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When Will The Christafari FAQ Be Updated With Propper Info?
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Christafari is not interested in updating their info because what is written now suits them better
yes
20%
 20%  [ 2 ]
no
10%
 10%  [ 1 ]
I don't know
70%
 70%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 10

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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 16:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would sum up my personal disagreements in 2 brief statements:

1. The information presented does not represent the elements of RasTafari that believe the Messiah to be the way of salvation for humanity. Mr. Mohr has consistently stated that he shares his faith w/ Rastafari and encourages/coaches others to do likewise. He fails to state that there are individuals from the various bodies of Rastafari who have a biblical belief system and faith. If he and others are concerned about the salvation of those in the Rastafari movement, the least he could do is acknowledge the presence of those who hold such salvation faith.

I am puzzled by the fact that he does not reference a few key Rastafari works that deal with the issue of Rastafari and Jesus in a very in depth manner. Perhaps, he has not read these works.

"Dread Jesus" is an excellent. This man actually spoke at a Xian festival (Cornerstone). He is a fundamentalist minister that has produced an excellent work concerning RasTafari and the concept of Jesus.

"HIM: Defender of the Faith." This is a book written by K. Naphtali, a long time Rastafarian and member of the TTOI. This book promotes the necessity of faith in the Messiah.

If Mr. Mohr, and others, are interested in RasTafari and Faith in Xrist/Messiah why don't they read/recommend these books? These works and the people who share the ideology of, as well as create these works, are absent from any of the information found in the FAQ.

2. The FAQ information presents info from RasTafari culture, but fails to give the significance that the various cultural and artistic symbols hold within the RasTafari movement. The info about Dreads; Red, Gold, Green; etc; present facts about these and other symbols, yet they fail to associate them with their origins. This, in my opinion, is why X-ians fail to recognize the serious message/symbol that is portrayed by Christafari imagery. The Lion of Zion, the colors, the half-man/half-lion, the magens, etc. are Rastafari imagery. Many Xians fail to understand the symbology and, therefore, do not see why some individuals express frustration or confusion concerning Christafari. For all intents and purposes, Christari is sending out the RasTa signal and waving the RasTa flag. When individuals draw close and see that this is not an accurate assessment of the band (Maybe not the band, but M. Mohr, specifically) and, in fact, they have stated certain things that distance them from and diminish Rastafari ideology and beliefs we become frustrated. Think of this example, there is a Rasta and Ganja Reasoning Forum on this site! What types of conclusions should Rastafari draw from this? When this type of behavior is taken to its natural conclusion, what you have is a large population of individuals who are talking, dressing and using symbols in arrogance. Many people do not realize the absurdity of seeing so many Xians who use Rasta imagery and language while they badmouth the movement. In the process of this badmouthing, they reveal how little they understand about Rastafari and the people involve in the movement.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 17:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronjudah wrote:
2. The FAQ information presents info from RasTafari culture, but fails to give the significance that the various cultural and artistic symbols hold within the RasTafari movement. The info about Dreads; Red, Gold, Green; etc; present facts about these and other symbols, yet they fail to associate them with their origins.


I definitely agree that the FAQ should include more (and more accurate) information about what these symbols mean among Rastas. It is a serious failure to ignore how potent and meaningful these images are among Rastas.

I disagree firmly, however, with your repeated claim that "the Lion of Zion, the colors, the half-man/half-lion, the magens, etc. are Rastafari imagery" and especially the implication (above) that they originate with Rastas.

The Lion of Judah, the colors, and the magens are all Christian symbols, and were Christian symbols long before Rastafari was ever conceived. Even before that, many of them are Jewish symbols. Jews and Christians, therefore, need no Rasta's permission to use those symbols in any context they wish. It is not "misleading" in any way for religious groups to use their own symbols as they wish, regardless what those symbols mean to other people.

A good example is the Hindu swastika. This has been a Hindu emblem for centuries, perhaps several millennia. It is a symbol as old as the Vedas, at least. The Buddha was a Hindu, and many Hindu symbols, like the swastika, were also adopted by Buddhists. In the 20th century, the swastika was adopted by the Nazis.

The Nazis cannot claim that the swastika is their own exclusive symbol, as if they created it and have the only authority to define its meaning. It has belonged to Hindus and Buddhists since long before Nazis ever arrived on the scene. Hindus and Buddhists ascribed their own meaning to the symbol ages before Nazis tried to change it, and the Hindu meaning will always remain primary, regardless what Nazis desire. Hindus should not relinquish one of their oldest religious symbols to newcomer Nazis.

My point here is NOT to compare Rastas to Nazis. The point is that a new group cannot claim exclusive use of a symbol that existed for centuries or millennia before that group and its beliefs came into existence.
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 18:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reviewing your site, I see that are some things in my statements that you could perceive and dealing with you specifically. I think that a lot of what I stated about imagery and symbolism does apply to you directly. However, the main point is not exclusivity of symbol and phraseology. The point is: if you present a group of images and symbols in a Rastafari context and do not explicitly delineate the thoughts and reasoning behind them, don't be surprised when you encounter questions and/or conflict.

