True security for the people of Bahá will necessitate opposition, .....

  .... The vibration of the sound of that same soul-burning cry gradually noised abroad the call of this world-illuminating Great Announcement and the ringing notes of that call resounded in all regions of the world, and now too, the beloved friends in Irán, who are the devoted dwellers in the courtyard of the Beloved, stand firm in the same Covenant and Testament. Behold the courage, firmness, detachment, unity, co-operation, zeal, and enthusiasm with which these loyal lovers of the Beloved daily face their tests and prove and demonstrate to the world, with radiant and shining faces, their purity, their heritage, their quality, and their virtue. With the utmost meekness, truthfulness, wisdom, and courage they meet the challenges presented to them, the challenge of defying the enemies, dispelling misunderstandings which are a result of the proliferation of calumnies and false accusations. They have met their fate with acquiescence, have bowed their heads in the valley of submission and resignation, and have borne every tribulation with radiance, for they know with absolute certainty that the fulfilment of divine prophecies will coincide with dire events and the bearing of innumerable afflictions. The beloved Guardian says: "If in the days to come, adversities of various kinds should encircle that land and national upheavals should further aggravate the present calamities, and intensify the repeated afflictions," the dear friends in that country should not feel "sorrowful and grieved" and must not be deflected "from their straight path and chosen highway." He then continues to address the dear friends in these words:

The liberation of this meek and innocent band of His followers from the fetters of its bondage and the talons of the people of tyranny and enmity must needs be preceded by the clamour and agitation of the masses. The realization of glory, of tranquility, and of true security for the people of Bahá will necessitate opposition, aggression and commotion on the part of the people of malevolence and iniquity. Therefore, should the buffeting waves of the sea of tribulation intensify and the storms of trials and tribulations assail that meek congregation from all six sides, know of a certainty and without a moment's hesitation that the time for their deliverance has drawn nigh, that the age-old promise of their assured glory will soon be fulfilled, and that at long last the means are provided for the persecuted people of Bahá in that land to attain salvation and supreme triumph. A firm step and an unshakeable resolve are essential so that the remaining stages may come to pass and the cherished ideals of the people of Bahá may be realized on the loftiest summits, and be made manifest in astounding brilliance. "Such is God's method, and no change shalt thou find in His method."

Remembering some of the Martyrs



Dec. 27th 1981, the 8 members of National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of Iran, were executed without trial in Evin prison, Tehran Iran.


  Kamran Samimi, Sirus Rawshani Uskui, Qudratu'llah Rawhani, Mahmud Majdhub, Izzat’u’llah Furuhi, Jalal Azizi, Mehdi Amin Amin and Jinus Ni'mat Mahmudi


Gems of Divine Mysteries

In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of His Lord. Such is the station reached by them that search after God, and such are the heights attained by those who hasten unto Him.

When once the seeker hath ascended unto this station, he will enter the City of Love and Rapture, whereupon the winds of love will blow and the breezes of the spirit will waft. In this station the seeker is so overcome by the ecstasies of yearning and the fragrances of longing that he discerneth not his left from his right, nor doth he distinguish land from sea or desert from mountain. At every moment he burneth with the fire of longing and is consumed by the onslaught of separation in this world.  He speedeth through the Párán of love and traverseth the Horeb of rapture. Now he laugheth, now he weepeth sore; now he reposeth in peace, now he trembleth in fear. Nothing can alarm him, naught can thwart his purpose, and no law can restrain him. He standeth ready to obey whatsoever His Lord should please to decree as to his beginning and his end. With every breath he layeth down his life and offereth up his soul.

He bareth his breast to meet the darts of the enemy and raiseth his head to greet the sword of destiny; nay rather, he kisseth the hand of his would-be murderer and surrendereth his all. He yieldeth up spirit, soul, and body in the path of his Lord, and yet he doeth so by the leave of his Beloved and not of his own whim and desire. Thou findest him chill in the fire and dry in the sea, abiding in every land and treading every path. Whosoever toucheth him in this state will perceive the heat of his love. He walketh the heights of detachment and traverseth the vale of renunciation. His eyes are ever expectant to witness the wonders of God’s mercy and eager to behold the splendours of His beauty. Blessed indeed are they that have attained unto such a station, for this is the station of the ardent lovers and the enraptured souls.
And when this stage of the journey is completed and the wayfarer hath soared beyond this lofty station, he entereth the City of Divine Unity, and the garden of oneness, and the court of detachment. In this plane the seeker casteth away all signs, allusions, veils, and words, and beholdeth all things with an eye illumined by the effulgent lights which God Himself hath shed upon him. In his journey he seeth all differences return to a single word and all allusions culminate in a single point. Unto this beareth witness he who sailed upon the ark of fire and followed the inmost path to the pinnacle of glory in the realm of immortality: “Knowledge is one point, which the foolish have multiplied.”

This is the station that hath been alluded to in the tradition: “I am He, Himself, and He is I, Myself, except that I am that I am, and He is that He is.”
In this station, were He Who is the Embodiment of the End to say: “Verily, I am the Point of the Beginning”, He would indeed be speaking the truth. And were He to say: “I am other than Him”, this would be equally true. Likewise, were He to proclaim: “Verily, I am the Lord of heaven and earth”, or “the King of kings”, or  “the Lord of the realm above”, or Muḥammad, or ‘Alí, or their descendants, or aught else, He would indeed be proclaiming the truth of God. He, verily, ruleth over all created things and standeth supreme above all besides Him. Hast thou not heard what hath been said aforetime: “Muḥammad is our first, Muḥammad our last, Muḥammad our all”? And elsewhere: “They all proceed from the same Light”?





Bahá'u'lláh

Study Circle part 3.

