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CHRISTAFARIANISM, OR: DON'T BE A RASTA, BE LIKE A RASTA

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Christafari's "Response To The Essay"

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ENTER RASTAFARI  

Now that I've elaborated more or less to some points in Christafari's meditations, which I find rather confusing and contradictory after closer studying and analysis, I would like to dive a little more into their definition of Rasta.

Christafari's definition of Rasta  is: "a believer in the deity or veneration of Haile Selassie, repatriation, Ethiopia as Zion and the sacramental use of marijuana"[1].

But is this a correct definition?

And is the Scripture against honoring a descendant of King David?

I am personally convinced that it is not and I am not in bad company when it comes to that.

I presume that Mark Mohr used those things that he finds not in accordance with scripture to define Rastafari, but I think the definition is not a correct one and certainly doesn't justify an anathema on the movement of Rastafari .

Within Rastafari are many different houses , and each have their own point of view when it comes to the very points that Mark Mohr brings forward as tenets of Rastafari. This in itself shows that it cannot be used as tenet.

Let me explain this with an example: I cannot say: one of the tenets of people who love to drive a car, is that they all believe BMW is the best car brand. Perhaps every car lover has an opinion about BMW, perhaps a lot of car lovers value the BMW over other brands, but to say that all car lovers believe that BMW is the best is simply unreal.

So I believe it is equally impossible to say that one of the tenets of Rastafari  is the belief that Selassie is God or the practice of an unbiblical veneration of man, whatever that may be, because it is one of the points of which almost every Rasta has a different opinion.

There are actually Rastafarians who do not believe that Haile Selassie is God  and do not unbiblicaly venerate him. Among them is the leader of the biggest Rastafarian organization  in the world!

When I read the interview that Jamaican Radio station Ire FM  has held with the prophet Gad , the leader of the biggest Rastafarian organization, the 12 tribes of Israel, I see clearly that not all Rastafarian worship Haile Selassie .

Let me quote from the interview:

Q: The 12 Tribes of Israel is seen as closer to Christianity than other Rastafarian groups. Is there a basic difference in the doctrine? 

A: "Yes there is a basic difference because we see Christ, and that die and rose again, and that die for our sin, we see that person. So that is, you know, a different teaching, because is not many see this teaching, that Christ is the person."

Q: I want to remind you that we're speaking with the Prophet Gad  who is the leader, the head, the founder of the 12 Tribes of Israel . We want to move on now to the doctrine. Recently we've had much debate on this program "Running African" and other programs about the Divinity of His Majesty the Emperor Haile Selassie as it relates the return of Jesus Christ. What are your thoughts on the matter? 

A: "Well, Christ is to return and sit on the Throne of David, so I strongly believe that, you know, Christ is going to come and sit on the Throne of David." 

Q: I want you to.. You said something very important here and something that may disturb the Rastafarian Movement in Jamaica . Christ, You're talking about the return of Christ. 

A: "Yes I am talking about the return of Christ who is going to sit on the throne of David ."

Q: Are you making a differentiation between Jesus Christ and Haile Selassie

A: "Yes I am making a differentiation. Because Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. And even after His Majesty say, Him saved not by the man character but by the blood of Jesus Christ."[2]

When the leader of the biggest Rastafarian organization makes such clear statements about the difference between Rastafari and Christ , I wonder how one can seriously uphold a definition that Rastafari means believing in Selassie as God, especially since this definition is leading to serious situations.

The prophet Gad  says, quoting Selassie, that even Haile Selassie  himself needed to be saved by Jesus Christ. I know that Mark Mohr has also heard this interview, years ago, so it can't be that he is unaware of this.

One of the reasons that I can not agree with Mohr in his reasonings, is because it comes to a point in which you almost have to bring Selassie down in order to be accepted, or "thought of" as a Christian.

“Thought of”?

Yes.

It’s an image  thing, after all.

And that is where another thing comes in. A serious problem with bizarre consequences.

