Is Bahai a cult?


#1

My best friend recently converted to this religion and I am concerned for him. I know only little about it from my few experiences and what Ive read. Basically, the theology goes that all religions are essentially the same and that they are all valid. It started in Iran by a guy named Bahaullaulah(? spelling) I even attended one of their ‘masses’ (?). People were friendly but seemed more interested in trying to convert me, which I told them was useless.

Does anyone know more about the bahai faith, why people find it compelling, and what I should do to re-evangelize my friend?


#2

Baha’is recognize Baha’u’llah "as the Judge, the Lawgiver and Redeemer of all mankind, as the Organizer of the entire planet, as the Unifier of the children of men, as the Inaugurator of the long-awaited millennium, as the Originator of a new “Universal Cycle,” as the Establisher of the Most Great Peace, as the Fountain of the Most Great Justice, as the Proclaimer of the coming of age of the entire human race, as the Creator of a new World Order, and as the Inspirer and Founder of a world civilization.
bci.org/prophecy-fulfilled/who-is-b.htm


#3

What’s your definition of “cult”?

It’s a non-Christian religion, a pretty decent one as religions go so far as I can tell, though too modern to have any interest for me if (God forbid) I were ever to go looking for a new religion! It’s an offshoot of Islam, and on the whole I think it improves drastically on its parent.

Edwin


#4

factnet.org/Thought_Reform_Exists.htm

ENVIRONMENT CONTROL. Limitation of many/all forms of communication with those outside the group. Books, magazines, letters and visits with friends and family are taboo. “Come out and be separate!”

MYSTICAL MANIPULATION. The potential convert to the group becomes convinced of the higher purpose and special calling of the group through a profound encounter/experience, for example, through an alleged miracle or prophetic word of those in the group.

SACRED SCIENCE. The group’s perspective is absolutely true and completely adequate to explain EVERYTHING. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. ABSOLUTE conformity to the doctrine is required.

LOADED LANGUAGE. A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members “think” within the very abstract and narrow parameters of the group’s doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a “black and white” mentality. Loaded terms and clichés prejudice thinking.

DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE. Salvation is possible only in the group. Those who leave the group are doomed.

Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph. D.


#5

So during the centuries when the Catholic Church had an Index of Prohibited Books and otherwise restricted contact with non-Catholics, was it a cult?

MYSTICAL MANIPULATION. The potential convert to the group becomes convinced of the higher purpose and special calling of the group through a profound encounter/experience, for example, through an alleged miracle or prophetic word of those in the group.

Obviously Saul joined a cult after his Damascus Road experience.

SACRED SCIENCE. The group’s perspective is absolutely true and completely adequate to explain EVERYTHING. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. ABSOLUTE conformity to the doctrine is required.

Sounds a lot like the letters of Paul to me–see particular 1 Cor. 1, which claims that the preaching of the Cross, in all its “foolishness,” replaces the wisdom of the world.

LOADED LANGUAGE. A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members “think” within the very abstract and narrow parameters of the group’s doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a “black and white” mentality. Loaded terms and clichés prejudice thinking.

This “loaded language” hits you any time you read the New Testament.

DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE. Salvation is possible only in the group. Those who leave the group are doomed.

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, anyone? “The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness.” “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Early Christianity was definitely a cult by this definition. That is why Christians should not use this definition pejoratively–such a tactic blatantly violates the Golden Rule.

Bahai, on the other hand, is probably not a cult by this definition–I’m pretty sure they do not claim to be the exclusive means of salvation.

Edwin


#6

Each of the world’s major religions contain Messianic prophecies. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Zoroastrian religion and even the Native American religions all foretell the coming of a Promised One. Each of the Founders of these great religions either promised to personally return himself, to send another like himself or in some instances… the Founder promised to do both.

Christians await the return of Christ and the coming of “another comforter.” The Jewish scriptures foretell the coming of “another Prophet” like Moses and the return of Elijah from heaven. Many Moslems await the appearance of Mahdi and Meseeh. Krishna promised to personally return from age to age. Buddha said that he was not the first Buddha ever to appear and that another “supremely enlightened” Buddha was still yet to come. Zoroastrian prophecies foretell the coming of a “World-renovator.” Native American prophecies foretell the coming of a bearded white man from the east who will bring teachings which will restore the hoop of unity. Each religion, in its own way, has foretold the coming of a great ‘religion restoring’, ‘world uniting’, ‘peace bringing’ Messiah.

For centuries, people from all over the world have been hoping and praying that they will be the generation which will witness the appearance of their Promised One. Not many have considered the possibility that these prophecies from the various religions might actually all be foretelling the exact same event.

Members of the Baha’i Faith believe that in the middle of the last century these prophecies actually were fulfilled and that the Promised One truly did appear.

Baha’u’llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith, claims to be the Promised One whose coming was explicitly foretold, not only in the Old and the New Testaments… but also in the prophecies of the Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Islamic and other religions.

bci.org/prophecy-fulfilled/index.htm


#7

Yes, Bab started a cult,

apologeticsindex.org/b21.html

suite101.com/article.cfm/bahai_faith/29487

Beliefs:
Belief in God. Items 1-5 are the Bahá’i’s belief about God and his prophets.[14]

They appeal to 1 John 4:2-3 saying that the antiChrist does not believe in Jesus, they do.
While they affirm the Lordship of Jesus, they say there will be another Lord appealing to Zechariah 14:9

They take an spiritual approach in understanding the Bible, for this they appeal to 1 Corinthians 2:13-14.
Contrary to the mainline Islamic belief, they affirm the divine inspiration and preservation of the Holy Scriptures
They affirm the “heavenly Gospel” and the spiritual development mentioned therein but they say that “even today men… misinterpret its words of wisdom.”

They say that there are three levels of being, humans, Manifestations and God denying the existence of demons, angels, archangels, etc.
They say these are just symbolic of “varying stages of human development,” demons (imperfection) and angels (spirituality).
They distinguish inspiration and revelation. Revelation is accessible only to Manifestations because it is “infallible and direct perception of god’s creative Word” while inspiration available even to ordinary persons (philosophers, reformers, saints, mystics, etc.)
,

Responding to the Challenges of Bahá’i World Faith
Since they use the scriptures to suit what their adherents itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3) would like to hear, witnessing to them starts on what is the proper way to interpret the scriptures–literal, historical, grammatical. But their method is to allegorize the scriptures to suit their assumptions therefore this is where the Christian witness must start to wrestle to tell them how correctly handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

What makes this cult group specially dangerous is its subtle form of pluralism. It is like a sponge with evolving doctrines that absorbs from all the other teachings harmonizing them as if they can really be harmonized dealing away with the conflicts in their core differences by saying the ordinary man has a limited understanding and that only the Manifestations of God has infallible understanding of God’s message to mankind.

The Lord Jesus himself said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14:6)

There is no way of getting around this explicit passage. This is even corroborated by Peter’s message at Pentecost,

“There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!” (Acts 4:12)

And by Paul in 1 Timothy 2:5,

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

And in Galatians 3:20,

“Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.”

Since they have done away with the reality of hell as a place for conscious punishment for the unbelievers, the significance of the believe in the Gospel is watered down this must also be addressed

thebereans.net/prof-bahai.shtml

biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php3?action=full&mainkey=CULT+OF+BAHAI

bahai-faith.com/#contradictions


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