Implementing a Program for the Spiritual Empowerment of Junior Youth
A set of branch courses following Book 5

Drawing on the Power of the Word Walking the Straight Path Breezes of Confirmation Courses for implementing a program for junior youth will form a specialized branch. They will complement, and eventually merge with, the branch courses for teaching Bahá’í children’s classes. Referred to as “animators”, those who enter this path of service will be helped to prepare themselves to work with young people between the ages of 12 to 15 and to familiarize themselves with the materials recommended by the Ruhi Institute for use with this age group, which currently include items with content inspired by the Bahá’í Faith, as well as those which treat specifically Bahá’í subjects.
More info at Ruhi.org

 

Teaching the Cause
Book 6

People from every walk of life are welcome to explore the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and learn how they can apply them to better their lives. All Bahá’ís, then, share liberally and unconditionally the teachings and precepts of their Faith. Although the propagation of Bahá’u’lláh’s message is one of the most essential services to be rendered, teaching is also a state of being—a state of being in which one is constantly sharing with others that which one has been so bountifully blessed. This concept is explored in the first unit of Book 6, “The Spiritual Nature of Teaching”. The next two units, “The Qualities and Attitudes of the Teacher” and “The Act of Teaching”, examine various notions about the nature of teaching in light of the Bahá’í writings and how it should be approached, emphasizing the importance of adopting a posture of learning. Of particular significance is the example offered in the third unit of how to introduce the Faith to a seeker through the story of Anna and Emilia.

Walking Together on a Path of Service
Book 7

Book 7 is dedicated to an act of service crucial to the functioning of the Ruhi Institute itself, namely, helping a group of individuals go through the initial six courses in the sequence. That individuals accompany one another on a path of service to their communities is central to the process of capacity building set in motion by the courses. The first unit of the book, “The Spiritual Path,” raises awareness of the spiritual dynamics of advancing along a path of service and increases understanding of the forces at work. The second unit, “Becoming a Tutor of Books 1-6,” examines some of the concepts, attitudes, skills and abilities that contribute to the capability of helping a group of friends to go through the earlier courses. This is generally done by bringing together eight or ten people in what is termed a “study circle”. The third unit, “Promoting the Arts at the Grassroots,” is designed to create appreciation for the role of artistic endeavors in the activity of a study circle.
book 7 “Thousands upon thousands, embracing the diversity of the entire human family, are engaged in systematic study of the Creative Word in an environment that is at once serious and uplifting.” 21 April 2008 message from the
Universal House of Justice

Study circle part 2.

Arising to Serve
Book 2

Book 2 of the main sequence explores the nature of a path of service and the manner in which it is to trodden. An essential feature of community life is unity and fellowship. Visiting people in their homes—family and friends, neighbors and acquaintances—and talking with them about themes central to spiritual and social existence is the first conscious act of service carried out by those engaged in building such communities. The book helps participants acquire the skills and abilities, knowledge and qualities, needed to enter into conversations with others that are uplifting to the mind and spirit. Participants also think about the nature of the joy one derives from service. There are three units in the book: “The Joy of Teaching”, “Deepening Themes”, and “Introducing Bahá’í Beliefs”.
 

Teaching Children’s Classes, Grade 1
Book 3

The second act of service addressed by the Institute is in the area of the spiritual education of children. The education of children is essential to the transformation of society. Book 3 focuses on some of the knowledge, skills and qualities necessary for those wishing to enter this important field of service. The first unit, “Some Principles of Bahá'í Education”, briefly examines certain principles and concepts inherent to education from a Bahá’í point of view. It does this in the context of character development, as preparation for the next unit, “Lessons for Children’s Classes, Grade 1”, which offers fifteen lessons intended to foster the development of spiritual qualities in small children. The third unit, “Conducting Classes for Children”, seeks to develop the skills and abilities needed to manage a class with a great deal of love and understanding and, at the same time, with the discipline necessary to create a proper learning environment.

“Aware of the aspirations of the children of the world and their need for spiritual education, they extend their efforts widely to involve ever-growing contingents of participants in classes that become centres of attraction for the young and strengthen the roots of the Faith in society.” 21 April 2008 message from the Universal House of Justice 

The Twin Manifestations
Book 4

Book 4 in the main sequence returns to the question of identity, the “I” in the statement “I walk a path of service”. History shapes much of the identity of individuals, as well as entire peoples. The second and third units in the book are dedicated to the study of the life history of Bahá’u’lláh, the Author of the Bahá’í Faith, and His Forerunner, the Báb. In the first unit, the significance of this Day is briefly examined. Seeing clearly the elements that characterize the past enables individuals to contribute more effectively to shaping the future.

Releasing the Powers of Junior Youth
Book 5

This book, still in the process of development, but being made available for limited use in pre-publication form, has a special place in the sequence of the Ruhi Institute. According to the Bahá’í teachings, an individual reaches the age of maturity at 15, when spiritual and moral obligations become binding. The years immediately before this age, then, take on special significance. This is the time when fundamental concepts about individual and collective life are formulated in the mind of an adolescent struggling to leave behind the habits of childhood. Youth between the ages of 12 to 15 have much to say, and whoever treats them as children misses the opportunity to help them form a proper identity. The three units that will make up Book 5 focus on some of the concepts, skills, qualities, and attitudes that experience has shown are required by those wishing to implement a program for the spiritual empowerment of junior youth.

“They assist junior youth to navigate through a crucial stage of their lives and to become empowered to direct their energies toward the advancement of civilization.”
21 April 2008 message from the Universal House of Justice

More to follow ....

Study circle

The term study circle has become common terminology in the Bahá’í Faith to describe a specific type of gathering for the study of the Bahá’í teachings, with an emphasis on "promoting the well-being of humanity.

Study circles are a form of distance learning designed to systematically bring education about spiritual concepts to the grassroots level. Because they are intended to be sustainable and reproducible on a large scale, study circles shy away from formally taught classes, opting instead for participatory methods. They are usually led by a tutor whose role is not to act as an expert but rather to facilitate the rhythm and pace of the study circle. In this way, attendees of study circles are expected to become active participants in their own learning process.
Another foundational principle of study circles is a heavy emphasis on the Writings as a means of finding unity of vision and action by focusing on the essentials of Bahá’í belief.
The most common curriculum used in study circles was originally developed at the Ruhi Institute in Colombia but is now used in Bahá’í communities all over the world.

