I have no dog in this fight (thankfully) although I do like Bob Marley's music. I'm an (Eastern) Orthodox convert as you probably know. I came to the Church whilst living and working in Romania. Now as that was not my native culture I was learning about Romanian history, culture and Orthodoxy all as something foreign and one thing that was startlingly apparent was that, unlike in my Protestant background, anything that looked remotely pagan was not automatically condemned but actually was often absorbed into the practice of the Church where it did not contradict it. Aspects of pre-Christian culture were baptised (just look at the painted - and no I don't mean died red - eggs as an obvious example). Now this was obviously centuries ago and the baptism of (some) Rastafarians into the Ethiopian Church is much more recent, but I fail to see why a similar process couldn't happen with Rastafarian culture (I don't know many Rastafarians but as an outsider they seem to have a distinct culture quite apart from any particular religious beliefs). I could imagine a future Orthodox Church in the Carribean with distinctictive traditions due to a Rastafarian past, just as I see Ethiopia (or Serbia, or Romania and so on) now has distinctive traditions due to its pre-Christian past. It wouldn't mean it was any less Orthodox.
Now I'm not saying that Rastafarian beliefs are compatible with the Orthodox Faith - clearly this is not true - but I think non-religious aspects of Rastafarian culture must be. To say that it is either totally compatible or totally incompatible seems equally fallacious to me.
thank you dear James I unfortunately can not claim that I do not have a dog in this fight
a cross one must bear the best way one can, so to speak.
First of all I agree that all cultures and traditions can be transformed by Christianity that is in fact how Christianity has operated throughout the world. I was not being ignorant of this when I commented that the Rastafarianism as embraced by habte and gebre, the Rastafarianism that goes beyond the worship of the emperor is still incompatible with orthodoxy. This is evidenced by how they interpret and compare Rastafarianism with the Orthodox Faith. Now I also know that this is not as relevant to the most Eastern Orthodox Folks as it does not directly affect them, it is easy to say let them battle it out. But I would hope the Christian witness does not stop by jurisdictions.But Let me ask if they were going around saying claiming according to the orthodox understanding Bob Marley is the modern day psalmist, like King David, the song he sung are similar if not the same in message and intent as the Divine Liturgy. Then cry out Jah RAstafari when the opportunity arises, claiming they are doing it to God not the Emperor. Would this be acceptable with the Eastern Orthodox as an Orthodox Expression of their Faith?
through out the world When those things that can be transformed by Christianity are maintained the rest of the incompatible was always thrown out.
If Rastafarianism is a spiritual movement is it going to be embraced in the Church as a Rastafarianism?
Even if we say that the Emperor Rastafari was Orthodox, should we still create a sect that says they are Orthodox but will continue to say Jah Rastafari in their prayers, and will continue to call them Rastafarians in the spiritual sense of the term. What did Saint Paul say about calling oneself Apollo’s or Paul’s? Can we do that in the Church? Will this be acceptable by the canons of the EOchurch?
But this is all a rethorical question, as I know the answer. Still one does need to pause and reflect on these things.
Rastafarianism has in it a culture that can be transformed into Christianity, such as vegetarianism however the vegetarian Orthodox Christian cannot continue to call themselves spiritually Rastafarian. Because let’s face it Rastafarianism as spiritual philosophy whether or not it worships the Emperor is a heretical blasphemous cult.
I will say it again
The worship of the Emperor hailesilase 1 was not the only point of rastafarianisim , there were many who did not worship the emperor yet still were Rastafarians politicaly. some would like to down play the political significance of the rastafarianisim movement in a flip flop attempt to deny its political aspirations towards social justice and social freedom in the political sense of the term. How it dreams about achieving those is also a matter of great importance to consider.
Rastafarianism Whether or not it worships the Emperor as a spiritual philosophy with all its sophistries it is a heretical and blasphemous cult.
Many want to go on as they were before after their baptism into Orthodoxy, they see it as an affirmation of their prior held beliefs because they say ‘I have never worshiped the Emperor anyway, so the rest of the stuff I profess as a Rastafarian is Orthodoxy’
It is very much easier when one deals with heretics such as Jehovah witness because they admit what they believe in and what they do not, but here is the difficulty with how habte and gebre been portraying themselves as Rastafarians. One day it is this the next day it’s another to the question what Rastafarianism is, the one that does not worship the emperor. What do they mean when they say The Lord Jehovah Rastafari ( JAh Rastafari!) who knows the definitions change every day as it fits their argument..
