Bahai Faith-Introduction

 

(Usage note: The correct orthographies are "Bahá'í", "Bahá'ís", "Báb", and

  "Bahá'u'lláh".  In this paper the forms "Bahai",  "Bahais", "Bab", and "Baha’u’llah" are often used.)

 

The gist of this paper is written to scrutinize the claim that the Bahai Faith is the religion for this age.  First I will introduce the Bahai Faith, it’s history and teachings, and then attempt to show why the Bahai Faith cannot be considered as the Faith for this age. I will also include testimony from former Bahais who have left this faith.  Their testimony is to be taken to heart.

I have no malice toward the Bahai’s.  In fact, I was a Bahai for several years until the Holy Spirit directed me away and brought me to Christ.  After many years of searching and being a practicing Buddhist, Moslem, Bahai, Taoist, etc., Christ found me and brought me to His Love.  For all individuals who are a part of the Bahai Faith, I urge you to read this paper and think about what is written within these pages.  And for those who are not Bahais but are attracted to their message, I also urge you to think about what is written in these pages.

Let us now turn to the Bahai Faith……….

The Baha’i World Faith at a cursory glance appears to be the perfect model of the postmodern universal religion. Its appeal is to the collective brotherhood of all mankind, a “One World Order” type of creed, which includes spiritual, social and governmental development of the individual and society. Although the Bahai do not have any women in their highest governing body, the Universal House of Justice, the BAHAI WORLD FAITH professes a total equality of the genders. On the surface the BAHAI WORLD FAITH appears to be the ideal for man’s future, but in actuality it is just another attempt to degrade the idea of a holy and just God, who requires punishment for sin and man’s inability to supply his own salvation from that punishment. They join the postmodern role call of detractors, including many liberal Christians, Mormons who claim hell is only for the “sons of perdition” and apostate former LDS, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses who assert there is no hell, but eternal “destruction” for those who don’t believe.

In its attempt to appeal to Christians, the BAHAI WORLD FAITH professes an acceptance of the divinity and role of Christ, but then “spiritualize,” redefine and minimize them. They also redefine every term in the Christian lexicon having to do with: the nature of God, of man, of salvation--including sin, the devil, and hell; and the nature of heaven as a progressive state open to all, even those who die having denied Jesus as their savior. The BAHAI WORLD FAITH has turned the Biblical presentations and even the words of Jesus and His disciples into nothing more than symbolic, figurative pictures. They assert that Jesus has returned in the person of Baha’u’llah, who has now interpreted the Scriptures the supposed way Jesus had originally intended. They claim Jesus Christ as one of their “Manifestations” of God, no better or worse than any of the others, but affirm that only they can truly interpret Christ’s parabolic words and the meanings of the other Biblical Scriptures. Their postmodern, universalistic theology is unbiblical, and totally antithetical toward orthodox, historic Christianity.

The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion. Although the Baha'i Faith is not

traditionally included among the Abrahamic religions, it recognizes the same

prophets, plus its own.

 

The Báb

In 1844 the Persian prophet Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad, who adopted the title "the Báb", which means "the Gate" in Arabic, established a new religion. It is

distinct from Islam but grew out of the Islamic matrix in the same way that

Christianity grew out of Judaism or Buddhism out of Hinduism. Followers of the

Báb were known as Bábís and their religion as "the Bábí Faith". The Bábí Faith

has its own scriptures and religious teachings, but its duration was  short.

The Báb's primary purpose was to prepare the way for "Him whom God shall

manifest," the One promised in the scriptures of all of the world's great

religions.

The large numbers of people who quickly became attracted to these new religious teachings alarmed the ecclesiastical and political authorities. The Báb and his followers were persecuted relentlessly. The Báb was imprisoned and eventually executed by a firing squad in Tabriz, Persia (present-day Iran) on July 9, 1850. His mission lasted six brief years.

 

Bahá'u'lláh

Mírzá Husayn-`Alí, who took the title Bahá'u'lláh, which is Arabic for "the

Glory of God", was a Persian nobleman who became one of the early, prominent

followers of the Báb. He was arrested and imprisoned during a period of severe

persecution in 1852. While incarcerated in the dungeon of the Siyáh-Chál in

Tehran, He received the first intimations that He was the One anticipated by the

Báb. Nine years later, in 1863, while exiled in Baghdad, Iraq, He formally

announced His mission to His family and a small number of followers.

 

The machinations of the Persian and Ottoman authorities took Bahá'u'lláh further and further into exile, from Baghdad to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), then to Adrianople (present-day Edirne), and finally, in 1868, to the penal colony of Acre, on the  edge of the Ottoman Empire. Bahá'u'lláh remained there until His passing on May 29, 1892, after forty years of exile and

imprisonment. Bahá'ís regard His resting place outside the city as the holiest

spot on earth, to which they turn in prayer each day.

 

The other important Bahá'í holy place in the Haifa/Acre area is the tomb or

Shrine of the Báb, located on the slope of Mount Carmel in Haifa. The remains of

the Báb were brought secretly from Persia to the Holy Land and were eventually

interred in the Shrine built for them in a spot specifically designated by

Bahá'u'lláh.

Bahá'u'lláh revealed the equivalent of more than one hundred volumes of divinely inspired writings in Arabic and Persian. The main repository of the laws of Baha’u’llah’s revelation is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, "the Most Holy Book".

 

Abdu'l-Baha

Before His passing, Bahá'u'lláh appointed His eldest son, `Abdu'l-Bahá, as His successor and the sole interpreter of His teachings. Bahá'u'lláh designated him "Center of the Covenant" and directed all Bahá'ís to turn to `Abdu'l-Bahá as the Head of their Faith. (In the Bahá'í Faith, "Covenant" refers specifically to the succession of authority from Bahá'u'lláh to `Abdu'l-Bahá, and from `Abdu'l-Bahá to the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. Those who publicly deny and rebel against this established succession of authority are known as

"Covenant-Breakers", and are subsequently excommunicated from the Bahá'í

community. The purpose of the Covenant is to safeguard the unity of the Bahá'í

community, protecting it from the influence of schismatics.)

 

`Abdu'l-Bahá had shared his Father's long exile and imprisonment. This

imprisonment continued until `Abdu'l-Bahá's own release as a result of the

"Young Turk" revolution in 1908. Shortly after his release, `Abdu'l-Bahá

traveled to Europe and America, proclaiming the teachings of his Father and

nurturing the fledgling Bahá'í communities that had sprung up in various centers

in Europe, the United States and Canada. Many of his talks were recorded and

have been published in books entitled "Paris Talks" and "The Promulgation of

Universal Peace." Another important work of `Abdu'l-Bahá, which set the course

of the expansion and consolidation of the Bahá'í world community, is a series of

documents called "Tablets of the Divine Plan". He also carried on a voluminous

correspondence with Bahá'í communities and individuals over a period of many

years, and many of these letters, or "Tablets", have been translated and

published in various languages. `Abdu'l-Bahá died in Haifa on November 28, 1921.

 

The Administrative Order of the Bahá'í Faith

Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament is the charter of the Bahá'í administrative

order. In this document `Abdu'l-Bahá established the twin institutions of the

Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, and he appointed his eldest

grandson, Shoghi Effendi, as the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. Again, because of

the clear directions in the Will and Testament, there was no question as to the

succession of leadership in the Faith.

 

Shoghi Effendi, who was a student at Oxford University at the time of his

Grandfather's passing, served as the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith until his

passing in 1957. For thirty-six years he developed the Bahá'í community and its

administrative structure in order to prepare it to support the election of the

Universal House of Justice. Because the Bahá'í community was relatively small

and undeveloped when the Guardian assumed the leadership of the Faith, it took

many years to strengthen it and develop it to the point where it was capable of

supporting the administrative structure envisioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá. Shoghi

Effendi pursued this goal energetically and systematically.

As outlined in the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the roles and functions of the institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice were clearly complementary: the Guardianship's function was interpretive, while the function of the Universal House of Justice was legislative. Neither should infringe upon the role of the other. Throughout the period of the Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi exercised his interpretive function. He translated the sacred writings of the Faith; he developed global plans for the expansion of the Bahá'í community; he developed the World Center of the Bahá'í Faith in Haifa; he carried on a voluminous correspondence with communities and individuals around the world; and he built the administrative structure of the Faith, preparing the community for the election of the Universal House of Justice.

The Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá clearly anticipated that there would be a succession of Guardians, but this was not to be. `Abdu'l-Bahá had indicated that the first born of the Guardian should be his successor, but if that individual

did not inherit the Guardian's spiritual qualities, then he should appoint another male descendant of Bahá'u'lláh. However, Shoghi Effendi did not have children, and through the years all of the members of his family had rebelled against the authority conferred upon him, becoming "Covenant-Breakers". Thus, it was not possible for him to appoint a successor as Guardian. It was also clear from `Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament that only the Universal House of Justice had the authority to resolve questions not explicitly dealt with by either Bahá'u'lláh or `Abdu'l-Bahá, and this issue would obviously need to be taken up by that body. And so Shoghi Effendi had laid the foundations for the election of the Universal House of Justice. This nine-member body, which governs the international Bahá'í community, was first elected in 1963. That same year, it determined that there was "no way to appoint or to legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi."

Bahá'ís all over the world, loyal to the Covenant first established by

Bahá'u'lláh and then carried forward by `Abdu'l-Bahá, accepted this decision

made by what they believe is the divinely guided central authority of their

Faith.

 

There is no clergy in the Bahá'í Faith. At the grassroots level, Bahá'í

communities are governed by freely elected nine-member councils called "Local

Spiritual Assemblies". Similarly, National Spiritual Assemblies direct and

coordinate the affairs of national Bahá'í communities. The Bahá'í electoral

process is unique. There is no system of candidature, electioneering or

campaigning, and the purpose is to elect members who best possess those

spiritual qualities that enable them to serve the community.

BASIC BELIEFS OF THE Bahái

Bahá'is BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, they are monotheistic (who sends messengers which the Bahá'í call “the Manifestation of God”). “He restates in every age God's purpose and will. His teachings are a revelation from God. Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ, and Muhammad were Manifestations of God. Each gave men divine teachings by which to live.  Bahais believe that true religion is the real basis of civilized life.

10 basic teachings of the Baha'i Faith:

Here are some of the teachings given by Bahá'u'lláh more than a hundred years ago for this new Day: The oneness of mankind, Independent investigation of truth, The common foundation of all religions, The essential harmony of science and religion, Equality of men and women, Elimination of prejudice of all kinds, Universal compulsory education, A spiritual solution of the economic problem, A universal auxiliary language. Universal peace upheld by a world government.

“Bahá'u'lláh is the focal center toward whom the followers of all religions may now turn for spiritual guide through whose Teachings the high level of civilization foretold by all the prophets will be established throughout the world. A new, divine order has been ushered in. You can help establish it.”(Bahá'í Tract)

3 principles are Oneness of God, Oneness of religion, Oneness of mankind

 

The Oneness of mankind

THE ONENESS OF MANKIND is like a pivot around which all the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh revolve. This means that men and women of all races are equal in the sight of God and equal in the Baha'i community. People of different races must have equal educational and economic opportunity, equal access to decent living conditions and equal responsibilities. In the Bahai view there is no superior race or nation. (Tract on Basic facts of the Bahá'í faith Bahá'í publishing trust Wilmette Illinois)

“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 250)

“The Bahá'í Faith regards the current world confusion and calamitous condition in human affairs as a natural phase in an organic process leading ultimately and irresistibly to the unification of the human race in a single social order whose boundaries are those of the planet. The human race, as a distinct, organic unit, has passed through evolutionary stages analogous to the stages of infancy and childhood in the lives of its individual members, and is now in the culminating period of its turbulent adolescence approaching its long-awaited coming of age”  (Universal House of Justice Bahá'í World Center Haifa, Israel,1985).

The Oneness of religion

This New age religion has two main teachings: First, there is only one God. However, this God: “...is a completely unknowable essence, who is manifested through the creation of the world itself and various prophets” (USA Today, p. 9 March 2, 1984).

“All men will adhere to one religion, will have one common faith, will be blended into one race, and become a single people. All will dwell in one common fatherland, which is the planet itself.”(Abdu’l Baha The promised day is Come, p.126)

“O’ ye people of the world! The religion of God is for the sake of love and union; make it not the cause of enmity and conflict…the hope is cherished that the people of Baha shall ever turn to the blessed word: LO: ALL ARE OF GOD” (Bahá'u'lláh Last Will and Testament)

“The revelation of Bahá'u'lláh should be viewed as the marking of the last and highest stage in the stupendous evolution of man’s collective life on the planet. (It marks) the emergence of a world community, the consciousness of world citizenship, the founding of a world civilization and culture” (Shogi Effendi The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh p.163).

“Christ was the Prophet of the Christians, Moses of the Jews - why should not the followers of each prophet recognize and honor the other prophets also? If men could only learn the lesson of mutual tolerance, understanding, and brotherly love, the Unity of the world would soon be an established fact” (The Wisdom of Abdul Baha p.43).

“One God has given men one Faith through progressive revelations of His Will in each age of history and Bahá'u'lláh reveals the will of God for men and women of the present age. This basic belief enables Bahá'í’s to unite and work together in spite of different religious backgrounds” (Tract on Basic facts of the Bahá'í faith Bahá'í publishing trust Wilmette Illinois).

“All these divisions we see on all sides, all these disputes and opposition, are caused because men cling to ritual and outward observances, and forget the simple, underlying truth. It is the outward practices of religion that are so different, and it is they that cause disputes and enmity -- while the reality is always the same, and one. The Reality is the Truth, and truth has no division. Truth is God's guidance, it is the light of the world, it is love, and it is mercy. These attributes of truth are also human virtues inspired by the Holy Spirit.” (`Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 120-1)

Oneness of God-To see the Harmony between the religions, science, and reason

“Religion and science are the two wings upon which man's intelligence can soar into the heights, with which the human soul can progress. It is not possible to fly with one wing alone! Should a man try to fly with the wing of religion alone he would quickly fall into the quagmire of superstition, whilst on the other hand, with the wing of science alone he would also make no progress, but fall into the despairing slough of materialism” (Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p.143).

“In this great dispensation, art (or a profession) is identical with an act of worship and this is a clear text of the Blessed Perfection. Therefore, extreme effort should be made in art and this will not prevent the teaching of the people in that region. Nay, rather, each should assist the other in art and guidance. For instance, when the studying of art is with the intention of obeying the command of God this study will certainly be done easily and great progress will soon be made therein; and when others discover this fragrance of spirituality in the action itself, this same will cause their awakening. Likewise, managing art with propriety will become the means of sociability and affinity,' and sociability and affinity themselves tend to guide others to the Truth.

“Concerning sciences, crafts and arts. Knowledge is like unto wings for the being, and is as a ladder for ascending To acquire knowledge is incumbent on all, but of those sciences which may profit the people of the earth, and not such sciences as begin in mere words, and end in mere words.”

“To study sciences and arts of all descriptions is allowable,' but such sciences as are profitable, which lead and conduce to the elevation of mankind. Thus has the matter been decreed on the part of God, the commander, the wise!”

“Such arts and sciences, however, as are productive of good results, and bring forth their fruit, and are conducive to the well being and tranquility of men have been, and will remain, acceptable before God. Wert thou to give ear to My voice, thou wouldst cast away all thy possessions, and wouldst set thy face towards the Spot wherein the ocean of wisdom and of utterance hath surged, and the sweet savors of the loving-kindness of thy Lord, the Compassionate, have wafted.”

“In the treasuries of the knowledge of God there lieth concealed a knowledge which, when applied, will largely, though not wholly, eliminate fear. This knowledge, however, should be taught from child-hood, as it will greatly aid in its elimination. Whatever decreaseth fear increaseth courage. should the Will of God assist Us, there would flow out from the Pen of the Divine Expounder a lengthy exposition of that which hath been mentioned, and there would be revealed, in the field of arts and sciences, what would renew the world and the nations” (Bahá'í Scriptures tract authorized by National Spiritual assembly of Bahá'í’s Australia).

Abolishing the extremes of wealth and poverty, to eradicate racism and have a brotherhood of mankind

“We see amongst us men who are overburdened with riches on the one hand, and on the other those unfortunate ones who starve with nothing; those who possess several stately palaces, and those who have not where to lay their head. Some we find with numerous courses of costly and dainty food; whilst others can scarce find sufficient crusts to keep them alive. Whilst some are clothed in velvets, furs and fine linen, others have insufficient, poor and thin garments with which to protect them from the cold. This condition of affairs is wrong and must be remedied. Now the remedy must be carefully undertaken” (`Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p.151).

Universal peace for all

“The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world's Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquility of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories” (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 249).

“World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet -- in the words of one great thinker, “the planetization of mankind”… The scientific and technological advances occurring in this unusually blessed century portend a great surge forward in the social evolution of the planet, and indicate the means by which the practical problems of humanity may be solved. They provide, indeed, the  means for the administration of the complex life of a united world” (Universal House of Justice Bahá'í World Center Haifa, Israel 1985).

 All religions have spoken of or addressed the idea of a golden age of peace. Jesus Christ made it clear it would not take place until His second coming. For mankind would be in wars and in great turmoil. If He did not intervene the Bible (Matthew 24) says no flesh would survive. Yet Bahá'í has this perfect society and world planned without Jesus Christ, and they tell people they believe in Jesus. This appears to contradict Jesus' own words.

Religious truth is progressive

“The foundation of all the divine religions is one. All are based upon reality.... Some have been Zoroastrians, some are Buddhists, some Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans and so on.... If we abandon these timeworn imitations and investigate reality all of us will be unified.... The dark and gloomy clouds of blind imitations and dogmatic variances will be scattered and dispelled; the Sun of Reality will shine most gloriously” (Bahá'í Teachings For A World Faith, pp. 5-6).

Bahai’s believe in continual revelations by different messengers

“Since there is one God these manifestations of God have each taught the same religious faith” (Bahai tract Wilmette, Ill.) Baha’u’llah is considered a theophany, or mirror in which the ultimately unknowable nature of God is reflected on earth in some way. Bahá'ís believe manifestations are sent by God to guide humanity toward a higher level of consciousness and they teach all religions are the same at the core differing only in their time and culture.

“When the period of decay is reached a new seed is planted in the hearts of men by a new messenger and a new growth begins” (Bahá'í Faith p. 42). Was there decay when Bahá'u'lláh, came on the scene in 1840's? What of the decay today? It would seem it is much worse than the 1840's.

“The high prophet brings always a new name of God-not only a new title but a new attribute; that is, he admits into the human consciousness a new attribute by which God is realized, a fuller conception of God” (Townshend, Promise, p. 50).  The Bible teaches 1840 years before Bahá'u'lláh the fullness and complete revelation of God (Col.1:15, 19, 2:9) was found in Jesus Christ. They ignore this revelation and diminish it to prove their own prophet as greater.

The Persian founder of the nineteenth-century religion of Bahai (the Bab) believed in numerous prophets and continual manifestations of God for their time. Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í religion, the successor of the Bab, is the most recent manifestation, and the one we should now listen to for our spiritual instructions. There will be no other for about 1,000 years. Interesting that they use the  number the Bible says Jesus will be ruling as king on the earth (Rev.20:6).

“The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh. The followers of his faith believe, is that religious truth is not absolute, but relative, that divine revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complimentary, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.” (Call to the Nations, p.11)

“Each takes the work from the hand of his predecessor and carries it toward at the appointed hour he resigns his completed work to his successors.” (Bahá'í World Faith, pg. 49)

Bahá'u'lláh stated, “ Every age has its own problems, and every soul its own particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require.”

“We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned... they cannot discover the cause of the disease, nor have they have any knowledge of the remedy.” (Bahá'u'lláh Gleanings, pg. 213)

Neither can the Bahá'í find the remedy for they deny the only one who has it, Jesus Christ the only Messiah.

They Welcome Independent Investigation of Truth

“Furthermore, know ye that God has created in man the power of reason, whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to imitate blindly his fathers and ancestors. He has endowed him with mind, or the faculty of reasoning, by the exercise of which he is to investigate and discover the truth, and that which he finds real and true he must accept.” (Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 291)

“Bahá'u'lláh does not wish anyone to accept his revelation blindly. He asks each individual to look into it himself. Use his own eyes and ears, his own faculty of reasoning and make up his own mind” (Bahá'í Faith pg.45). (Although this is espoused, the Bahai do not permit the reading of books “banned” by the Universal House of Justice.  You will learn more about this further on in this paper.)

The following list of 12 "beliefs" are frequently listed as a quick summary of

Bahá'í teachings. They are derived from a variety of such lists extracted from

transcripts of speeches given by Abdu'l-Bahá during his tour of Europe and

North America in 1912. The list is not authoritative and a variety of such lists

circulate.

 

  The Oneness of God

  The Oneness of religion

  The Oneness of mankind

  Equality of men and women

  Elimination of all forms of prejudice

  World peace

  Harmony of religion and science

  The need for universal compulsory education

  Obedience to government

  Non-involvement in [partisan] politics

  A spiritual solution to economic problems

  Elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty

 

Another Bahá'í principle is that of moderation in all things (specifically liberty, civilization, religious zeal and scriptural literalism.)  Bahá'ís believe that although the current age is quite dark, the future of humanity is gloriously bright and that world peace is inevitable. To be a Bahá'í means that a person believes that Bahá'u'lláh is the manifestation of God for this time. A Bahá'í strives to follow His teachings, and observes His laws.

 

Rituals

 

  The rituals in the Bahá'í Faith are simple and few in number:

  There is a specified set of marriage vows.

  There are a few specified funerary practices.

 

  Bahá'ís are enjoined to:

 

    recite an obligatory prayer each day, facing in the direction of the Qiblih (the  

    Point of Adoration)

    read the sacred writings of their Faith each morning and evening

    perform a pilgrimage once in their life if they are able to afford it

    support their Faith with material offerings.

      Soliciting of funds from individuals is strictly prohibited, and Bahá'í

      institutions are forbidden from accepting contributions from people who

      are not Bahá'ís.

 

Laws and Ordinances

 

  Bahá'ís in good health between the ages of 15 and 70 observe a nineteen-day

  sunrise-to-sunset fast each year March 2 to March 21.

  There are no dietary restrictions, but Bahá'ís are forbidden to drink alcohol

  or to take recreational drugs, as these interfere with an individual's spiritual  

  growth and progress.

 

  Family life is, in the Bahá'í view, a cornerstone of society. Marriage is

  encouraged.

 

    Chastity outside marriage is required.

    Couples wishing to marry must obtain the consent of all living natural

    parents, as the Bahá'í teachings state that marriage is more than a union of

    individuals; it is the union of families.

    Partners are expected to remain absolutely faithful within the marriage

    relationship.

    Interracial and inter-religious marriages are accepted.

    Divorce is permitted, although regarded with the utmost seriousness, and is

    granted if, after a year of separation, the couple is unable to reconcile

    their differences.

 

The Bahá'í Calendar

 

The Báb established the Bahá’í calendar. The year consists of 19 months

of 19 days, and 4 or 5 intercalary days, to make a full solar year. The New Year

occurs on the vernal equinox, March 21, at the end of the month of fasting.

 

Bahá'í communities gather at the beginning of each month at a meeting called a

"feast" for worship, consultation and socializing. While the name may seem to

suggest that an elaborate meal is served, that is not necessarily the case.

Sometimes refreshments are plentiful, but they can be as simple as bread and

water.

 

Bahá'ís observe 11 Holy Days throughout the year, with work suspended on 9 of

these. These days commemorate important anniversaries in the history of the

Faith.

 

Mashriqu'l-Adhkár

 

Most Bahá'í meetings occur in individuals' homes, local Bahá'í centers, or

rented facilities. There are currently only seven Bahá'í Houses of Worship. The

name used in the Bahá'í writings for Houses of Worship is Mashriqu'l-Adhkár

(Dawning-place of the Remembrance of God). The Mashriqu'l-Adhkár forms the

center of a complex of institutions of the Baha'i community.

 

Statistics

 

Today, there are some six million Bahá'ís living in 236 countries and

territories around the world. They come from more than 2,100 different ethnic

and tribal groups and live in more than 127,000 localities. The 2002 World

Almanac lists 133,500 Bahá'ís in the USA and 28,500 in Canada.

 

Involvement in the Life of Society

 

Bahá'ís actively promote issues of social justice and spirituality wherever they

are found, holding the concept of the unity of mankind as the standard for their

actions. Bahá'ís have also become increasingly involved in projects of social

and economic development around the world.

 

Bahá'u'lláh wrote of the need for world government in this age of humanity's

collective life. Because of this emphasis Bahá'ís have actively supported the

United Nations since its inception. The Bahá'í International Community has

consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and with the United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, and has undertaken joint development programs with United Nations agencies. (See [1]

(http://www.bahai.org/article-1-6-0-6.html) further information] on the

relationship between the Bahá'í International Community and the United Nations.)

 

Brief Chronology of the Bahá'í Faith

 

  May 23, 1844 Declaration of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran.

 

  July 9, 1850, Martyrdom of the Báb in Tabriz, Iran.

 

  1852, While imprisoned for four months in an underground dungeon in Tehran,

  Bahá'u'lláh receives the first intimations that He is the One foretold by the

  Báb.

 

  January 12, 1853, Exile of Bahá'u'lláh from Tehran to Baghdad.

 

  April 23, 1863, Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in Garden of Ridván in Baghdad on

  the eve of his exile to Constantinople.

 

  August 31, 1868, arrival of Bahá'u'lláh into the Prison-city of Acre in the

  Holy Land.

 

  May 29, 1892, Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh.

 

  1893 First newspaper mention of the Bahá'í Faith in United States.

 

  1898 First pilgrimage by Western believers, including Phoebe Hearst and the

  first African-American believer, Robert Turner, to the Holy Land where they

  visited with 'Abdu'l-Bahá in prison.

 

  September 1908, 'Abdu'l-Bahá is released from a lifetime of exile and

  imprisonment at 64 years of age.

 

  April 1912 – December 1912, Travels of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in North America.

 

  1914-1918, World War I. 'Abdu'l-Bahá writes the Tablets of the Divine Plan.

 

  April 27, 1920, 'Abdu'l-Bahá is knighted by the British Empire in recognition

  of His humanitarian work during WWI.

 

  November 28, 1921, Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Haifa

  (This date marks the close of the "Heroic Age of the Baha'i Faith" and the

  opening of the "Formative Age.")

  1937, Shoghi Effendi launches the "Divine Plan" for the diffusion of the

  fragrance of the Cause.

 

  1944, Publication of "God Passes By" by Shoghi Effendi.

 

  1951, eleven functioning National Spiritual Assemblies.

 

  1951-1957, appointment of 32 additional "Hands of the Cause of God" by 

  Shoghi Effendi.

 

  November 1957, passing of Shoghi Effendi.

 

  1957 – April, 1963. 27 remaining Hands of the Cause guide faith.

 

  April 1963, Election of first Universal House of Justice by representatives of

  56 National Spiritual Assemblies gathered in Haifa.


 

The Progressive Revelations according to Bahai’s.

 

Even as He saith: “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God.” Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim, “I am the Seal of the Prophets,” they, verily, utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the “Beginning” and the “End,” the “First” and the “Last,” the “Seen” and “Hidden”-all of which pertain to Him Who is the Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say, “We are the Servants of God,” this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. … “Thus in moments in which these Essences of Being were deep immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of Divine mysteries, they claimed their utterances to be the Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself.” (Gleanings from The Writings of Bahá'u'lláh p.54-55)

One would hear no difference from a New Age speaker communicating revelation from the ascended masters. In this explanation we have them all being as part of the one, as part of one person. However Bahá'ís will deny Mohammad is the seal of the prophets, for they claim it is Baha’u’llah for this age, which will last for one thousand years.  At the end of one thousand years another manifestation will appear.

Bahá'ís consider Baha’u’llah a theophany, or mirror in which the ultimately unknowable nature of God is reflected on earth in some way. He is no greater or lesser than any that have gone before him. Bahá'ís believe manifestations are sent by God to guide humanity toward a higher level of consciousness, and they teach all religions are the same at the core differing only in their time and culture. These manifestations are endowed with the Holy Spirit (who is the Christ, the anointing spirit, though not the Holy Spirit of which Christians are familiar) so that God could work through them. Each one has a religion named after them. Despite that none of the religions use this term (Christ) except those who came after Jesus, they insist this to be true. Some even claim Jesus referred to Baha’u’llah as “Father.”  So now we have the Father coming a man who died on earth, not for sin, but died from persecutors. Even though Jesus said no man has seen the Father.

“Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: “I am the return of all the Prophets,” He, verify, speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established...”(Gleanings from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh p.52)

With a succession of Revelator's there stems a confusion of terminology about God's nature. And why not! When you believe anyone who was famous in history had a religion or spiritual thoughts they must have come from God.

Not only that, they can't agree on how many manifestations there are. In 1908 Abdul Baha said there was Abraham, Moses, Christ, Mohammed, the Bab, and Bahá'u'lláh, That is six. In October, 1912 Abdul Baha said there was to be included Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, and Confucius, which makes nine. Why the sudden change?  We have a man deciding who the manifestations of God were; the list changes.

The Bab, who is included in this list, said Adam was a manifestation. Bahá'u'lláh who came after the Bab said, “there was Noah, and Hud and Salih from the Koran. Also Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and his predecessor the Bab.

There are four different lists with 14 manifestations; all of them must be accepted.  One cannot add another to this list after Bahá'u'lláh because he said that there would be no new manifestation for at least one-thousand years. Bahá'u'lláh states that these manifestations will continue throughout the life of the world “ God has sent down his messengers to succeed Moses and Jesus, and he will continue to do so till the end of the world.“ (World Order pg.116) {Source used Francis Beckwith's book, Bahá'í, p.12}

“These attributes of God are not and have never been vouchsafed specially unto certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of God, His well favored, His holy and chosen Messengers, are, without exception, the bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His attributes. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation, and the comparative potency of their light .... (Book of Certitude pp.99-100)

We are told that “each time a manifestation appears on earth it is as if the spirit of all the former manifestations return with him.” This sounds like some type of unified reincarnation.

