It was great hearing from you and I thank you for taking the time to look at the Bahá’í sites with an open mind. Think about it, if everyone in the world was as broadminded and understanding as you are, we wouldn’t have all these problems in the world today.
By the way, I will accept any questions you have, but whether I can answer them properly, is another story. As a Bahá’í , we have been taught to seek guidance from the Bahá’í writings. Our Holy Text comprises more than 100 volumes and Tablets revealed by Bah á ‘u’ll á h, and to this Revelation have been added extensive writings and interpretations by `Abdu’l-Bahá (Bah á ‘u’ll á h’s son) and Shoghi Effendi (The Guardian) as well as special messages from the Universal House of Justice (see “The Lesser Covenant” below). So, I will answer your question from what I know from the writings.
To help answer your question, please read the pdf attachment ” Who are the Bahá’ís “. It is my condensed version of what it means to be a Bahá’í . From your emails you’ve shown that you already have deep feelings about these principles . But the more you understand what it means to be a Bahá’í, the more you will know how the Bahá’ís will be able to accept the next new Manifestation of God.
You ask that if “by the year 3000, the majority of the people of the world believe and practice the Bahá’í faith, will the followers of Bah á ‘u’ll á h give up their current faith and join the new messenger? ” I am sure they will, because of the Bahá’í Covenant with God (see paragraph below); that the Bahá’í s believe they would not be giving up their Faith but expanding it to a new level.
At this point, I need to share with you the meaning of the Bahá’í Covenant. A Covenant is “an agreement between parties which binds them together and carries mutually recognized obligations”. For Bahá’í s there are two specific forms of covenant: 1) In the “The Greater Covenant” God has promised a succession of Manifestations. Bah á ‘u’ll á h taught that people, in response to this divine undertaking , have a twofold obligation towards God: they must recognize and accept the Manifestation when he comes, and obey and strive to put into practice the teachings which the manifestation gives. Bah á ‘u’ll á h said , “these twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other.” Bahá’ís would accept a new manifestation, because it would be fulfilling their spiritual obligations.
2) “The Lesser Covenant” which a Manifestation of God makes concerns his immediate successor to whom his followers should turn and obey, as per the appointment of the apostle Peter by Jesus, the Imam ‘Ali by Muhammed, and
Abdu'l-Bahá by Bah á 'u'll á h. In the case of Peter and 'Ali, their covenants of appointment were neither written nor sufficiently explicit for them to gain universal acceptance, with the result that both Christianity and Islam became splintered by contending sects. By contrast, the Bahá'í Lesser Covenant was both explicit and in written form. Thus Bah á 'u'll á h appointedAbdu’l-Bahá as center of his covenant in his Book of the Covenan t, and `Abdu’l-Bahá in his Will and Testament directed the Bahá’ís to follow Shoghi Effendi (his grandson), and at the same time made a promise of divine guidance and protection for the as yet unelected Universal House of Justice (the first election of the UHJ was in 1963 ). Through the Covenant doctrine the unity of the Bahá’í faith was assured and schism prevented.
I hope I was able to answer your question properly. Obviously, as a Bahá’í, I hope that before God sends the next Manifestation, we will have expanded spiritually more than a majority of the earths population, and we have matured enough and therefore are closer to Bah á ‘u’ll á h’s “The Most Great Peace”. (see below) I look forward to hearing from you again and I’ll be happy to answer any more questions you may have. Below are some more web sites that may be of interest to you.
In His Service —Vin
Thursday, December 11, 2003 9:10 PM
1) “Some Answered Questions” by `Abdu’l-Bahá, “The Necessity of Following the Teachings of the Divine Manifestations”, page 300 http://www.us.bahai.org/interactive/pdaFiles/saq.htm
2) In his book “The World Order of Bah á ‘u’ll á h “, Shoghi Effendi explains “The Most Great Peace” (What World Unity would look like), in “World Unity the Goal”, page 202. http://www.ibiblio.org/Bahai/Texts/EN/WOB/WOB-56.html
This is my question:
Bahaullah has mentioned that in different times, new messengers will come to bring new messages (the approximate interval is not important). Suppose that by the year 3000, the majority of the people of the world believe and practice Bahai faith. Then, a new messenger brings a new message at that time. Will the followers of Bahaullah give up their current faith and join the new messenger? Experience tells us that the answer is negative. We have tried for a thousand years to establish and spread this faith. Then, suddenly, we face a new belief that even Bahaullah had asked us to accept it. Will the followers of Bahaullah respect his instructions at that very moment? Can you imagine what will happen to this beautifully deep faith at that time? Can you see the resistance and the persecution that will come later, even if the founder of such belief of love, unity, and peace has started his mission by announcing a new messenger to come? You see, the problems do not come from the messengers. It is the followers of each messenger that violate the starting laws.
What I can say is that, quite unfortunately, the followers of each religion have made their leaders a barrier on the way of climbing to the top, behind whom people are struggling and killing each other instead of climbing towards the Most High. I feel deeply sorry that such highly spiritual gifts end in such kind of religious discriminations. (What we need is pure water no matter from what rock it may gush forth. What we seek is the light (God) not the lamp (Prophets sent from God).) Unfortunately, What we follow is our own worldly intention and desires not the instruction of the lamps of God.
That is a pity that we know but we do not do. That is painful that we see but we do not get lesson. That is selfish that we expect love but we do not love.
Sorry for writing this much. I would love to hear from you more. I am open to your views and ideas and I will, by all means, respect them.
Thank you again, and may the One bless you. Amen.