The curriculum of the Ruhi Institute aims, in its entirety, at achieving three overall objectives: providing insights into spiritual matters, imparting knowledge about the Bahá’í Faith, and helping to develop specific acts of service. There are currently seven books in the first sequence of courses, with two more in development. Each book is broken up into 3 units comprised of many sections. Tutors are encouraged to apply the arts, using music, games, crafts, and such during the training. Each book has one or more practices that can be done outside of the training. For example, the third book trains people to give children's classes, and the practice is to give an actual class. Also encouraged throughout the books is the practice of memorizing passages and prayers.

Reflections on the Life of the Spirit
Book 1

The first book in the sequence of courses is largely concerned with the question of identity. What is the real identity of the “I” in the sentence “I walk a path of service”? Three aspects of identity from a Bahá’í perspective are explored in the book: “The reality of my existence is my soul which passes through this world to acquire the attributes it needs for an eternal and glorious journey towards God. My most cherished moments are those spent in communion with God, for prayer is the daily nourishment that my soul must receive if it is to accomplish its exalted purpose. One of my principal concerns in this life is to study the writings of Bahá’u’lláh, strive to increase my understanding of His teachings, and learn to apply them to my own daily life and to the life of the community.” The book consists of the units “Understanding the Bahá’í Writings”, “Prayer”, and “Life and Death”.

More  to follow ......

Unity of the Prophets.

The Bahá’í Faith teaches that the Messengers from God come from the same source, God, to deliver God's Teachings, while also mirroring forth His attributes. In this light, the Bahá’í writings state that the reality of these Messengers of God is the same reality.
Bahá’u’lláh explains the essential nature of the Manifestations of God as twofold: they are at once human and divine. They are divine in that they all come from the same God and expound His teachings (and can thus be seen in the same light), but at the same time they are separate individuals known by different names, who fulfill definite missions, and who are entrusted with particular revelations.
Regarding the relationships of these prophets Bahá’u’lláh writes:
"God hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the knowledge of His own Self. Whoso recognizeth them hath recognized God. Whoso hearkeneth to their call, hath hearkened to the Voice of God, and whoso testifieth to the truth of their Revelation, hath testified to the truth of God Himself. Whoso turneth away from them, hath turned away from God, and whoso disbelieveth in them, hath disbelieved in God . . . They are the Manifestations of God amidst men, the evidences of His Truth, and the signs of His glory."
Bahá’u’lláh on the oneness of the prophets:
"The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace... hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence.
"These sanctified Mirrors, these Day Springs of ancient glory, are, one and all, the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory."
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p 99.
Concerning their twofold station, Bahá’u’lláh has written:
"These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth. ... It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of Being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendor! Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: "I am the return of all the Prophets," He, verily, speaketh the truth. ...
"The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation.
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 50. 

Progressive revelation

Progressive revelation is a core teaching in the Bahá’í Faith that suggests that religious truth is revealed by God progressively and cyclically over time through a series of divine Messengers, and that the teachings are tailored to suit the needs of the time and place of their appearance. Thus, the Bahá’í teachings recognize the divine origin of several world religions as different stages of in the history of one religion, while believing that the revelation of Bahá’u’lláh is the most recent (though not the last), and therefore the most relevant to modern society.

Bahá’ís believe God to be generally regular and periodic in revealing His will to mankind through messengers/prophets, which are named Manifestations of God. Each messenger in turn establishes a covenant and founds a religion. This process of revelation, according to the Bahá’í writings, is also never ceasing, which is contrary to many other belief systems that believe in a finality of their prophet/messenger. The general theme of the successive and continuous religions founded by Manifestations of God is that there is an evolutionary tendency, and that each Manifestation of God brings a larger measure of revelation (or religion) to humankind than the previous one The differences in the revelation brought by the Manifestations of God is stated to be not inherent in the characteristics of the Manifestation of God, but instead attributed to the various worldly, societal and human factors, these differences are in accordance with the "conditions" and "varying requirements of the age" and the "spiritual capacity" of humanity. These differences are seen to be needed since human society has slowly and gradually evolved through higher stages of unification from the family to tribes and then nations.

Backbiting "Quencheth the Light of the Heart"

"… Backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul.
"Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness."

Bahá’u’lláh

 Backbiting—The Most Great Sin
"…Thou hast written regarding aims. How blessed are these aims, especially the prevention of backbiting! I hope that you may become confirmed therein, because the worst human quality and the most great sin is backbiting; more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of backbiting could be shut eternally and each one of the believers of God unsealed his tongue in the praise of the other, then the teachings of His Holiness Baha'o'llah (Bahá’u’lláh) would be spread, the hearts illuminated, the spirits glorified and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity.
"I hope that the believers of God will shun completely backbiting, each one praising the other cordially and believe that backbiting is the cause of Divine wrath, to such an extent that if a person backbites to the extent of one word, he may become dishonored among all the people, because the most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding. One must expose the praiseworthy qualities of the souls and not their evil attributes. The friends must overlook their shortcomings and faults and speak only of their virtues and not their defects.
"It is related that His Holiness Christ—May my life be a sacrifice to Him!—one day, accompanied by His apostles, passed by the corpse of a dead animal. One of them said: 'How putrid has this animal become!' The other exclaimed: 'How it is deformed!' A third cried out: 'What a stench! How cadaverous looking!' But His Holiness Christ said: 'Look at its teeth! How white they are!' Consider, that He did not look at all at the defects of that animal; nay, rather, He searched well until He found the beautiful white teeth. He observed only the whiteness of the teeth and overlooked entirely the deformity of the body, the dissolution of its organs and the bad odour.
"This is the attribute of the children of the Kingdom. This is the conduct and the manner of the real Bahais (Bahá’ís). I hope that all the believers will attain to this lofty station." ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's 2011 (Audio)

Christmas photos from trekearth.com

Audio link below:



Christmas market, Montpellier, France


Vancouver, BC


Rossio Square, Lisbon, Portugal


Rome, Italy


Kansas City, Missouri



This one I received via email.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year To All!

