Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Mahmud: June 26 – How certain Greek and Roman customs became incorporated into Christianity

Mahmud's Diary
June 26, 1912
Montclair, NJ

To some people visiting the Master for the first time, He spoke about Christ’s words to His disciples:

Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:19]. The Christians have not understood its meaning. They imagine that it means the redemption of sins through the Christian leaders. The intention of Christ was to permit His disciples to elaborate or abrogate the laws of the Torah, as He had altered only two, those of the Sabbath and divorce. But, alas! The spiritual leaders of the Christians did not grasp His meaning, so that when the Greeks and Romans became Christians, some of the idolatrous customs were incorporated into Christianity. For example, the adornment of churches with images, self-mortification, abstinence, monks’ habits, the lighting of candles in church, the ringing of the bell in the steeple and others. These are all from idolaters.

Another group came into ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s presence asking about the mysteries of Sufism and reincarnation. Receiving satisfactory answers, they left happy and pleased.