Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Selassie is not God! Former Rasta tells his story of his transformation

Published:Saturday | April 16, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Michael McQueen shares a special moment with a youth during Sabbath day service at the Boundbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church.
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PORT ANTONIO, Portland:

Convinced that hypocrisy and favouritism are rampant throughout the Christian circles, Michael McQueen, turned to the Rastafarian faith.

However, an incident of backbiting and physical attack forced him to return to the once-abandoned faith.

McQueen, who recounted that the character and lifestyle of most Christians that he had come in contact with in the 1980s and '90s was frightening, which forced him to vigorously pursue the ways of the Rastaman. Back then according to McQueen, Rasta was the scourge of society and were treated with disdain.

"Rastas were hated and feared. They were persecuted for smoking marijuana (ganja), which was considered to be a sacrilege among them, but the society at large treated them as outcasts. Despite that, I joined the Rastafarian movement in 1996 and started praising Haile Selassie. The Christians had their God, but yet still they were involved in malice, hatred, fornication, and adultery. So for me, I needed a God different from theirs, as they were too corrupt and homosexuals were also praising the same God. Selassie had the title 'king of king and lord of lords', which was the identifiable mark that he was the chosen one, " he added.

McQueen would continue in the Rastafarian faith for another five years, but in 2002 after becoming involved in a business transaction with his colleagues, things took a turn for the worse as an argument developed over the sharing of money, which threatened to turn physical.

According to McQueen, some of his friends attacked him. However, they were unable to overpower him, and they reportedly resorted to witchcraft in an attempt to have him killed.

"I decided that I was going to defend myself against them, but a spirit said to me not to. The spirit urged me to find a church and to seek prayer, as my friends, who were now my enemies, were hell bent on killing me. I took the advice of the spirit and I walked through the doors of the Boundbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2002, in search of prayer. Two years later, I was baptised. The Holy Bible is used by Rastafarian and Christians, and the church has one foundation. Christianity is alive and well and Jesus Christ is real," McQueen further said.

Since accepting the teachings of Christianity, McQueen has held the post of a deacon, a position that he treasures immensely. And as for his persecutors (Rasta colleagues), the converted Christian pointed out that he sees them from time to time on the street, noting that he has taken the decision to avoid them at all cost.

Continuing, McQueen said: "I made a bad decision years ago, but thanks to God, I realised it before it was too late. Selassie is not a God. As a matter of fact, he is dead and Jesus Christ is alive. I wish for all Rastafarians to know the truth that they are worshipping a man, who died decades ago, and is unable to save them. I urge them to search for the truth, which can only be found in Jesus Christ."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com