It’s a Miracle!

its-a-miracle.jpg

cartoon credit: Sinfest.net

“But in the day of the Manifestation the people with insight see that all the conditions of the Manifestation are miracles, for They are superior to all others, and this alone is an absolute miracle. Recollect that Christ, solitary and alone, without a helper or protector, without armies and legions, and under the greatest oppression, uplifted the standard of God before all the people of the world, and withstood them, and finally conquered all, although outwardly He was crucified. Now this is a veritable miracle which can never be denied.”
Some Answered Questions
Abdu’l-Baha

  • Anonymous

    This would indeed be miraculous if it was Jesus who was responsible for the spread of Christianity. But it wasn’t. That dubious honour belongs to the combined efforts of Constantine and the Holy Roman empire, European imperialism generally, and then English imperialism specifically.

    Were it not for the malevolent and violently enforced cultural hegemony of those powers, Christianity would have been just another forgotten sect of Judaism, lost in the deserts of Israel. Possibly some manuscripts would be discovered by a Bedouin goat herder, but only archaeologists would have cared.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    This would indeed be miraculous if it was Jesus who was responsible for the spread of Christianity. But it wasn’t. That dubious honour belongs to the combined efforts of Constantine and the Holy Roman empire, European imperialism generally, and then English imperialism specifically.

    Were it not for the malevolent and violently enforced cultural hegemony of those powers, Christianity would have been just another forgotten sect of Judaism, lost in the deserts of Israel. Possibly some manuscripts would be discovered by a Bedouin goat herder, but only archaeologists would have cared.

  • Alex

    “the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me”

    “as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do”

    “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”

    “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

  • Alex

    “the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me”

    “as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do”

    “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”

    “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

  • concourse_on_low

    Manauel,

    Prior to Constantine’s â€?conversion,â€? Christianity was just another small sect among many others in the Roman world, particularly the Roman Levant. It was viewed as a “Silly New Age Cult” in its first couple of centuries, so your comparison is facile.

    “If one thinks rationally at the ’spread’ and establishment of Chritianity one can not help but realize something awe inspiring and miraculous took place during Christ’s life that can never be emulated.”

    You and Abdul Baha, then, are in agreement, save that you don’t share the belief that the spread of other religions was also miraculous.

    Notwithstanding that difference, you’re both ultimately wrong.

    The supposedly miraculous spread of Christianity occured (once you actually look at it rationally) because it availed itself of the state’s monopoly on power and coercion, as Mavaddat pointed out earlier.

    Religions expand and spread and become international through state adoption and forced imposition. There’s nothing miraculous about it. For example, without the Indian emperor Asoka’s converstion to Buddhism the religion would never have spread throughtout Asia. Baha’u’llah understood this, and that’s why he wrote several tablets praising any king who would convert and defend and spread his religion.

    Christianity faced strong competition from rival philosophies and religions from the third to sixth centuries, such as Manichaeism, Mazdakism and Neo-Platonism. But none of these expanded and spread in the same way as Christianity inasmuch as none of them were ever partnered with a particular state, or enjoyed the luxury of state patronage.

  • concourse_on_low

    Manauel,

    Prior to Constantine’s â€?conversion,â€? Christianity was just another small sect among many others in the Roman world, particularly the Roman Levant. It was viewed as a “Silly New Age Cult” in its first couple of centuries, so your comparison is facile.

    “If one thinks rationally at the ’spread’ and establishment of Chritianity one can not help but realize something awe inspiring and miraculous took place during Christ’s life that can never be emulated.”

    You and Abdul Baha, then, are in agreement, save that you don’t share the belief that the spread of other religions was also miraculous.

    Notwithstanding that difference, you’re both ultimately wrong.

    The supposedly miraculous spread of Christianity occured (once you actually look at it rationally) because it availed itself of the state’s monopoly on power and coercion, as Mavaddat pointed out earlier.

    Religions expand and spread and become international through state adoption and forced imposition. There’s nothing miraculous about it. For example, without the Indian emperor Asoka’s converstion to Buddhism the religion would never have spread throughtout Asia. Baha’u’llah understood this, and that’s why he wrote several tablets praising any king who would convert and defend and spread his religion.

    Christianity faced strong competition from rival philosophies and religions from the third to sixth centuries, such as Manichaeism, Mazdakism and Neo-Platonism. But none of these expanded and spread in the same way as Christianity inasmuch as none of them were ever partnered with a particular state, or enjoyed the luxury of state patronage.

