Eric Stetson

Friday, 02 March 2018 09:33 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

I was introduced to the Baha’i faith during my first year in college, by my next-door neighbor in my dorm. I decided to believe in Baha’ism and join the organized Baha’i Faith after a few months of studying the religion and socializing with Baha’is.

Looking back, I would say that there were many details of Baha’i beliefs and practices that I wasn’t aware of when I joined, which if I had known about might have prevented me from joining their religious organization. It was the overall spirit of the Baha’is and their faith – the big picture view – that drew me in, and at that time I probably would not have even wanted to know anything about the Baha’i Faith that would have turned me off from it!

There were two things in particular that troubled me the most: first, that Baha’i Faith members overemphasize obedience to their religious institutions and believe the highest leadership organ of their religion is directly guided by God and infallible in all its decisions; and second, that they tend to have an unhealthy liking for bureaucracy and downplay the importance and benefits of individual free thought and activity. I strongly disagreed with the long-standing policy that all Baha’i scholars and writers must submit everything they write about the faith to a Baha’i “pre-publication review committee” for official approval. I was also frustrated by the fact that the Baha’i Faith organization prohibits its members from participating in politics, since political activism had previously been an interest of mine. After a few years, I decided to leave the Baha’i Faith for these reasons as well as others. I began to feel attracted to Jesus more than any other great historical religious leader, so I decided to become a Christian, got baptized, and joined the Assemblies of God church.

 

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