World Religions – Bahá’í Faith

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Welcome to our first discussion on world religions. I hope that through this information we can come to a better understanding of the commonality and the differences in belief around the world. Through this understanding, I trust each of you can find new meaning in your life and a sense of how to better live with those around you.

As I mentioned previously, there are thousands of documented religions around the world. As this is not intended to be an academic study, I chose to select from the faiths that have the most adherents around the world. Ranked in order from most adherents down are my choices.

  • Christianity – 2.4 Billion
  • Islam – 1.9 Billion
  • Secular – 1.2 Billion
  • Hinduism – 1.2 Billion
  • Buddhism – 500 Million
  • Spiritism – 15 Million
  • Judaism – 14.7 Million
  • Bahá’í – 5 Million

A few comments about this list. The named categories are broad. We know that Christianity can be broken down into two large groups: Catholic and Protestant. Protestants can be broken down into hundreds of denominations. Likewise, we have recently seen in news reports that Islam is represented by various degrees of orthodoxy. Indeed, all religions, when examined closely, have variations in beliefs or in the degree of adherence.

You may also be wondering why Secular is listed among the religions. I believe it is valid because it represents a collection of beliefs. An atheist lives by a set of faith beliefs based on evidence just like anyone else. A very spiritual person may base some of their faith on personal, intangible experiences.

When we are done investigating each of these groups individually, we will attempt to identify common beliefs and differences.

Bahá’í Faith

While there are numerous religions that have adherents of roughly five million, Bahá’í is unique in that its followers around the world follow the same beliefs consistently. To those of you of the Bahá’í Faith, I wish to humbly apologize in advance if anything I say below misrepresents the faith. Should I do so, I would appreciate a comment to correct my misunderstanding.

The beliefs of Bahá’í are communicated to the world through “Manifestations of God”. These are humans who have been empowered to hear and share God’s message to humanity for a particular age. A partial list of these Manifestations includes: Adam, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad.

The first modern Manifestation who started Bahá’í is Husayn Ali, born in Iran in 1817. A subsequent Manifestation is Baháʼu’lláh who claimed the title in 1863. He wrote extensively from his enlightenment. This collection of writings is called The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, The Most Holy Book.

In the opening paragraphs he writes that God is humanity’s creator and reveals His laws to us. “They whom God has endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples.” [The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 2]

The following beliefs can be found at

Life of the Spirit: “… the purpose of our lives is to know God and to attain His presence.”

The Human Soul: “Every human being possesses an immortal, rational soul that passes through this world for a brief time and continues for eternity to advance towards God.”

Devotion: “Acts of devotion such as prayer, meditation, fasting, pilgrimage, and service to others are inherent to religious life. Through them, individuals and communities are able to continually reinforce the unique bond that exists between God and humanity.”

A Life of Generous Giving: “Just as a candle’s purpose is to provide light, the human soul was created to give generously. We fulfil our highest purpose in a life of service in which, with humility and detachment, we offer our time, energy, knowledge, and financial resources.”

Character and Conduct: “The cultivation of spiritual qualities in this world is inseparable from an ongoing refinement of our conduct in which our actions increasingly come to reflect the nobility and integrity with which every human being is endowed. Such spiritual qualities are not acquired through focusing on the self; they are developed in service to others.”

God and His Creation: “The Bahá’í Writings explain that the reality of God is beyond the understanding of any mortal mind, though we may find expressions of His attributes in every created thing. Throughout the ages, He has sent a succession of Divine Messengers, known as Manifestations of God, to educate and guide humanity, awakening in whole population’s capacities to contribute to the advancement of civilization to an extent never before possible.”

Revelation: “God, the Creator of the universe, is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-merciful.” This revelation comes through the Manifestations of God as described previously so that, “humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities have been cultivated.”

Nature: “The beauty, richness, and diversity of the natural world are all expressions of the attributes of God.”

An Ever-Advancing Civilization: “Humanity, having passed through the ages of infancy and childhood, now stands at the threshold of its collective maturity, the hallmark of which will be the unification of the human race in a global civilization.”

Universal Peace:  “The Bahá’í Writings are replete with references to universal peace—“the supreme goal of all mankind”—as well as explanations of the social principles with which this peace is associated. Among these principles are the independent search after truth; the oneness of the entire human race, which is the pivotal principle of the Bahá’í Faith; the abolition of all forms of prejudice; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of humankind is able to soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world tribunal for the adjudication of disputes between nations; and the confirmation of justice as the ruling principle in human affairs.”

Summary: The Bahá’í Faith believes in a creator God whose nature is beyond our understanding. This God reveals Himself to humanity through select individuals to teach humanity how to live productive, peaceful lives. Humans have been created as immortal souls who will eternally approach the presence of God. [I found no clear teaching to ensure ultimately being in God’s presence.] Our duty on earth is to appreciate the created nature surrounding us and to ever advance our civilization towards the goal of a worldwide community of peace. We live one material life before transitioning into eternity.

Please comment and let me know if I am presenting this information clearly enough for you. Remember, this blog is for you.

An Easter Message

The resurrection of Jesus tells all who believe that they will live with Him forever.

JD Rockel

Easter is the celebration of Jesus of Nazareth rising from the dead after his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman and Jewish leaders. The events leading up to his crucifixion are found in tightly packed narratives in the four Gospels of the Bible.

The trial of Jesus was an invention of charges, none of which could be proved true. When brought before the Roman governor Pilot and questioned, he did not find Jesus guilty of any crime. However, the Jewish religious leaders stirred up the crowd and they demanded the death of Jesus.

