A Rastafarian loved me when several Christians refused. As a Black man in Delaware, I experienced the deep culture-shock of moving from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and 90% blackness, to Newark, Delaware and 90% whiteness. My entire world view literally changed, overnight. As a result, I was weak and fell into depression.
Being baptized in the Episcopal Church, having attended an Episcopal school from kindergarten through the twelfth grade, and having served on the altar for over five years, I naturally reached out to the Episcopal clergy in the area. They wanted nothing to do with me. They were always too busy to minister to me. Can you imagine that?!
It was a Rastafarian, living in New York, whose mother was my kindergarten teacher, that loved me enough to reach out to me in the midst of my pain. He got me to start praying again. He got me to start reading the Bible again. He traveled by bus routinely, to visit me…making sure I was on the road to recovery. I became Rastafarian…I remain Rastafarian.
So, now that I’m a priest and one of my spiritual sons tells me he’s struggling with Christianity, because “Rastas seem to uphold the Gospel better than Christians,” I understand exactly what he’s saying.
A Rastafarian Sees Babylon as a Present Reality
The spiritual wickedness isn’t simply something theoretical for the Rastafarian. Spiritual wickedness is a reality. Babylon is really present, trying to destroy the people. Seeing that present reality in our midst, the Rastafarian is compelled to stand against Babylon and defend those being downpressed by Babylon shitstem.
Such a point of view is seen as extreme in so-called civilized society. And since Christianity is part of civilized society, this point of view is extreme within Christian circles. For us, the presence of wickedness is only evident when we are directly affected by evil. The truth of what I’m saying becomes clear when we look at how Christians treat the “full armor of God.”
And, that’s the message in this week’s sermon. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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