teachings will illuminate this dark world and will transform these sad regions into the paradise of Eden.
   (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 163)

Quote
In creation there is no evil; all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.

Then it is evident that in creation and nature evil does not exist at all; but when the natural qualities of man are used in an unlawful way, they are blameworthy.
   (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 214)

Quote
The Creator always had a creation; the rays have always shone and gleamed from the reality of the sun, for without the rays the sun would be opaque darkness. The names and attributes of God require the existence of beings, and the Eternal Bounty does not cease.
   (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 281)

These two books by Abdu'l-Baha, and many more, can be downloaded or read online at the Bahai Reference Library: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/ 

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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2011, 07:39:35 PM »

I'm not sure about your last question: whether our material and spiritual condition is ideal, depends rather on what we make of it. I think it was GB Shaw who said, "whether life is worth living or not, is a question of the liver."
Orthodox Christians believe that man is a spiritual and material unity, and that any separation of this unity is unnatural and "less than ideal". While the soul is immortal, the body *should* also be immortal, and will someday be re-made immortal and incorruptible. The idea that we are who we are because of our bodily as well as our spiritual nature, and the idea that humans will one day be an immortal *unity* of material and spiritual, was considered foolishness by the platonistic greek philosophers. These philosophers believed that the spiritual realm was superior to the physical, and that mankind's true worth was mental/spiritual.

What is Bahai's take on this issue? Should man strive to enhance only his "spiritual permanence"?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 07:44:16 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2011, 10:05:17 AM »

Orthodox Christians believe that man is a spiritual and material unity, and that any separation of this unity is unnatural and "less than ideal". While the soul is immortal, the body *should* also be immortal, and will someday be re-made immortal and incorruptible. The idea that we are who we are because of our bodily as well as our spiritual nature, and the idea that humans will one day be an immortal *unity* of material and spiritual, was considered foolishness by the platonistic greek philosophers. These philosophers believed that the spiritual realm was superior to the physical, and that mankind's true worth was mental/spiritual.

What is Bahai's take on this issue? Should man strive to enhance only his "spiritual permanence"?

Not all unities are intended to last forever, as Christ says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh .... What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder," but also, "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage."

The marriage of body and soul is like that. The destiny of the physical elements is to be recycled and take on new forms, but not the same forms again. As Abdu'l-Baha writes:

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In the physical realm of creation, all things are eaters and eaten: the plant drinketh in the mineral, the animal doth crop and swallow down the plant, man doth feed upon the animal, and the mineral devoureth the body of man. Physical bodies are transferred past one barrier after another, from one life to another, and all things are subject to transformation and change, save only the essence of existence itself -- since it is constant and immutable, and upon it is founded the life of every species and kind, of every contingent reality throughout the whole of creation. (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 157)

Bahais therefore do not believe in the resurrection of a body to be reunited with the same soul, and do not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus. When asked about that, Abdu'l-Baha replied:

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The resurrections of the Divine Manifestations are not of the body. All Their states, Their conditions, Their acts, the things They have established, Their teachings, Their expressions, Their parables and Their instructions have a spiritual and divine signification, and have no connection with material things. For example, there is the subject of Christ's coming from heaven: it is clearly stated in many places in the Gospel that the Son of man came from heaven, He is in heaven, and He will go to heaven. So in chapter 6, verse 38, of the Gospel of John it is written: "For I came down from heaven"; and also in verse 42 we find: "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" Also in John, chapter 3, verse 13: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

Observe that it is said, "The Son of man is in heaven," while at that time Christ was on earth. Notice also that it is said that Christ came from heaven, though He came from the womb of Mary, and His body was born of Mary. It is clear, then, that when it is said that the Son of man is come from heaven, this has not an outward but an inward signification; it is a spiritual, not a material, fact.
   (Some Answered Questions, p. 103, see http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAQ/saq-23.html#pg103)

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« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2011, 10:15:56 AM »

Matter, like all created things, is by nature impermanent and mutable, but the grace of God can certainly render the corruptible incorruptible. And that is what the Resurrection of Christ accomplishes. 

Bahais therefore do not believe in the resurrection of a body to be reunited with the same soul, and do not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus. When asked about that, Abdu'l-Baha replied:

Quote
The resurrections of the Divine Manifestations are not of the body. All Their states, Their conditions, Their acts, the things They have established, Their teachings, Their expressions, Their parables and Their instructions have a spiritual and divine signification, and have no connection with material things. For example, there is the subject of Christ's coming from heaven: it is clearly stated in many places in the Gospel that the Son of man came from heaven, He is in heaven, and He will go to heaven. So in chapter 6, verse 38, of the Gospel of John it is written: "For I came down from heaven"; and also in verse 42 we find: "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" Also in John, chapter 3, verse 13: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."

Observe that it is said, "The Son of man is in heaven," while at that time Christ was on earth. Notice also that it is said that Christ came from heaven, though He came from the womb of Mary, and His body was born of Mary. It is clear, then, that when it is said that the Son of man is come from heaven, this has not an outward but an inward signification; it is a spiritual, not a material, fact.
   (Some Answered Questions, p. 103, see http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAQ/saq-23.html#pg103)

St. Theophylact gives the genuine interpretation of this passage:
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The Lord adds the words Who is in heaven for a specific reason: "When you hear Me say that I came down to earth, do not imagine that I am no longer in heaven. I am here in the body on earth, and at the same time co-enthroned there with the Father in My divine nature."
But the incarnation is a stumbling block and an enigma to philosophers, even those who deem themselves prophets.
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« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2011, 10:54:54 AM »

St. Theophylact gives the genuine interpretation of this passage:
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The Lord adds the words Who is in heaven for a specific reason: "When you hear Me say that I came down to earth, do not imagine that I am no longer in heaven. I am here in the body on earth, and at the same time co-enthroned there with the Father in My divine nature."


