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The Christafari Doctrine....
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mikeroots
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Joined: 13 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: 20 May 2004 03:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello guys- I hope we can keep the vibes cool and respectful. The topic is a multi-faceted one but if I may sum up, there seem to be a couple of key questions from Messian Dread.

(1) The LoZ definition or characterization of Rasta.

(2) The effectiveness or ineffectiveness of utilizing certain Rasta or "reggae culture" symbolism and imagery for the purpose of helping to minister to reggae-loving non-believers.

I think there is more, but I will comment on these for the moment. I think it is true that the LoZ definition of Rasta is either uninformed or outdated in that there are indeed some such as Messian Dread (though I don't believe he calls himself a Rasta), Ras B (Brenton) and others who embrace Rasta livity and culture yet profess faith in the Lord Yeshua. There are some who fit the definition of the Selassie-worshipping Rasta but clearly not all and to paint with such a broad brush in this matter is not (or no longer) correct.

I understand what you say in that Rasta is characterized as a "religion" rather than a lifestyle when in reality that may be untrue. I think the understanding must be that Rasta does not consist of a universal code in terms of belief or livity. This is a crucial point.

To the other subject, as others have indicates, there has been a change in presentation, if you will, for Mark and Christafari. The "Gravity" album isn't even totally reggae, the name JAH is not used and the red-yellow-green colour scheme is not used. I think that Mark desires to appeal to a wider cross section of people and I know his motives are good. I think you can see this through "The Gathering". The man needs room to grow and has the right to change his focus as the Spirit may lead and also should have the liberty to evolve as an artiste. Jetze, I see where you are coming from as you speak of evangelizing out of living- presenting your body as a living sacrifice. It is the most powerful way to share the good news of Yeshua. I would agree with what you say in "be yourself"- absolutely.

Now, you've yet to really comment on the point which Paul spoke of in becoming like others in as much as you might win their souls for Christ. I know you have remarked about this in other discussions, but I don't think you have here yet. This is the approach used by Christafari, though as I said, I see a shift. Do you see Christafari growing in more of a direction or approach which you agree with? You are questioning the use of embracing of certain elements associated with Rasta as effective means of ministry, correct? I would see your point if you say the perception of some (or the very people trying to be reached) is that the imagery and symbolism are "costumes" when they themselves embrace these things as part of their natural identity.

If someone dresses up to do a play where they portray a disciple of Yeshua, can't this be a teaching or ministry "tool"? I think the question is, what is the difference between a heartical embrace of certain things versus the adaption of them for the purpose of ministering. An individual fitting either description can be effective, but they may not equally have the "street credibility", so to speak, if one appears as them yet the appearance is discerned to be a costume. It's all in how you look at it and what one responds to is the genuineness of someone's heart beyond the outward appearance.

BTW, I'm not a LoZ moderator if that's what you meant by "colleague", but I do write an occasional music review. Beyond all, let's remember to exhort, encourage and build up on another even as we seek to understand and learn. I think it's crucial we be allowed to discuss things but we need to take care that it doesn't become destructive when it certainly doesn't need to.
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ZIONSLAVE
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PostPosted: 20 May 2004 14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

blaminak,

I am responding to your challenge to produce a time when a post of mine was deleted.

forum-end times chat

thread titled- "deleted'

original poster-brian

pg.-12

date-april 5th 2004

A comment was erased of mine directed to Christ warrior. You will notice in his post after mine that he repies "Please dont use profanity. Read your Bible,it says. I really doubt you were saying donkey." I was talking about what you do when you assume how you make a "donkey" of U and me . My comment was erased because somebody ASSUMED I was using profanity
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GFD DUB MUSIC
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Joined: 08 May 2004
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PostPosted: 20 May 2004 17:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christafari = a Joke Name to me..sorry if i offend people, but it's a name made for Marketing reasons it seems to me.... the two names shouldnt even cross paths representing one another unless worshipping other God's is ok with Christ in these days...of everything i had read, there has been nothing by either Haile Selassie aka Rastafari or Jesus Christ that would tie the two names together other then to make some money off a false religion in Christs name by mixing it with a Fake God Rastafari,, hence you get the name Christafari...it for sure upset Haile Selassie for using him in such a manner and Selassie was alive today he would shun the name Christafari... you might as well name the band christaflintstones cause it has bout that much basis..... hope ya dont delete the post but where is the Honesty??? Be Yourself and Make Blessed Music, to use dead peoples name who called themselves the lion of judah mixing with the everlasting life of Christ is a bit Hypocritical dont ya think???? just a question and opinion,,hope ya dont delete my post...the trust deserves to be sought after...peace and love to all
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Admin
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PostPosted: 20 May 2004 18:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a couple things...