“The Bearers of the Trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Revealers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same person” (Gleanings from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh p.50).

“Each takes the work from the hand of his predecessor and carries it toward at the appointed hour he resigns his completed work to his successors” (Bahá'í World Faith pg. 49).

This concept is foreign to the Bible which states Jesus Christ completed God's work, being the final revelation to man as God in the flesh. So there is no one afterward that can add to His perfect work. While there were apostles afterward they proclaimed what He taught, they did not come up with a new prophet or one to follow.

Here is a sample of their appeal from one of their tracts…”If you are of the Christian Faith, which had its origin approximately the year 1, your prophecy concerning the return of Christ in the glory of the Father has been in new name In this day this new name is “The Glory of God.”

“If you are of the Jewish Faith, which had its beginning about the thirteenth century B.C., your prophecy of the of the coming of the Lord of Hosts has also been fulfilled in Bahá'u'lláh.”

“If you are a Muslim, whose Faith dates from A.D.622, you will find that your prophecy concerning the “Great Announcement” likewise has been fulfilled with the appearance of Bahá'u'lláh.”

“If you are of the Buddhist Faith, which began about 560 B.C., your prophecy, too, about the coming of the Fifth Buddha has found fulfillment in Bahá'u'lláh.”

“If you are a Hindu, whose Faith began several thousand years B.C., your prophecy concerning the return of Krishna has at last been fulfilled by the same new Prophet, Bahá'u'lláh.”

“If you are of the Zoroastrian Faith, which dates back to the sixth or seventh century B.C., you also will find that Bahá'u'lláh fulfills your awaited coming of the Shah Bahram.”

 “After all these centuries, do you not think it is time for God's Messenger to come again? Bahá'í's believe that He has come, the One Who fulfills the promises of all the Prophets, and that He has released the spiritual power which will unite all mankind in one universal faith and establish peace and brotherhood.” (Bahá'í tract in Hawaii from Wilmette Ill.)

(WHAT THEIR SPIRITUAL RELATIVISM BOILS DOWN TO IS TO ACCEPT ALL AND DENY NONE. THE BAHAIS WILL FIND SOMETHING THEY CAN ACCEPT FROM EVERY FAITH TO MAKE IT ALL FIT INTO THE BAHAI PHILOSOPHY.)

The second of the two major works composed by Bahá'u'lláh… is The Book of Certitude, a comprehensive exposition of the nature and purpose of religion. In passages that draw not only on the Quran, but also with equal facility and insight on the Old and New Testaments, the Messengers of God are depicted as agents of a single, unbroken process, the awakening of the human race to its spiritual and moral potentialities. (Bahá'u'lláh, p.10, 1991 by the National spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís, Canada)

If they are all from the same God, we would then expect them to agree, but this is not the case. While the Hebrew prophets spoke in unity concerning God, sin, and the coming Messiah, this is not so with the major and minor religions of the world.

Krishna - Hinduism has an impersonal God who is part of the universe. God is part of all things, man can discover his true self through yoga and meditation and that he is God. Unlike Hinduism, the God of the Bible is transcendent, He is beyond creation, He existed before it, is not part of creation but lives outside space and time. He is not dependent on anything but is self-sufficient. Hinduism teaches there are millions of Gods. Not even the Bahá'í's or Muslims would agree with this. Christians certainly do not.  However, the Bahais want us to believe we can incorporate Hinduism with other religions. Hinduism  teaches that there is no evil, that all reality seen is maya, an illusion. Hindus believe in reincarnation, the cycle of death and rebirth. It is through this process of universal law that one eventually becomes reunited with God. The Bible teaches only one life, that each of us have, and then a resurrection. This is totally different  concerning what happens to the body after death. These are mutually exclusive. Jesus taught and practiced resurrection, He said of Himself,  “I Am the resurrection and the life”, meaning that He gives physical life to those who believe in Him at death.

This religion is in conflict with Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.

Zoroaster- Was a 7th B.C Century Persian prophet who was confused with the problem of evil. He couldn’t solve the problem of the conflict of good and evil so he created a system of dualism. He had Ahuru Mazda as the Supreme Being and then a literal personal devil (Angra Mainyu, Ahriman, Spirit of evil ) as equals in the conflict of light vs. darkness. Bahais deny a literal devil. Zoroaster was a polytheist. He spread his faith with two Holy wars with the aid of a ruler of Iran (Hystaspes). He also said, “ man is in god, god is in man.”

This religion is in conflict with Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.

Bahá'í claims the manifestations are not educated “As a man, he is marked by his simplicity and gentleness and a lack of personal ambition. Often he is born of lowly parents, is obscure and impecunious. He is always a man of little human learning.” (Bahá'í World Faith, p.49)

Gautama Buddha was born into royalty (his father was king Suddhodana Gautama, they were a family of warriors and nobility.) He grew up in luxury until he observed the human misery around him. He then forsook it all at the young age of twenty-nine.

Moses was educated in the royal court of Egypt. He grew up in the Pharaoh's palace. This can hardly considered an impoverished lifestyle.

Confucius was a learned man. He had started a school in which he had 3,000 students .

So, what Baha’u’llah stated, that al the manifestations are not educated, appears not to coincide with the facts.  Some were highly educated in relation to the era in which they lived.   

Buddhism- Arose as a sect of Hinduism. Gautama Buddha lived around 560 BC. In Buddhism there is no teaching of God. At best Buddhists are agnostic and also pantheistic. The ultimate end of the soul is to become a drop of water in the vast cosmic ocean. There is no individuality. Buddhism believes in transmigration of the soul, which contradicts both Islam and the Bible. Buddha gave man the eight-fold path; a system of self-works to enter nirvana, which is the ultimate extinguishing of self.  One uses the self to extinguish the self.

This religion appears to be in conflict with reality, other religions, and even itself.

Confucius- (Master Kung) 551 B.C. was a polytheist and practiced ancestor worship, which is forbidden in the Bible. We have Buddha and Confucius living as two manifestation's at the same time, teaching different philosophies, contradicting each other. Neither one was teaching about God, so how can they be a Light for God.

Islam- Mohammed states there is no Son of God. Which is a denial of what the Bible states in the Old and New Testament. The same angel that gave Mohammed his revelation also said to Mary Jesus will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35 and he will be called Emmanuel- God with us (Mt. 1:23).

The Islamic God is capricious, unknowable and far away. God is a singular person, no triune nature. Mohammed is the last and greatest Prophet, and there are no more after him. To call Mohammed a manifestation of God is held by only 10% of Islam who believe in Imam's, the Shiite sect, from which the Bahai Faith originates. Islam is derived from some truth but mostly distortions of their Judaic roots by way of Abraham. Bahá'í is an Islamic offshoot, which goes even farther away from the source of authenticity than does Mohammed.

Islam is in conflict with Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Judaism- Moses -Believed in one God.  Jews are strictly monotheistic. God is personal and knowable (God spoke to Moses as a man speaks to another man.). Man is a sinner in need of redemption. Man was given the law and the sacrificial system so that he would become aware of his sin and his need for cleansing before approaching God.  All this points to one person- Christ and his cleansing for sin. Judaism prophesies of the one who would come as the Messiah. The Law ended with Christ for those who have faith in Jesus (Galatians 2-3).

Judaism is in conflict with Islam, with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Bahá'í.

Christianity-Jesus claimed to be the invisible God- to know Him is to know God. All the Prophets spoke of Him, He is the final revelation at the end of the age. He taught that men are sinners in need of salvation. He is the only one who has taken care of sin; the only one who rose from the dead and is now alive ruling from heaven.

1 John.5:20: “ And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” The true God and eternal life. By believing in Him, we believe in the true God, and are in possession of eternal life. John warns against any others who come along, no matter what display of religion they may have. Jesus Christ is the one and only express image of God's person approved for all time, the only true manifestation of God. Any other representations that claim to be of God are forbidden to be followed by Christ Jesus, and are no more than idols, being mere men. This is according to the Bible.

When Jesus asked his followers, “Who do men say I am?” they gave only names of the Hebrew Prophets not Krishna, or Buddha or anyone else. Christ only quoted the Bible, no other literature. But all these supposed manifestations coming after Jesus, refer to Him.

Christianity is in conflict with Islam, with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Bahá'í and anyone who would deny that sin exists.

SUMMARY OF THE MANIFESTATION IN THEIR DOCTRINE OF GOD

Krishna--A Mixture of polytheism and pantheism. The universe is eternal. The universe is God, and so are we.

Zoroaster--One good god and one evil god (religious dualism).

Moses--One personal God. The universe is not eternal, but was created by the eternal God; sin needs to be cleansed by a sacrifice.

Buddha--God is not relevant; essentially agnostic. The 8-fold path attempts to negate desiring, which, in turn, will lead to Nirvana—the absolute extinguishing of self

Confucius--Polytheistic.

Jesus Christ--The true God who is personal (Mark 12:29; John 4:24; 5:18-19; etc.).

Muhammad--One personal God who has no Son, Jesus did not die or resurrect. Sin is done away by doing good.

Bahá'u'lláh --God and the universe are an emanation of God, and are co-eternal. Jesus is only one of many manifestations. Baha’u’llah is the last manifestation of this age.  Another manifestation will arise in a thousand years.

Jesus is not just one in a progressive line of manifestations of truth in history that includes Buddha, Krishna and Mohammed -- He is the Alpha and the Omega; the author and finisher of those who embrace Christianity; the Lord of lords, the King of Kings; the Light of all men; Savior of our souls; Counselor; Prince of Peace; the Mighty God; the Way, the Truth, the Life; the eternal I Am. Without Him nothing would exist.


 

Insights to point out concerning Bahai Teaching…..

Bahá'í teaches the manifestations are sinless- “ For these holy souls are pure from every sin, and sanctified from faults” (Abdul Baha, Some Answered Questions pg. 195).

“He hath ordained that in every age and dispensation a pure and stainless Soul be made manifest in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. Unto this subtle, this mysterious and ethereal Being He hath assigned a twofold nature; the physical, pertaining to the world of matter, and the spiritual, which is born of the substance of God Himself (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, pgs. 66-67).

Sinless representatives--Moses didn’t think he was, Mohammed didn’t think he was. They sacrificed for their sins.  You do not do this if you are sinless.

When we look at their examples of those who are supposedly sinless as representatives we see the truth of their teaching as not coinciding with reality. Adam was the first sinner, he brought sin into the world and to every man.  Therefore, he is disqualified. Abraham sacrificed because he was a sinner. God, because he killed a man, sacrificed for his sins. Mohammed admitted he was a sinner. Allah said he was a sinner, Quran 48:1-2:  “Lo, We have given thee (Mohammed) a signal victory, that Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come...” In Sura 40:55 He asks for forgiveness of his sin. The Hadith states that Muhammad had to ask forgiveness for sin more than seventy times a day. (Bukhari vol. I, no. 711, 78; vol. V, no. 24)

So if these prophets were sinners, then they are not a manifestation of God according to the Bahá'í standard.

The Bible says no man is without sin, Rom.3. Jesus, according to what is written in the Bible, was sinless. Therefore, one can see that Jesus is more than a man. Only God is sinless.  Jesus is sinless because of his Holy Ghost conception.

Man is dealing with the same problems that he has had from the beginning--he's a fallen creature, a sinner in need of repair, and only Jesus has the cure. The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” Christ is the sinless lamb sacrificed to take away the sin of the world. John announced Him as this.

“We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned... they cannot discover the cause of the disease, nor have they have any knowledge of the remedy” (Gleanings from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh pg. 213).

Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well being of the world, and it is that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity.  There is little wonder if the treatment prescribed by the physician in this day should not be found to be identical with that which he prescribed before. How could it be otherwise when the ills affecting the sufferer necessitate at every stage of his sickness a special remedy? (Book of Certitude p.99)

Jer.17:9 “The heart is deceitfully wicked” (incurably sick). God the creator is the only one capable of fixing what is broken in man. We need a touch from a divine agency, the great physician himself. There is only one universal remedy to restore our alienation from God and cleanse us from guilt. God has given mankind the blood of Christ as the cure to remove the innate problem of sin. The Bahais have no solution for the fallen state of man.

No other religion claims to solve the sin factor because these other religions do not believe it exists. This includes the Bahai Faith. Only when people see their sickness and how desperate they are in need of cleansing from their sin, will they be willing to go to the great physician. The Bahais are no different than anyone else.  They need the Gospel to be saved from sin and judgment, since Baha’u’llah, though a wise man, can not save a man from sin.  Only Jesus, one who is free from the thralldom of sin, can save those who are slaves to sin.  A slave cannot free a slave.  One who is free is only capable of freeing others.  It is so in this world.  It is also the case in the spiritual realm.  What Jesus does is from the inside out, what man does is from the outside which can never affect our fallen nature inside. Religion gives us rules and regulations to live by; Jesus reforms us from the inside and sets us free. 

Those who are sinners die. “ The wages of sin is death”.  Only those without sin do not die. Jesus stands as a beacon among all the rest of these so-called manifestations because he alone was without sin. He didn't die for anything he did. He died as a sacrifice for us. Only someone with no sin could die in our place as the sinless lamb.  These other men proved they were sinners, because they all died. Jesus sacrificed His life for ours yet death could not hold Him; He raised Himself from the grave bodily. Only God can do such a feat.

What Bahai has done is synthesize all the different religions into one whilst ignoring all the differences and looking for any type of agreements found in the principles. This is the spirit of our age, tolerance at the expense of truth. Jesus is not just one manifestation in a progressive line in history. No, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord of lords, the King of Kings, the light of men, Savior of our souls, Counselor, Prince of Peace, the Mighty God; The Way, The Truth, The Life, the Great I Am.

The coming new world religion…..

Baha'u'llah announced to the few remaining followers of the Bab that he was the chosen Manifestation of God for this age.  He called upon people to unite; He said that only in one common faith and one order could the world find an enduring peace. He declared that terrible wars would sweep the face of the earth and destroy the institutions and ideas that keep men from their rightful unity. (Basics of Bahai faith tract)

The Bahai religion fits perfectly with what Jesus warned of, especially in His Sermon on the Mount. Bahais believe that we need to unite with all the religions of the world to have a world government and peace. They also teach that Baha'u'llah is the second coming of Christ. (Which fulfills Mt.24, where Jesus warns many will say they are Christ and claim to represent him.)

OVER 1,800 YEARS BEFORE Baha'u'llah came Jesus not only promised this, but also did this. The faith has been delivered to all the saints once for all. The order is still future, as we await Christ to come back and fulfill His promise.

(Jesus did not condone any other religion, but Baha'í says they are all from the same God.)

“Likewise, the divine religions of the holy Manifestations of God are in reality one, though in name and nomenclature they differ.”… The strife between religions, nations and races arises from misunderstanding. If we investigate the religions to discover the principles underlying their foundations, we will find they agree; for the fundamental reality of them is one and not multiple. By this means the religionists of the world will reach their point of unity and reconciliation. They will ascertain the truth that the purpose of religion is the acquisition of praiseworthy virtues, the betterment of morals, the spiritual development of mankind, the real life and divine bestowals” (`Abdu'lBaha: Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 151-152)

 

Eph. 1:19-22 "and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church." 

The Bible tells states that the Bahais are wrong, Christ is above all in all ages, not just for his time.

To the Peoples of the World: "The Great Peace towards which people of good will throughout the centuries have inclined their hearts, of which seers and poets for countless generations have expressed their vision, and for which from age to age the sacred scriptures of mankind have constantly held the promise, is now at long last within the reach of the nations. For the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the entire planet, with all its myriad diversified peoples, in one perspective. World peace is not only possible but also inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet -- in the words of one great thinker, "the planetization of mankind". ( A Statement by the Universal House of Justice Bahá'í World Center Haifa, Israel, Oct. 1985 )

"The world is in greatest need of international peace. Until it is established, mankind will not attain composure and tranquility.  It is necessary that the nations and governments organize an international tribunal to which all their disputes and differences shall be referred.  The decision of that tribunal shall be final." (Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982, p. 301.)

Clearly a one-world government is not the answer when sinful men seek their own wants. While it is a wonderful gesture on paper, reality is quite different. Real peace will come when the Prince of Peace rules over the earth by setting up his kingdom.

"Bahá’u’lláh exhorted the rulers of the earth to peace and international agreement, making it incumbent upon them to establish a board of international arbitration; that from all nations and governments of the world there should be delegates selected for a congress of nations which should constitute a universal arbitral court of justice to settle international disputes". (Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982, p. 203.)

If I didn't know better I would think they were referring to the UN.  As they work with the UN toward their religious agenda of unity for all people, they want to see a universal system of education, a universal code of human rights, and a universal system of currency, weights and measures. This all sounds like it is right out of the Bible..Revelation 13.

Bahá'u'lláh made the oneness of humankind the central principle and goal of His Faith. When the organic and spiritual unity of the nations it signals the "coming of age of the entire human race." (Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day Is Come, p. 117 1980)

"One God has given men one Faith through progressive revelations of His Will in each age of history and Bahá'u'lláh reveals the will of God for men and women of the present age. This basic belief enables Baha’i’s to unite and work together in spite of different religious backgrounds."(BAHAI PUBLISHING TRUST WILMETTE, ILLINOIS)

“He (Bahá'u'lláh) sets forth a new principle for this day in the announcement that religion must be the cause of unity, harmony and agreement among mankind. If it be the cause of discord and hostility, if it leads to separation and creates conflict, the absence of religion would be preferable in the world."(Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith: Selected Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Publishing Trust,  1976. p. 247.)

It's hard to take someone seriously who wants to unite all religions and then says if there is no cooperation that the world is better off without religion of any kind. Any one religion can be implemented as a unifying principle for mankind and we would have that harmony the Bahai seek, even if the religion be false. If all religions are from the same God, and there are disagreements (of which there are many) then who is to say which one is to go. I wonder which one this would be? Who decides? I will not leave you guessing, the only religion that would not co-operate with this type of surrender would be Christianity. Why? Because Christians believe there is absolute truth and there is falsehood. If we stand to our convictions we cannot compromise what Christ taught.

The Bahai solution is the elimination of extremes of both Wealth and Poverty. "Through the manifestation of God's great equity the poor of the world will be rewarded and assisted fully and there will be a readjustment in the economic conditions of mankind so that in the future there will not be the abnormally rich nor the abject poor. The rich will enjoy the privilege of this new economic condition as well as the poor, for owing to certain provisions and restrictions they will not be able to accumulate so much as to be burdened by its management, while the poor will be relieved from the stress of want and misery. The rich will enjoy his palace, and the poor will have his comfortable cottage. " (Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982, p. 132)

While it is more than desirable to see the needs of the poor provided, to make it a law through one world government is another story.  This should be done, not through law, but through the understanding one derives that in helping the poor one helps himself.

"They must conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite.  They must proclaim it to all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race... All the forces of humanity must be mobilized to ensure the stability and permanence of this Most Great Covenant. In this all-embracing Pact the limits and frontiers of each and every nation should be clearly fixed, the principles underlying the relations of governments towards one another definitely laid down.  In like manner, the size of armaments of every government should be strictly limited, for if the preparations for war and the military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will arouse the suspicion of others.  The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government.  Should this greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure. (Abdu'l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 64-65.National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the USA, 1957)

This is exactly what is written in the Daniel 9:24-26 vision of the 70 weeks (a 490 year period.) 483 years are fulfilled by the beginning of vs.26 at his first coming; the latter portion of vs.26 the prince that shall come, is the Antichrist not the true Messiah who is of the same lineage as those who destroyed the Jewish temple in 70 Ad. The Tribulation begins with the signing of the peace treaty with Israel v.27. Israel needs to be at peace for the world to be at peace, this is the area of greatest conflict in the world. Everyone wants to be located there, even the Bahai have a temple in Haifa.

Isa.28:14-15-This covenant is made to guarantee security to Israel and the world. God's perspective of this covenant is that he calls it a covenant of death and hell. What Israel and the world thought was best for their security turns out to be their worst nightmare.Vs.16 tells us what happens to those who do not go along with this covenant.

Dan. 11:30-32 talking about this one who makes a covenant to replace Gods. "Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.   "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him."

Jesus warns about a great tribulation and a ruler that comes in on the promises of peace through a one-world government. It is here where we see the Bahai's fulfilling prophecy. Matt. 24:9-14: "Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name's sake.  And then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray."

Jesus warned us about those like Baha'u'llah, "For many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many.. At that time if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or, "There he is!" do not believe it" (Matt. 24:5; 23).

Matthew 24:24, 26: "For there shall arise false Christ's, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, If possible, even the elect. See I have told you beforehand.... If therefore they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness; Do not forth: Behold, he is in the inner chambers; believe it not.'

"Since there is one God these manifestations of God have each taught the same religious faith" (Bahai tract Wilmette, Ill.) Synthesizing all of the history’s religions is certainly the last stroke of genius for the coming false Christ who is called anti-Christ, who replaces the true one for a short period of time.  A one world political and religious center, peace at last right?  Wrong! Tolerance at the expense of truth is not the way of sanity, and certainly not the way of Christ.

Bahá'u'lláh teachings are for peace and unity of families, nations and the entire world. Bahá'u'lláh has revealed, in over 100 books, the message of God for the NEW WORLD ORDER." (the Return of Christ p.8)

There is a great deception coming (2 Thess.2). And he will fulfill in himself all that Bahá'í claims to look for in religions. He will be the great synthesizer appearing tolerant to all.  It appears that the Bahá'í religion is helping pave the way for many who will come as Bahá'u'lláh did, except they will exhibit all power in signs and wonders, something that will be hard to refute without heeding Christ's warning and having him as the standard.

Bahais and the message of the Bible….

The Bahá'í's claim that they uphold the Bible; however, what they actually do is re-interpret it so that it no longer means what the writers had intended. “For God to descend into the conditions of existence would be the greatest of imperfection's. “ (Abdul Baha Questions pgs. 129-130 )

While someone can claim God is unwilling to become a man, they cannot say it is impossible. Like their counterpart, Islam, they deny this is possible, but God is able to do all things. The scriptures say God would become a man and visit his people, and die for their sins. Isaiah 63:8 ... “so he became their savior in all their affliction he was afflicted and the messenger of his presence saved them.”

Luke 2:11 “for there is born to you this day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the Lord” (Meaning God).

“Jesus was not the only-begotten Son of God come down from Heaven, crucified and resurrected, nor was He the unique Savior. (Firuz Kazemzeden World Order summer 1978 p.39 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the United States)

The Bible is absolutely clear on this, Jesus is called the only begotten son, meaning unique, one of a kind. To deny this, which is what the Bahai representative did, is to deny the Father who said this and to deny Jesus who also said this.

“Was Christ within god, or God within Christ ? No in the name of God.” (Abdul Baha Questions PG 97)

Col.2:9 states that Jesus is the fullness of deity in bodily form. This means He was completely God. So who is right, those who were commissioned by Jesus or some religion that comes 1800 years later?

Matthew 1:21 “And you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins.” V. 23 “and they will call his name Immanuel, God is with us.” Rom. 9:5 ... “ according to the flesh, Christ came. Who is over all, the eternally blessed God, amen.”

“The Purpose of the one true God, exalted be Hs glory, in revealing Himself unto men is to lay bare those gems that lie hidden within the mind of their true and inmost selves.”(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah  p.287) The Bible states that there is nothing good that dwells in man, he is fallen and sinful, though the Bahais claim that man is essentially good.  Man is not plagued with the sin nature.

Bahá'í's—Seem to deny God can be known by man in a personal sense; Deny the reality of sin and the existence of a literal devil and Hell. They claim that the universe is without beginning, that it is a perpetual emanation of the first cause. After death the spirit can progress to a state of perfection.

Bahá'í's-Deny the atonement of Christ which is to wash sins away. Abdul Baha stated that there is no sin-atoning value in Christ's sacrificial death on the Cross. His denial of redemption of Christ led him to think of himself: “Fix your gaze upon Him who is the Temple of God amongst men. He, in truth, hath offered up his life as a ransom for the redemption of the world.” Bahá'u'lláh thought of himself as this without sacrificing his life. Certainly even if he did it could have no redeeming value as Christ, since Baha’u’llah was not sinless.

Does a Bahá'í believe that we are born in sin? that we die because of sin? that we are separated from God because of our sin? For one to become a Bahá'í there is no acknowledgment of a sinful nature in a person. The Jesus Christ of Christianity of the Bible is ALL about SIN and God reconciling us ONLY through his Son.

With particular regard to the Bible, a letter dated 28 May 1984 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice in response to questions raised by an individual believer outlines two principles to be observed in studying this book. “In studying the Bible Bahá'is must bear two principles in mind. The first is that many passages in Sacred Scripture are intended to be taken metaphorically, not literally, and some of the paradoxes and apparent contradictions that appear are intended to indicate this. The second is the fact that the text of the early Scriptures, such as the Bible, is not wholly authentic...”
“...we cannot be sure how much or how little of the four Gospels are accurate, including the words of Christ and His undiluted teachings.  All we can be sure of, as Bahais is that what has been quoted by Bahá'u'llah and the Master ('Abdu'l-Baha) must be absolutely authentic. As many times passages in the Gospel of St. John are quoted we may assume that it is his Gospel and much of it (is) accurate.” (Shoghi Effendi) 

However, Jesus said heaven and earth would pass away but not his word. He entrusted and was able to oversee the Bible being written. How? Because Jesus was, and still is, ruling in heaven.

All these descriptions of the different religions have obvious irreconcilable differences with God's nature and man's relationship to him. All religions are not the same. There are major contradictions in fundamental core beliefs of all the religions of the world.

All but one religion have mankind attempting to please God by the work of their own hands. Christianity teaches man is unable to reach God. God reached downward from heaven, He became a man to accomplish the solution of our dilemma-the sinful nature of man.

What good is a pantheon of new guides with new information of God that contradicts the old revelation if good only for their time.  We would have no absolute truth in which to judge. This goes against the law of non-contradiction. Either the revelators are all wrong or only one is right, but all cannot be right. The problem lies in the root of relativism, that there is no absolute truth. The Bahai syncretism is one of its major weaknesses.

The founders of ancient religions served only to originate moral or spiritual systems that could BE ACCEPTED by any other men. These men who began these systems did not remain as the source of all that they taught.  Even within Judaism and Christianity men like Moses and Paul might have been replaced by other equally good men, but it is not so with Christ.  Christ predicted His death and resurrection.  And it occurred.

Bahá'í's DENY a physical resurrection….

Abdu'l-Baha explains the meaning of the resurrection as: "The disciples were troubled and agitated after the martyrdom of Christ. The Reality of Christ, which signifies His teachings, His bounties, His perfection's and His spiritual power, was hidden and concealed for two or three days after His martyrdom, and was not resplendent and manifest.   NO, rather it was lost; for the believers were few in number and were troubled and agitated.  The Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body, and, when after three days the disciples became assured and steadfast, and began to serve the Cause of Christ, and resolved to spread the divine teachings, putting His counsels into practice, and arising to serve Him, the Reality of Christ became resplendent, and His bounty appeared; His religion found life, His teachings and admonitions became evident and visible. In other words, the Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body, until the life and the bounty of the Holy Spirit surrounded (Ferraby, p. 178.)

This is blatantly false.  Abdul Baha, though a wise man, misinterprets the Bible.  In effect, he is denying that the physical body of Christ was resurrected.  He is essentially calling all the disciples of Christ purveyors of falsehood.  One who denies Christ’s physical resurrection can not share in the Holy Spirit and is not a reliable witness to the Spirit of Christ and God, and cannot possibly interpret the Bible accurately.

The resurrections of divine manifestations are not of the body…his resurrection from the interior of the earth is also symbolic… like wise his ascension to heaven is a spiritual not material ascension".(Abdul Baha Questions pp.199-120)

This is also false.  By spiritualizing this event Christ is lowered to be just another teacher in the timeline of history. Paul the apostle who was literally interfered by this so called dead person preached in 1 Cor.15 that if he was not literally raised in the body we are most pitied of men and even liars. If this event is not true than neither is anything else Christ said.  The teachings we have from the apostles (Paul included) resurrected a lie. The whole message of Christianity is encompassed with it being the truth in a world of lies, a light in a world of darkness.

"Behold how the generality of mankind hath been endued with the capacity to hearken unto God's most exalted word the Word upon which must depend the gathering together and spiritual resurrection of all men. . . ."(Gleanings of  Bahá'u'lláh, p.97)

The Bible explicitly states that Jesus rose physically from the dead. Only what dies can to be brought back to life. There is no spiritual meaning to this event except the plain meaning that Jesus rose in his own body just as he said he would. The resurrection is a proven fact. Over five hundred witnesses attested to seeing the Christ after He was crucified.  His physical body has been missing for over 1960 years.  All that was needed was to have someone produce the body of Jesus.  This would have quelled this new teaching, but no one could produce the body. Why?  Jesus was raised from the dead and then ascended to heaven in front of his disciples.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life"( Jn.11:25).  He also stated that He would raise people from the dead on the last day (Jn.6:39-40).  Buddha, Mohammed, and Bahá'u'lláh do not have the ability to do this and did not say they could.  Only God could accomplish this work. Jesus is God.

 

 

DID JESUS PROPHESY the COMING of Bahá'u'lláh?

Speaking of Bahá'u'lláh, "He is the Promised One of all Religions, whose coming was foretold in all the sacred scriptures," (Welcome to the Bahá'í' House of Worship, p. 2).

Jesus said in John 16:12-13: "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."

