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Featured Pioneering: Teaching or Proselytizing?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Hence I wrote the above line (some might proselytize, and some might not)
     
  2. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    There is a extreamly vast difference. Funny I was just thinking about that before opening up RF this morning.

    In the early days the Baha'i were called on to go to every part of the earth, to every village, town and city and become productive and loving part of the community, living the life asked of Baha'u'llah also included embracing the diversity of the culture we had chosen to live in. While doing that we were to initiate teaching activities that would invite people to learn about what Baha'u'llah had offered. We failed to do this on a scale that could have created great change. But in many places there was great change and that change has been very beneficial to the communities where it has happened.

    The most interesting aspect about that it is where Baha'u'llah said it would happen if the Faith was surpressed on the continents, it would raise its head in the midmost heart of the Oceans.

    This is a vast difference than spreading fauth by conquest and forced conversion.

    If agressive proselytizing had taken place, many more would have heard about the faith. As it is you could.come to my small town if 1500 people and ask about Baha'i. You will.still have people that say, What is Baha'i.

    Ask the same questions about JW and they will show you where they live. Saying that, I admire the commitment of the peaceful JW's. The Baha'i could benefit by use of that commitment, minus the use of proselytizing.

    Regards Tony
     
  3. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    If we look at how we are to teach, then one must first obtain to this;

    "..By My life! The light of a good character surpasseth the light of the sun and the radiance thereof. Whoso attaineth unto it is accounted as a jewel among men. The glory and the upliftment of the world must needs depend upon it. A goodly character is a means whereby men are guided to the Straight Path and are led to the Great Announcement." (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 36)

    Thus if we acheive that, we teach our own selves, no one would have to mention it, we would attract it to our own selves and be asking after it.

    Regards Tony
     
  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I would hope so. It just seemed to me as if you were repurposing their rhetoric.
     
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  5. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    My quick Googling suggests that "The Great Announcement" means the next manifestation of God. Is this correct?
     
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  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    The only time I shared my vegetarianism was when I was asked why I wasn't eating. Associates at work over nearly 30 years didn't even know I was vegetarian. (Much less a Hindu) There is no need to share. Still isn't. Why are people so darn egocentric about their particular POV? No need to share any of it. Of course some people do have that need ... but psychologically it reeks of originating in their own insecurity. Gotta tell someone. "Look, Mommy, I saw a birdy!" "Look, Mommy, I made a picture." "Looky, everybody, I have the most wonderful world view on this planet!" The principle is the same.
     
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  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Hey, you're learning Baha'ispeak, the language with excessive capitlalisation, and multitudinous metaphors. The Glory of the Sun.
     
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  8. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    But Tony,
    I have known Bahais who were the opposite of that good-character description.

    I knew one who was convicted of several counts of deception (ponsi type) and sentenced to 2 (or 3) year's imprisonment. I took my late wife to a fireside at his home

    Tony........ Bahauallah wished for his followers to publish Bahai all around. To me that's proselyting. ..... which I personally don't mind, but you appear to.

    It only bothers me when Bahais try to tell me stuff that is wrong.
     
  9. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    I see the 'Great Announcement' as all the Messages given by God, in each age.

    To me it is another 'Name' of God.

    Regards Tony
     
  10. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    Such is life and our choices.

    Regards Tony
     
  11. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Here is some more, from the Bahai Tablets, written by Bahauallah.

    This is surely an exhortation to deliver Bahai to the World, which I think is proselytizing. .... :-


    All praise be to the one true God—exalted be His glory—inasmuch as He hath, through the Pen of the Most High, unlocked the doors of men’s hearts. Every verse which this Pen hath revealed is a bright and shining portal that discloseth the glories of a saintly and pious life, of pure and stainless deeds. The summons and the message which We gave were never intended to reach or to benefit one land or one people only. Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty. The whole earth is illuminated with the resplendent glory of God’s Revelation. In the year sixty He Who heralded the light of Divine Guidance—may all creation be a sacrifice unto Him—arose to announce a fresh revelation of the Divine Spirit, and was followed, twenty years later, by Him through Whose coming the world was made the recipient of this promised glory, this wondrous favor. 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.

