Question for Baha'i

Very simply, what is the Baha’i position when it comes to sin? Do you believe sin exists? Do you believe you need forgiveness from sin? Do you believe you need to be saved from the consequences of sin? If not, why? If so, how is this accomplished?

Thanks.

Steve

We shouldn’t do it, but we are imperfect and we do fall short sometimes.

Do you believe sin exists?

I know it does. I’m kind of an expert, actually.
:tsktsk:

Do you believe you need forgiveness from sin?

Certainly. Sin is spiritual death. It separates us from God. God knows that helps us return to Him and what causes us to be far from Him. Those things that separate us from God are are sins, such as hating others, having sex outside of marriage, lying, backbiting and more.

Do you believe you need to be saved from the consequences of sin?

God, yes!

If not, why? If so, how is this accomplished?

Christ showed the way! Christ explained forgiveness for us when we fail to live up to the Law, that we can show metanoia, turn back towards Him, ask with sincerity that we be forgiven, and God will forgive us if our repentance is genuine.

But that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences from sin. So it is always best to try and avoid sin because even though God will forgive us when we truly repent, that doesn’t magically take away all the negative effects from sinning, such as damage to our marriage from cheating on our marriage vows, people whose feelings are hurt when we treated them unlovingly, etc.

Thanks, Matthew. May I ask what you believe concerning Christ’s one sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind? In view of the Baha’i’s acceptance of many Islamic beliefs, one of which being that an imposter was crucified in place of Jesus, where do you stand on this issue? Does Jesus’ sacrifice for the sins of mankind hold any place in Baha’i belief?

Thanks again.

Steve

First, not all Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. Some of them take a different interpretation.

The belief by many Muslims that Jesus was not crucified comes from this verse:

Quran 4:157:

(referring to the Jews)

“And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.”

This could be interpreted in many ways.

  1. The Jews of Medina, about whom he wrote this Surih, claimed that the JEWS had killed and destroyed Jesus. Of course he was in fact crucified by the Roman government.

  2. Jesus’ body was killed, and they thought they had killed Him. But of course Christ cannot be killed in spirit, only in body.

As the Qur’an says elsewhere:

“And say not of those who are killed in the pathway of God, “They are dead.” They are not dead, nay, they are living, but you perceive it not.” - Qur’an 2:154

  1. The theory you mentioned, that Jesus was somehow not crucified and another person (some say Judas!) was crucified in His place.

The Baha’i writings state clearly that option 2) is a correct interpretation of that verse of the Qur’an. That is, Jesus’ body was crucified, but his Spirit could not be killed by the cross. So Baha’is fully accept the torture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Regarding Christ sacrificing Himself to save all humanity from its sins - indeed He did! He willingly accepted crucifixion as a sacrifice to show that God was willing to suffer and die because of our sinfulness, and that He loved us enough to sacrifice his beloved Son on the cross for us.

Those who turn to Christ, repenting of their sins, with a genuine desire to sin no more, who seek to obey God, who want nothing more than to love the Lord their God with all their heart and all their soul and all their strength - those are made new in Christ, become born of the Holy Spirit, and are a light shining unto all men.

And that is spiritual life.

Well said. Christ’s sacrifice is the only acceptable sacrifice; the unblemished Lamb of God. He satisfied divine justice, taking on himself the sins of the whole world. No sinful man’s sacrifice could undo what Adam had done. It would take God himself; Love beyond all telling.

If this is your belief, what then does Baha’u’llah offer mankind that Christ has not already accomplished? Is Christ not sufficient?

Thanks, and God bless.

Steve

Baha’is may believe in the physical death of Jesus but not, I think, in His physical resurrection. Bahai language is a bit elusive but in general it seems to tend toward a form of Gnosticism. Which is to say it views a Spiritual realm which only episodically has links with the material one. Spirit is good and matter is bad so the aim of life is to liberate Spirit from matter. from this perspective Jesus, and other major spiritual figures, are seen as sparks of Spirit which have descended from the heavenly realm, inhabited a body for a while and then left it behind forever.

What, therefore, the Bahai perspective does not have is the concept of the physical Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord, the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the General Resurrection in material bodies at the Parousia and Final Judgement. It follows that they can see no redemptive value in the suffering, death and rising again of Jesus. Nor can they accept the notion of Incarnation as summarised in the Nicene Creed. Still less can they accept the proposition that the material realm has in some sense been divinised because God took a material form, God became Man so that Man, by participation, can become God. The doctrine of the Incarnation is a deal breaker for Baha’is and the source of salvation for Catholics.

