By Hank Hanegraaff
Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, so a Persian prophet known as the Báb (“the Gate”) (1819–1850) prepared the way for Bahá’u’lláh (“glory of God”), the founder of Baha’i. Although Bahá’u’lláh (1817– 1892) believed his messianic mandate was the unification of the world’s religions, his message was fatally flawed.
First, Baha’is believe that Bahá’u’lláh is a greater manifestation of God than Moses, Muhammad, or the Christian Messiah. Thus, the Baha’i thrust toward the unification of all religions is primed for failure. Islam, the mother religion of Baha’i, would not and could not consider Bahá’u’lláh as a prophet of God greater than Muhammad. Likewise, Christianity is committed to Christ as “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6; cf. Acts 4:12).
Furthermore, Baha’i teaches that every few hundred years the spirit and attributes of divinity are mirrored in a new messenger and manifestation of God. Each revelator reveals as much revelation as the faithful are ready to receive. As such, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Confucius, Christ, Muhammad, and Krishna all paved the way toward the ultimate revelations personified in the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. The fallacy, of course, is that the revelators and their revelations directly conflict with one another. For example, Moses was fiercely monotheistic whereas Zoroaster and Krishna were polytheistic. Likewise, the Qur’an condemns Christ’s claim to be the Son of God as the unforgivable sin of shirk. Logically, the messengers and manifestations can all be wrong, but they can’t all be right.
Finally, Baha’i explicitly denies objective truth claims of Christianity such as the Trinity, virgin birth, incarnation, resurrection, and second coming of Christ. Moreover, while the Báb said that Bahá’u’lláh was the quintessential messenger and manifestation of God—the “Best-beloved” and “the Desire of the World”—the Bible states that Christ is “the exact representation of [God]” (Hebrews 1:3) in whom “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.
Hebrews 1:1–2 NKJV
For further study, see Francis J. Beckwith, “Baha’i-Christian Dialogue: Some Key Issues Considered,” Christian Research Journal (1989) 11, 3.
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