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The Christian and Baha'i view of Resurrection

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by BruceDLimber, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Greetings redux! :)

    Now that we have a new thread specifically for this topic, here we go! :)



    Not in the least!

    Both the Bible and the Baha'i scriptures describe the Resurrection as a spiritual--not a physical--event!

    I refer you to First Corinthians 15:42-44 & 50:

    "So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a physical boty; it is raised a spiritual body.... I tell you this, brethren: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable."

    And Christ HImself also affirms this!:

    John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Sip;rit is spirit."

    John 4:24 "God is a spirit."

    (IOW the essence of Christ is the Spirit and is born of God; flesh is not the same essence.)

    John 6:62 "It is the spirit that gies life; the flesh is of no avail."

    John 3:13 "... the Son of Man is in Heaven."

    (Please note that Christ spoke this while on earth, making clear that this is a spiritual--not a physical--state!)

    John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."

    So if we believe the Bible, we've established that the flesh wil die and only the spirit survives and prevails! Hence, Resurrection is a spiritual--not a physical--event.

    (BTW, the spelling is Baha'i. If it'll help, "baha" means "glory" and the suffix yields the adjective form, so that "Baha'i" literally means "of Glory.")

    Best regards, :)

    Bruce

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Did I miss a thread this got split from? *confused look*
     
  3. UnityNow101

    UnityNow101 Well-Known Member

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    If the resurrection was merely spiritual and not physical, than all of the apostles of the past and early church leaders must have missed the memo? Clearly, all of the early Christians felt that the Resurrection was a physical one, for if it wasn't, than Jesus was just as any other prophet or man. Everyone dies and rises spiritually. The disciples believed and seen with their own eyes that Jesus distinguished Himself as the one that rose from the dead physically, thus seperating Him from the likes of anyone else. The Bahai perspective on A LOT of Bible passages is spiritual including all of Jesus' miracles. Jesus did more than the other so-called Manifestations, plain and simple. I love what Bahaullah taught and think that he was a man of upright character. But he did no miracles nor did he rise from the dead. Wouldn't you think that Jesus at His Second Coming would do greater things than He did at the first advent? Just think about it and judge fairly.
     
  4. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Unity,

    It appears that you have made up your mind about Christ and Baha`u'llah; I don't agree with your conclusion, of course, but you have every right to decide as you will.

    You sent me a PM, to which I responded, I felt at the time that you were trying to convince me that being Baha`i was somhow wrong, and that I should follow your reasoning about Jesus being superior to Baha`u'llah. I don't agree, but your opinion does not sway me because I have reached my own opinion by investigating the truth of the religions for myself. I'm not terribly swayable by other's reasoned appeals to me to accept their opinion over my own conclusions.
    Prayer revealed by Baha`u'llah:
    "XLI.
    Thy unity is inscrutable, O my God, to all except them that have recognized Him Who is the Manifestation of Thy singleness and the Day-Spring of Thy oneness. Whoso assigneth a rival unto Him hath assigned a rival unto Thee, and whoso hath set up a peer for Him hath set up a peer for Thyself. No, no, none can withstand Thee in the whole of creation. Thou hast everlastingly been exalted far above all comparison and likeness. Thy oneness hath been demonstrated by the oneness of Him Who is the Dawning-Place of Thy Revelation. Whosoever denieth this, hath denied Thy unity, and disputed with Thee about Thy sovereignty, and contended with Thee in Thy realm, and repudiated Thy commandments.
    Assist Thou Thy servants, O my Lord, to recognize Thy unity and to declare Thy oneness, that all may gather together around what Thou didst desire in this Day whereon the sun of Thine essence hath shone forth above the horizon of Thy will, and the moon 58 of Thine own being hath risen from the Day-Spring of Thy behest. Thou art He, O my Lord, from Whose knowledge nothing whatsoever escapeth, and Whom no one can frustrate. Thou doest Thy pleasure, by Thy sovereignty that overshadoweth the worlds.
    Thou well knowest, O my God, my Best-Beloved, that naught can quench the thirst I suffer in my separation from Thee except the waters of Thy presence, and that the tumult of my heart can never be stilled save through the living fountain of my reunion with Thee. Send down, then, upon me, O my Lord, out of the heaven of Thy bounty what will draw me nearer unto the chalice of Thy gifts, and make me able to quaff the choice sealed Wine, Whose seal hath been loosed in Thy name, and from Which the sweet savors of Thy days have been shed abroad. Thou, in truth, art the All-Bountiful, Whose grace is infinite.
    The whole universe testifieth to Thy generosity. Have mercy, then, upon me by Thy graciousness, and deal bountifully with me through the power of Thy sovereignty, and suffer me to enjoy near access to Thee by Thy manifold favors. Thou, truly, art the Great Giver, the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Bountiful"
    (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 58)

