gOne Common Faithh Study Guide
"One Common Faith" calls on Baha'is to release the healing influence of religion from the ideas that have marginalized and encapsulated it.
Among these forces that have paralyzed its potentiality is the concept of materialism which 20th century man used to justify social experiments. Several problems of materialism are identified: 1) it narrows the scope of human understanding and 2) it has been unjustifiably self-confident. 3) It is unable to keep the spirit fed and 4) unable to nurture moral development.
Many people desire to turn to religion, but there has been so much confusion that many others turn away. The religions of the past have been weakened by contending theories, or by their claims to "beat the competitors" or by claims of some special position. Claims of some religions conflict with scientific discovery. Religion and science are two approaches to reality and need not be in conflict. All religions address certain common themes. As agents of personal development all religions of the past continue to be effective. But as agents of social development religions of the past are no longer helpful in the modern age (their authority has run out).
To release the power of religion as an agent of spiritual and social development, unity is required. The remedy is for all to recognize that this IS the Promised Day - the Revelation of Baha'u'llah is the spiritual genetic code of the rational soul guiding its coming of age. In other words, gThat which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith.h
Questions for discussion and study (The numbers correspond to the paragraphs).
1. Where is the evidence that humanity is receptive to the Faith?
2. What other gbeliefsh took place of religion during the 19-20th centuries?
3. How was the method of achieving happiness defined during the 20th century?
4. Where were the peoples who were less influenced by the waves of rationalism and materialism? How did they live?
5. Why was there religious boom?
6. What other booms came into being in quest for spirituality?
7. Where is the ground for speculating that the force of spirituality and religion will intensify?
8. Why did materialism and materialistic experiments fail to bring forth justice, peace and prosperity?
9. What is the erroneous conception of materialism?
10. Why did development end in failure and the disparity between the wealthy and the poor get worse?
11. What was the trap of consumerism?
12. What was the decisive factor which caused materialism to bring forth great calamity?
13. How did global integration change human life?
14. How did global integration weaken and change the erroneous conceptions of the past?
15. When did the concept of world citizenship begin to permeate among humankind?
16. How did global integration bring about universal commotion?
17. What has been the main force of spiritual development and civilization? Give some examples.
18. Why cannot traditional religions assume the central role of spiritual re-awakening?
19. Give some examples where traditional religions cannot offer adequate guidance in the contemporary world.
20. Why can global integration be a barrier to restoration of traditional religions?
21. What is another reason why traditional religions cannot serve as an ultimate guidance to todayfs humanity?
22. What is the fundamental error in the conceptions that exist in the current world order? How is it influencing the betterment of the world?
23. Today what is religion to many people?
24. Why does Bahafufllah say that it is an act of self-deception to specify the Essence of God?
25. Why making distinctions among Manifestations of God, submission to human perversity?
26. How can we acquire divine attributes through Godfs Revelation?
27. Give some examples where if the natural expression of faith is artificially blocked, objects of worthy are invented.
28. What does it mean that Godfs Revelation is progressive and ongoing?
29. What kind of attitude should we assume if we have grasped only a minute portion of the truths of the Revelation of Bahafufllah?
30. What is the recurring proof that God exists?
31. What are the common disputes against the idea that religion is one.
32. What are the causes of differences in religious customs and teachings?
33. Religious teachings concerning personal conduct do not change. What sort of phenomena does this fact cause?
34. What are the two roles of religion?
35. What does progressive revelation imply in relation to the coming of a new revelation?
36. What harms have been caused by religious interpretation by ecclesiastics? How does the Bahafii Faith deal with the question of interpretation of teachings?
37. Please explain the moral of the parable of wheats and tares.
38. Give some examples where revelation was paralyzed and interpretations that lost moral life appeared.
39. What is the common theme that penetrates the Scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam?
40. According to the Scriptures, what is the purpose of creation?
41. According to the Scriptures, what does the capacity to understand the purpose of creation depend upon?
42. According to the Scriptures, what can we know about Godfs Revelation?
43. What roles does science play in its relationship with religion?
44. What is the role of Godfs Manifestations?
45. Give some examples where religious teachings were taught in accordance with the stages of social development.
46. Briefly summarize the tests of early stages of Judaism and Islam and their later blossoming of civilizations.
47. Give some examples of gharsh punishmentsh from the past.
48. Give some examples of contemporary issues that were not dealt with directly by the past religions.
49. What kinds of problems ensue when we try to apply the teachings which were taught many centuries/thousand years ago to todayfs life? How about if we apply the same act to human development?
50. Give some examples of Bahafufllahfs principles which were rather ignored as mere ideals or unpractical during His time. Explain this with the historical background in view.
51. Many of such principles are now adopted by many social agencies. However, what is lacking?
52. How is what is lacking (see #51) provided for in the Bahafi community?
53. What is the proof which the Bahafi community can produce, which vindicates the legitimacy of Bahafufllahfs Revelation?
54. What is the force that enables us to achieve the goals listed by Bahafufllah?
55. How can we define the answer to #54? How do we secure it?
56. What is central to Bahafufllahfs mission? Provide some data regarding the background of the Bahafi community.
57. How were the achievements of the Bahafi community achieved?
58. The Bahafi Faith has maintained its unity despite occasional crises of schism and separation during the past 150 years of its history. Give some examples of such crises.
59. Give some examples of social evils. What lacks in the analysis of the majority of books and articles that deal with such evils?
60. What kinds of atrocities did the disunity of humanity open the door to?
61. How is evil defined? What are the prerequisites to unity? How can it be attained?
62. What is the act called that is the most destructive of all disobedient acts towards God? Define it and give some historical examples.
63. When does such act (answer to #62) come into being? What is the touchstone of the devotion to the will of God and to the well-being of humankind?
64. What can the Bahafi community prove to the world? What is a community of interest?
65. What can the world rightfully expect from the Bahafi community? How should the Bahafi community respond then?
66. What is the most effective response (to #65)? What is it? Explain it with some concrete examples.
67. What are the two concurrent enterprises of the Bahafi community, so to speak? What are the two things that seekers may need to broaden their horizon about?
68. What is gconversionh in a pure and ultimate sense?
69. What are the distinguishing features of the contemporary world?
70. That is the common goal mentioned I the Scriptures? Quote from them.
71. What were the two purposes of the prophetic revelations which lasted from Adam to Muhammad.
72. What is the fundamental difference between Bahafufllahfs Revelation and the human made political/ideological enterprises?
73. What is the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of the world?
So, what can YOU do today? Or when you go back to your community?