The following message came on our 18 Karat Reggae Facebook Page:
Hey Rasta man, I bet you never know that Bob Marley accepted Jesus Christ when he was sick and got saved before he died. Why don’t you accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ before it is too late?
Not quite sure what the person’s point was or why he even assumed I was a Rasta Man. Maybe it is because am a Garveyite. Anyway, his statement did not make a lot of sense to me for many reasons.
There are many mansions of Rasta and Bob Marley was a member of the Twelve Tribe Mansion. The following, is the official greeting of the Twelve Tribe Rasta:
Greetings In The name Of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who Revealed Himself To Us In The Personality of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I.
So obviously from the greeting, Twelve Tribe Rastas accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from the outset. Jesus Christ is then revealed in the “Personality of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I.”
So being a Rasta and a Christian is not always mutually exclusive, it all depends on what mansion the individual Rasta belongs to. For example, a Twelve Tribe like Bob Marley sees Jesus Christ in a place of high honor as he groups him with great Jamaican heroes like Marcus Garvey and Paul Bogle:
I will never forget no way, they crucify Je’sus Christ
I will never forget no way, they sold Marcus Garvey for rice
I will never forget no way, they turn their backs on Paul Bogle
So don’t you forget no way, who you are and where you stand in the struggle
On the other hand, Sizzla Kalonji who is a Bob Ashanti sees Jesus Christ as more of a pacifier used to enslaved Black people and keep them humble under the rigors of slavery:
Babylon done out your flavor
Five hundread years worth of hard labor
Them give you Jesus and say he is your savior
So you can see the obvious contrast on how a Twelve Tribe Rasta and a Bobo Shanti Rasta see Jesus Christ. One holds him in high regards as the Christ, while the other is pretty much saying, Jesus was given to you by the same Babylonians who enslaved you. I should also add that there are a lot of reggae lyrics that burn Jesus the same way there are some that burns the pope and the Vatican. I can guarantee however, that you will never see a reggae artist who is a member of the Twelve Tribe mansion burning Jesus, quite the contrary.
So if you did not know, hopefully now you know, when you hear that a member of Twelve Tribes accepts Jesus Christ, that acceptance was from the time they became a Twelve Tribe and NOT because they are a backsliding Rasta.