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A modern-day Romeo and Juliet

Posted by Sen on November 30, 2008

… i like this girl and she likes me.. my faith is bahai … she is a very strong christian. and she takes the bible very seriously, and i respect that of her, but in the bible there is a verse that says jesus is the only way to heaven, and in another it says a christian shouldn’t get involved with someone non- christian…
there in lies my problem. and she won’t go out with me until i’ve changed my mind about christ and the bible.. now we did go on a date and it went good, but in her and my art class together i got in an argument over my beliefs with her and half of the class today. let alone this wasn’t bad enough she decided not to date me until i’ve changed…
i will not change my beliefs for her. but is there any way one of you could give me some very convincing verses from the bible, or better yet some strong proof to why bahaism is better..
i need a lot of help with this one, i like her a lot and she likes me, but our strengths in our religious beliefs are getting in the way and we both tend to be stubborn, and i don’t want to see someone as amazing as her just leave me…

Dear Romeo,

I think this is the quote you need:

In brief, O ye believers of God! The text of the divine Book is this: If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the divine questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 56)

It’s not the quote you were looking for, but I’m fairly sure it’s the quote you need.

You will not be reconciled by proving to her that your religion is the better one, but by understanding that the distinctions between the religions are at one level, and their unity at a different level. For example, Romeo and Juliet are both humans: they have minds, sensitivities, hopes, and mortality. As humans, we are all one: there are no essential differences. But at another level we are each unique, and we rightly prize our individuality, and we should not try to achieve “unity” by making ourselves like others, or vice versa. It’s best that Romeo stays Romeo, and Juliet remains Juliet, so that they can love one another.

Religions are like that too: in one sense they are all one and the distinctions we make are just signs of our own misunderstanding. Like the cross-eyed man: there is one thing, but we see two. (See the tab on this page for “literature” to read this story by Rumi.)

In another sense, each religion is its own world, with its own precious qualities, it’s own part to play in the big picture. I suggest that you ask your friend for a date, at her church, next Sunday, and that you go along very humbly, not to prove anything to anyone but to see what you can grasp of the unique spirit that makes Christianity special. That spirit is there. Like learning to like curries or classical music, it’s a taste you have to cultivate. You need to tune your antennae to remove the static. I can speak – a Bahai who then went to a Presbyterian theological hall and a Catholic seminary to study the bible and Christian theology with the Christians – and then on to a course in Islamic Studies at a university, where many of the students were Muslims. Those communities are not the same as the Bahai community, but they are every bit as good.

And if you don’t find the spirit of Christ in that church, if there’s too many discordant notes (egos), then go with her to another church, to a high mass, a Quaker meeting. Or go yourself, and then tell her what you’ve found in your efforts to find and feel the spirit of Christ in Christianity. I don’t know if achieving this will also get you the girl: you may even find it’s better than the girl

Here’s another quote that might help you, at some later point in the process:

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

~ Sen McGlinn
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2 Responses to “A modern-day Romeo and Juliet”

  1. Barney said

    Excellent advice, Sen! I really like the way you explain that religion is one and that “in another sense, each religion is its own world, with its own precious qualities, it’s own part to play in the big picture.” It strikes me as a helpful understanding for those engaged in inter-faith dialogue and the building of good relations between the different faith communities.

    I hope “Romeo” heeds your advice.


  2. Stephen Watson said

    John 14:2
    New International Version (©1984)
    “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

    See also

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