FAQ - Why Do We Wear Dreads?   

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do We Wear Dreads?

Question:

What is the main reason why you wear your dreads?

Answer:

ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN. Although I had been trying for years to get dreads, I did not actually start growing them until after I came to Christ. My dreads have been growing for over eleven years now. Although I do wear them because I like them, they are low maintenance and they save me money on haircut's, the primary reason why I wear them is found in I Corinthians 9:19-20:

"Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law" Then 2 verses later Paul states; "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some"(9:22).

In the case of ministering to Rastas, I am trying to reach a people group that is "under the law"(v20), although I am not under the law (In this case the Rastas' Nazarite vow).

My favorite interpretation of this passage is the amplified translation found in the Living Bible. It reads as follows:

"When I am with the Jews I seem as one of them so that they will listen to the Gospel and I can win them to Christ. When I am with Gentiles who follow Jewish customs and ceremonies I don't argue, even though I don't agree, because I want to help them. When with the heathen I agree with them as much as I can, except of course that I must always do what is right as a Christian. And so, by agreeing, I can win their confidence and help them too. When I am with those whose consciences bother them easily, I don't act as though I know it all and don't say they are foolish; the result is that they are willing to let me help them. Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him. I do this to get the Gospel to them and also for the blessing I myself receive when I see them come to Christ"(I Cor 9:20-23 LIV).

Given this interpretation, I guess that you could say that "To the Rastas I became like a Rasta, to win the Rastas."

Yet people still ask; "Isn't this just an attempt to justify your lifestyle?" Aren?t you compromising?" No. You must set limits. We cannot fall into sin or attempt to imitate it. But something as neutral as hair is not a sin issue.

I wear locks so that I can go into places and be accepted in areas that a "Crazy Baldhead" would not. For me they have proven very fruitful. If I approached a Rasta in a suit and tie they would most likely put up a wall that I could never break through. However, with long dreads I can enter a Rasta territory and receive respect, in turn, they let their guards down. It is then, through reasoning with Rastas that I can share the Gospel in a non threatening way. I do it all "for the sake of the gospel", so that I might win some." And I have to the glory of God.

In the New Testament we learn that Paul did this with both the Jews and the Greeks. He had to play two separate roles in ministering to these groups.

In Acts 16:3 to minister to the Jews, Paul even went as far as circumcising Timothy in order to bring him on one of their journeys! How many people do you know would go that far in order to reach a people group?

But Paul was raised as a Jew and knew firsthand all of the traditions and vows of the faith. He knew how important these commands were to his people. But since he was in Christ he was freed from these laws. Yet in Acts 18:18, "before he sailed (for Syria), he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken."

Again, in Acts 21:17-26 Paul was being confronted by the Jews for his ministry methods to the Greeks. Given the situation, in order to prove himself to the Jews and be a strong witness for Christ he submitted himself to Jewish Laws regarding purification rites. He joined four men in the completion of their Nazarite Vow. He paid for their expenses to have their heads shaved (including his own), and paid for their offerings (the sacrificing of eight pigeons and four lambs).

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