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What exactly is wrong with the answers on the FAQ?
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Irie-in-Christ
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 08:53    Post subject: What exactly is wrong with the answers on the FAQ? Reply with quote

I just read the discussion below. Messian Dread seems to think that there is false teaching about rastafarianism in the FAQ section of Christafari. I didn't get to understand what exactly is seen as false teaching in this section. Can somenbody tell me what Jetze thinks is wrong? Of course Jezte if you read this, I hope you can tell me what you think is not right, but since you 'had enough', like you said, anyone that can update me is welcome.
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 16:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would sum up my personal disagreements in 2 brief statements:

1. The information presented does not represent the elements of RasTafari that believe the Messiah to be the way of salvation for humanity. Mr. Mohr has consistently stated that he shares his faith w/ Rastafari and encourages/coaches others to do likewise. He fails to state that there are individuals from the various bodies of Rastafari who have a biblical belief system and faith. If he and others are concerned about the salvation of those in the Rastafari movement, the least he could do is acknowledge the presence of those who hold such salvation faith.

I am puzzled by the fact that he does not reference a few key Rastafari works that deal with the issue of Rastafari and Jesus in a very in depth manner. Perhaps, he has not read these works.

"Dread Jesus" is an excellent. This man actually spoke at a Xian festival (Cornerstone). He is a fundamentalist minister that has produced an excellent work concerning RasTafari and the concept of Jesus.

"HIM: Defender of the Faith." This is a book written by K. Naphtali, a long time Rastafarian and member of the TTOI. This book promotes the necessity of faith in the Messiah.

If Mr. Mohr, and others, are interested in RasTafari and Faith in Xrist/Messiah why don't they read/recommend these books? These works and the people who share the ideology of, as well as create these works, are absent from any of the information found in the FAQ.

2. The FAQ information presents info from RasTafari culture, but fails to give the significance that the various cultural and artistic symbols hold within the RasTafari movement. The info about Dreads; Red, Gold, Green; etc; present facts about these and other symbols, yet they fail to associate them with their origins. This, in my opinion, is why X-ians fail to recognize the serious message/symbol that is portrayed by Christafari imagery. The Lion of Zion, the colors, the half-man/half-lion, the magens, etc. are Rastafari imagery. Many Xians fail to understand the symbology and, therefore, do not see why some individuals express frustration or confusion concerning Christafari. For all intents and purposes, Christari is sending out the RasTa signal and waving the RasTa flag. When individuals draw close and see that this is not an accurate assessment of the band (Maybe not the band, but M. Mohr, specifically) and, in fact, they have stated certain things that distance them from and diminish Rastafari ideology and beliefs we become frustrated. Think of this example, there is a Rasta and Ganja Reasoning Forum on this site! What types of conclusions should Rastafari draw from this? When this type of behavior is taken to its natural conclusion, what you have is a large population of individuals who are talking, dressing and using symbols in arrogance. Many people do not realize the absurdity of seeing so many Xians who use Rasta imagery and language while they badmouth the movement. In the process of this badmouthing, they reveal how little they understand about Rastafari and the people involve in the movement.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 17:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since this is also relevant here, I will reproduce it.

aaronjudah wrote:
2. The FAQ information presents info from RasTafari culture, but fails to give the significance that the various cultural and artistic symbols hold within the RasTafari movement. The info about Dreads; Red, Gold, Green; etc; present facts about these and other symbols, yet they fail to associate them with their origins.


I definitely agree that the FAQ should include more (and more accurate) information about what these symbols mean among Rastas. It is a serious failure to ignore how potent and meaningful these images are among Rastas.

I disagree firmly, however, with your repeated claim that "the Lion of Zion, the colors, the half-man/half-lion, the magens, etc. are Rastafari imagery" and especially the implication (above) that they originate with Rastas.

The Lion of Judah, the colors, and the magens are all Christian symbols, and were Christian symbols long before Rastafari was ever conceived. Even before that, many of them are Jewish symbols. Jews and Christians, therefore, need no Rasta's permission to use those symbols in any context they wish. It is not "misleading" in any way for religious groups to use their own symbols as they wish, regardless what those symbols mean to other people.

A good example is the Hindu swastika. This has been a Hindu emblem for centuries, perhaps several millennia. It is a symbol as old as the Vedas, at least. The Buddha was a Hindu, and many Hindu symbols, like the swastika, were also adopted by Buddhists. In the 20th century, the swastika was adopted by the Nazis.

The Nazis cannot claim that the swastika is their own exclusive symbol, as if they created it and have the only authority to define its meaning. It has belonged to Hindus and Buddhists since long before Nazis ever arrived on the scene. Hindus and Buddhists ascribed their own meaning to the symbol ages before Nazis tried to change it, and the Hindu meaning will always remain primary, regardless what Nazis desire. Hindus should not relinquish one of their oldest religious symbols to newcomer Nazis.

My point here is NOT to compare Rastas to Nazis. The point is that a new group cannot claim exclusive use of a symbol that existed for centuries or millennia before that group and its beliefs came into existence.

So whether you are a Christian or a Rasta you will just have to get over the fact that some of our religious symbols overlap and that the other group will use the same images with a different meaning. Lions, for example, are meaningful to both of us, even if we interpret them differently. If you're a Christian and don't like the Rastas' use of the lion, too bad. If you're a Rasta and you don't like the Christians' use of the lion, too bad. Green, gold, and red are also meaningful to both of us, even if we interpret them differently. For me, they primarily represent Ethiopia. If they mean something different to you, that's nice, and you're welcome to it. I won't tell you to stop using the colors, and you can't tell me to stop using them either. Get over it.

That being said, I completely agree with those people who wish the FAQ better represented Rastas, their beliefs, and their understanding of symbols. But the FAQ also fails to represent different Christian beliefs, and especially those with ancient roots. I think that we all, both Rastas and Christians, will just have to tolerate the FAQ until Mohr sees fit to change it. (You may encourage that if you like.) It only represents his beliefs anyway. If you recognize that the FAQ doesn't represent your own beliefs (whether Rasta or Christian), you may also reasonably conclude that it doesn't necessarily represent anyone else's (whether Christian or Rasta) either.
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The Messenjah
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PostPosted: 19 Aug 2004 23:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaron, when did he speak at cornerstone?
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2004 00:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cornerstonemag.com/imaginarium/fest/index.html

Scroll down to see his information. There was another place that discussed his book or referenced his book, but I do not know where this is now. I am not familiar with this site or festival, but I saw his info while I was googling Dread Jesus.

I must admit, though, I like the vibe of this community and their approach to faith.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2004 02:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronjudah wrote:
http://www.cornerstonemag.com/imaginarium/fest/index.html

Scroll down to see his information. There was another place that discussed his book or referenced his book, but I do not know where this is now. I am not familiar with this site or festival, but I saw his info while I was googling Dread Jesus.


Aaron, I couldn't find him on the site you listed here. Where is it on the page?
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2004 02:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cornerstonemag.com/imaginarium/archives/2001/speakers.html

Check this link, too.

On the ohter link it 2001 and 1999
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2004 02:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some articles online by William David Spencer:

Could Rastas and Christians Really Unite?
http://www.christianitytoday.com/global/printer.html?/ct/2003/132/31.0.html

Looking for a Dreadlocked Jesus
http://www.christianitytoday.com/global/printer.html?/ct/2003/132/32.0.html

He also seems to have done some sex & gender articles for the Priscilla Papers, which I would like to look into.
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