Do Rastafarians believe that Jesus is the way to God in the same way that Christians believe as I find that their singing speaks a lot about God and spiritual matters.
First of all, I think it's necessary to point out that Christianity is not defined by being a "lot about God and other spiritual matters". Most world religions could include this. You could just as easily be Muslim and sing a lot about God and spiritual matters.
Even more specifically than that, a group may have a set of beliefs that draw on many common themes from Christianity without being Christian. Such is the case with the Rastafari Movement. It is a philosophy and loosely organized way of life that includes some common themes and often reuses terms and phrases found in Christianity, but at it's core is a completely separate set of beliefs.
To directly answer your question, no Rastafarians do not believe that Jesus is the way to God in the same way that the majority of Christians (of any major tradition) do. Being a loosely organized set of beliefs it is important to note that you might run into a few people who do believe in Jesus and claim to be Rastafarian. However the normative Rastafari beliefs are quite different.
They do not hold the same beliefs about sin, the reasons for our separation from God or the solution to that problem. They are usually willing to credit Jesus with being a good moral teacher and admire his rebel tendencies, but they completely miss the main point of who he was: God in the flesh and the only incarnate Messiah.
That last bit is important, because they typically do believe in a christ or messiah, but they believe he had another name, took a body at another time, etc. See Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia. They attribute to him many of the things found in Christian scriptures rather than to Jesus Christ.
Confusingly, you might even hear "trinity" nomenclature being used by Rastafarians, but be aware that they mean something completely different by this than Christians.
|show 2 more comments|
As a Rasta, I feel led to point out some things. First of all, to answer the question, some Rastas recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their lord and savior, and see Selassie I as one who continues the work of Christ, through the line of David. Revelations references Yeshua telling His people of a man that God would send to Earth to continue His work. Rastas believe that man to be Haile Selassie I. Some Rastas see Selassie as God, some as Christ incarnate, and some simply as a prophet who continued God's work on Earth. Rastafari should not be compared to Christianity, Islam, or Judaism, b/c Rastafari is a livity, not an organized religion, and there are Rastas who follow these faiths. Christianity in the West is not pure Christianity, but Chaldean Christianity. This form of Christianity was taken from it's original home in East Africa and "remade" to serve political purposes of the Roman empire, and later Western European societies. It is very political, and very far from the teachings of Christ. Rastas denounce Chaldean principles, and advocate consciousness and righteous living, through love, respect, and unity of God's people. I personally feel that some Rastas are lost and confused about what righteous living means, but then, I feel the same way about many who call themselves "Christian", "Jewish", or "Muslim" too.