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    06 Apr '07 21:52
    I've been investigating the Baha'i Faith and one of the more interesting concepts is that of Progressive Revelation. I'm not Baha'i, but I'll try to layout the basic ideas here:

    1) There is only one God.

    2) God reveals his will thru periodic messengers. Some of the messengers thus far: Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad.

    3) The teachings are tailored to a given time in place.

    4) Some teachings are eternal, such we should love one another, do good, be sincere, truthful, etc.

    5) Other teachings are progressive and may abrogate previous teachings. These are usually cultural in nature.

    So basically all religions based on truth, love, compassion, justice, etc. are the same. Differences are cultural and/or dependent on the maturity of mankind at the time of the revelation. The revelations are progressive in nature.

    I'm sure someone could do a much better job of explaining this topic, but I figure this is good enough to start a discussion.
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    07 Apr '07 03:27
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I've been investigating the Baha'i Faith and one of the more interesting concepts is that of Progressive Revelation. I'm not Baha'i, but I'll try to layout the basic ideas here:

    1) There is only one God.

    2) God reveals his will thru periodic messengers. Some of the messengers thus far: Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad.

    3) The te ...[text shortened]... tter job of explaining this topic, but I figure this is good enough to start a discussion.
    I saw this thread hours ago and I wanted to reply then but didn't have time. And now I see that no one has replied yet. I think that is strange because it a good thread. I looked up Baha'i on line and yours is a better description.

    I can only agree though, with there being only one God.
    And revelation was progressive until it was completed in the first century. Personally, I hold to the bible as the sole authority and revelation of God's will.
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    07 Apr '07 03:45
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I've been investigating the Baha'i Faith and one of the more interesting concepts is that of Progressive Revelation. I'm not Baha'i, but I'll try to layout the basic ideas here:

    1) There is only one God.

    2) God reveals his will thru periodic messengers. Some of the messengers thus far: Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad.

    3) The te ...[text shortened]... tter job of explaining this topic, but I figure this is good enough to start a discussion.
    Good post. I’m ambivalent for a number of reasons, though I find the so-called “perennial philosophy” expressed in all the major religions (though sometimes charged with being heresy).

    The cultural aspect makes some sense—and, I think, is the only context in which “abrogation” makes much sense.

    Some of the argument among religions, I am convinced, is argument over the forms of revelation (including arguments about natural versus book revelation)—and sometimes, I think, approaches the idolatrous (though I’m never sure exactly where that line is).

    You might be interested in a book by Fritjof Schuon (himself a Sufi) called The Transcendent Unity of Religions, as well as Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy. Schuon talks about the core (which he calls “esoteric”—not a word I really like a lot, since it can lead to confusion) versus the expression, which he calls the exoteric.

    Within Christianity, this reminds me of a quote I’ve been using by Justin Martyr (d. 165 C.E.):

    “All who have lived in accordance with the Logos are Christians, even if they have been reckoned atheists, as among the Greeks Socrates, Heraclitus and the like.”
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    07 Apr '07 05:141 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I've been investigating the Baha'i Faith and one of the more interesting concepts is that of Progressive Revelation. I'm not Baha'i, but I'll try to layout the basic ideas here:

    1) There is only one God.

    2) God reveals his will thru periodic messengers. Some of the messengers thus far: Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad.

    3) The te tter job of explaining this topic, but I figure this is good enough to start a discussion.
    So if all religions are based upon truth then why does the Baha'i faith insist that there is only one God? Surely not all religions teach this and if they do not teach this, how then is such teaching based upon truth? I think a better way to put it is that there is an element of truth to all religions rather than them being based upon truth.
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    07 Apr '07 05:391 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    So if all religions are based upon truth then why does the Baha'i faith insist that there is only one God? Surely not all religions teach this and if they do not teach this, how then is such teaching based upon truth? I think a better way to put it is that there is an element of truth to all religions rather than them being based upon truth.
    I am a Baha'i, but THinkOfOne is doing such a good job of explaining things that I am afraid to butt in.

    The Baha'i Faith teaches that all religions come from the same loving God. Over the years, misinterpretations have crept into each religion making us believe they are different, but they are basically saying the same thing.

    Since God is infinite. No single book could possibly contain Him. As we progress and can handle more, He opens the door to His knowledge to reveal to us some more.
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    07 Apr '07 14:23
    Originally posted by josephw
    I saw this thread hours ago and I wanted to reply then but didn't have time. And now I see that no one has replied yet. I think that is strange because it a good thread. I looked up Baha'i on line and yours is a better description.

    I can only agree though, with there being only one God.
    And revelation was progressive until it was completed in the first century. Personally, I hold to the bible as the sole authority and revelation of God's will.
    There seems to be a recurring theme of the rejection of new messengers by many. By some accounts, even Jesus may have suffered this fate 🙂
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    07 Apr '07 14:35
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Good post. I’m ambivalent for a number of reasons, though I find the so-called “perennial philosophy” expressed in all the major religions (though sometimes charged with being heresy).

    The cultural aspect makes some sense—and, I think, is the only context in which “abrogation” makes much sense.

    Some of the argument ...[text shortened]... they have been reckoned atheists, as among the Greeks Socrates, Heraclitus and the like.”
    Good quote. I've long held the belief that following the ways of Christ is what makes one Christian. Many "Christians" seem to believe the core is praise and worship.