No one should "fear" having their posts deleted. We don't delete opinion as such unless it crosses the line of profanity, slander or character assassination, or is in opposition to Scripture after fair warning. Your post does none of those things. No fear.

Because Mark isn't here to respond I just wanted to post the FAQ link to the "About the name" FAQ in case anyone hasn't read it to clarify his position on it.

http://www.lionofzion.com/faq/78da33020000330033/Christafari+-+The+Name.html
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Messian Dread
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PostPosted: 20 May 2004 21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikeroots wrote:
a couple of key questions from Messian Dread.

(1) The LoZ definition or characterization of Rasta.


Exactly. This is one of the most crucial aspects, it has been admitted in this forum that the definition does not "cover" all Rastafarians vut "for the sake of clarity" the child is being thrown away with the bathing water, with the immediate result coming in the form of ignorance and anti-Rasta stance which is not in any way related to the Love that Yesus told us to have.

Quote:
(2) The effectiveness or ineffectiveness of utilizing certain Rasta or "reggae culture" symbolism and imagery for the purpose of helping to minister to reggae-loving non-believers.


Yes and no. I have indeed described an "inefectiveness" as it is hard to imagine that someone who has admittedly only has dreads to "be like them", I have descriubed what I consider to be "fruits" of it too. But also I question in the core the usage of the "all things fe all men" argument that comes along with it.

This has also briefly been discussed in this forum, where I posed "being a satanist for the satanists". To my suprise this was taken seriously too....

Quote:
I think there is more, but I will comment on these for the moment. I think it is true that the LoZ definition of Rasta is either uninformed or outdated in that there are indeed some such as Messian Dread (though I don't believe he calls himself a Rasta), Ras B (Brenton) and others who embrace Rasta livity and culture yet profess faith in the Lord Yeshua. There are some who fit the definition of the Selassie-worshipping Rasta but clearly not all and to paint with such a broad brush in this matter is not (or no longer) correct.


Yes, this definition does more damage then good. Really. No I do not call myself a Rasta still I am called by that name by Rastas and I do not mind that at all. I also say Jah Rastafari because it means Jah the Head of Creation. It has never been a problem in my contacts with (other) Rastas that I do not believe Selassie to be JAH. Selassie is a symbol of the fact that there is a true Christianity, not the babylonian kind that says black is created by geezus to serve the white man. That's why it is important to give respect to Selassie instead of saying all the time that he's not Jah Incarnated in the flesh. Because Selassie knows, Jah Jah knows, and who searches for the truth shall find it.

The definition has to be changed in my perception. It has been unchanged for too many years now. It is crucial and neccesary.

Quote:
I understand what you say in that Rasta is characterized as a "religion" rather than a lifestyle when in reality that may be untrue. I think the understanding must be that Rasta does not consist of a universal code in terms of belief or livity. This is a crucial point.


Very, very crucial indeed. For when you display Rastafari as a "religion" rather then a culture, you (a) can not apply "all things to all men", (b) expect people who get their info from you to be knowledgeable and thus will they be "exposed" as ignorant. (c) you do not acknowledge the work of the Hola Spirit within the movement of Rastafari without the "church". To name but three things.

Quote:
To the other subject, as others have indicates, there has been a change in presentation, if you will, for Mark and Christafari.


This is true, but I would like to know more about this. I remember to have asked MM who the "hypocrites" were in his lyrics, and I wonder if these have also played an influencing role....
The name Christafari is ofcourse still there, and the change in presentation would have been more complete with a name-change.
I understand completely that this is all a difficult situation.

Quote:
The man needs room to grow and has the right to change his focus as the Spirit may lead and also should have the liberty to evolve as an artiste.


Absolutely.

Quote:
Jetze, I see where you are coming from as you speak of evangelizing out of living- presenting your body as a living sacrifice. It is the most powerful way to share the good news of Yeshua. I would agree with what you say in "be yourself"- absolutely.


Yes, this has to do with, I think, the scripture that says that Jah has prepared good works for us to walk in from the foundation. When we are then who we are (that is: how JAH our Creator intended us to be), isn't is so that we automatically would walk in these good works?

