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CHRISTAFARIANISM, OR: DON'T BE A RASTA, BE LIKE A RASTA

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Christafari's "Response To The Essay"

Read "Christafarianism 2:0, The Political Correct Update"

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ENTER CHRISTAFARIANISM 

When studying evangelical Christianity and Reggae, it is simply impossible to bypass Christafari and it's founder Mark Mohr.

I have been observing Christafari since the mid 1990's. I also had several contacts with Mark Mohr. Over the years it became clear that we did not agree in many things although we both know our Foundation to be Yesus Kristos, the Saviour.

So I originally wrote this essay, three years before it’s final publication.

I waited such a long time, to see how Christafarianism  would develop.

There were strong indications that led me to believe, that Christafari would change things that I criticize. Not necessarily because of my critique, and that didn’t matter too of course. If so, then there would be no need for the publication of a critical analysis. I heard this from several sides and it was even requested that I would not publish this essay.

However I was wrong in my interpretation of these indications.

I made prognoses in my original essay which have unfortunately come to the surface more and more as Christafari moves further toward where they come from in the first place: western Christianity .

And after a few years I could no longer withhold my analysis to you.

Having said that, I will now analyze Christafarianism  in-depth not scared to name the mentioned disagreements and differences. I will make use of publicly available material to proof my case.

Don't expect any gossip or bad talk though. I reason with the word of Jah (the Holy Bible) as foundation and the Lord JAH doesn't deal with gossip. 

I’m concerned with the philosophy and theology of Christafarianism .

After studying and debating Christafarians for years, this concern is bigger now then it was before.

I’m concerned that Christafarianism potentially leads to situations of hypocrisy, useless conflicts and profiteering as it makes use of what many perceive to be cultural robbery and manipulation of facts.

I’m not saying this is necessarily intended to be that way consciously by the founder and thinker who came up with the name Christafari. I’m not saying he is a conscious agent of the powers of Babylon and that his particular assignment is to completely destroy the relationship between Rastafarians and (other) Christians .

But after analyzing the message, comparing it with the runnings, checking back with the scriptures as well as plain logic (which do never conflict either), I do think that elements of Christafarianism come directly out of a mind set which has been influenced by Babylon system.  

Some elements are potentially dangerous, others contradictional, and yet again others are outright absurd.

What is Christafarianism, anyway?

And why do I use this word?

Christafari publishes newsletters, which they address to "fellow Christafarians". So when there are Christafarians , there must also be Christafarianism . I use the term to describe the meditations of Christafari, and combined with the fact that Christafari name their fans "Christafarians", I think it is justifiable to speak about Christafarianism  when it comes to naming the theories of Mark Mohr concerning the relationship between Christianity and Rastafari, or as he puts it, Rastafarianism... 

Still not convinced this word can be used? Please know then, that Christafari founder Mark Mohr uses the same word in his online biography[1].

So, let me introduce you to Christafarianism.

Christafari has a website[2], in which founder and leader Mark Mohr answers questions asked by Christians about Rastafari, Reggae and Christafari-related related subjects.

By reading the site it becomes clear that Christafari is not just an ordinary Reggae Band, but also a complete organization. With a need for support from the Christian mainstream?

They organize "mission trips  to Jamaica[3]" and are successfully trying to get their music accepted by the Christian Music Industry.

There were even plans to start a new church in Jamaica , called "Jah Yard " but apparently that didn’t work out. However, Christafari is still involved in “grassroots churches” on other Caribbean islands under the name “the Gathering ”.

The evangelicals  are very active in “planting churches ”, as it is called. Some are good; some are out right cultural agents of Babylon. But the church planting is there, and often it is structured in a hierarchical way. Founders of new churches regularly have a “home front” backing them with money and other forms of support. They usually have some title or officially sounding function like “pastor”, “apostle” or “minister”. This gives them some form of “authority” over the members of the church they founded.

And in the evangelical world, “authority” is a big issue.

There is a whole school-system in which future “pastors” and “missionaries” are being taught the principals of evangelical Christianity. Christafari founder Mark Mohr has had his evangelical education at BIOLA University [4].