  • Anonymous

    Manauel wrote,

    If one thinks rationally at the ’spread’ and establishment of Chritianity [sic] one can not help but realize something awe inspiring and miraculous took place during Christ’s life that can never be emulated.

    Although there’s certainly nothing miraculous about the spread of Christianity for those familiar with its history, we can nevertheless admit that its spread was indeed “awe inspiring” — as much as any catastrophic natural disaster, but even more so.

    And it is also probably true that such a spread as Christianity experienced could not happen today. This is because international human rights did not exist during the era of Christianity dominion at the edge of a sword and the barrel of a gun. There are simply fewer methods for the Christian powers to coerce others to submit to their myth today. For example, wholesale genocide is no longer as available to the Christian as it was several hundred years ago.

    Where I must object, however, is with your explanation of why Christianity spread. As compelling as your “God dun it” argument is to all of us, I fear that it may be too good an explanation, since there is not a single phenomenon that does not admit of the “God dun it” explanation. Thus, this sort of explanation is really just vacuous and trivial at best. For example, I can say the reason why Caesar crossed the river Rubicon was because God made him. Or the reason why Ghengis Khan killed thousands of Chinese was because God made him. See? This kind of explanation is supremely facile and belongs to humanity’s more childish years, where we had to invoke Gods to explain why it wasn’t raining when we wanted it to.

    So I think that rather than satiating ourselves with easy answers, we’ll be able get a far better grasp on the truth if we stick to actual history and facts.

    Cheers!

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Manauel wrote,

    If one thinks rationally at the ’spread’ and establishment of Chritianity [sic] one can not help but realize something awe inspiring and miraculous took place during Christ’s life that can never be emulated.

    Although there’s certainly nothing miraculous about the spread of Christianity for those familiar with its history, we can nevertheless admit that its spread was indeed “awe inspiring” — as much as any catastrophic natural disaster, but even more so.

    And it is also probably true that such a spread as Christianity experienced could not happen today. This is because international human rights did not exist during the era of Christianity dominion at the edge of a sword and the barrel of a gun. There are simply fewer methods for the Christian powers to coerce others to submit to their myth today. For example, wholesale genocide is no longer as available to the Christian as it was several hundred years ago.

    Where I must object, however, is with your explanation of why Christianity spread. As compelling as your “God dun it” argument is to all of us, I fear that it may be too good an explanation, since there is not a single phenomenon that does not admit of the “God dun it” explanation. Thus, this sort of explanation is really just vacuous and trivial at best. For example, I can say the reason why Caesar crossed the river Rubicon was because God made him. Or the reason why Ghengis Khan killed thousands of Chinese was because God made him. See? This kind of explanation is supremely facile and belongs to humanity’s more childish years, where we had to invoke Gods to explain why it wasn’t raining when we wanted it to.

    So I think that rather than satiating ourselves with easy answers, we’ll be able get a far better grasp on the truth if we stick to actual history and facts.

    Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    Manauel, I’m getting the feeling that you think Bah??’?­s are silly. Please tell me if I’m off base here.

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Manauel, I’m getting the feeling that you think Bah??’?­s are silly. Please tell me if I’m off base here.

  • Anonymous

    Eileen, good points! I cannot think of a post-scientific revolution religion (after the 18th century) that has really thrived the way that olde timey religions did. Anyone?

  • http://mavaddat.livejournal.com Mavaddat

    Eileen, good points! I cannot think of a post-scientific revolution religion (after the 18th century) that has really thrived the way that olde timey religions did. Anyone?

  • concourse_on_low

    Manauel,

    I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the things that you’ve said about the Bahai Faith, but I don’t understand how you can accept Christianity as sensible and reject Bahai as silly and remain consistent. It seems mostly that you’re unimpressed with the Bahai Faith’s lack of growth as compared to that of early Christianity.

  • concourse_on_low

    Manauel,

    I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the things that you’ve said about the Bahai Faith, but I don’t understand how you can accept Christianity as sensible and reject Bahai as silly and remain consistent. It seems mostly that you’re unimpressed with the Bahai Faith’s lack of growth as compared to that of early Christianity.

  • Andrew

    ‘Prior to Constantine’s â€?conversion,â€? Christianity was just another small sect among many others in the Roman world, particularly the Roman Levant. It was viewed as a â€?Silly New Age Cultâ€? in its first couple of centuries, so your comparison is facile.’