With the audio message, I wanted to write a few words concerning this blog. Even though this blog awhile back passed my other blog, thekingpin68 in average monthly traffic, I still struggled somewhat with the purpose for this blog. With the other blog, it has been for a long time clear in purpose with philosophical theology, philosophy of religion, and Biblical Studies, especially now once again that I have a decent scanner and can work with New Testament Greek properly.

With this blog is just became so obvious that when I did news related theological posts the blog did reasonably well. I will continue to write theological, philosophical, and satirical posts related to the news and Islam and other comparative religions in regard to Christianity and within Christianity. So, I may write about groups considered academically non-Christian and compare and I may write about other groups considered Christian and compare.

This is an academic and spiritual exercise. A couple of persons messaged me on Facebook in regard to Islam, as in a concern that my articles risked a non-loving approach. Look, I do not hate Muslims or any people or group, and anyone that wants to get on this blog and start writing that kind of stuff about me, please do not bother in regard to Islam or any group because that is simply not the case and any person that knows me well would support me on that point.

I subscribe to Matthew 22 and Mark 12 and so I am to love God with all my heart, soul and mind, and my neigbour as my self.

I am also to love my other Christians as in John 13.

But there are also Biblical calls to stand up for the truth as with 2 Timothy 15 and 1 Peter 3: 13-17.

Therefore, as a Christian I need to stand on this blog in both love and truth.:)

Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is me in my 'Michelin Man' BC winter jacket back in 2008. The older gentlemen and owner of the house, I presume, came out for a few seconds to see which persons were in front of his place and then quickly went back inside.

'But sir, I am a theologian.' I thought. And then I thought, 'On the other hand, it is nice not to be hassled'.

The first scan is from Browning page 63, the other Oliver page 220. I only scanned part of Oliver.

BROWNING, W.R.F. (1997) Oxford Dictionary of the Bible, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

OLIVER, O.G. Jr. (1996) ‘Christmas’, in Walter A. Elwell (ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Books.







My framed PhD degree document will stay wrapped up until after my graduation party in March.

مقام حضرت عبدالبهاء

حضرت عبدالبهاء شخصیتی بی مثیل در تاریخ بشریّت اند و هیچ یک از ادیان گذشته از موهبت داشتن این چنین شخصیّتی برخوردار نبوده است. فضل و عنایت حضرت بهاءالله که جامعه بهائی را پس از صعود در ظلّ حمایت غصن اعظم، حضرت عبدالبهاء قرار داده ، قابل وصف نیست. حضرت بهاءالله نه تنها ظهور مبارک خود را به عالمیان ارزانی داشته اند؛ بلکه فرزند خود را نیز تقدیم نموده اند که با علم و حکمت وی عالم انسانی منوّر خواهد شد. مشکل بتوان حتّی ذرّه ای از عظمت این ظهور را بدون آگاهی از مقام فرید حضرت عبدالبهاء درک نمود.
اولاً: حضرت عبدالبهاء مرکز عهد و پیمان حضرت بهاءالله می باشند. قوّه میثاق جامعه بهائی را متّحد ساخته، از تعدّی دشمنان حفظ خواهد نمود. قوّه میثاق است که ضامن فتح و ظفر محتوم است. اساساً پیمانی که حضرت بهاءالله با پیروان خود بسته اند، لازمه اش این است که قلبهای خود را به مرکز عهد متوجّه ساخته و به آن وفادار باشیم. حضرت عبدالبهاء مرکز عهد الهی هستند و طبق الواح مبارکه وصایا بعد از آن حضرت شوقی افندی ولی امر و مرکزی هستند که باید به ایشان توجّه نماییم. الیوم مرکز عهد بیت العدل اعظم است که بنا به دستورات صریحه حضرت بهاءالله و تعلیمات واضحه عبدالبهاء و حضرت ولی امرالله تشکیل گشته است.
ثانیاً: حضرت عبدالبهاء مبیّن مصون از خطای حضرت بهاءالله می باشند. ظهور حضرت بهاءالله و آثار منزله چنان وسیع است و معانی مکنونه در هر یک از بیانات نازله چنان عمیق که حضرتشان لازم دانستند بعد از خود مُبیّنی جهت این آثار به جا گذارند و حضرتشان مُلهِمِ ایشان باشند و بدین ترتیب نسلهای آینده بشر می توانند تعالیم مبارکه حضرت بهاءالله را از طریق تبیینات حضرت عبدالبهاء در الواح و خطب عدیده ادراک نمایند و بعد از حضرت عبدالبهاء شوقی افندی مُبیّن آیات الله بوده و با صعودشان وظیفه تبیین تا ابد و تا انتهای دور بهائی خاتمه یافت. همچنین باید بدانیم که با تعیین مُبیّن آیات، حضرت بهاءالله فضل عظیمی شامل جامعه بهائی نمودند. در گذشته هر یک از ادیان به طُرُق متعدّد منقسم شدند؛ زیرا از داشت مرکزی که یاران بتوانند در حین اختلاف نظر درباره معانی کلمات مُنزِله در کتب مقدسه بدان مراجعه نمایند، محروم بودند. ولی در این ظهور چنانچه معنی و مفهوم بیانات حضرت بهاءالله برای یاران روشن نباشد به تبیینات حضرت عبدالبهاء و حضرت ولی امرالله مراجعه می نمایند و چنانچه مطلب واضح نگردد، به بیت العدل اعظم توجّه می کنند و بدین ترتیب فرصتی برای اختلاف در تعالیم مبارکه باقی نمی ماند و وحدت امر الهی محفوظ می گردد.
ثالثاً: حضرت عبدالبهاء مَثَلِ اعلای تعالیم مبارکه پدر بزرگوارشان می باشند. هر چند ما هیچگاه نمی توانیم به آن مرحله از کمال واصل شویم ولی باید همیشه آن حضرت را مَطمَحِ نظر داشته و سعی نماییم در اثر اقدام حضرتشان مشی نماییم. وقتی عشق و مهربانی را مشاهده می نمائیم، وقتی درباره تنزیه و تقدیس، عدالت و انصاف، راستی و صداقت، فرح و سرور، جود و سخاوت می خوانیم، به حضرتش توجّه نموده و در حیات مبارک این صفات را که به حدّ کمال در آن حضرت تجلّی نموده، خواهیم دید. امّا اساس حیات مبارک عبودیّت است... بیان ذیل از حضرت عبدالبهاء نشانه آرزوی مبارک به خدمت است:
« نام من عبدالبهاءست؛ صفت من عبدالبهاءست؛ حقیقت من عبدالبهاءست؛ نَعت من عبدالبهاءست؛ رقیّت به جمال قدم، اکلیل جلیل و تاج وَهّاج من است و خدمت به نوع انسان آئین قدیم من ... نه اسمی دارد نه لقبی؛ نه ذکری خواهد نه نَعتی جز عبدالبهاء. این است آرزوی من. این است اعظم آمال من. این است حیات ابدی من. این است عزّت سرمدی من.»

Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha

Abdul Baha
Each year Baha’is observe the anniversary of the death of Abdu'l-Baha, son of Baha'u'llah and His appointed succesor. He died at his home in Haifa, in what is now northern Israel, on Nov 28, 1921 at approximately 1:00 a.m., at age 77.

Abdu'l-Baha
Abdu’l-Baha, leader of the Baha'i Faith from 1892 to 1921, was known as an ambassador of peace, a champion of justice and the leading exponent of the new religion.

The funeral of `Abdu'l-Bahá, "a funeral the like of which Palestine had never seen," drew "no less than ten thousand people...representing every class, religion and race in that country." "A great throng," the British High Commissioner wrote, "had gathered together, sorrowing for His death, but rejoicing also for His life." The Governor of Jerusalem at the time also wrote in describing the funeral: "I have never known a more united expression of regret and respect than was called forth by the utter simplicity of the ceremony."1
`Abdu'l-Bahá's funeral, Haifa, Israel.
`Abdu'l-Bahá's funeral, Haifa, Israel.
"The coffin containing the remains of `Abdu'l-Bahá was borne to its last resting-place on the shoulders of His loved ones.... The long train of mourners, amid the sobs and moans of many a grief-stricken heart, wended its slow way up the slopes of Mt. Carmel to the Mausoleum of the Báb... Close to the eastern entrance of the Shrine, the sacred casket was placed upon a plain table, and, in the presence of that vast concourse, nine speakers, who represented the Muslim, the Jewish and Christian Faiths...delivered their several funeral orations. The coffin was then removed to one of the chambers of the Shrine, and there lowered, sadly and reverently, to its last resting-place in a vault adjoining that in which were laid the remains of the Báb."2

Powers and blessings manifested through the Baha’i Covenant

It is indubitably clear, that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant…. The power of the Covenant is as the heat of the sun which quickeneth and promoteth the development of all created things on earth. The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men.
‘Abdu’l-Baha, cited in “God Passes By”, pp. 238-39

Today the pulsating power in the arteries of the body of the world is the spirit of the Covenant — the spirit which is the cause of life. Whosoever is vivified with this spirit, the freshness and beauty of life become manifest in him, he is baptized with the Holy Spirit, he is born again, is freed from oppression and tyranny, from heedlessness and harshness which deaden the spirit, and attains to everlasting life. Praise thou God that thou art firm in the Covenant and the Testament and art turning thy face to the Luminary of the world, His Highness Baha’u’llah.
’Abdu’l-Baha, cited in “Star of the West, vol. 14, No. 7 (October 1923), p. 225









Baha’i children at a Naw-Ruz (New Year) celebration in Equatorial Guinea. The diversity of Baha’i gatherings is a clear demonstration of the ability of the Covenant of Baha’u'llah to bind together the hearts of the peoples of the world.


 ..the Covenant of Bahá’u'lláh…is, indeed, the potent instrument by which individual belief in Him is translated into constructive deeds. The Covenant comprises divinely conceived arrangements necessary to preserve the organic unity of the Cause. It therefore engenders a motivating power which, as the beloved Master tells us, “like unto the artery, beats and pulsates in the body of the world”. “It is indubitably clear”, He asserts, “that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant.” Through it the meaning of the Word, both in theory and practice, is made evident in the life and work of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the appointed Interpreter, the perfect Exemplar, the Centre of the Covenant. Through it the processes of the Administrative Order — “this unique, this wondrous System” — are made to operate.
The Universal House of Justice, 1988 Dec 29

The Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh

"So powerful is the light of unity," Bahá'u'lláh declared, "that it can illuminate the whole earth."1 "We, verily," He further stated, "have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth."2 Bahá'u'lláh made the oneness of humankind the central principle and goal of His Faith, an emphasis that implies the organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of nations and signalizes the "coming of age of the entire human race."3
Humanity's evolution has been marked by such progressive stages of social organization as family, tribe, city-state and nation. Bahá'u'lláh's express purpose was to usher in the next and ultimate stage, namely, world unity -- the harbinger of the Great Peace foretold in the world's religions. As the Word of God as revealed by Bahá'u'lláh is the source and impetus of the oneness of humankind, so the Covenant He has established is the organizing principle for its realization.
Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant guarantees both unity of understanding of His Faith's fundamental doctrines and actualization of that unity in the Bahá'í community's spiritual and social development. It is distinguished by its provision for authentic interpretation of the sacred texts and for an authorized system of administration, at the apex of which is an elected legislative body empowered to supplement the laws revealed by Bahá'u'lláh.
This Covenant is the most remarkable feature of His Revelation, for it is designed, unlike any religious system of the past, to preserve the unity of all humanity through the organic workings of a social order based on spiritual principles. "So firm and mighty" is this Covenant, Bahá'u'lláh's son `Abdu'l-Bahá has affirmed, "that from the beginning of time until the present day, no religious Dispensation hath produced its like."4
The Bahá'í Faith is thus the first religion in history that has survived its critical first century with its unity firmly established. "Were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God," said `Abdu'l-Bahá, "there would arise among the Bahá'ís, in one day, a thousand different sects as was the case in former ages."5 But in this Revelation, Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant is the magnet that draws the hearts of its followers together.

