25 March 2020

Do healing prayers work?

There were a variety of habits and beliefs of early Christian kingdoms that today we would recognize as superstition. For example, people believed that God was continuously intervening in the world, so in the case of a serious dispute they would let the two people fight to the death, believing that God would intervene on the side of the righteous and help them win. This belief was so complete that the guilty party would often confess their crimes to avoid the divinely guided fight.

It’s easy to recognize in hindsight that some early beliefs were erroneous and not guided by the teachings of God, but what about today’s beliefs?

I remember being somewhat of an adult and realizing one day, “Ghosts aren’t real!” I’ve found this subject surprisingly polarizing when I mention it to people. Some are convinced that spirits can still materially influence the world after death, and of course others deny the existence of any such spirit and view a belief in ghosts as a superstition of the ignorant. I’ve found the same split among Baháʼís who sometimes believe that supernatural phenomena go hand in hand with belief in God. For the record, ghosts aren’t real, but that’s for another blog.

I also remember realizing one day, “Prayers don’t heal people!” Sort of. At least not the way I previously thought. This is a little more complicated than the ghost story but it’s still true, and it gets to the very heart of what it means to pray.

24 March 2020

A revolution in cars

Left to right: 2013 Chevy Volt, 2016 Chevy Spark EV, 2018 Pacifica PHEV
Despite the current chaos and social isolation amid the coronavirus, there are things to look forward to. In about 10 years a majority of people in Europe and America will be buying electric cars, and it will have an enormous positive effect on the economy, the environment, and your health.

06 March 2020

Multifaith Devotional Cards

Many years ago I made my own prints of quotes from the Bible, Qur'an, and Baha'i writings to use in devotional gatherings. I drew the quotes from readings that personally inspired me and printed them on color coordinated cardstock to give them a nice feel. I'm sharing the files here for anyone looking for a quick way to spice up your meeting and make it friendly for people of different faiths. 

The junior youth group (now youth group) that I originally made these for was composed of African immigrants with a mix of Christian and Muslim families. Initially the youth would choose to read from their family's tradition, which gave them and their parents a sense of stability and a point of reference. Over time, everyone began readings a mix of the different sources and started to notice and point out the common threads that run between all scriptures. 

I'm sharing the Word format as well in case anyone wants to change the quotes around. If you have any recommendations, have trouble downloading, or want to share your own tools, email bahaicoherence@gmail.com and comment below.


Word Docs