    (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 57)
     
  5. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    " But he did no miracles nor did he rise from the dead. "

    Can we discuss the nature of miracles and the miracles associated with the Bab, Baha`u'llah and Abdu'l Baha in this thread?

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  6. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    It was split off from the "Did Jesus die?" thread as being a new topic.

    Best,

    Bruce
     
  7. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Like it or not, it happens all the time!

    You're quite mistaken: Baha'u'llah was known for doing miracles.

    The difference is that the Baha'i scriptures point out that miracles are no proof of anything--indeed, the Bible itself points out that false prophets can perform miracles!

    So we don't use them for teaching the Faith.

    (And arguably one of the most spectacular miracles happened early in the Baha'i Era during the time of the Bab.)

    No.

    I don't presume to tell God how to conduct His Divine Revelation. He presumably knows how to go about this better than do I, the more so given that He also gave us free will!

    As the Baha'i scriptures point out, if God made the Advent of His Messengers so spectacular as to be undeniable, this would be a total refutation / denial of free will because humanity would then have no choice whatever but to shut up and endorse His Messenger!

    Further, as they say regarding miracles:

    Chapter 22: MIRACLES

    “Question.—It is recorded that miracles were performed by Christ. Are the reports of these miracles really to be accepted literally, or have they another meaning? It has been proved by exact science that the essence of things does not change, and that all beings are under one universal law and organization from which they cannot deviate; and, therefore, that which is contrary to universal law is impossible. “
    “Answer.—The Holy Manifestations are the sources of miracles and the originators of wonderful signs. For Them, any difficult and impracticable thing is possible and easy. For through a supernatural power wonders appear from Them; and by this power, which is beyond nature, They influence the world of nature. From all the Manifestations marvelous things have appeared.
    “But in the Holy Books an especial terminology is employed, and for the Manifestations these miracles and wonderful signs have no importance. They do not even wish to mention them. For if we consider miracles a great proof, they are still only proofs and arguments for those who are present when they are performed, and not for those who are absent.
    “For example, if we relate to a seeker, a stranger to Moses and Christ, marvelous signs, he will deny them and will say: “Wonderful signs are also continually related of false gods by the testimony of many people, and they are affirmed in the Books. The Brahmans have written a book about wonderful prodigies from Brahma.” He will also say: “How can we know that the Jews and the Christians speak the truth, and that the Brahmans tell a lie? For both are generally admitted traditions, which are collected in books, and may be supposed to be true or false.” The same may be said of other religions: if one is true, all are true; if one is accepted, all must be accepted. Therefore, miracles are not a proof. For if they are proofs for those who are present, they fail as proofs to those who are absent.
    “But in the day of the Manifestation the people with insight see that all the conditions of the Manifestation are miracles, for They are superior to all others, and this alone is an absolute miracle. Recollect that Christ, solitary and alone, without a helper or protector, without armies and legions, and under the greatest oppression, uplifted the standard of God before all the people of the world, and withstood them, and finally conquered all, although outwardly He was crucified. Now this is a veritable miracle which can never be denied. There is no need of any other proof of the truth of Christ.
    “The outward miracles have no importance for the people of Reality. If a blind man receives sight, for example, he will finally again become sightless, for he will die and be deprived of all his senses and powers. Therefore, causing the blind man to see is comparatively of little importance, for this faculty of sight will at last disappear. If the body of a dead person be resuscitated, of what use is it since the body will die again? But it is important to give perception and eternal life—that is, the spiritual and divine life. For this physical life is not immortal, and its existence is equivalent to nonexistence. So it is that Christ said to one of His disciples: “Let the dead bury their dead;” for “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”_/1
    “Observe: those who in appearance were physically alive, Christ considered dead; for life is the eternal life, and existence is the real existence. Wherever in the Holy Books they speak of raising the dead, the meaning is that the dead were blessed by eternal life; where it is said that the blind received sight, the signification is that he obtained the true perception; where it is said a deaf man received hearing, the meaning is that he acquired spiritual and heavenly hearing. This is ascertained from the text of the Gospel where Christ said: “These are like those of whom Isaiah said, They have eyes and see not, they have ears and hear not; and I healed them.” _/2
    “The meaning is not that the Manifestations are unable to perform miracles, for They have all power. But for Them inner sight, spiritual healing and eternal life are the valuable and important things. Consequently, whenever it is recorded in the Holy Books that such a one was blind and recovered his sight, the meaning is that he was inwardly blind, and that he obtained spiritual vision, or that he was ignorant and became wise, or that he was negligent and became heedful, or that he was worldly and became heavenly.
    “As this inner sight, hearing, life and healing are eternal, they are of importance. What, comparatively, is the importance, the value and the worth of this animal life with its powers? In a few days it will cease like fleeting thoughts. For example, if one relights an extinguished lamp, it will again become extinguished; but the light of the sun is always luminous. This is of importance. “