Quote:
Now, you've yet to really comment on the point which Paul spoke of in becoming like others in as much as you might win their souls for Christ. I know you have remarked about this in other discussions, but I don't think you have here yet.


I think it's not so that "all things to all men" would apply to other religions. That would be like being a budhist for the budhists. So then if you portray Rastafari as another religion you can not do apply that scripture.
It is obvious, that Paulus speaks about cultures. Like when I go to the UK, for example, I have to eat fish and chips with the british, something like that. Paulus says do not impose your culture, but adjust yourself. Kind of like what the socalled missionairies who came to teach socalled civilization with christ, but then the opposite.

However, even if one sees that Rastafari is not a religion (because of all the religious differences between the Rastafarians), one should not "wear dreads to win the dreads" as it is an insult to a dread. A true insult. Only wolves dressed as sheep, that is how you will be seen an perhaps rightfully so. When someone has dreads in order to get in contact with me as a dread too, I would then advise this person to be himself and cut the dreads off because it is not a genuine reason to wear dreads. You can not play like you are a Rasta only to deny you're a Rasta in front of the church and then pretend you're a Rasta in order to win the Rasta. It is not real. It is fake. A play. A pose. A theatre.


Quote:
This is the approach used by Christafari, though as I said, I see a shift. Do you see Christafari growing in more of a direction or approach which you agree with?


This is hard to tell for me. That is partly why this conversation is so important to me too.

Quote:
You are questioning the use of embracing of certain elements associated with Rasta as effective means of ministry, correct? I would see your point if you say the perception of some (or the very people trying to be reached) is that the imagery and symbolism are "costumes" when they themselves embrace these things as part of their natural identity.


Yes, but it is not so much about the "effectiveness" but rather about "genuiity". I think it is better to come with suit and tie if that is you than that you "play dread". Especially because that "playing dread/rasta" is something which is done in the "Reggae Scene" very very often.

Quote:
If someone dresses up to do a play where they portray a disciple of Yeshua, can't this be a teaching or ministry "tool"?


Ofcourse.

Quote:
I think the question is, what is the difference between a heartical embrace of certain things versus the adaption of them for the purpose of ministering.


Yes. What impression of "ministering" do you give to someone when you "minister" him by taking his looks and calling it looks? A double disrespect if you think about it. And do not think that people do not feel it.

Quote:
An individual fitting either description can be effective, but they may not equally have the "street credibility", so to speak, if one appears as them yet the appearance is discerned to be a costume. It's all in how you look at it and what one responds to is the genuineness of someone's heart beyond the outward appearance.


True. And for that you do not need a costume. And the "credibility" can not be manipulated, can not be "strategically planned", can not be "faked into reality". Just be who you are.

Quote:
BTW, I'm not a LoZ moderator if that's what you meant by "colleague", but I do write an occasional music review.


Oops. My mistake.....

Quote:
Beyond all, let's remember to exhort, encourage and build up on another even as we seek to understand and learn. I think it's crucial we be allowed to discuss things but we need to take care that it doesn't become destructive when it certainly doesn't need to.


In other words: let's acknowledge each other's integrity and motivation.


I also agree with the other Dubman until a certain degree, that the name of Christafari is also portraying something to certain people which, how shall I put it, will not give them the impression that here is a genuine thing going on. Besides, to change Rastafari into Cristopher (Columbus) isn't that smart too. I do not agree with the other Dubman that he portrays Rastafari as another religion but let's not discuss that here as such.


Admin points out to the Faq entry. I will post the interview I held with Mark Mohr exactly a year ago under here....

CHRISTAFARI: "NO MORE SONGS ABOUT JAH"

US-based Christian Reggaeband Christafari recently made an announcement on their website which could stir up both the Christian and the Rastafarian community until a great extend. Their new album “Gravity” marks a shift in their approach and target audience, as they explain in their section of Frequently Asked Questions on their website.

The most significant change is that Christafari will no longer be using the Name “JAH” when they sing about the Most High.

On the Christafari website, founder Mark Mohr gives two reasons for this decision. The first one is that Christafari will no longer be targeting their music primarily to a Rastafarian and Reggae loving audience. Mohr claims that the Name of Jah is mentioned only once in the Bible and that he wants to “focus my ministry approach on the numerous other names for God that are found far more frequently and would make our message even more clear to the listener”. Whether this analogy means that Christafari simply wants to reach a wider and bigger audience or that there were other reasons too remains unclear.

