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Why and How I Became a Bahá’í: I have been a Bahá’í for almost 30 years. This is the most important decision I have ever made in my life. One may ask, Why and How I became a Bahá’í? These are both excellent questions. First, I will begin with Why.
Strong belief in God:As a child I had a strong belief in God and felt very close to Him. Unfortunately, my peers made fun of me for going to church and for that reason I quit going to church. My Mother is Roman Catholic but I was never baptized as a Catholic. It wasn’t until my late 20’s I rejoined the church again. I became a Christian while I was married through the Dutch Reform Church. I am not Dutch but my wife is. Becoming a Dutch Reform Christian was the beginning of my new life. I was elated to return back to God again.
Problem - why was there so many different religions? Even though I was elated to return to God, I had a problem that needed to be resolved. The problem was, why was there so many different religions and so many divisions within each of the religions? Could they all be wrong or false? These questions are important. Not only important but these questions must be unequivocally resolved. Lets be clear, we are talking about our souls.
Was I dancing with the devil? Now, I had another problem. As in many religions if not all, it is frowned upon to investigate and pursue other religions as potential replacement. Christianity is no different. After all, what is wrong with the religion one is in that one would need to investigate others? Simply in the Christian religion, it's believed all other religions that were created after Christ are false. I decided to pray and meditate on this problem; I knew I was possibly dancing with the devil by doing an investigation. However, I believed that God would assist me and would pull me back if I was going too far off track.
My investigation was painstaking and exhaustive:The religions I investigated were Bábism, Bahá’í Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. I read and studied each of their Holly Books and related literature. I attended their churches and mosques. I even took a Religious Studies course at University. During this period of time, I thought very seriously of becoming Buddhist at one point and later a Muslim. If I had not become a Bahá’í, I probably would have become a Muslim.
Investigation for truth:The most important part of this investigation was to arrive at the absolute truth. I had to discard all previous knowledge and beliefs of what I knew about religion. Within my heart and soul, I had to pray and meditated for the absolute truth, however painful, regardless of where its ends would meet.
Making a leap of faith to become a Bahá’í:Becoming a Baha’i was one of the most difficult times in my life. I had to leap from a paradigm of religious thought that condemned all other religions to a new paradigm that embraced all true religions as one. My main concern was, I thought that I would have to deny or abandon Christ to become a Bahá’í. I wrestled with that for months. However, that was not the case, I didn’t have to deny or abandon Christ at all. By making a leap of faith of becoming a Bahá’í, I embraced both Christ and Baha’u’llah as one and all true religions; Bábism and the Bahá’í Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism. I believe God assisted me throughout this investigation and inspired me to become a Bahá’í.
Progressive Revelation:The main reason I became a Bahá’í in the end was the underlining belief of Progressive Revelation. I finally made sense of the many different religions; with the core assertions being the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religion and the Oneness of Humanity. And more imporatantly, there are no divisions within the Bahá’í Faith, actually it's forbidden.
I am a Christian, Bahá’í, Buddhist, Hindus, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian: Although I am a Bahá’í, I still believe I am a Christian. I also believe I am a Buddhist, Hindus, Jewish, Muslim, Zoroastrian all under the umbrella of the Bahá’í Faith. After all, they are all part and parcel of one religion.
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