Is Coptic the Church? Nonsense, Coptic is a sociocultural and ethnic term, a hyphenation of Christian. Well Rastafari is the same, it is mine and many others sociocultural and yes, even racial identity
What are you talking about? Coptic is not a hyphenation of Christian or anything else. It just means "Egyptian". And since when is "Rastafari" a racial identity of any kind?
so please be kind not to disregard or disrespect by your own ideologies..
What does this mean?
If there can be Coptic Christians, or Ethiopian Christians, or Russian Christians, or what have you, there can also be Rastafari Orthodox Christians.
Um...Coptic Christians are Egyptian Christians. Egypt is a place; you can locate it on a map. Russian Christians are Christians in Russia, which is another place you can locate on a map. "Rastafarian Orthodox Christians" apparently live on the internet, which is not a place you can locate on a map. So, no. No disrespect meant, just no.
Culture is culture, and we have ours, and you have yours, and the Church is universal, but universally accepts culture.
The Church is not a way station for anybody or any "culture" that might present itself there. The reality of the ethnic/national churches is a matter of history and geography, not some sort of open-door policy for any yahoo to come in and remake it in his image. So, no, I do not believe that the Church "universally accepts culture", as though we might come in with our baggage and leave it there to fester and create division among people because this guy likes a certain kind of music, but this other guy likes another kind, or this guy has a certain racial outlook, but this woman doesn't share it, or whatever. I'm constantly having to excuse myself from political discussions that take place after our Agape meal because I really do believe in this principle: You have your politics, I have mine, we're both in the Church, let's both knock it off. As this translates to the situation that you've described, I would say: You have your rastafarian thing and I'm not going to knock it as though it's the worst thing in the world to have a social conscience informed by Bob Marley and stupid-looking hair, but don't tell me to accept it when it messes with the doctrine and the unity of the Church. Leave it out. It doesn't belong there. All this Rastafarian stuff belongs on your turntable and shirts in the mall, not in the holy Orthodox Church of God. Or, as HH Pope Shenouda III has put it, "if it touches the religion or the doctrine, I become another person" (read: It is unacceptable to mess around with the faith
We should hold ourselves and those around us in the church to no less a standard of personal commitment to solid Christian doctrine. That means none of this JAH RASTAFARI stuff.
Further, you can disregard my culture all you like, but I do folks have to quit the Boy Scouts when they join the Church? What about their sports club? Political party? Oh right, there can be mutual memberships.
If any of these things should cause you to serve two masters, then no, you can't have mutual memberships in them. For instance, if your scout troupe required you to believe that a mere emperor was God, or even blurred the lines between an emperor and God, then I don't care how good their cookies are, you can't be there.
I am a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, a political organization dedicated around a vision of Africa for the Africans and the Liberation movement of the Rastafari Elders.
I did a little web searching on these "Rastafari elders". It appears they are Jamaicans. I suppose it's a liberation from a distance, then?
Our liberation is a spiritual liberation from the demonic forces,
You know Who really liberates people from the demonic forces? Jesus Christ, the Son of the one God. Not some guy or group of guys in Jamaica, or some political organization built around them and their ideology.
and those of us who are Orthodox have learned it is through the Sacraments, through the Flesh and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we are liberated.
As opposed to learning it how or where? That's my entire point: The Orthodox Church
is where it is. That's why there is no "Rastafarian Orthodox" anything, because that is an ideology from outside the Church, not in concert with the Apostles and the Fathers (so far as I have been taught of them by Orthodox people), who taught an entirely different liberation witnessed and passed down to them from the "liberator" Himself. "And as many as came to Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God." This whole conversation is like a weird rehash of my time in the RCC, and even weirder I find myself solidly on the side of the Roman Pope JP II, who met with the "liberators" and those deceived by them in Nicaragua and gave them the message: "regularize yourselves within the church", meaning, you can be on the side of the "liberators" if you want, but you cannot make Jesus Christ into a proto-Marxist. I think that's a pretty great lesson, really. It applies to liberation theologists in Latin America, you and all your Rasta friends, and pretty much anyone who would do that.
If the semantics of using terms like Rastafari or Rastafarian continue to upset you, I apologize, but you are misunderstanding their meanings. Rastafari or Rastafarian simply means those associated with HIM Haile Selassie I, now as to who the Emperor is to each Rastafarian or Rastafari such is a diverse subject.
It's not the semantics, it's the wrongness. If semantics is relevant to discuss within the wider context of community agreement (and it is, hence all English speakers can look at a tree and say "hey, that's a tree", not because of its inherent "tree-ness" but because that's the name for that thing to all of them), then I must say I do not and cannot agree with this. Nothing that is all about any emperor will be acceptable to me. Even those churches within which emperors have been sainted do not build ideologies around them with separate cults where some people may believe that the emperor is god. In any church, that is taking it way too far.
Once again, it is not about disrespecting your culture for the heck of it, but the fact that it is unacceptable and contrary to Orthodox Christianity to be a Rastafarian. It's that simple. Go ahead and listen to the music all you want, but leave your "Jah Rastafari" business out of the church.