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An Open Letter To All Christian Reggae Artists by Messian Dread
This is an open letter to all (DUB) Reggae Producers and Artists who consider themselves to be a disciple of Yesus Kristos. Please forward it to whoever you might think concerns this...

Greetings in the Name of the Divine Saviour Yesus Kristos!

As I write this letter, my thoughts go out to you.

People who work in the production of music and consider themselves to be followers of Yesus Kristos. How different are all of we!

Some I know personally, others I only know from their musical works. Some have been in the Reggae Industry longer then I, and others not.

The letter concerns you, me, and actually it concerns the whole Reggae Industry as well as what we call "Christianity". But I will limit myself to you and me. Because it is you and me who primarily can do something about the situation which I am about to describe.

As long as that Rhythm called Reggae exists, it has been played by a wide variety of people. The music originated on Jamaica and "everybody" on the island contributed to the development of Reggae. The UK became a stronghold too, because of the many migrants from Jamaica to that other island in front of the European continent.

It is this culture, which runs things when it comes to Reggae Music.

Added, every artist and/or producer of (DUB) Reggae should be considered to be a promoter of the music in the same time. Should be considered a contributor to the development of the music. If only because the music promotes freedom justice and equality.

Throughout the decades, it became clear how there were many parasites who came and tasted something from Reggae Music, only to incorporate it into their own succesfull projects.

None of them should be considered righteous. None of them should be considered doing JAH WORK in this. Agreed?

There were also those, who contributed to the culture in some way or another. What to say about UB40? Or that singer of the band Simply Red, the founder of that magnificent label Blood and Fire? They all know: respect due where respect is due.

It should only be logical for a true born again Christian, one who knows himself to be saved by the Blood of the Saviour, to give respect to everyone. The struggle for freedom and equality that is even incorporated in the very rhythm that the music is, should be considered one's very own struggle too. At least, when one claims to be born again through the fullfilled work of Yesus Kristos.

It goes even beyond that, my dear brothers and sisters!

Within Reggae, there has allways been a place for Spiritually based music. You see a dread, chanting the words of JAH through the microphone and you see ones chanting slackness. But within Reggae Music, there is allways a place for Spiritual people. It doesn't matter whether they call themselves Rasta, or Christian, or both or none.

I met a lot of new Reggae artists, who like me, consider themselves to be disciples of Yesus Kristos. The last 5 years, this number is only growing. I met a lot of these artists over the Internet and to my surprise many of them had no background in Reggae at all. This was, by the way, about the same time I realized that I myself was growing older and there was allready a younger generation too...

I started producing music in the 1980's. Around 1984 I voiced over DUBs and later Jah gave me the grace to be the founder of a band which still exists today. I also have my own studio in which I produce DUB music.

I cannot love my Lord and Saviour Yesus Kristos enough. I cannot praise the Messiah enough. I cannot stop chanting down Babylon with the Truth and I do so in most of my musical works.

I cannot stop making Reggae Music, I cannot stop being part of this Music. I just cannot stop being part of promoting this Music as well! I would have to betray the very music that I love in order to do so!

I have allways received nuff respect from everyone in the Reggae Culture. Ones who are not known to be so spiritual gladly handed the mike over to me, knowing I would chant about Yesus Kristos.

This is Reggae Music, and so it is.

This music cannot exist without this culture. And yet, it is this very culture which is threatened. The threat comes from a parasite listening to the name "CCM" or "Contemporary Christian Music".

Unlike the name suggests, there is nothing "Christian" in this "CCM" industry. And the CCM Industry now threatens Reggae Music. CCM threatens to divide the disciples of Yesus Kristos within Reggae Music.

We hear about "Gospel Reggae" as a specific genre within the CCM industry more and more. The very name indicates a seperation from Reggae Culture based on something called "Gospel".

Little groups and labels starting up, everything supposed to be "Christian". These very same groups and labels are consciously and willingly seperating themselves from the rest of Reggae Culture, in order to become more acceptable in the CCM Industry.

CCM "imitates" certain Musical cultures, they call it "sanctifying". In Reggae, they would speak about "Sanctified Reggae" or "Gospel Reggae".

The "sanctification" lies within the idea, that a withdrawal from a certain Culture is neccesary in order to be a Christian. In order to "still enjoy" your own culture, you are then allowed into what many call a "Ghetto" in which you will only be sourrounded by other CCM artists and "fans".

Don't take my word persay. Search the Internet for a man called "Steve Camp". He is a well know Christian EX-CCM Artist who has identified the unchristian nature of this "Contemporary Christian Music" Industry. On his Weblog, he explains a lot.

Let it be an established fact, that CCM in itself is big business. A much bigger business than the whole of Reggae Music!

So it can be attractive for a (DUB) Reggae Musician who loves Yesus Kristos, to start a carriere in the CCM industry rather then helping to promote Reggae Music as a whole music.

To cross over, as it were... To walk into the "Gate to God" that CCM pretends to be.

It's "safe", there is no "temptation" and there is no... competition!

Until a few years ago, the parasites from the CCM industry had bypassed Reggae Music. The disciples of Yesus Kristos who were working wihin the Reggae Industry were not so sad about this, either.

