I also wish you and your family a Happy New Year. And while I also enjoy corresponding with you, I feel bad that I am unable because of my schedule to answer you as quickly as I’d like to. So, I’m sorry I’m have not been able to reply.
Also, I’m going to try a new communication technique. Below is a copy of the main portion of your last email and I’m going to respond briefly to your comments as I read them (between the lines in bold) . I may be a little blunt, but I want to make sure I understand you correctly. Let me know which specific points you would like me to respond to in more detail, than I already have. This should speed things up. Then I will respond in the next couple days after I look over the Bahá’í writings . OK!
In His Service — Vin
Saturday, January 10, 2004 5:32 PM
“Are you sure you are not really a Bahai?”
Well, I guess I am not!! We are so close. Really close. (True)
Let me thank you for your writings. I am enjoying them very much. Please keep up the good work! I feel free to write to you and give my comments. Please let me know if this bothers you or simply stop responding! (This exchange of ideas doesn’t bother me, I also like it, but it is just very challenging) On my side, I like very much such exchange of ideas.
As for your answer: “Having my children become Bahais would make me happy as a father.” Honestly said!
However, you seem to have taken part for whole. What is the main fruit of Bahai? What is Bahaullah’s mission? Isn’t it love, kindness, help others, and peace? (Yes, it’s all those things, to lay a firm basis for Unity throughout the whole world, and to help us to better know God and adore Him) If the answer is yes, I have good news for you! Your children are already Bahais if they have these elements even though they are not aware of this fact and even if they are not registered as Bahais. (Your absolutely right, but I would like them to be spiritually closer to God through Bah á ‘u’ll á h His Manifestation .)
We have accepted to take the fruit and water. On this, both of us are on the same side. Right? So, please look for the light and let your children taste the light instead of having them focus on lamps. ( Bahá’í s don’t focus on the lamp – Bahá’u’lláh , we focus on the light – God, which must come through the lamp)
As for my children, they will make me happy (as their father) if they have the above-mentioned elements; no matter if they are Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Bahai, or even without any particular religion. I am happy with them for they have the main fruit of all religions without even knowing or being a part of them. (But those elements originally came from God’s previous Manifestations. Don’t these things need to be supplemented? If Jesus didn’t follow Moses, we would still be cutting off hands of the people who steal things.) Otherwise, I am gathering troops for my congregation or religion! (I’m not sure I understand what are you saying hear? Are you starting a Religion?) Don’t you think what makes you happy (according to what you said) is the goal of every religious person? (Yes) Most children are the followers of their parents willy-nilly.
I am grateful for your answer on recognizing the new Manifestation. This is a wonderful key you have in your hands. Although I totally agree with you, I need to add a brief note to your sayings. Opinions of one source match and people of one source recognize each other. In banks, the personnel are not shown and are not taught all kinds of fake money. All they learn is to know the true money. Once they know the true money they can easily identify the fake ones. Am I right? (You’re right)
I do not want to impose my ideas on you. However, I am given the responsibility to speak the truth even if it will bother or disappoint others. (I feel the same way) By this, I do not really mean you since we already seem to have a lot in common. As a man of wisdom and of God, can you find elements in The Reminded Way based on which you can vote for the unreliability of this message? (Yes, there is one point we disagree on, where you say you don’t need a Manifestation to know God. The Bahá’í viewpoint is that the Manifestations are necessary, which I tried to explain when I talked about the relationship between God, the Manifestations and Humankind in my last email)
The more you explain the Bahai Faith to me, the more I know that the essence of both of us is originally from one source and the closer I find myself to you. This is wonderful. (Yes it is) We are saying the same without knowing each other before. We have lots of things in common. (True)
One of the most remarkable aspects in The Reminded Way, however, is that since people have come to know God through the former revelations, they are in the position of having direct link and fellowship with Him. (Since you say we “have come to know God through the former revelations “, why should we stop now? Shouldn’t we get to Know God better through Bah á ‘u’ll á h, the mediator that is needed between Man and God) The Reminded Way is putting the light into people’s heart, which in turn limits the misleading abuses done by some worldly characters in history. People do not need to be part of one special religion to be saved. There is no monopoly. You could live in a very remote part of the world with no education, no capability of understanding theological philosophy, and no idea of different religions, yet be able of talking to God directly in your own words. (This is another point of disagreement. Remember you agreed with me when I said “that a painting cannot fully know the painter “or you could say “the finite cannot comprehend the Infinite”. If that’s true then how can they communicate.) Messengers have come for Unity not for Separation. Unity between man and God and Unity between man and man. (This is definately truwYou do not need to be well educated or to read a 500-page book, or to pass a written test to be saved. You needed to know the source (God) and now you know Him even if in your own words. The fruit is to love one another as Jesus has truly said. The fruit is to help others and do to others what you expect them to do it to you. (This is all true , but we still need guidance from above.) This is not important if you are Mohammedan, Mosaic, Bahai, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatsoever. Your neighbor could be of a different tribe and not necessarily a Samaritan. Is such neighbor merely the person who is living next door to you or it refers to people of different beliefs?
Why should we deny people salvation just because they do not belong to our movement? (Baha’is don’t believe in salvation because we don’t believe in sin and damnation) Who are we to have such a right? Who are we to assign, proclaim, and support such a monopolizing idea that God belongs to me only? (Maybe other Religions feel this way but Bahá’ís don’t)
Quite humbly, I invite you to examine the fruit of The Reminded Way to see if it bears good fruit or not. (It most surely bears good fruit) Could the Manifestation of whom Bahaullah talked about be a Message and not a person? Could The Reminded Way be the one Bahaullah encouraged people to receive and accept it? Could you find a bad fruit on this Tree? (No, but now we’re getting into another discussion, the difference between Inspiration and Revelation, which I will address later, because I’m not sure if you are saying that your message is a Revelation or an Inspiration from God?)
Respect God for all we have is His, but do not interrupt (!) Him by mere words. It is true that my children make me happy when they express their love to me. It is also true that, as their father, I am worthy of their love or praise (in wider meaning). On the other side however, this is also true that they disturb me if they just keep praising me when they are supposed to do their duty. God has already told the human being through the prophet Isaiah that He is tired of such wordy praises. But, man is either forgetful or thinks that the message is for somebody else not for him. Jesus has asked people to go to their home, close the door, and then pray to God. We know all this and we teach it all to the multitude of people in our gatherings. Yet, we do not follow it ourselves.
Everyday, I ask my son to practice his piano. Sometimes when he wants to escape from his duty, he comes to me and expresses too much love. His love, sometimes, distracts me from my work! He kisses me on and on. Of course his love pleases me. But, when I see the piano untouched I do get angry with him and give him some more pages to practice. This is my personal experience. (It is common for children to try and “butter up” their parents so they don’t have to do something. I had the same problem with my daughter. You have to be firm. I gave her a choice, either she did what she had to do or she would lose a privilege.)
I hope to hear from you again. Once more, happy New Year and may the One bless you. Amen.