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fantastic relationship broke up purely due to different religion.


Karhu

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My girlfriend just broke up with me last night. purely because of me being a different religion from her.

 

My girlfriend just broke up with me last night. Simply due to me being in a different religion. Everything else was so perfect between us, a STRONG spark, matching personalities, a strong feeling of love and connection, matching hobbies, matching outlook on life, good communication,

 

It would be easy if there was some personal problem but the only issue is the different religion. I’m a Baha’i, and she’s a Christian. I’d understand and easily accept breaking up if we didn’t like each other for some reason, had fights, had incompatible personalities etc. but simply in the name of religion and nothing more seems harder to grasp.

 

I am happy and comfortable with her being a Christian, I believe in progressive revelation, that all religions come from one god that is educating mankind over time.

 

Bahia’s believe in the oneness of mankind and the oneness of religion all coming from the same source. “Be a lover of light no matter which lamp it shines from” the essenses are all the same with the same underlying eternal teaching, and only differences in social teachings for the age they are revealed in.

 

I see the spirit of god is vibrant within both of us. The same spirit of god directs our lives and brings positive energy into our lives. And so can accept her as a dedicated Christian and embrace the positive aspect of her life that comes through it. I don’t have any urge to change her beliefs, I don’t believe anyone has the right to change another beliefs, and am

 

 

If the problem in the relationship was some bad habit etc it can be addressed and solved with good communication. Bad habits can be easily changed, but different religions is not that straight forward.

 

It feels like it is just not fair, everything else in our relationship seems so matching, and full of love. Even spirituality on the surface seems similar, both praying and connecting with god. And according to the Bahia belief they are from the same essense. But they just have a different name. breaking up with someone because they call themselves a different religion seems like a silly reason when everything else is so perfect.

 

Somehow I wish there was a way to get over this religion obstacle. In my mind it shouldn’t even be an obstacle as Bahaullah teaches the oneness of religion in a message of unity to unite the world. So by following the Baha’i teachings there wouldn’t be any conflict between religions.

 

Maybe in the mean time we can also have a bit more religious dialogue and hopefully some more understanding could somehow help to work through it

 

I think it’s ok if people have different beliefs as long as they respect each others beliefs. Isn’t there some possible way around this obstacle of different religions in an otherwise perfect relationship?

 

I am also in an interesting situation where we have organized a big hike in the forest on Sunday, and also booked a couple of tickets to Dublin from may 1st till 6th. We’ve paid for the flight tickets, so I guess we should go on the holiday as just friends.

 

I feel like I’ve just been shot in the hart. I know I have a lot of strong feelings for her, and it’s going to be almost impossible to get her out of my mind. Maybe I’ll leave the purging from my mind till after the Dublin trip.

 

I know how to deal with relationship problems where there is some conflict, and if that was the case I’d work hard to try and make this nearly perfect relationship work. But when it comes to “sorry, you’re the wrong religion” it seems like there’s nothing I can do about that.

 

Any ideas on how to open her eyes to becoming more accepting for a inter-religion relationship?

 

Thanks a lot for your help everyone

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Why did she date you in the first place if she knew about this religious issue for her? I don't think you should try to convince her -- I don't date outside my religion and if someone who wasn't of my religion tried to "convince" me to date him I might be put off or even a bit offended. There are very important reasons for my beliefs none of which have to do with not accepting other religions - I do, I just wouldn't marry or have a family with a person of a different religion.

 

I think you need to respect - even if you don't agree with - her religious views and views on interfaith relationships.

 

How about instead going to her and telling her you want to convert to her religion if this is so important to you? I don't advise it, but since you are comfortable asking her to go against her religious beliefs, maybe you could be ready to offer the same deal to her.

 

I am sorry this didn't work out and sorry she went down this path if she knew how she felt on this issue.

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Any ideas on how to open her eyes to becoming more accepting for a inter-religion relationship?

 

Not to make light of the hurt you are experiencing, but that made me chuckle.

 

I'm sorry. If she did indeed break up with you for this reason, there is nothing you can do.

 

And would you really want to? Really? To be with someone whose number one priority in a partner is that they believe exactly the same things they do?

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Hey man, sorry for your loss. I'm going through tough times myself, but i'll do the best i can to help ease your pain.