That's how I understand it too.

Christ's words are incompatible with a physical descent of the body from the skies. His body came from Mary, and has a physical and temporal location, His spirit, not being material, does not literally come down, go up, or enter or exit. It can be on earth, and with God, at the same time (as God also is not limited to one place)
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« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2011, 10:56:46 AM »

St. Theophylact gives the genuine interpretation of this passage:
Quote
The Lord adds the words Who is in heaven for a specific reason: "When you hear Me say that I came down to earth, do not imagine that I am no longer in heaven. I am here in the body on earth, and at the same time co-enthroned there with the Father in My divine nature."


That's how I understand it too.

Christ's words are incompatible with a physical descent of the body from the skies. His body came from Mary, and has a physical and temporal location, His spirit, not being material, does not literally come down, go up, or enter or exit. It can be on earth, and with God, at the same time (as God also is not limited to one place)


His body did not descend from heaven, but he certainly resurrected in it, and ascended with it.
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« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2011, 04:17:24 PM »

Not all unities are intended to last forever, as Christ says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh .... What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder," but also, "in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage."

The Creator always had a creation; the rays have always shone and gleamed from the reality of the sun, for without the rays the sun would be opaque darkness. The names and attributes of God require the existence of beings, and the Eternal Bounty does not cease.
   (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 281)

But not all unity shall pass away. The unity of the Triune Godhead shall not pass away; the same unity that allows God to have selflessly loved before creation. The names and attributes of God require the existence of persons; not the existence of created things.

And the holy Apostle says regarding the resurrection:

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body."
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« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2011, 12:35:28 AM »

Essentially the belief that Baha'u'llah was the one promised by the Bab as a manifestation of God. The bab being someone who claimed to be the 12th imam a figure in Islam that is supposed to come before Christ comes back in islam. And essentially that is bahai. I have talked to many of them and none of them seem to agree on what specific doctrines should be believed, but they consider this one a must.

I personally consider it a false and dangerous religion which promotes plurality and eccumenism, basically a new age version of Islam, only less islam and more New age. They reject the Physical ressurection and the deity of Christ.
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« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2011, 08:43:54 AM »

... a false and dangerous religion which promotes plurality and eccumenism, ...

Plurality and ecumenism is certainly a core Bahai message (also equality, peace, education and spirituality). Time will show whether ecumenism really is a danger. 
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« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2011, 02:32:28 PM »

So Sen there is no Truth but a multiplicity of "truths" that equal a big Truth?
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2011, 03:40:49 PM »

So Sen there is no Truth but a multiplicity of "truths" that equal a big Truth?

There are a multiplicity of truth-seers, none of them big enough to grasp or hold an absolute truth.

Is there any Truth with a big T? God knows (it).

The rest of us have fragments

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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2011, 03:42:05 PM »

But why wouldn't God give us just Truth then? Why fragments?
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2011, 07:01:58 PM »

But why wouldn't God give us just Truth then? Why fragments?

I have faith that God does sent us Truth, in the form of Christ, and Baha'u'llah, and others (Truth is persons, not propositions). However we are limited beings, and conditioned by all sorts of factors. So we not only cannot know any absolute truth, we cannot prove that such a thing exists. At most we accept it on faith
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« Reply #41 on: February 24, 2011, 07:38:15 PM »

But why wouldn't God give us just Truth then? Why fragments?

I have faith that God does sent us Truth, in the form of Christ, and Baha'u'llah, and others (Truth is persons, not propositions). However we are limited beings, and conditioned by all sorts of factors. So we not only cannot know any absolute truth, we cannot prove that such a thing exists. At most we accept it on faith
Can man receive knowledge only through the senses and the intellect, or is there another way? Is truth only absolute if it can be empirically provable to others?
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« Reply #42 on: February 24, 2011, 08:43:40 PM »

Can man receive knowledge only through the senses and the intellect, or is there another way? Is truth only absolute if it can be empirically provable to others?

The senses can be deceived, and intellectual reasoning can be faulty (which is why people don't agree on conclusions, even where the facts are agreed). There is also scripture and the religious tradition, but we can be mistaken on how we understand these. And there is inspiration, but we may mistake our imagination for the inspiration of the Spirit. Therefore the best path is to combine all of these, and to remain modest. We may be mistaken, and we can surely learn from others even where we are not mistaken.
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« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2011, 08:45:27 PM »

Can man receive knowledge only through the senses and the intellect, or is there another way? Is truth only absolute if it can be empirically provable to others?

The senses can be deceived, and intellectual reasoning can be faulty (which is why people don't agree on conclusions, even where the facts are agreed). There is also scripture and the religious tradition, but we can be mistaken on how we understand these. And there is inspiration, but we may mistake our imagination for the inspiration of the Spirit. Therefore the best path is to combine all of these, and to remain modest. We may be mistaken, and we can surely learn from others even where we are not mistaken.

Are you then possibly mistaken about the Bahai faith?
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2011, 08:52:39 PM »

Can man receive knowledge only through the senses and the intellect, or is there another way? Is truth only absolute if it can be empirically provable to others?

The senses can be deceived, and intellectual reasoning can be faulty (which is why people don't agree on conclusions, even where the facts are agreed). There is also scripture and the religious tradition, but we can be mistaken on how we understand these. And there is inspiration, but we may mistake our imagination for the inspiration of the Spirit. Therefore the best path is to combine all of these, and to remain modest. We may be mistaken, and we can surely learn from others even where we are not mistaken.

What if God chose to give man knowledge that was not communicated in words, text, imaginings or through the senses at all?
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