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Featured Why are some non-Christians so interested in Christianity?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Vinayaka, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    The claims a lot of Christians make - even in just normal or off-hand conversation - are pretty wild. So, I many times found myself wanting to know whether there was anything to these stories and claims they kept telling me. The more I found, the less i was convinced, and so I started debating/arguing with them, because even from just a logical/sensical standpoint, a lot of what they say just doesn't add up. And once I started debating, and started hearing their replies, I was very discouraged when they would come at me with something I didn't know that "sounded like" an answer. So, when I got hit with those items, I felt compelled to dig further to check the accuracy/truth of those things as well. Pretty soon, I ended up running the gamut of claims and sources until I developed quite a knowledge base - which, quite honestly, only helps combat/counter their shenanigans.

    Yes, this also happens. I am quite often spoken to here in my small, mid-western town in NW Ohio as if I am Republican/conservative. People so often encounter only that mindset here that it is almost jarring to them to run into someone who holds an opposing viewpoint on something. So they tend to speak candidly about certain things that they honestly shouldn't be able to rely on as "given" in a conversation. It is naivete at work, in my opinion. I used to live in a larger city, where such things could never be taken for granted.
     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    In interfaith dialogue, we deal with that challenge and others a lot. We're not scripture based AND we're not prophet based. We have no equivalent to the Bible and Jesus, nor to the Quran and Muhammad. Two of the first questions we might get are, who is your leader, and what is your book? Neither has an answer.

    But yes, projecting out the idea that your way of thinking is must apply to mankind is a common fallacy. It's an extension of ethnocentricity.
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I'm glad you show enough interest to counter them, even though that's not for me. I countered them by action in India. The Christian missionaries there figured I was Christian because of the colour of my skin. I got a lot of rather hateful stares, but a lot of love from my fellow Hindus. It was a fish out of water scenario. The Indian Christians really didn't like me.
     
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  4. Marcion

    Marcion Self-realisation and Service to the Universe

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    Indeed, there are many Guru's and rishi's who have similar teachings, especially when those teachings are more tantric (spiritual philosophy) rather than religious teachings.
    But the author of John may have learnt your quoted piece of wisdom from something he read in some other spiritual text. Theologians more or less agree that the genuine spoken words of Jesus himself are more likely to be found in some special parts of the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
     
    #164 Marcion, Feb 15, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  5. tarasan

    tarasan Well-Known Member

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    I always assumed it was the deep unfaltering love they had for me with some social awkwardness mixed it. They belittle me because they care. ❤️
     
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  6. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Baha'is do not believe in reincarnation so we so not believe that anyone ever comes back to earth in another body.
    The body once dead remains dead and the soul passes to the spiritual world and takes on another form, a spiritual body, and continues on its journey.

    Baha'is do not believe that Baha'u'llah was Jesus reborn, we believe He was a separate person with a separate body and a separate soul. What Baha'u'llah shared with Jesus was the same Holy Spirit, but Baha'u'llah also shared that with all the Manifestations of God, not only Jesus.

    Jesus and Baha’u’llah were humans, just like you and I, but what differentiated them from ordinary humans was their two-fold nature, as they were both human and divine. The third station as described below is what differentiates Manifestations of God from all other humans:

    “Know that the Holy Manifestations, though They have the degrees of endless perfections, yet, speaking generally, have only three stations. The first station is the physical; the second station is the human, which is that of the rational soul; the third is that of the divine appearance and the heavenly splendor.

    The physical station is phenomenal; it is composed of elements, and necessarily everything that is composed is subject to decomposition. It is not possible that a composition should not be disintegrated.

    The second is the station of the rational soul, which is the human reality. This also is phenomenal, and the Holy Manifestations share it with all mankind.

    The third station is that of the divine appearance and heavenly splendor: it is the Word of God, the Eternal Bounty, the Holy Spirit. It has neither beginning nor end, for these things are related to the world of contingencies and not to the divine world. For God the end is the same thing as the beginning.”


    Some Answered Questions, pp. 151-152

    Read more: 38: THE THREE STATIONS OF THE DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS
     
  7. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Active Member
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    I thought that Bahaullah claimed that the Bab was the Imam Mahdi and that he himself was Jesus.

    You are saying Bahaullah was the Mahdi as well as Jesus as well as all the 'manifestations'? So who was Bab?
     
  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    As I recall, it was the Bab who claimed to be the Mahdi. Baha'u'llah never claimed to be the Mahdi or Jesus.

    Baha'u'llah was the return of all the Manifestations, the same the divine appearance and heavenly splendor, the same Holy Spirit, but in His human station He was distinct from the other Manifestations of God.