 

Religion is important. My ex g/f and i were both catholic and we'd go to church together whenever we could. It helps to find someone within your own religious denomination.

 

I'm not saying you won't be able to have a good relationship without being in the same religion. But its that extra layer of support and spiritual guidance that brings couples even closer.

 

Does that help at all?

 

 

- Jvc21

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Not to make light of the hurt you are experiencing, but that made me chuckle.

 

I'm sorry. If she did indeed break up with you for this reason, there is nothing you can do.

 

And would you really want to? Really? To be with someone whose number one priority in a partner is that they believe exactly the same things they do?

 

I have to respectfully disagree that people who prefer to be with a partner who is of the same faith are not always looking for someone with "exactly the same beliefs" just like two people who are both Christian might not have "exactly the same beliefs." To judge those people as rigid without knowing why the particular person has that preference is a bit unfair in my humble opinion. Certain religions, for example, forbid interfaith marriage so for people who are of that religion to interfaith marry would be a sin. That's just one example.

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I'd prefer not to turn the OP's thread into a discussion about religion in general.

 

I do think it is fair to say that if this woman did indeed break up with him due to religious differences, trying to push the issue further will not be productive.

 

It is best to move on.

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Unfortunately, in most cases it seems when religion becomes more important than the partner, it will take a lot of effort and perhaps be fruitless in the end. So many people are concerned about what others believe about them before thinking of their own well being. I just don't know how many people I've came accross who would say things like

 

"I thought we were soulmates, but religious differences made me end it,"

 

"I loved her but my parents would never allow this,"

 

"We got married after all but have no family support, they disowned us,"

 

So needless to say, it is a controversy, I'd like to think that some could budge on the issue and take on a stance that - If you're happy and I'm happy then the world still turns - and that a difference in religious viewpoints does not make the world stop turning, I just view it as another negotiation point of the relationship.

 

Like my girlfriend and I, I am an Atheist she on the other hand is Wiccan. There are people that look at me like I'm insane and ask how it works. Simple respect is the first key, and not regulating each other. I don't tell her what to believe, she doesn't tell me. Everyone is happy.

 

I think I'd seriously have to ask this woman if she must be within her religion, or if she could bring herself to respect your religion and hers and work together on it. I personally would never kill a great relationship because of religion unless my partner was trying to constantly convert me and then I'd say enough but otherwise? No.

 

I'm just absolutely confused though, if this was such a major issue why didn't she bring this up in the first place before feelings got hurt? Seems rather callous and unthoughtful method, to me.

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I'm really sorry for your loss!

I know it must be really hard for you. As a rule it's not "good" for a Christian to be in a relationship with someone who isn't. Because "Idealy" christianity is suppose to be large aspect of that persons life.

I agree with other posters here, if that was an issue for her then she shouldn't have pursued a relationship with you.

It would have been really nice if you guys had a chance to talk about your religions together.

I seriously doubt you'll be able to change her mind.

*Have you seen the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"?*

It's such a cute movie, but even in the case her fiance had to convert before they became married (which wasn't hard in his case because he didn't have a religion).

I hope things get better for you, regardless of the situation it's always hard to lose someone you love.

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Yes, I agree I don’t want to convince her to believe what I believe, that’s just wrong for anyone to try to change others beliefs. Just acceptance for the differences.

 

I guess you’re right, I should just move on. She wants to be friends, I think I’ll do that for a few weeks, give a chance for us to talk through these issues. In the last few months I’ve tried to avoid the religious subjects a bit as I was sort of afraid of this effect. But maybe with some more understanding there might be more acceptance.

 

Well at least I’ll have to spend 6 days in Dublin with her, as we already have the tickets. So if I want to break contact or anything then I guess I need to wait till after the Dublin trip.

 

 

I'm not saying you won't be able to have a good relationship without being in the same religion. But its that extra layer of support and spiritual guidance that brings couples even closer.

 

Does that help at all?

 

 

- Jvc21

 

I’m quite happy with the differences, and I feel totally comfortable going to Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Hindu events. Being a Baha’i and believing in the oneness of religion makes it a lot easier for me personally. Be a lover of light no matter which lamp it shines from.

 

It seems moving on is your best possible solution.

 

We're here to help you, stay tough. Even the strongest relationship can crumble without warning; I know...