No one people group has exclusive rights to YHWH/Jah/GOD. However, LOZ and Christafari, (admittedly so), as well as others, have contributed to the confusion of belief that has resulted from their amalgamation of certain cultural symbols and practices. That is why they discontinued using the term, "Jah."

Again, people can practice their faith as they wish. Each person should keep in my mind the messages that they are sending as a result of their faith expressions. Christafari and others can do as they wish, however, there are many out there who do not/do not want to acknowledge how much they owe to Rastafari for inspiring there spirituality.
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 18:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote][As for me, I have presently chosen not to use the name in our future recordings, and will only use it when personally witnessing to a rasta. For 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 labor, (due to uneducated imitation by other artists) is the Christian church becoming more rasta. This was never my intention. It was not my desire to have a Christian congregation in Trinidad shouting out the name "JAH!" in their church services.
/quote]

This is a Mark Mohr quote that I feel validates my position as far as cultural symbolism is concerned. It was taken from this source.

http://www.lionofzion.com/faq/78da33b3040000a70070/Jah-+Why+Don't+We+Use+the+Name+Anymore?.html
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronjudah wrote:
The point is: if you present a group of images and symbols in a Rastafari context and do not explicitly delineate the thoughts and reasoning behind them, don't be surprised when you encounter questions and/or conflict.


I am not a fan of Christafari or of Mohr, but I do not consider the "Lion of Zion" forum to be "a Rastafari context," nor do I think anyone would mistake it for one if they are willing to read it. The FAQ makes it clear that Mohr is not a Rasta, both by identifying him with Christianity ("We are born again non-denominational evangelical Christians") and by not representing the variety of Rastafarian beliefs very well (as many here have agreed, both Rastas and Christians). The context of this forum, then, is evangelical non-denominational Christianity, regardless of decoration. (And regardless of the affiliations of forum participants.)

As for the debt that Mohr's spirituality may or may not owe to Rastafarianism, Mohr claims to have been a Rasta at one time. He says that is where he's coming from, so I don't think he would deny being influenced by Rastafarianism at all. In fact, other Rastas complain that he overestimates the influence of Rastafarianism in his life (e.g. by denying that he was one for very long).

And if you stick around and pay attention, you'll note that many Christians in this forum openly say, with gratitude and without any reservation, that Rastafarianism was a profound positive influence in their lives. I have said elsewhere on this forum, for example, that listening to Rastafarian music in my youth is one of the reasons I take Scripture as seriously as I do. I don't mind saying I owe a huge debt to Rastafarianism in that regard. Rasta culture has been very important to me in many many ways.

On the other hand, you must not forget that Rastafarianism, though a unique and distinct religion, is largely derivative of Judaism and Christianity. (As many religions are derivative of others, like Buddhism of Hinduism.) This creates a kind of "chicken and egg" problem. Rastafarians taught me to take Scripture seriously, and I owe that to Rastas; but Rastas got those Scriptures from Jews and Christians, and Rastas owe that to Christians. I think that a realistic view will acknowledge that such issues are not clear cut, but that we are interrelated.

There are much bigger influences in my spiritual life, of course, as you will know if you have indeed seen my website. I have devoted many years of my life to the study of ancient Christianity, and have a particular devotion to the theology and spirituality of the ancient Church in Africa and the Christian churches of the East. I do not hide this from anyone. The primary thing on the front page of my website is an ancient Christian statement of faith, following the texts of the Apostles' & Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds. It is obviously Christian.
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aaronjudah
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 19:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

True.

Now I am just waiting for some input from Mr. Mohr via this forum or the personal route specified via my personal message to the "Contact LOZ." We will see what we will see.
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 19:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronjudah wrote:
Mark Mohr wrote:
one of the regrettable fruits of my labor, (due to uneducated imitation by other artists) is the Christian church becoming more rasta. This was never my intention. It was not my desire to have a Christian congregation in Trinidad shouting out the name "JAH!" in their church services.


This is a Mark Mohr quote that I feel validates my position as far as cultural symbolism is concerned.


This passage does show that you and Mohr agree to some extent, but I disagree with both of you. Since "Jah" is a biblical name for God and therefore common to Jews, Christians, Rastas, and any other groups who incorporate the Hebrew Scriptures into their religious beliefs, I don't think there's anything wrong with Christians shouting "Jah." Christians have no less claim on the name Jah for God than Rastas have on Lion of Judah images.

Use of the term "Jah" would only make a Christian church "more Rasta" if the term was not biblical but exclusive to Rastas. Since it is biblical and not exclusive to Rastas, its use doesn't make anything "more Rasta."
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Do you remember when they crucified the Christ? There was someone on the left and someone on the right. They were both thieves! It's the same for ideologies. —Berhane Selassie
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JonaGus
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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2004 20:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaronjudah wrote:
Now I am just waiting for some input from Mr. Mohr via this forum or the personal route specified via my personal message to the "Contact LOZ." We will see what we will see.


I think an updated FAQ would be great, and I hope he responds positively when he gets a chance. I don't think a new one would please everyone, but it might be more accurate. Good luck!
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Do you remember when they crucified the Christ? There was someone on the left and someone on the right. They were both thieves! It's the same for ideologies. —Berhane Selassie
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