On the school’s website, they state: “Biola University is a private Christian university founded in 1908. We offer 145 academic programs, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D., through six schools. All are regionally and professionally accredited and based on evangelical Christianity.[5]

It was at this university, that Mohr wrote the booklets that were the catalysts for the confrontation with Buju Banton  during the Reggae Sunsplash Tour[6].

They say it is important for a writer to find an inspiring enviroment, because it has such a tremendous influence on the final result.

With such a background, it is evidently that Christafari is completely influenced by and conformed to this system. Checking the website it becomes clear that in order to work with Christafari on their “mission trips ”, you have to conform yourself to very strict regulation as well as “leadership”.

You will find examples further on in this essay. For now, let’s establish that Christafari plants churches and the denomination is called “The Gathering ”.

Founder Mark Mohr writes on his website:

The initial vision started with Jah Yard  in JA, but since then as you can read it has developed significantly. I am already talking with people in Barbados and Antigua about the possibility of starting one on each island. We are also working this month on starting another one in South or Central Trinidad. Pray for us and for leaders. It is exciting, for 15 years I have been a part of getting Christian reggae to the Caribbean, now I am on the other side of the ministry also, helping build congregations that are doctrinally sound and culturally relevant. As this grows, I do hope to take this concept to Jamaica, but I want to build strong Gatherings in other Islands first and then have the leaders of these churches be intrical in the Jamaican plant. This would be far more accepted if it was a Caribbean thing and not a white Mark Mohr thing seen? Jamaica's temperamental like that. [7].

As we can see, it didn’t work out too well in Jamaica (JA) because the church that Christafari wanted to plant there was considered “white”.

It could be “temperament”, but it could also be the realization that there is a real and present danger of Babylon wanting to bring the “white geezus ” to a black people again.

I’m not saying that this is necessarily the case with “Jah Yard ”; I am only giving the reason for this “temperament”.

It also turned out, that the establishment of “The Gathering” came as a result of a nasty situation in which Mark Mohr and his wife found themselves. His wife was not allowed access into the USA because she is from Trinidad.

So they went to that island and within a month, “the Gathering ” was founded. 

The same article states:

Mohr remembered a thought he'd had some time back about the need for a new sort of church – one with sound Biblical exegesis – to be planted in Trinidad. "I told my wife, ‘I'll pastor the church and your family can be the worship team,'" he said.

Within one month, "The Gathering " was born.[8]

How can it be that Mark Mohr said that he would “pastor” the church? In the evangelical world, being a “pastor” is having a place high up in the hierarchy of the church sy stem. In fact, the pastor can be considered the leader. He “must be obeyed”.

Generally spoken, “pastors” are “ordained” by other “pastors”. They get some kind of certificate or credential letter so that they can start or “take over” a church.

This is also the case with Mark Mohr.

Years before he started The Gathering, Mohr became a pastor, ordained by another pastor. Further research led to the overstanding that this not only provides Mark with some kind of “authority” in the evangelical world, he is free to do whatever he wants with it.

The man, who ordained Mark Mohr, is called Bob Beeman . Insiders will easily identify Bob Beeman as an evangelical/charismatic Christian working in a world of heavy metal Satanists, self declared enemies of Jah.

Beeman has an organization called "Sanctuary ", which can basically be considered a church for heavy metal fans who turned from Satanism to Christ(ianity). It is from this organization, that Mark Mohr came to call himself "pastor".

The Sanctuary  organization fully supports Christafari, although they do emphasize with their support that the Christafari organization is not officially related to Sanctuary .

Bob Beeman  wrote me: “We fully support Marks ministry.  He is officially an ordained Sanctuary pastor.  But in our organization, we are not a denomination. In other words, we do not have a structure that each must adhere to. Mark is free to do whatever he feels is best for his band and for the Christafari ministry. Our "connection" is one of support and encouragement.[9] 

Quite some position: to have the officially recognized title “Pastor”, enabling you almost dictatorial powers over “your flock of sheep”, without having to pay responsibility. A carte blanche. A big responsibility.

Let me go into more detail.

Mark Mohr writes: “there are four authorities  that all must be obedient to: God, the government, pastors, and parents.[10]”.

