Critique of Ruhi Institute “The Covenant Unit 2” – Part One

Posted on March 23, 2009. Filed under: book analysis | Tags: |

The Ruhi Institute is a heterodox Bahá’í organization, based in Columbia, and the document under examination, The Covenant, Unit 2, is currently in its pre-publication stage. Therefore, the necessary corrections discussed in this Critique should be accepted by the heterodox Bahá’í leadership and by the leadership of the Ruhi Institute as recommendations for adjustment of their document’s content.

Rather than commence this critique at the beginning of the manuscript in question, I believe that it is more beneficial for readers who are sincere Bahá’ís and for true seekers of Almighty God’s Truth to strike directly at the heart of the main/critical error of the manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, and from that point to branch out to focus on its other errors.

The main error of the manuscript is its perfidious occulting of the fact and reality that in the true Bahá’í Faith, there exist two distinct realms of Divine guidance, namely, first, the Divine guidance for infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text and for interpretation of the writings of the Guardians of the Faith, which realm of Divine guidance does NOT belong to a legitimate Universal House of Justice, and second, the Divine guidance for infallibility of legislation on matters which are not specifically mentioned in Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text, which second realm of Divine Guidance DOES belong to a legitimate Universal House of Justice.

The insidious manner by which the authors of the manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, have perpetrated the occulting of the above stated truth is evident by the manner by which they routinely in their manuscript quote the very passages from Bahá’í Holy Writings which clearly separate the two distinct realms of Divine guidance, while at the very same time presenting again and again and again the Universal House of Justice as the only “continuous source of guidance” for humanity without ever once mentioning the vital, absolute necessity of infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text, the OTHER realm of Divine guidance, by which Divine guidance the sacred Laws of the Lord of this Age will become accurately applied by the Administration of the New World Order.

Here follow some examples of the treachery of the authors of the manuscript, as mentioned above:

The authors make this quote:
“Those matters of major importance which constitute the foundation of the Law of God are explicitly recorded in the Text, but subsidiary laws are left to the House of Justice. The wisdom of this is that the times never remain the same, for change is a necessary quality and an essential attribute of this world, and of time and place. Therefore the House of Justice will take action accordingly. . .” `(Abdu’l-Bahá, from the Introduction to the Kitab-i-Aqdas) (Quoted on page 68, The Covenant, Unit 2)

In the quote above, the Master clearly identifies the two realms of Divine guidance:
1. “Those matters of major importance which constitute the foundation of the Law of God are explicitly recorded in the Text.”

2. “…but subsidiary laws are left to the House of Justice.” [note the lower case “l”]

Do the authors of the manuscript, The Covenant, Unit 2, fairly and honestly teach the true sense of the Master’s sacred words? Most certainly, they do not. Cunningly, they totally ignore the first realm of Divine guidance, the interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text, (the “Law of God”), [note the upper case “L”] which has been Divinely assigned exclusively to Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith, and carry on presenting the Universal House of Justice as the only continuous source of guidance. Here follows what they wrote on page 68 of The Covenant, Unit 2, the very same page as the quote from the Master’s words above:

“The existence of the Universal House of Justice ensures that humanity will benefit from a continuous source of guidance for the duration of Bahá’u’lláh’s Dispensation. One need only think of the magnitude of the challenge that the Baha’i community is called upon to meet in this Day to appreciate the significance of the unique bounty God has bestowed upon humanity in the institution of the House of Justice. The implications for the unity of the community are clear enough. But, together with the other members of your group, think about how the following processes each connected to the establishment of a world civilization, are affected by the existence of an authoritative source of guidance.”

“…an authoritative source of guidance” –written as if their headless/bogus UHJ were legitimate, which it is not, and written as if the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith were not delineated by the Master in His sacred Will and Testament to be an authoritative source of guidance, which He did. Can the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 claim that somewhere else in their 95-page manuscript they have presented the other source of Divine guidance to the extent that they are justified to deal exclusively with the guidance of the Universal House of Justice on page 68 of their manuscript? No they cannot make such a claim because nowhere in their manuscript do they present the sacred and immutable teaching of the Master, recorded in His Will and Testament, that only a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith is “the expounder of the words of God” nor do they present Shoghi Effendi’s oft-repeated reminders of that same truth.

Furthermore, the entity currently on Mt. Carmel claiming to be a Universal House of Justice cannot be an “authoritative” source of guidance for true Bahá’ís because the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha grants the following authority to the Guardian with respect to the UHJ, an authority that is totally lacking in his absence from the body currently on Mt.Carmel: “Should any of the members commit a sin, injurious to the common weal, the guardian of the Cause of God hath at his own discretion the right to expel him.”

The authors of the manuscript comment: “But, together with the other members of your group, think about how the following processes each connected to the establishment of a world civilization, are affected by the existence of an authoritative source of guidance.”