"I go away and come again unto you." And in another place He said: "I go and another will come, Who will tell you all that I have not told you, and will fulfill all that I have said."  Both these sayings have but one meaning, were ye to ponder upon the Manifestations of the Unity of God with Divine insight.'

"Every discerning observer will recognize that in the Dispensation of the Quran both the Book and the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the matter of names, Muhammad declared: "I am Jesus." He recognized the truth of the signs, prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that they were all of God." (GLEANINGS FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHA'U'LLA'H p.21)

I take issue with Mohammed declaring he is Jesus, for I could find nowhere where Mohammed ever said such a thing.  He certainly did not believe all the words of Jesus. It would seem that Bahá'u'lláh had little knowledge of what Islam teaches. Bahais use the same argument from Islam about their prophet being the one who should come. After all, the Bahai are a sect that broke off from Islam.  They deny everything Jesus said, minus the virgin birth, which they insert as a whole different story. While Islam's position is that Jesus was a prophet in a line of succession of prophets, Bahá'í's say he is one of many manifestations  

Abdul Baha said, "At the first coming he came from heaven though apparently from the womb, in the same way also, at his 2nd coming, he will come from heaven though apparently from the womb".(Abdul Baha questions pg. 127) Jesus made it clear that He would come again in the same way He left the first time.  He came from heaven to earth (invisibly). He would come back to earth visibly, the same way He left from earth to heaven from the Mount of Olives.(See Acts.1; Mt.24:30)

Does this mean there will be another virgin birth? No, the Bahais claim that Baha’u’llah has fulfilled this coming, so we need not look for another. This is exactly what Jesus warned about, "For many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many.  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ! or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.” (Matt. 24:5. 23) The reason there was a virgin birth was to preserve His sinlessness.  Baha’u’llah made no claim to be sinless.  Christ supposedly (through Bahá'u'lláh) went from being sinless to being sinful?

Bahai claims as Islam does for Mohammed that Jesus came back in Baha’u’llah as the Holy Spirit. A simple look at the broader context of John chapters 14-16 shows their interpretation is wrong. Jesus clearly identifies the Spirit of truth as being the Holy Spirit not a human person. (John 14:16, 177 26.)

Jesus calls this Spirit of Truth the Counselor (John 15:26). Earlier in the discourse He calls this Counselor the Holy Spirit: “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:25-26).

The function of the Holy Spirit is to make known the teachings of Jesus and not to replace them with the teaching of another prophet who comes 600 years later, like Mohammed, or 1,800 years later, like Baha’u’llah.

The Bahai teach that, "All these divisions we see on all sides, all these disputes and opposition are caused because men cling to ritual and outward observances, and forget the simple, underlying truth. It is the outward practices of religion that are so different, and it is they that cause disputes and enmity -- while the reality is always the same, and one. The Reality is the Truth, and truth has no division. Truth is God's guidance, it is the light of the world, it is love, and it is mercy. These attributes of truth are also human virtues inspired by the Holy Spirit. (Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks: Addresses Given by `Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris 1911-12, pp. 120-121.   Bahá'í Publishing Trust 11th ed. 1969)

Does the Holy Spirit inspire human virtues? Does the Holy Spirit lead people to lay down their beliefs for unity? What did Jesus say was the truth? His Word is the Truth, which is why we are supposed to follow the Scriptures as our only guide and Jesus as our savior. This is rejected by Bahá'í in the ingenious way of conglomeration with other teachers.

When Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5 ) it was fulfilled a few day's later recorded in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Acts 1:5 "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days from now you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

The counselor, the Spirit of Truth who is the Holy Spirit, was received by the disciples on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-2 Luke writes, "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest upon each one of them. And they were all fired with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."  (The Bahais also reject that Christians may be able, through the Holy Spirit, to speak in tongues.  They, in effect, label St. Paul, and the other disciples as liars.  Pentecost, to the Bahais, could not have taken place.)

The Biblical record proves that the disciples and others received the Spirit just as Jesus said they would. In John 14:16 Jesus said the Holy Spirit would be with us forever. How can this be when Bahá'u'lláh lived only 75 years and died in 1892. What makes this even more illogical is that the Holy Spirit is living in Christians.  How can the Holy Spirit be Bahá'u'lláh who was a flesh and blood person who died?  Only something that is eternal can be with people forever. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit was there in the beginning of creation, that he is the creator, being God.  This does not apply to Baha’u’llah.  Baha’u’llah is gone.

"Baha’u’llah claims that he is the teacher from God for this day, that he is the return of Christ." (The Return of Christ, p.2)  It is questionable whether Bahá'u'lláh claimed this for himself or it was his faithful followers who bestowed this appellation.

Rev. 1:7--Look he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him. It is a literal second coming like the first. The Bahais change the meaning as they do with everything else in many of the religions saying that the meaning is to be understood with the inward, spiritual eye. The Biblical meaning is to view the occurrence as natural as it is described in Mt.24:30: "At that time the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will SEE the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."  It is not a secret coming, where only some see (Jehovah's Witness interpretation). His coming is from the sky.   Acts 1:9-11 explicitly states that Jesus’ return will be to the earth in the same manner as He left. Any other way is to be rejected as counterfeit.

Jesus will not come back as Mohammed or Baha’u’llah, He will not sport a different name.  1 Cor.1:8, "We wait for the Son who will appear from heaven.”   His coming is not from the earth but from heaven where he now resides.

Bahai teaching espouses that no prophecy is of any private interpretation. However, Baha’u’llah applies prophecies of Christ to himself, which makes him a false prophet. What is claimed is that Baha’u’llah is the second coming, and that he is the Holy Spirit.  If this is so, then what is he stating?  The Holy Spirit is God, an eternal person of the Godhead, not a human being who died never to rise again.  However; Bahais do not aver the Holy Spirit as a “person” of God.  In their belief system the Holy Spirit is not the same as what Jesus taught.  The Bahais believe that the Comforter is Baha’u’llah, and that the Holy Spirit does not indwell in a Christian and by inference did not dwell in any of the Apostles.    

Jesus states, "He will pray the Father and He will send you another Comforter even the Spirit of Truth." (allos paracletos in Greek.)  Allos is the word for of the same kind, the Holy Spirit is another of the same type in substance and activity. He is the invisible comforter to Christians.  He leads them into the words of Jesus only. He is of the same kind in that Christ was Spirit before He came to earth and took on an additional nature of the flesh. The Holy Spirit is eternal and so is the Son.  Micah 5:2, "Out of Bethlehem will come forth to me the ruler in Israel whose goings forth are from old from eternity past.”

Jn. 1:1, "In the beginning was the word (meaning he was already there from the beginning) the word was with God (towards God in relationship) and the word was God (God is the word).  Verse 14 states who this word is, the word became flesh and did tabernacle among men, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.  Verse 18, "No one has seen God at any time.  The only begotten God (Son) who is in the bosom (in relationship with) of the Father, He has declared him (made him known).

In Jn: 5:39 Jesus states that the Scriptures testify of Him.  Verse 46, "If you believed Moses you would believe me for He wrote about me."  On the road to Emmaus He caught up with two men who were in disbelief of his resurrection.  Verse 27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets He explained to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  Jesus always referred to the OT scriptures to validate who He was.

Jesus is the only begotten (unique, one of a kind, no more like him); however, the Bahais insist he is just one in a succession of many who are no more or less like him.

In Jn 5:43 Jesus warned,  "I have come in my Father’s name and you do not receive me.  If another comes in his own name him, you will receive. "Bahá'u'lláh came in his own name!

One Bahai was so sure of himself years ago that he informed me by saying, Bahá'u'lláh is the "Everlasting Father", the "Prince of Peace", the Voice that spoke to Moses in the Burning Bush, Jehovah, the Father of Christ, the Great Announcement, and the Ancient of Days. I also believe that if it were not for Bahá'u'lláh not a word of the Sacred Scriptures or Holy Books (including the Bible) would have been written. Jesus referred to Baha’u’llah as "Father." There is no mention of Bahá'u'lláh in the Old or New Testament.

The Bahais claim that all manifestations were sent from the same God.  If this is so, then why is there a complete lack of their teachings and names in the Bible?  It appears that several faiths desire to incorporate Jesus into their religion.  Mohammed refers to Jesus and the Bible, so does Baha’u’llah.  However, the Bible never states that there will be other manifestations.  The Bible actually avers the exact opposite.   Heb.1: 1, "God, who at various times in various ways spoke in times past by his prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, who He has appointed heir of all things through whom also He made the worlds. Who being the brightness of His glory and express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power when He purged our sins, sitting down at the right hand of the majesty on high."

Eph.1:21 makes it clear:  "Far above all principality and power and might and dominion and EVERY NAME that is named, not only in this age , but also in that which is to come." There is no other manifestation to come in the future because God came once to be incarnated in human flesh. Christ is the final revelator.  If this is rejected, it follows that God is rejected.

Comparing Christianity and Bahai

 

 

Bahai View

Christian View

Scripture

Writings of Baha'u'llah

Bible alone

God

Unknowable

Knowable and personal

Jesus

Manifestation of God

Absolute deity

Jesus’ Death

No salvific value

Atoned for sins of man

Second Coming

Baha'u'llah

Jesus Himself

Spirit of Truth

Baha'u'llah

The Holy Spirit

World Religions

Truth in all

Only Christianity true

Sin

Man imperfect, not fallen

Man fallen in sin

 

Comparing Baha’u’llah with Jesus:

                       Jesus                                                            Baha’u’llah

Jesus is sent from heaven by God and identified as the only son of God (Messiah) by John.

Born a sinner and sent from earth. Announced by the Bab.

Prophesied specifically in the Old Testament over 300 times, fulfilled all the first coming prophesies.

Not prophesied in the Old Testament, no prophecies fulfilled except about the false Christs by the Christ.

Jesus’ name means God is Savior, Immanuel-God with us.

Bahá'u'lláh means the glory of God in Arabic.

Born of the Virgin Mary (Isa.7:14) had no earthly father Mt.1.

Mirza Husayn Ali (Baha’u’llah) born of earthly parents.

Jesus did numerous miracles and healings of all kinds of diseases. Jn.20 says there are not enough books to write it all.

Baha’u’llah has no written record of miracles.

Col.2:9 states Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. He is unique as the only God/man

Baha’u’llah is another manifestation of God like other teachers from other religions. He is not unique but only one in a long line.

Has the Father’s testimony by eyewitnesses

No one ever heard the Father speak to him.

Jesus’ name is above all others, is the name above all names in this age and in all ages (Eph.1:21).

Is one name among many as progressive manifestations, crowned himself with God's revelation.

Asked his followers to follow Him.

Asks followers to follow the current manifestation.

Prophesied by more than 300 scriptures for his first coming, fulfilled them all, has more in the 2nd coming.

Bible does not mention Bahá'u'lláh once, never saying another instead would be sent as the Christ. Jesus said He would come back physically the same way he left (Acts 1:11).

Lived a sinless life, never once prayed for forgiveness.

Claimed God's manifestations are sinless, but his life did not prove his sinlessness.

Died by crucifixion for others in Jerusalem at age 33, being innocent of any crime. Sinless.

Died by a fever in exile at the age of 75.

Arose from the dead on the third day just like he predicted, emptying His tomb, promises to raise everyone else and be their judge.

Never rose from the dead nor claimed he would. Although he claimed to be the 2nd coming of Christ, he gave no proof.

Jesus sent the comforter to the disciples from heaven right after He left, just as He promised. He lives only in Christians, those who believe the gospel and said the comforter would be with them forever.

Baha’u’llah claims to be the comforter coming 1800 + years later and died. Unable to keep the promise of being personally with believers throughout the ages. No miracles were performed.

Over 1,500,000,000 claim to be His followers are known for their dedication, love, and caring for others. Building hospitals, feeding the poor and helping to educate people all over the world. Giving the message of being saved from the outcome of their sins.

Bahais have 6 million people. Which can be considered proof he was not the 2nd coming, since Christ would set up his kingdom and reign forever at his 2nd coming.  All the world would know for he would judge the world.

Jesus did numerous miracles, healing all kinds of diseases, cast out demons, resurrected people from the dead.  Was resurrected from the dead

Baha’u’llah died as do all men and woman.  He was not resurrected, performed not one miracle.  Complained that no one was as maltreated as himself, forgetting Christ’s  and his disciples treatment.

 

It would appear that the Bahai message is founded on sand.  But wait…there is more.

Expanded Critique of the Bahai Faith  

The Bahai Faith does not have the power of God, but a philosophy

The Baháí teach "Every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God is endowed with such potency as can instill new life into every human frame, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth. All the wondrous works ye behold in this world have been manifested through the operation of His supreme and most exalted Will, His wondrous and inflexible Purpose. Through the mere revelation of the word 'Fashioner', issuing forth from His lips and proclaiming His attribute to mankind, such power is released as can generate, through successive ages, all the manifold arts that the hands of man can produce. This verity is a certain truth. No sooner is this resplendent word uttered, than its animating energies, stirring within all created things, give birth to the means and instruments whereby such arts can be produced and perfected. All the wondrous achievements ye now witness are the direct consequences Of the Revelation of this Name. In the days to come, ye will, verily, behold things of which ye have never heard before. Thus hath it been decreed in the Tablets of God, and none can comprehend it except them whose sight is sharp" (Bahá'í scriptures tract authorized by National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'í's, Australia).

This is a perfect example of spiritual philosophical meandering in old English. This sounds profound, yet gets one nowhere!  It is well meaning, but any man with a modicum of insight could predict this.

Cor.1:18--"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." The Baháí religion does not have life changing power because that power is found in the Gospel. The Gospel is eternal because it is centered around the person of Jesus and His work, which is also eternal. Without the Jesus Christianity is a religion with no power.  It is the source of salvation for one to have a right relationship with God and to receive his Holy Spirit. While Bahá'í claims to believe in Christ they deny the reason He came. Everything starts with the Cross.  Without the Cross and the meaning behind the Cross, one has denied Jesus' purpose for coming.

In 2 Cor.2:5 Paul states, "That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." This tells us the power of God is the Cross. Only through this means can one become a new creation.

The Bahá'ís believe in the wisdom of men. Bahá'u'lláh, who was a prolific writer who, wrote in King James vernacular to communicate his own spiritual thought's about God. It is not focused on what God did for us but what we can do for God, by our own power of service. Scripture is clear that one is first saved to do good works, which are only found in Christ (Eph.2:8-10). The Bahá'ís claim to believe the Bible but, in effect, they deny its teachings of grace.

Only in Christ can one find the perfect representation of God. Jesus declared that He proceeded forth from God, being the infinite invisible God in human flesh.  “I am from above, you are from below” was His statement. None of these so called manifestations of other religions claim to have come down from heaven, none had a virgin conception, none are the only begotten Son of God, making Jesus, in effect, equal with His Father.

The Bahá'í' also claim God cannot incarnate himself: "Know thou of a certainty that the unseen can in no wise incarnate his essence and reveal it to men" ( Bahá'u'lláh Gleanings, p. 49).

"Was Christ within God, or God within Christ? No in the name of God." (Abdul Baha, Some Questions Answered p. 97)

If Christ is not whom He claimed to be then all of Christianity is a fraud and Jesus should not be included in their procession of manifestations. There goes one of their main manifestations. In fact they wouldn't even know about Christ without the Bible. The Bahá'ís deny the core of the Bible and what Christ himself claimed. It is not that He did not incarnate but that He could not: "For God to descend into the conditions of existence would be the greatest of imperfections " (Abdul Baha Some Questions Answered pps. 129-130). The Bible states the essence of God was revealed visibly in one man, Jesus.  Jesus stated, "If you have seen Me you have seen the Father." While someone can claim God is unwilling to become a man, that person cannot say it is impossible. God is able to do all things through His sovereign power. The Scriptures say He would become a man and visit his people, and die for their sins.  Isaiah 63:8 ... "So he became their savior. In all their affliction he was afflicted and the messenger of his presence saved them."

Luke 2:11: "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord." Bahá'ís reject this.  In rejecting this, they reject any possibility of being saved.  It appears that Bahais do not believe they sin to the point where they would need a savior.  Baha’u’llah cannot save anybody for he did sin.  He is merely a man.  He could not heal anyone.  He even claimed that no man was so maltreated as was he.  He rambled this many times while in prison.  Did He forget that Jesus died on the Cross?  Did he forget that John the Baptist was beheaded?  Did he forget that Paul was beheaded?  Did he not know that all the Disciples of Jesus, save John, met horrible deaths?  Did he not know that many Muslims were persecuted and killed, as well as Sufis, (Al Halaz, as an example)?  Baha’u’llah, did he know Christ?  How in the world could He be a manifestation of God if he did not know what others faced in their Spiritual journey on this earth.  The Glory of God would know all these happenings and therefore would not claim that he was the only man who was so maltreated.

Matthew 1:21 ... "And you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their sins."   Matthew, 1:.23 "And they will call his name Immanuel, God is with us." Bahá'í's don't have the revelation of God in Christ. So even if they accept Jesus as a great teacher, if He is not God who took on a human body it is a different Jesus. Maybe one thinks there is no such thing as a different Jesus.  Paul certainly did and warned us in the Scripture. Read 2 Cor.11:4.

Rom. 9:5 ... " according to the flesh, Christ came. who is over all, the eternally blessed God, amen." Can a Bahá'í say amen to this?  No!

If one turns away from the revelation of Jesus they turn from God. This is not so with Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed or Bahá'u'lláh. Christianity is based on the person of Christ. If one were to take these other teachers out of their religions their teachings would still be intact. If one were to remove the person of Christ from the Bible, Christianity crumbles. This is why Christianity is not just a religion, but also a relationship with a living savior. Bahá'í has nothing to offer as far as solution of the sin of man, a new life with power to live unto God, nor a future afterlife. Accept Christ as the only way to get off the broad road to destruction and return to the narrow way to life eternal.


BAHA'IS AND THE NATURE OF GOD

Although Baha'is teach that God is unknowable in his essence, they believe that God does reveal something of himself to man, especially through his "manifestations" (i.e., Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Baha'u'llah, et. al.).1 For those familiar with the conflicting doctrines of the major world religions associated with these "manifestations," however, it is also apparent that they cannot all be true (see Table). Yet this is exactly what the Baha'is maintain, namely, that each of these religious leaders was a manifestation of God for his own era and therefore spoke some truth about God's nature.

The Doctrine of God Taught by the Alleged Manifestations 2

MANIFESTATION

      IMPORTANT ELEMENTS IN HIS DOCTRINE OF GOD

Moses

One personal God. The universe is not eternal, but was created by God (Gen. 1-3; Deut. 6:4; etc.).

Krishna

Mix of polytheism and impersonal pantheism. The universe is eternal.

Zoroaster

One good god and one evil god (religious dualism).

Buddha

God not relevant; essentially agnostic.

Confucius

Polytheistic.

Muhammad

One personal God who cannot have a Son.

Jesus Christ

One personal God who does have a Son (Mark 12:29; John 4:24; 5:18-19;etc.)

Baha'u'llah

God and the universe, which is an emanation of God, are co-eternal.3

The fact that the various alleged manifestations of God represented God in contradictory ways implies either that manifestations of God can contradict one another or that God's own nature is contradictory. If the manifestations are allowed to contradict one another, then there is no way to separate false manifestations from true ones or to discover if any of them really speaks for the true and living God. Yet the Baha'is obviously do not accept every person who claims to be a manifestation of God (e.g., Jim Jones, founder of Jonestown). If, on the other hand, God's own nature is said to be contradictory, that is, that God is both one God and many gods, that God is both able and not able to have a Son, both personal and impersonal, etc., then the Baha'i concept of God is reduced to meaninglessness.

Can Christian Doctrines Withstand Scrutiny?

Steven McConnell, a Bahai, asked at one time whether the Christian concept of God could measure up to this sort of scrutiny that Christians pay to the Bahai Faith. He asserts, "Subjected to the glossy examination you give the Baha'i God, the paradox of Jesus being fully human and fully divine as well as the paradox of the unity and individuality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit would be mere contradictions!" He then asks, "So why are Christianity's paradoxes (contradictions) more virtuous than Baha'i's?"4

Several comments are in order. First, Christian thinkers take an entirely different attitude toward their problematic doctrines than the Baha'is. For example, many Christian philosophers and theologians have spent much time trying to explain these doctrines in a way that is coherent and philosophically sound.5 Christians believe that these problematic doctrines are logically reconcilable because they are in fact ultimately non-contradictory. On the other hand, the Baha'is do not seem particularly concerned about whether their doctrine of God is internally consistent.

Second, the paradoxes inherent in the Christian doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity are not comparable to the contradictions inherent in the Baha'i concept of God. When the Bible asserts both the humanity and the deity of Jesus it is not asserting something that is self-contradictory by definition. Christians do not believe that Jesus was both God and not-God, but rather that Jesus was both God and man. In other words, when Christians assert that God became man they are not asserting that God became merely man (although He was fully man), but rather that the Son of God took on a human nature in addition to His divine nature. Although we may not fully comprehend how the divine and human natures interacted in the person of Jesus, this is not the same thing as saying that the concept of a God-man is self-contradictory.

Likewise, the doctrine of the Trinity, although paradoxical, is not self-contradictory. The doctrine of the Trinity asserts that three divine persons share the same substance or essence . It does not assert that there are three individual substances that are one substance or that there are three gods that are also one god, either of which would be contradictory. That is, Christians are not saying that God is both one substance and not one substance, but that God is both one substance and three persons. Even if God's trinity cannot be fully comprehended by man, at least the Christian is not involved in a contradiction when he asserts that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God.

On the other hand, the Baha'i is required to accept that blatantly contradictory concepts of God were all infallibly revealed by God through his "manifestations." For instance, monotheism (what Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad taught) and polytheism (what Confucius and Zoroaster taught) cannot both be true, since it is contradictory to say both that there is only one god and that there is more than one god. Therefore, unlike the Christian doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity, the Baha'i view of God implies mutually exclusive concepts of God.


BAHA'IS AND BIBLICAL PROPHECY

The Baha'is claim that Baha'u'llah is the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecies of the return of Christ.6 Taken literally, of course, the Biblical prophecies of Christ's return do not fit Baha'u'llah. The Bible speaks of Jesus Himself returning in the skies before the entire world in a cataclysmic fashion to judge the living and the dead (e.g., Matt. 24). By contrast, Baha'is recognized as the "Christ" another person (Baha'u'llah) who came into the world in relative obscurity through natural means (i.e., conception and birth).7

How, then, can the Baha'is claim that Baha’u’llah fulfills the Biblical prophecies of Christ's return? They can do this only by insisting that the literal meaning is to be ignored. According to Baha'i doctrine, Jesus' description of His second coming in the Bible should be understood spiritually rather than literally. That is, the text of the Bible is said to have some symbolic meaning that is contrary to the ordinary meaning of the words used.

Literal and Symbolic

The Baha'is do not, however, follow this line of interpretation consistently in their reading of the Bible. Whenever they find a Biblical passage that clearly states that Jesus will return at the end of the world in a way contrary to Baha'u'llah's arrival, the Baha'is simply assert that we should not take that passage literally. No reason for this assertion is ever produced from the text of the Bible itself. However, on other occasions where a literal interpretation might seem to the Baha'is to support their views (e.g., Dan. 8:13-17),8 they not consider interpreting the passage non-literally.

This clip-and-paste view of Biblical interpretation proves little. After all, by the same rationale one could "prove" that any number of different individuals was Christ returned. Accepting as literal only those texts which seem to fit one's doctrinal views while pleading for a non-literal interpretation for passages which contradict one's position is a favorite tactic of pseudo-Christian groups. For example, this interpretive technique is employed by the Unification Church to show that Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah.9

With this method of interpreting Biblical prophecy Baha'is employ circular reasoning (in which the arguer assumes what he or she is trying to prove). Because the Baha'i accepts Baha'u'llah's claim to fulfill Christ's second coming, he (or she) thinks he is justified in interpreting Biblical prophecies symbolically which, if taken literally, would disprove Baha'u'llah's claim, but if taken non-literally can be used to prove it.10   Thus without even realizing it, the Baha'i is assuming the point that he is trying to prove in citing Biblical prophecy.

Jews, Christians, and Baha'is

One Bahai argument is, as the Jews were mistaken about Jesus' fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (that is, the Jews as a nation; many individual Jews accepted Jesus), the Christians of today are mistaken about Baha'u'llah's fulfillment of New Testament prophecy. There are two ways of understanding this argument. Perhaps it is meant to be a proof that Baha'u'llah fulfills Biblical prophecy, in which case the argument might be stated more formally in the following manner:

1. The Jews thought that Jesus was not the Messiah, and they were wrong.

2. Christians today think that Baha'u'llah was not the Messiah (or Christ returned).

3. Therefore, Christians are wrong to reject Baha'u'llah.

Such an argument would certainly be another case of faulty reasoning. By this reasoning Christians and Baha'is alike would be wrong to reject Jim Jones as a manifestation of God, or Sun Myung Moon as the second coming of Christ. Clearly, the mere fact that the Jewish rejection of Jesus was unjustified does not prove that the Christian rejection of Baha'u'llah is also unjustified. 

There is another way of interpreting this, however, which is not so obviously fallacious. Perhaps it is intended to argue only that the Christian rejection of Baha'u'llah is based on the same sort of error that led the Jews to reject Jesus.

Baha'is generally argue that in both cases the error that led to the rejection of the "manifestation" was an overly literal interpretation of Biblical prophecies. Such an argument would take the following form:

1. The Jews rejected Jesus because they interpreted the Bible too literally.

2. Christians today reject Baha'u'llah because they interpret the Bible too literally.

3. Therefore, Christians are wrong to reject Baha'u'llah on the basis of their literal interpretation of the Bible.

This argument, unlike the one discussed previously, has some logical value. If its premises go unchallenged, they lend strong support to its conclusion. However, both of the premises of this argument do invite challenge. 

In the case of the second premise, for Baha'u'llah one could substitute any of the other modern religious leaders claiming to be a manifestation of God or a fulfillment of the Second Coming of Christ. A follower of Sun Myung Moon could argue with equal validity as follows:

1. The Jews rejected Jesus because they interpreted the Bible too literally.

2. Christians today reject Rev. Moon because they interpret the Bible too literally.

3. Therefore, Christians are wrong to reject Rev. Moon on the basis of their literal interpretation of the Bible.

In other words, the second premise is really immaterial. It amounts to saying that if the actual words of the Bible are ignored, anyone at all can be claimed to be a fulfillment of the Bible's "spiritual" or symbolic meaning.

As for the first premise, as a matter of historical fact it is simply false. The Jews rejected Jesus as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy not because they interpreted it too literally, but because they did not interpret it literally enough. The Bible clearly predicted that the Messiah would be God (Ps. 45:6; Isa. 7:14; 9:6), but the Jews found Jesus' claim to be God scandalous and blasphemous in the extreme. The Bible also clearly announced that the Messiah would suffer and be killed as an atonement for Israel's sins (Isa. 53; Dan. 9:26), but the Jews regarded Jesus' crucifixion as proof that He was not the Messiah.

Not every Old Testament passage applied to Jesus in the New Testament was understood by first-century Jews as referring to the Messiah. However, there were a fair number of Old Testament prophecies which Jewish leaders and scholars in the first century did regard as literal predictions concerning the Messiah and which were fulfilled literally by Jesus.11 Since Jesus fulfilled these prophecies, what caused most of His contemporaries not to recognize this?

The answer is that the Jews allowed their assumptions about the Messiah to color and even distort their reading of the Biblical text. Specifically, it was their expectation of a conquering political Messiah that led first-century Jews to reject the literal meaning of the text, which presents the Messiah as both suffering and conquering.12 Consequently, they had a concept of the Messiah which Jesus could not fit. Their desire for a political Messiah incited them to ignore or twist Biblical passages predicting a suffering Messiah that were literally fulfilled in Jesus. 

Similarly, the assumption made by the Baha'is that Baha'u'llah is God's manifestation for this age leads to distortions in their reading of the New Testament. (At least the Jews had some warrant in the Biblical text for their view of the Messiah; the Baha'is have none.) They too are forced to ignore or twist Biblical passages concerning Christ (in this case those concerning His return), which they do in order to apply them to Baha'u'llah. Ironically, then, it turns out that argument actually has things turned around. The truth is that the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah for much the same sort of reason that Baha'is accept Baha'u'llah (which, in effect, is also rejecting Jesus): in both cases, religious assumptions about the Messiah interfered with a plain reading of the text. Like the Jews in Jesus' day, the Baha'is fail to interpret the Bible literally enough.

Also like the Jews, Baha'is are forced to explain why the Old Testament presents both a suffering and a conquering Messiah. The Baha'i answer is that the Old Testament really predicts two "Messiahs": Jesus was the suffering Messiah and Baha'u'llah the conquering one.13

This interpretation ignores the critical fact that both descriptions of the Messiah can be found within the same passages and are obviously referring to one person. For example, Daniel 9:25 calls the Messiah a "Prince" and 9:26 states that he will be "cut off," that is, killed.14 Jesus fulfilled in detail those prophecies referring to the Messiah's place of birth (Mic. 5:2), time of ministry (Dan. 9:24-27), death (Dan. 9:26; Isa. 53; Ps. 22), and resurrection (Ps. 16:10), as well as a number of others.15 Therefore, we should accept Jesus' claim (e.g., Matt. 24-25) and the teaching of the rest of the New Testament (e.g., Luke 1:33; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; Rev. 1:7; 22:16-21) that He will personally return to fulfill the remaining prophecies which describe a conquering Messiah.

Certainly there is no reason to accept Baha'u'llah's claim to be that Messiah. He failed to fulfill any of the Biblical prophecies concerning Christ's second coming,16 and Baha'i's cannot produce a single text from the Bible that suggests that Jesus will not Himself fulfill those prophecies.

