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25898 Posts in 9961 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 91 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
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Author Topic: rastafari=christianity  (Read 52180 times)
preach
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Roots


« on: March 28, 2004, 01:29:37 AM »

If the basic beliefs are the same, then isn't rastafari simply a new name for christianity?
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love
out_of_Zion
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2004, 07:19:46 AM »

Such was my response at one time, but then I found out there are many significant differences; and, moreover, that there are many "types" of belief systems within Rastafari just as within mainstream Christianity.  

Consider the following for starters:
RASTA,
1) Some accept or promote the divinity of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, others do not
2) Some embrace the writings of the Bible as the word of JAH, others do not (2 Peter 3:16)
3) Similarly, some embrace the writings of the Holy Piby, and again others do not
4) Rastafari teaches to find the divinity and manifestation of JAH within oneself.  Christianity generally teaches to look outwards, despite being made in the likeness and image of JAH (Genesis 1:26)

Then, in Christianity,
1) Some feel the use of ganga is a form of spiritism, others do not object (Revelation 22:15, "farmakia," Greek, meaning spiritism & druggery)
2) Some deify Yeshua as an incarnation of JAH.  Others recognize him as the foremost prophet of JAH and only-begotten son (John 3:16, Galatians 6:2)

You have here five simple, but significant, variations within Christianity & Rastafari.  There are certainly many more minor points that I could add, but these are what one might consider foundation points between the two.  Just taking these few beliefs you can see there is a wide spectrum of beliefs within both religions.  

There are also many points which harmonize within Rastafari & Christianity, too.

1) The fall of Babylon.  Rastafarians believe, rightfully so, that the world empire driven by greed & abusive dominance will fall and be replaced by the divine order of the most high JAH.  TRUE CHRISTIANS recognize this as well and are not a part of the quagmire of false Christianity that thrives within Christendoms' churches which are no part of the true movement of JAH people.
(Daniel 2:44, Revelation 21:3,4, 2 Peter 3:13)

2) The literal necessity for one to live righteously & lovingly as Yeshua taught (Psalm 37:29)
---

Those are just some basic points for starters that cause a rift, for lack of a better word, between mainstream adherents to Christendom's versions of Christianity and RastafarI.  

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Therefore, become imitators of JAH, as beloved children - Ephesians 5:1
sisMenenI
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physical distance cannot be a barrier to love.


« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2004, 12:40:30 PM »

The power of JAH dwelling in Man is what makes this reasoning have no direct answer because each person holds their own perspective, no 2 people think exactly alike, although many have parallel ways of seeing things and sighting the Most High. Out_of_Zion made some real legitiment points.  
I sight something very different in Rastafari than Christianity.. one very obvious difference is the emphasis of JAH dwelling in Man rather than pointing to a next human that will save you if you follow him. For example, many Rastafari call themselves by Ethiopian titles, like Ras, meaning Head. I have never met a christian that calls themselves by the name of Jesus. But there are plenty that hold an affinity for Jesus as somewhat of an Idolatry rather than the christ principles being the emphasis of their religion. One elder once showed me a pie graph-like chart of the earth cycle starting with the old testament and Judaism. The second section came when Yahushua the Christ was born and that was the time of the New Testament and Christianity. The third section was then the book of Revelation, HIM was born and the earthcycle is now Rastafari, and we are living in the times of Revelation. There are very distinct differences in each section as far as how people lived, by what morals, who were the leaders and what went on in history.
But, as I stated before, it's real difficult to label what Rastafari is because Rastafari is something different as there is no dogma, rules, rits and rites,  and what makes one a Rasta other than personal perspective. HIM Sellassie I was christian, Yahushua was Jewish. Am I a christian? Well, since Selassie I dwells within me, yes I try to trod in the light of Christ. For I, HIM Haile Selassie I is RASTAFARI .. I know what Rastafari IS .. to me and I don't need to take a life to provide for my life so I don't eat flesh, I let my hair grow as that is what it naturally does, combing only prevents the locks that naturally form, and I see that Itiopiya is the Motherland of civilization, HIM was born there and has fulfilled the scripture that so many are awaiting for fulfillment... I see the serious times we are dealt right now and cannot deny the revelation is reality in this time, so I must work to do my part in the healing for the sufferers.. most of all LOVE is the answer and JAH is love and love comes from the heart. Selah
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Spirituality is not theology or ideology. It is a simple way of life, pure and original as was given by the most high. Spirituality is a network linking us to the most high, the universe and eachother
preach
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Roots


« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2004, 01:46:27 PM »

I would first like to thank you for your responses. There were some wonderful points well taken.
After listening to the responses thus far it appears that there are more similarities than differences between rastafari and christianity.Forgive my ignorance, but after religion was forceably fed to us it seems as if we embraced it, then adapted it. Almost as if we took their saints and gave them some new names. Perhaps I just need more indepth examples of differences from the ones that you all provided;or, maybe i need a history lesson. I welcome your responses.

one love

bless
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love
Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2004, 10:30:35 AM »

Quote
I would first like to thank you for your responses. There were some wonderful points well taken.
After listening to the responses thus far it appears that there are more similarities than differences between rastafari and christianity.Forgive my ignorance, but after religion was forceably fed to us it seems as if we embraced it, then adapted it. Almost as if we took their saints and gave them some new names. Perhaps I just need more indepth examples of differences from the ones that you all provided;or, maybe i need a history lesson. I welcome your responses.

one love

bless



I feel you on this preach, I have voiced similar complaints about accepting our slave master's/colonizers "religion" ...But...when Judaism and Christianity are thoroughly examined...it is then realized they are just fragments of traditional African spiritual concepts that developed in the Nile Valley civilizations...If you look at Rastafari from this context it is as an extension of those teachings, then there is less to object to. I just don't like it when I see my brothers and sisters get trapped in the Helio Biblio(Holy Bible), that book has been perverted by those that oppress us, and we need to stretch our minds back to our ancestors beliefs and stop letting colonization and slavery define and limit us. Some of us Africans in the West came from Eastern African but the majority of us came from the West...From Dahomey, Ashanti, Fon, Yoruba, Igbo, Wolof, Congo, and Angolan stock(and others). We must ask ourselves what their beliefs and practices were, for if we were not enslaved...and those still at home were not colonized...we would be practicing these traditions. Are they not then what we should be emphasizing?
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2004, 01:40:58 PM »

I agree with Auset and preach. IMHO, we must return to our ORIGINAL traditional heritage to really gain consciousness of who we really are because recovering our original African religion deepen the sense of our own being. By doing so the energy of our illustrious Ancestors really rushes into us! There is no intention of harmony with the rhythms of the universe in the Judaic, Christian and Mohammedan religions, whereas the traditional African religions recognize the Cosmic, Nature and Ancestral Sprits and prove us their reality and how they are watching over all of us. Sticking to the major tenets and practices of religions that denigrate, ridicule, slander and destroy our Ancestral beliefs really bothers me and is detrimental to Africans the world over.

Bantu Kelani.
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
iyah360
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Higher Reasoning


« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2004, 02:38:23 PM »

This may not be my place to say something,  but I am wondering how ones return to something when one is so far removed from the environment from which it sprang. Would it not just be a second rate version of the original filled with our current understanding and perspective of things?

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Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2004, 04:15:06 PM »

No, because the origional people and practices still exists. The traditional spiritual systems were not wiped out....They are still practiced in Africa, all the peoples I mentioned are still on the planet in a similar environment,  practicing the spiritual systems right now. It survived in the West with the enslaved Africans in the forms of practice like Voudun, Santaria, Shango, Cambole, Lukumi, ect.  The initiates of the West travel to Yorubaland and Dahoneayland(Nigeria, Sierre Leone, Benin, Senegal, Togo) to  recieve the origional rites....We are still here. We survived, and so did our traditions.
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Kebo
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2004, 07:45:06 PM »


Speaking of original African religion.

In the Bible there is talk of an anti-christ. If there is an anti-christ I think its inside our own head, trying to destroy us. And a jah force fighting for the truth. If I want to take that message back to the original African religions is there talk of an anti-christ in the self? Because for me this is a real part of human nature. That there is a battle going on between an anti-christ force and a jah force inside the mind.

