Baha’is will answer, ‘yes.’ They claim the foundations of Christianity and the religion of Baha’u’llah are one. Indeed, the foundations of ALL the divine Prophets and Holy Books are one, they believe. The difference among them is one of terminology only.
The Baha’i Faith is essentially rationalistic.
They say, “We must not accept traditional dogmas that are contrary to reason, nor pretend to believe doctrines which we cannot understand. To do so is superstitious and not true religion.”
Because of this inclination to reject any doctrine that does not seem reasonable to them, Baha’is interpret allegorically, rather than literally, the biblical doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the bodily Resurrection of Christ, the existence of angels and evil spirits, and the doctrines of heaven and hell. Yet, despite this insistence that everything must be understood in order to be believed, they hold that God Himself is impersonal and unknowable. He can only be perceived indirectly through the reflection of his Manifestations – Jesus being ONLY ONE of these NINE, in no manner superior to the other eight.
Baha’is deny that man fell through Adam from his original spiritual and moral state. They affirm that no one is “essentially” bad or evil, but merely imperfect. Sins are characteristics of the lower, baser plane of nature, and education brings deliverance from them. Baha’u’llah taught that men ought not to confess their sins to one another, for this would lead to humiliation and abasement, which he taught, are contrary to God’s will.
In contrast, the Bible says…
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. [James 5:16]
Foundations of Christianity vs. Baha’u’llah
Baha’is will argue that whoever acts completely in accordance with the teachings of Christ is a Baha’i. The purpose, they claim, is the essential meaning of Christian, not the mere word.
The purpose is the sun itself and not the dawning points. For though the sun is one sun, its dawning points are many. We must not adore the dawning points but worship the sun. We must adore the reality of religion and not blindly cling to the applellation Christianity. The Sun of Reality must be worshiped and followed. We must seek the fragrance of the rose from whatever bush it is blooming – whether oriental or western.
Baha’is reject the foundation of Christianity – the essential meaning of Christian.
Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which Christianity rests – not one of several manifestations as Baha’is insist.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [John 14:6]
As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message – which is also what they were destined for. [1 Peter 2:4-8]
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. [Acts 4:12]
Concerning salvation, Baha’u’llah said, “Whoso keepeth the commandments of God shall attain everlasting felicity.” And Abdul Baha stated that there is no sin-atoning value in Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. So inadequate was his concept of redemption that Baha’u’llah was able to say of himself: “Fix your gaze upon Him who is the Temple of God amongst men. He, in truth, hath offered up his life as a ransom for the redemption of the world.”
The Central conflict between Baha’u’llah’s concept of salvation and the biblical revelation on the subject is best shown in where Baha’u’llah stated: “Every age has its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require.” In contrast to this, the Bible teaches that the one universal problem of man throughout the ages is sin, his state of moral guilt and consequent alienation from God. Thus the one remedy – the only possible remedy for mankind’s dilemma – is the death of Jesus Christ for our sins, a sacrifice sufficient to save all who turn to Him for all time as God tells us in Hebrews 10:10-18.
Foundations of the divine Prophets and Holy Books
Be seekers of light, no matter from which lantern it shines forth. Be not lovers of the lantern. At one time the light has shone from a lantern in the East, now in the West. If it comes from North, South, from whatever direction in proceeds, follow the light.
The doctrine of Divine Manifestations is the central plank of Baha’i theology. Through this doctrine Baha’is are able to take seemingly amiable positions toward members of the major world religions, for each of their founders were manifestations of God and thus each religion has a measure of truth. On the same premise Baha’is draw converts from other religions, for, they insist, the other religions were for other ages while the religion of Baha’u’llah is for today. To follow it in no way will conflict with one’s native faith, for there is truly only one faith in mankind’s history, best represented now by the Baha’is.
Though the recognized Divine Manifestations represent just about every conceivable world view (Monotheism through Moses and Jesus, polytheism through Krisna, Agnosticism through Buddah, and dualism through Zoroaster), Baha’is insist that they are actually united in purpose and teaching. The spiritually initiated see beyond the apparent differences. In fact, Baha’u’llah warned that anyone who saw even the slightest possible difference between their words and messages would be guilty of disbelieving and repudiating God.
Baha’is believe in one God (or Supreme Being), even though men have called Him by different names. Baha’is view religion as a progressive, evolutionary process which needs to be updated as humanity evolves mentally, socially, and spiritually. Every so often a new Prophet is sent to humanity to update religion to the current needs of mankind. These Prophets bring essentially the same spiritual message to mankind; in a form that meets the needs of the people of their time. Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah has brought an updated message for mankind today. In fact, Baha’u’llah himself claimed to be the Messenger of God to the age of human maturity, the Bearer of a Divine Revelation that fulfills the promises made in earlier religions.
God has revealed His Word in each period of history through a chosen Individual whom Baha’is call the Manifestation of God, or Messenger of God. These manifestations or messengers restate in every age God’s purpose and will. Since there is but one God, these Messengers of God have each taught the same religious faith. They have developed and adapted it to meet the needs of the people in each period of history. This unfoldment of religion from age to age is called Progressive Revelation: God’s great plan; He unfolds it to mankind in different periods of history. The agents of this process have been the Divine Messengers whom men have seen chiefly as the founders of separate religious systems but whose common purpose has been to bring the human race to spiritual maturity. Baha’is believe Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, is the Messenger of God for our time.
“There is no distinction whatsoever among the Bearers of My Message. They all have but one purpose; their secret is the same secret. To prefer one in honor to another, to exalt certain ones above the rest, is in no wise to be permitted. Every true Prophet hath regarded His Message as fundamentally the same as the Revelation of every other Prophet gone before Him.
The measure of the revelation of the Prophets of God in this world, however, must differ. Each and every one of them hath been the Bearer of a distinct Message, and hath been commissioned to reveal Himself through specific acts. It is for this reason that they appear to vary in their greatness.
It is clear and evident, therefore, that any apparent variation in the intensity of their light is not inherent in the light itself, but should rather be attributed to the varying receptivity of an ever-changing world. Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared.”
[Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp.78-9].
In the chart below is described each of the Messengers who brought a message, and included all of the teachings before them. Read down the list of teachings and remember each one includes all the one’s before.
|Abraham||2000 BC||Unknown||Unknown||Friend of God||Unknown||Unknown||Belief in One God|
|Moses||1440 BC||Egypt||Jewish||The Lawgiver||Yahveh||Torah||Obedience To Social Laws|
|Krishna||1000 BC||India||Hindu||Voice Of God||Brahman||Bhagavd-Gita||Man Can Choose Good Or Evil|
|Zoroastrian||800 BC||Iran||Zoroastrian||The Torch||Ahuramazda||Zend-Avesta||Purity Of Mind|
|Budda||520 BC||India||Buddhist||Enlightened One||Braham||Ptiaka||Know And Love Thyself|
|Christ||25 AD||Palestine||Christian||Son Of God||God||The Gospel||Love One Another As Ye Love Me|
|Muhammad||570-633 AD||Arabia||Islamic||Apostle Of God||Allah||The Qur’an||National Unity|
|The Bab||1844 AD||Iran||Bab’i||The Gate||Supreme Being||The Bayan||Universal Age Of Truth|
|Baha’u’llah||1863 AD||Iran||Baha’i||The Glory Of God||Supreme Being||Kitab-I-Aquad||Unity 0f Mankind|