The Baha’i Movement

Wayne Jackson
One of the rapidly growing religious movements today is the Baha’i group. What is the Baha’i movement? Is it biblical? Is it a true religion?

One of the rapidly growing religious movements today is the Baha’i group. Originating in Iran in 1844, this cult has been established in thousands of places around the world.

The founder of this movement was Mirza ’Muhammad, who claimed to be the forerunner of one who would be known as the great World Teacher. This Teacher, it is alleged, would be the holy prophet who would usher in the latest revelation from the Divine Source. He would unite the human family into a syncretic conglomeration of diverse peoples, and inaugurate an era of peace.

In 1863, a man named Mirza Husayn ‘Ali announced that he was that Great Teacher. He adopted the name Baha’u’llah (The Glory of God), from which the term Baha’i is derived. After Baha’u’llah’s death in 1892, the organization was led by his oldest son for the next twenty-nine years. He, in turn, was succeeded by a grandson who led the movement until 1957. Since then, the Baha’i cult has been governed by a group called “Hands of the Cause,” with world headquarters being in Haifa, Israel.

The Baha’i organization is anti-biblical from numerous vantage points.

  1. Baha’ism denies the uniqueness of Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God. The New Testament teaches that Christ is the Father’s “only begotten” son. The Greek word for “only begotten” is monogenes, a term employed with reference to Christ to indicate that “He was the sole representative of the Being and character of the One who sent Him” (Vine 1939, 140). Baha’u’llah, however, claimed that Christ was but one manifestation of God! He contended that he himself was “a later manifestation.”
  2. Christ declared: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Lord shed his blood for one church (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:4; 1:22,23), and he is the Savior of that body exclusively (Ephesians 5:26). Yet devotees of the Baha’i philosophy seek to unify all religions upon the basis of doctrinal compromise, and at the expense of the plain teaching of Christ. Allegedly, advocates of this system revere the teaching of Jesus, Muhammad, Baha’u’llah, and all other great “prophets.”
  3. The Son of God taught that only the truth can set one free from sin (John 8:32), and that truth is embodied in the words which came from God through Christ, and through his inspired spokesmen (John 17:8,17; Luke 10:16). The New Testament, sealed by the Savior’s blood (Matthew 26:28) contains that revelation, and it was to be God’s final communication to humanity (Jude 3). Baha’ism advocates a subjectivism, asserting that “truth is continuous and relative, not final and absolute.” This system of confusion cannot be from God (1 Corinthians 14:33).
  4. Baha’ism repudiates the New Testament doctrine of a visible, audible return of Jesus Christ to judge the world (Matthew 25:31ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The doctrine of the Baha’i cult contends that the prophecies regarding the second coming of Christ were fulfilled with the arrival of Baha’u’llah. Such a theory, of course, is void of any evidence.

The Baha’i movement is greatly at variance with biblical revelation. The system must be opposed. Its sincere disciples should be exposed to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.

  • Vine, W. E. 1939. Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Vol. 3. London, England: Oliphants.