Exposition:

The incredible diversity of religious beliefs that crowd under the umbrella of Rastafarianism gives Christians the leverage for witnessing to them. When sharing the gospel with Rastafarians, one should view each Rasta as an individual and not as a “member” of a system. The first step, therefore, is to embrace the Rasta as a friend and to ask questions to discern who the person is and what he or she believes. What will count is your authenticity and your willingness to share yourself.

Once more, to evangelize the Rastafarian, we can begin with the first two of their ten commandments, which state: “Love Jah-I, the Most High, thy higher-self and Love thy neighbour as thyself.” Coming from this angle, we can demonstrate the love of God to them and explain to them the depth of the love of God.

Rastafarians revere Emperor Haile Selassie as their God and they also believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ as they see Jesus as a dreadlocked black man. They believe that Haile Selassie is Jesus Christ incarnate and he is the one who came to save the Blackman from the oppression of the Babylonians. When Ras Tafari Makonnen became emperor of Ethiopia and took the name Haile Selassie I in 1930, he was lauded with the title “Lion of Judah, Elect of God, King of Kings.” Many believed the Messiah had arrived.

But throughout his life, however, Haile Selassie persisted in denying that he was divine and directed people, instead of worshiping him, to worship his Lord — Jesus Christ. To this end, the best opportunity for evangelizing them is moving them from worshiping Haile Selassie as God to worshiping Haile Selassie’s God — Jesus. Again, as many within Rastafari look to Marcus Garvey as a prophet of the movement, when witnessing, it might be helpful to share the following from an address Garvey delivered in 1928 at the Century Theatre in London: “ I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; I endorse the Nicean Creed; I believe that Jesus died for me; I believe that God lives for me as for all men, and no condition you can impose on me by deceiving me about Christianity will cause me to doubt Jesus Christ and to doubt God. I shall never hold Christ or God responsible for the commercialization of Christianity by the heartless men who adopt it as the easiest means of fooling and robbing other people out of their land and country”.

In summary, to share the gospel with them, we must approach them in love, start from what they know, and drive them to know the saving power of God. Let us brace ourselves very well with their teachings and approach them apologetically so we can win them for Christ.