Kebo I
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African justice - white redemption
Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2004, 09:22:15 PM »

You may want to study the story of Seth/Set and Osiris/Ausar, you will see that this KMTic papyri is the origin of many a biblical story, including that of Cane and Able, Christ and the anti-Christ, ect. Osiris/Ausar is the "christ" figure in ancient KMT. The "Christ" figure in Ifa practice is Shango.  There is no "devil" in Ifa because this spirituality is based on the unity in opposites. The Europeans mistook Eshu/Llegba as the devil orisha when they colonized Yorubaland. There must be a balance, male female, possitive negative, life death. It is a lack of balance that causes chaos and destruction in the individual and society.....right now the world is out of balance, IMHO this can largely be attributed to lack of respect for the femanine principle, largely fostered by the version of Christianity practiced today that is patriarchal and not balanced. The femanine principle has been removed from the "origional KMTic holy trinity...Isis/Auset, Horus/Heru, and Osiris/Ausar...Mother Father and child. Auset has been replaced by the Holy ghost. If there is a God there must be a Goddes, as above so below...this is a fundamental teaching from our ancestors that is largely being ignored.
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Kebo
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2004, 11:09:18 PM »


If everything has a balance then positive must be balanced by negative. This would justify Haile Sellassie in not being expected to be the perfect man and take at least some of the heat off of his shoulders.

Thanks for the reference to the ancient Kemetic story, I'll have to look that up sometime. If you look at the anti-christ as a 'negative' force then it becomes a non-intentional force, a force thats not intentionally out to destroy. If it is destroying then there is just a lack of positive force. Like the news on TV, the negative stories outnumber the positive stories creating a negative view of whats happening. Which probably then gets perpetutated.

Kebo
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African justice - white redemption
PatriotWarrior
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2004, 03:11:44 AM »

Greetings!

The question of whether “rastafari=Christianity” always recurs. I agree with the views offered by most -- if not by all -- people here (on this subject) up the thread, and I agree that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are no more than modern versions (excuse my language!) of Kemetic-Egyptian religion, crafted from Kemetic natural religion and, therefore, old chips off the practices of Ancient Egyptian mystics, as someone has observed … [I think everyone should know that!]. These three religions sprang from Ancient Egyptian -- (or Kemetic) -- civilization!!!

Not all Rastafarians agree on things *Rasta*, and the one good thing about Rastafari is that there is really no established “authority” (as such) to dictate any belief doctrines to anyone, though we can say the doctrines are there! … [I don’t know whether that should be viewed as negative or positive, but I’d like to consider it positive, since we JAH people have too many problems up our neck already, to divide (or make distinctions among) ourselves through differences in interpreting what lies at the core of the state we call Rastafarianism] …

“The Truth lies within you; your journey is simply to find it!

And anyway, lest we forget: Let’s always NOT forget the essence of language and culture (and their evolution/impact) in whatever dealings we have in the present times, and let’s remember that healthy societies existed in Afrika and elsewhere before the advent of writing and the setting up of missions by whites in Afrika! By the way, writing comes from Afrika (lest we forget!), but English does not!! English is the medium we use to communicate with one another; we speak it to sieve with it through the dirt of history, and then use it to seek out the truth, our hidden Truth as we perceive it, being a people massively relocated and disconnected throughout history, both physically and intellectually/spiritually.

We lost our roots!!!

To understand the fabric of (Ancient) African society, its dynamics and how it was totally destroyed over time, Diasporan Afrikans wishing to take a peek at unspoilt Afrikan society and thinking are advised to read Chinua Achebe’s books such as (in that chronological order): Things Fall Apart, No longer At Ease, A Man Of The People, Arrow Of God, Chike And The River, How The Leopard Got Its Claws, Girls At War, Morning Yet On Creation Day, Anthills Of The Savannah and The Trouble With Nigeria. This is just on the creative literature level, but would be a VERY good starting point, to begin with.

Consider the following excerpt from Achebe’s No Longer At Ease, a novel about Obi Okonkwo, Ogbuefi Okonkwo’s grandson living in the modern-day Nigeria of the present-past (the book is set in the late 1950s) ... [The book is really a continuation of Things Fall Apart. Obierika, a wise elder in the village of Umuofia and who refused to convert to Christianity, speaks thus of Obi Okonkwo (to people who were there at the material time)]:

“… He is the grandson of Ogbuefi Okonkwo, who faced the white man single-handed and died in the fight. Stand up! …” -- he tells Obi –- “… I tell you, this is Okonkwo. “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be: world without end”; that is what your religion teaches us …

Isn’t that *beautiful*Huh ...

