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Is Duane ---- "The Dog" ---- Chapman "The Bountyhunter" a Christian?

Did Bob Marley Become a Christian?

Marley_2Well I hope so, because I really like his music! He was one of the world's most creative musicians, blending rock music with the feel of the islands and the rhythms of Africa. If it wasn't for Bob Marley most people would know nothing about reggae music.  Besides his innovative musical style, Marley was also known both for his playful and sometimes dead serious lyrics. One of my favorite Marley lines is, "Oh please don't you rock my boat, because I don't like my boat to be rocked."  Many know Marley for his pointed political statements and his passionate Rastafarian practices heard in his songs, including his passion for smoking ganja (marijuana.)

Yea, but did he become a Christian?  You just can't hope, especially when most people know that Bob Marley was one of Rastafarianism's best known spoke persons.  Marley was bright and articulate. He was no misinformed convert to Rastafarianism. When it came to his religious committment through his music Marley was completely informed.  There is no doubt he had a good grasp on the Rasta's spiritual, social and political positions.  While there are reportedly 700,000 practicing Rastafarian's worldwide, Marley was perhaps the best known.

One of his most moving songs (which includes a repetitive line chanting "Move!") is "Exodus: Movement of Jah's People"   It's a passionate "Back to Africa" plea. "Exodus" reflects some of the prominent tenents of Rastafarianism.  Rastas saw, Haile Salassie, emperor of Ethiopia as the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah."  The Messiah.  "Exodus" is about the worldwide scattered African community moving "Back to Africa.' Specifically to Ethiopia a.k.a Holy Mount Zion.

Some of Marley's lyrics (Get Up, Stand Up) reflected his disdain for the indifference of the established church on earth to the suffering plight of the poor and oppressed on earth. The song also indicates his affirmation of Salassie as Messiah/Savior. 

Haile Salassie knew that the Rastas had put him on the level of the Messiah and to dissuade them he commissioned the forming of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica (home to Marley & reggae.) Salassie and the church made many statements against "emperor worship" and "herbal sorcery" (the marijuana smoking in Rastafarianism.) The church was formed in Jamaica to lead the Rastas AWAY from worshiping Haile Salassie as the Messiah.  If a Jamaican joined the church they had to renounce Haile Salassie as the Messiah. The church maintains that one can ONLY be baptized in the Name of Jesus.  There have been standing issues between the Rastas and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The issues between the Rastas and the EO Church have revolved around the Rastas claim that the EO Church has moved away from the Bible's emphasis on the poor and justice. The obvious ones to me are that the EO Church has better historical doctrine, while the Rastas have way better music..  but we digress...

Bob Marley, one of Reggae's best known artists, one of Jamaica's best known sons and the world's best known Rastafarian 'non-official' spokes-person battled cancer for four years, beginning when he was 32 years old. His cancer began as melanoma on the bottom of his foot. A strange place indeed for that type of cancer.  Marley let the cancer go for a period of time before getting treatment.  In the later days of his cancer he was shuttled (secretly and quietly) to some of the best and most famous cancer treatment centers in the world.

In the midst of his cancer battles and on his last tours Bob Marley's faith and worldview began to change.  On November 4, 1980, Marley was baptized by the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Kingston Jamaica.  Here's the account of the Archbishop concerning Bob Marley, his baptism and conversion:

"Bob was really a good brother, a child of God, regardless of how people
looked at him. He had a desire to be baptized long ago, but there were
people close to him who controlled him and who were aligned to a different
aspect of Rastafari . But he came to Church regularly. I remember once while
I was conducting the Mass, I looked at Bob and tears were streaming down his face...When he toured Los Angeles and New York and England, he preached the Orthodox faith, and many members in those cities came to the Church because of Bob. Many people think he was baptized because he knew he was dying, but that is not so...he did it when there was no longer
any pressure on him, and when he was baptized, he hugged his family and wept, they all wept together for about half an hour."

For Bob Marley, he knew exactly what he was doing in his baptism, probably more than many people know when they are baptized.  While most people will profess a "turning towards Christ" in their baptism, in order to be baptized in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Bob Marley also had to RENOUNCE the "heresy of Emperor worship."  He was turning from Rastarfarianism and towards Christianity. Marley knew what he was doing. He was turning to Jesus Christ. This sent shock waves through the Rastafarian community.

Bobmarley At 36 years old, the undisputed "King of Reggae Music" on May 21, 1981 Bob Marley was buried with his Gibson guitar and his Bible at his side.  His last words to his son Ziggy were, "Money can't buy you life" and according to his mother, Cedella, his very last words were, "Jesus take me."

I've always loved Bob Marley's music.  I can't wait to see him!

