To most men who have not heard the message of this teaching, religion seems an outward form, a pretence, merely a seal of respectability. Some priests are in holy office for no other reason than to gain their living. They themselves do not believe in the religion they pretend to teach. Would these men lay down their lives for their faith? Ask a Christian of this kind to deny Christ in order to save his life, and he will do it.
Ask a Bahá’í to deny any of the great Prophets, to deny his faith or to deny Moses, Muḥammad or Christ, and he will say: I would rather die. So a Muḥammadan Bahá’í is a better Christian than many so called Christians.
A Bahá’í denies no religion; he accepts the Truth in all, and would die to uphold it. He loves all men as his brothers, of whatever class, of whatever race or nationality, of whatever creed or colour, whether good or bad, rich or poor, beautiful or hideous. He commits no violence; if he is struck he does not return the blow. He calls nothing bad, following the example of the Lord Bahá’u’lláh. As a safeguard against intemperance he does not drink wine or spirits. Bahá’u’lláh has said it is not good for a sane man to take that which will destroy his health and sense.
The religion of God has two aspects in this world. The spiritual (the real) and the formal (the outward). The formal side changes, as man changes from age to age. The spiritual side which is the Truth, never changes. The Prophets and Manifestations of God bring always the same teaching; at first men cling to the Truth but after a time they disfigure it. The Truth is distorted by man-made outward forms and material laws. The veil of substance and worldliness is drawn across the reality of Truth.
As Moses and Jesus brought their Message to the people, so Bahá’u’lláh brings the same Message.
Each time God sends a Great One to us we are given new life, but the Truth each Manifestation brings is the same. The Truth never changes but man’s vision changes. It is dulled and confused by the complication of outward forms. The Truth is easy to understand although the outward forms in which it is expressed bewilder the intelligence. As men grow they see the futility of man-made forms and despise them. Therefore many leave the churches, because the latter often emphasize the external only.
- STORIES OF 'ABDU'L-BAHA
- Radiant Acquiescence
- A TRUE BAHAI
- AN EXPERIENCE WITH 'ABDU'L BAHA
- Some Personal Characteristics of ABDU'L-BAHA
- Knowledge must result in Action
- True Spirituality
- The Pure Heart
- The Coming of Peace
- The True Bahá’í
- Woman’s Work
- A True Bahá’í
- Science and Faith
- Divine Manifestations
- SEEKERS AFTER GOD
- Man’s Comprehension of God and of Higher Worlds
- Divine Manifestations
- ▼ November (23)