 

 

- Jvc21

 

Yes, it just seems such a shame, I’ve never felt a stronger relationship in my life. we’ve got so much in common, in all respects.

 

Even when talking in general terms about spirituality we see things the same way. The principles of the Baha’i faith are in harmony with the Christian writings. I have no problem going to Christian events.

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This is exactly it. i just want us to respect each others religion. It doesn’t matter if the other partner believes something different, as long as they can respect each others beliefs.

 

If there was something else wrong with the relationship I’d accept the decision easily, but when everything else is so perfect, and I believe in unity of religions and that this shouldn’t be a problem. It makes it hard for me to accept this reason for a breakup of such a good relationship.

 

But then how do you negotiate such a discussion? I see somehow respecting each others beliefs is the only last string of hope for this relationship with such an incredible potential.

 

Yes, it would have been much easier nicer to have this breakup a few months ago.

 

 

Well, I guess now I’ll have to start posting in the breakup section of ENA instead of the relationship section.

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last night i felt like i was shot in the hart. today i felt like i drank a lot of sulfuric acid. 8 cups of strong ginger tea and my stomach is saved from exploding. My friends kept me company this evening, but my headache is now killing me, and sleeping doesn’t do anything for it. I had to skip dance class as I couldn’t concentrate. Well this is only day 1.

 

I’ve never felt a breakup nearly as hard as this. It just doesn’t feel right. I nearly want to have a big fight with her just to have some justified reason to breakup. That'd make it much easier.

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I am sorry you are hurting and I am sorry she dated you in the first place if this was a dealbreaker to her. It is all well and good to respect each other's religions - that should always be the case! - but it doesn't mean that the two people can get seriously involved if one of the people strongly believe that to have a serious relationship leading to marriage the religious background has to be the same.

 

In some religions, it is forbidden to marry outside the religion so that is an added reason. For some people it is very important that if there are going to be children, both parents are of the same religion. In your religion, it is ok to date outside the religion and in your personal view you would be fine with having different religious beliefs. She is not and that's not something to judge in my opinion.

 

Respecting her religious beliefs means respecting that that includes not getting seriously involved with someone of another religion. However, she should have made that clear from the beginning or not dated you in the first place. I have always done that and always will - anything else is simply not fair.

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I’m thinking a bit clearer now this morning.

 

yes, it would have been much much easier for her to say so at the very start.

she seemed to be fine with the different religion at the start, as we both had the same spirit and energy and thought in similar ways. one time about 5 weeks ago she asked how i felt about a different religion, and hinted some slight insecurity, but that's all I’ve ever heard of the issue till a day and a half ago.

 

 

yes, it is important for each individual to spiritually support each other. I understand that might be a lot harder with different religions. and if it's her decision then I will have to respect it.

 

this relation seemed to have so much potential, we've only just recently had the breaking up discussion, and not talked in the last day, i want to test the waters and work out how firm she is in that decision. i think something so good is worth making an attempt.

 

there are a few things I’d like to talk to her about:

-is there any other possible reason besides different religions why we should break up?

-is there even the slightest chance that we can work through religious differences and peruse an inter-religious relationship? (if no, then i move on with my life from here, if yes, then i will work with this slightest chance)

-how sure are you that something wouldn’t work without giving it a fair go? maybe the different religion wouldn’t cause any significant problems in the functioning of a relationship. i see great potential here and am willing to wait a bit and take it as slow as needed to work through everything if you see there is the slightest potential for a inter-faith relationship.

-it is normal for people to have different hobbies in life and go to different events sometimes, I am happy to participate in some of your religious events. And sure I might be sometimes away to activities for my religion, but that’s nothing different then if I had a different hobby. The main thing is if the underlying relationship is working.

How can a relationship end on just a dream? (see note below)

-why did you start dating me if there wasn’t any chance for an interfaith relationship?

 

 

She seems to hand everything in her life over to god. And makes her decisions in life based on dreams which she sees as messages from god. She was originally very enthusiastic about the relationship as she thought it was the one she’d been waiting for, and god had answered her prays. Having positive dreams about it. Over the Easter break she had one negative dream and now takes an attitude that suddenly I’m not the one, and it’s a shame, but then she’ll have to wait for the one that god has planned for her.

