Rasta is NOT a "religion" but a Spiritual and Cultural way of life. It is RELIGIOUS DOGMA and western "holy books" which keep the HOUSES OF RASTAFARI DIVIDED. We are not "bound or restrained" by Spirituality (which is what "religion" means), but are FREED by it.
Background of the word "religion"
A brief study of the etymology of our English word "religion" will reveal that we might not want to allow the word "religion" to be associated with Christianity. There are several Latin words which may have served as the origin of our English word "religion." The Latin word religo meant "to tie or fasten."18 A similar word, religio, was used to refer to "respect, devotion or superstition."19 Religio was a recognition that men are often tied or bound to God in reverence or devotion. It can also convey the meaning of being bound or tied to a set of rules and regulations, to rituals of devotion, to a creedal belief-system, or to a cause, ideology, or routine. Some have suggested that "religion" may be derived from the Latin word relegere, which refers to re-reading. There is no doubt that "religion" is often associated with repetitious rites of liturgy and litany, and the reproduction of creedal formulas and expressions. Most etymologists, however, regard the English word "religion" to be derived from the Latin word religare which is closely aligned with the root word religo. 20 The prefix re- means "back" or "again," and the word ligare refers to "binding, tying or attaching." Other English words such as "ligature," referring to "something that is used to bind," and "ligament" which "binds things together," evidence the same root in the Latin word ligare. The Latin word religare, from which our English word "religion" is most likely derived, meant "to tie back" or "to bind up."
The purpose of Jesus' coming was not to "bind us" or "tie us" to anything or anyone, though it might be argued that in the reception of Jesus Christ by faith there is a spiritual attachment of our identity with Him. Jesus clearly indicates that He came to set us free free to be functional humanity in the fullest sense, by allowing God to function through us to His glory. To some believing Jews, Jesus explained that "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Further explanation of the personification of that "truth" in Himself was then made when Jesus said, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." To the Galatians Paul affirms that, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery" by reverting back to the bondage of Jewish religion (Gal. 5:1). "You were called to freedom, brethren" (Gal. 5:13), Paul exclaims. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (II Cor. 3:17).
Jesus did not say, "I came that you might have religion, and practice it more faithfully," or "I came that you might have religion, and adhere to it more commitedly," or "I came that you might have religion, and define it more dogmatically," or "I came that you might have religion, and defend it more vehemently," or "I came that you might have religion, and thus behave more morally." What Jesus said was, "I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). The life that He came to bring and express within us and through us is His life. "I AM the way, the truth and the life," declared Jesus to His disciples (John 14:6). The apostle John wrote that "He that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son does not have life" (I John 5:12). "Christ is our life," is the phrase Paul uses in writing to the Colossians (Col. 3:4), for Christianity is not "religion," but the life of Jesus Christ expressed in receptive humanity.
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