Baha’is to observe two significant holy days

http://www.bahai.us/two-holy-days
Baha’is will commemorate the Day of the Covenant on Nov. 26, and the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha on Nov. 28.  The Day of the Covenant commemorates Baha’u’llah’s appointment of His eldest son, Abdu’l-Baha, as the protector of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, which was established to ensure the unity of the Baha'i Faith. The Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha marks the anniversary of his death in 1921.

As protector of the Covenant, Abdu’l-Baha, (sometimes referred as the Center of the Covenant), was charged with safeguarding and protecting the Faith against differences and schisms, making it impossible for anyone to create a new sect or faction of belief.

The Covenant of Baha’u’llah is unique in religious history: No other world religion’s sacred scriptures provide such explicit instructions for the organization of the community of believers after the founder’s passing. The Baha'i Faith is thus the first religion in history that has survived its critical first century with its unity firmly established —and ultimately with a blueprint for a divinely ordered global civilization to bring unity to the world.

After the death of Baha’u’llah in 1892, Abdu’l-Baha carried forth his father’s mission until he died in 1921 at age 77. Abdu’l-Baha was known as an ambassador of peace, a champion of justice and the leading exponent of the new religion.

During visits to Europe in 1911 and more than 40 cities in the United States and Canada in 1912, he was greeted with respect and acclaim by believers and non-believers. In city after city, he was invited to speak at churches and synagogues, and before distinguished groups and organizations. The net effect was to establish the Baha'i Faith as a major new force for social reform and religious renewal.

Affirming that "Love is the most great law" and that the "supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity" among all its peoples, Abdu'l-Baha reached out to leaders and the public – indeed, to every soul who crossed his path.

Abdu’l-Baha’s funeral on Mt. Carmel was attended by 10,000 mourners from all persuasions and denominations. He is buried in a vault on the north side of the Shrine of the Bab

Life of the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith:


A short video presentation on the Life of the Prophet-Founder of the newest Independent World Religion: The Baha'i Faith. Baha'u'llah's appearance signals the prophetic fulfillment of the world's major religions as the Promised One of All Ages. Baha'u'llah's message continues to touch hearts around the world - and despite opposition from dogmatic religious institutions, the Baha'i Faith's progressive teachings are increasingly becoming recognised as a spiritual balm to the world's increasing socio-economic, political and moral afflictions.

Bahá'u'lláh: His Teachings

Baha'u'llah presents a vision of life that insists upon a fundamental redefinition of all human relationships--among human beings themselves, between human beings and the natural world, between the individual and society, and between the members of society and its institutions. Each of these relationships must be reassessed in light of humanity's evolving understanding of God's will and purpose. New laws and concepts are enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh so that human consciousness can be freed from patterns of response set by tradition, and the foundations of a global civilization can be erected. "A new life", Bahá'u'lláh declares, "is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth."1 Because the implications of Bahá'u'lláh's message are both social and spiritual, His teachings redefine the very concept of religion. He is not the Founder of a religion as religion is conventionally understood, but rather the Prophet of civilization and collective transformation--the "Originator of a new universal cycle" in human history.2 His message transcends all religious categories. His vision of the oneness of humankind involves not just the deepening of human solidarity, the safeguarding of human rights, or the establishment of an enduring peace, but rather "an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced."3 His prescriptions for the moral reformation of human nature are unique in their approach and universal in their applicability.

For more information, please visit
http://www.bahaullah.org/.
http://info.bahai.org/

What is the station of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá?

He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u'lláh’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being “round Whom all names revolve,” the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation — styles and titles that are implicit and find their truest, their highest and fairest expression in the magic name ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He is, above and beyond these appellations, the “Mystery of God” — an expression by which Bahá’u'lláh Himself has chosen to designate Him, and which, while it does not by any means justify us to assign to Him the station of Prophethood, indicates how in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.
Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá’u'lláh, paragraph 75

 Though moving in a sphere of His own and holding a rank radically different from that of the Author and the Forerunner of the Bahá’í Revelation, He, by virtue of the station ordained for Him through the Covenant of Bahá’u'lláh, forms together with them what may be termed the Three Central Figures of a Faith that stands unapproached in the world’s spiritual history. He towers, in conjunction with them, above the destinies of this infant Faith of God from a level to which no individual or body ministering to its needs after Him, and for no less a period than a full thousand years, can ever hope to rise. To degrade His lofty rank by identifying His station with or by regarding it as roughly equivalent to, the position of those on whom the mantle of His authority has fallen would be an act of impiety as grave as the no less heretical belief that inclines to exalt Him to a state of absolute equality with either the central Figure or Forerunner of our Faith. For wide as is the gulf that separates ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from Him Who is the Source of an independent Revelation, it can never be regarded as commensurate with the greater distance that stands between Him Who is the Center of the Covenant and His ministers who are to carry on His work, whatever be their name, their rank, their functions or their future achievements. Let those who have known ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who through their contact with His magnetic personality have come to cherish for Him so fervent an admiration, reflect, in the light of this statement, on the greatness of One Who is so far above Him in station.
Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá’u'lláh, paragraph 69

Who would disrupt Remembrance Day?


Photos from trekearth.com

I thought I would write another Islam related post. Again I am not an Islamic scholar and I will remain true to my blog header while maintaining a distinction between this blog and the more theodicy, problem of evil, citation orientated thekingpin68.

In the news:


Take a pill, Jack.