 

Her attitude seemed to be like “here it goes again” she’s previously broken up many successful relationships because they weren’t in the same religion/didn’t share the same spirit.

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- "if it was meant to be, it was meant to be."

 

- However, if you strongly believe you can get her back, go for it. You really have nothing to lose. I don't want to say this, but you've lost everything and have nothing (in terms of a g/f). If you lose, then you still are left where you are now, and the healing process can begin. If you somehow manage to win her back, then who knows.

 

- Be careful though, the idea is not to hurt yourself even more. Good luck.

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As I've mentioned, I will not marry interfaith and thereforeeee I don't date interfaith. It is slightly suspicious that if she is that focused on common religions, she started dating you - there might be another reason in addition.

I think you can ask her the "why" again but not in a "I want to convince you" way - rather, just for closure. Are you willing to convert to her religion? Sounds like no which of course is completely understandable but just wanted to clarify.

 

I see you are willing to participate in her activities and you focus on the inmportance of the "underlying relationship." Just be prepared that, for her, the health of the underlying relationship might depend on the common religion and religious beliefs. I've had boyfriends with significant hobbies I did not participate in and it is not the same, at all, as being away to do religious activities. Indeed, I would have been surprised and maybe even offended if the person tried to compare it in that way. If it's just a hobby to you, she might ask, then why not convert -- or, she might respond "if it's just a hobby then we're not on the same wavelength about religion, because to me it's far more than just a hobby."

 

 

She might be concerned how kids would be raised - she might think it would be confusing for them or end up with the kids not having any religion because of the different religions.

 

I've had one conversation like this in my life. I was 17, he was 20 and it was unpleasant to say the least because it is understandably very hard for someone who will date interfaith to be able to understand, much less relate to, why it is a virtual dealbreaker for certain people. I don't want to share details here but feel free to PM me if you like.

 

I would wait until you can have this conversation calmly and in an information-gathering way rather than a debate way and where you can 100% accept, even if you don't understand or agree with, the extent and nature of her religious beliefs.

 

Good luck.

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Thank you for your support everyone!

 

Here is an update:

We went on a hike today, and a lot has happened, sorry if the story is a bit long, hopefully it is interesting. I’m still not sure of our status, not very positive, but I feel like there might be a very very slight chance, and any chance is better than nothing..

 

Yes, you’re right, I’ve got nothing to lose in trying. And it feels like the decision is not totally decided, just nearly decided, but I feel like there is a slightest hint of hope somewhere, so I’ll try. I can always heal after, I know I’m strong and will get through everything. And I know I’d feel worse and be filled with regrets if I just let her go like that without attempting to make it work.

 

As I said before, we had a hike this afternoon planned. This hike was planned before al these issues came up. and when they came up I said that she was still welcome to come on the hike. Well I hadn’t talked to her since the discussion, and wasn’t sure if she still wanted to go on the hike, and if I should even ask her.

 

So this morning I was considering not saying anything, starting to break communication, reading some threads about NC, but then I decided to SMS her anyway saying “what did you end out deciding yesterday? Did you end out going on that trip with your friends? If you are still interested in the hiking trip we’ll be leaving around 1:30pm.” She rang up at 1pm, just woken up, not sure about the trip as she hadn’t heard from me. I said it was ok for her to come, and that we could delay the starting time, and that I had extra food so she didn’t need to rush to the shops. So she decided to join the hiking trip.

 

We had a good hike 7km to a fire spot, and 7km back. On the way there we saw some stables and she wanted to look at the horses, so my friends went ahead, and we ended walking the second half of the hike there just the two of us talking (casual stuff, no relationship stuff). Then the large group of my friends, her and I all sat around the fireplace chatting about all sorts of things.

 

On the way back for some reason we were joking about running back to the car, and somehow we all started running when we left the camp site, a few of my friends stopped quickly, but we kept running for some reason, with one of my friends running at the front, we ended out running a couple of km, and then there was a slippery part, so we stopped running and started walking, while my other friend kept running the rest. This meant we were just the two of us again walking.

 

We did not hold hands, kiss, anything like that, although she slapped my shoulder several times, and initiates playful contact quite often. We also had a lot of positive eye contact, a few flirtatious looks, and smiles, and even when in a group and others were talking she’d look at me just about every sentence. Also when we were all standing around in a group, my friends were all spread out about 1-2m separation, while she would stand at about 0.5m distance from me, within personal space. Even though we weren’t touching (besides a few joking shoulder nudges) I think it is a good sign that she was comfortable within personal space of me.

