A Christian looks at the Baha’i Faith
The Baha’i Faith is a publication authored by Mary Perkins and Philip Hainsworth, and it is sent out to those inquiring into the Baha’i Faith. This article is a Christian reply to the claims contained in that publication. Our concern is that when recruiting persons into the Baha’i Faith, the claim is made that you can keep your Christianity and still be a Baha’i. They claim you can join your Christianity to their noble aims and all work together for world unity and peace. Christians, please consider carefully the following points:
Beliefs of the Baha’i Faith: oneness of humanity – How?
Page 39 of The Baha’i Faith quotes their prophet, Baha’u’llah, as saying, “We verily, have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on the earth”. The paragraph goes on to point out that “there is unity in diversity”, and “every group of people can find the highest possible expression of their own particular ideals and aspirations.” Page 40 goes on to state that “unity will not be imposed from above… but will evolve gradually in human consciousness”.
The Christian reply to the Above
The Bible teaches the establishment of God’s kingdom over the earth by divine intervention. Entrance into that Kingdom is by receiving Jesus Christ, the son of God, as personal saviour, (John 1:12). With that rebirth, we are transferred from the kingdom of Darkness to God’s kingdom � “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”. (Colossians 1:13-14) the kingdom over the earth will be heralded in by the Second Coming of Christ in power and glory. Christians should look to Christ, not human consciousness.
Manifestations of God
The Baha’i Faith teaches that there have been nine manifestations of God on the Earth, namely Krishna, Abraham, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. These messengers are referred to as “perfect and stainless souls”. (Ibid, page 40, 41). Baha’is go so far as to say that (God) “�hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified beings to be identical with the knowledge of his own self”. (Ibid, p.41)
To the Christian, this is blasphemy. Christ alone is unique and perfect. He is the only sinless one. Christ alone is the mediator between God and man. 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”.
There is none greater than Jesus Christ, who is Almighty God (Revelation 1:8). He alone is God incarnate, the only manifestation of the one God.
Statements of the Baha’i such as “Each time such a manifestation appears on earth, it is as if the spirit of all the former manifestations return with him”. (Ibid p.41). This smacks of Eastern reincarnation and border on the occult.
Christians are well warned in 2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached”.
Truly, the Baha’i Faith preaches another Jesus, and not the Jesus Christ of the Bible and Christianity. Remember Christians, if you have the right Jesus Christ you are right for eternity, but if you have the wrong Jesus Christ you are wrong for all eternity.
The Baha’i view of the Bible
The Baha’i Faith considers the scriptures of all world religions as sacred. They point out, however, that all religions go through the stages of both growth and decay. Page 42 of The Baha’i Faith goes on to say, “When the period of decay is reached, a new seed is planted in the hearts of mean by a new messenger and a new growth begins”. What they are really saying is that the Bible, and Jesus Christ, have decay and we must now turn to their prophet, Baha’u’llah and his writings. Christians, beware of those who would tamper with the eternal word found in the Bible. Psalm 119:89 says, “Forever, Oh Lord, your word is settled in heaven”.
The Baha’i view of the Hereafter
We quote here from The Baha’i Faith, page 47. “The soul, freed from the body much in the way that a captured bird is freed from a cage, will continue to progress and advance towards God. Our progress in the next world will depend on the efforts we have made here. Heaven and hell are not places, but states of being, given in nearness to God, and hell remoteness from Him. These states of being exist in this life as well as the life beyond”.
Here again The Baha’i Faith parts company drastically with Christianity. The above quotes not only allude to reincarnation and Eastern mysticism, but also of salvation by works, rather than grace.
The Christian view of the Hereafter
Christians do not progress towards God, based on their works, but go directly to be with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”ong>. Christian salvation is by grace and not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9 states “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.
Christians do good works, of course, but these are a result of the salvation, not a condition for it. Heaven and hell are real places to spend eternity, according to the Bible, not in this life, but at our literal deaths. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 25:46, “and these will go way into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”.
Denial of a literal devil In addition to denying this plain teaching of Jesus, the Baha’i’s also deny the devil, as do other cults. Jesus, however, believed in a literal devil, and spoke with him. Please read Matthew chapter four.
A history of the Baha’i Faith movement
Although the history of the Baha’i Faith movement does not concern us overly as Christians, still it is good to look at the claims through the eyes of their leaders. In the late 18th century, a devout Muslim set out on a search for the “Promised One”. In The Dawn Breakers, page 40, we find the description of this Promised One: “He is of a pure lineage, is of illustrious descent� he is endowed with innate knowledge� is free from bodily deficiency”. His host surprised the devout Muslim by saying, “Behold all these signs are manifest in me”. (Ibid, p.40). He also proclaimed, “Verily I say, I am the Bab, the gate of God. (The Baha’i Faith, p. 14). The Bab was to be a gate to peace and universal brotherhood, a forerunner of a greater messenger.
