The Purpose of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant: To Insure the Integrity of the Faith (An Explanation)

The integrity of the Faith refers to the “purity”7 and “flexibility”8 of the teachings. Regarding purity, the Covenant insures that God’s will as expressed through Bahá’u’lláh’s writings remains unaltered.  It provides an appointed Interpreter (‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the Guardian) to infallibly explain what the Word of God means. Regarding flexibility, the Covenant provides an institution (the Universal House of Justice) inspired to infallibly apply the laws and state what should be done in cases where the writings and the authoritative interpretation are not explicit. This institution may amend or repeal its statements to meet changing conditions.

While all believers are bound by the authoritative interpretation, all have the freedom of individual interpretation. In fact, such thought  is essential to understanding the Revelation. While “personal interpretations can be most illuminating … it is only a personal view and can never be upheld as a standard for others to accept, nor should disputes ever be permitted to arise over differences in such opinions.”9  Differences are resolved by the Universal House of Justice.

Notes:

7 The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance 13
8 Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh 148
9 The Universal House of Justice, letter of 1-3-82

*Part of the Series: The Covenant Deepening – Its Meaning and Origin

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