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Should you "Witness to RasTafari?"
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2004 23:10    Post subject: Should you "Witness to RasTafari?" Reply with quote

http://www.lionofzion.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=19628#19628

This person makes a good point about "witnessing to RasTafari." I linked his reasoning to this section of the board because I thought that it was pertinent to what was taking place here.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 07 Oct 2004 17:02    Post subject: Re: Should you "Witness to RasTafari?" Reply with quote

aaronjudah wrote:
http://www.lionofzion.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=19628#19628

This person makes a good point about "witnessing to RasTafari." I linked his reasoning to this section of the board because I thought that it was pertinent to what was taking place here.


Here's what I posted over there. I hope it will contribute to the dialogue...

jtindall wrote:
First of all, I'm not really sure that we should "witness" to Rastafarians. This is a very difficult line to walk because, when you "witness" to some one or have the attitude that you will do such a thing, you are attempting to change a person's mentality.... We live by example.


"Witnessing" or "giving testimony" in the biblical sense is not primarily verbal preaching, exhortation, or admonition, as many people seem to think. (Including, unfortunately, many Christians.) It means living uprightly, doing what is right, loving other people as God loves. This includes being willing to suffer and die for what is good and true. The English word "martyr" comes from the Greek word "witness" --when you suffer and/or die for what is true, right, and godly, it is a testimony to the truth, to God. People who understand that testimony will also be drawn to what is good and true.

In this sense, all Christians should witness to all people, including fellow Christians. Everyone needs to see the power of God working in other people in our world, and everyone benefits from this. And everyone, including Christians, needs to be continually drawn to and won over by what is good and true and godly. The Christian life is a process of continual conversion and renewal.

So when you think of the word "witnessing," you should think of these words of Y'shua: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." You may also think of these words of Francis of Assisi: "Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."

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You cannot represent the poor when you are wealthy yourself. If you want to understand the struggle, you must become a part of it. Otherwise, you will stand on the fringes and your hypocrisy will become apparent.


This is why so many Christians, including Francis & Clare of Assisi, Peter Maurin & Dorothy Day, Jim & Nancy Forest, Mark & Louise Zwick, and numerous others throughout history, embrace poverty voluntarily, and encourage other Christians to do the same. Compassion (literally "suffering with") and solidarity with the poor are a crucial part of the Christian life.
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coolpoete
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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2004 03:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen to that man.. that is how it should be! In my job we talk about sales and selling ideas to people and as Christians we have to do the same. How do you effectively sell something if you are not sold on it yourself and living the lifestyle?

I think that sometimes when it comes to "Witnessing to Rasta's" many have been spoiled by one bad apple, or many of bad apples that have tried to paint the image that having dreads is a bad thing. I come from a West Indian culture that is filled with Christian conservatists that are very anti-rasta, and found that Americans are alot more accepting by far... well, at least to say alot more inquisitive or willing to learn something new because they may not know about Caribbean/Rasta culture. You have to get to know somebody before you can give them advice!!

Whenever I think of witnessing and missionaries I'm reminded of that movie The Mission with Robert De Niro.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2004 16:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolpoete wrote:
Amen to that man.. that is how it should be!


An Indian man recently told me, regarding political candidates, "We need fewer people just talking about their religion and more people actually practicing!" I think there is a lot of truth in this.

Quote:
I come from a West Indian culture that is filled with Christian conservatists that are very anti-rasta, and found that Americans are alot more accepting by far... well, at least to say alot more inquisitive or willing to learn something new because they may not know about Caribbean/Rasta culture. You have to get to know somebody before you can give them advice!!


Sometimes we probably need "outsiders" who aren't so close to issues to see them with new eyes and to throw new light onto them.

Quote:
Whenever I think of witnessing and missionaries I'm reminded of that movie The Mission with Robert De Niro.


What do you think of it?
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perfectloveinH.I.M.
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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2004 18:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

deh shining of ones light involves no talking initially, if dem don't be"lie"ve I ask a moth. which man lighteth a candle under a bushel?
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blaminack
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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2004 18:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting answer. I find that many are so stuck in zeal that they really lose all effectiveness, in witnessing. I have a coworker who is very zealous but totally lacks wisdom in witnessing. He has even told a Hindu Customer of ours that he is on his way to Hell.

That to me is not witnessing.

Witnessing is living in such a way that like PLIH has said it is shining a light. It is living in such a way that your light shines and is a benifit. My boss and several coworkers went to a funeral this morning for another cowrokers father. The preacher at the funeral laid out the message of the Gospel. It was to the letter and by the Book. But if on Monday I am not shining a light of what Christ is doing and has done in my life, then that sermon means nothing to my boss. Are our words backed up by our deeds? And that in my mind is what many folks have left Churchianity and have become Rasta because of. They so often do not see the message lived out by the supposed Christians. If you want to "witness" to a Rasta, you do not do so by telling the Rasta that he must change, but rather you show that person how Christ has changed you. It is preached in demonstration and power. This is most often not the case in our world today. We are wasting time preaching a properity message and not living a live that is pleasing to God. Why would a Rasta want to follow that? If we would really just be solid Christians then the message is preached.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2004 19:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

blaminack wrote:
I have a coworker who... even told a Hindu Customer of ours that he is on his way to Hell. That to me is not witnessing.


I couldn't agree with you more. Witnessing is the revelation of the positive effects of God's life in you. Telling other people they're "going to Hell" is hardly that!

Quote:
It is living in such a way that your light shines and is a benifit.


Absolutely.

Quote:
If you want to "witness" to a Rasta, you do not do so by telling the Rasta that he must change, but rather you show that person how Christ has changed you.


Yes, brother! Amen.
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The Messenjah
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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2004 05:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

blaminack wrote:
I have a coworker who is very zealous but totally lacks wisdom in witnessing. He has even told a Hindu Customer of ours that he is on his way to Hell.

what a way to win customers over.

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