The second reason is presented as the most important one and probably is. On the same page, Mohr explains why he used the Name of Jah in previous releases: “You see, we have always used Jah as a culturally sensitive way to reach Rastas, (and still will individually), yet so many young gospel reggae artists are using our same ministry approach in trying to reach a completely different audience--the Christian church.” Mark Mohr is worried that the frequent usage of the Name of Jah in Gospel music will lead into a situation in which it becomes unclear Who actually is meant when the Name is expressed. He sees Christafari’s leading role in the Christian Reggae and World as a reason to set an example to his fellow artists and writes: “When I started Christafari and Lion of Zion ent., my primary goal was to see the Rasta church become Christian, yet one of the regrettable fruits of my labour, (due to uneducated imitation by other artists) is the Christian church becoming more Rasta. This was never my intention.”

Christafari’s decision will undoubtedly cause a lot of debate in the Rastafarian and Christian community. The message of their website raised some questions and the Dubroom asked them to Mark Mohr of Christafari:

DUBROOM: “Does this mean you are also going to change the name Christafari and the usage of Rastafarian cultural expressions such as the flag et cetera as they are installed with the same reasoning in mind as the usage of the Name of Jah?”

CHRISTAFARI: “Absolutely not. The name Christafari means three things in three different languages, of which the primary is the Greek definition for "Christ Bearers." Whether you look at our name in English, Amharic or even Spanish, it is very clear WHO we represent. That is all that I am trying to do—urge artists to clarify. The days too short for enigmatic music that merely entertains and speaks of an ambiguous God that could be interpreted a host of different ways.”

DUBROOM: “Can you specify "universalists" and can you give an impression of the concept of "God" in universalist circles?”

CHRISTAFARI: “I go into full detail on this in the 13th day of Gravity (that will be posted at lionofzion.com only on June 1st). A portion of my commentary reads:

"In 2001, after the tragic fall of the twin towers in NY City America turned to God, and weekday church attendance reached a pinnacle as scared and confused citizens flooded into churches. In the midst of adversity we had truly become one nation under God."

"But then I remember on the 14th of September, I was sitting at home flipping through the channels on TV, and I came across a church service (it was on almost every station). It was a memorial service for 9/11 in Washington DC and in this cathedral, each of the major religions was represented by their own spiritual leader, each behind his own pulpit and each one was speaking of and praying to an ambiguous God—a God that many believe is the same Lord that just goes by different names depending on which nation you are from."

"It is my opinion that there was only one clear religion being preached that day and it was blatant universalism—the whole many names one god theory. You know, the all rivers flow into the same sea principle? This concept, even in the simplest of forms doesn’t agree with the foundational doctrines of Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, or even Islam. For according to each of their texts there is only one God— It can’t be both this religion and that belief are right (for they are inherently contradictory). It has to be either this one, or that one is the only way. So while I was encouraged to see such a tremendous unity during this tumultuous time, I was disgusted by the blurring of lines and revelatory compromise that was taking place."

Inspired by this, I wrote the chorus "Christ is the Only Way..." If it had been 4 years ago, I probably would have penned, "Jah is the only way," but given the present apocalyptic setting, and the overwhelming tolerance in the world for all religions except "Narrow Minded Christianity," I refused to veil my references of Christ any longer.

Let’s face it, in this secular society, using the name Jah can often be the easy way out. It is not as offensive as the name Jesus and much less censored. Do you honestly think that a band like POD would have gotten as much respect in the mainstream if they said Christ in place of Jah? Probably not. This name is the stumbling block for all mankind, yet it is the fruit of all true salvation.”


DUBROOM: “Is the following summary correct: "We're not gonna sing the name of Jah anymore because the fruit of such a thing is the 'Rastafarization' of Christianity”?”

CHRISTAFARI: “Yes, it is correct, depending on your interpretation. I will use the name when singing my past songs on stage and when personally ministering to a Rasta. I have not used this name in my recent recordings as an attempt to set a positive example for the plethora of young aspiring artists that I teach at music seminars in places like Trinidad and Tobago or Barbados, who think the best way to start off every song is by singing Jah, Jah, Jah, Jah... Now keep in mind, these guys are not dreads, nor do they know the Rasta culture intimately. They are not using this term to reach the Rastas, but to stroke the sheep. If they ever do talk about Selassie or Rastas, it is in a disrespectful manner that may make Christians laugh, but is at the expense of the ones that I am trying to save. Seen?