The Baha’i Faith is not at all Gnostic. We are enjoined to engage with this life fully. The physical realm is one of the worlds of God, and God is always present here, although more veiled way than that we will know Him after death (“we see through a glass but darkly, but then face to face”).

Spirit is good and matter is bad

The Baha’i writings teach that this world is a gift from God, not evil.

so the aim of life is to liberate Spirit from matter.

The aim of this life is to learn to love God and our fellow human beings. We are to live fully as material, mental, emotional and spiritual beings, and not reject this world.

from this perspective Jesus, and other major spiritual figures, are seen as sparks of Spirit which have descended from the heavenly realm, inhabited a body for a while and then left it behind forever.

Christ has never left us. He is here, when we turn our heart to Him, He comes into our heart.

It follows that they can see no redemptive value in the suffering, death and rising again of Jesus.

The Baha’i Writings explain that Christ’s suffering and death show God’s unimaginable love for us, even though we tortured and killed His Son. The crucifixion is an undying and unquenchable manifestation of God’s love and our need for His love.

Nor can they accept the notion of Incarnation

God manifested Himself perfectly through Christ. The writings state that If Christ were to declare":“I am God,” He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto."

Still less can they accept the proposition that the material realm has in some sense been divinised because God took a material form

The material realm is one of the worlds of God, and the presence of Christ was the presence of God among us: Immanuel. Of Jesus Christ, Baha’u’llah wrote:

"We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. "

Christ is the Lord of all creation.

Of course He is sufficient unto all things!

I see people here who are very happy with the wonderful Catholic Church and are not looking for another religion. I am here because I love Christ, I love God, I love the wonderful things I see the Catholic Church doing and I am happy to share those things with the people here.

People might see what I mean about the elusiveness or, being charitable, the allusiveness of Bahai language. We could narrow things down by clarifying a number of key points

-do the Bahai believe in the physical Resurrection of Jesus and His physical Ascension into heaven?

-do they believe in the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

-do they believe in a universal physical resurrection when Jesus comes again, in His resurrected body, at the end of the age?

If the answer is No then it follows that they cannot understand the redemptive nature of Christ’s atoning death on the Cross in anything like the same way that Catholics do.

People might see what I mean about the elusiveness or, being charitable, the allusiveness of Bahai language.

I don’t find arguing about differences in beliefs fruitful, so I don’t focus on them.

This is what Baha’u’llah wrote about the redemptive nature of the Crucifixion and Resurrection:

“Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.”

=Matthew Light;11677144]We shouldn’t do it, but we are imperfect and we do fall short sometimes.

I know it does. I’m kind of an expert, actually.
:tsktsk:

Certainly. Sin is spiritual death. It separates us from God. God knows that helps us return to Him and what causes us to be far from Him. Those things that separate us from God are are sins, such as hating others, having sex outside of marriage, lying, backbiting and more.

God, yes!

**[1]Christ showed the way! **Christ explained forgiveness for us when we fail to live up to the Law, that we can show metanoia, turn back towards Him, ask with sincerity that we be forgiven, and God will forgive us if our repentance is genuine.

But that doesn’t mean that there are no consequences from sin. So it is always best to try and avoid sin because [2] even though God will forgive us when we truly repent, that doesn’t magically take away all the negative effects from sinning, such as damage to our marriage from cheating on our marriage vows, people whose feelings are hurt when we treated them unlovingly, etc.

May I share two biblical truths with you my friend:)

Christ not only showed us the way: He Commanded the way it will be accomplished; following OT precedents:

Repentance is the essential first step; but ONLY the first step.

Lev.5: 13 “Thus the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed in any one of these things, and he shall be forgiven. And the remainder shall be for the priest, as in the cereal offering." … Lev.6:7 “and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty."

John 20:19-23 " Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."

Just as yahweh used priest in the OT for sin forgiveness; Christ follows suit and completes and perfects this practice in the NT actually giving His Power and Authority as God to His Catholic Priest:thumbsup: Who sends them with His Power and authority: Mt. 10:1-3; John 17:18 & John 20:21. Christ as our Perfect God does this for a number of reasons: OUR humility being front and center.

Many choose to do it their way: But God is perfect and permits ONLY His way as the norm.

1 Jn. 5: 16-17
“He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask. All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death”.

