Light Shineth in Darkness (excerpts) - Udo Schaefer - 5 Para

..Baha'u'llah exhorts the believers to be "guided by wisdom" above all in their teaching work an to treat people with patience, friendliness and good-will: "If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfil its purpose, your object is attained. If anyone should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding." Epistle to Son of the Wolf Page 15. . (50:1)

To force people to the path of God is foolish and runs counter to the command of wisdom. Patience and understanding are indispensable and proselytizing is to be avoided as well as every undignified or ostentatious way of teaching the Cause. "O Son of Dust! The wise are they that speak not unless they obtain a hearing, even as the cup-bearer, who proffereth not his cup till he findeth a seeker." And just as He does not approve of the conduct of the "fearful" who seeks "to dissemble his faith", Baha'u'llah cannot "sanction the behaviour of the avowed believer that clamorously asserteth his allegiance to this Cause. Both should observe the dictates of wisdom, and strive diligently to serve the best interests of the Faith." (Gl ClxIII). .Gleanings Page clxiii. . (50:2)

Time and again Baha'u'llah urges the believers to respect those who wish to go their own way: "Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel, and whosoever desireth, let him choose the path to his Lord" we read.. "Should any man respond to thy call, lay bare before him the pearls of the wisdom of the Lord, thy God, which His Spirit hath sent down unto thee, and be thou of them that truly believe. And should any one reject thy offer, turn thou away from him, and put thy trust and confidence in the Lord, the God, the Lord of all worlds." (Gl Cxxix).. religious truth cannot be demonstrated like a mathematical rule. Therefore, if they are to become Baha'is, people should not be "converted", i.e. talked and pushed into the religion, nor should they be "awakened", i.e. manipulated in such a way that their critical judgment is befogged. Rather should they become acquainted with the message of Baha'u'llah and be taught the Baha'i teachings as long as they so desire. From then on it is their concern whether they decide to become Baha'is or not. Only when a person has made this decision of his own free-will is there a good chance that he will hold to it. .Gleanings Page clxiii. . (50:3)

Baha'u'llah warn his followers emphatically against engaging in vain disputes: "Rid thyself of all attachment to the vain allusions of men, and cast behind thy back the idle and subtle disputations of them that are veiled from God. Proclaim then, that which the Most Great Spirit will inspire thee to utter in the service of the Cause of thy Lord, that thou mayest stir up the souls of all men..." (Gl Cxxxix) And in another passage He says: "Beware lest ye contend with any one, nay, strive to make him aware of the truth with kindly manner and most convincing exhortation. If your hearer respond, he will have responded to his own behoof, and if not, turn ye away from him, and set your faces towards God's sacred Court, the seat of resplendent holiness." (Gl CxxvIII). .Gleanings Page clxiii. . (51:1)

The attitude of a true Baha'i, far from being that of arrogance and pride, is rather humility at the divine threshold: "Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should any one among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and good-will. Help him to see and recognize the truth, without esteeming yourself to be, in the least, superior to him, or to be possessed of greater endowments." (Gl V) And success does not justify a proud attitude either: "Should such a man ever succeed in influencing any one, this success should be attributed not to him, but rather to the influence of the words of God, as decreed by Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Wise. In the sight of God he is regarded as a lamp that imparteth its light, and yet is all the while being consumed within itself." (Gl CxxvIII). .Gleanings Page clxiii. . (51:2)

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