“Blessed are the just souls who seek the truth.” ~ Abdu’l-Baha
For Baha’is, there are teachings and laws on countless subjects that can potentially affect every aspect of our lives. So there is doubtless going to be some teachings that people of various cultures and social backgrounds may find difficult to accept. For many, the teachings in the Baha’i Faith about homosexual relations are seen as backward or overly restrictive. Others have trouble with the fact that Baha’is do not drink alcohol, or are forbidden from gambling. They may think that they have control over these habits, and therefore they wonder what harm can come from them?
Baha’is believe everyone must follow their heart. To those who cannot get over one or two of the Baha’i teachings or laws that may conflict with their predetermined notions; Baha’is can suggest prayer and meditation on the subject. They can suggest that you ask yourself if you are willing to accept the Baha’i Faith because of the bigger picture, because you believe this Faith is of God, and because you want to be part of something that is truly changing the world for the better. They can suggest that you ask God to explain these difficult teachings to you over time, and that, knowing what you know about all the other aspects of this Faith, you might give Baha’u’llah the benefit of the doubt. But to be clear, this is not out of blind faith! It is rather out of an honest admission that Baha’u’llah, if He is truly inspired by the Almighty, might know more than we do. The analogy of a mathematician is useful here. A person does not become a mathematician because he has solved every equation. A person becomes a mathematician because he loves the challenges of solving problems. So perhaps there are questions you cannot resolve today, but that you will resolve in the future. As Abdu’l-Baha promised, with time we gain new understandings. “The more a man seeketh light from the Sun of Truth, the nearer he will draw.” (Abdu’l-Baha, TA, p. 204). Perhaps there is wisdom in the equality of men and women, in the elimination of racism, or in forbidding homosexual relations that we cannot appreciate today? Perhaps there is something we just cannot see as long as we cling to our cultural definitions? And perhaps—if we truly open our minds and our hearts to God—we will get the answers we seek. As Abdu’l-Baha wrote, “Blessed are the just souls who seek the truth.” (SAQ, p. 71).