1 its only a Culture
2,t’s a spiritual movement not politics
3 it’s a spiritual and political movement
4 it’s a Liberation movement from sin
5 its orthodox spirituality.( liturgy, psalm of David)
So to conclude, When someone is blatantly preaching heresy, it is my duty to speak up, of course I can remain indifferent also, with my lukewarm existence this would not have been a surprise, however, I was not able to remain in my usual lukewarm state over this matter of Faith. Still I will not resort to the game of false piety in order to avoid direct and relevant questions like habte and gebre have been engaged in. it’s repulsive to me, it’s like lying against the Spirit and drinking death. Those that must discern the valid points of discussion can do so by cutting through all the pomp. Those who are easily appeased and deceived by false piety that is without the True Faith, then they see as they see. I have always been taught that true piety will have to be always accompanied with the True Faith, unblemished by human philosophies and sophistries. In this thread there was much of that, and challenging it has only lead to perhaps scandalizing the young, making some utter erroneous statement on what is so important to the salvation of Mankind that the martyrs have given their very lives for it. I can only say I will oppose the idea that the Spiritual and Political Cult Rastafarianism is in any form or shape Orthodox, no matter how many people say they are baptized into Orthodox Christianity, if they still hold on to the Rastafarianism as a spiritual guide in their lives then I say Anathema! I do not care if they hold on to it as a political view but even then it stands on a shaky ground as the whole Zionism is based on false interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Scripture. But that’s politics so it belongs to Cesar. However the Holy Spirit is the source of our spirituality in Orthodoxy and without it those who hold on to sophistries and heretical human philosophies as the part and parcel of their Orthodox Spirituality we have a name for them .
I know the new age is something that embraces everything and everybody and that is considered the enlightened thing to do , the polite thing to do, or even the easier thing to do, because nothing matters, all are right, so long as they say peace and love, we are expected to say uhhh how cute you are orthodox too then because dude we are about peace and love too, but Thankfully Orthodoxy is the Faith of the Martyrs, the Faith that Established the Universe.
The other side of the coin is to say you are a sinner I am a sinner so let us not worry about these matters of Faith, after all how important can it be when compared to your sin or my sin. If I chose to worship in any way I want to worship , how can you who is not a saint with halloos talk to me about the Faith? I do not have to answer these questions about Faith, I repeat I am a sinner you are a sinner. With these attitudes the Nicene Creed would not have existed. And I for one will oppose it as vehemently as I can sorry it offends the sensibilities of some in here, but more energy is being invested in the court houses for matters of vanity by those who cared about them. Orthodoxy is everything to me. Personal affections I again or lose over it are really of matters of little consequence.
I will just add certain threads that this type of discussion has been going on and leave it at that, in all of them notice how the flip flop of its culture, no its politics, no its spirituality a liberation from sin not any political intent stuff like that. Also notice on how the attempt is continuously made to make the Rastafarian movement as pass as part of the Orthodox Faith and Tradition. How the bishops are being called a Rastafarian bishops by those whose interest it is to link this heresy with the teachings of the Orthodox Faith and Tradition.http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40748.0.html
this one too has some important information in it http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29329.0.html#top
this one is a private forum you need access code for it ask one of the moderators as to who to ask for the access http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42903.msg706112.html#msg706112
Finally as they say a word to the wise, so simply put, I know and support that there is a great effort by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church to evangelize all men into the Orthodox Faith. Especially those who carry the name of one of the Emperors of Ethiopia and have a philosophy that encompasses both spirituality and politics, the Church has given it as much attention as she could under the difficult historical and political circumstances she has found herself in. those sent by her have done the best they could to preach the Gospel of our Lord and free men from their own grandiose delusions of false beliefs and blasphemies . those who remained by her Orthodox teachings are orthodox, those who have decided they can have it all and have continued to embrace their sophistries and heresies while declaring themselves orthodox, have anathemised themselves as the church have never taught nor will never teach such heretical human philosophies in place of her theology. She will never bow or confirm to the world and its ideas, rather she will transform the world into confirming to Christ the Victorious.
I am done with this thread, bras monkey will be happy to know as I have been raining on his parade by coming to his joint and disturbing the ‘peace’ so I will leave with my Peace. And brassmonkey if what is said above is like that tract to you, do what you would do with it and all things not worthy of your attention, ignore it.But sorry for ruffling the feathers of those you deemed ‘Ok’ by you.