Dear Matthew, I do not see why we should argue. No need for that. And the questions that I asked are according to the rules of the forum, what is forbidden is:
“**Proselytizing Catholics or encouraging them to leave the Church **”
I am sure you do not want to do that, it is even forbbiden in private mails in the CAF to do it.
Another guide line of the CAF in interdialogue is here:
Members are free **to discuss, dialogue, question, disagree with, and debate the doctrines and dogmas of both Catholicism and non-Catholic religions. However, all discourse must be civil and charitable. **
For both Catholic and non-Catholic posters:
It is acceptable to question the doctrine or dogma of another’s faith **
Let me take the first one first, because the question needs defining. Jesus himself is the revelation of Jesus. The Person is the Revelation, in both Bahai and Catholic teachings.
But that’s not what you are asking about, since you ask whether it is to be taken literally. Do you mean, are the gospel records of the revelation of Jesus to be taken literally? Or the New Testament as a whole? or the Bible as a whole? Are you specifying the Catholic editions of the Bible, or do you mean it more generally – the Bible, more or less, in whatever form it may be? Is a reading informed by the light of the church’s teaching still a “literal” reading, as you use the term? Or would that be a Catholic, non-literal, reading? In the latter case, I guess a reading informed by the explanations of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha would be a Bahai, non-literal, reading. But I find the whole idea of a *literal *reading problematical: it seems to be saying that we as readers bring nothing to the text, but if we really did that, we could not read it at all. Generally speaking, the more background we bring, the better - and the less literally - we understand.
Dear Matthew, since I consider that this is very important matter to understand a bit better the Baha’is I will take responsibility of your private mail to me, and I am going to make it public here and if any one may think that you are proselytizing, was I who decided to post it. So do not worry. I am sure they will understand the situation
Let us start with your answer to the first question:
The Revelation is not of Saint John, is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show his servants what must soon take place, and which he made known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bears witness to the Word of God and the Witness of Jesus Christ, of all that he saw.” Rev 1:1-2
So John is a witness of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We called it the Book of Revelation, the final Book of the New Testament (sorry is not a chapter).
You say that Baha’is view the text symbolically and not literally. But allow me to bring here a post of Servant19, also Bahai, who thinks different that you:
He answered this in a thread in the Sacred Scripture Forum called: Is The Catholic Church waiting for the two witnesses?? Who are they??
Let us go to your answer to the second question in the next post please.
In the Book of Revelation, from where Baha’is take these ideas, it is written this: And I saw thrones and they sat on them and power to judge was given to them(…) and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." Rev 20:4
You said that we are now in the millennium, so where are the thrones??
The text continue:
" The rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that takes part in the first resurrection (…) they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him for a thousand years." Rev 20:5-6
Now, here it says that during the thousand years the ones that take part in the millennium will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign during this period. Where are your priests, now that you say that we are in the millennium??
In the text says very clear that the priests of God will receive POWER during the millennium and they will reign. Then how can you say that all these problems of our societies will end gradually during the next 830 years through our own efforts, inspired by God’s teachings, therefore not by God’s POWER as we just read.
Let us go to your answer to the third question in the next post please.
Jesus never mention in this context ‘a new name’, John the Baptist was another man, therefore he was telling them that Elijah, as a man, was not going to come down from heaven to fulfill this prophecy. And this was what they were expecting, Elijah himself whom they believe went alive to heaven.
Let me quote:
“To the one who overcomes I will give from the hidden manna, and I will give him a little white stone, and on the stone a new name is written which no one knows except the one who receives it” Rev 2:17
Now you say that the new name is:
Now since ‘Baha’u’llah’ is a name that every one knows, **surly does not fulfill the description that we just read in the text that says that no one knows the name except the one who receives it. **
I find a bit estrange that you should say this because in the Acts of the Apostles is stated that:
"as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” " Acts 1:9-11
Or are you claiming seeing ‘Baha’u’llah’ descending from heaven as Jesus went up to heaven???
