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The principles and lifestyle of the Rastafari. What is it? What do they believe? Is it just another form of Christianity?

are Rastas Christians?

Postby RLunde » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Are Rastas Christians?
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Re: are Rastas Christians?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:23 pm

Bob Marley. Reggae music. So far, so cool. While Rastafari used to be a spiritual movement centered around the worship of Haile Selassie, former and now deceased Emperor of Ethiopia, the spiritual use of marijuana, the rejection of western culture and its depravity, and the search for spiritual inspiration inside oneself. Nowadays it’s tough to define the Rasta lifestyle. There are no universally recognized leaders and not even any agreed-on life principles. Ah, but most of them still believe in the deity of Haile Selassie, though Selassie himself denied that he was God.

What else do Rastas believe?

1. There is one God, and his name is Jah. He exists in the form of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. The Holy Spirit lives inside of all people, and therefore all people are equal, essentially one and the same.
3. Haile Selassie will lead the righteous to create a perfect world: a paradise for Rastas, which will be in Ethiopia.
4. Ethiopia is the promised land of Zion.
5. A chosen few will live forever in their current bodies.
6. Rastas have a “Reasoning” ceremony, smoking marijuana and reasoning with Jah.
7. “Groundation” ceremonies celebrate the end of oppression, and are marked by dancing, singing, feasting, and smoking marijuana.
8. A person’s body is the true church, so no spiritual buildings are needed.

On two occasions, when Jesus was asked about the criteria for admission to eternity, he offered a four-fold answer:
1. Love God with all that you are
2. Love your neighbor
3. Do God’s will by obeying his moral commands
4. Be willing, if he asks, to drop everything and leave it behind to follow him

Rastas honor Christ as worthy of worship. They believe in Yahweh and the Trinity. They look to the Bible for counsel. But while Rastas and Christians have much in common, Rastafarian exaltation of Haile Selassie as God poses a barrier, since the Bible teaches that such reverence is due only to Yahweh himself.

So are Rastas Christian? Since what Rastafari believe is so fluid, it depends on each individual, and what he or she believes. Only by honest conversation and good listening, without judging, can the truth be discerned.

My question would be: What attracts you to the Rasta lifestyle, and why is that superior in your mind to orthodox Christianity? And if you perceive Rastafarianism as just another expression of Christianity, are you going to church and worshipping there?
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