The Bahai Faith
In thousands upon thousands of locations around the world, the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith inspire individuals and communities as they work to improve their own lives and contribute to the advancement of civilization. Bahá’í beliefs address such essential themes as the oneness of God and religion, the oneness of humanity and freedom from prejudice, the inherent nobility of the human being, the progressive revelation of religious truth, the development of spiritual qualities, the integration of worship and service, the fundamental equality of the sexes, the harmony between religion and science, the centrality of justice to all human endeavours, the importance of education, and the dynamics of the relationships that are to bind together individuals, communities, and institutions as humanity advances towards its collective maturity.
The Bahá’í Faith began with the mission entrusted by God to two Divine Messengers—the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Today, the distinctive unity of the Faith They founded stems from explicit instructions given by Bahá’u’lláh that have assured the continuity of guidance following His passing. This line of succession, referred to as the Covenant, went from Bahá’u’lláh to His Son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and then from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to His grandson, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice, ordained by Bahá’u’lláh. A Bahá’í accepts the divine authority of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh and of these appointed successors.
Baptism – Baptism is mandatory, a visible demonstration of repentance and contrition. Christadelphians hold that baptism is the symbolic participation in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, resulting in forgiveness of sins.
Bible – The 66 books of the Bible are the inerrant, “inspired word of God.” Scripture is complete and sufficient for teaching the way to be saved.
Church – The word “ecclesia” is used by Christadelphians instead of church. A Greek word, it is usually translated “church” in English Bibles. It also means “a people called out.” Local churches are autonomous.
Clergy – Christadelphians have no paid clergy, nor is there a hierarchical structure in this religion. Elected male volunteers conduct services on a rotating basis. Christadelphians means “Brothers in Christ.” Members address each other as “Brother” and “Sister.”
Creed – Christadelphian beliefs adhere to no creeds; however they do have a list of 53 “Commandments of Christ,” most drawn from his words in Scripture but some from the Epistles.
Death – The soul is not immortal. The dead are in the “sleep of death,” a state of unconsciousness. Believers are resurrected at Christ’s second coming
Heaven, Hell – Heaven will be on a restored earth, with God reigning over his people, and Jerusalem as its capital. Hell does not exist. Amended Christadelphians believe the wicked are annihilated. Unamended Christadelphians believe those “in Christ” will be resurrected to eternal life while the rest will remain unconscious, in the grave.
Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is only a force of God in Christadelphian beliefs, because they deny the Trinity doctrine. He is not a distinct Person.
Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ is a man, Christadelphians say, not God. He was the Son of God and salvation requires acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior. Christadelphians believe that since Jesus died, he cannot be God, because God cannot die.
Satan – Christadelphians reject the doctrine of Satan as the source of evil. They believe God is the source of both good and evil (Isaiah 45:5-7).