    (Footnotes:)


    1.
    Matt. 8:22; John 3:6.
    2.
    Cf. Matt. 13:14 and John 12:40–41.


    --Some Answered Questions, pp. 100-102

    As I see it, God seems to prefer letting each of us choose our own path, be it for better or for worse.

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  8. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Why not, indeed?! :)

    Bruce
     
  9. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    Before we can discuss miracles and the Baha`i perspective upon them can UnityNow kindly define:
    Miracle
    What does a miracle prove and what does it not prove?
    What proof do we have of the miracles of Jesus, Moses, et al? Other than in Holy writ?

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  10. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    The only reference in the Bible to anything spiritual is the denial that the resurrected Jesus is a ghost. What Ba'hai verse can you quote that indicates otherwise?

    It is no accident that Paul used the word "body." This does not become a statement that the resurrection will be to a spirit but that the nature of the body is different from the nature of our current bodies. The resurrected Jesus is the only example of what that body is like and the information is scant at best.

    At this time the flesh will die and the spirit may leave the body because it is no longer linked to it. However, when the general resurrection comes, there will be a resurrection body that does not die. Resurrection can't be spiritual because the meaning of the word is a body that was previously dead is now alive. That is why the angel said to the women at the grave who were seeking the body "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"
     
  11. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Greetings again, Muffled! :)

    I'm not interested in quibbling over whether someone in the Next Life has a body or not: we Baha'is see it as a non-physical existence, and that suffices for me. (None of us has all that much detail about existence then, anyway.)

    And the Baha'i scriptures define the Day of Resurrection as in fact referring to the time when a new Divine Messenger appears on earth (and this definition also applies to Judgement Day, BTW). As such, each is judged by whether he or she accepts or rejects God's new Messenger: this involves no mass physical rising of dead bodies, as is evinced by the fact that this has already happened multiple times with no such event.

    Once again, death and Resurrection refer to spsritual status, as these passages from the Bible and the Baha'i scriptures make clear:

    Matthew 8:22 "Let the dead bury the dead." (See also Luke 9:60.)

    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 133 "''When were t he Heavens cleft asunder?' Say: 'While ye lay in the graves of waywardness and error."

    Best, :)

    Bruce
     
  12. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    "Next life" may not refer to the spirit because the spirit is always alive. If you are talking about what happens after death, that can vary. Some will go to Heaven, some will be reincarnated and some will remain on earth as ghosts. All three instances are reported in the Bible.

    Such a definition is contrary to the Biblical definition.

    You are trying to tie in a Biblical future event to a Baha'i definition. That does not work.

    I haven't seen any yet that could be conceived as a resurrection being a spiritual event other than the fact that the spirit may have been away from the body and returned to the body when it was resurrected.

    This is a pretty oblique verse. What is the context?
     
  13. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Hi!

    The passages I quoted were to reinforce the point that it's spiritual life and spiritual death that are key rather than the analagous physical events. They make clear that we're not talking about ordinary physical events here, which was my point.

    And IOV both are saying the same thing, even if in somewhat different wordings.

