A brief visit from Bob Arvay, former Baha’i, evangelical Christian.Posted: December 15, 2013
Up until a couple of years or so ago, I used to be a frequent poster on this group. After I found my continued discussion to be going in circles, I did as many of my online critics urged me to do, and “went away.” Time has passed, but my concern for Baha’is has not diminished. Indeed, unfolding events on the world scene have added more urgency to my fears for the role of Baha’is in the coming great deception of the anti-Christ.
For those who may wish to read some of my archived material, you can do so by typing in the word “arvay” in the “search this group” field on google’s talk.religion.bahai.
I did this, and began re-reading some of my old exchanges from 2002 onward, and developed a perspective that I did not have while “in the
The one thing that stands out the most is the continual, persistent, and unrelenting disingenuous arguments posed by my critics. Only now, in retrospect, can I appreciate how breathtakingly dishonest their responses were, and how deeply ingrained this cognitive disconnection is in their thinking.
For example, the question of the Guardianship is the most singular cause of fracturing in the Bahai Faith (BF). I have read many posts on this site concerning the varying points of view from the different factions of Bahais, and could never get answers to my most direct questions. Essentially, what I said was, among the Guardian’s crucial duties, was the appointment of a successor. Much Bahai teaching had been invested in the vital importance of this position, and the importance of succession was critical.
Then the Guardian died suddenly. A frantic search was made for any evidence that a successor had been appointed. Nothing. Then, the Hands of the Cause had a real crisis on their “hands.” If they could not find a solution, then the entire legitimacy of the BF as a divinely revealed religion was out the window. So they had to improvise after the fact. What they did was to declare the position of the Guardianship null and void. But on what authority? For many years, the guardianship had been touted as critical to the Administrative Order, and unlike in other religions, the AO was specifically designated by the founder of the faith. Inconsistencies and contradictions abounded.
It is ironic, then, that one of the primary institutions which was supposed to have ensured that the religion would never fracture, was in fact the very source of schism itself. Could a religion revealed by God be so embarrassingly inept?
Despite many, many posts on this subject, I never got a good answer to this, neither from the mainline Bahais (UHJ), nor the Mason-Remey faction, nor from Joel Marangella nor from the sans-Guardian Bahais, etc etc.
Everyone can patch up some of the defects in this matter, but nobody can float the boat.
There were other issues as well. The Bahais had told me in the 1960s that the Bahai teachings were not in conflict with the Bible. Yet, as I began reading the Bible, I found that the conflicts were pervasive, not only in minor details, but in the very broadest outlines. The Bible makes the clearest possible distinction between Jesus and the prophets Abraham and Moses, but the Bahais say that they were all equally manifestations of God. The more one reads the Bible, the more one strains to find any correlation at all between its teachings and those of the Bahai Faith. They are almost entirely mutually exclusive.
Finally, the discussions veered off into peripheral matters, primarily the centrality of Middle Eastern culture to the problem of terrorism.
I was accused of being off topic in these matters, but as I re-read the archives, I see that these subjects were natural transitions from the most direct Bahai teachings to the least direct.
These discussions became confrontational, I think, largely due to the fact that many of the bahais on this forum were not fully committed to some of the Bahai teachings (ironically, those with which evangelical Christians are most likely to agree with Bahais on).
For example, Bahai forbids abortion, yet many of my responders seemed in favor of it. What strikes me in reviewing the old posts is that these “pro-choice” Bahais refused to admit of any distinction between the execution of a convicted murderer after due process, and the killing of an innocent baby without due process. I could never get them to acknowledge that there is a difference.
Bahai teaches that men and women are equal, with which I agree, but then the Bahai teachings incorrectly portray men and women as two wings of a bird. The error in this teaching is that men and women are not mirror images of each other. We are complements of each other.
Unlike the wings of a bird, we are asymmetrical, having differing functions, interlocking, compensatory.
Again, the fact that the UHJ does not admit women as officers is extremely disconcerting to politically liberal bahais. But cognitive dissonance is the hallmark of the true believer. I know, because for a few years, I too made excuses for the ever-accumulating list of inherent inconsistencies in the BF.
But the greatest issue of them all, from my opinionated point of view, is that the Bahai faith prophesies a one world order that the Bible clearly demonstrates will FIRST be put into place by Satan, the anti- Christ, the Beast.
What this portends for Bahais is that, as the anti-Christ begins putting into place this world religion, this world economy, this trans- national government, is that Bahais will tend to see this as a validation of their beliefs, a fulfillment of their prophecies, and as a good thing.
Therein lies an enormously great danger for you, and the only defense you have against it is reliance on the shed blood of Jesus for your salvation. I beg each of you to ask Jesus to save your soul. He is all sufficient to meet your every need.