DUBROOM: “Can you specify this "Rastafarization" (for lack of a better word)? How does it reveal itself and how can it be recognized?”

I would liken it to a secular urban R&B artist doing a token black gospel song when their lifestyle does not follow the message that they are singing. They simply sing the song in that style to add more diversity to their repertoire, not because of a conviction of the heart. I wear my dreads, sport ites gold and green, and use the name Jah so that I can become all things to all men—to reach the Rastas. This is not a fashion style or a ploy to sell more records. Yet there are some that view it as such. They try and sound just like artists like Capleton (minus a few words and there) and take this sound to the local foursquare gospel church! Whereas my intention is to go straight to the Bobo Shanti commune (and I have).

I just think that there is a lot of unnecessary cross-pollenation going on that is simply causing more confusion. You must understand that your typical protestant church and your regular Rasta Nyabinghi are two completely separate audiences and each require their own unique approach when it comes to ministering the Lord's Word.”

DUBROOM: “Thank you for the interview.”

CHRISTAFARI: “I will also post these questions and answers in the Christafari forum because I feel that they will answer a lot of questions.”
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blaminack
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PostPosted: 20 May 2004 23:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZIONSLAVE wrote:
blaminak,

I am responding to your challenge to produce a time when a post of mine was deleted.

forum-end times chat

thread titled- "deleted'

original poster-brian

pg.-12

date-april 5th 2004

A comment was erased of mine directed to Christ warrior. You will notice in his post after mine that he repies "Please dont use profanity. Read your Bible,it says. I really doubt you were saying donkey." I was talking about what you do when you assume how you make a "donkey" of U and me . My comment was erased because somebody ASSUMED I was using profanity


Ok cool, I stand corrected in that I had not deleted any of your posts. I had really forgoten it, it was so long ago. But I do remember it now, and what I did what not censorship but keeping the forum a "clean" place for all. Sorry if you disagreed but I explained myself and you were more than welcome to post the entire thing with the profanity.
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blaminack
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PostPosted: 21 May 2004 00:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jetze I reread the interview that you posted and I would like to hear your comment on this paragraph of it...

CHRISTAFARI: “Yes, it is correct, depending on your interpretation. I will use the name when singing my past songs on stage and when personally ministering to a Rasta. I have not used this name in my recent recordings as an attempt to set a positive example for the plethora of young aspiring artists that I teach at music seminars in places like Trinidad and Tobago or Barbados, who think the best way to start off every song is by singing Jah, Jah, Jah, Jah... Now keep in mind, these guys are not dreads, nor do they know the Rasta culture intimately. They are not using this term to reach the Rastas, but to stroke the sheep. If they ever do talk about Selassie or Rastas, it is in a disrespectful manner that may make Christians laugh, but is at the expense of the ones that I am trying to save. Seen?


I see this reply by Mark as a change from using the Name Jah as a move to change what he saw happening that was disrespecting Rastas, and taking the "Church" to a level of disrespect or Rastas. He seems to be saying that he wanted to change the image of Rasta in the Church community, by placing the Name Jah in a place of higher respect rather than one of disrespect towards Rastas and Selassie.
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GFD DUB MUSIC
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PostPosted: 21 May 2004 00:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

the name Christafari is still misrepresenting Christianity in the fact in brings in Ras Tafari's name in the 1st place, which if Haile Selassie was never born then the Name Christafari would have never existed....But i guess it making them money so no need in change now that the wallet is growing eh? ... all im sayin is if you know That Rastafari is not Christ and is merely a Christian Brother the same as any other why Glorify his name so much unless it is for a buck or two.... If you are Not a Rasta and Do Not Believe Selassie is Christ then it is a disgrace not only to those who truely do believe in Selassie, but it seems more to me a Personal Disgrace to yourselves that when the truth is known it is overlooked because it may interfere with current Biz.niz plans or whatever the case may be.... anyway..i read that they will not be using the word JAH in their lyrics no more and so why not change your name to Christ Followers and get the Rastafari myths out of your name? What is it to Profit the Whole World and Lose ya Soul?....there is nothing to be gained by using Christs name in Vain...remember that if nothing else, blessss
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