Saturday, September 4, 2010

Omnism.... Or Baha'i?

I've finally found a name for what I believe in. I think...

A few posts ago I talked about the fact that even though I still identify as Christian, I don't necessarily believe that Christianity is the only way. For the longest, my Facebook religious preference said "All religions hold some validity."

In my search to find how to put my beliefs into exact words, I came across this simple, beautiful word that sounds like something I would've just pulled out of the air if I'd tried to name it myself: Omnism. Of course! The definition of omnism varies a little, depending on who you talk to, since it's not really an organized religion itself. For some, it means belief "in a single transcendent purpose or cause uniting all things or people". Others (like me) believe that all religions contain varying elements of a common truth, or place omnism in opposition to dogmatism, in that omnists are open to potential truths from all religions.

Great, I've got it. I know what to call my belief system now.

Or so I thought.

I'm perusing the Facebook Omnism group and see a comment from someone saying that they think all religions are really worshiping the same God. That kind of correlates to my other thought on religion: ever religion and culture, no matter what name or how many gods they worship, are all actually referring to the same deity. However, someone responded saying this belief was not actually omnism, but rather ideology of the Baha'i faith.

According to Baha'i teaching, there is really only one religion and One Divine Being, regardless of the man-made designation. From bahai.org:

The Bahá'í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being. This Being, Whom we call God, has absolute control over His creation (omnipotence) as well as perfect and complete knowledge of it (omniscience). Although we may have different concepts of God's nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names--Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma--nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being. 

I'm still studying both of these schools of thought, so I make no claims of knowing exactly how, or if, they correspond. But if omnism is believing that all religions hold some truth, that would include Baha'i, would it not? I probably won't ever find something that is an exact match to what I believe, but these are probably as close as I'll get.

Anyway, if you're interested, here are a few links with resources concerning Omnism & Baha'i.
http://www.bahai.org/
http://old.ecauldron.net/omnism.php
http://omnism.com/om/home.htm
http://www.bahai.us/
http://www.religioustolerance.org/var_rel.htm

courtesy of religioustolerance.org

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