    Regarding His relationship to Jesus, the following is what Baha'u'llah claimed. He claimed to be the return of the Spirit of God and He claimed to be the Spirit of Truth (who was also the Comforter) that Jesus promised to send from the Father in the Gospel of John:

    “O kings of Christendom! Heard ye not the saying of Jesus, the Spirit of God, “I go away, and come again unto you”? Wherefore, then, did ye fail, when He did come again unto you in the clouds of heaven, to draw nigh unto Him, that ye might behold His face, and be of them that attained His Presence? In another passage He saith: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 246

    “We, in truth, have sent Him Whom We aided with the Holy Spirit (Jesus Christ) that He may announce unto you this Light that hath shone forth from the horizon of the will of your Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, and Whose signs have been revealed in the West. Set your faces towards Him (Bahá’u’lláh) on this Day which God hath exalted above all other days, and whereon the All-Merciful hath shed the splendour of His effulgent glory upon all who are in heaven and all who are on earth.”
    Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 18

    “Ye make mention of Me, and know Me not. Ye call upon Me, and are heedless of My Revelation…. O people of the Gospel! They who were not in the Kingdom have now entered it, whilst We behold you, in this day, tarrying at the gate. Rend the veils asunder by the power of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bounteous, and enter, then, in My name My Kingdom. Thus biddeth you He Who desireth for you everlasting life…” Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 91

    “The Word which the Son concealed is made manifest. It hath been sent down in the form of the human temple in this day. Blessed be the Lord Who is the Father! He, verily, is come unto the nations in His most great majesty.” Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84-85

    “This is, truly, that which the Spirit of God (Jesus Christ) hath announced, when He came with truth unto you, He with Whom the Jewish doctors disputed, till at last they perpetrated what hath made the Holy Spirit to lament, and the tears of them that have near access to God to flow….” Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 19

    “WE, verily, have come for your sakes, and have borne the misfortunes of the world for your salvation. Flee ye the One Who hath sacrificed His life that ye may be quickened? Fear God, O followers of the Spirit (Jesus), and walk not in the footsteps of every divine that hath gone far astray… Open the doors of your hearts. He Who is the Spirit (Jesus) verily, standeth before them.”
    Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p, 92

    Please note that in the last passage where Baha'u'llah says "“WE, verily, have come for your sakes..." He was referring to Himself and Jesus.
     
    #168 Trailblazer, Feb 15, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  9. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Active Member
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    Sorry, my mistake. Looks like the Bahai are still waiting for the Imam Mahdi to appear then.
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I think that if a person is living in a country or culture where his own religion was kind of the rarity and another religion was held by the overwhelming majority, it would be only natural to be curious about it. If I were living, for instance, in a heavily Buddhist country, I'd probably be a whole lot more interested in Buddhism than I am as a Christian living in America. I mean you kind of want to know a little bit about how the people you interact with on a daily basis see the world.
     
  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    The Bahai's are not waiting for anyone to appear.
    Is the Imam Mahdi different from the Mahdi that the Bab claimed to be?
     
  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    So much for love thy neighbor. ;)
     
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  13. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Active Member
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    I thought you earlier said the Bab was mistaken in claiming to be the Mahdi. Apparently I was mistaken, the Bahai do believe the Bab was the Mahdi.

    The Muslim Hadiths predict that the Mahdi would first appear (apparently the Bab) and then would be followed by Jesus. Are you still waiting for Jesus then?
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Sorry, apparently we got our wires crossed. Baha'is do believe the Bab was the Mahdi.
    No, Baha'is are not waiting for Jesus because we believe that Baha'u'llah was the return of the Christ Spirit. Do the Muslims believe that the same man Jesus will return in His resurrected body that ascended to heaven, just as Christians believe? That was NEVER what God intended and that is not what Jesus promised. Jesus never promised to return to Earth, He said His work was finished here and He was NO MORE in the world.
    (John 14:19, John 17:4, John 17:11, John 19:30, John 18:36)

    If Jesus was never slated to return in the same body, obviously that means that the return of Christ refers to another man with another name who Baha'is believe was Baha'u'llah.

    Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

    Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.[/QUOTE]
     
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  15. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know, I just restated the number. I wonder what it really means and what the number really is?
     
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  16. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    We judge individuals by looking at them.
    We judge religions by looking at the religions.
     
  17. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    For me it was more of a problem solving exercise like chess.

    I read the bible when I was 16, enjoyed the sweetness and character of Jesus, but could not make any coherent sense of the bible.

    It stayed in my mind like a rubik puzzle I have not deciphered yet and saw as a challenge testing me. Also the Christians around me, in books and movies and songs, all reminded me of the puzzle of Jesus and Christianity.

    My study of the different religions of the world like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Sufism, and contemporary works of enlightened masters along with their presence, helped me to understand the religion precisely to my satisfaction and contentment.
     
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  18. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Hello..... :
    I have produced a thread about it all.

    And you are right........ there are zillions of different churches and many hundreds of differing bibles.

    Oh well.... I live and learn. :)
     
  19. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Thanks. I certainly understand it to my satisfaction, else I'd be exploring it. But that understanding is via the Hindu lens, which is how I understand the world. But I think you're right that plain curiousity is most likely the most common reason non-Christians study it.
     
  20. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Active Member
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    OK, got it. Bahaullah is the manifestation of Jesus, but not the manifestation of the Mahdi. What is the difference between the two? Did Bahaullah choose to be a replacement for Jesus and choose not to be the Mahdi?
     
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