The preceding discussion of the interpretation of Biblical prophecy should be understood in the light of a more general appreciation of proper Biblical interpretation.17 I am saying that what is understood as symbolic and what is taken more literally should be based on the text itself (as when Daniel interprets his visions as symbols, or when Jesus interprets His parables as earthly illustrations of spiritual truths). Where the Baha'is go wrong is in reading into the Bible doctrines that are totally foreign to its text and can only be justified by assuming their truth.

BAHA'IS AND RELIGIOUS UNITY

The third Baha'i argument against Christianity that should be addressed is the claim that the Bahai Faith must be God's true religion for this age because, unlike Christianity, it has not suffered any schisms. One Baha'i writer takes this so far as to proclaim that "there are not Baha'i sects. There never can be."18

There are two problems with this argument: (1) It rests on a false premise — The Bahai Faith has in fact suffered divisions. (2) The conclusion does not follow — an undivided religion is not necessarily the true religion.

Division in the Bahai Faith

First, the fact is that the Bahai Faith has suffered several divisions, from its early days to the present. One group, known as the Free Baha'is, has published a book denouncing Shoghi Effendi (who took over leadership of the Baha'i World Faith after Baha'u'llah's son 'Abdu'l-Baha died).19  Another group, the Orthodox Baha'i Faith, was formed after Shoghi Effendi died, and recognizes Jason Remey as Effendi's successor.20 Yet another group, Baha'is Under the Provision of the Covenant (BUPC), is led by Montana chiropractor Dr. Leland Jensen. Though it has "Baha'i" in its name, it is not endorsed or recognized by the main body "as a legitimate Baha'i organization."21 As Vernon Elvin Johnson concludes in his Baylor University dissertation on the history of the Bahai Faith "obvious schism has occurred in the Baha'i religion, for various factions each claiming to belong to the Baha'i religion have existed in the course of the faith's history."22

Some Baha'is may be tempted to counter that anyone who breaks off from the Baha'i World Faith is automatically not a Baha'i and therefore no schism has really occurred. Such an argument is circular in nature and commits what Antony Flew calls the "no-true-Scotsman" fallacy ("No Scotsman would do such a thing....Well, no true Scotsman would").23 As Johnson points out, the Catholic and Mormon churches have used similar reasoning to defend their claim to be the one true church24 (although the Catholic church no longer tends to take such an exclusive stance).

Division and Truth

Second, it simply does not follow that a religion that is undivided must be the true religion, or that a religion that is divided cannot be the true religion. For the Baha'i argument to be persuasive it must be shown, and not simply assumed, that the true religion must be unified organizationally. This is not a Biblical teaching: unity of the faith is presented in the Bible as a goal for the church to reach, not a prerequisite for the church to be God's people (Eph. 4:11-16).

Since on independent grounds we know that Christianity is true (for example, the evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus,25 which Baha'is deny26), we may justifiably conclude that organizational unity is not a requirement for a religion to be true. The argument can be stated more formally as follows:

1. Either the true religion is unified or it is not.

2. Christianity is the true religion and it is not unified.

3. Therefore, the true religion is not unified.

The truth of Christianity is independent of whether its adherents congregate under the same organizational banner. Its truth depends rather on the truth of the Bible's teachings concerning the person, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is not to deny that Christians have an obligation to exhibit unity and love as a testimony to the world of the truth of Jesus Christ (John 13:34-35; 17:21-23).

To our shame we confess that although Christianity is true, Christians have not always been true to Christ. Nevertheless, this does not alter the fact that Jesus Christ is the only Savior from sin and God's last word to man prior to the consummation of history (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Heb. 1:1-3; 13:8). On this basis Christianity stands vindicated as true and the Bahai Faith stands condemned as a rejection of God's truth as revealed in Jesus Christ.

It would appear that the Bahai Faith is founded on falsehoods.  But wait.  There is still more…..


NOTES

(The only book-length Christian critiques of The Bahai Faith in print are Francis J. Beckwith, Baha'i (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1985),  and William McElwee Miller, The Baha'i Faith: Its History and Teachings (South Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library Publications, 1984)

1 Beckwith, 8, and works cited there.
2 This table is based on Beckwith, 17.
3 Concerning God's relation to the universe, Baha'i writer J. E. Esslemont writes, "Baha'u'llah teaches that the universe is without beginning in time. It is a perpetual emanation from the Great First Cause." J. E. Esslemont, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, 3d ed. (BPT, 1970), 204. It should be noted that it is untenable both philosophically and scientifically to maintain that the universe is without a beginning. See J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 18-42, and works cited there; and Francis J. Beckwith, David Hume's Argument Against Miracles: A Critical Analysis (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1989), chapter 5.
4 McConnell, 2.
5 Thomas V. Morris, The Logic of God Incarnate (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986).
6 Abdu'l-Baha, 110-12.
7 Esslemont, 214.
8 Beckwith, Baha'i, 28-39.
9 James Bjornstad, Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church, rev. ed. (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1984), 19-52.
10 Esslemont, 222-26; `Abdu'l-Baha, 110-12.
11 Norman L. Geisler, Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976), 340-41; Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, rev. ed. (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1979), 141-77.
12 Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Jesus Was a Jew (San Antonio, TX: Ariel Ministries, 1981), 23-64.
13
Esslemont, 214-16; see also Beckwith, Baha'i, 35-37.
14 Fruchtenbaum, 23-24; Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), 160-80.
15 See n. 14.
16 Beckwith, Baha'i, 23-25.
17 James Sire, Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980).
18 David Hofman, The Renewal of Civilization, Talisman Books (London: George Ronald, 1960), 110.
19 Hermann Zimmer, A Fraudulent Testament Devalues the Bahai Religion into Political Shoghism, trans. Jeannine Blackwell, rev. Karen Gasser and Gordon Campbell (Waiblingen/Stuttgart: World Union for Universal Religion and Universal Peace — Free Bahais, 1973).
20 Vernon Elvin Johnson, An Historical Analysis of Critical Transformations in the Evolution of the Baha'i World Faith (Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms, 1974), 362-80.
21 Joel Bjorling, "Leland Jensen: The Prophet Who Cried 'Wolf,'" Understanding Cults and Spiritual Movements 1, 3 (1985):6.
22 Johnson, 410.
23 Antony Flew, Thinking Straight (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1975), 47.
24 Johnson, 412.
25 William Lane Craig, Knowing the Truth about the Resurrection (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1988), and Gary Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980).
26 Beckwith, Baha'i, 14, 25-26.

 

 


 

Additional Critique of the Bahai Faith…

Principles

Many of the thirteen core principles stressed by the Baha'i Faith have merit and make this religion appealing to its members. The abolition of religious, racial, class and national prejudice, the desire for equal opportunity for men and women and for education for all people, justice for everyone, and the idea that all persons should work and contribute to the overall society are all noble ideals.

Christians agree that all human beings have the same origin and are of equal value in the eyes of God (Mal. 2:10; Acts 17:26; Gal. 3:28). The concept that there is harmony between science and God’s revealed truth is compatible with Christianity. So too is the view that people should search for that objective truth apart from superstition. However, Christians must strongly disagree with other Baha'i principles.

There cannot be a basic unity of all of the major religions of the world because they clearly contradict each other in their essential doctrines (this will be discussed later). Christians are constrained to reject this plank in the Baha'i platform because the Bible reveals the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation and the only one through whom a right relationship with God can be had (John 10:27-28, 14:6, 17:3; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5).

The elimination of wealth and poverty may sound good in theory, but it is unrealistic. In practicality, in a fallen world, this is impossible.  Jesus said, “For you have the poor with you always” (Matt. 26:11). The Baha'i ideal fails to take into account that most people who are wealthy worked hard to obtain their wealth and that the poor are often poor (at least in the West) because of their own habits, either through the absence of a proper work ethic or through wasting their resources on unhealthy or profligate living. If everyone were given or allowed to keep the same amount of material possessions (as impossible as this would be to achieve), it would destroy human initiative and contradict the Biblical directive that we are to work to provide for ourselves and our families, knowing that God enables us to work and blesses us for it (Deut. 8:18; Luke 10:7; Gal. 6:5-7; 1 Cor. 9:9; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; 1 Tim. 5:18).

The idea that there should be one universal language and a one-world government, complete with an international police force, may appeal to the wisdom of the world, but to the Christian these goals evoke memories of another time in history when men tried to use these conditions to pridefully rid themselves of the God that Baha'is want to serve (Gen. 11:1-9). If these goals were to be realized, the outcome would probably be similar. This may indeed come about, and the results will be devastating (Psalm 2).

Manifestations

While Christians can agree with Baha'is that man can only know about God that which He has chosen to reveal (Deut. 29:29), Christians must strongly disagree with the premise that His truth has been progressively revealed throughout human history through the founders of the major religions of the world. Because of the wide diversity of theology taught by these various men, this claim is contrary not only to Scripture but to logic.

Three assertions made by Baha'i founders about the manifestations of God need to be addressed: that their teachings are in complete harmony, that they are infallible, and that they are each sinless.

Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell aptly sums up that there are irreconcilable disagreements among the tenets of the prominent religions of the world:

I think all the great religions of the world - Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Communism - both untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true.

While Christians disagree that all of these faiths are untrue and harmful, there can be no doubt, because of the law of non-contradiction, that either all of the religions of the world are false or one of them is true.

Adherents of each faith think that theirs is true, but when one considers what the founders of each movement taught (according to the sacred writings of each religion), the inescapable conclusion is that these religions hopelessly contradict one another. This is evident from a comparison of their doctrines on the nature of God, the most basic tenet of any theistic belief system.

Moses wrote that there is one personal God who created all things. Krishna taught a mix of polytheism and pantheism and believed that the universe is eternal. Zoroaster was a duelist, claiming that there are two equal forces, one good and one evil, eternally battling each other. Buddha was essentially agnostic; God was not relevant to his teachings. Confucius was a polytheist, but did not emphasize worship of gods. Jesus Christ declared that there is only one true and living God and that He was the incarnation of that God (God the Son) (John 5:17-18, 8:58, 10:30-33, 17:3). Muhammad also maintained that there is one God, but that He cannot have a son. The Baha'i doctrine of God is that the one God and the universe, which is an emanation of God, are co-eternal. Baha'u'llah teaches that the universe is without beginning in time. It is a perpetual emanation from the Great First Cause. The Creator always had His creation and always will have. Worlds and systems may come and go, but the universe remains. Thus the Baha'i concept of God contradicts all of the previous teachers.

In order for the Baha'i teachings to be acceptable, either the infallible manifestations are allowed to contradict each other, or there are contradictions within the nature of God. If the manifestations can contradict one another, then there is no way to discern a genuine manifestation from a counterfeit one, and Baha'u'llah was wrong when he said their messages were identical. If there are contradictions within the nature of God (e.g. God is both one and many gods, both personal and impersonal, both triune and not triune), then the Baha'i perception of God is both illogical and absurd.

The pronouncement that all of the manifestations were sinless is also contradicted by the writings associated with each religion. Moses murdered an Egyptian (Exod. 2:11-15) and was not allowed by God to enter into the Promised Land because of his trespass against the Lord (Num. 20:7-13; cf. Deut. 32:51). Moses recorded in Genesis that Adam committed the first sin, causing the cursing of creation (Gen. 1-3) and that Noah got drunk (Gen. 9). Confucius admitted defects in his conduct, and Muhammad was exhorted several times in the Quran to seek forgiveness for his faults. The only person in the Baha'i list of manifestations to be declared sinless by both friend and foe alike was Jesus Christ (Matt. 27:4; John 8:46, 18:38; 1 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:19, 2:22).

Baha'is attempt to circumvent the fact that their manifestations (except of Jesus) were neither in harmony, infallible, nor sinless by simply denying the validity of any scripture or historical record that disagrees with their preconceived notions. They do not cite other extant ancient writings that support their position. They merely declare that any contradiction to the teaching of Baha'u'llah must be in error, and they attribute any clear statement in the Bible that is antithetical to Baha'i doctrine as either a corruption of the original text, an exaggeration, or a legendary account.

Their bias against both the Old Testament and the New Testament is unfounded. The Bible has been proven to be the reliable, inerrant, inspired word of God over and over again, by manuscript evidence, internal evidence, external evidence and archaeological evidence. Jesus confirmed the Old Testament (Matt. 5:18, 19:4-5, 22:29,43, 24:15; Luke 16:16, 17:27; John 10:35) and promised the New Testament (John 14:25-26, 16:13). Jesus Christ proved that His teachings and prophecies were trustworthy not only by the miracles He performed by the power of God (John 3:2; Acts 2:22), but also by fulfillment of His promise that He would rise from the dead (Matt. 16:21; John 2:19-21, 10:17-18; cf. Luke 24:13-32, 36-43; John 20:27-31).

There is no question of the sincerity of the majority of Baha’is, or of their general pacifity and good moral lifestyle. It is also clearly evident that the majority has a deep devotion, commitment, and obedience to their Covenant and Cause (the Baha’i Faith and its spread throughout the world).

The following comments are just a brief summary of some disturbing elements of the Baha’i Faith of which the public is generally not aware. I acknowledge that there are many good things in the Baha’i Faith (as there are in all Faiths) but our purpose here is not to enumerate them. Such positive promotion is self-evident in most Baha’i publications. The purpose here is to present another side that does NOT usually appear in any of the Baha’i public promotions material and which shows light to the true nature of the Bahai Faith.

Many of the concepts and approaches of the Baha’is are admirable human qualities. But there are more major problems and inconsistencies in the Baha’i Faith, and they are………..

World control and domination

A wide variety of approaches and activities are used by Baha’is to promote their Cause (religion) and make it more acceptable to the general community - including active involvement in, and initiation of, community programs on issues such as: peace, unity, the environment. The Baha’i Community has a deliberate agenda of using education/educational situations/educational programs to promote their activities and their faith (see books such as: Each One Teach One - A Call to the Individual Believer [e.g. pp.10-11], Baha’i Education, Education - A Baha’i Perspective, The Individual and Teaching - Raising the Divine Call, Teaching the Baha’i Faith). The Baha’is also have a deliberate policy of targeting prominent people, including teachers and other educationalists - as well as indigenous people (e.g. see chapters 5 and 6 Teaching the Baha’i Faith). They often join with, or collaborate with, other groups when community issues or concerns can be mutually raised or addressed. But Baha’is are reminded of the real purpose of all such ventures: ‘In their collaborations with such associations they would extend any moral and material assistance they can afford, after having fulfilled their share of support to those institutions that affect directly the interests of the Cause. They should always bear in mind, however, the dominating purpose of such a collaboration which is to secure in time the recognition by those with whom they are associated of the paramount necessity and the true significance of the Baha’i Revelation in this day’ (p.125-126 Baha’i Administration, see also pp. 348-369 [chapter 15] in the 3rd edition, 1996, Local Spiritual Assembly Handbook).

The ultimate goal and hope for all Baha’is is the ushering in of a Golden Age where the world will be unified under the Baha’i Faith and the complete rule of its ultimate authoritative body, the Universal House of Justice. This New World Order, which ALL Baha’is are hoping and praying for, and working towards, ‘must in no wise be regarded as purely democratic in character’ (The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah p.61). This coming centralized, autocratic and anti-democratic Baha’i World Government will enact legislation in order to introduce and enforce the obligatory laws of Baha’u’llah (which will include total submission to the ‘Will of God’ - as interpreted by Baha’u’llah, the ‘Guardians’ who followed him, and the Universal House of justice; obligatory daily prayers; keeping special Holy Days; fasting; and more). (ibid. p.61-62) These Baha’i laws will be introduced world-wide by ‘a world executive, backed by an international Force.’ A uniform and universal language, monetary system, literature, communication system, religion, science, and more, will be introduced throughout the world. It will be ‘a system in which Force is made the servant of Justice’ - that is the justice of the Baha’i Universal House of Justice! (e.g. see The World Order of Baha’u’llah pp.201-205).

Local Baha’i Assemblies will become the local representatives for the rule and world government of the Universal House of Justice.

Unequal equality

The Baha’is often refer enthusiastically to their stated belief and practice of the equality of men and women. There is no clergy class, and women, as well as men, are involved in local leadership.

However, the absolute and supreme ruling authority in the Baha’i Faith is the Universal House of Justice, ‘membership is confined to men’ (9 men and NO women) - there are clear indications that it is not envisaged for any women to be part of that authoritative body in this era. The statement: ‘As women are the educators of the next generation, the education of girls takes precedence over that of boys’ must also raise some questions about the much promoted total equality (e.g. see pp.76 and 231 A Basic Baha’i Dictionary).

Lack of Acceptance

Baha’is pride themselves, publicly, for their loving openness and acceptance of everyone, including those of other religious faiths. In theory they can make it sound good, and convincing. In reality, they are no different to many other religious groups who are intolerant of those whose religious viewpoints disagree with theirs, and especially of those who dare to leave the Baha’i Faith.

The Baha’is promote and practice ‘SHUNNING’ - as much as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Exclusive Brethren, or similar groups.

The message is that Baha’is are ‘to shun entirely all Covenant breakers as they are afflicted with what we might try and define as a contagious spiritual disease…most of them don’t want to repent’ (p.17, Directives from the Guardian). Those who leave the Baha’i Faith are considered Covenant Breakers and regarded as a cancer to be cut out of the body.

The much-promoted Baha’i concept of Unity is a ‘Unity amongst friends’ that includes ‘the absolute shunning of whomsoever we feel to be an enemy of the Cause’ (our underlining - see p. 16, Baha’i Administration).

Covenant Breakers are those who have been Baha’is but who then dare to contradict or ‘attack’, especially publicly, any aspects of the Baha’i Faith or any of its leaders, including the Universal House of Justice. The message is currently reinforced with statements such as: ‘Baha’is must shun Covenant-breakers entirely in order to preserve the unity of the Faith.’ Such an attitude, behavior and action is regarded as ‘One of the greatest and most fundamental principles of the Cause’ (see p.346 in the 3rd edition, 1996, Local Spiritual Assembly Handbook. See also Directives from the Guardian, Will and Testament).

The reading of material by Covenant Breakers (often referred to as Apostates in other cultic groups) is discouraged with warnings such as: ‘The friends are warned in the strongest terms against reading such literature because Covenant-breaking is a Spiritual poison and the calumnities and distortions of the truth which the Covenant-breakers give out are such that they can undermine the faith of the believer and plant the seeds of doubt unless he is fore-armed with an unshakeable belief in Baha’u’llah and His Covenant and a knowledge of the true facts’ (p.347 in the 3rd edition, 1996, Local Spiritual Assembly Handbook).

FORGOTTEN FACTS AND DISUNITY

Like most cultic groups there are some true facts of which the Baha’i leaders would prefer the followers NOT to have any knowledge or awareness. These include some aspects of Baha’i history and the continuing disunity amongst the Baha’is themselves.

Baha’u’llah (Mirza Husayn Ali - who gave himself the title, ‘Baha’u’llah’ - ‘Splendor/Glory of God’) was supposedly a close follower of the Bab (the followers were known as the Babis), who later discovered that he was the special manifestation of God referred to by the Bab as ‘He-Whom-God-Will-Manifest.’ What is rarely acknowledged is that the Bab declared that he was a special manifestation of God and that the next manifestation would not come before 1511 years, but not later than 2001 years, after the Bab, which would disqualify Husayn Ali - Baha’u’llah!

Also omitted from official Baha’i writings are references to the fact that the Bab actually appointed Husayn Ali’s younger stepbrother, Mirza Yahya Subh-i-Azal, as his official successor. After some years Husayn Ali rejected his younger stepbrother’s authority and position, claimed a greater one for himself, and gathered followers. Followers of Husayn Ali/Baha’u’llah (Baha’is) killed many of the followers of the official successor to the Bab, the stepbrother, Subh-i-Azal (Azalis). And at least one of the brothers tried to poison and kill the other. The Turkish government separated the two warring factions in 1868, with Subh-i-Azal and the Azalis being sent to Cyprus, and Husayn Ali/Baha’u’llah and the Baha’is sent to Akka (Acre) in Turkish ruled Palestine. In Akka Baha’u’llah and his followers did not use his full title, kept much of their Baha’i activity secret and pretended to be Sunni Muslim. They were so successful in this deception that, after their deaths, Sunni Muslim clergy conducted the funerals of both Baha’u’llah and his son and successor, Abbas Effendi.

The Baha’is under the authority of the Universal House of Justice, and the general public, are not informed of another schism that occurred after the First Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, died in 1957. For several years a small group known as the Hands of the Cause led affairs, and then in April 1963 the Universal House of Justice was established. It has been claimed, by the mainstream Baha’i movement, that there was no appointed successor to the First Guardian of the Faith. However, this is disputed by a group of Baha’is lead by The Mother Baha’i Council of the United States, in Roswell, New Mexico. This group of Baha’is claims that Shoghi Effendi DID appoint a successor, the president of the original Universal House of Justice - which they say Shoghi Effendi proclaimed in embryonic form in 1951. This president, Charles Mason Remey, proclaimed his accession to the Guardianship in 1960. In 1961 he appointed Joel Bray Marangella as his future successor, and in 1966 publicly handed the authority of the Guardianship over to Joel Marangella. The Third Guardian, Joel Bray Marangella, has been living in Western Australia and first notified the Australian public about the existence of the (‘True’) Orthodox Baha’i Faith in AN OPEN LETTER TO THE HETERODOX BAHA’IS published in the West Australian newspaper in April 1982. Members of the ‘Orthodox’ Baha’i Faith seem fearfully reluctant to confirm the current (December 1996) whereabouts of the Third Guardian of the Faith, Joel Bray Marangella. Many of the mainstream (‘Heterodox’) Baha’is seemingly have either not heard of the Third Guardian, or don’t want to hear of him.

So much for all the talk of peace and unity.

The more one examines Baha’i primary sources, and other historical information, the more disturbing the picture becomes. Exaggerated stories of mass persecutions are used to emotionally cloud issues (There have been persecutions of Baha’is - which are wrong and unacceptable - but evidence also suggests that some claims have been exaggerated). Documentary evidence shows that the image of peace loving, open and tolerant people, firmly united throughout the past as well as in the present, is a false image. The Baha’is were described, not many decades ago, as a ‘small obscure Islamic sect’ - they have worked hard to change their image and to become acceptable in a naïve and ill-informed Western Society. They have misused the Bible and distorted both theology and history to conceal their true nature and promote an image of being a respectable major world religion with a message of love, peace and unity. Be aware of the Baha’is - their true cultic nature and ultimate agenda.

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Is Baha’u’llah the Return of Jesus?  (The most important question)

In the mid-nineteenth century Mirza Husayn Ali, a Persian nobleman, founded the Baha’i World Faith, assumed the title of Baha’u’llah (“Glory of God”) and claimed:

. ..with power and authority. . .to the Christians of the world that He fulfills the Bible’s sacred promises concerning the Return of Christ: “Jesus, the Spirit of God...hath once more, in my person, been made manifest unto you.”1

Followers of the Gospel, behold the gates of heaven are flung open. He that had ascended unto it is now come. Give ear to His voice calling over land and sea, announcing to all mankind the advent of this Revelation—a Revelation through the agency of which the Tongue of Grandeur is now proclaiming: “Lo, the sacred pledge hath been fulfilled, for He, the Promised Ones is come!”2

He also wrote in a letter sent to Pope Pius IX:

O Pope! Rend the veils asunder. He who is the Lord of Lords is come overshadowed with clouds, and the decree hath been fulfilled by God, the Almighty, the Unrestrained...He, verily, hath again come down from Heaven even as He came down from it the first time...Beware lest any name debar thee from God. . ..3

Beware lest any celebration hinder you from the Celebrated and worship hinder you from the Worshipped One! Behold the Lord, the Mighty, the All-Knowing! He hath come to minister to the life of the world, and for the uniting of whatever dwelleth therein. Come, O ye people, to the Dawning –place of Revelation! Tarry not, even for an hour! Are ye learned in the Gospel, and yet are unable to see the Lord of glory? This beseemeth you not, O learned concourse! Say then, if ye deny this matter, by what proof do you believe in God? Produce your proof. . .. 4

These astounding assertions and many other claims are recorded in various writings by the authors of the religion Baha’u’llah founded, the Baha’i World Faith (henceforth BAHAI WORLD FAITH). These writers include Abdu’l-Baha, the founder’s son and official spokesperson, Shoghi Effendi, the “Guardian of the Faith,” Gary L. Matthews, William Sears, J.E. Esslemont, and Michael Sours and William Hatcher. It would appear their primary intent is to offer Biblical proofs and logical arguments to substantiate Baha’u’llah’s declaration found in Matthews’ He Cometh with Clouds: A Baha’i View of Christ’s Return:

Many Christians, considering Baha’u’llah’ s claim for the first time, understandably find it difficult to accept that “the Lord of Lords is come.” This book is an effort to address their concerns. It explores the relationship between Christ and Baha’u’llah in light of the Bible’s teachings concerning the Second Coming.5

Matthews and the other BAHAI WORLD FAITH authors attempt systematically to validate the Baha’i proposition that “the Christ” is a type of divine being they call a “Manifestation of God” who periodically takes on a human form and comes to earth to explain God’s truth for that contemporary generation or dispensation. This proposition seems to have three main objectives: (1) to reduce the unique nature, person and role of Jesus Christ to a mere “Manifestation of God,” one of many such “Divine mirror images of God.” These include: Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Krishna and Mohammed, and “the Bab,” (2) to show that “the Christ” of Judaism and Christianity, “the Mahdi” or twelfth Imam of Islam, the “ninth Avatar of Vishnu” of the Hindus, “the Maitraya Buddha” of the Mahayana Buddhists, “Shah Bahram” of the Zoroastrians, and “the Prophet” of Moses—in essence the “…Promised One of all these Prophets, the Divine Manifestation in Whose era the reign of peace will actually be established”6-- appeared in 1844 in the person of Baha’u’llah, and (3) to elevate Baha’u’llah to the role of “Supreme Manifestation” as the latest and most correct of all the Manifestations in God’s continuing revelation since he is the latest and greatest appearance of “the Christ.” This universal appeal of the BAHAI WORLD FAITH serves several purposes, including making it one of the world’s fastest growing independent religions. The BAHAI WORLD FAITH pamphlet titled Christianity and the Baha’i Faith states:

In just over 100 years, the Baha’i Faith has become the second most widespread of the world’s independent religions. Embracing more than five million members from at least 2100 ethnic, racial and tribal groups, it is quite likely the most diverse organized body of people on the planet.

According to BAHAI WORLD FAITH author William Hatcher, “The Baha’i Faith is perhaps unique in that it unreservedly accepts the validity of the other great faiths.”7 The founders of the world’s great religions are all purveyors of an equal and valid salvation for all mankind and Baha’u’llah as the “supreme Manifestation” upholds and synthesizes all of them as the return of Christ for this dispensation. In analyzing the BAHAI WORLD FAITH position, the purpose of this part of the paper is to demonstrate that its stance is illogical, contradictory, and totally alien to Christian orthodoxy.  These pages will show how the BAHAI WORLD FAITH’S endeavor to evangelize members of the major world religions, especially Christians, demonstrates that their methodology becomes scriptural and doctrinal manipulation and abuse. The BAHAI WORLD FAITH attempts to appeal to Christians through postmodern relativistic theology. It is anti-Biblical, since it redefines or renders symbolic every Biblical prophecy, promise, definition or implication regarding the return of Jesus Christ and His role in the Kingdom of God. Francis J. Beckwith points out in See the Gods Fall:

The Baha’is believe that there is no final, complete, or finished Word of God. They believe that there is no absolute objective standard of religious truth. The late leader of the faith, Shoghi Effendi (d.1957), writes, “The fundamental principle enunciated by Baha’u’llah...is that religious truth is not absolute, but relative...” 8

According to Beckwith the problem with this statement is that it is self-refuting. To state that all religious truth is relative is itself a statement of absolute religious truth.

Besides being relativistic and virtually “anti-literal” regarding other religions’ sacred writings, the BAHAI WORLD FAITH borrows a page from the Gnostics in an effort to adapt the beliefs of these various religions to fit its own presuppositions. One must understand the BAHAI WORLD FAITH technique of relegating scriptures and resulting doctrines, which disagree with theirs, to the level of “symbolic” or “spiritualistic,” interpretations. They then claim to be the only ones qualified to understand the symbolic meaning hidden within. They argue there must be a special-knowledge or revelation “key” to unlock the mysteries of the Word of God and Baha’u’llah and his successors are the only possessors of that key. Baha’u’llah adds:

As the adherents of Jesus have never understood the hidden meaning of these words, and as the signs which they and the leaders of their Faith have expected have failed to appear, they therefore refused to acknowledge, even until now, the truth of those Manifestations of Holiness that have since the days of Jesus been made manifest. They have thus deprived themselves of the outpourings of God’s holy grace, and if the wonders of His divine utterance. Such is their low estate in this, the Day of Resurrection!9

An example used by ‘Abdu’l-Baha to show just how the adherents of Jesus have no understanding of the “hidden meanings” of their own Scriptures is the case of Adam and Eve and the origin of sin in Genesis. ‘Abdu’l-Baha writes:

If we take this story in its apparent meaning, according to the interpretation of the masses, it is indeed extraordinary. The intelligence cannot accept it, affirm it, or imagine it; for such arrangements, such details, such speeches and reproaches are far from being those of an intelligent man, how much less of the Divinity...