The image of Christafari  itself, which is obviously based on Rastafarian culture.

When you are a Christafarian , you have to justify the use of dreadlocks, the Rastafarian colors and symbolism, language, by taking every spiritual significance out of it.

It is, perhaps unwanted, but nevertheless the inevitable result of Christafarianism  and seriously does short to the Identity of many dreadlocked Christians who are a part of the Rastafarian Culture  and do not want to deny their Jah Given Identity to see their hair become an instrument tool for a reasoning based on a false definition of Rastafarian culture with it's many houses.

It is inconsequent to use so much things of a certain Culture and yet in the same time label this Culture as a false religion.

There is a difference between culture and religion .

Can you tell the difference between a Palestinian Christian and a Palestinian Muslim ? They both look the same! They eat the same things[3] and they even speak about Allah when the talk about their God. And no, I do not believe that the God of Islam and the God of the Bible are one and the same.

So every culture can have different religions . In one culture you may find a variety of religions.

Rastafari, most certainly, is not one religion. It is a culture with many different views on Selassie, varying from the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian point of view  to the more esoteric kind. Some houses of Rastafari  differ over crucial parts where it comes to Christianity. Some are clearly identified as Christian, others not.

Or, to put it shorter: not all Rastafarians are Christian, although some are, and not all Christians are Rastafarians, although some are.

If it is not the believe in His Majesty as God, Mark Mohr also brings up something he calls "veneration of Selassie ". I don't know, unfortunately, exactly how Mark Mohr defines "veneration".

But veneration, of course, does not have to be unscriptural in itself. It means: "to honor or greatly respect a person or thing[4]". Is it then unscriptural to regard Haile Selassie with great respect? Is it worth an anathema?

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, playing a very important role in the relationship between Rastafari and Christianity in teachings concerning His Majesty, tells us something that might be of great importance here.

Haile Selassie , a devout Christian, was reportedly sad and cried when he saw the masses in Jamaica worshipping him as Christ returned, and he decided to give a gift to the people of Jamaica , a gift in the form of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He sent one of his best students, brethren Manfredo , to become Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church  in the western hemisphere.

Brethren Manfredo, becoming Abuna Yesehaq  (Father Isaac), was ordered by Haile Selassie  to teach the scriptural right way to honor the king. And not to worship him as God.

The Bible gives us the commandment to honor the king (1 Peter 2:17[5]), to honor our fellow men (same verse), to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12), to honor everyone.

Even the way the Ethiopians honor Haile Selassie  is closely related to the message of the Bible.

In short, because of their Solomonic Bloodline  all the Ethiopian kings symbolically point out to the coming reign of the Messiah.

They’re Icons Of Christ  In His Kingly Character.

Or, as the evangelicals would put it: Types of Christ [6].

If I regard it as wrong to honor that king, I am acting unscriptural.

In spite of all these confusing, contradicting and sometimes outright abominable elements in the teachings of Christafari, they are still being seen as a big authority on Rastafari by a church-going generation that lack any knowledge of this movement.

So it can happen that you can find the following words in a conversation from one Christian to the other: “We have read a lot of lies and misinformation, now let us share some truth. PLEASE READ the links along with everthing below as it will give you A LOT of insight into all of this and you will not have to be confused anymore[7].

This conversation was about Rastafari and one Christian refers to Christafari with the words you saw. What Christafari says about Rastafari is seen as authority. It’s said that one will not be confused after reading the messages on the Christafari Website.

Will they not?

I doubt that.  

FOOTNOTES

[1] Link: website

[2] Link: WEBSITE

[3] Although Christians do drink and sell alcohol in contradiction to Moslems, Palestinian people are basically in the same culture where only their religious differences stand out, not the cultural, for they are non-existent.

[4] Cambridge Dictionary Online: website

[5] 1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

[6] For an in-depth study of Christian Typology, visit the following link: WEBSITE

[7] Link: WEBSITE  

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