 

Anyway she had left her car in front of my place as we all took a friends car to the forest. So at the end my friends dropped us off, and we were both left next to her car to say goodbye. We gave a good hug that lasted for a few minutes, then after we only slightly separated, and stood on the street corner, cheek to cheek with our arms around each other, and started talking about the discussion from the other night.

 

I started saying something like:

“I don’t know if there’s any possibility or chances, but I am willing to take it as slow as it takes, not rush anything, put in effort into the relationship and see if this can work in the long run. We don’t need to make ant hard decisions now, but I think what we have here is too important just to give up in an instant and so should wait and see what happens over time”

 

She was very positive most of the time, talking about good things that were between us, but said a couple of sentences in past tense, in a manner such as it’s already been decided by god against her will, and she has to go with what god has decided for her.

 

“There was obviously a reason for this happening in our life. it has really opened some positive aspects in me and I am really grateful for the experience.”

 

*”I have a calling, and I need to follow that calling. And as you said, you also have a calling to do something special in your life. we need to be careful of not getting in the way of the calling”

 

She never said exactly that we’d be totally separated in straight words, just a lot of comments like above talking in past tence about us, and it’s a shame that god’s plan is this way. I felt like we as if our relationship status is still in sort of left in limbo, with some shred of hope. But then I don’t know if that’s just me being an optimist.

 

 

I can see she still has feelings about me. But somehow sees it as it’s possibly not meant to be in the plan of her life. I think this is more about “gods plan for her” and “there is a special someone god has planned for her” then a fact that she specifically can’t date anyone from different religions.

 

Somehow I feel better slightly this evening, feeling that there might be a tiny chance to get over this, even if it’s a 5% chance, I’m willing to try that, yes, sure it might slow my healing process, but I have to give it a go or I’ll probably regret it for the rest of my life.

 

On Friday night she was talking about that she’d like to stay friends. But I don’t want to just become yet another one of her admirers following her around. I am willing to take it slow and work for a relationship, or if that doesn’t work then get her out of my life. well I know by our glances that she has feelings there, and by the extra long hello and goodbye hugs, so I’m willing to sit in a close friend status for a month or so and see if anything can come from this. At least it’s good to stay in good terms till after our planned Dublin holiday.

 

I don’t know if it’s a false sense of hope, and unhealthy for long term healing, but the chemistry and energy I felt with her over the walk has made me feel all better this evening.

 

Well my plan is now not to call her for the next week and hope that she initiates some contact, if she does then I’ll respond positively, even just for hanging out as friends. Not focus too much on the religious issues (even though they’ll inevitable come up), and just keep a close connection and understanding. My hope that if we keep the chemistry and friendship, then over time she might open up more to the idea of a inter-religious relationship. In the mean time I’ll focus on healing, hobbies and new direction etc, without breaking down communication at this time to try and stay healthy, while working with any chance there is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, I extracted the religious discussions from my post and added it at the end so people can understand the background to these religious aspects, and uninterested people can skip this last bit. this is important as it seems to be at the foundation of the trouble that seems to be hindering a otherwise successful relationship, and so the religious issues will need to be resolved if the relationship is to continue:

 

************************************************** ********

 

I’m hoping that over time we’ll get a bit more accustomed to these religious issues. we hadn’t talked about it that mush over the previous few months as I was sort of afraid of this coming out of discussions, but she wanted to know details, and seems accepting of the general principles, but can not see Bahaullah as a manifestation of god, due to some prophesies in the bible that according to her are not complete before Christ returns (which are written in such a cryptic way that it’s hard to really understand the prophecies)

 

I don’t need her to believe in my beliefs, and would be happy if we both have separate beliefs and accept and respect the differences while both building our spirituality.

 

She doesn’t seem to be totally against inter-faith relationships. It’s more about the spirit, and that she doesn’t understand my faith, but thinks the spirit and connection with god must be different from hers, and so will somehow break her connection with god.