We must reflect a little: if the literal meaning of this story were attributed to a wise man, certainly all would logically deny that this arrangement, this invention, could have emanated from an intelligent being. Therefore this story of Adam and Eve, who ate from the tree, and their expulsion from Paradise, must be thought of simply as a symbol. It contains divine mysteries and universal meanings, and it is capable of marvelous explanations. Only those who are initiated into the mysteries, and those who are near the Court of the All-Powerful, are aware of these secrets. Hence these verses of the Bible have many meanings.10

These few paragraphs will propose to explain and clarify how and why the BAHAI WORLD FAITH “symbolic/spiritual” renderings of the Bible in general and the return of Jesus in particular are totally without warrant. They will also attempt to answer many of the BAHAI WORLD FAITH claims for its founder and for his doctrine. They will put forward a comprehensive list of philosophical, logical and Biblical reasons why Baha’u’llah cannot be the return of Jesus Christ as promised in Matthew 24 and elsewhere. The NKJV is used for Biblical citations unless otherwise noted.

Jesus Returned in 1844 in the Person of Baha’u’llah’

The BAHAI WORLD FAITH claims that Baha’u’llah came in 1844 as a fulfillment of the promise given by Jesus to His disciples to return, following His resurrection and ascension into heaven, and the prophecy given to the prophet Daniel by the Angel Gabriel:

Dan 8:13--Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?” (14) He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be re-consecrated.”

 The BAHAI WORLD FAITH maintains that the Daniel prophecy gives a timeline in “prophetic years” not days, for the ending of a period of desolation during which the sanctuary of the “Temple” in Jerusalem was to be profaned. This period of time according to Matthews and several other leading BAHAI WORLD FAITH scholars, including the founder’s son Abdu’l-Baha, began with the edict given by King Artaxerxes to Ezra (Ezra 7:12-26) to restore and build Jerusalem.11 This 2,300-year period ended, according to the BAHAI WORLD FAITH, in 1844, the year that the Bab, as the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, much the same as John the Baptist was for Jesus, made his declaration to the world that he was a Manifestation of God. To the BAHAI WORLD FAITH this is one of the major proofs that Baha’u’llah is the return of Christ. Let’s look a little closer at this assertion.

Six Main Problems with the BAHAI WORLD FAITH 1844 Assertion

There are many problems with the BAHAI WORLD FAITH timeline claim for the return of Jesus in 1844, but six main ones stand out among the others.

Problem #1 “No One Knows the Day or the Hour”

(1) The first and most important problem is that Jesus states in Mark 13:32 no one, “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” knows the time of His return, (see also Matt 24:36, 42-44, 25:13) In Acts 1:6 the disciples asked Jesus--“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them--“It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” So, according to Jesus, Gabriel an angel of heaven, who relayed the prophecy of Dan 8:14, did not know the time of Jesus’ return. So this 2,300-day time period cannot be a specific timetable about the return of Jesus, since Gabriel as an angel did not possibly know. This was nearly 500 years before Jesus’ statement that neither He nor the angels of heaven, at His first coming, knew the exact time of His return. It would seem contradictory for Jesus to claim that the angels of heaven did not know when He would return, 500 years after an angel had told Daniel the precise year when He would return. All Jesus would have had to say was, “Read Daniel 8 and you will know the exact year.” But He didn’t. He told them only the Father knows the hour, the time and the season.

BAHAI WORLD FAITH author Michael Sours attempts to maneuver around Mark 13:32 and in doing so demonstrates how the BAHAI WORLD FAITH gives its own “symbolic” definitions to manipulate or spiritualize Scripture to suit their purposes:

In the Kitab-i-Iqan, Baha’u’llah explains that by ‘angels’ is meant individuals who ‘reinforced by the power of the spirit, have consumed, with the fire of the love of God, all human traits and limitations, and have clothed themselves with the attributes of the most exalted Beings’ [and of the Cherubim] (this latter group is mentioned by Sours in Prophecies, p.132, but is curiously missing in Tablet p.81 without any ellipsis or explanation.) Abdu’l-Baha stated to a small group of Baha’is in 1912: ‘Array yourselves in the perfection of divine virtues. I hope you may be quickened and vivified by the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Then shall ye indeed become the angels of the heaven whom Christ promised would appear in this Day…to gather the harvest of divine planting.’12

Logically, it appears the BAHAI WORLD FAITH leaders and Jesus are talking about two totally different types of beings. The BAHAI WORLD FAITH makes angels into believers who are “on fire” for the cause, and renders symbolic such Biblical passages as 2 Thess 1:7-8:

(7) and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, (8) in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Obviously Paul in this passage is not saying, nor was Jesus in Mark 13:32, “that angels signify or can refer to persons living in this world whose lives are completely sanctified,” as Sours states.13 Jesus said “angels in heaven” and Paul wrote, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels” positionally and grammatically meaning they were with Him in heaven, not people on the earth. Some commentators construe the “angels” of the churches in the Book of Revelation to mean the pastors of those churches, but these are churches on the earth, not called “angels in heaven.” These are beings dwelling around the throne of God that are mentioned throughout both testaments. Especially in regard to the Cherubim, that Sours drops from his quote in Tablets without showing that it had been left out. Nowhere in all of Scripture are human beings called “Cherubim.”

It is a sad statement for the Christian Church, but from the time of the Church’s inception, as seen in the disciples’ question in Acts 1:6, believers have attempted to set the date for Jesus’ return. The early 19th century was no exception, and actually runs a close second to the furor at the end of the first millennium after Christ’s death. The BAHAI WORLD FAITH scholars repeatedly quote several Christian writers who apparently fell into the date-setting predicament just before the 1844 time period. In his summation of how the entire scholarly world was involved in this expectation of Christ’s return BAHAI WORLD FAITH author William Sears names William Miller, a Baptist minister and founder of the Millerites, as the American scholar so involved.14  Many Christian scholars have been highly critical of Mr. Miller’s “scholastic” findings. Sears also concedes that even “These Bible scholars did not all agree on the exact date, nor did they all explain the prophecies in a like manner.” 15 The late Christian apologist Walter Martin writes:

“One need only read the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to realize that Miller was teaching in contradiction to the Word of God. Jesus said, ‘But of that day and, hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ (Matthew 24:36; also 24:42; 24:44; 25:13) The gospel of Mark also shows that dates cannot be set, for in verse 33 of chapter 13 our Lord stated, ‘Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.’ And almost His last words to His disciples are a rebuke to those who set dates: ‘It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father has put in His own power.’ (Acts 1:7).

Certainly this should have been deterrent enough for William Miller who lacked academic theological training, and his associates, but sad to say it was not.16

Michael Sours attempts to solve this problem:

“Jesus’ emphatic statement that no one knows this hour is therefore believed by many to bring into question all attempts to calculate the time of Christ’s return. It seems a direct contradiction that, on the one hand, no one knows the hour, and on the other, many Bible scholars who interpreted Scripture indicate the hour as the year 1844. For some who reject that the Second Advent occurred in 1844, verse 36 appears an added confirmation that the rejection is sound. In actuality, verse 36 should be a warning to the critics that they cannot be certain that the predicted ‘hour’—that is 1844—was not the right hour.”

To those who accept that 1844 was the ‘hour’ foretold in Scriptures, ‘no one knows’ must at least suggest the uncertainty of human knowledge and human interpretations of Scripture—even though they may later prove right. Scripture therefore demands humility from the believer. The most important point is this: no one can say with certainty what date was foretold and then assert that Christ has failed to fulfill the promise of Scripture. Nor can the critic say with certainty that the scholars and believers who calculated the date 1844 were wrong.

The proof, or truth, of a Prophet is not dependent on our fallible interpretations of Scripture, but is made evident through His own perfections and divine teachings. The phrase ‘no one knows’ addresses the arrogance of rejecting a Prophet owing to demands that Scripture be fulfilled according to our expectations.17

The underlying premise for Sours’ statement seems to be that since no one knows the exact date of Christ’s return, to reject the 1844 date is both arrogant and unfounded. To a certain extent, he is correct. Logically speaking, since we do not know the exact date of Christ’s Second Advent, we cannot outright reject any date in history as being the correct one. But he is incorrect in saying that because a few people predicted the return of Christ in 1844 it is a contradiction to say that no one knows the day or the hour. If these people used information from Gabriel, an angel who did not know the date of Christ’s return, as the source for their information, then forced their own interpretation on it, their findings are faulty. Gabriel did not know when Christ would return, so his prophetic 2,300 days must have been about some other future happening.

Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, to go directly against Christ’s declaration that no one but the Father knows the time of His return is actually the arrogant stand, and is tantamount to calling Jesus a liar. Although such regarding the Return of Christ is interesting, but forcing Christ’s second coming into a rigid and dogmatic time frame on which to build a new religion is unbiblical and indefensible.

Problem #2 “Baha’u’llah Returned as Jesus, the Way

John the Baptist Returned as Elijah”

 (2) BAHAI WORLD FAITH author Michael Sours claims that there are two “main opposing Christian views” concerning the return of Jesus—the first is non-literal, that the return:

“. . . will occur, or has occurred, in a general spiritual unfolding of the Church in the world. Christians who adhere to this view believe that many of the prophecies use symbolic language that should be understood spiritually. The other view holds that the same Jesus of Nazareth will return bodily and literally out of the clouds. Christians who await Jesus to return in this manner usually interpret prophecy literally.”

The Baha’i Faith argues that some elements of both these views are correct. Baha’is believe Christ will return as a historic and individual Person, but not with the same body or name as that of Jesus of Nazareth. Instead, the return of Christ will be in spirit, that is, the same divine qualities will be made manifest once more in the world by an actual historic Person.18

Sours then proposes that the Biblical account of Elijah’s return, as John the Baptist, is a model of how the BAHAI WORLD FAITH believes Jesus was to return. He writes:

“Later, the Scripture indicates that the same Elijah will return again (Mal 4:5)…John the Baptist was not was not literally the same Elijah, i.e. the bodily return of Elijah, rather Elijah had returned in ‘spirit and power’ in the person of John the Baptist (Luke 1:17).”19

In regard to the relationship between Elijah and John the Baptist, there are several points to consider: (a) More than one person possessed the “spirit and power” of Elijah as did John the Baptist. Elisha, Elijah’s prophetic successor prayed for a double portion of Elijah’s power and spirit and was granted it by God—2 Kings 2:9, 15. This certainly was not the same as Elijah himself returning? (b) We must remember that Elijah and Enoch were different from all other men in that they never died. God took Elijah to heaven while he was still alive according to 2 Kings 2:11. So when the people were promised Elijah’s return, they were not expecting a re-incarnation, they were expecting the actual flesh and bones Elijah that God had taken away physically. (c) The real Elijah did actually appear at Jesus’ first advent when he presented himself with Moses and Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration—Matt 17:3. So not only did the “spirit and power” of Elijah return in the mission of John the Baptist, but the actual physical body of that Old Testament prophet came back as well at the first coming of Christ. (d) Jesus stated that although John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and Elijah did actually appear with Jesus on the Mount, Elijah’s all-encompassing return was still future: Matt 17:11—“Indeed Elijah is coming first and will restore all things,” most probably at the second coming of Christ. (e) Finally, in answer to Jesus’ returning with a “new body and name.” The full title of the last book of the New Testament is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, taken from the wording of the first verse of the book. It does not mention the “revelation” of any one else. The speaker in the first chapter quoted by John in Rev 1:18 is unmistakably Jesus:

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death.

He also is quoted in Rev 2:8:

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life.’”

Rev 3:12 does state that Jesus will write on His followers His new name. All one has to do is read further in the Book of Revelation, especially Rev 19:9-16, to see several of Jesus’ “new names,”—the Lamb; Faithful and True (see also Rev 3:14); Lord of Lords and King of Kings; the Word of God; and a name which no one knows but He Himself. Nowhere among these names is the conqueror of Revelation 19 called the “Glory of God” which is Baha’u’llah’s self-fulfilling title. The secret name is one that only Jesus knows. The term “glory of God” is found in numerous other places in Scripture and is not a new “secret” name that no one knows. Most Jews and Christians know of the “shekinah glory.” Plus, it does not say that He will come bearing a new name! It says He will give the people who overcome (meaning those who die without losing the faith) several new names, His God’s, the New Jerusalem (which was to come out of heaven at the time of His naming of the followers), as well as His new name. Baha’is are not known by any of the names listed in Revelation.

It is a commonly held belief by many BAHAI WORLD FAITH members that the Bab, forerunner to Baha’u’llah, who was shot to death in 1850 by a firing squad, is the actual “Lamb of God” and Baha’u’llah himself is the “Promised Redeemer.” They try to synthesize the ministries of the two men into one in an attempt to fulfill the prophecy of Rev 5:5-13.

They claim that the Bab is the Lamb of God who takes the sealed scroll from the hand of Baha’u’llah in Rev 5:7. There is no Biblical evidence for this supposition and in fact it is totally impossible even with this forced synthesis. Simply, if one looks at Rev 22:16 there is a direct quote in the name of Jesus, calling Himself “the Root and Offspring of David.”

What is the answer for those Baha’is who claim that the Bab is the “Lamb of God”? Let us look at the other mentioning of the “Lamb of God” in the New Testament and attempt to determine who is being described. John 1:29--“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ ” As if some may have missed John’s words in the first instance, he repeated the phrase the next day when he again saw Jesus in John 1:36--“And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ We must note that he said the, definite article, not a, indefinite article, that would have showed that Jesus was but one of many so called “Lambs.”

To further support this statement we need to look at Rev 5:9 in which the Lamb of 5:5-6, the descendant of Judah and David, is called “...worthy to take the scroll, and open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood...” The Bab was not related to Judah or David, and according to Rev 5:5-6 it is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David who is called the Lamb of God. Baha’u’llah was not this Redeemer, since He did not redeem anyone by his blood, dying of old age and not by shedding his blood. There are other Revelation verses pertaining to the identity of this Lamb of God who actually shares the throne of God. (Rev 22:1, 3) Look at the following:

Rev 17:14--These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is King of kings and Lord of lords; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

So here, the conqueror from Rev 19:11-21, who is also called King of kings and Lord of lords, is the Lamb, since there can’t be two King of kings and Lord of lords. Next look at,

Rev 14:1--Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His FATHER’S NAME written on their foreheads.

Even Baha’u’llah called Jesus the Son of God, and never referred to himself as the Son of God. In fact the BAHAI WORLD FAITH associates Baha’u’llah in the “station of the Father”—

“Surely the Father hath come and hath fulfilled that which you were promised in the Kingdom of God.”20

With regard to titles “everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace,” Baha’u’llah repeatedly refers to Himself as the manifestation of the Father, of whom Christ and Isaiah spoke, whereas Christ always referred to Himself as the Son.21

Esslemont calls this coming of the Father, the advent of the “Supreme Manifestation.” The Father comes, as promised in the parable of the vineyard, to destroy the wicked husbandmen. Esslemont adds:

“The Day of Judgment of which Christ speaks is evidently identical with the coming of the Lord of Hosts, the Father, which was prophesied by Isaiah and the other Old Testament prophets; a time of terrible punishment for the wicked, but a time in which justice shall be established and righteousness rule, on earth as in heaven. In the Baha’i interpretation, the coming of each Manifestation of God is a Day of Judgment, but the coming of the supreme Manifestation of Baha’u’llah is the great Day of Judgment for the world cycle in which we are living.”22

This is included here to show, that Baha’u’llah was not the Son, mentioned in Rev 14:1 as being the Lamb of God, nor the Redeemer of God’s people in Revelation 5.

If this “Lamb of God” were the Bab, why would people have his Father’s name written on their foreheads? We are told the saints will have Almighty God’s name written on their foreheads—Rev 22:4. Since Jesus is the Only Son of God (John 3:16), it must be He and not the Bab. And finally look at,

Rev 21:14--Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

 This is the wall of the New Jerusalem and on it is written the names of the Lamb’s 12 apostles. Neither the Bab nor Baha’u’llah had 12 apostles. Jesus did. The Bab’s first 18 disciples were called “Letters of the Living.” And the closest disciples of Baha’u’llah were called “Hands of the Cause of God.” A “few” were chosen by Baha’u’llah during his lifetime, and great grandson Shoghi Effendi who led the religion from 1921 to 1957 named 32 Hands of the Cause to assist him. Neither of these groups is called “apostles” and none of them numbered 12 as did those who led the Christian church after the death of Jesus. There are certain qualifications to be the Lamb of God, and neither the Bab nor Baha’u’llah fits any of them in the Book of Revelation.

Before this section is ended it is important to point out that the Bab never mentioned Baha’u’llah as his successor. In fact, he personally named Baha’u’llah’s half brother Mirza Yahya as the leader of the “Babi” religion. In an apparent attempt to soften the blow of this obviously embarrassing fact Matthews writes:

“John the Baptist, though he showed great reverence towards Jesus, never explicitly identified the Messiah of whom he said: ‘He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose’ (John 1:27) The Bab likewise showed similar reverence towards Baha’u’llah but likewise refrained from naming the promised Redeemer, praising Him instead with veiled statements…”23

Is that truly the case? Did John the Baptist fail to publicly identify Jesus as the one whose shoelace he was unworthy to tie? Let’s look at John 1:30-34:

(30) This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ (31) I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water. (32) And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending like a dove, and He remained upon Him. (33) I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” (34) And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’

 From this, we can tell that John is addressing the people he had previously told about the identity of the One who was coming after him—the Messiah. And also those listeners knew he was claiming that Jesus was the Messiah, since in verse 1:41 Andrew one of John’s disciples, who later became one Jesus’ apostles, says--“We have found the Messiah.” Matthews must look elsewhere for his support material as to why the Bab not only didn’t mention Baha’u’llah, but also actually picked his half-brother over him as the successor to the leadership of the faith.

As we can see, for several reasons the Elijah/John relationship cannot be used as a viable example for Jesus returning in the person of Baha’u’llah. There are too many missing, dissimilar, incongruent or contradictory elements involved.

Problem #3 Is That Really What Daniel Meant?

(3) Let’s look at the 2,300 “day for year” prophecy of Dan 8:14. There are four problems with the BAHAI WORLD FAITH and even some Christian scholars’ interpretation of this Daniel prophecy: (a) the “day for year” interpretation is totally without substance in this instance, (b) this prophecy was already literally fulfilled before Christ’s birth (c) the starting point for the prophecy is incorrect in light of modern archeology, (d) the actuality of outside influence on the Jewish people.

First of all, the prophecy is an answer to the question posed in the previous verse 8:13--“How long will the vision be concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” The answer, from a literal translation, states--“2,300 evenings and mornings then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” The text uses the two Hebrew words--EREB “evening or night” and BOQER “morning.” This usage reinforces the fact that these are not claiming to be “prophetic years,” but 2,300 evening and morning literal days. In some Bible prophecies a day is used to represent a year, but nowhere in Biblical prophecy does “evenings and mornings” mean prophetic years as BAHAI WORLD FAITH scholars.24

Was Dan 8:9-14 ever historically fulfilled? Yes. The “he-goat which is the king of Greece,” according to Dan 8:21, was Alexander III called the Great. When he died in 323 BC his kingdom was divided into four portions. One of these divisions became the Seleucid Empire. It eventually took control of Palestine and Jerusalem under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (“the Glorious One” or “God made Manifest”) in 171 BC. He set up Jason as his own high priest. Antiochus immediately caused all sacrifice and worship of the Jewish God to be stopped and killed many thousands of Jews. This prohibition lasted 2,300 days, from 171-165 BC.25

Accordingly the Temple in Jerusalem was converted into a sanctuary of Jupiter the Olympian...On the fifteenth day of Chislev 168, a statue of the god was set up on the altar, the image of the ‘lord of heaven,’ which the pious Jews spoke of as ‘the abominable thing causing horror’; on the twenty-fifth day of the month heathen sacrifices were offered on what had been the altar of God...swine’s blood was poured upon the altar.26

For 2,300 literal “evenings and mornings” there were no “holy” sacrifices offered on the altar and the sanctuary was “trodden underfoot” by the Gentiles. But then, Judah Maccabeus (“the Hammerer”) overcame the Greek army and captured Jerusalem and the temple for the Hebrew people.

A new altar was built of whole stones, and new holy vessels were made. On the 25th day of Chislev, 165 BC, exactly three years after its desecration, the Temple was solemnly rededicated; the morning sacrifice was offered on the new altar, and the lamps upon the golden candlestick were lighted.27

The Jews still honor this event annually as Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication. John 10:22 informs us--“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem and it was winter.” The Temples had previously been dedicated in the Spring, but Judah rededicated the temple on the 25th of Chislev, which is during the winter. So, the Grecian “little horn” of Dan 8:9-14 caused the sacrifice and worship to stop for 2,300 evenings and mornings and desecrated the temple with the “abomination of desolation” but the sanctuary was cleansed in 165 BC. This is an historical event--it already happened. The 2,300 evenings and mornings are literal evenings and mornings----not years.

Some question the relevancy of this historical event to what Jesus was telling the apostles was a future event.  At times in Biblical Scripture, there is a double fulfillment of a prophecy. For Gabriel to tell Daniel that this prophecy was also for the end times could point precisely to the events Jesus was telling the apostles to watch out for in Matt 24:15. Jesus tells His apostles to watch for certain signs. He does not give them a time frame, but a series of events that would lead up to His return. In Matt 24:14 He told them what must happen before the “abomination of desolation” stands in the “holy place.” He said the “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then the end shall come.” After the gospel of Jesus has been preached to all the world, the 2300 evenings and mornings could possibly then begin, when the abomination of desolation stands in the holy place and ends the sacrifice, just as Daniel had prophesied. In Matt 24:21-22 Jesus also ties this event in with a (21) “. . . great tribulation, such as not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” This great period of tribulation appears to agree with the Book of Revelation and other New Testament verses as well as several Old Testament passages warning readers to be prepared for the “great and terrible day of the Lord.” This great tribulation has obviously not occurred. Nothing has happened on this planet that can compare with the flood of Noah for causing death and destruction, and Jesus says this will be worse when it happens. BAHAI WORLD FAITH author Michael Sours writes:

“These passages demonstrate that the verses of the Bible may be all-inclusive only in their specific contexts. In the case of the tribulation, the context is likely to be the Christian era. Every religion, from its beginning, undergoes crises and tribulations. But these tribulations must naturally worsen as the religion declines until they reach a degree of severity, which threatens to extinguish entirely the spiritual life of all the believers. Hence the words: ‘unless these days were shortened, no flesh would be saved’ (v.22) The word flesh is commonly interpreted literally…In the opinion of this writer, Jesus is simply conveying the graveness of the tests that lie ahead and which nearly extinguish people’s faith in God, the true ‘flesh’ and bones of the Church. The outward form of the religion may remain but its real meaning and practice become increasingly ignored and rejected.”

In the Book of Certitude, Baha’u’llah elaborates on the meaning of chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew. The term ‘tribulation’ is rendered according to its actual Greek meaning ‘oppression’. Therefore, in the Book of Certitude, the verse reads ‘immediately after the oppression of those days’. Baha’u’llah indicates that the oppression, or tribulation, is a time when people seek spiritual truth but can find no guidance…the tribulation will be a time of great spiritual confusion and destruction. It is this confusion that Baha’u’llah suggests is the primary meaning of ‘tribulation’.28

The Jewish nation has undergone tribulation, both spiritual and physical, since the time of the sojourn in Egypt. Jesus, knowing of these times, says in Matt 24:21--“For there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” He had just mentioned “Fleeing to the mountains . . .Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of his house . . . Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak . . . How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers . . . Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.” These are times of physical as well as spiritual distress. People are fleeing for their lives.

The NIV translates Matt 24:22--“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” By stating “The term ‘tribulation’ is rendered to its “actual Greek meaning ‘oppression’ ” Baha’u’llah seems to be accusing the Biblical translators of using too forceful of a rendering for the Greek word THLPSIS, but both Strong’s and Vine’s use ‘tribulation’ as the correct one, and neither even mentions ‘oppression.’ By using ‘oppression’ instead of ‘tribulation’ Baha’u’llah attempts to lessen the connotation of the actual physical attack the people will be undergoing. After lessening the force of the ‘tribulation’ he then attempts to change the definition to a time of “great spiritual confusion” rather than actual physical pain and suffering that ‘tribulation’ implies. He further elaborates by saying that this period will be a time “ . . . when the reins of every community have fallen into the grasp of foolish leaders, who lead with their own whims and desires.”29 Does this actually sound like the worst tribulation the world has ever seen, that people should flee from their homes and not return to them or when no flesh would be saved except that God intervened for the elect? It does not seem so.

Michael Sours acknowledges the possible fulfillment of the Daniel prophecy at the time of Antiochus, but questions its significance to Jesus and future events:

“However this does not preclude Daniel’s prophecies from also referring to the same type of event occurring at a later time, which in fact Jesus clearly indicates to be the case. It may be that Jesus intends that these literal events associated with Antiochus IV foreshadow an even greater spiritual crisis that would occur in the future. Whatever its significance, it is, at least, clear that Jesus saw the things spoken of in Daniel’s prophecies as symbols of events that would occur in the future. What then remains is to discover which future events Jesus wants us to consider as the meaning of Daniel’s prophecies.”30

What Sours appears to be saying on the surface is generally true, but he subtly introduced two words into his discussion in an attempt to color the understanding of Daniel’s prophecy. Sours uses the words “spiritual” and “symbols.” By introducing these two words, he is attempting to alter Daniel’s prophecy from a literal one to a “symbolic” or “spiritual” one. Since the prophecy of Daniel 8 was fulfilled literally in the situation with Antiochus IV, there is no reason to believe that the events Jesus was prophesying about are not to be taken just as literally. The spiritual crisis during the Seleucid rule of Jerusalem was extreme, thousands of Jews were tortured and killed for their religious beliefs (see 1 Maccabees 1:25-45) and failure to bow to the Greek gods. Jesus knew that his apostles would understand what to look for in this type of situation.

Sours mentions that many Christians feel that the abomination of desolation has already occurred. But there was no “abomination” offered in the temple by Titus Vespasian who destroyed the temple in 70 AD, and he was also not a Greek, as Daniel 8 requires, but a Roman. William Sears clouds the issue by forcing his own interpretation on the passage:

“Thus with amazing accuracy, Daniel had given the time for the first coming of Christ. No wonder Jesus Himself was so emphatic about Daniel’s prophecy concerning His second coming or return. He told His disciples to ‘stand in the holy place’ when Daniel’s prophecy about the ‘abomination of desolation’ was fulfilled.”31

Grammatically speaking, Mr. Sears’ assertion is without warrant. Much to his credit, Michael Sours corrects his fellow Baha’i, in a footnote in his book, The Prophecies of Jesus regarding the same passage:

“The KJV renders the Greek as ‘stand in’, and therefore the text appears to be telling the reader or believer to stand in the holy place. However, this is misleading and, hence, an attempt has been made to render it in a clearer manner in newer translations. Cf., e,g., NIV and RSV, which render the Greek as ‘standing in.’”32

Sears adds to his thought by writing:

“Thus Daniel prophesied that two thousand three hundred days (2300) would pass before the sanctuary would be cleansed. Following this time, all things would be made pure again. Before this time, the people would have fallen into a state of ‘abomination’ without love for God or man; then the Messiah would appear and restore their Faith and the purity of their belief.33

Sears then renders the 2,300 days to be prophetic years, as do other BAHAI WORLD FAITH authors. Besides this questionable point, he has added other things to the prophecy that aren’t actually there. It should be concluded that what Sears wrote is basically religious propaganda with little truthful merit. 

Problem # 4 Which Temple Sanctuary is Correct?

(4) The “sanctuary” Daniel is writing about is the temple in Jerusalem, the site of the “burnt-offerings.” One might say that since the temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed this prophecy cannot take place in the end times or as the BAHAI WORLD FAITH claims is actually a spiritual rather than literal sanctuary. The same objection, though, could have been raised during the time of Daniel! Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the temple in 586 BC and it was not standing during the time when Daniel wrote this prophecy, yet there is no doubt he was describing the Jerusalem temple rebuilt by Ezra and Nehemiah many years later. For Daniel 8 to take place both directly after Daniel’s time and again in the end times the temple would have to be rebuilt and its sanctuary trampled underfoot for 2,300 days before those same temples are “cleansed.” Baha’u’llah or anyone else did not re-dedicate this latter day temple, since it still has not been rebuilt more than 100 years after his death. But many Christian and Jewish scholars believe it will be some time in the future. The same temple or “holy place” that Jesus mentions in Matthew 24 and is mentioned in Daniel 8 that is defiled must be “cleansed” as required by Dan 8:14. Antiochus Epiphanes and Judas Maccabbes showed the “type” in the fulfillment of the prophecy the first time, and it was a literal fulfillment. One thing is certain, no one in 1844 “cleansed” the temple, as is required by the prophecy of Dan 8:14. There is no reason to doubt that the second fulfillment shall also be a literal one.

Michael Sours proposes the idea that there is no reason to believe that the temple spoken of by Daniel is the Jerusalem temple. First he states that Jesus “indicated that He now represented that for which the Temple in Jerusalem had formerly stood.”34 He uses John 2:19-22 as his proof text, in which Jesus says to the Pharisees “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Next he states, that the Church, which Jesus established, was the “…temple Christ raised up in three days and became the sign and source of unity between once divergent peoples.”35 If the temple was the body of Christ that he raised up in three days, when was it trampled underfoot by the Gentiles for the required time period (2300 years/days)? If it was the Body of Christ (the Church) raised by Jesus on the third day, when was the Church trampled underfoot by the Gentiles for 2,300 years/days? It was only about 1810 years between Jesus’ death and the Bab’s proclamation. Spiritualizing the passage brings in all kinds of unanswered predicaments, none of which is answered feasibly by the Baha’is.

