Friday, August 1, 2008

Invite the hearer to join a core activity or fireside

It occurred to me that while presenting the Faith through "Anna's presentation" I could focus my intention on involving the listener in one of the core activities (be it a devotional meeting, study circle, or children's-/junior youth class) or a fireside--perhaps, instead of inviting the person to declare his faith directly. Here in Norway especially, given the high level of skepticism to and negative (historically motivated) perceptions about organized religion. this may be a wise approach. Besides, by participating in these activities the person is actually doing the Baha'i work of building a new civilization, and is thus, in a sense, a "Baha'i" believer!

Whosoever works for unity and fellowship is a servant of Bahá'u'lláh, and Bahá'u'lláh is his assistant and helper.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, PUP p. 324

Whosoever is lacking in love for humanity or manifests hatred and bigotry toward any part of it violates the foundation and source of his own belief and is holding to forms and imitations. Jesus Christ declares that the sun rises upon the evil and the good, and the rain descends upon the just and the unjust--upon all humanity alike. Christ was a divine mercy which shone upon all mankind, the medium for the descent of the bounty of God, and the bounty of God is transcendent, unrestricted, universal.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, PUP p. 41

If men followed the Holy Counsels and the Teachings of the Prophets, if Divine Light shone in all hearts and men were really religious, we should soon see peace on earth and the Kingdom of God among men. The laws of God may be likened unto the soul and material progress unto the body. If the body was not animated by the soul, it would cease to exist. It is my earnest prayer that spirituality may ever grow and increase in the world, so that customs may become enlightened and peace and concord may be established.

'Abdu'l-Bahá, PT p. 108

The children of men are all brothers, and the prerequisites of brotherhood are manifold. Among them is that one should wish for one’s brother that which one wisheth for oneself. Therefore, it behoveth him who is the recipient of an inward or outward gift or who partaketh of the bread of heaven to inform and invite his friends with the utmost love and kindness. If they respond favourably, his object is attained; otherwise he should leave them to themselves without contending with them or uttering a word that would cause the least sadness. This is the undoubted truth, and aught else is unworthy and unbecoming.

Bahá’u’lláh, ToU 41

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