It should be mentioned here that Professor Achebe informs us in this book that the people of Umuofia sent Obi to study (Law) abroad, in England, so that he could take up their land cases/grievances to contest them in a court of (the white man’s) law, upon completion of his studies: in the poli-tricks of modern-day, europeanized Nigeria, set just before independence in 1960. In England, however, Obi chooses to study English, instead of Law, thus going against the wishes of the very people who had blessed him with the chance and sacrifice to study overseas …

Any echoes there, of today’s situation? Any reasons for why Obi’s bourgeois lifestyle ruins him through his careless mistakes, within a short time of his returning to Nigeria, working as a civil servant? It must also be mentioned that Obi is clearly “lost between two worlds” upon his return to Nigeria, and one even gets the feeling that he is gradually separating himself from his “village people”, and realises too late that it is only they who could have helped him …

I’m sorry that I took such a poor example from the realm of creative literature, but I think we all already know the essence and power of literature in society. Creative social literature encompasses the memory of a society and, therefore, should mirror the hopes, fears, dreams and realities of a given community or people.

Anyhow, I also have this reference:

I think Ras Tyehimba eloquently expresses common (and very acceptable!!!) views on Rastafari in his Rastafari: A Return to the Roots. I think it is a beautiful and well-balanced, well-written and unchallengeable article! Please check it out (if you haven’t yet!).

ONE LOVE + One Aim  Two Thumbs ...

PatriotWarrior.

He who brings Kola, brings life: An Igbo parable found on many pages of Chinua Achebe’s books.

Food For Thought: http://community-2.webtv.net/@HH!F3!DD!27F71B870BDF/BARNUBIANEMPIRE/BLACKPEOPLEBLACK/index.html
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iyah360
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2004, 08:30:15 AM »

I was asking my question because I am thinking that cultural practices change when removed from the indigenous environment from which they sprang and are practiced traditionally.

From what I have read, the practices of the diasporic Africans which they retained from their homeland assimilated the cultural symbols, idols, etc. of the slave masters who brought them out of Africa (i.e. Catholic imagery, etc.) and thus the spiritual practices adapted to the new environment and incorporated that which was around, such as in Haitian Voudou. The fundamental system of knowledge and spirituality may be retained, but the appearence in some aspects changed.

I am thinking in a way that Rastafarians adapted the Christian imagery of the slave masters, but perhaps deeper at the root their is some of the indigenous spiritual practice still at work.

This is why I was asking if one can really return to the ORIGINAL practice of the ancestors w/out adapting to the new environment. A Rasta in the bush in The Carribean incorporated a fundamental respect for nature and all of creation and works WITH IT. . .  EVEN if they color their overstanding of things with biblical imagery. This I would argue is very different than Christianity and perhaps closer to indigenous practices of the homeland than some would think.

Quote
No, because the origional people and practices still exists. The traditional spiritual systems were not wiped out....They are still practiced in Africa, all the peoples I mentioned are still on the planet in a similar environment,  practicing the spiritual systems right now. It survived in the West with the enslaved Africans in the forms of practice like Voudun, Santaria, Shango, Cambole, Lukumi, ect.  The initiates of the West travel to Yorubaland and Dahoneayland(Nigeria, Sierre Leone, Benin, Senegal, Togo) to  recieve the origional rites....We are still here. We survived, and so did our traditions.

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Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2004, 10:20:03 AM »

I understand what you mean. They call it syncretism, but the fact is there are still people in the "bush"/rural or village areas in Africa practicing the traditional spiritual practices (like Ifa and Voudun). They have not taken on the catholic saint/Orisha blending of the people in the diaspora. That is why I choose that form rather than the diaspora version. Many people forget that the origional culture still exists. They think it was completely lost via the slave trade or colonization, and that's not true.  Plus, just like Rasta took on the Christian  iconography but remained true to nature, the diaspora traditions  did much the same thing...but I still prefer the origional without the Catholic/slave master's overtones and influence
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iyah360
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Higher Reasoning


« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2004, 11:11:57 AM »

And the more one overstands what Christianity is and where the root ideas of it came from, it is a cycle BACK to the nile valley civilizations. In this way Rastafari(in asmuch as certain ones who follow the livity accept Christian doctrine) makes a loop back to the origins.

I have seen pictures of Ras Tafari as a youth and he has what was known as the "Horus Lock" which is pretty much a lock of hair which is allowed to grow unhindered while the rest of the head is shaved until a certain age. This practice is from ANCIENT times and can be traced back to KMT. The more one looks into it, the more that is revealed.
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