I am unwilling to participate in public religious debates with Catholics on this forum. It’s not why I am here and I personally believe very strongly those kinds of threads are unfruitful.
If you are interested in hearing answers to your questions and assure me you won’t post what I write on the forum, I’d be happy to answer questions via PM, where the nature of the conversation can shed a lot more light and less heat (IMO).
"27 What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops." Mt 10:27
Dear Matthew, I thank you very much for this post. The Catholic Forums are precisely to talk about ones believes: to discuss, dialogue, question, disagree with, and debate the doctrines and dogmas of both Catholicism and non-Catholic religions
I have seen that the Baha’is have opened other threads in the CAF, that every thousand viewers they renew it, to answer any questions and here they are:
**Baha’i Returns Thread: Ask Any of Many Baha’i ( 1 2 3 4 5 … Last Page)
**BAHA’I thread III - feel free to ask of Baha’i any questions ( 1 2 3 4 5 … Last Page)
**Reload this Page BAHA’I thread IV - feel free to ask of Baha’i any questions ( 1 2 3 4 5 … Last Page)
**Baha’i V ( 1 2 3 4 5 … Last Page) (also about asking questions)
To tell you the truth I find a bit weird that the Baha’is seem to be acting in block in these forums. But when it comes to expose the Baha’is believes on the Book of Revelation, you want to do it privately,so that your errors do not be exposed. Two Baha’is have answered in this thread: one wants to speak secretly and the other I have not heard again, even though, as I said, you are very active in your own threads.
I must say that with all what you have told me before and I brought here in the thread, it is clear to me your position. You do not understand the Revelation of Jesus Christ, even though you claim that Baha’ulah is the second coming of Jesus Christ, event which the Book of Revelation describes in detail.
As for carrying on writing me private messages, please do not do it because what I quote at the beginning of this post is what I did, so what I heard in secret I have proclaimed in public and I will do it again.
So think to yourself Matthew why you want to speak secretly if you have nothing to hide.
In the love of Jesus Christ and awaiting His Second Coming,
Dear Gloria, please consider Pipe Benedict’s exposition on Ascension:
“…Ascension’ does not mean departure into a remote region of the cosmos but, rather, the continuing closeness that the disciples experience so strongly that it becomes a source of lasting joy…This reference to the cloud is unambiguously theological language. It presents Jesus’ departure, not as a journey to the stars, but as his entry into the mystery of God. It evokes an entirely different order of magnitude, a different dimension of being…The New Testament, from the Acts of the Apostles to the Letter to the Hebrews, describes the ‘place’ to which the cloud took Jesus, using the language of Psalm 110:1, as sitting (or standing) at God’s right hand. What does this mean? It does not refer to some distant cosmic space where God has, as it were, set up his throne and given Jesus a place beside the throne. God is not in one space alongside other spaces. God is God - he is the premise and the ground of all the space there is, but he himself is not part of it. God stands in relation to all spaces as Lord and Creator. His presence is not special, but divine. ‘Sitting at God’s right hand’ means participating in this divine dominion over space…
The departing Jesus does not make his way to some distant star. He enters into communion of power and life with the living God, into God’s dominion over space. Hence he has not ‘gone away,’ but now and forever by God’s own power he is present with us and for us…
When Jesus was taken from their [the apostles’] sight by the cloud, this does not mean that he was transported to another cosmic location, but that he was taken up into God’s very being, participating in God’s powerful presence in the world…"
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 2011 (pp. 282-283)
If Matthew was so imbued with the Holy Spirit as you are claiming he will take any opportunity to express what the Holy Spirit is saying to him about the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but instead he hide his answers into my mail box. Some one inspired by the Holy Spirit will not do that.
I just can not imagine San Augustine or any of our great Fathers of the Church** will have hid their answers about their Catholic Faith! ****They spoke openly to every one because the Holy Spirit was working through them! **
Weird you say this, because this is exactly what he is doing by leaving the Revelation of Jesus Christ out of question or for private use.
I do not question the morality of Matthew, this thread is not about that. It is about giving witness of the believes of the Baha’is on the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Do not worry, I am sure that we all are blessed when we have brothers and sisters that keep the commandments of God and the Witness of Jesus. We Catholics also love the Baha’is very much, what we do not love is their teachings!
Are you saying that I am stoning or torturing Matthew because I asked him to give us his witness about the Revelation of Jesus Christ publicly???
Any way in that occasion that you are mentioning, Jesus neither got stone nor torture, he hide from them and went out of the temple…John 8:59.
The Apostles did not have to study Jesus teachings, they saw His power with their own eyes and they received it and this is what Catholics witness today in our Church: the power that Jesus gave to his disciples, He has given it to the Authorities of our Church who seat in thrones and are reigning with Christ now, before His Second Coming.
I think here I have to ask you a question. How the life of Jesus imbues you with the Spirit if you do not have His witness? Because the “witness of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy” Rev 19:10 and I quite do not see it there.
Goodness, I am very glad you are mentioning this. I am sure then that you did understand it.
But let me make sure of that. In the Acts by saying that he will come back in the same way he left, is saying that he went up into God’s very being, participating in God’s powerful presence in the world…"
So when He comes back in the clouds really means that we will be able to experience the power that he has over the world, and this is why He will empower His two witnesses.
That is why I asked Matthew if the Baha’is saw Baha’u’llah’ descending from heaven as Jesus went up to heaven??? Because we have not seen his power around, he never make miracles and to prove this Matthew said:
You see Servant in all these I do not see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven as we saw Him going. Read very careful again the quote of the Pope and you will see that His return refers to ‘coming in power’, because that is the way he went.
I hope you can understand, that an unwillingness to discuss what is believed publicly, while inviting to a private conversation, can be viewed as seeking to isolate a person from public debate in order that a public discussion doesn’t interfere with proselyting.
I understand that some might be suspicious. I answered the OP’s questions privately because she asked the questions and I felt the charitable assumption was that she asked them because she would like answers to them.
What I have said is, I am not willing to participate in another public circus thread where Catholics and Baha’is talk about why their religion is the best one and argue with one another. I’m perfectly capable of participating in that kind of debate - have done that many times in the past on the internet over the past two decades both as a non-Baha’i and as a Baha’i - but God is quietly but insistently telling me in my heart that I am not to behave that way any more. In point of fact a wonderful Catholic young man who goes by the handle Yeshua over on the Baha’i Forum is the one who inspired me in this area by his beautiful example!
Private messages and emails have a very different dynamic from public forum threads. While forum threads very often elucidate tribal modalities of interaction such as us versus them thinking, in one-on-one conversations people are more likely to see that the other person is a child of God instead of someone who is on the wrong side and needs to be corrected and convinced and converted. In a PM or email It’s much easier for two people to learn from and appreciate one another instead of getting drawn into pitched battle with the “other side”.
I am NOT here to proselytize. I’m not here to talk about the Baha’i Faith either, unless someone asks about it. I am here to share fellowship with my Catholic brothers and sisters who love God, who pray for people regardless of belief, who work for justice and for life and whose faith has such beautiful rituals and relationships with Jesus, Mary, the saints and with their fellow human beings. Getting into arguments with Catholics about differences between beliefs works against my real goal of being which is fellowship and love.
My dad, stepmom, sister, brother in law, two nephews and niece are all Catholic. The Church is very important to them, they are deeply engaged in service to humanity through the Church and none of us ever try to convert one another to our beliefs.
God bless all of you, and Christ bless the Catholic Church!
For the sake of sanity and repeating ourselves for the umpteenth time in the exact matters you raised I too am willing to respond to your questions by PM.
Matthew is right.
You posted links to so many Bahai threads. I’m pretty confident that in each one of them, the matters you raised were discussed at length.
If you are sincerely searching then reading through those threads and asking questions that were unanswered is something we will assuredly address , but if your intent is to belittle the Bahai Faith to give a superficial victory to Catholicism, then I am giving a big AMEN, to Matthews post above.