    This is not strictly correct. Read ‘To Set the Captives Free: Liberation Theology in Canada’ by Oscar Cole-Arnal for a historical repudiation of this idea as well as for an account of the extensive persecutions of the early Christian communities in the Roman Empire. As Dave Hill and Mike Cole have written in their book ‘Promoting Equality in Secondary Schools,’

    ‘Christianity has been used to sanction the dominant culture since the fourth century when the Emperor Constantine appropriated Christianity to serve his political ends. Paradoxically, however, central Christian doctrines present a belief in God as incarnate in a Person who identified with those on the margins of society, with the poor, the despised and the dispossessed. This Person rejected all attempts to invest him with political power but was arrested, humiliated, flogged and put to death by torture by the ruling powers. As a result, many Christians have experienced Christ as the embodiment of the struggle against inequality and injustice. This inherent paradox in the Christian tradition is one of the reasons for its remarkable diversity. It is therefore important that RE teachers resist the pressure, applied by right-wing politicians, to use the teaching of Christianity as an aspect of dominant discourse. In order to present an accurate and educationally valid understanding of the Christian tradition it must be shown as a world religion which embraces a wide diversity of “race,” class, culture, sexuality and ethnic identity. Likewise, British Christianity should not be presented, exclusively, as a white, middle-class phenomenon.’

    I should also like to add that any comparison between the growth and development of the Christian faith in the first two centuries of its existence and the growth and development of the Baha’i faith since its inception in 1844 is apt to be analogously inappropriate; the world was an entirely different place two thousand years ago. There was, for example, no internet at that time. We now live in the highly mobile, constantly changing information age, something which does not augur well for religions that require their practitioners to place a high premium on conformity, compliance, obedience and orthodoxy. The writing is on the wall, and it isn’t written in invisible ink. My prediction: the Baha’i faith will experience exponentially negative growth in the future and will ultimately drop out of contention as a world religion. As a body falls, its impetus accumulates negatively.

  • Andrew

    ‘Prior to Constantine’s â€?conversion,â€? Christianity was just another small sect among many others in the Roman world, particularly the Roman Levant. It was viewed as a â€?Silly New Age Cultâ€? in its first couple of centuries, so your comparison is facile.’

    This is not strictly correct. Read ‘To Set the Captives Free: Liberation Theology in Canada’ by Oscar Cole-Arnal for a historical repudiation of this idea as well as for an account of the extensive persecutions of the early Christian communities in the Roman Empire. As Dave Hill and Mike Cole have written in their book ‘Promoting Equality in Secondary Schools,’

    ‘Christianity has been used to sanction the dominant culture since the fourth century when the Emperor Constantine appropriated Christianity to serve his political ends. Paradoxically, however, central Christian doctrines present a belief in God as incarnate in a Person who identified with those on the margins of society, with the poor, the despised and the dispossessed. This Person rejected all attempts to invest him with political power but was arrested, humiliated, flogged and put to death by torture by the ruling powers. As a result, many Christians have experienced Christ as the embodiment of the struggle against inequality and injustice. This inherent paradox in the Christian tradition is one of the reasons for its remarkable diversity. It is therefore important that RE teachers resist the pressure, applied by right-wing politicians, to use the teaching of Christianity as an aspect of dominant discourse. In order to present an accurate and educationally valid understanding of the Christian tradition it must be shown as a world religion which embraces a wide diversity of “race,” class, culture, sexuality and ethnic identity. Likewise, British Christianity should not be presented, exclusively, as a white, middle-class phenomenon.’

    I should also like to add that any comparison between the growth and development of the Christian faith in the first two centuries of its existence and the growth and development of the Baha’i faith since its inception in 1844 is apt to be analogously inappropriate; the world was an entirely different place two thousand years ago. There was, for example, no internet at that time. We now live in the highly mobile, constantly changing information age, something which does not augur well for religions that require their practitioners to place a high premium on conformity, compliance, obedience and orthodoxy. The writing is on the wall, and it isn’t written in invisible ink. My prediction: the Baha’i faith will experience exponentially negative growth in the future and will ultimately drop out of contention as a world religion. As a body falls, its impetus accumulates negatively.

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    true true true

  • http://www.letters-of-the-living.blogspot.com Amanda

    true true true