July 27, 2014

The emerging culture in the Baha’i world community -- identified by the Universal House of Justice

The culture now emerging is one in which groups of Bahá’u’lláh’s followers explore together the truths in His Teachings, freely open their study circles, devotional gatherings and children’s classes to their friends and neighbours, and invest their efforts confidently in plans of action designed at the level of the cluster, that makes growth a manageable goal… Where Bahá’í communities are unable to free themselves from an orientation to Bahá’í life that has long outlived whatever value it once possessed, the teaching work will lack both the systematic character it requires, and the spirit that must animate all effective service to the Cause. To mistakenly identify Bahá’í community life with the mode of religious activity that characterizes the general society—in which the believer is a member of a congregation, leadership comes from an individual or individuals presumed to be qualified for the purpose, and personal participation is fitted into a schedule dominated by concerns of a very different nature—can only have the effect of marginalizing the Faith and robbing the community of the spiritual vitality available to it.
(From a letter dated 22 August 2002 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)