"One Love, One Heart.  Let's Give Thanks and Praise to the Lord and We Will Feel Alright!" Bob Marley

Comments

Joyce

Tommy Cowan, founder of the reggae group "The Jamaicans" and former manager of Bob Marley's business gives this account regarding Marley's conversion:
http://www.gospelcity.com/dynamic/music-articles/international/36

"Bob Marley himself, before he died, he got baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ," Tommy says with much conviction. "What does Selassie teaches ... that Jesus Christ is the only way ... He (Bob) through whole treading of Rasta found that Jesus Christ is the way. As a matter of fact, in one song you would have heard him militantly (saying) 'how they crucified my Jesus Christ and they sold Marcus Garvey for rice' ... One of his songs said , "Give us the teachings of his majesty because we don't want the devil's philosophy". Bob, Tommy recalls, called the bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and told him I need to be baptized now. Just recently, Tommy was speaking with said bishop who described Bob's baptism. "At one point, he (Bob) cried for 45 minutes non-stop; his tears wet the floor. And the Holy Spirit came down upon his body and he cried out Jesus Christ three times -- Jesus my Savior, Jesus Christ".

So cool, mon! We be jammin' with the angels!

Matt

These accounts are very powerful, to know that bob persevered through the strife of being called a “pothead”. However, HE came to know Jesus Christ. This makes me feel so much better because I know Christian music and being around the things of Christ makes you literally feel better! I got that from bob music; because he believed in Jesus! And his word came out through song. Peace love and happiness…Jah lives!

v

jah rastafari is our lord jesus christ

krystal

i am a big fan of BOB MARLEY i thi9nk that he is so cool our house is full of bob marley

JDZ

I don't think many people around the world know about Bob accepting Jesus as his Savior. Its so TIGHT for me to read and know it for myself, and not just hear it from someone. He was a VERY BLESSED individual, I'm am so glad he did what he did before he passed on. If he can turn away from Rastarfarianism, anyone caught up in something they know isn't true can do the same. Keep it Christ!! God Bless!! ONE!!

danny trueman

i disagree. i think bob marley turned his back on what he preached. when he turned rasa he preached it, quote "i is rasrafari since creation" then he turns his back on it. he lived a rasta he should have died one.

Joyce

Hi,Danny. Hey, thanks for posting.

Just like with Bob Marley, a lot of us here can testify that we left our previous teachings and beliefs when we encountered Jesus. It's not about a betrayal of our previous beliefs but rather about a life-changing encounter with the Living God. Once you meet Jesus head-on (however that might look), you can't help but respond. That's what happened to Bob Marley -- and that's what happened to me. All we did was say "yes" to God. God did the rest.

VICKI BOTHMANN

HE WAS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zombie

there are a lot of misinformed christians on this site...

to a rasta, HIM hailie selassie IS jesus christ.

the difference is that christians falsely believe jesus of nazareth to be jesus christ....


peace.love.rastafarI.

natty-dread

that is correct vicki. I and I know this to be true. Bob did not turn his back on Rastafari, he simply followed his own way of believing in the messiah. To Bob Ras Tafari (selassie) was Jesus Christ and by being baptized Bob was able to worship him in a new way.

Hamish

To Zombie,

Jesus of Nazareth was Jesus.
Hailie Selassie was Haili Selassie.

Saying that Jesus wasn't really Jesus but Selassie was is like saying that Bob isn't really Bob, but in fact Fred is really Bob.

Doesn't make any sense.

Jesus was a name.
The Christ part is the title conferred- christ meaning 'anointed'.

Perhaps that's the part you meant to debate?

Either way, the conclusion has already been made.
Selassie, upon hearing that the rasta movement was proclaiming him to be the messiah/saviour firmly denied it.
This is fact. Recorded fact.
Google it. You can find the recording for yourself.
I found it on the LION OF ZION website.
I'm sure it can be found other places too.

So...to sum up.
Haille Selassie is NOT jesus. Jesus is a name. His name wass not Jesus. His name was Haille Selassie.

He also explicitly denied being the Christ.
In fact he belonged to a religion that worshipped Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ.

So I'm really not sure where your confusion comes from.
Hope you do some research.

Tembeka

Anyone who is a rasta and is firmly searching for the truth with a pure heart will find it. Haile Selassie is a devout Christian and followed the teachings of Jesus Christ of the bible. He is defender of the Ethiopian Orthodox church (christian). If he was the Christ dont you think he would know about it. But he firmly said that HE IS NOT GOD. As most rasta believe him to be the Father and the Son and equate his wife with the Holy Spirit. The devil is a liar and wishes to decieve as many people away from the true God as possible.

If anyone truely loves Haile Selasie then they will hear the words of Haile Selassie which will lead them straight to the true christ.

Rasta claimed that Haile Selassie fulfiled a prophecy in the book of Revelation when he was crowned "Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. But this title was given to his father Emperor Menelik II before him and all other empoerors before him after the reign of King Ezana - the King who first established Christianity in Ethiopia. The title serves to reflect the Emporers and Ethiopias deep religious faith in Jesus Christ of Nazereth.

Haile Selassie was so perplexed with the situation of rasta seeing him as God (although he repected and admired the rastas deep love for Ethiopia), that he set aboout setting up the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica. Its still there and functioning to this day.

I grew up in the rasta faith but I am now a christian and I know that my beloved Empoeror is not Jesus Christ but a loyal servant of his.

