The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed. – Baha’u’llah, The Most Holy Book, p. 85.
In the final installment of this three-part series of essays, we look at two more unique new teachings of the Baha’i Faith: a universal auxiliary language and the long-promised divine polity.
According to the Torah:
…The whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. – Genesis 11:1.
The people at that time attempted to build a tower by which they planned to reach heaven. For reasons unknown to us, the Bible records in Genesis 11:7:
…Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
And this, we are told, is how we came to have so many languages.
As of 2009, experts estimated that “6,909 distinct languages” existed in the world. It takes little imagination to appreciate the expense and confusion wrought by so many languages. Every translation is perforce an interpretation. We see this played out in Biblical translations alone; Wikipedia notes that “the full Bible has been translated into 531 languages, and 2,883 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.”
O …Members of parliaments throughout the world! Select ye a single language for the use of all on earth, and adopt ye likewise a common script. – p. 88.
At the United Nations, the representatives of 193 member states must receive highly accurate translations of all documents and speeches given at the sessions. There can be grave consequences for translations that are not grammatically and linguistically accurate. A single language would go far to remove errors and misunderstandings, not just at the UN but all over the world.
Perhaps the most profound of Baha’u’llah’s new teachings is that of a divine polity. All over the world, we see the failure of man-made instruments of human organization. The Baha’i writings proclaim:
The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. – Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 113.
Humanity was promised a divine polity as far back as the Old Testament—every Christmas season we rehearse the Bible reading of that promise:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. – Isaiah 9:67.
As Christ appeared in the role of the Son, Baha’u’llah came with the title of the “Father.” Indeed, Christ was asked point-blank if he were the “Prince of Peace.” He responded: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” – Mathew 10:34.
In reference to earthly government, Christ rejected any role saying “My kingdom is not of this world” – John 18:36.
And yet Christ prayed in Luke 11:2: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
Christ would never ask us to pray for that which will never appear. Indeed Christ advised Christians not to ask in his name, but in the name of the Father: “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you.” – John 16:26.
And so Baha’u’llah, “The Glory of God,” has come with a new name, as promised in the Book of Revelation. Today this divine government is in place locally, nationally and internationally, and yet there is no interference with secular governments because Baha’is do not engage in partisan politics. Only believers in Baha’u’llah and his Faith participate in this divine administrative order—the world’s first truly global system of democratic governance.
Once Baha’u’llah’s revelation has conquered the citadels of the human heart will the promise of a “new heaven” and a “new earth” be realized.
Do we truly believe that God “shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”? – Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3.
Baha’u’llah declared, “Soon will the present day order be rolled up and a new one spread out in its stead.”