 

On the question on if I’m willing to convert to her religion, for my faith it is quite acceptable to follow her beliefs, as Bahia’s see all faiths in unity. As highlighted in this quote from Abdu'l-Baha, son of Bahaullah:

“Likewise the divine religions of the holy Manifestations of God are in reality one though in name and nomenclature they differ. Man must be a lover of the light no matter from what day-spring it may appear. He must be a lover of the rose no matter in what soil it may be growing. He must be a seeker of the truth no matter from what source it come. Attachment to the lantern is not loving the light. Attachment to the earth is not befitting but enjoyment of the rose which develops from the soil is worthy. Devotion to the tree is profitless but partaking of the fruit is beneficial. Luscious fruits no matter upon what tree they grow or where they may be found must be enjoyed. The word of truth no matter which tongue utters it must be sanctioned. Absolute verities no matter in what book they be recorded must be accepted. If we harbor prejudice it will be the cause of deprivation and ignorance. The strife between religions, nations and races arises from misunderstanding. If we investigate the religions to discover the principles underlying their foundations we will find they agree, for the fundamental reality of them is one and not multiple. By this means the religionists of the world will reach their point of unity and reconciliation. They will ascertain the truth that the purpose of religion is the acquisition of praiseworthy virtues, betterment of morals, spiritual development of mankind, the real life and divine bestowals. All the prophets have been the promoters of these principles; none of them has been the promoter of corruption, vice or evil. They have summoned mankind to all good. They have united people in the love of God, invited them to the religions of the unity of mankind and exhorted them to amity and agreement.”

 

(Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 15)

 

 

 

 

BTW, is it worthwhile to invite her to some of my religious events so she can understand and accept it, I don’t want to seem like changing/forcing beliefs on her, I just want her to see that it’s ok, and all very positive, and so hopefully become more accepting of what is currently unknown for her? I’m willing to go to her activities to show that I’m open minded and accepting of her beliefs.

 

BTW on the question of how children have their upbringing, Baha’is believe in independent investigation of truth, not simply accepting something because your parents are that religion, so people can’t declare till they are 15 and have investigated all philosophies, and after investigating everything with an open mind they can chose what they believe in. without investigating all sides you can’t be sure in what you believe.

 

************************************************** ************’

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I have been to different religious services and they all had positive aspects. It has nothing to do with whether I would feel comfortable marrying someone and raising children with someone of a different religion - I wouldn't but not because of the positive or negative aspects of other religions.

 

It's fine if you invite her and fine if she wants to go. I have a feeling that if that was the issue - lack of knowledge about your religion she would have said that she needed to learn more about your religion. But it's not about your religion - it's about her religious beliefs that two people who are in a serious relationship should be the same religion. Your religion might have similar aspects to Christianity just like Judaism and Christianity share certain commonalities, but they are different religions.

 

By convert I meant going through a process provided by that religion for converting to that religion. Judaism and Christianity have these processes. It's not just calling yourself one religion or another.

 

I am glad you enjoyed the hike and that you are able to see her without getting too attached or getting your hopes way up.

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I feel quite comfortable going through the processes involved in officially becoming Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, or Jew, as i see they are just different lamps of the same light of god.

 

The essenses of them are all the same. yes there are some social differences in the ordinances of different ages, specific to the state society in which it was revealed. Hence they all say roughly the same thing, there are some small differences between them relevant to the age.

 

So what would happen if I officially became a Christian?

 

In a way I am already a Christian, and follow the bible; I just believe that the prophecies in the bible are fulfilled and that Christ has returned.

 

 

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I wonder how she feels about me “converting to Christianity”? What does that really mean anyway?? Accepting Jesus as your savior? I already do.

 

Although on top of Christianity I also have the revelation of Bahaullah, which adds a lot more understandings to life, and clarifies a lot of things in the bible that I couldn’t understand earlier in life before becoming a Baha’i. I wouldn’t want to give that up, as it has so much wisdom in it, containing the spirit of god, and his revelation clarifies a lot of aspects of Christianity that I previously couldn’t understand. without it i couldent understand the bible, with it now the bible makes a lot more sense

 

 

anyway, i didn't mean for this to turn into a religious discussion.

i think there will still need to be some significant discussions to work this out, sort outthe differences.

 

not simply on a religious basis, but also on a relationship basis i'll have to handle this all in the right way. i know these topics can be VERY touchy, and easily cause large misunderstandings that can cause barriers.

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