It is difficult to show a relationship between these ideas with Jesus’ statement in Matt 24:15--“So when you see standing in the holy place the ‘abomination that causes desolation’ spoken of through Daniel the prophet . . ..” Sours also attempts to draw a parallel between Daniel and Rev 11:2, which says that “the court which is without the temple leave without, and measure it not; for it has been given unto the nations: and the “holy city” shall be tread underfoot for forty and two months.” If this has a relationship to Daniel 8, then the temple that is spoken of in each must be the temple in Jerusalem, for there is no other “holy city” for the Jews. We must remember that Daniel 8 and 9 are written for the Jewish nation. Daniel is told in Dan 9:24 –“Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and thy holy city.” Jesus the Messiah, whose coming Daniel 9 foretells, was a Jew. The abomination of desolation of Daniel 8 and of Matthew 24 pertains to the Jewish people and something that happens to their sanctuary, their temple, and their city. Abdu’l-Baha states, in attempting to force his presuppositions on history:

In the beginning of the seventh century after Christ, when Jerusalem was conquered, the Holy of Holies was outwardly preserved—that is the house which Solomon built; but outside the Holy of Holies the outer court was taken and given to the Gentiles. “And the holy city shall they tread underfoot forty and two months”—that is to say, the Gentiles shall govern and control Jerusalem forty and two months, signifying twelve hundred and sixty years, which is the duration of the Qur’an . . . This prophesies the duration of the Dispensation of Islam when Jerusalem was trodden underfoot, which means it lost its glory—but the Holy of Holies was preserved, guarded and respected—until the year 1260.36

Regard the actual words of Rev 11:2:

But leave out the court that is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.

First of all, Abdu’l-Baha’s mathematical calculation seems to be a little suspect in this situation.  If we add 1260 years to 638 AD when the Arab Muslims actually conquered Jerusalem, we are left with the date 1898, not 1844. The major problem with the 638 AD date is that the city of Jerusalem and the temple had been trodden underfoot and destroyed by the Gentiles in the form of the Roman army in 70 AD, when, as Jesus prophesied in Luke 19:44, there was “not one stone standing on another,” not the beginning of the seventh century. The Holy of Holies, which housed the Ark of the Covenant, was the most sacred part of the temple, “the House which Solomon built.” Abdu’l-Baha attempts, in typical BAHAI WORLD FAITH methodology, to spiritualize the literal place by stating:

Briefly, what is meant by the Holy of Holies is that spiritual Law which will never be modified, altered or abrogated; and the Holy City means the material law that may be abrogated; and this material Law, which is described as the Holy City, was to be trodden under foot for twelve hundred and sixty years.37

It seems that Abdu’l-Baha is giving contradicting statements here. Is the Holy City Jerusalem as he claims in the previous statement or is it the “material Law” as he proposes here? Is the Holy of Holies part of the “house that Solomon built” or is it some type of unalterable “spiritual Law”? Scripturally, Solomon did not build any unalterable “spiritual Law.”

In the real Holy of Holies, the high priest was the only person permitted to enter, and then only on the Day of Atonement.38 By the end of the first century, there was no Holy of Holies, since the entire temple was destroyed, not just sections of it. Historically, the Gentiles in the form of the Romans, the Muslims and the Christians at various times ruled Jerusalem from 70 AD until Israel reclaimed it 1968. BAHAI WORLD FAITH author Sours attempts to clarify the Baha’i stand but makes an astounding change to the Scripture:

. . . outwardly, Jerusalem was trodden underfoot by the followers of Islam not for 1,260 years, but by a people whose era lasted 1,260 years. The literal treading underfoot of Jerusalem was a later outward appearance of the treading underfoot of the spiritual city that had already begun.39

Sears, in agreeing with Sours, adds:

According to the second promise of Christ, these Gentiles (Romans-Muslims) would tread the city underfoot until the hour of His return, which would be 1260 years by the measurement of prophecy. During all that time, the Jews would be banished from their own land. But, in the hour of Christ’s return, the privilege of going home would be restored to them, and the ‘times of the Gentiles’ would be ended.

An examination of the calendar of the Muslims, who held the Holy Land captive, revealed to these millennial scholars an astonishing thing: the year 1260 of the calendar of the Muslims coincided with the year 1844 of the calendar of the Christians.40

There are still other problems that must be answered. Rev 11:2 as in the Daniel 8 prediction does not mention that the prophecy is definitely or even possibly a day for a year prophecy. Later, in Rev 11:9, 11 we are told that the dead bodies of the two witnesses who are killed lay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 ½ days. Are we to interpret that this means their bodies lay there for 3 ½ years? Yes, and then some, according to the spiritualizing of Scripture done again by Abdu’l-Baha:

“Their bodies” means the Religion of God, and the street means in public view. The meaning of “Sodom and Egypt,” the place “where our Lord was crucified,” is this region of Syria, and especially Jerusalem, where the Umayyads then had their dominions; and it was here that the Religion of God and the divine teachings first disappeared, and a body without spirit remained. “Their bodies” represents the Religion of God, which remained like a dead body without spirit…As it was before explained, in the terminology of the Holy Books three days and a half signify three years and a half, and three years and a half are forty and two months, and forty and two months twelve hundred and sixty days; and as each day by the text of the Holy Book signifies one year, the meaning is that for twelve hundred and sixty years, which is the cycle of the Qur’an, the nations, tribes and peoples would look at their bodies—that is to say, that they would make a spectacle of the Religion of God.”41

Initially, this may seem to make logical, mathematical and exegetical sense, except for a few important points, which blatantly appear upon further examination. First of all, we are given 3 ½ days as our starting time period. If we grant that a day in prophecy equals a year, then we are given 3 ½ years or also forty-two months. The months then could then be converted to 1, 260 days. This could all well be true. But then the computation falls completely apart. Abdu’l-Baha then reconverts the days into years a second time. There is no logical reason, nor Biblical precedent to exchange those days into years a second time—we’ve already done it once. There is no Biblical example or standard whatsoever for a double day-to-year conversion. It isn’t logical to do it twice. If twice, why not three times or four times or even more until it fits whatever time one desires? If the same procedure were performed with the 2,300 days of Dan 8:14 and converted them into years and then months, there would be 27,600 months which converts into 828,000 days which equals 828,000 years. The entire process becomes meaningless then, but consistency requires doing it the same in both instances.

There are also problems when William Sears’ attempts to clarify the BAHAI WORLD FAITH position. His timeline for Rev 11:2-3, which he claims could now be read--“And the Holy City (Jerusalem) shall be tread under foot for 1260 years.”42  If one were logically looking at the passage and granting Sears’ presupposition regarding its meaning, we would begin with the year 70 AD when the Romans totally destroyed the city and “left not one brick upon another,” and the Jewish nation was dispersed throughout the world. If we add 1,260 prophetic years to AD 70 we arrive at the year 1330 AD. That’s 514 years short of the 1844 goal. So if we take the 1,260 years from the conquering Muslims in 637 AD, disregarding the hundreds of years of Roman treading, we arrive at the year 1897. That is 53 years past the hypothetical 1844 date needed for this fulfillment. How does Sears answer this dilemma? He equivocates. If the calendar doesn’t fit one’s presuppositions---change calendars:

An examination of the calendar of the Muslims, who held the city captive, revealed to these millennial scholars an astonishing thing: The year 1260 on the calendar of the Muslims coincided with the year 1844 of the calendar of the Christians.

The year 1260 given in Revelation as the time when the days of the ‘Gentiles’ would be ended and the Jews permitted to return to their homeland, was the same year as that of 1844 when the Muslim rulers were forced to sign the Edict of Toleration permitting the return of the Jews to Israel.”43

Sears alters the language of Scripture so that instead of stating that Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot for 1,260 years it now reads that Jerusalem would be trodden underfoot until the year 1,260 on the Muslim calendar, which coincides with the year 1844 on the Christian calendar. This is totally without grammatical, hermeneutical or scholastic foundation.

Actually Rev 11:2 matches the Dan 9:27 seven-day/year prophecy much better when taken as a day/day literally. Forty-two months equals the 3 ½-year time period that elapses between the forming of the covenant linking the Jewish people with the “prince who shall come” from Dan 9:26. At the end of the “so-called” 1,260-year era of Islam, the Jews still did not control the holy city of Jerusalem. If 1844 were the actual date of the fulfillment of the prophecy, then it would be a false prophecy. The Gentiles controlled the holy city, treading it underfoot, until more than 100 years later in 1968 when the Jews recaptured it from the Muslims. In fact, the Gentiles are still controlling the temple site both inner and outer parts.

There is no authority whatsoever for Abdu’l-Baha’s statement that the beginning of the seventh century is the starting place, other than his own say-so. Actually, the Jews did not control the city of Jerusalem even before 70 AD. It was part of the Roman province of Palestine after having been conquered by Pompey in 63 BC. For Abdu’l-Baha to say that the Holy of Holies was preserved goes directly against the history of the Jewish temple. According to Josephus’ works in his chapters on the Jewish wars, when Titus attacked the city, his men burned the temple to the ground in such a frenzy that they actually trampled one another in carrying out the deed against the general’s orders. Sours again attempts to soften the blow of Abdu’l-Baha’s interpretation by writing about the capture of the city by the Muslims:

The Caliph was not setting up an idol in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He did not ask anyone to worship him or anything other than God, the same God of Judaism and Christianity . . . Omar had come to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to show reverence for the sacred site. So it would be wrong to confuse the pious intention of Omar for an act of abomination.44

Not only does Michael Sours attempt to change the length of time for the treading underfoot, change the literalness of the treading upon God’s Holy City to a “spiritual” treading, he then attempts to change the site from the temple to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Omar did commit an abominable practice, by building the Mosque of Omar directly on the ruins of the former temple.

In order to further the idea that the Bible presents the Baha’i religion as the natural successor to Christianity and Islam, Abdu’l-Baha claims that the two witnesses mentioned in Rev 11:3-12 who will prophesy for 1,260 days are Mohammad and Ali. The Books of Matthew and Revelation are written for Christians. Why would Jesus warn His followers that when they see two Arabs in 600 years start a new religion that they should take heed? Rev 11:1 gives specific instructions, as are found in the Book of Ezekiel, to “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar . . . ” to measure with a measuring rod the dimensions of the sanctuary. This is in regard to the literal temple and its dimensions with the outer court not included, since it had been given to the Gentiles. This is not a “spiritual” temple, or the body of Jesus, or the Church as the Body of Christ, it is the literal temple of God in the Jerusalem.

Since the time of the conquering of Jerusalem by the Muslims doesn’t coincide with the actual timeline of prophecy, Sours then tries to mesh the 1260 years of Daniel and Revelation with the beginning of Mohammad’s “hegira” or flight from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. He reckons that if one takes the date of the “hegira” and adds the 1260 years one arrives at 1844. Again, several problems arise. First, the year 622 AD is reckoned from the Western or Gregorian calendar. To then switch from the Gregorian/solar calendar, to the Islamic/lunar calendar that uses a 360-day cycle is fraught with inconsistencies. If we begin with the Western calendar we must stick with the Western calendar since we arrive at the year 622 AD by figuring from solar 365 1/4-day years. If we begin with the Islamic or lunar calendar, then we must divide the 227,030 days that occurred between the year 1AD and the year 622 AD in the Western calendar by the 360 days of the Islamic/lunar calendar. That takes us to a beginning date of 630 AD for Mohammad’s famous flight. If we then add the 1260 lunar years to that date we arrive at the year 1890. If we begin with the Western calendar date of 622 AD and add 1260 years to that, we arrive at the year 1882. If we subtract 622 from 1844 we arrive at 1222 solar years that equal 446,356 days. By taking the 446,356 days and dividing by 360 days we arrive at 1240 lunar years, not 1260. The 2,300 “year” statement of Daniel 8 is also fraught with the same timeline problems. The 2,300 years are prophetic lunar years, which equal 828,000 days. When the 828,000 days are divided by 365 ¼ days to equal solar years and the conventional calendar we arrive at 2,267 years. If the starting point is 457 BC and we count 2,267 solar years from there we arrive at the year 1810. This differs greatly from the words of Matthews who states:

Taking 457 BC as the starting point of the 2,300 years, we find that 2,300 minus 457 equals 1843. As noted above, however, we must add a year to make up for the lack of any ‘year zero’ in the Gregorian calendar. Thus 2300 years from 457 BC bring us precisely to 1844 AD. The only logical way to deny that 1844 represents the culmination of the 2300-year cycle is to deny that 457 BC is its starting point. If we do this, however; we must also deny that the latter date is the starting point of the 490-year interval that encompasses the various prophecies about the Messiah’s first advent.45

It must be remembered that the words of Rev 11:1-2 are specifically in regard to the “holy city” of Jerusalem and the “temple of God” in that holy city.

Another problem arising here is that the Book of Revelation in which we find the "two witnesses" is written in Greek. So the word we find in Rev 11:3 translated “witness” is the Greek word MARTUS from which we derive the English word MARTYR that has to do with suffering martyrdom as a witness.

Muhammad was not martyred for the Islamic faith. Some Baha’i scholars claim that the witnesses are actually the sacred books of Islam the Qur’an and the Hadith. How can a book be killed as the witnesses are in Rev 11:7? How can books' dead bodies lie in the street? When did books have live bodies? How many dead books are refused burial in a grave? Do books have feet on which to stand? Do they have the Breath of Life from God? Did these two books ascend into heaven at God's request to “Come up here”? Rev 11:1-13 is speaking about actual people, not books, and for 1,260 days, not years. As stated before, the word MARTUS used to describe the witnesses has the connotation of a "martyred witness."

Problem # 5 The 457 BC Edict—Was It the Correct One?

(5) The choice of the starting date of 457 BC as the proper decree for Dan 9:25--“to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times…” has definite problems. Abdu’l-Baha’ writes in Some Answered Questions:

To conclude: in the Book of Daniel, from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the martyrdom of Christ, seventy weeks are appointed; for by the martyrdom of Christ the sacrifice is accomplished and the altar destroyed. This is a prophecy of the Manifestation of Christ. These seventy weeks begin with the restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, concerning which four edicts were issue by three kings…But Daniel refers especially to the third edict that was issued in the year 457 B.C. Seventy weeks make four hundred and ninety days. Each day, according to the text of the Holy Book, is a year. For in the Bible it is said: ‘The Day of the Lord is one year.’ Therefore, four hundred and ninety days are four hundred and ninety years. The third edict of Artaxerxes was issued four hundred and fifty-seven years before the birth of Christ, and Christ when He was martyred and ascended was thirty-three years of age. When you add thirty-three to four hundred and fifty-seven, the result is four hundred and ninety, which is the time announced by Daniel for the manifestation of Christ.46

Choosing this decree and the remainder of Abdu’l-Baha’s date reasoning is seriously flawed. First of all and most importantly, the decree of 457 BC found in Ezra 7 does not once mention “the restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem” as he states. One must question whether he ever read Ezra 7:12-26 in which the edict appears. These verses mention only “the house of God which is at Jerusalem” and its construction. There is no mention whatsoever of the city, the walls, or the streets of the City of Jerusalem----just the temple. When Nehemiah asks his relative in Neh 1:3, which occurs 12 years after the decree in Ezra 7, “concerning Jerusalem” he is told, “The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” When he personally views the wall of Jerusalem in Neh 2:13 what does he find? “ . . . the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire.” He writes in 2:17--“You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”

Ezra was given the decree in 457 BC, but almost nothing was done in regard to Jerusalem the city. Jewish historians Max Margolis and Alexander Marx elaborate:

Ezra realized that in order to defend Jerusalem from a sudden attack the city should be fortified and therefore made preparations to rebuild the walls. That undertaking was in excess of the royal authority granted to him. And so his enemies seized opportunity to denounce him to the king...the king gave orders for the immediate cessation of the work and for the razing of the part already constructed...News of the calamity was brought near the end of 446 to Nehemiah, who as the king’s cupbearer stood in high favor with the court. He succeeded in obtaining permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city.47

This cessation of building is found in Ezra 4:12-24. The king obviously knew the scope of the power he had given Ezra, and it did not include rebuilding the walls of the city. The city was later completed because of Nehemiah’s decree, which the Encyclopedia Judaica lists as occurring in 445 BC and names Nehemiah as the person who completed the construction of the walls of the city of Jerusalem,48 not Ezra.

There are other problems with Abdu’l-Baha’s statements regarding the timeline in Daniel 9. He claims that the third edict was: issued four hundred and fifty-seven years before the birth of Christ, and Christ when He was martyred and ascended was thirty-three years of age. When you add thirty-three to four hundred and fifty-seven, the result is four hundred and ninety, which is the time announced by Daniel for the manifestation of Christ.

Jesus was not born 457 years after the edict of 457 BC (which is the incorrect edict anyway). Most modern scholars believe He was born between 4-2 B.C. depending on where the death of Herod is placed. So he was born either 453 or 455 years after this particular edict. If the lower of the two numbers is used, 2BC, then Jesus was crucified in the spring of 32AD, just before His 34th birthday. Secondly, the prophecy states that Messiah the Prince would be “cut off” (killed) after the 69th week, not during or after the 70th week. So 69 weeks of years is 69X7=483 years; 483X360= 173,880 days. The correct decree was given to Nehemiah March 14 (1st of Nisan), 445 BC. Beginning with March 14, 445 BC and counting 173,880 days, we end up on April 6, 32 AD. April 6, 32 AD was Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the first time He accepted worship as the Messiah, (Mat. 21:9). A few days later He would be “cut off” from the living.49

The seventy weeks of Dan 9:25 are for the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem—not necessarily for the Messiah. He is a part of the 70 weeks, but only a part. According to Dan 9:24 several things would happen at the end of the 70th week: (1) To finish the transgression, (2) To make an end of sins, (3) To make reconciliation for iniquity, (4) To bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) To seal up vision and prophecy and (6) To anoint the Most Holy. According to the BAHAI WORLD FAITH since the 70th week of Daniel occurred at the death of Jesus all of these things should have happened at that time. But have they? Was there an end to sin? Was transgression finished? Was everlasting righteousness brought in to the earth? No! Jesus’ death on the cross did make reconciliation for iniquity, but the other five items are still pending. The earth is just as sinful as ever, in fact maybe more so if Matt 24:12 is in effect. Did visions and prophecy end? If so, then there could be no “prophets” named Mohammad or the Bab or even Baha’u’llah.

Problem #6 The ‘Times of the Gentiles Ended

With the “Edict of Toleration in 1844”’

 (6) The BAHAI WORLD FAITH scholars claim that the “times of the Gentiles” ended in 1844 when the Bab declared who he was to the world. The proof of this, they say, can be found in a quote from author George Townshend:

. . . the strict exclusion of the Jews from their own land enforced by the Muslims for some twelve centuries was at last relaxed by the Edict of Toleration and the ‘times of the Gentiles’ were fulfilled.50

The governing authorities supposedly issued this Edict of Toleration in 1844. In the search for information about this important ‘Edict of Toleration of 1844’ this author has searched in over 40 encyclopedia sets and nearly 100 Jewish and Ottoman texts and did not find even one word about it. Seems odd that the 16-volume Encyclopaedia Judaica wouldn’t even mention such a turning point of enormous import in Jewish history! It mentions the “Edict of Toleration” of 1782 for Vienna and Austria, but not even a hint of the 1844 “edict.”51 The Encyclopedia of Jewish History does reference that in 1839 the Sultan passed an edict, which took away the heavy taxes that burdened the Jews’ lives and had prohibited them from voting. It also says that at the end of the first half of the nineteenth century (1850) there were only 8,700 Jews living in all of the Palestine area, and the vast majority of them had been there for decades. This would be six years after the passing of the ‘edict’ that supposedly ended the “times of the Gentiles.” Fifty years later, in 1900 there were still only 35,000 Jews living in the entire area. Seems like they didn’t know the “times of the Gentiles” had ended for them.

The Encyclopedia of Jewish History further states: “Improvement of the Jews’ legal and political status in the Ottoman Empire began in 1839 with the royal decree to end the poll tax. Jews’ civil and legal status was made equal with the rest of the population.”

But this is in 1839 and Palestine was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. How many Jews returned to the Holy Land after the Edict of Toleration--several hundred--a thousand? This was hardly the return of the exiled Jewish nation. One must ask: After the Edict of Toleration was Jerusalem still under the control of the Gentiles? If so, then this obviously could not be the end of their “times.” The Jews must take over control of Jerusalem and rule over their own lands to end the “times of the Gentiles.” According to many contemporary Christian scholars it occurred 100 years later at the end of W.W.II. The “Servitude of the Nation,” which began with the first siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC, did not end until May 14, 1948 and the “time of the Gentiles,” which began with the third siege in which the city and temple were utterly destroyed in 586 BC, did not end until June 7, 1967 when the Jews regained control of their sacred city. The Edict of Toleration did not grant the Jews the right to rule their own land as is required to end the “time of the Gentiles.” Although the Jews were granted several new political and economic concessions in the early 1800’s they were not free as a people or nation to rule themselves. The Gentiles were still treading down Jerusalem and their control of the sacred places did not end with the Edict of Toleration.

Sears’ second tactic would appear to be a ‘faulty appeal to authority.’ He mentions celebrities of the 1800’s such as Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as having been in attendance at certain millennial gatherings of the time. Given the mental history of these two talented poets, one must wonder how they give theological or historical credence to the BAHAI WORLD FAITH case. Sears then quotes a periodical entitled the Star of the West Magazine, “ . . . In America, Europe, and Asia the clear message of the ending of the prophetic time in 1844 was proclaimed with power by many voices.”52 He does not offer any explanation as to why this magazine is any type of authority on Biblical prophecy or theology.

Baha’u’llah: The Branch From Jesse, the Root and Son of David

The BAHAI WORLD FAITH claims that Baha’u’llah is the promised descendant of King David who ruled on the throne of his ancestor and instigated the peace process that will eventually encompass the entire world, in fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies including those given to David, 2 Sam 7:12, 28-37, Isa 9:7, Dan 7:14, Mic 5:2. In Ps 89:3-4, 29, 35-37 God promises:

(3) I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, (4) I will establish your seed forever, and build up your throne to all generations. (29) I will establish his descendants forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. (35) Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. (36) His descendants shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. (37) It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful.

Baha’u’llah’s assertion is found in the writings of his great grandson, Shoghi Effendi who claimed that their family was descended from Jesse, David’s father. The claim is made that when King Jehoiachin and the Jews were in exile during the Babylonian captivity, which began with the first invasion of Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC, many of the Jewish royal family intermarried with the native Persian royalty. Since Jehoiachin was a direct descendant of King David through Solomon the children produced through these intermarriages would then have King David’s blood in their veins and thus could lay claim to David’s throne. The problem with this line of thinking is that Almighty God cursed King Jehoiachin and his family line, as he had his father King Jehoiakim before him. There is a double blood curse on the “seed” of these two men. The first, on the father, is found in Jer 36:30-31:

(30) Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: ‘He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out into the heat of the day and the frost of the night. (31) I will punish him, his seed and his servants for their iniquity…

The second curse, on the son, is found in Jer 22:30:

Thus says the Lord: “Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his descendants shall prosper sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah.”

 Jehoiachin the son did not prosper on the throne of King David, since he only ruled for three months and ten days. He had five sons, and none of them ever ruled on the throne of David in Judah. When the Jews returned to their land following the captivity, they did not have a king ruling over them. Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the eldest son was one of the overseers of the move back to Jerusalem with Ezra, but he never served as king of the Jews. Jesus is a bloodline descendant of King David through his mother Mary. The lineage of Mary is found in Luke 3:23-38. Here it can be noted that Mary’s father Eli (Heli) is a descendant of David’s line, not through Solomon’s cursed line, but through his other son Nathan. Jesus was adopted by Joseph into the Solomonic or ruling side of the lineage, but he did not have the cursed blood in his veins. For these six reasons at least, the 1844 date for Jesus’ return is incorrect.



Notes

1 Gary Matthews, He Cometh with Clouds (Oxford: George Ronald, 1996), xi.

2 Ibid.

3 Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come (Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1980 ed.), 31.

4 J. E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era (Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing Trust), 126.

5 Gary Matthews, He Cometh with Clouds, xii.

6 J. E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, 47.

7 William S. Hatcher and J. Douglas Martin, The Baha’i Faith: The Emerging Global Religion (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985), 83.

8 Francis J. Beckwith and Stephen E. Parrish, See The Gods Fall (Joplin, Missouri: College Press, 1997), 194.

9 Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-I-Iqan: The Book of Certitude (Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1983 Pocket Ed.), 81.

10 Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions (Wilmette, Illinois: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1994 Printing), 123.

11 Gary Matthews, He Cometh with Clouds, 107.

12 Michael Sours, Baha’u’llah’s Tablet To The Christians (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1990), 81.

13 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1991), 132.

14 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millenium (Oxford: George Ronald Publishing, 1995 Printing), 5.

15 Ibid.

16 Walter R. Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, 2d. Revised.(Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1985), 412.

17 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 146-147.

18 Ibid., 20-21.

19 Ibid.

20J. E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, 125.

21 Ibid., 215.

22 Ibid., 220.

23 Gary Matthews, He Cometh with Clouds, 114-115.

24 Ibid., 104.

25 John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Prophecies (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 176.

26 Max L. Margolis and Alexander Marx, A History of the Jewish People (Philadelphia: The Jewish publication Society of America, 1938), 137-138.

27 Ibid., 140.

28 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 92-93.

29 Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-I-Iqan, 29.

30 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 66.

31 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, 19.

32 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 63.

33 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, 20.

34 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 32.

35 Ibid., 33.

36 Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, 46.

 37 Ibid., 48.

38 Roth, Cecil, ed. “Holy Places,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 8, (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1972), 919.

39 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 195.

40 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, 16.

41 Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, 52.

42 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, 16.

43 Ibid.

44 Michael Sours, The Prophecies of Jesus, 196.

45 Gary Matthews, He Cometh with Clouds, 110.

46 Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, 40-41.

47 Max L. Margolis and Alexander Marx, A History of the Jewish People, 123.

48 Cecil Roth ed., “History,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol.8, 768.

49 Mark Eastman and Chuck Smith, The Search for Messiah, 80-81.

50 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, 13.

51 Cecil Roth, “Toleranzpatent,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol.15, 1209.

52 William Sears, Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium, 5-6.

 


Conclusion

 

Any system that makes a claim to be a universal religion invites the appraisal of all who are seeking for God and for true life in this world and the next. The “Baha’i World Faith” is not just a crusade for world peace, unity and equity.  As has become clear in the this paper, it claims to he the one true faith far the whole world for a thousand years, uniting in itself and taking the place of all previous religions. As is stated in the Introduction to vol. XIII of The Baha’i World, “It is the avowed faith of Baha’is that this Revelation has established upon earth the spiritual impulse and the definite principles necessary for social regeneration and the attainment of one true religion and social order throughout the world.”

Whoever peruses the thousands of pages of the thirteen large volumes of The Baha’i World will be impressed by the fact; that the Baha’i Faith is indeed a world faith. For Baha’is, as well as for Christians and Muslims, “the field is the world,” and it is their aim to bring to all peoples the Good News of Baha’u’llah, and to unite all the conflicting religions in one. In a world that deeply divided, any effort to unite mankind in the bonds of true brotherhood is to be commended. To convert the people of the world to this Faith, Baha’is have been most zealous in their missionary work. Believing that they have the latest and best religion in the world, they use every means in their power to propagate it, not only in their home communities, but also in foreign lands, where, in obedience to the command of their leaders, they have gone to reside. One cannot but admire the zeal of those who with heart, mind and hands work for a cause in which they believe.

Of course zeal, and even the readiness to die for a cause, do not prove the validity and value of the cause, for history reminds us there have been many martyrs who have died for error as well as for truth. Whether the devoted missionaries are Mormons or Muslims, Baptists or Baha is, their message must be examined and evaluated on its merits. What then shall we say of the teachings of the Baha’i Faith as set forth in the writings of Baha’u’llah and those who followed him? It would seem that in the official literature of the Faith special emphasis is placed on the “Principles”.  Although the tabulation of these Principles should be attributed to Abdu’l-Baha rather than to his father, and although they are not original with him, certainly most persons of good will would readily assent to the importance of “Independent national peace,” “Conformity of religion to science and reason” (provided it is true science and sound reason), “Banishment of all prejudice,” “Equality of men and women,” “A world parliament, “Universal education” and “A universal language.” These teachings that people of most religions, or of no religion, might adopt. They are not strictly religious principles, and there is no mention of God in connection with them.

To evaluate the Baha’i system as a religion it is necessary to go back of the Principles to the Laws of Baha’u’llah that are contained in his Kitab-i-Aqdas. As the unprejudiced reader peruses the regulations which Baha’u’llah gave for worship in the Arabic language for the 19-day fast, for the division of inheritance, for or the establishment of a 19-month calendar of 19 days in each month, for severe punishment for an arsonist and light punishment for an adulterer, for polygamous marriages, etc., is he convinced that this is the code of laws by which the lives of all the people of the world should be regulated for the next one thousand years? It has been said by some Baha’is that the world is not yet ready to receive the laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas. This is no doubt true. But will it ever be ready to adopt this code of laws?

Moreover, it is clear from the Aqdas and from the writings of later leaders that the Baha’i Faith is political as well as social and religious in its belief that nations will become this belief system and will use their political power to support the Baha’i Faith and enforce its laws, when the Universal House of Justice will become the Supreme Court of the World, and when not only the personal lives of believers but also the political affairs of the world will be ordered according to the laws of Baha’u’llah. In the Baha’i system there is to be no separation of Church and State. Prior to the death of Shoghi Efendi in 1957, one of the chief merits of the Faith, according to Baha’i writers, was the abiding presence in the world at all times of a living infallible leader and guide, who would be the supreme head of the world “Church-State.” Since the First Guardian died without appointing a successor (though this is hotly contested as was elucidated in this paper) most of the Baha’is agree that the rule now resides in the 9-member Universal House of Justice, and for this body also infallibility is claimed. It would indeed be a welcome and wonderful change to live in a world the rulers of which were infallible, but Baha’u’llah himself has shattered such a hope when he stated that infallibility belongs to the Manifestation (Baha’u’llah) alone.