Tembeka

Greetings All,

Anyone who is a rasta and is firmly searching for the truth with a pure heart will find it. Haile Selassie is a devout Christian and followed the teachings of Jesus Christ of the bible. He is defender of the Ethiopian Orthodox church (christian). If he was the Christ dont you think he would know about it. But he firmly said that HE IS NOT GOD. As most rasta believe him to be the Father and the Son and equate his wife with the Holy Spirit. The devil is a liar and wishes to decieve as many people away from the true God as possible.

If anyone truely loves Haile Selasie then they will hear the words of Haile Selassie which will lead them straight to the true christ.

Rasta claimed that Haile Selassie fulfiled a prophecy in the book of Revelation when he was crowned "Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah. But this title was given to his father Emperor Menelik II before him and all other empoerors before him after the reign of King Ezana - the King who first established Christianity in Ethiopia. The title serves to reflect the Emporers and Ethiopias deep religious faith in Jesus Christ of Nazereth.

Haile Selassie was so perplexed with the situation of rasta seeing him as God (although he repected and admired the rastas deep love for Ethiopia), that he set aboout setting up the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica. Its still there and functioning to this day.

I grew up in the rasta faith but I am now a christian and I know that my beloved Empoeror is not Jesus Christ but a loyal servant of his. As he is one of Jesus Christs descendent and his house is called The House of Solomon. Haile Selassie is a descendent of Christ and thats where the confusion comes in. He is his brother but his brother is not him. Just as James, is Jesus Brother and Mary is his Mother.

Chris funk

Still strange to me is that the translation of Haile Selassie I is 'mighty of the trinity'. However, view all faith as symantics, all leading us from a myriad of branches to the same one tap root.

chris

I never knew he accepted Jesus. I just started bawling because, Bob was so wise and he was a great man and the fact that he came to Jesus was just amazing for me to read. It really inspired me so much. One love and God bless you all.

mika

Bob Marley did Not convert to Christianity. He accepted jesus YES he never said Jesus was not the son of god, he just believes that HSI is the living god.

Do not believe everything you read, Bob Marley did not convert to Christianity, Rasta-fari has many close Christian ties, as i have said, he believed in jesus, he just believed the HSI was Jesus Farther.

again do not believe everything you hear, or read. I like many believe in Jesus Christ, but i also believe HSI was a messenger of god. sent by Jesus himself, and as for Ras Marley he is looking down on all of us, with that smile we all remember so well.

God, Jah, Christ, HSI bless you.

What matters is we are ALL one people!

mika

Mariah Carey

Bob Marly is a great singer. He influenced people who don't know how to speak englidh. His death is sad because I always wanted to attend one of his concerts, but he passed away when I was 11.

dfb

I think you are all missing the point.

One love has nothing to do with religious affiliation

Understand what he preached and sang throughout his life.

IrieI

One God One Love One Destiny, No matter how you cal him Jah or Jesus, king of all kings, messiah...

riverjordan

your falsely informed yourself Zombie. good try though. do some research. and chris funk, your wrong my friend.

Jude

This is so typical of Christians. "Well I hope [he did], because I really like his music". What difference does it make? It does not make him a better person.

It's also ridiculous that most the people commenting say things along the lines of 'I'm glad he turned away from Rastafari', as if Christianity was some supreme religion. This is why Christianity is becoming less and less popular as every day goes by, as people realise how many Christians are so indulged in their religion that they become completely immune to all rational arguments and problems in the world.

Maybe if you were more accepting of other faiths, then other faiths would be more accepting of you (as it used to be, before you got all big-headed).

Personally, I have no problem with the Christian spirituality, but Christianity as a whole really needs to get over itself.

Anyway, it doesn't matter what name you give a faith, or what characters are used to tell the metaphors, in the end it's all about love. It's all we ever need. Peace and love.

Personally, I'm a rasta, but you could change the name tomorrow or throw out the bible for all I care, the main reason I associate with rasta is that in this modern day, no other faith is less corrupt, more open minded, more loving than Rastafari.

Peace

illament

If you look at the Gospels then you will realize that there is one truth and that is Jesus Christ. This one world were all religions are equal is an invention of White Western New age thinking. It's real simple that Bob Marley finally understood at the end of his beautiful life. If you hear the word of God and Christ's teachings. Then its simple, you can accept his gift or reject it. You can either be with God or when you die be Separate from God. Jesus Christ who was born of Bethlehem is the Grace or unmerited gift for all sinners. Not Mohammed, Buddah, Horus or any other idol. Very simple.

Samson mbatia

Bob marley was a God gift to cedella booker black race africa & west and also the world long live bob marley spirit.

TuffGongDyl

Jah Rastafari!!!

liv

wow this is so undermentioned. i've loved Bob Marley and his music for years and never heard a word of his conversion to Christianity..how beautiful his experience, reading this whole page has been truely moving and invoked much curiosity..i wonder how many of my friends know this..how many fans who love his music just as much know this..i want to spread the word. maybe it will give new perspective or help someone in their life, their faith..thank you and God bless.

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