My name is Christian Gruber, and I am a Baha’i (member of the Baha’i Faith) from Canada. I was born into an Anglican (episcopalian) Christian family, and joined the Bahá’í Faith at age 16 (I’m now in my thirties). As an information technology consultant by trade, I travel frequently between the US and Canada. I am quite interested in comparative religion, philosophy, issues of global governance and political science. I have participated in both large and small Baha’i communities (congregations), and currently live in a small city near Toronto with a cozy little Baha’i community of some two dozen believers.
Wow. These are some great questions. There’s a lot of meat here and I hope I can do the questions justice.
Before I begin, I’m going to again disclaim "expertise". As some of the questions are answered below, it should become clear why I make such a point of not being authoritative in my answers. In short, no individual currently alive has the right to "authoritatively interpret" scripture. So my answers reflect my own personal understanding of things. Where possible, I try to refer to scripture or authoritative guidance of the founders, but given that "Independent investigation of Truth" is a key Baha’i principle, I would encourage anyone reading my thoughts to validate them by investigating for themselves.
- Why must God’s truth be revealed via one individual (who then becomes the authority figure) every few thousand years? In other words, why does God not reveal truth to every individual to the extent that that individual can understand it? –Sidfaiwu
- What, if any, safeguards are present in the religious doctrine to prevent a decay of the religion into dogma? –Sidfaiwu
- Since Baha’i teaches progressive revelation, what is Baha’i's take on new religions such as Scientology? –Sidfaiwu
Those are all the questions I had time to answer – there are more, and I’ll try to get to them soon. –Christian.