That’s quite some thing. To be a pastor means, by his own definition, that he is to be “obeyed” by “all”.

Combine this with the words that Bob Beeman wrote: “Mark is free to do whatever he feels is best for his band and for the Christafari ministry”.

Now think for a while about the implications for especially the young people who are growing up in the evangelical world. They are being taught to obey the pastors, whether that is right or wrong.

Let me give you an example of how far-reaching this authority goes.

In an internal Christafari document called “Morals and Tour Commitment ” which has been published on the Christafari website but has been taken of, you can find some practical workouts of “pastors” who have to be “obeyed”.

You can find the complete text as an appendix to this essay so you can read it in it’s context.

Let me quote some of the material.

No person shall have premarital sex, or any sexual relations outside of marriage......... No person will attain the address or phone number of any female under the age of 21. For both legal and spiritual reasons, no person will be in the exclusive company of someone of the opposite sex under the age of 21. No person will be in the company of female(s) over 21 unless accompanied by one or more other members of the group for accountability. Wives and family members are excepted. Other exceptions may be granted by Mark Mohr, but must be approved in advance.

When you want to be a part of Christafari, you have to obey these kinds of things. The pastor, Mark Mohr, has the authority to factually decide who is seeing whom. It is not up to the individual, it is up to the pastor to decide for the individual. An unbiblical practice.

This practice is wide spread in the evangelical word. And as we can see, Christafari is completely conformed to the way this word is run.

Regardless of what your ideas on authority might be, it is important to realize that “pastors” are being listened to. When they speak, there are indeed a great number of people who “obey”.

There are in fact many people who take the pastor’s words without critical thought. They act accordingly in the complete conviction that they are following God, because they follow the pastor, and the pastor’s authority comes from God.

I’ve heard “pastors” telling me how they wanted to be obeyed even if they would “order” to do a thing that is knowingly not in accordance with God’s messages.

Yes, authority is a big thing with the evangelicals !

And image  too.

Generally spoken, pastors stress the fact that they see themselves as “examples”. They are very much aware that they are public speakers that preach doctrines that the listeners perceive as words of authority.

When we recall the internal Christafari document, it is easy to see how image is a big influence. Even when a perceived danger is not really there, precaution measures are still taken. All to avoid the idea that someone could have a certain thought about Christafari.

As we will see in the next chapter, image is also a big part of the philosophy that forms the title of this essay.

Where Christafari wants to avoid an image  that can be perceived as carnal in the Christian world, they have created a philosophy, which also uses image. This time as a tool of communication.

Throughout the evangelical movement, image is important and because the evangelical way of thinking is so influential on Christafarianism, it shouldn’t be a surprise when we find this back at Christafari’s.

Mark Mohr had his education at an evangelical university and was ordained as “person of authority” by Bob Beeman , himself a very well known figure in the Christian world. And a major influence in what we have come to recognize as Christafarianism.

Especially those parts within Christafarianism, which can be established as the reason for the symbolical vexation of Buju Banton.

The dramatic result of what we will see is a simplistic, abject and absurd equation of Satanism and Rastafari!

I definitely do not oppose Bob Beeman  and what he does. As you might recall, he is involved in spreading the message of Yesus Kristos in a world of self-proclaimed followers of Satan.

What’s wrong with that? Nothing I can think of.

Spreading love where hate rules is not an easy thing to do and should, in my opinion, gain the utmost respect from all those that love Jah. 

But this culture of hate, often closely connected to Nazism  and the white power movement obviously has nothing to do with the movement of Rastafari or it's Culture.

In spite of that, there are similarities to be discovered between the way Christafari shares their believe with their audience and the way the Christian Heavy Metal scene brings the message of Jah Salvation to their Satanist counterparts.

These parts form the main ingredient for the offence that is perceived in the Rastafarian community .

And, sadly enough, they are also the most important pillars where Christafarianism is built on.  

FOOTNOTES

[1] Link: website

[2] Links: website and website

[3] For a four page report by Mark Mohr of one of these mission trips to Jamaica, go to the following link: website

[4] Link: website

[5] Link: website

[6] Link: website

[7] Link: website

[8] Link: website

[9] Email Correspondence.

[10] Link: website

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