But times are changing...

Many within CCM even go so far as to consider every artist who professes to be following Yesus kristos as their Lord and Saviour a "CCM Artist".

It is on this false ground, that a "Reggae branch" of the CCM is coming into existance. Ignorant, innocent Reggae Artists are tempted by the wealth of money within CCM, by the fact that there is "a world to win" when it comes to CCM approved "Reggae".

The deal is: as long as you don't smoke marijuana, you are considered a "Gospel Reggae Artist", no matter what you think about this yourself.

This is a very dangerous situation which has allready produced tragic conflicts between brothers and sisters in Yesus Kristos. :et me give you one example.

There is one "Gospel Reggae" label, who advertizes one of their artists by calling him a "True Christian" alternative to another artist who is also know to be a disciple of Yesus Kristos.

And so, little by little by little, CCM is stealing away (DUB) Reggae Artists with an appeal to their faith in Yesus Kristos. But this very same appeal to that very same Christian faith is in fact an appeal to sell your new born Identity as a marketable product in an industry.

Don't get me wrong: this is not about expressing your consciousness in word and sound while producing your music. This is not about selling your music even when it contains such expressions of faith. I mean, you are a musician. What else can you do but praising JAH with the methods of your skill?

But mind you, in this context you are no different then one who makes bread to sell on the market. The bible is clear how we are to serve Yesus Kristos in everything that we do.

So that includes our occupations.

So then, how does it come that we as musicians need a so-called "Christian Industry" in order to express our honoring of Yeshua?

How does it come, that we as Reggae Musicians need a so-called "Christian Industry" in order to express our honoring of Yeshua?

Is that not an insult to the very Culture that comes with Reggae Music? Are disciples of Yesus Kristos not welcome in the Reggae Industry? Are disciples of Yesus Kristos to step out of the Reggae industry to become marketable products themselves in a "Christian Industry"?

In more then twenty years of being actively involved in the Reggae Industry, I have never been given one inch of resistance from my fellow workers in the Reggae Industry.

I have allways seen myself as responsible to promote this music too, giving credit to the Originators. How can I do that when I have to leave that Industry?

Because by selling myself to CCM, I seperate myself from my Brothers and Sisters in Reggae Culture.

For CCM and Reggae Culture do not go hand in hand. In fact, they oppose each other. And the opposition has nothing to with what the Bible calls "sanctification". It has nothing to with what the Bible calls "holy living". In fact, it has nothing to do with following Yesus whatsoever!

And this is exactly where CCM threatens Reggae Music.

Reggae Music needs promotion. Reggae Music needs world wide promotion. We owe it to the founders of Reggae Music to stay loyal to the Roots, too. The Reggae industry is not big and so I consider it only logical that the mere fact I am a (DUB) Reggae producer and artist brings me the responsibility to promote Reggae Music.

By becomming a CCM artist, you will no longer be developing Reggae Music. You have seperated yourself from the very same culture that brought you the music you now base your carriere on.

CCM does not need any promotion. It is allready a big business and a bad business on top of that. It makes use of the Name of Yesus but has nothing to do with promoting the message of the Divine Saviour!

Therefore, there are no legitimate reasons for (DUB) Reggae producers and artists who know themselves to be saved by Yesus Kristos to seperate themselves from others in the Reggae Industry in order to get into a "Gospel Reggae" industry where the very same faith that we have been given freely, is being transformed into a marketable and sellable product.

To display one Christian against another in order to sell one Christian's music against the other Christian is a serious act of dividing the Church of Yesus Kristos.

So I am calling on all (DUB) Reggae producers and artists  to take a strong stand against CCM. CCM steals righteous Reggae Artists away from Reggae Culture in order to make them work for an industry which shamelessly has Christianity as their product.

I am calling on all (DUB) Reggae artists and producers who know themselves to be followers of Yesus Kristos to take a strong stand against the temptation that comes from the CCM industry.

Please realize, that signing up for any CCM label or distribution company is only on the basis of your faith in Yesus Kristos, yes?

Please think a little further along that line.

Please realize that you're selling your very faith, instead of your music!

Yesus Kristos did not die in order to create the CCM Industry. Yesus Kristos died in order to save you and me from the eternal damnation we knew our futures to be without Yesus.

I beg you, you are much needed within the Reggae Industry! No, not to make the Reggae Industry into one "Church". Just, for the sake of Reggae Music alone! When Reggae becomes stronger, as a whole, this will lift up many so-called third world economies.

It is very difficult to get something going, being a Reggae producer. I know that to the fullness. But not to the fullness of many Originators of Reggae Music, who have been robbed by their royalty payments and are now starving in the ghetto's of the city.

Whatever the tempter might tell you, there is no reason to sign up for a CCM company when you are a (DUB) Reggae producer. And there is every reason to stay right where you are.

I thank you for reading this letter. Please pray about it, and read the Scriptures about it. Please reason about it. And please, please, forward it to everyone you think might be interested in reading this letter.

I do not consider any CCM Reggae Artist to be my enemy, even though I have been continually labeled a heretic because of my consistent unwillingness to join CCM and critisize it. I am willing to talk both publicly and privately about this open letter.

One Love,

Messian Dread





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