July 6, 2015
The Stunningly Amazing Baha'i Faith
by: Matt Reinschmidt
The Baha'i Faith will not pull fast ones, take advantage of any situation, or engage in intrigue or gossip mongering in order to advance itself nor even to save itself. That whole Unity concept -- the Baha'i Faith really means it!
In all seriousness, what is it about any religion that makes any person want to be a part of it? Most Christians usually state that they go the Church that they attend because they feel like a part of the group or because people the already knew outside of it go there and so there is a vibrant social circle. Most Muslims attend the Mosque that they go to usually due to ancestors also attending it or if it is in the West most likely it's because there's no other choice. What about Baha'is?
Ours is an odd religion when compared to the "big 3" (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) because there is no clergy which means there's no one who's only job is to gather the patrons together and make sure things happen - all that is on all of us all the time. That may not sound like fun or even interesting but you have to ask yourself at some point just exactly why are the clergy in charge of everything in all other religions? Most people cannot answer that question with any sort of meaning besides the tradition-referencing "it's always been that way" answer - the few that answer saying Jesus or Mohammed created clergy would be very much mistaken as neither One of Them ever said anything about hordes of full time clergy being involved in Their religion at all. That would then, it would seem, lead to the next logical deduction: there's no divine spark or insight to be gotten from clergy because God never created them. Going even further, the true raison d'etre for clergy can be revealed: keeping one religion separate from and attempting to ensure dominance over any and all other sects or groups. The simple logic of an in-gathering by clergy to draw the "flock" away from everyone else and keep them in the designated pen is truly a matter of separation and also control.
This is what is so stunningly amazing and brilliant and almost scary about the Baha'i Faith: it actively and energetically strides to completely avoid and oppose the notion of one group of people needing to maintain their separation or distinction from all others and denies anyone the ability to claim that the only way to access God's Love and Mercy is through a mortal intermediary with made-up titles and powers. The extreme steps the Baha'i Faith will take - including setting itself at financial or situational disadvantage if it means not causing separation. This is the complete opposite example to what we see everywhere else in the world today: political parties at each other's throats to convince the public that the other side is horrid rotten and evil; religious groups vieing with each other for societal power or control through false references to things God never actually said. No, the Baha'i Faith is awe-inspiring it how in a living, breathing and vibrant way it shuns anything that results in one group being excluded for the sake of it's own advancement or influence.
The setting of one side against another, one human against another, and made-up concepts like the so-called "exclusivity of truth" result in you getting a corrupted, even soiled religious experience that is really just the same in terms of function as belonging to a major political party - and is devoid of any true spirituality. None of that is what God or Jesus intended and They for sure never said any such things. What strikes me is that a religious group that refuses to wrest power over society and will hurt it's own best interest to avoid any exclusivity or separation within society in order to promote that same best interest looks a lot more like what God said He would bring to the world and that God does not care about money or power but instead the hearts and minds of the people. Now that is stunningly amazing.
And don't forget, when there were but a few hundred Christians in Rome multiple tens of thousands of citizens would attend the Gladiator matches and chariot races at the Colosseum and Forum; and when the Roman Governor asked the mob of thousands in Jerusalem, they all roared "Barabas" and not Jesus. The common thing here is that both groups implicitly assumed that more numbers means more essential truth. Obviously, neither of them were right about that. In fact the group with the huge numbers supposedly possessed of group authority in both cases turned out to be violating almost every religious law there was for the sake of their own entertainment and comfy social norms.