To appease the crowd, Pilot stood before them and washed his hands, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” The crowd replied, “His blood be on us and on our children!” While this was a statement of self-imposed guilt for them, it was also a prophetic statement soon to be fulfilled.

Throughout the Bible, blood had two primary meanings. First, it was clearly taught that the life of a creature is in the blood. We all know this. If we are badly injured we can bleed to death. No blood in the body means no life. Leviticus 17:14 says, “For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life.”

To emphasize the life-giving nature of blood, God forbade the eating of blood. God also showed that disobedience to His perfect nature would lead to death. After Adam and Eve sinned they were expelled from the garden so that they couldn’t eat from the Tree of Life and live forever. But God also showed them that He would continue to commune with them by offering the sacrifice of innocent animals.

Please understand these important points. 1) God loves every part of His creation, humans being the pinnacle. 2) God abhors disobedience (sin), not because He is a tyrant, but because His commands are the absolute best course for our lives. 3) God always had a plan for a sinless human to die on behalf of all sinful humans. 4) God provided a metaphor to foretell of the coming Savior.

The purposeful sacrifice of a perfect animal (without spot or blemish; the best of the herd) would be accepted by God as a temporary covering of a person’s sin. This allowed fellowship with God to be restored. But for permanent forgiveness, the full restoration to a sinless state in the eyes of God, the sacrifice would have to be a human who lived completely in line with God’s nature.

The only way to accomplish this was for God himself to become human through the person of His Son. Then Jesus, the Son of God, offered His own life as a substitute for all humanity. The word to describe what happens is atonement. To atone is to make reparation or supply satisfaction for doing wrong against someone. An archaic use of the word, which is still the Biblical meaning, is to bring from a state of enmity or opposition to a state of friendliness, toleration, or harmony. [“Atone.” Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2022.]

This brings us back to the Easter story. To fulfill the Old Testament promises that a Savior would be sent, God became a human being as Jesus of Nazareth. Living in obedience to God the Father, Jesus spread the message of redemption for three and a half years culminating in His bloody torture and death on a Roman cross. The shedding of Jesus’s blood is the atonement for our enmity with God.

While hanging on the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them”. The substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf offers full forgiveness for all sin, past, present, and future. The apostle John, who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus later wrote, “the blood of Jesus his [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin”. [1 John 1:7]

The statement of the Jewish crowd, “His blood be on us and on our children!”, was fulfilled in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. While they accepted immediate guilt for the death, Jesus offered forgiveness as He died. Those people who later recognized this were offered salvation from sin by the very blood they called out to Pilot for.

This atonement is for you too. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 6:23] The atonement was not free. But the forgiveness is offered freely by God to anyone who believes in the atoning death of Jesus.

But wait, Easter is about more than the death of Jesus. After being physically dead for three days, Jesus rose from the dead to declare to His understandably troubled disciples that His sacrifice was complete and accepted by the Father. The resurrection of Jesus tells all who believe that they will live with Him forever.

Remember how Adam and Eve were banished from the Tree of Life? In the last chapter of the Bible, we read that those who accept the gift of forgiveness from God “have the right to the tree of life”. We can live forever, face to face with God!

If you have questions regarding eternal life through Jesus, please email me at Your correspondence will remain confidential.

Biblical quotes taken from the English Standard Version; Copyright 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Bibles. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

What’s So Important About Religion?

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With the rise of modern and post-modern philosophies over the past two hundred years, a large percentage of the world population is either questioning or leaving a family religion. About 16% of the world’s population, 1.2 billion people, would be considered non-religious or secular. Those who grow up in primarily secular homes have no interest in religion. Some of these decisions stem from information learned in our schools where religion is considered historical, archaic and founded on myth. This leads many to believe “God is dead” and worse, He was never alive.

I trust that you, my readers, are open minded enough to as the question, “How long have these beliefs been around; where and why did they originate; and are they true or are they propaganda?” Perhaps the most important question embedded into the discussion of religion is, “Does absolute truth exist?”

We can break these questions down into several sections.

  • What is truth? Does absolute truth exist?
  • What is the big-picture history of religion?
  • Is religion related to the science of origins (where did we come from / how did we get here)?
  • Do all religions point to the same God?
  • Are there many gods or just one?
  • What are the major differences in the world’s religions? Do the differences matter?
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No doubt you have other questions and frankly, I could continue the list. But let me share some facts and figures that will frame the discussion. According to a 2020 website*, the number of active religions in the world is over 4,200. Most of these are classified as indigenous to peoples or traditional African beliefs. If we look at the number of adherents (believers / practitioners) of the world religions, five to seven come out on top.

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By investigating the major world religions, we will be able to see what is common and what is different in their beliefs. From this, we can build an understanding of how religion influences an adherent’s life. Next time I will present the world religions to be discussed and why I chose them.

Until then, please comment on what you would like to learn. What are your primary beliefs about religion? As I posted last time, this is your site. I want to research and provide information that is important to you.

* My source is from the Library of Congress archive of online material. The website <> is no longer in operation by this group. Please see <; if interested.

Another Blog on Religion?

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What are the two things one should never discuss at work? Politics and religion, of course. So, why would I want to jeopardize my blogging success by including a section on religion?

Simply put, there are certain important things everyone needs to know about world religions. Many websites offer in-depth teaching on each of the world’s religions. And many websites offer reasons why a belief in a god is stupid.

My desire is to share my experience from 50 plus years of learning. Yes, I have specific beliefs that I will share with you. To the best of my ability, I will justify and document these beliefs. I will let you know when I am presenting opinions and conjectures.

If you don’t believe in any god, I invite you to return and learn. There are gods out there. Sometimes we get to see them, but they usually stay hidden. I bet I’ve piqued your interest. Check back soon.