Digital Journal: November 12, 2010

'London - As the clock struck 11:00 and people stood for Armistice Day’s two minutes of silence, Islamic protesters in London burned a model of a poppy and shouted out messages such as "British soldiers burn in hell."

About 35 protesters, many with their faces masked, gathered near Hyde Park. They set a model of a poppy on fire at the stroke of 11am, and then marched through the area carrying signs and chanting.

Messages on the signs included "Hands off Muslim lands," "Islam will dominate," "There is no God but Allah," “Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell” and "British soldiers burn in hell."

The protesters said they were members of a group called Muslims Against Crusades.'

Armistice Day-UK
Remembrance Day-Canada
Veterans Day-USA

Regardless of my theological and philosophical differences as a Christian theologian and philosopher of religion, with Islam, the radical Islamists hardly made a good case for their cause by their classless burning of a poppy and shouting during two minutes of silence.

As noted several times, I realize there are kind-hearted Muslims and I had a Muslim friend in the UK while I lived there. I am not against Muslim people or any people, period.

In a general terms, I am a supporter of NATO and the Armed Forces. This does not mean I blindly support every mission, however, I certainly respect in general terms the sacrifices of the Armed Forces past and present, both dead and alive.

So...

I think that all persons that live in the United Kingdom should at least minimally appreciate the freedom afforded to them by the Armed Forces past and present through sacrifices, this without a blanket endorsement of all missions past and present.

There was an official public ceremony taking place.

Therefore, I conclude, that these Muslim protesters should at least minimally respect the two minutes of silence and shut up and stand still.

The masked faces showed signs of cowardliness. If they are going to protest they should have the guts to show themselves, or go and look for a job, or go back to class, or the pub or mosque or whatever.

The Bible teaches that unless one is written in the book of life, one will reside in the lake of fire, forever. This is according to many scholars likely figurative literal language and literature in regard to hellfire, but the everlasting distance from God is certain as in Revelation 20, even if in the less probable case of annihilation over everlasting punishment, which has been discussed on thekingpin68 and satire and theology.

The Crusades...

New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia

'It has been customary to describe the Crusades as eight in number:

the first, 1095-1101;
the second, headed by Louis VII, 1145-47;
the third, conducted by Philip Augustus and Richard Coeur-de-Lion, 1188-92;
the fourth, during which Constantinople was taken, 1204;
the fifth, which included the conquest of Damietta, 1217;
the sixth, in which Frederick II took part (1228-29); also Thibaud de Champagne and Richard of Cornwall (1239);
the seventh, led by St. Louis, 1249-52;
the eighth, also under St. Louis, 1270.
This division is arbitrary and excludes many important expeditions, among them those of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In reality the Crusades continued until the end of the seventeenth century, the crusade of Lepanto occurring in 1571, that of Hungary in 1664, and the crusade of the Duke of Burgundy to Candia, in 1669. A more scientific division is based on the history of the Christian settlements in the East; therefore the subject will be considered in the following order:

I. Origin of the Crusades;
II. Foundation of Christian states in the East;
III. First destruction of the Christian states (1144-87);
IV. Attempts to restore the Christian states and the crusade against Saint-Jean d'Acre (1192-98);
V. The crusade against Constantinople (1204);
VI. The thirteenth-century crusades (1217-52);
VII. Final loss of the Christian colonies of the East (1254-91);
VIII. The fourteenth-century crusade and the Ottoman invasion;
IX. The crusade in the fifteenth century;
X. Modifications and survival of the idea of the crusade.'

Knight, Kevin (ed.)(2010), Crusades, New York, New Advent.Org.

Now reasonably the Crusades ended several years ago prior to the establishment of the present United Kingdom in 1707.

Certainly for one, even politically, Europe is much more secularized and less Christianized than it was in the fifteenth century.

One does not have to be an expert in political science and history to realize that the British are in the Middle East for minimally significantly differently reasons than in the era of the Crusades.

Therefore the current British military missions are not Crusades.

Further:

At Bible School and 'semetary' I was taught that the Islamic world connected religion and state so tightly that it saw the West in the same light. The West was like in the Middle Ages, but it is a cop-out to state these London protesters in the 2010s do not know that Britain is primarily a secular democracy and not a Christian Western country.

Telegraph: Novemeber 11, 2010

'"Our aim is not violence but if people come to us with violence, Muslims will defend themselves."

He added: "We will do this again. Until the British people condemn the British Government for these illegal wars, we will not stop protesting."

Posters bore slogans including "Hands off Muslim lands" and "Islam will dominate", and flags bore Arabic writing with the words "There is no God but Allah"....'

'Of the three arrests made, two were for public order offences and one was for assaulting a police officer....'

'There are suspicions Muslims Against Crusades is a splinter group of Islam4UK, founded by Anjem Choudary, a British Muslim extremist formerly a senior figure in the now banned Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK groups.'

When I see them shouting, masked and acting disrespectfully, I have reason to doubt that violence is not a real possibility.



All religion is the same? Nope.


Saudi Arabia. Lovely desert from the birthplace of Islam.

October 30, 2010

My name and thekingpin68 blog cited on #1 blog-Huffington Post.com (according to Technorati).

Huffington Post


From (edited):


October 29, 2010

'(CNN) -- A Somali militant group publicly executed two teenage girls Wednesday after accusing them of being spies for the Somali government, according to the group, eyewitnesses and a relative of one of the girls.

"Those two girls were evil and they were spies for the enemy (the Somali government), but the mujahedeen caught them and after investigation, they admitted their crime, so they have been executed," said Sheikh Yusuf Ali Ugas, commander of Al-Shabaab in Beledweyne, a town in central Somalia.

The teens were blindfolded with their hands behind their backs against a tree, and shot, according to a local journalist.

A resident of Beledweyne told CNN that Al-Shabaab called on the town's residents to come out and watch the execution.

"Hundreds of people came out to watch the execution," he said. "It was very bad ... the girls looked shocked and were crying but [no one] could help."

