Introduction to World Issues/Religion
Comparing World Religions
Definition of Religion
Religion is the practice of manifesting the inner reality in the visible world. This practice is universally believed to produce justice and peace based on love, causing unity and harmony. Various individual and collective techniques combine to produce these outcomes, such as prayer and mediation, or group consultation and action. The essence of religion is to testify to a guiding reality that transcends human limitations. Like science, religion represents a door to the common truth of our existence, making its exploration equally essential to human well-being.
Religions of the World
The Bahai Faith teaches the oneness of religion - that truth is one. The evolution and development of human societies over time necessitates continuous renewal of religious law.
An ever-unfolding divine flow of guidance comes from God to humanity through the progressive line of Educators known by different names (Adam, Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammad, Bab, Baha'u'llah) but identical in station. The mission of each Educator is to propel people from one level of development to the next, raising humanity as a parent raises a child. The method of this intervention is the founding of a new religion, bringing us Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddism, Islam, and most recently the Bahai Faith. Thus, Baha'u'llah states, "This is the changless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future." (1) This process of progressive revelation is without end - one divine Educator follows another about every 1000 years. Following Baha'u'llah, the next Educator will appear sometime after 2900 A.D. Educators do not come in a linear line, but in cycles. These cycles are both inaugurated (Adam) and sealed (Mohammad) by an Educator, only to usher in a new cycle all together (Bab and Baha'u'llah) for the next monumentuous stage in humanities collective development. Human history, then, is defined by the coming of each Educator when time essentially begins anew giving us our respective calendars. The Adamic cycle lasted for 6000 years. We have now entered the cycle of Baha'u'llah or the Bahai cycle or cycle of glory - the chosen time for establishing universal peace on earth. Baha'u'llah taught that this cycle will extend for 500,000 years into the future and we may witness hundreds, if not thousands of future Educators.(2) We are all in the same religion, just at different stages in its unfoldment. There is no old or new religion, but rather eternal, everlasting connection to God through the Covenant - the promise of continuous love and guidance directly given through everlasting Educators and our reciprical obedience to Their higher law. The tie of love and obedience between humanity and God, through the Educator, ensures collective salvation of the human race.
"All men have been created to carry forward and ever-advancing civilization." (3) - Baha'u'llah
(1) Baha'u'llah. Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pg. 136 - 137. Online: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-70.html
(2) Effendi, Shoghi. God Passes By, pg. 100. Online: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/GPB/gpb-7.html#pg100
(3) Baha'u'llah. Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pg. 214 - 215. Online: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-109.html#pg215
Some people think they're better than others, just based on their religion. A religion can surely change one's attitude and outlook on life, but it should be for the better. There is nothing good about a person who thinks so highly of themself and puts down others because they do not own up to their standards. GET OVER YOURSELF!