    :shrug:
     
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  12. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    True.
     
  13. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Yeah, it's proselytizing through and through. All but the Baha'i know it. My personal bigger question is whether or not proselytizing helps the victims in any way at all. My stance is it does a lot of harm. It's like a village invading a village in the days of old.
     
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  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Even at its most polite and benign, proselytizing is mostly just about encouraging religious "brand switching." It takes people who really do want to make the world a better place and channels their efforts into something that, at best, is as useless as convincing people to give up Coke for Pepsi.
     
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  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not.

    A hope does not imply an intent to convert anyone because that implies I am trying to convince someone.

    But I might hope that someone will do their own independent investigation and convince themselves that the Baha’i Faith is the truth from God.
     
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  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    As I just explained to Penguin, hoping someone decides of their own free will to become a Baha’i does not imply an intent to convert anyone because that implies I am trying to convince someone.

    I hope that someone will do their own independent investigation and convince themselves that the Baha’i Faith is the truth from God but I am not holding my breath. :rolleyes:

    My only duty to Baha’u’llah is to share, and teach only IF people show a further interest. What people do with that information is entirely up to them, as free will is sacrosanct in my eyes, just as it is in God’s Eyes.
     
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  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I suppose they could be if they wanted to be converted, but that is on them, not on me, because I am not trying to convert anyone.

    I cannot even count the number of times atheists have told me it is MY responsibility to convince them that God exists or that Baha’u’llah was a Messenger of God. They say I have the “burden of proof” because I made the claim. I tell them I have no burden, the burden is on them to prove it to themselves. If I was trying to convert them I would try to be more convincing, dontcha think?
     
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Victims? Nobody is a victim unless someone forcibly tries to convert them, some group like ISIS.
    I tried to keep quiet but some things just have to be said. Enough is enough.
    You do not know jack squat about the intent of Baha’is. You just think you do.

    proselytize: convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. https://www.google.com

    Proselytize means an attempt to convert. It is the epitome of arrogance to think you know the intent of anyone else except yourself.

    The 100-dollar question is why the Baha’i Faith bothers you so much.

    “No one casts stones at a tree without fruit. No one tries to extinguish a lamp without light!

    Regard the former times. Had the calumnies of Pharaoh any effect? He affirmed that Moses was a murderer, that he had slain a man and deserved to be executed! He also declared that Moses and Aaron were fomenters of discord, that they tried to destroy the religion of Egypt and therefore must be put to death. These words of Pharaoh were vainly spoken. The light of Moses shone. The radiance of the Law of God has encircled the world!

    When the Pharisees said of Christ that He had broken the Sabbath Day, that He had defied the Law of Moses, that He had threatened to destroy the Temple and the Holy City of Jerusalem, and that He deserved to be crucified—We know that all these slanderous attacks had no result in hindering the spread of the Gospel!

    The Sun of Christ shone brilliantly in the sky, and the breath of the Holy Spirit wafted over the whole earth!

    And I say unto you that no calumny is able to prevail against the Light of God; it can only result in causing it to be more universally recognized. If a cause were of no significance, who would take the trouble to work against it!

    But always the greater the cause the more do enemies arise in larger and larger numbers to attempt its overthrow! The brighter the light the darker the shadow! Our part it is to act in accordance with the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh in humility and firm steadfastness.”
    Paris Talks, pp. 105-106
     
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  19. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    I’m tempted to nominate this post for the doublespeak if the decade award.

    Use whatever euphemisms you wish. If you “share” your beliefs with another In hoping that they make a decision of their own free will through further investigation of something you put in their head, it's still proselytizing.
     
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  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    No, absolutely not. Get a dictionary.

    Proselytize: convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. https://www.google.com

    If there is no attempt to convert someone then it cannot be proselytizing.

    I hope my husband will mow the lawn by virtue of his own free will, but I make no attempt to convert him to a yard man. :rolleyes:
     
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