Since “the tree is known by its fruit,” we may ask how effective Baha’is have been in practicing their Principles and obeying their Laws. It seems that their greatest success has been in demonstrating the absence of racial prejudice and promoting good race relations. From the early days in America “Amity” meetings were held to bring together members of different races, to the present time when it is said that one-third of the believers in America are blacks, the efforts of the Baha’is here and in other lands are most commendable, and it is not surprising that members of minority groups are attracted to a movement that cordially accepts them. It would seem that in America and probably also in other lands the strongest appeal of the Faith is not so much its teachings as the fellowship which it offers, the feeling of belonging to a community, something which had not been found elsewhere. Since the local Baha’i units are usually not large, the members are drawn close together in the service of the Cause.

A young man in California who was urged by an acquaintance to attend Baha’i meetings wrote of his experience as follows: “The bond of community was strong. I noticed that strangers from out of town would appear at a meeting, declare themselves Baha’is, and the following week other Bahais had found them a job and a place to stay. I thought the practice of embracing every Negro and Oriental that came to the meetings terribly patronizing.  Out of a history of deception and intrigue has come the paradox of a community of earnest and generous souls.  But an intense community life can be a hideous thing when it turns a deaf ear to the suffering of human beings outside the cozy club.”

As for “International Peace,” Bahai is like many other groups religious and secular that have talked much about peace and have no doubt done what they could to achieve the goal predicted by the ancient prophets of Israel and announced by Baha’u’llah as the “Most Great Peace.” In addition to what individuals may have done in their writings and addresses, The Baha’i World, vol. XIII, contains a proposal submitted by the “Baha’i International Community” to the United Nations for a revision of its Charter. Here is a portion of the long statement: “The Baha’i concept of world order is defined in these terms: A World Super-State in whose favor all the nations of the world will have ceded every claim to make war, certain rights to impose taxation, and all rights to maintain armaments, except for purposes of maintaining internal order within their respective dominions. This State will have to include an International Executive adequate to enforce supreme and unchallenged authority on every recalcitrant member of the Commonwealth, a World Parliament whose members are elected by the peoples in their respective countries and whose election is confirmed by their respective governments, a Supreme Tribunal whose judgment has a binding effect even in cases where the parties concerned have not voluntarily agreed to submit their case to its consideration.” It seems that the United Nations did not view this proposal for revision of its Charter with favor.

In their understandable desire to show that the Baha’i Faith has had an influence for good on the history of the world, Baha’is have sometimes made the mistake that others have made of claiming credit far something that was not theirs. An example is the statement made by Guy Murchie: “Woodrow Wilson’s daughter was an ardent student of the Baha’i teachings; it is said that she was instrumental in influencing her father to include the Baha’i principles in his ’Fourteen Points’ at Versailles.” (Questioned as to the accuracy of this statement which has been frequently repeated by Baha’is, Francis Sayre, grandson of President Wilson and Dean of the Cathedral in Washington, D.C., replied that his aunt had no interest in the Baha’i movement, and there was no foundation for the claim that the “Fourteen Points” were in any way influenced by her or by the Baha’i Principles.)

In education and medicine and other fields Baha’is in Iran and in other lands have rendered valuable service, usually in a private capacity and not in the name of their Faith. In vol. XIII of The Baha’i World  that reports fully the activities of believers in all lands for the years 1954-1963 it was found that only one mention of a Baha’i service institution was made, which was a home for the aged in Wilmette.

Baha’is have not been outstanding in their practice of the fine Principle designated “Independent investigation of truth.” One wonders how it would be possible for an open minded Baha’i to investigate the history and doctrine of his religion while under the rule of an infallible Center of the Covenant or Guardian or House of Justice which claims the only authority to interpret the sacred writings. Such investigation becomes yet more difficult when the Kitab-i-Aqdas, ranked by Shoghi Efendi as “the brightest emanation of the mind of Baha’u’llah,” have been strictly forbidden to read a translation of the Aqdas by non-Baha’i scholars. Anyone who questions the accuracy of the authorized version of Babi-Baha’i history is denounced as an enemy of the Cause of God.

 

Important as are the laws and ethical and social teachings of a religion, its basic beliefs about God and man on which all else depends are of yet greater importance. What answer does it give to the questions that men in all ages have been asking – Who or What is God? What is man? How can man know God? What must man do to be accepted by God? How can he get rid of the sin and evil that darkens his life and separates him from both God and man? What does God want man to be and to do? Is there life after death? The value of any religion depends to a considerable degree on its ability to provide adequate answers to questions such as these.

What does the Baha’i Faith tell us about God? Baha’u’llah taught that God is unknowable, except through his Manifestations, who are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Baha’u’llah, each Manifestation being more perfect than the one who preceded it. He held that all the Manifestations are one, as the sun of today is the same as the sun of yesterday. However, anyone who takes a close and careful look at these “Suns” will realize that they differ greatly from one another, and it would seem that on each appearance God has changed his character as well as his laws, and not always for the better. When later Zoroaster, Buddha and finally Krishna were included in the Manifestations, the confusion became compounded. The Bahai had taught that there could be only one Sun in the heavens at a time to reveal the One God. But if Zoroaster, Buddha and Krishna also are Manifestations, then there would have been two or more Suns in the sky at once, and it would seem that God had become twins or triplets. Hence the message of the modern Baha’i Faith about God is far from clear and is by no means adequate. It could be said that each believer brings into his Baha’i faith the conception of God that he had gotten from his previous faith, or no-faith. The Jews, Christians and Muslims would think of God as One and the Hindus might continue to believe in a multitude of gods. The reply of the Baha’is would be that in this age God is revealed more perfectly than ever before in Baha’u’llah. Is it improper to inquire which of the divine attributes are revealed more perfectly in Baha’u’llah than in the great prophets of the Old Testament and in Jesus Christ? And whether God’s love is more perfectly manifested in Baha’u’llah’s service to the world than in the service of any other messenger of God?

One of the phrases frequently found in Baha’i literature is “progressive revelation.” It is said that people usually think of prophets as men who lived and revealed God in the distant past, and do not imagine it possible for God to reveal himself now. “Yet Baha’u’llah not only lived in our time, but was contemporary in the fullest sense of the word. His teachings are “...extremely advanced,” says one Baha’i writer.  We are compelled to ask, “Is Baha’u’llah really contemporary?”  He died in 1892, eleven years before the Wright brothers made their first flight, before automobiles were seen on our roads, before TV pictures were shown to incredulous eyes, and before anyone dreamed that bombs would be made that could blow up the world. If it is God’s plan in “progressive revelation” to send new Manifestations to guide the people of the world in new situations, surely something more relevant than the Kitab-i-Aqdas is needed for today, and a person closer to us than Baha’u’llah. But, according to Baha’u’llah, no new Manifestation will come before 2866 A.D. If many of Baha’u’llah’s pro-nouncements seem to fit our modern situation, so do the Ten Commandments of Moses and the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus. A study of the Aqdas will make it clear that Baha’u’llah is closer to the Middle Ages than to the world of today.

What is the Baha’i doctrine of man? Since in Baha’i teaching God is not usually called Father,” save when Christians are being addressed, man is considered not a child of God but a servant or slave of God. However, the Baha’i view of man is quite optimistic, for it is thought that all man needs is laws and precepts and an Educator. The evil that resides in man’s heart be he savage or civilized, evil that causes the horrible crimes that have blotted the pages of the histories of the most “advanced” nations, is largely ignored. In none of the Bahai  leaders, except when they are denouncing their enemies, is there any adequate consideration of man’s deadly disease that is sin. Few are the appeals to men to repent of their sins as the prophets of old appealed, few the assurances of God’s love for sinners and his promises to them of forgiveness and a new life of holiness.

Since the diagnosis of man’s disease is faulty, the provision that the Baha’i faith makes for his cure is inadequate. In all Baha’i literature can there be found a promise of a Savior from sin, or a picture of welcome by God to a penitent as appealing as the parable of the Prodigal Son? What would Abdu’l-Baha have said to give hope to a drug addict on skid row, or to guide and comfort a convict  on death row? Sinners need salvation, and the Baha’i Faith fails to provide that.

 

"If a man die shall he live again?” asked Job. To this vital question the reply of Baha’u’llah is vague and unsatisfying. “Resurrection” in the Baha’i system means the coming of a new Manifestation. Such terms as “entering the Abha Kingdom,” “drinking the wine of immortality,” “hastening to the Supreme Concourse,” “Paradise of Abha, the everlasting abode of glorious, sacred souls,” are found in the Aqdas and other writings. But it is not clear whether personal immortality is promised, or merely the merging of man with the Infinite.

For many students of Baha’i history, one of its most disappointing aspects is the failure of its founders and leaders to reveal in their personal lives, and in their dealings with members of their families and others who differed with them, the spirit of love of which they so often spoke and which they enjoined on others. Baha’u’llah in his relations with his brother Subh-i-Azal, Abdu’l-Baha in his relations with his brother Mirza Muhammad Ali, and Shoghi Efendi in his relations with numerous relatives and former friends revealed an attitude of bitterness that was hardly a worthy example for their followers. We are reminded of the question asked by an apostle of old, “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” And how can he adequately and effectively manifest God’s love to others?

With its lack of clarity in its doctrine of God; with its legalism which characterizes its Most Holy Book; with its prescription in this Book of practices long since outdated; with the inadequacy of its treatment of sin and of its provision for the cure of evil in man; with the vagueness of its teaching about life after death; with the failure of its founders to exemplify among their own families the love they so strongly advocated – with the asseveration of the equality of men and women yet practice it not in the hierarchy of their “church”, these and other defects which are manifest in its history, can the Baha’i World Faith be an adequate religion for the world for today, and for the millennium to come? Only one answer is possible, and that is a resounding, NO!

There is hope, peace, and life outside the Bahai Faith.  That peace, life and hope is to be found with Jesus, the Christ.

How does one who has realized the above statement approach a Bahai, to convince him or her that what Bahai teaches is not the truth.  A person must appeal to the Bahai sense of the private investigation of truth.  No organization that professes the private investigation of truth can deny a Bahai (even the Bahai Faith cannot deny this right since it is this right that is espoused to the world as its main “selling point”.  If a Bahai cannot do this, then the Bahai Faith is even false to its own supposed truth.) the privilege of reading what others say about the Bahai Faith in the privacy of the home.  Emphasize this to a Bahai--Christians are not banned from reading anything.  In Christ, we are free.  (Though Christians are not banned from reading anything, Christians do not desire to read everything.  I suppose that if Christians were told not to read a certain book, many Christians would read it to see why it should not be read.)

Also emphasize the unity that Christ and Paul taught.  Paul stated that in Christ there is no Jew, no Gentile, no rich, no poor, no male or female.  We are one in Christ Jesus, all members of the Body of Christ, each with a certain function, all necessary for the perfect functioning of the Body of Christ.  Christ came to bring the Jew and Gentile together.  There is much emphasis placed on the fact that Christ died for you and me.  Well, that is true; however, He walked to the Cross willingly not just for you and me.  He died to bring the world’s peoples together.  In his death He desired to show the world that the way to love is to forget this self, this me and you, and to begin thinking of the us in me and you.  Although men and women on the surface appear to differ, the blood is the same color, air supports all, and water is the main composition.  All depend upon the earth for sustenance.  The Bahai attempt to assume that this teaching stems from Baha’u’llah.  BUT IT DOES NOT.  The Cross annunciates this teaching.  Paul expounds on it in his letters.  

But, there is so much discord in the Church, so many sects.  This is a good thing.  It shows us that Christ is inclusive.  The Bahais cannot show disagreement without being excommunicated.  Christ never excommunicated anyone.  He said that if anyone would come to Him, He would not turn that person away.  Christ understood that the human mind cannot grasp everything.  But He wants us, as Christians, to unite to Him and learn from Him.  The Bahais do not have this, this is foreign to their way of thinking.  They do not have a diversity of opinion about Bahai teaching.  If you don’t agree then you are shunned.  Show the Bahai that Christians do not shun, that a person can disagree and still be part of the family.  Christians are much more forgiving than Bahais.  Bahais will say otherwise, but I know from experience that Bahais are rigid and legalistic and will only help those who they think will become a Bahai through the help.  Christians are not this way. Christ did not act this way.  Christians are not as un-united as it appears on the surface.  Bahais are not as united as appears on the surface.  Emphasize Unity in diversity.  This will make the Bahai question what they have been taught.

Show the Bahai love without expecting anything in return.  Love freely given is sooner or later freely returned.  Bahais, though they speak of love, are not as loving as they appear on the surface.  They expect something in return, and if they do not receive it, then they soon forget.  I have seen this.  I know of what I speak.   The Bahai establishment will not come to a person’s assistance without that person asking for it, and if you are not a Bahai you won’t get any help (In fact, even if you are a Bahai, you may not get assistance from the Bahai establishment. I know this from experience.) Christians do the opposite.  They come to assist without asking and expect little in return.  (I am referring here to the way the respective faiths adherents act towards those outside the fold.)  Show the Bahai Christian love.  Bahai Love and Christian Love are so different that there is no comparison.  Christian love is all encompassing.  Bahai love is reserved for those who only profess Bahai.  CHRIST enjoined as a commandment to love one another.. This is a commandment.  Who are we to love?  Those who are the world casts as undeserving.

Show the Bahai what Love actually is.  Show the Bahai that Christ professed unity long before Baha’u’llah ever came into being.  Show the Bahai that Christians can question and doubt, can read whatever they want to read, can investigate truth, philosophy, science, learning.    Essentially allow the Christ in you to touch the Bahai.  No Bahai can resist that.  That is what they lack and what they need.  They have no loving savior, essentially.  Christians have a power in them that can change the face of the earth…if they would only use it.  What is that power?  Christ in us, the power and the glory. 

May God bless….

Ronald Coleman

Addendum:

 

Individuals Who Have Left the Bahai Faith and reasons

Steven Scholl

When I received a letter from a Baha'i Continental Counsellor indicating that I was under threat of being declared a Covenant-breaker, the impact on me personally was less than on my family. My wife is a Baha'i as are many of her family members, . . . The real threat of being declared a Covenant breaker meant my wife had to face the decision of joining me as a heretic or divorcing me so that she could maintain her relationships with her family and other lifelong friends. Since [my wife] had no intention of divorcing me, the choices then extended out to her family. Her sister would not refuse to socialize with us so she would automatically be declared a covenant breaker along with her husband and children. Many of my close Baha'i friends would also be faced with the decision of maintaining friendships or joining me as a heretic. The whole thing is absurd and quite medieval. But it does raise the issue that you point out so well; how anyone would want to belong to a group that is willing to act this way and be so cruel is beyond me. That is why I voluntarily left the religion. Not in order to escape punishment but because the Baha'i community had become such an unhealthy place spiritually. I was terribly saddened that my spiritual home of 25 years had turned into a prison and nightmare. 

Quoted by Karen Bacquet in "Enemies Within:  Conflict and Control in the Baha'i Community"  Scholl, Steven

 

Codi Del Mundo:
 
I used to be a member of the Baha'i Faith, and though it has some good points, it ultimately fails to pass the test of independent investigation.
Baha'is usually seek an image as being liberal and open-minded, to attract seekers no doubt.  Once within the community however, you are limited in terms of how you should feel about any aspect of life... it has to be the "Baha'i Way" or no way.  In fact, you may find yourself in a ridiculous situation if you have unique family situations...
Are you adopted?  Oh, too bad if you were wanting to get married.... Better hope you can track down your biological parents, or you will face a real nightmare, because you need their permission before you can marry if they are still living.  If they, let's say, don't like "Negroes" and you want to marry interracially, then despite the fact that they have never seen you before in their lives (because they dumped you at an orphanage) you are forbidden to marry, and face severe penalties if you do so anyways.  
Have you, or anyone you know, had an experience where you faced a four-fold conflict with: the love of your life, a biological parent you've never met (or a hard-headed parent with prejudices against your love's race), the Baha'i religious administration, and your own conscience.

I hesitated for quite some time before finally resolving to say (albeit anonymously) something about why I left the Bahai Faith. I will keep this as brief as possible.

I joined in the mid-80's, attracted by the global perspective of the religion during the Cold War, which I was convinced would lead to the end of man-kind. I now realize that on top of what I know consider the Faith's empty and hollow rhetoric, what I was fed were lies on top of lies. A number of web pages have chronicled extensively the current domineering structure of the Faith's hierarchy, censorship in publishing, limitation of personal freedoms, and false chronicling of history.

And how do so many Bahais react to these truths...denial, denial, denial (and Bahais would deny that they are in denial, too!). Have a Bahai try to explain away the "Some Qur'an Verses Contradicted" link of http://www.geocities.com/athens/acropolis/5111. They lie to your face (and I think attempt to convince themselves, too). The attempt is disgusting in any case.

I have since been shunned by Bahais, including my closest friends, but how can I continue to pretend in a farce? Just because 20th and 21st Century Persian and Arabic were translated into 17th Century English (a sorry attempt to give the text an air of religiosity by mimicking the language of the King James Bible) does not mean that the source was divine.

An individual who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals….

The reasons I resigned from the Bahai Faith are:

(1) The Bahais on the one hand preach removal of prejudice of all kind, but on the other hand believe in certain types of prejudice against certain people. For example the Bahais believe that people who do not believe in God are untrustworthy and untruthful individuals. This view is mentioned in the Gleanings (passage CXIV, paragraph 3). In my opinion this is a prejudice against the atheists and agnostics. Since I myself am an agnostic I find such a view offensive. What would happen to an atheist whose case is being decided by a Bahai judge? Can we have a society where Bahais are allowed to serve as judges? In my opinion the answer is no. We must have zero tolerance for people with prejudiced mind occupying positions of authority. Secondly the Bahais believe that women are inferior to men in certain intellectual endeavors viz. legislation on matters not expressly recorded in the holy text. This is precisely the reason women are banned from serving in the UHJ. In my opinion this is a prejudice against women. Thirdly in the Aqdas it is mentioned that in the event a Bahai dies without leaving a Will, then his non-Bahai relatives cannot inherit his wealth because in the sight of God non-Bahais do not exists. In my opinion this is a prejudice against non-Bahais. Also it is illogical that the Faith allows a Bahai to marry a non-Bahai but does not respect the rights that come along with relationships. Besides being illogical, not respecting the rights that come along with relationships is immoral, unjust and unethical behavior.

(2) The UHJ functioning without a Guardian in my opinion violates the Will of Abdul-Baha who has clearly mentioned the composition of the UHJ in his Will. The current UHJ composition is different from the one Abdul-Baha has mentioned in his Will viz. the Guardian is absent in the current UHJ whereas Abdul-Baha's Will clearly mentions the Guardian as a member of the UHJ. Therefore the current UHJ is not the same UHJ mentioned in the Bahai Writings.

According to the Bahai Writings the power of the UHJ is to legislate on matters not given in the Writings. Its job is not to change what is clearly given in the Writings in the name of legislation. The composition of UHJ is clearly given in Abdul Baha's Will and it includes a Guardian. No Bahai institution can change that composition. The fact that the current UHJ changed what is clearly given in the Writings (viz. the composition of the UHJ given by Abdul Baha in his Will) clearly shows that it is not the same UHJ mentioned in the Bahai Writings.

The current UHJ justifying its legitimacy is like a UHJ elected by the members of LSA, and not NSA as mentioned in Abdul Baha’s Will, justifying its legitimacy. If the latter case does not make sense so does the former since in both cases there is a clear deviation from the composition of the UHJ given by Abdul Baha in his Will.

Also the current UHJ in its effort to prove its legitimacy has interpreted a passage from the Aqdas as meaning the line of Guardians coming to an end and the UHJ functioning without a Guardian. The passage I am referring to is about endowments being passed down (passage number 42 in Aqdas). The point is that the UHJ mentioned in the Bahai Writings does not have the authority to interpret the Writings of Baha’u’llah. The current UHJ has done just that since it interpreted passage 42 of the Aqdas in order to prove its legitimacy. In a letter dated 7 December 1969 the current UHJ writes the following:

"Future Guardians are clearly envisaged and referred to in the Writings, but there is no where any promise or guarantee that the line of Guardians would endure forever; on the contrary there are clear indications that the line could be broken... One of the most striking passages which envisage the possibility of such a break in the line of Guardians is in the Kitab-i-Aqdas itself: (passage 42 of the Aqdas is given here)."

This paragraph is a proof that the current UHJ interpreted passage 42 of the Aqdas as meaning a break in the line of Guardians. Giving meaning to the Writings of Baha’u’llah is interpreting his Writings. In the above paragraph the current UHJ gave meaning to passage 42 of the Aqdas and therefore they interpreted the Writings of Baha’u’llah. The fact that the current UHJ has interpreted the Writings of Baha’u’llah clearly shows that it is not the same UHJ mentioned in the Bahai Writings.

The truth is that one can reach different conclusions based on different interpretations of passage 42 of the Aqdas. For example, if one interprets the word “Aghsan” in passage 42 of Aqdas as referring to Abdul Baha (and not Abdul Baha plus Guardians as has been interpreted by the current UHJ) and the “people of Baha” in passage 42 of the Aqdas as referring to the Guardian of the Bahai Faith (and not the Hands of the Cause as has been interpreted by the current UHJ) then one reaches the conclusion that passage 42 of the Aqdas does not envisage a break in the line of Guardians. It is interesting to note that Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By (chapter 14) interprets the word “Aghsan” as referring to Baha’u’llah’s sons and not his male descendents as has been interpreted by the current UHJ.

In the Bahai Faith the power to make authoritative interpretations of the Writings of Baha’u’llah are assigned to certain individuals only i.e. Abdul Baha and the Guardian. Shoghi Effendi has made it clear that although individual Bahais can interpret the Writings of Baha’u’llah their interpretations are personal and as such lacks authority. Shoghi Effendi has also made it clear that the UHJ does not have the authority to interpret the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Therefore only Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi can tell us whether passage 42 of the Aqdas means a break in the line of Guardians or not, since making such a statement involves interpreting the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Only Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi can tell us who "people of Baha" in passage 42 of the Aqdas refers to, since making such a statement involves interpreting the Writings of Baha’u’llah. Therefore the right question to ask is: has either Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi interpreted passage 42 of Aqdas? If neither has interpreted passage 42 of Aqdas then we will never know the true meaning of passage 42 of the Aqdas. Any interpretation by individual Bahais, including the Hands of the Cause and Mr. Adib Taherzadeh, carries no weight as it lacks authority.

Dennis James Rogers  

I became a member of the Baha'i Faith in the early seventies while an undergraduate at a small private midwestern university. The initial attraction was to the social teachings of the Faith particularly the tenets about gender and racial equality. I had been raised as a Roman Catholic and had attended parochial and public schools, but was not well versed in Biblical Christianity. Since the sixties and seventies were a time of social upheaval and turmoil, the Baha'i Faith seemed like a rational alternative to traditional religious dogma. My connection to the group was minimal during my college years but picked up after I graduated in 1973. I had "accepted " the Faith based on a conversation with a Baha'i teacher who asked me if I agreed with the basic nine tenets of the Faith, I told him I did and he said I was a Baha'i. This was quite ironic considering that one of the basic tenets is "independent investigation of the truth". I had not taken the time to investigate nor done a thorough examination of it's history or doctrine, something that I would not do until many years later while pursuing a role as a Baha'i apologetic. 

In 1974 there was an International Convention held in St. Louis to initiate one of the plans that the Baha'i Administrative Order imposes on the rank and file. The plans originated with Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha'I Faith, they are ten-year plans, five-year plans, four-year plans, and seven-year plans or as little as one year plans. The plans have goals for teaching (expansion and consolidation) and "pioneers" which are similar to missionaries with the exception that pioneers are not subsidized by the organization, pioneers are expected to finance their own travel expenses, find employment and establish themselves as part of the city, village or community in which they are pioneering. The pioneer is to teach the faith, find new converts, establish a local spiritual assembly, (a local governing body consisting of nine adults) and then move on to a new pioneering post after the task has been completed. The Universal House of Justice, the international governing body for the Bahá'is, generally established what the goal areas were with input from the National Spiritual Assemblies, the national governing bodies. I must comment that many pioneers I met, rarely if ever established Local Spiritual Assemblies and generally left their "posts" to return home.

Pioneering is considered a glorious spiritual station and a certain degree of social pressure is put upon the members to become pioneers.  The pioneers I met in the United States who came from the Middle East, primarily from Iran, were people of means, educated and wealthy. The early pioneers of the Baha'i Faith (from the West} were also people of means. This can be verified by the early written Baha'i history of the United States and Canada. 

Being a new member of the group, I was not aware of the Baha'i culture, I was first asked to answer telephone calls from people interested in the Faith, there was considerable publicity on television, bill boards and newspapers about the convention with a phone number to call for people interested in finding out more information concerning the Faith. I was to answer questions, secure addresses and phone numbers to send literature for follow up by Baha'I teachers. The older members, not wanting to answer phones, attended the conference, which was presented by the ruling Baha'i elite. The nine members of the Universal House of Justice and the remaining living "Hands of the Cause". The Hands were individuals who had been appointed by Bahá-u-lláh, Abdul Bahá or Shoghi Effendi. The rank and file members, due to their high spiritual station of "servitude", regarded them as spiritual giants. Their main function was to protect and propagate the Faith. They were to protect the Faith from schism, but were apparently unsuccessful after the death of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, the only appointed Guardian of the Baha'i Faith. There have been, since his death, two main splinter groups, the Orthodox Bahá'is and the Bahá'is Under the Provision of the Covenant (BUPC) that I am aware of. I do not know what the other group's membership numbers are or their exact doctrines since contact with them is forbidden. They are to be shunned as "covenant breakers" and are considered "spiritually diseased" by the Baha'i Administrative Order. To be quite honest, I really was not that interested in them.

I attended a general session where several of the "Hands" spoke. Most of the talks were anecdotal in nature, encouraging the members to bring in more converts and step up the "teaching efforts". Though Bahá'is claim they do not proselytize, semantics, all their efforts are aimed at bringing in more new members to establish the "New World Order"; this is to occur when there are mass conversions or "entry by troops". A term I discovered taken from Sura 110 in the Qu'ran entitled. "Help". (Rodwell's edition pg.429). 

One of the elements that I found disturbing during the conference was an underlying anti-Christian sentiment, which is what eventually contributed to my leaving the Bahá'is later, it was and is something not so overt as much as an arrogant attitude that many Bahá'is feel. There were Christians offering literature outside of the convention center, which were not allowed in, and heavily criticized by the Baha'I attendee's. They consider themselves to be spiritually superior to Christians because Bahá'is believe they have all the answers to humanity's problems for this day. One of the "Hands" stated that most Christians "were dead from the neck up." I purchased this speech on audiocassette tape and had also heard the comment live. This individual was upset that the Christians had more heart and moral fiber than the Bahá'is. Christians were getting into Africa, South/Central America and Asia with missionaries before the Baha'i pioneers could "open" those areas. This "Hand" also felt that Americans were really not worth trying to teach the Faith to, since they were so entrenched in the culture and their churches. They were basically doomed, not worth saving. The Bahá'is should therefore concentrate their efforts on native peoples who did not have so many "veils". A term frequently used by the membership to denote someone who could not accept the station of Bahá-u-lláh as God's savior for the world. After the conference was over, I was introduced to a Baha'i couple that lived in the municipality where I resided. This introduction and my experience with this couple would have lasting implications for me for the rest of my life. 

Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as I will call them, were a charismatic and charming couple, they took me into their home and became my "spiritual parents". Though I did not live with them I spent much time there. They were in their mid forties and had an adult daughter, whom I never met.  Mr. Smith was about six foot four and had a intimidating presence if he chose to and Mrs. Smith was about five foot seven and on the full figured side. She was soft spoken with a mild southern drawl. 

The couple immediately took me under their wing, seeing I was a new young and impressionable recruit gave them license to teach me as they saw fit. We began having "firesides", weekly teaching meetings in their home, for "seekers" as they are referred to (potential Bahá'is). We held public meetings at the local library and community center, picnics at parks, anywhere we could attract attention to the Faith to bring in new members or seekers to invite to firesides. During this time I became a persuasive teacher under Mr. Smith's tutelage and as a result many young people "declared " their belief in Bahá-u-lláh, including one of my older brothers, his wife and several of my friends. So many people were enrolling in the Baha'i Faith, coming to firesides and meetings that it attracted the attention of the National Spiritual Assembly and
they began to send people to investigate our activities. I found out decades later that the more conservative Baha'i administration at that time were alarmed at the number of "long hair hippie types" and African-Americans who were enrolling into the Baha'i Faith. Professor Juan R.I. Cole, a historian and former member of the Bahá'is has gone into this in some detail in a published paper entitled "The Baha'i Faith as Panopticon". The website address is; http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/1999/jssr/bhjssr.htm For those wishing to read the article.

The Smiths had me under their control and completely indoctrinated into the Baha'i Faith. I was their "spiritual son" and anything Mr. Smith said I took as truth. He began handing out "fez's", hats like the early Middle Eastern Bahá'is wore, to the younger male Bahá'is in the community. A symbol of his discipleship I suppose. This was alarming to the members of the National Spiritual Assembly who really took offense at this action, but did not confront Mr. Smith about it directly. I on the other hand and the other new young believers thought this was normal, wearing the fez, since none of the other older Bahá'is in the area said anything to him or us about it. At this time I was alienated from my family and former non-Baha'i friends.  Everything I did was Baha'i, I felt I had all the answers and refused to listen to anyone else outside of the Baha'i Faith. Mr. Smith began to get verbally abusive and authoritarian with me if I disagreed with him on any issue. He never struck me, but he did on one occasion force me to prostrate myself before him and beg for forgiveness because I had disappointed him. I had wanted to get married and start a family and he wanted me to move away to another state with him. I need to add without going into to much detail that Mr. Smith sometimes would slip drugs into glasses of punch that he would give me and others to drink while we were guests in his home. On several occasions after giving me the "punch", he proceeded to lock me in a small room on the second floor of his house, a prayer closet he called it, and tell me to pray and meditate. Several times I hallucinated while in the "prayer closet" and he would grill me as to what I had experienced. It was some years later that I realized what he had done to me and how sick an individual Mr. Smith really was.  To this day I do not know what the nature of the drugs were he had given to me.