    In any case, for us the Baha'i scriptures clarify any ambiguity, the more so given their reliability. (They say more about the Next Life than I've quoted here, which is probably unsurprising.) And IOV the Baha'i scriptures fit (and fulfill) the Bible's prophecies amazingly well, thank you! :)

    Oh--and our scriptures explicitly reject reincarnation, and explain in detail why. (Quote upon request.)

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  14. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Greetings, all! :)

    Our biggest series of Baha'i holy days begins Friday at sunset, the twelve-day Ridvan (pronounced "Rizwan") festival commemorating the Declartion of Baha'u'llah, our Founder.

    So I wish all and sundry a very happy Ridvan! :)

    (We'll all be having the annual elections for our Local Spiritual Assemblies Friday evening or Saturday daytime, and will be electing our National Spiritual Assemblies later in the festival.)

    Best! :)

    Bruce
     
  15. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    The Bible is largely mute on the subject of the next life. So is the Torah, the Vedas, the Qur'an and all the other Holy Writ ever revealed. Why? Because it is not important for us to know at this time. What we need is the SPIRIT of the Messenger, to partake of the light from that Spirit in this physical life and come to know God and worship God.The 'Body' of Christ is full of symbolism since it refers not just to the corpse of the man on the cross, but to the assembly of His followers--Christians and the church are the 'Body of Christ' as well.So what is this body? The body is the same as the body Christ commanded His followers to eat and the blood He commanded His followers to drink in remembrance. It is a symbol, not a body of flesh.Abdu'l Baha explains it this way:"The disciples had taken many meals from the hand of Christ; why was the last supper distinguished from the others? It is evident that the heavenly bread did not signify this material bread, but rather the divine nourishment of the spiritual body of Christ, the divine graces and heavenly perfections of which His disciples partook, and with which they became filled.In the same way, reflect that when Christ blessed the bread and gave it to His disciples, saying, "This is My body,"[1] and gave grace to them, He was with them in person, in presence, and form. He was not transformed into bread and wine; if He had been turned into bread and wine, He could not have remained with the disciples in body, in person and in presence.[1 Matt. 26:26.]Then it is clear that the bread and wine were symbols which signified: I have given you My bounties and perfections, and when you have received this bounty, you have gained eternal life and have partaken of your share and your portion of the heavenly nourishment. *100* (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 98)Regards,Scott
     
  16. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    That all looks good to me. :)
     
  17. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Great topic! I hope it generates more debate than the two times I've started a similar one. I don't have time right now to comment very extensively, so I'll just begin by saying that I think you are absolutely wrong, wrong, wrong! (Was that subtle enough? :D )

    When Jesus first appeared to His Apostles as a resurrected being, they were afraid because they thought they'd seen a spirit. He corrected this misconception by asking them to feel his hands and feet. He then told them that if He were merely a spirit, He would not have flesh and bones. I don't see how He could possibly have been any more clear in stating that resurrection is physical.
     
  18. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    The problem with the Baha'i view is that it waters the event of Christ's resurrection down to the point where it has little to no meaning, while the evidence is that this event was the crowning point of the early Christian faith. To say, well, it was a spiritual resurrection, and after three days the disciples (perhaps after a vision of Jesus) had some kind of experience that motivated them to go on and continue in their mission to spread the news of Christ. Well, what exactly was the news that they would be spreading? That there was a rabbi who taught to keep the commandments, to love God and love each other, and he was killed for claiming to speak with the authority of God. Why then did Paul "preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles," and "3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance [a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, [b] and then to the Twelve."?

    The Baha'i view is easy to swallow, it makes no demands upon us. The twelve were inspired to preach Christ's Gospel, there was no 'real' resurrection of Christ.

    Compare that to a Love so powerful it conquers death.
     
  19. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    I see lots of people I know from heaven here, so guess depends how we look at it; doesn't it....that also applies in reverse though, as in time in heaven is infinite and so many may yet to get there and it is remembrance of the future events or now time as is heaven.
     
  20. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Katz!

    Except, of course, that in the Baha'i view everything after the Crucifixion is spiritual metaphor, not literal.

    And you are clearly ignoring Jesus' earlier statements (echoed later in the New Testament) about spirit being important and the flesh inheriting nothing! I refer you to the details in post #1 above.

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
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