After the above expression, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 then list nine processes of the Bahá’í Faith, insinuating that the only “authoritative source of guidance” affecting those nine processes is their Universal House of Justice. No mention whatsoever is made of the vital hereditary principle of the Bahá’í Faith which principle provides for continuous, authoritative, infallible interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Bahá’í Holy Text which interpretation is equally vital for the processes related to the establishment of the Divine civilization on Earth as is the legislation by the other “pillar” of the “twin pillars” of the Administration of the New World Order.

No mention at all is made of that essential hereditary principle.

Here follows another quote presented by the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2:
“And now, concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from all error,” (Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá) (Quoted on page 69, The Covenant, Unit 2)

And another:
“Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily the truth and the purpose of God Himself. Whoso doth deviate there from is verily of them that love discord, hath shown forth malice, and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant.” (Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá) (Quoted on page 69, The Covenant, Unit 2).

The authors make no comment about this truth which they quote:

“Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn,”

Turning to the Most Holy Book requires learning from the exclusive interpreter of that Most Holy Book, namely a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith. Yes, “… all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice”, yet the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 nefariously neglect to mention that the interpretation of all that IS “expressly recorded therein” belongs exclusively to a living Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, NOT to a Universal House of Justice.

And another quote:

“It is incumbent upon the Trustees of the House of Justice to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book, and to enforce that which is agreeable to them. God will verily inspire them with whatsoever He willeth, and He, verily, is the Provider, the Omniscient.” (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh)
(Quoted on page 67, The Covenant, Unit 2)

“to take counsel together regarding those things which have not outwardly been revealed in the Book,”

In their comments, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 make no mention of those things which HAVE BEEN “outwardly…revealed in the Book,”. Treacherously, they continue to neglect the vital station of the interpreter of our sacred Bahá’í Writings, obviously attempting to give the Bahá’í brotherhood worldwide the impression that their bogus Universal House of Justice receives adequate guidance all by itself with no need of the Divinely ordained and Divinely conceived institution of the Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith, which Divinely conceived Institution, alone, is authorized and empowered to interpret those things which HAVE “outwardly been revealed in the Book,”. The so-called UHJ currently on Mt. Carmel does not have the “sacred head” delineated infallibly by `Abdu’l-Bahá in His sacred Will and Testament, therefore it is not a legitimate Bahá’í Institution to begin with, and thus it has no infallibility even for legislation on matters not expressly recorded in our Bahá’í Writings.

And another quote by the authors of the manuscript:

“It is incumbent upon these members (of the Universal House of Justice) to gather in a certain place and deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference, questions that are obscure and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book. Whatsoever they decide has the same effect as the Text itself. Inasmuch as the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book and bear upon daily transactions, so also it hath power to repeal the same. Thus for example, the House of Justice enacteth today a certain law and enforceth it, and a hundred years hence, circumstances having profoundly changed and the conditions having altered, another House of Justice will then have power, according to the exigencies of the time, to alter that law. This it can do because these laws form no part of the divine explicit Text. The House of Justice is both the initiator and the abrogator of its own laws.” (Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahá) Quoted on page 67, The Covenant , Unit 2)

“…the House of Justice hath power to enact laws that are not expressly recorded in the Book…”

The authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 have not drawn to the attention of the Bahá’í brotherhood that the above sacred verse teaches that even a legitimate Universal House of Justice can legislate ONLY upon matters NOT “expressly recorded in the Book”. Expounding of the Laws which ARE recorded in the Book is the exclusive, Divinely assigned duty of the Guardians of the Bahá’í Faith. Craftily, the authors of The Covenant, Unit 2, are pointing to the Divine guidance and infallibility provided to a Universal House of Justice, quoting from the Bahá’í Writings often in order to support that concept, and yet without ever teaching the vital importance of the separate and essential Divine guidance in the Bahá’í Faith which a Universal House of Justice does NOT possess, namely the Divine guidance to interpret Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text. They quote the vital passages, however they do not fully explain those verses, such as the verse quoted above. They simply ignore those words and phrases which clearly reveal that even a legitimate Universal House of Justice (which theirs is not) is devoid of the critical and vital function of interpretation of Bahá’í Holy Writ and Holy Text.

Following in the footsteps of their heterodox Bahá’í leaders on Mt. Carmel, the Ruhi Institute authors of The Covenant, Unit 2 consistently ignore/neglect the fact that Shoghi Effendi has discussed functions of the Guardian in his Spiritual Testament, the The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh’ that indicate the essentiality of the living Guardian as the “sacred head” of the House and the fact of its fallibility without the presence of the Guardian:

(a) He “is bound to insist upon a reconsideration by them of any enactment he conscientiously believes to conflict with the meaning and to depart from the spirit of Baha’u’llah’s revealed utterances.”

(b) He provides “the necessary guidance to define the sphere of of the legislative action of its elected representatives.”

Nothing on this Earth in this Holy Bahá’í Dispensation could be more unjust than that perfidy of the authors of the Ruhi Institute document, The Covenant, Unit 2.

Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

By Hand of the Cause Ross Campbell

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