The Smiths moved away out of state, as there were enough adult members in the community to form a Local Spiritual Assembly. (LSA). I was elected Chairman of the LSA and had been in that position for less than a year when the Assembly was summoned to a meeting at a local hotel with members of the Baha'i Administration. I must add that when Mr. And Mrs. Smith left the area I was greatly relieved and thought to myself "good riddance". I did occasionally speak to him on the telephone, when he called to see how I was doing.

What happened next when the LSA met with the Administrative representatives was something that I had kept to myself for over twenty years. We, the Local Spiritual Assembly members, thought we were going to be praised for all the teaching activity that had occurred and tripling the number of new believers. On the contrary, we were seated in a large hotel suite and then I was read a list of charges against me which included "conspiring" with Mr. Smith to run the Local Spiritual Assembly from out of state and for "claiming a station", whatever that meant. When I protested and attempted to defend myself, I was told to "sit down and shut up, we know all about you and anything you say will be just lies." I said I was leaving and they locked and blocked the door leading out of the room, there were about seven of them and they forced me and the other members of the Local Spiritual Assembly to listen to them for two hours. This is what the Bahá'is call "loving and frank consultation". I was humiliated, demeaned and my character assassinated in this meeting. Two of the members of the Local Spiritual Assembly came to my defense and stated that the charges were not true and that the picture that was being presented of me by them was inaccurate. My accusers never confronted me; I came to find out later that the National Spiritual Assembly and other Administrative bodies had used members of the Local Spiritual Assembly and the community as "informants". The concept of due process is foreign in the Baha'i Faith.

The result of this "consultation" had me removed from the assembly and ostracized from the community at large.  Several of the Local Spiritual Assembly members left the Faith after this incident; as did several people that I had taught the Faith to. I seriously considered it, but decided not to because I was isolated and felt I deserved to be punished because of my association with the Smiths. I was instructed not to ever speak to them or have contact with the Smiths again, but not told why. If they contacted me I was to report it immediately to the Baha'i Administration.

The next step that the Baha'i Administration did was to "reeducate" me in the Baha'I teachings. They arranged for me to attend "deepening classes" (a Baha'I term used to denote in-depth study) with an older Baha'i teacher who had little regard for me, almost to the point of open hostility. If I questioned him about certain doctrines that did not make sense to me he would become extremely defensive and caustic in speech. One time he hung up on me during the course of a telephone conversation after calling me an arrogant punk when questioning him about a prophetic statement in the Baha'i writings. He stated there was no such passage and when I read it to him over the phone he became upset and hung up. I did not study with him much after that. Many of the Bahá'is and the Baha'I Administration considered him one of the best teachers in the United
States and would rave about him. I found him to be offensive, sarcastic, demeaning to his students and to be without any formal training as an educator. He published a book through the Baha'i Publishing Trust, which I thought was confusing and incoherent, he was in his mid sixties when I met him. Since many of the new Bahá'is we had taught had left the faith, the numbers in the community went down, so I was reinstated to the Local Spiritual Assembly by default. Much of my time was spent planning firesides, public meetings, picnics and fundraising. In the fifteen years that followed there was little growth in the community in terms of the numbers of new believers, there was a revolving door so to speak, and people would come into the Faith and then either become inactive or just resign. This was particularly true of the African-American Bahá'is coming from a church background. There was little structure or community life that resembles a church community.  Most, if not all of Baha'i activity centers on meetings, teaching activities and fundraising. There was little time left to develop interpersonal relationships or socialization. One last painful episode, which further alienated me from the faith, was the fact that my wife at the time, we are now divorced, developed a close friendship with a "home front pioneer". These are Bahá'is that move to an area for a short time to fulfill some arbitrary local goal of the Baha'i Administration to establish a group or Local Spiritual Assembly. This individual, unbeknownst to me, tried to coerce my wife to divorce me and marry him during his tenure in the community. She told me about the relationship after he left the country to pioneer to South America. She is still on the rolls of the Baha'i Faith to my knowledge.

During the divorce process the community abandoned me, since divorce is frowned upon. An incident that occurred while going through the divorce, (a year of patience is required by Baha'i law), was when I attended a Baha'i Sunday class where I was confronted by several members of the community and chastised in the class for going through the divorce, I did not defend myself, but I must add that a Persian Baha'i man stood up for me and said in my defense that no one knows what goes on between two people and that it was not for anyone to judge. Despite that I did not attend any meetings for the next two years, nor was I contacted by any of the "friends" during that t time. The community has a history of abandoning its members when they no longer can attend the meetings or participate in teaching activities. I cannot truly characterize the Baha'i Faith as a "cult", though in my opinion there are strong social controls in place by the Baha'i Administration. Those controls filter down to the individuals who are afraid of openly questioning the decisions of that administration for fear of being labeled a "covenant breaker". Which is tantamount to being excommunicated from the community. The leadership has used this effectively since the beginnings of the religion to "purge the ranks of the believers". Once a person has been declared a covenant breaker, the Baha'i community shuns that person and contact with such an individual could cause "spiritual contamination" of the "Cause" as it is referred to. There are parallels in the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon groups, as I understand it. The discussion of "unquestioning loyalty and obedience" to the Baha'i covenant and administration is paramount to maintaining order within the community. Though membership in the Baha'i Faith is completely voluntary, individuals such as myself who based their entire lifestyle around the faith find it difficult to separate themselves from family and friends who are Baha'i even if they know there are contradictions within Baha'i doctrine. One risks those relationships and being isolated from the community. It took me three painful years to extricate myself and resign as an enrolled member. Since leaving the Baha'i Faith in the fall of 2000, I have had little or no contact with people I had been friends with for many years, friends whose children grew up with my children. Most of them believe I lost my faith in God.  Those that I have spoken to are surprised that I am doing fine.

Some of the contradictions that began to surface for me were a result of a radio broadcast I heard by Rev. Robert Pardon of the New England Institute of Religious Research (NEIRR) on a Lutheran radio station in St. Louis. He was giving an overview of the Baha'i Faith and I called to challenge him and his sources. I felt he was misrepresenting the Faith and had gotten his source material from "covenant breakers" or enemies of the Faith. I thought about what he had said and contacted him through his web site, I was finally beginning to investigate the Baha'i Faith after twenty-seven years. He sent me facsimiles of his source material and I began to meticulously go over it. Checking it against what had been presented to me by the Bahá'is. I also began writing letters and asking questions of Baha'i administrators and academics. I discovered that several contemporary Baha'i historians and academics had been forced out of the Faith because of their research and publications. Baha'I academics have to go through a review process before publishing anything about the Faith. If an author does not pass the review process one is not published. Their work essentially is censored. This is why almost all Baha'i literature and historical works are redundant. All the books and pamphlets are rewritten from the same "approved" source material. As a result of this, most Bahá'is are unaware of the early history of the Faith, the power struggles that ensued from the founders family members and instead are directed to the Baha'i approved materials. Other sources are considered suspect, labeled as unauthorized or from enemies of the faith.

Though the Faith teaches tolerance for other religions, the truth is taught that the Baha'i Faith is the "Ultimate Truth" for this day.  All the previous "Manifestations of God" and revealed religions are essentially null and void. Humanity must follow the Baha'i Faith or suffer severe punishment. Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior for the entire human race is reduced to the station of a "Divine Educator". His revelation is no longer considered relevant for this day, in fact Christ's dispensation ended with the coming of Muhammad in the sixth century C.E. The clergy and a misunderstanding of scriptural interpretation have led all Christians astray. Personal salvation is no longer important; the salvation of the human race is the priority now.  An intimate personal relationship with God is not possible, " the door leading unto the Ancient of Days is forever closed to man", (paraphrase from the Baha'i Writings). As I began to study the Bible in depth and outside of a Baha'i context, I began to understand the perspective of the Christian objection to the Baha'i Faith. A great deal of the social teachings and all of the spiritual teachings, which the faith presented as new, I discovered in Old and New Testament scripture. Some of the phrases from the Bible I found transcribed into Baha'i prayers. However the main source of contention for me was the arrogance of many Baha'I who became incensed at Christian authors trying to give accurate accounts regarding the Baha'i Faith and it's history. Yet they thought nothing of explaining away two thousands years of historical Christianity and exegetical study, while engaging in the worst form of eisegesis. On a more personal level, I was concerned about my soul and salvation, I never really felt forgiven or saved as a Baha'i or that Bahá-u-lláh was a personal savior. When reading how Jesus taught us to forgive our enemies and to pray for them in the Gospels, I compared that to how the Baha'i Faith historically condemned and shunned its enemies. (Many who were the disciples, spouses and relatives of the central figures of the Faith, even Shoghi Effendi, the Baha'i Guardian, excommunicated his own parents!). I began to ask God to open my eyes and guide me to the truth.

With the help of Rev. Bob Pardon, (NEIRR) Pastor Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwartz of radio station KFUO in St. Louis, I began the task of "testing the spirits" to determine what was true. I tested the Bahá'is by raising questions at Baha'i meetings about historical and doctrinal contradictions as well as prophetic statements in the Baha'i Faith that had not come to pass. Dates had been given where certain events were to have transpired and did not occur. Many Bahá'is were desperately trying to rationalize these unfulfilled prophecies. This line of questioning was making me unpopular to say the least, particularly when I began to post those questions on the local Baha'i chat list. I started to receive calls from the local Baha'I authorities as well as from some of the "friends". (A term Bahá'is use to refer to each other). I finally officially withdrew my membership and posted it on the chat list. I received numerous calls and e-mails from the "friends" wanting to counsel me, I then posted and requested that I not be contacted, which of course did not occur, finally I posted my reasons for leaving the Baha'i Faith and that I no longer could follow the doctrines or obey the Administrative Order. An Administrative Representative who wished to meet with me concerning my statements contacted me. His real intent was to declare me a "covenant breaker" and therefore have me shunned so as not to "infect" any other Bahá'is with doubt. I agreed to meet with him. He had books with him and was prepared to contend with me. I chose not to engage him on doctrinal issues, I instead stated that I did not believe that Bahá-u-lláh was the return of Christ and relayed to him the incidents I had suffered at the hands of Bahá'is and the Administration. He repeatedly apologized and stated he would ask the Bahá'is to respect my wishes that I not be contacted and harassed about my decision.

I bear no malice towards the Baha'i Faith or individual Bahá'is. Some of them are kind, gentle and loving souls.  This testimony is intended to help those members of the Baha'I community, who may have experienced similar situations and come to a personal realization regarding doctrinal contradictions.

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There is a home for all Bahais who want the Truth, and that home is with Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, “Come all ye who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give thee rest.”  Jesus welcomes you--He wants you to come home.

 

 Lawsuit between a Bahai and her local and National Spiritual Assembly, which indicates that Bahai practices do not coincide with their propaganda.  This, regrettably is not an isolated incident.  The Bahai Administration does not tolerate freedom of expression within its ranks.  The minority opinion is not considered.

SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT
COUNTY OF BERNALILLO
STATE OF NEW MEXICO

DEBORAH BUCHHORN, for herself and for MINORITY 
MEMBERS OF THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHAIS OF 
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, 
Plaintiffs, 


vs. No. CV 2001-01978


TRUSTEES OF THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHAIS OF 
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, and 
THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHAIS OF ALBUQUERQUE, 
NEW MEXICO, a non-profit corporation, and the 
NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHAIS OF THE 
UNITED STATES, an Illinois Corporation, 
Defendants. 

VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR FRAUD, LIBEL, BREACH OF CORPORATE DUTIES, AND
DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

COMES NOW Plaintiffs by and through their attorney of record, Yorgos D.
Marinakis, and for their Complaint states as follows:

INTRODUCTION

1. Plaintiffs file this shareholder or member derivative suit against:
- the Spiritual Assembly of the Bah '¡s of Albuquerque, New Mexico (Local
Spiritual Assembly, or LSA),
- their Trustees, and
- the Spiritual Assembly of the Bah '¡s of the United States (National
Spiritual Assembly, or NSA), with whom the Local Spiritual Assembly and its
Trustees have privity.
2. Plaintiffs allege that Trustees breached their duties as corporate
officers.
3. Plaintiffs allege that the National Spiritual Assembly breached their
duty of deciding appeals owed to Plaintiffs.
4. Plaintiffs allege that the literature review policies of the Local
Spiritual Assembly and the National Spiritual Assembly, which lie in
privity, unlawfully prevent shareholders from their right to communicate
with other shareholders.
5. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants failed to execute their duties under
their corporate by-laws.

PARTIES

6. Named Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn was a shareholder or member of the
Spiritual Assembly of the Bah '¡s of Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the time
of the incidents stated in this Complaint, and she continues to be a member.
7. The Spiritual Assembly of the Bah '¡s of Albuquerque, New Mexico (Local
Spiritual Assembly) is a New Mexico non-profit corporation.
Shareholder-members may appeal decisions by the Local Spiritual Assembly to
the National Spiritual Assembly.
8. The Trustees of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bah '¡s of Albuquerque,
New Mexico (Trustees) individually reside in Bernalillo County, New Mexico,
as a condition of their Trusteeship. Trustees are Kambiz Victory, Ok-Sun
and John McHenry, Manijeh Kavelin, Nelson Sapad, Harry and Sondra Day, Owen
Creightney, and Carol Caldwell. Jenny Beery was a Trustee during the time
of many of these incidents.
9. The Spiritual Assembly of the Bah '¡s of the United States (National
Spiritual Assembly) is incorporated in and has its principal place of
business in Illinois.

FACTS

10. The Bahai'¡ have no clergy. Instead, each community in the Bahai'¡ Faith
annually elects nine Trustees or a "Local Spiritual Assembly," which acts
as an agent or subsidiary of the National Spiritual Assembly. Each
National Spiritual Assembly answers to the supreme Bahai'¡ body, The
Universal House of Justice. The Universal House of Justice established the
Continental Board of Counsellors (sic) to assist them, and the Countinental
Board of Counsellors further has the Auxiliary Board to assist them.
11. In the particular situation between the Trustees of the Spiritual
Assembly of Bah '¡s of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Defendants Trustees
controlled what member activities Plaintiffs were able to engage in and
what members they were able to talk to. They stopped them from interacting
with friends at member events. They stopped Plaintiffs from serving on
committees and stopped their individual activities for personal reasons.
They made all the decisions relating to Plaintiffs' membership-related
activities. They told named Plaintiff that opinions she may personally
hold were bad and implicitly threatened to curtail her presence at member
functions. They acted as if the abuse were no big deal, that it was
Plaintiff's fault, and denied doing it. They failed to act when one member
was physically threatened and shoved by another member.
12. Although Plaintiffs have consistently complied with Defendant Trustees'
demands, they have also consistently filed complaints against them with the
National and International Bahai'¡ authorities. This has enraged the
Defendant Trustees.
13. Defendant Trustees have never made specific accusations or informed
Plaintiffs of wrongdoing, other than vague statements such as "you have
issues with the Spiritual Assembly."
14. Therefore, deep-seated animosities and distrust have arisen between
Plaintiffs and the Trustees, which are incapable of resolution and thereby
present an irreconcilable barrier to the ability of the corporation to
function as is.
15. Plaintiffs' reasonable expectations that they would be able to
participate in the management and activities of their corporation, as
minority shareholders, have been thwarted since at least 1995.
16. Article IV of the LSA by-laws provides that the LSA shall compose
differences and disagreements among members of the community. Article VII,
section 9 of the NSA by-laws provides that any member of a Bahai'¡ community
may appeal from a decision of his LSA to the NSA.

Failure to Allow Inspection of Books and Records

17. The books and records of the corporation have been maintained in an
inaccurate and inequitable manner.
18. The year 2000 annual meeting showed a 10%, $10,000 discrepancy in the
corporate books.
19. In a letter dated September 3, 2000, named Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn
informed the Local Spiritual Assembly that she desired to inspect their
financial books. Defendants refused.
20. Following mailing of the demand letter, the LSA offered to allow named
Plaintiff to inspect the books and records, but under conditions that the
Plaintiff deemed in bad faith.

Fraudulent Oppression and Prevention of Communications between Shareholders

21. On April 19, 1998, Defendant Trustees ordered named Plaintiff Deborah
Buchhorn to refrain from discussing her "issues" with anyone but Auxiliary
Board member Brent Poirier and the Local Spiritual Assembly. Plaintiff
complied and appealed to Brent Poirier and the National Spiritual Assembly,
who took no action. Defendant LSA has wrapped many of their dealings with
members in the cloak of secrecy in a like manner.

Electioneering

22. At the Annual Meeting Feast of 1999, Defendant Trustees fraudulently
rigged the election of Trustee Nelson Sapad by calling for applause for him
three times prior to an election of corporate officers. Plaintiff appealed
to the National Spiritual Assembly and Brent Poirier, who took no action.
23. Defendant Trustees or their agents fraudulently rigged the election of
Harry and Sondra Day, by introducing them and calling for applause moments
before an election of corporate officers.
24. Trustees do not ensure secret balloting at the Annual Meeting Feast.
The usual practice is not to use a ballot box, but for members to lay their
ballots on a plate or in a basket in plain sight of the election tellers.
Ms. Buchhorn appealed to Brent Poirier on at least one election. Mr.
Poirier responded by handling the collection basket himself.
25. In the member newsletter and prior to the annual election and during
the Annual Meeting Feast, Trustees have used scriptural quotes to draw
attention to persons serving on certain committees.

Fraudulent and Oppressive Behavior Relating to the TV Show "Spiritual
Reality"

26. Plaintiffs conceptualized and produced a TV show named "Spiritual
Reality." After 100 showings, during which Defendant Trustees only
complimented Plaintiffs, Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent
to oppress, mandated major changes in the show. Plaintiffs complied and
appealed to the National Spiritual Assembly and Brent Poirier, who took no
action.
27. Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent to oppress, ordered
Plaintiffs to "temporarily postpone" their television show, "Spiritual
Reality." Plaintiff complied, and Defendants never specifically informed
Plaintiffs what they had done to precipitate the arbitrary and capricious
termination. The effect of this order, namely the termination of the TV
show, violated the right of shareholders to communicate with other
shareholders.
28. Trustees fraudulently and under false pretences stated that the reasons
for termination would be fully discussed at a later meeting, at which
meeting those reasons were never discussed. Defendant Trustee Kambiz
Victory, employee of channel 41, knew or should have known that a
television program cannot be "temporarily postponed." Plaintiffs appealed
to the National Spiritual Assembly, who took no action.
29. Defendant Kambiz Victory, a Trustee, fraudulently and with intent to
oppress, told named Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn in regards to her television
show that "Your teaching can have no effect because you are not in unity
with the Spiritual Assembly." Defendant knew that Ms. Buchhorn's
television show brought in 15% of the information requests during an
unrelated major regional advertising campaign by Defendants. Plaintiff
appealed to the National Spiritual Assembly, who took no action.
30. Defendant Trustees fraudulently and under false pretences set-up
Plaintiffs to a "confession" of their animosity towards Defendant Trustees.
Named Plaintiff appealed to the National Spiritual Assembly, who took no
action.

Other Oppression

31. As an act of individual initiative, named Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn
organized a Bahai  parade float for several years for the New Mexico State
Fair Parade. In 2000, Defendant Trustees convened a task force to organize
the parade float for that year. On August 22, 2000, approximately 19 days
before the parade, Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent to
oppress, instructed Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn to terminate her parade
float activities. A false reason for this termination was published in the
membership newsletter by Defendant Trustees, causing Plaintiff
embarrassment. Plaintiff complied, and Defendant never informed Plaintiff
as to the reason for that termination. Plaintiff appealed to the National
Spiritual Assembly and Brent Poirier, who took no action.
32. Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent to oppress, ordered
Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn to receive instruction on the Bah '¡ Covenant.
Plaintiff complied and attended that "instruction," which in fact consisted
of three (3) hours of interrogation by Trustee Owen Creightney, and John
and Ok-Sun McHenry. It became apparent at this meeting that Trustee
Creightney had lied to the Trustees in order to oppress named Plaintiff.
Plaintiff appealed to the National Spiritual Assembly and Brent Poirier,
who took no action.
33. Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent to oppress, ordered
named Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn to resign from the Bah '¡ gospel choir.
Plaintiff complied, and Defendant never informed Plaintiff as to the reason
for that termination. Plaintiff appealed to the National Spiritual
Assembly and Brent Poirier, who took no action.
34. Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent to oppress, undermined
named Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn's Saturday Night Coffee House and in
effect stopped her Coffee House. Defendant never informed Plaintiff as to
these circumstances. Plaintiff appealed to the National Spiritual Assembly
and Brent Poirier, who took no action.
35. Defendant Trustees, fraudulently and with intent to oppress, have
ordered numerous Bah '¡s to shun Plaintiff Deborah Buchhorn.
36. Defendant Trustee Kambiz Victory told a Plaintiff "I am the voice of
God in this community."

Libel

37. Defendant Trustees knowingly published false and defamatory information
about Plaintiffs in the Albuquerque Bah '¡ newsletter, specifically
relating to the parade banner.

Unlawful Prevention of Communication between Shareholders

38. Defendant National Spiritual Assembly has the policy that Local
Spiritual Assemblies are responsible for reviewing pamphlets and
newsletters and materials that mention the Faith such as songs, play
scripts, souvenir items, and greeting cards, intended for publication or
distribution within their communities, whereas the National Spiritual
Assembly is responsible for review of those same materials intended for
nationwide publication.

CAUSES OF ACTION

Count I
39. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
40. The Trustees of the Local Spiritual Assembly have repeatedly acted and
continue to act fraudulently towards the Plaintiffs.
41. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count II
42. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
43. The Trustees of the Local Spiritual Assembly libeled the named
Plaintiff.
44. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count III
45. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
46. The Trustees of the Local Spiritual Assembly have repeatedly failed to
act and continue to fail to act in good faith, which failure constitutes
fraud.
47. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count IV
48. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporates all previous paragraphs.
49. The Trustees of the Local Spiritual Assembly have repeatedly failed to
act and continue to fail to act with the care an ordinary prudent person in
like position would exercise under similar circumstances, which failure
constitute fraud.
50. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count V
51. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
52. The Trustees of the Local Spiritual Assembly have repeatedly failed to
act and continue to fail to act in a manner they reasonably believe to be
in the best interests of the corporation and its members, which failure
constitutes fraud.
53. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count VI
54. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
55. The Trustees have repeatedly failed their duty to compose differences
and disagreements with themselves and the members, in violation of their
by-laws, which failure constitutes fraud.
56. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count VII
57. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
58. The National Spiritual Assembly has repeatedly failed their duty to
hear appeals from Plaintiffs, in violation of their by-laws.
59. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count VIII
60. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
61. The literature review policies of the National and Local Spiritual
Assemblies violate the rights of corporate members to communicate with
other corporate members.
62. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

Count IX
63. Plaintiffs reallege and incorporate all previous paragraphs.
64. The practice of the Local Spiritual Assembly to direct members not to
speak about their dealings with the LSA with other corporate members
violates the rights of corporate members to communicate with other
corporate members.
65. Plaintiffs have suffered emotional damages thereby.

JUDICIAL RELIEF

WHEREFORE, for these reasons, Plaintiffs request that this Court:
1. Declare that the Trustees acted fraudulently towards Plaintiffs;
2. Declare that Trustees libeled Plaintiffs;
3. Declare that the Trustees breached their corporate duties towards
Plaintiffs;
4. Remove the Trustees from their positions and enjoin them from serving in
official Bah '¡s capacities for nineteen (19) years;
5. Remove the LSA Directors who are also Trustees;
6. Declare that the Local Spiritual Assembly violated members' rights to
inspect corporate books and records;
7. Compel Defendant LSA to retain an independent certified public
accountant to audit the books for the last two years;
8. Declare that Defendant LSA violated their corporate by-laws by failing
to compose differences and disagreements among members of the community;
6. Declare that the National Spiritual Assembly breached their duty of
hearing Plaintiffs' appeals;
7. Declare that the literature review policies of the Bah '¡s violate
United States common law as preventing corporate members from communicating
with other corporate members;
8. Enjoin Defendants National Spiritual Assembly and Local Spiritual
Assembly from enforcing their literature review policy;
9. Declare that the secrecy practices of the Local Spiritual Assembly
violate United States common law as preventing corporate members from
communicating with other corporate members;
10. Enjoin Defendant Local Spiritual Assembly from continuing their secrecy
practices;
11. Award compensatory damages from Defendants to Plaintiffs;
12. Award attorney's fees and costs to Plaintiffs;
13. Any other relief this Court deems appropriate.

Respectfully submitted,

___________________________
Yorgos D. Marinakis
Attorney for Plaintiffs
P.O. Box 45923
Rio Rancho, NM 87174
505-459-4664
877-430-9550 (fax)

Named Plaintiff's Verification

STATE OF NEW MEXICO )
) ss.
COUNTY OF BERNALILLO)

COMES NOW Deborah Buchhorn, and being duly sworn, states as follows:
1. I have read and understood the contents of this Complaint.
2. I have personal knowledge of the facts stated herein.
3. I attest to and verify their truth and accuracy.
__________________________
DEBORAH BUCHHORN

It also appears that the Bahai Faith deliberately inflates the number if its adherents worldwide.  This is  serious.  It indicates that the Bahai Administration is attempting to delude the world into believing that the Bahai Faith is growing when, in fact, it is losing members.  Read the excerpts from an Internet site.

…………….

Juan Cole commented in April 2001 that, since 1968, 50% of the people who entered the bahai faith have left it. According to him, a professor of religious history and studies at the University of Michigan, the usually figure for most Christian denominations is approximately 80% retention, meaning about only 20% decide to leave once they become a member. See Professor Cole's
comment below that even 5 million Baha'is worldwide is exaggerated by the Baha'i administration.

50% is truly a remarkably high number and reveals emphatically that something is indeed wrong about the atmosphere within the Bahai Faith, once one has declared one's belief and is taken into the fold to be properly censored, coerced, and manipulated....
Bahai fanatics online exude the same duplicity and dishonesty the new adherent quickly comes to realize is normative behind the facade of love and brotherhood.

The FULL TEXT of the New Mexico lawsuit (in its entirety above) reveals what many of the problems are that are driving sensitive and thoughtful people out of the Bahai Faith in droves.

Cole has also stated that according to the official census figures of India there are approximately only 5,000 Bahais that they were able to find in the country
compare with the millions claimed by the Bahai administration, a fact worth lingering on....


Upon further reflection, a better estimate might be arrived at for true Baha'i world membership statistics than 6.7 million by extrapolating what is generally accepted regarding USA Bahai membership. The Bahai administration regularly claims 140,000 US Bahais. Having never seen such large numbers of US Bahais, most thoughtful Bahais prefer the figure of 60,000 US Bahais based on the widely known existence of actual mailing addresses for that number, many of whom though never participate in Bahai activities, being regarded as "inactive." If we subtract the "inactive"
Bahais from the 60,000, we have the figure of approximately only 25,000 Bahais who show up regularly in the United States. Taking these two widely held figures, I calculate 43% and 19% of the 140,000 claimed by the Bahai administration:

140,000 X 43 % = 60,200 addresses for "Bahais" in US
140,000 X 19% = 26,600 "active" US Bahais

Applying that formula to the similarly inflated figure of
worldwide Bahai membership of 6.7 million, I believe the true worldwide membership numbers to be close to the following:

6.7 million X 43% = 2,881,000 known "addresses" worldwide
6.7 million X 19% = 1,273,000 "active" Bahais worldwide

Rounding up, giving the benefit of the doubt, and there are probably only a maximum of 3 million Bahais at best worldwide, especially since there are essentially no Bahais in Europe beyond a negligible few hundred to a thousand in most countries, as in Japan. Many Bahais have for decades been suspicious of the administration's claims of millions in the developing world.

Hope this helps the Encyclopedia Britannica in its effort to ascertain a reliable figure.

Here are two addition points:

1) A number of Bahais or ex-Bahais who worked at the NSA of the United States have stated online over the past years that they knew for a fact that only about 60,000 addresses existed for American Bahais--
all other snail mail would bounce.... Hence, the 60,000 figure.

2) TENS of THOUSANDS of people have entered the Bahai Faith and then left, or been driven out, often without caring enough to bother with officially "withdrawing." It would appear approximately
80,000 of them....

Both facts should be considered by the Encyclopedia of
Britannica when attempting to determine worldwide membership and probably both corroborate further my estimates based on 43% and 19% according to known discrepancies in the United States enrollment figures.

(Patrick Henry.... "Give me liberty or give me death!"
The Bahai Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience:
bahai.htm)

-----
Juan,

Thanks for contacting the Encyclopedia Britannica.

I myself doubt 5 million Bahais exist. The statistics for India and other countries of the developing world are certainly inflated and they usually have only the vaugest idea of what they're doing when they sign a Bahai card, never or seldom to show up again for any Bahai activity.  3 to 4 million would still be too many.

Anything below 6.7 million, though, is headed in the right direction. Obviously, the Bahai institutions are unreliable.

(Patrick Henry.... "Give me liberty or give me death!"
The Bahai Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience:
bahai.htm)

-----
FYI:

Thanks, Fred. I wrote them that even 5 million is an exaggeration.

cheers JRIC

[Juan Cole]

-----
FYI

mdiller@us.britannica.com <mdiller@us.britannica.com>:

 

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