God continued Blessings my friend,
Patrick

Thanks, Matthew. You seem to be a very gentle soul. My purpose in asking these questions is not get into a heated battle. It seems to me that if the Baha’i accept Jesus as you have that the question “What does Baha’u’llah offer that Jesus has not already provided?” would be a question that one should deeply consider if one is seeking the Truth.

Anyway, I appreciate your responses.

God bless.

Steve

If Jesus is the Lord of all creation, what are 1.Muhammad and 2. Bahaullah?

Meaning what position to they hold or are they just ordinary men (although highly spiritual and advanced)?

Thank you Patrick for sharing that scripture with us!

You guys need to stop talking about Gnosticism as if it was a monolithic, anti-orthodox force who all had the same doctrinal beliefs. Not all Gnostics believed matter was explicitly evil and spirit explicitly good. Some DID believe this (Sethians, Cathars, Manichaeans), some believed that creation is as good as it can be considering who created it, some believed that creation and matter was necessary for salvation (Valentinians, for example).

If you haven’t seen it, this the view of the crucifixion of the Baha’i from Baha’u’llah:

[quote=Baha’u’llah]Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.‘

‘We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified… We bear witness that through the power of the Word of God every leper was cleansed, every sickness was healed, every human infirmity was banished. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.
[/quote]

That passage sounds quasi-Gnostic to me, but I’ll let the Baha’i posters expound on that.

In my view Baha’is are very clear in our position as to some of the church beliefs and creeds on the subject of physical resurrection…

We don’t believe Jesus was physically resurrection nor that He physically ascended to heaven… nor that He will physically descend from heaven.

We don’t believe in the dormition of the Virgin Mary or her physical ascension.

We don’t believe Muhammad physically ascended to the heavens either.

Nor do we believe in a general “physical” resurrection from the grave.

We believe in the spiritual resurrection of Jesus.

*As to the resurrection of the body of Christ three days subsequent to His departure: This signifies the divine teachings and spiritual religion of His Holiness Christ, which constitute His spiritual body, which is living and perpetual forevermore.

By the "three days’ of His death is meant that after the great martyrdom, the penetration of the divine teachings and the spread of the spiritual law became relaxed on account of the crucifixion of Christ. For the disciples were somewhat troubled by the violence of divine tests. But when they become firm, that divine spirit resurrected and that body - which signifies the divine word - arose.

Likewise the address of the angels to the people of Galilee, “That this Christ will return in the same way and that He will descend from heaven,” is a spiritual address. For when Christ appeared, he came from heaven, although He was outwardly born from the womb of Mary. For He said: “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven.”

He said: “I came down from heaven and likewise will go to heaven.” By “Heaven” is not meant this infinite phenomenal space, but “heaven” signifies the world of the divine kingdom which is the supreme station and seat of the Sun of Truth.
*
“Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas”, Vol. 1 (Chicago: Bahá’í Publishing Society), p. 192

(The Universal House of Justice, 1987 Sept 14, Resurrection of Christ)

It seems clear that you and all Bahais believe that God manifested Himself through Jesus - that Jesus is a Son of god, that he was indeed a divine being.

But I still don’t know what Bahais believe about Muhammad - was he also divine? Did God also manifest himself through Muhammad ? Or was Muhammad just a Prophet?

openmind77 - We believe the oneness of all the Manifestations of God. Baha’u’llah tells us of the dual Station of the Manifestations; Link - reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-22.html

“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. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness.
These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth…”

“The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. Even as He saith: “Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit.””

Viewed in the light of their second station … they manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution, and complete self-effacement. Even as He saith: “I am the servant of God. I am but a man like you.”…

Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God,” He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For … through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world… And were any of them to voice the utterance, “I am the Messenger of God,” He, also, speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth… Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence… And were they to say, “We are the Servants of God,” this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain…"

“Thus it is that whatsoever be their utterance, whether it pertain to the realm of Divinity, Lordship, Prophethood, Messengership, Guardianship, Apostleship, or Servitude, all is true, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Therefore these sayings … must be attentively considered, that the divergent utterances of the Manifestations of the Unseen and Day Springs of Holiness may cease to agitate the soul and perplex the mind”.

God Bless and Regards Tony

To summarize this long post - you are saying Muhammad is a Son of God, just like Jesus?

This was the answer from that post

“The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation”.

Thus Muhammad’ mission was that of the “Seal of the Prophets” The age pf prophesy was completed by Muhammad and the age of Fulfillment was ushered in by the declaration of the Bab. Baha’ullah was the Fulfillment and this cycle will last for 500,000 years. It will be 1000 years before the next manifestation!

Gos Bless and Regards Tony

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