With the advent of reggae music and modern pop-culture, Rastafarianism, which was once a small pseudo-Christian cult has now become a well known and recognized subculture. Although used as a tool of comedy in film and other media it is important that we know and understand who and what the "Rasta" cult holds as their final authority in matters of faith and practice.
Rastafarianism is an Afrocentric pseudo-Christian cult that originated in the 1930s on the island nation of Jamaica.(1)
The head of the "Rasta" cult is the former Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I.(2)
The name Rastafari is taken from Ras Tafari, the title (Ras) and first name (Tafari Makonnen) of Haile Selassie I before the coronation.(3)
Haile Selassie I is considered by most if not all Rastafarians as either deity or demigod. Depending upon who one talks to in the "Rasta" cult Selassie is seen as either Jesus Christ come back or as God the Father manifest in the flesh.(4)
Selassie I himself was an Etheopian Orthodox christian.
Haile Selassie I
Many Rastafarian's are physical immortalists who maintain that the chosen few will continue to live forever in their current bodies. Rasta's strongly reject the idea that heaven is in the sky, or is a place where dead people go to and instead see heaven as being a place on Earth, specifically Ethiopia. However scripture clearly states that anyone who has ever sinned will die and will go to either Heaven or Hell. (5)(6)
⦁ The Wearing of long dread locked hair: Many but not all "Rastas" Allow there hair to grow long and form into "locks". However according to the bible(7)
God' Word forbids such hairstyles for men.
⦁ Rastafarians believe that Haile Salassie I is Jesus Christ or, he was the living God for the black race. They believed that he was the Jesus Christ that Christianity speaks of; and that the white man had tricked the world into believing that Jesus was a white man. Some biblical references that better enforce the disputable of Rastafarasm includes: Matthew 24: 23-31(8)
, Matthew 24:36-44(9)
, and Acts 1:10-11(10)
. After reading these passages about the LORD Jesus Christs return, it is hard to believe that Haile Salassie I is who they say he is.
A unique aspect of the "Rasta" cult is their use of cannabis as a sacrament.(11)(12)
"Rastas" use cannabis in a ceremony they call "reasoning". reasoning is a simple event where the "Rastas" gather, smoke cannabis ("ganja"), and discuss. The person honored by being allowed to light the herb says a short sentence beforehand, and the ganja is passed in a clockwise fashion except in times of war when it is passed counterclockwise. It is used to reason with "Jah" (God).(13)(14)
Among most Christian and Pseudo-christian denominations cannabis is considered forbidden by God as it is thought to be an intoxicant. However there is little to no biblical evidence one can give to support this teaching. Although a Christian may use cannabis it is never written in the scriptures that it is to be used for spiritual purposes. we can see that the main tenets of Rastafarianism blatantly conflict with the Word of God and the bible.