    Thanks for the reading suggestions.

    Care to share the details of your ambivalence?
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    07 Apr '07 14:37
    Originally posted by whodey
    So if all religions are based upon truth then why does the Baha'i faith insist that there is only one God? Surely not all religions teach this and if they do not teach this, how then is such teaching based upon truth? I think a better way to put it is that there is an element of truth to all religions rather than them being based upon truth.
    Maybe it's because I haven't entirely wakened, but you lost me from the first question on. Care to rephrase this?
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    07 Apr '07 14:44
    Originally posted by Varqa
    I am a Baha'i, but THinkOfOne is doing such a good job of explaining things that I am afraid to butt in.

    The Baha'i Faith teaches that all religions come from the same loving God. Over the years, misinterpretations have crept into each religion making us believe they are different, but they are basically saying the same thing.

    Since God is infinite. No ...[text shortened]... we progress and can handle more, He opens the door to His knowledge to reveal to us some more.
    Thanks for adding some much needed depth to what I presented.

    One can also think of it along the lines of the maturation of mankind. What and how one teaches an infant is different from that of a toddler, preschooler, grade schooler, etc. If I had to assess the progress of mankind, I'd have to say we're deeply entrenched in the rebellious teen years.
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    07 Apr '07 15:33
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Thanks for adding some much needed depth to what I presented.

    One can also think of it along the lines of the maturation of mankind. What and how one teaches an infant is different from that of a toddler, preschooler, grade schooler, etc. If I had to assess the progress of mankind, I'd have to say we're deeply entrenched in the rebellious teen years.
    You are absolutely correct!

    Most religions are trying to teach "teenagers" with kindergarten material. No wonder so many pupils have turned into atheists!

    The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its 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. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.

    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah)
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    07 Apr '07 15:34
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Good quote. I've long held the belief that following the ways of Christ is what makes one Christian. Many "Christians" seem to believe the core is praise and worship.

    Thanks for the reading suggestions.

    Care to share the details of your ambivalence?
    My ambivalence in part stems from the fact that I am a non-dualist, and so don’t see God as a being that sends messengers or revelations. In my view, what is called revelation comes from “enlightened” people, such as the rishis of the Upanishads.

    Also, “progressive” often seems to be used to mean supersessionist. However, that is not what you and Varqa are saying, and I agree with yours and Varqa’s comments about cultural matrices and maturation, and also the notion of errors creeping in as religions develop.

    I still find the older wisdoms, such as Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, etc. to be relevant.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    07 Apr '07 15:41
    Originally posted by Varqa
    You are absolutely correct!

    Most religions are trying to teach "teenagers" with kindergarten material. No wonder so many pupils have turned into atheists!

    The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul it ...[text shortened]... encies and requirements.

    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah)
    Most religions are trying to teach "teenagers" with kindergarten material. No wonder so many pupils have turned into atheists!

    Well put. I don’t think that most of the religions started out that way, but more that it creeps in with their institutional development. I don’t think you find it in the Tao Te Ching, for example. In some ways, I think that Zen may have originally been in part a reaction against such tendencies developing in Buddhism...
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    07 Apr '07 16:55
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]Most religions are trying to teach "teenagers" with kindergarten material. No wonder so many pupils have turned into atheists!

    Well put. I don’t think that most of the religions started out that way, but more that it creeps in with their institutional development. I don’t think you find it in the Tao Te Ching, for example. In some ways, I ...[text shortened]... may have originally been in part a reaction against such tendencies developing in Buddhism...[/b]
    There are of course enlightened people, those who are better tuned than the average person is to the divine realm. Some examples are Isaiah in Christianity and Imam Hussein in Islam. These people received revelation from God, but the Bible makes a sharp distinction between the enlightened individuals and the Messengers.

    If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 12:8 With him will I speak face to face, even apparently, and not in dark speeches. Numbers 12:6

    Neither was Jesus an ordinary prophet. He was likened unto Moses.

    For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Acts 3:23

    So the Messengers of God are far superior to the average enlightened person. And there is great danger in following the enlightened souls. The problem is that every Pundit, every Rabbi, every Priest and every Mullah claims to have a direct connection to God, and none of them say the same thing. So who are we supposed to follow?

    There must be an authority, and I believe that authority is the Word. Wipe away the interpretations, and the truth will stand out and be the same in every holy Book, from the Gita to the Quran and beyond.
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    07 Apr '07 17:06
    Originally posted by Varqa
    There must be an authority, and I believe that authority is the Word. Wipe away the interpretations, and the truth will stand out and be the same in every holy Book, from the Gita to the Quran and beyond.[/b]
    Can you expand on what you mean when you say that the authority to follow in such matters is the Word instead of the interpretations, messangers etc.?
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    07 Apr '07 17:10
    Originally posted by vistesd
    My ambivalence in part stems from the fact that I am a non-dualist, and so don’t see God as a being that sends messengers or revelations. In my view, what is called revelation comes from “enlightened” people, such as the rishis of the Upanishads.

    Also, “progressive” often seems to be used to mean supersessionist. However, that is not what you and Varqa ...[text shortened]... till find the older wisdoms, such as Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, etc. to be relevant.
    So considering that you are a non-dualist, does this make you a rebellious teenager I wonder?
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