Could a Christian accept the Bab?
A Christian considering these claims in light of the Bible would have to reject the Bab, even as a messenger of the Promised One. To the Christian, Jesus Christ alone is of pure lineage, being born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23), and having God as his Father, being the only begotten from the Father (John 1:14). Jesus’ claims are exclusive and final. He is the “First and the Last”, (Revelation 1:17-18) allowing for no others to usurp his claims and supersede Him. Jesus is the only one who ever conquered death and walked out of His tomb, appearing to many witnesses, testifying to his power.
Bab’s claim to have innate knowledge is also contrary to the Bible, since “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”, (Proverbs 1:7). Bab did not know of the Lord of the Bible, nor fear Him, so a Christian would not accept spiritual knowledge from any source other than the Lord of Creation.
An interesting aside in this discussion is that it was foretold in the writings that this Bab would unasked reveal the difficulties (The Baha’i Faithp.14). However on the previous page in the Baha’i’s own account, it records, “HE ASKED his host to look at the paper”.
Check out the timeframe!
Another discrepancy is on page 15 of The Baha’i Faith, where Abraham is spoken of as triumphing “over the forces of Nimrod”. Abraham and Nimrod were not contemporaries in the Bible, and would have had difficulties fighting, since Abraham was born many generations after Nimrod, (see Genesis chapter 11). Christians: be careful of non-Christians quoting the Bible!
Exit Bab and Enter Baha’u’llah
The Bab’s ministry lasted six turbulent years, marked by persecution, bloodshed, and assassination by the Babis. How odd that a religion advocating peace had such violent members! Baha’u’llah was a follower of the Bab and used his wealth to help out the persecuted Babis. Soon he found himself placed in stocks and chains for his activities. While imprisoned, Baha’u’llah had a mystical experience which according to page 22 of The Baha’i Faith, “Taught him that he himself was the one whom God shall make manifest”. “The Holy One whose coming the Bab had foretold”.
Page 23 goes on to say that this was the real birth of the Baha’i revelation. Stripped of his wealth and exiled, Baha’u’llah travelled about, trying to avoid his jealous brother. There were two factions in the movement battling it out over the leadership of the group. The history of the Baha’i is one of turmoil. We are taught in the Bible to look at the fruits of a person or group to determine whether it is of God, (Matthew 7:15-20). The God of the Bible is a God of peace, not confusion, (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Exit Baha’u’llah and Enter ‘Abdu’l Baha
Baha’u’llah passed away in 1892, and in his will appointed his son as leader, even giving him the title “the Master” before his death.
Christians recognise only one master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus was addressed as Master. Jesus himself said “No one can serve two masters”, (Matthew 6:24).
Yet more Turmoil ‘Abdu’l Baha’s own family rode up again over his appointment and subjected him to persistent attacks. Christians suffered persecution in the early days, but not from each other! The Baha’i Faith clearly did not work even among its foundation members!
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ”, (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Are the Baha’i is really accepting of others?
Quoting from a tablet of ‘Abdu’l Baha we read, “and whatsoever people turneth away from this divine love – the revelation of the merciful – shalt err grievously, shalt fall into despair, and be utterly destroyed. That people shall be denied all refuge, shall become even as the vilest creatures of the earth, victims of degradation and shame”, (Ibid p.38).
Therefore we can only conclude that those rejecting the Baha’i Faith are considered vile, degraded, shameful and worthy of destruction. Indeed, this group is not what it seems. It is not all-loving and all-accepting of other faiths. That is just a ploy to attract the unwary. Once in, the follower is bound by many regulations and rules peculiar to the Baha’is. The follower finds himself in a cult misrepresenting Jesus Christ.
Page 45 of The Baha’i Faith contains these words: “Baha’u’llah does not wish anyone to accept this revelation blindly. He asks each individual to look into it for himself, to use his own eyes and ears, his own faculty of reasoning and to make up his own mind”.
Having accepted this invitation, I have examined to The Baha’i Faith from my Christian perspective and have found it misleading in its presentation. A Christian definitely cannot be a Baha’i, and neither can any Baha’i claim to be a Christian. So, make your choice today. Your eternity will depend on it!
Jesus Christ is Lord of all
Used by permission of MacGregor Ministries, PO Box 73, Balfour BC V0G 1C0 Canada To more fully understand the matters raised in this article, we recommend the following book: Unmasking the Baha’i Faith: an Impossible Oneness? These and other related resources may be found atwww.jubilee.org.nz/shop