A relative of one of the teens denied they were spies...'

'Al-Shabaab is waging a war against Somalia's government in an effort to impose a stricter form of Islamic law, or sharia.

Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991, and fighting between the rebels and government troops has escalated the humanitarian crisis in the famine-ravaged country.'

From (edited):

The Australian

'Two accused spies, teenage girls aged 15 and 18, have died amid a fusillade of bullets from a firing squad organised by a hardline Islamist militia in Somalia.

Horrified residents of the town of Belet Weyne, in western Somalia, were forced to watch the execution by al-Shabab on Wednesday. One woman fainted as the girls were gunned down by 10 masked executioners.

"Those who watched the event could not bear the painful experience. Two very young girls were shot as they watched and no one could help," said Dahir Casowe, a local elder...'

'Only shortly before the executions, Sheik Mohamed Ibrahim sentenced the girls to death for spying for government soldiers fighting al-Shabab. The only qualifications Ibrahim needed to be appointed a judge by al-Shabab were that he be male and know the Quran...'

'Human Rights Watch said in an April report that al-Shabab imposes "unrelenting repression and brutality".

Somali militants photo: AP / Farah Abdi Warsameh

I do not claim to be an Islamic scholar, my expertise with four earned degrees comes in the subjects of the nature of God, the problem of evil, theodicy, and to some extent, atheism in regard to the problem of evil.

Online sometimes I read certain critics, some of them atheistic, some not, that like to lump all religions together as if the choice is between being an atheist and intelligent and a theist and an idiot. I should point out in my MPhil and PhD theses research I came across both intelligent atheists and theists.

Some of these more radical atheists and radical anti-religionists often to varying extents try to connect those like the Somali rebels and their radical Islamic law with someone like myself that is a Christian theologian, philosopher of religion and Biblical scholar.

Well, for both the non-believing critic and Christian reader, I will point out some differences. I am not going to compare all of Islam to all of Christianity. I realize not all Muslims act like these Somali rebels and not all Christians have my beliefs and actions.

Admitting we are both monotheists...

Here are some very non-exhaustive comparisons:

1. These Somali rebels are seeking to overthrow a present government and establish one based on their religious and political worldview.

'Al-Shabaab is waging a war against Somalia's government in an effort to impose a stricter form of Islamic law, or sharia...'

Romans 13: 1-6

Be Subject to Government

1Every (A)person is to be in (B)subjection to the governing authorities For (C)there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

3For (D)rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an (E)avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also (F)for conscience' sake.

6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

F.F. Bruce explains that according to Paul in Romans the state is given the divine ordinance to govern. Christian obedience is actually a way of serving God. Bruce (1985)(1996: 221).

Cranfield notes that pagan imperial state was still divinely appointed by the Biblical God in Paul's theology. Cranfield (1992: 322).

Mounce states similar (1995: 243-244), but acknowledges a government will sometimes overstep what is its 'rightful domain'. Mounce (1995: 244). He lists the religious disobedience of Peter and John in Act 4:19 as being proper. So, proper Christian worship, and the right to do so takes divine priority over the rule of the state.

My following of Romans 13 would rule out my involvement with a group and/or organized Christian military rebels to trying better establish Christian rules and laws within the Lower Mainland, BC, and Canada by force. This in my mind would not rule out participating in the lawful practice of democracy and government.

So...

The Somali rebels are religious and political militaristic revolutionaries.

My religious worldview in regard to propagation is non-militaristic.

Therefore:

The religious views are radically different on the subject of religion and government.

I reason that via Romans 13, I am to obey the state, in my case in Canada, which is secular, as long I am reasonably allowed to follow Biblical Christian standards.

A philosophical argument could be made that a state must maintain law and order in order for a Christian to justly obey it. And the Roman Empire was at times executing Christians and was still, in a sense, maintaining law and order and was therefore to be obeyed.

I would not completely eliminate the possibility that government in extreme cases could be so corrupt that it no longer maintained significant law and order and should not be obeyed.

So...

An establishment of stronger Islamic law and new government is a goal of the Somali rebels.

My religious view allows for civil disobedience only in extreme cases.

Therefore:

The religious views are radically different on the subject of religion and government.

2. I would not shoot or sanction the shooting of teenage girls or anyone simply they were supposedly spies.

They were the ages of 15 and 18, and so by international standards the 15 year old was a child and the other barely an adult. Even if a real crime was committed, which is VERY questionable, certainly it was not worthy of execution.

So...

The Somali rebels are interested in arbitrary and brutal political and religious punishment.

My religious worldview is interested in the protection and betterment of young teenage girls, adult or not.

Therefore:

The religious views are radically different in regard to human welfare.

3. I would not shoot or sanction the shooting of two young teenage girls because their religious views were different than mine.

Mark 12 and Matthew 22 both feature Jesus Christ commanding his followers to love God first and foremost, in modern terms all their spirit and mind, and other persons as much as self.

So...

The Somali rebels were not concerned with loving these teenage girls in a religious sense, and had a misguided sense of justice.

My religious view is attempting (and not succeeding perfectly) at the highest divinely inspired human forms of love and justice.

Therefore:

The views are radically different in regard to religious toleration.

Further:

It would seem that actually maintaining law and order, as in Romans 13, would be the only reason for me to perhaps to kill someone if an authorized officer of the state, either police or military, or like, was not immediately present to prevent loss of life.

BRUCE, F.F. (1985)(1996) Romans, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

CRANFIELD, C.E.B. (1992) Romans: A Shorter Commentary, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

MOUNCE, ROBERT H. (1995) The New American Commentary: Romans, Nashville, Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Bahá'u'lláh -- Announcement to Humanity


The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path and shut out itself from its glory.
This is the Day in which God's most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests. Happy are those whom the all-glorious Pen was moved to remember, and blessed are those men whose names, by virtue of Our inscrutable decree, We have preferred to conceal. Beseech ye the one true God to grant that all men may be graciously assisted to fulfil that which is acceptable in Our sight. Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh,