Docstoc

Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Document Sample
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church Powered By Docstoc
					Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43




 Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist
Church


 by Ed Decker
  The Beaumont Enterprise of August 31, 1985 bannered the news
across the front page of its religion section. The headline,
"Religious leaders blast Freemasonry as satanic" sat above a
large Square and Compass complete with its encircled "G".




The Religion Writer, Thomas Morton reported that, "Dr. Larry
Holly, a Beaumont physician, and the Rev. Charles Burchett,
pastor of First Baptist Church of Kirbyville, submitted a
resolution at the June convention in Dallas stating that The
Masonic Lodge, often called Freemasonry, is "not compatible
with Baptist faith and message."



The article continued, "The strongly negative resolution, which


                                                                                    1 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


parallels some positions from other denominations, went to the
Home Mission Board of the convention for consideration.




Morton interviewed the top Mason in Texas. "Such attacks on
Freemasonry are not new", says George R. Scott, Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas, and no one talks about it.
"We just ignore the whole thing. I have instructed our members
not to comment on it."




Rev. Charles Burchett already knew he was in for some tough
times. In 1984, when he read from several of Albert Pike's
statements, about 85 people left his church, most of them with
close ties to the Masonic lodge.




Burchett and Holly contacted me for permission to use portions
of the text in "The Question Of Freemasonry" and distributed
15,000 copies of their resolution. Entitled, "FREEMASONRY
NOT COMPATIBLE WITH BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE,
BOLD MISSION THRUST, OR COOPERATIVE PROGRAM", it
created a major stir amongst the convention and its leadership.



It listed some six specific examples of how Freemasonry denied


                                                                                    2 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


the Word of God and concluded,




"Be it therefore RESOLVED, that we the messengers of the
Southern Baptist convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June
11-13, 1985, recognizing that the vast majority of men in
Freemasonry are unaware of the occult, satanic, and sensual
nature of Freemasonry, declare Freemasonry as a
contemporary example of what God calls and condemns in the
Word of God as 'profane....Jewish fables' which cause men to
question and turn from the truth, and...




Be it further RESOLVED, that we urge all southern Baptists to
hear the Truth of the Word of God when it says,'Be ye not
unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath
Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an
infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will
dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and
they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among
them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you.'
(II Corinthians 6:14 -17) ...




                                                                                    3 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


And once having heard the Word of God, we urge every
Southern Baptist to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer
only, by confessing and repenting before the Lord of their
involvement in this ungodliness and removing before men their
names, energies and resources from this spiritually devastating
and ungodly brotherhood of Satanic darkness."




After the Convention, Pastor Burchett wrote and updated me in
a June 18, 1985 letter. "The resolution was entered into the
official minutes Tuesday afternoon, and we passed out 15,000
copies of the booklet. The title is somewhat ridiculous but it was
designed to capture the attention of Southern Baptists.
Wednesday afternoon the Resolutions Committee considered
the resolution and asked me questions.




Although they didn't report it out of committee to the floor of the
Convention for debate and a vote, they unanimously agreed to
refer it to our Home Mission Board's cult department for study
and dissemination of the facts of Freemasonry to Southern
Baptists."




"This avenue is longer and less dynamic than a floor debate,"
Pastor Burchett continued, "but in the long run it will have more
lasting effects on peoples' lives and provide a better opportunity


                                                                                    4 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


for extensive education of Southern Baptists on Freemasonry."




On February 8, 1989, I called the Home Missions Board in
Atlanta, Georgia and spoke to a representative of the Interfaith
Witness department at the offices of Gary Leazer, department
head. I was told that the request for the study had ended up in
the Interfaith Witness department for response , but that the
Directors felt that the study did not fall within the scope of that
department.




A brief statement was distributed to those who would (or knew
to) request it and a copy was mailed to me on February 10,
1989. It reads:




"The 1985 Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist
Convention referred to the Interfaith Witness Department of the
Home Missions Board for their study and recommendation the
resolution by Larry Holly and Charles Burchett entitled
"Freemasonry Not Compatible with Baptist Faith and Message,
Bold Mission Thrust, or Cooperative Program."



"In answer to the Resolution Committee, it is recommended that


                                                                                    5 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


the Home Mission Board respond that after a thorough study by
the Interfaith Witness Department, it is the Board's conclusion
that Freemasonry does not fall within the scope of assigned
responsibility of the Home Mission Board."




We can only assume that the issue has died an ignominious
death. There seems to be no group within the entire structure of
the Southern Baptist Convention that will admit the assigned
responsibility for dealing with the subject of Freemasonry.




THE HIDDEN HOOK




There continues to be some sort of hidden hook to all this
uptight refusal to deal with the heretical practices and roots of
Freemasonry within the Southern Baptist Church. There are
solid Biblical cautions about secret societies and blood oath
taking, yet here were intelligent, normally Biblically sound
Christians tap dancing through some sort of spiritual mine fields
that let family background and cultural behavior override their
dedication to Biblical inerrancy and obedience to God's Word.



One extremely important piece to the puzzle came in a book


                                                                                    6 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


entitled, ROYAL AMBASSADOR CEREMONIES, DRAMAS
AND RECOGNITIONS.




It's Title page states, "Copyrighted in 1988 and published by the
Brotherhood Commission, SBC., 1548 Poplar Ave. Memphis
TN 38104-2493, James H. Smith, President, A Southern Baptist
Convention agency supported through the Cooperative
Program." It is the official ritual book for Recognition Services
and the Initiation Ceremonies of the young men and boys
groups in the Southern Baptist Church. It is specifically
associated with the Royal Ambassador program.




First, let's understand that the Royal Ambassador program is
part of a foundational program to raise up young men to be
servants of God, and true Ambassadors for Christ. Throughout
the pages of the ritual manual, the name of Christ is lifted up
and Jesus is an obvious and integral part of the entire program.
The Motto itself, "We are Ambassadors for Christ" comes from
2 Corinthians 5:20.




However, just as every step along the ladder of advancement is
filled with deeper commitment to the cause of Christ, each step
is equally filled with Masonic ritual, terminology and metaphor.
This is not some accidental coincidence, but a planned system


                                                                                    7 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


of Masonic indoctrination, as you will see.

 In the recognition ceremonies on page 8, the young initiates
are told, "Royal Ambassadors, keep this in mind. The shields,
badges and other awards that are about to be presented to you
are not prizes, These are tokens of what you have done or
where you have been." The tone of the charge, the way the
sentences are formed and spoken and words such as token,
well done, travel, and journey are key Masonic words that are
more than just subliminal here.

Some other simple examples are described in the instructions
for the LADs, "You have just begun the journey to the mountain
of adventure..." and for the Trialblazers (page 9), "Well done.
You have advanced more than halfway up the mountain of
adventure. Your token is in the form of a shield with a gold
circle around it.". .and on it goes.

  Again, we must realize that these young men are being
prepared by subliminal force to be comfortable so that when
they are later enjoined to step into the trap of the Gnostic
mysteries of Freemasonry they will feel on familiar ground. As
that young man stands at the Lodge door, with a hoodwink over
his eyes, a cabletow around his neck and his sleeve and pant
leg rolled back, embarking on the mystical journey for higher
knowledge and seeking the light of lodgery, he must think, "well,
it can't be too strange. I did almost this same thing at church
when I was in Royal Ambassadors. It must be OK."

That's is the gravity of the matter. In looking into the rituals with


                                                                                    8 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


our understanding of the Masonic forces at work, the
ceremonies appear to have been purposely established by this
Brotherhood Commission to prepare young men for that darker
initiation into the occult mysteries of Freemasonry. Look into the
actual initiation rituals itself, on pages 25-27, and compare them
to only one of numerous Freemasonic counterparts. You will
see what I mean. INITIATION


 Candidate is blindfolded, right shoe and coat are removed,
and left sleeve is rolled up slightly.

(In the Masonic ritual for Entered Apprentice, the candidate is
blindfolded-or hoodwinked, coat and shoes are removed, left
arm is out of the shirt sleeve, left pant leg rolled up, slipper
placed on right foot rope or cable-tow placed around neck.)

 ONE: (Leads candidate by left arm to door and knocks twice,
sharply.)

(In the Masonic ritual, candidate is led to door and the steward
seizes candidate's right wrist and raps three times on door)

  TWO: (Knocks from within)

(In Masonic ritual, Senior Deacon raps three times from within)

  ONE: (Knocks once.)

TWO: Who comes here? (He shouts, opening the door. Raps


                                                                                    9 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


candidate on left shoulder.)

  (In Masonic ritual, the Steward opens the door partially and
the Senior Deacon shouts from within, "Who Comes Here?)

ONE: Mr. (candidate's name), a weary traveler, along life's
highway, seeking entrance and companionship along his
journey up the straight and narrow path.

  (In the Masonic ritual, the Steward replies, "a poor blind
candidate, who is desirous of being brought from darkness to
light and receiving part of the rights, lights and benefits of this
worshipful lodge, erected to God and dedicated to the holy
saints John, as many a brother and fellow has done before
him.")

TWO: Mr. (candidate's name), is it your free will and desire that
you be allowed to enter into our midst?

  (In the Masonic ritual, the Senior Deacon asks the candidate,
"Is it of your own free will and accord?)

CANDIDATE: Yes, it is.

  TWO: Have you the key with which to enter?

ONE: He has it not, but I give it to him.(Steps forward and
clasps Two's hand and saying in a low voice)Share the light of
the world.



                                                                                    10 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


  ( In the Masonic ritual, this secret key is passed on in the
second or Fellow Craft degree. At an almost identical routine at
the door, the Senior Deacon asks the Steward, "Has he the
pass?" to which the Steward replies, "He has not. I have it for
him." "Give me the pass," the Senior Deacon states. The
Steward gives the pass or key, to the Senior Deacon in a
whisper, "Shibboleth.")

TWO: Wait until I return. I shall inform our counselor(or
President) of your wish. (walks briskly to front of room and
makes his address.) There is a weary traveler outside our gate,
seeking entrance.

 (In the Masonic ritual, the Senior Deacon reports with the
same message to the Worshipful Master)

COUNSELOR OR PRESIDENT: Let him be escorted in.

  TWO: (Returns to door) You have permission to enter.

ONE: (Slowly leads candidate in and around the room three
times. Counselor or President raps gavel or strikes bell once as
candidate approaches each post. (Counting the President,
there are 4 posts).

 As the candidate passes each Post, a portion of Scripture is
read. Romans 12:1, 12;2, Matthew 14:23 and Luke 14:23 are
used in that order.

(On second and third trips around the room, each post rereads


                                                                                    11 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


his Scripture as the candidate passes the respective posts.)

 Following the tour, the candidate learns the Motto, "Share the
Light of the world", taken from John 3:12.

Finally the candidate is led to the Counselor or President and
kneels on one knee, in front of a Bible. and repeats the Royal
Ambassador Pledge.

 COUNSELOR OR PRESIDENT: To seal this pledge, you will
place your hand on the Bible. (ONE holds Bible)

COUNSELOR OR PRESIDENT: Remove the blindfold so that
(Candidate's name) can see the Bible. This is the key which
opens the door to our fellowship so that we may work together
in being Ambassadors for Christ...

  (In the Masonic Entered Apprentice ritual, The candidate is led
around the Lodge room three times by the right arm, in what is
called the Rite of Circumambulation. As he passes each station
of office, each one gives a loud rap on the floor. As the first rap
is given by the Junior Warden, the Worshipful Master begins
reciting the 133rd Psalm, timing it so that the Psalm is
completed just as the candidate finishes his tour around the
Lodge.)

(In masonry, the candidate is then instructed to advance to the
Altar, "kneel on your naked left knee; place your right as to form
a square, your body erect, your naked left hand supporting the
Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, your naked right hand


                                                                                    12 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


resting thereon.")

  In that position, the candidate swears the Masonic oath or
OBLIGATION, after being told by the Worshipful master that
"The solemn engagements which you will be required to make
before you can participate in our labors and privileges are made
in the name of God, and once taken they can never be
repudiated or laid aside; yet I am free to inform you that our
obligation contains nothing which can conflict with your duty to
God, your country, your neighbor or your self."

Of course, that is a blatant lie. The candidate is swearing an
oath on the very Bible that prohibits such oath taking. The
candidate will be obligating himself by, "binding myself under no
less penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear,
my tongue torn out by its roots and buried in the rough sands of
the sea, at low water mark where the tide ebbs and flows twice
in twenty four hours, should I in the least knowingly or wittingly
violate or transgress this my Entered Apprentice obligation. So
help me God and keep me steadfast."




He is then told that , "In token of your sincerity of purpose in
these solemn engagements, you will kiss the Holy Bible now
open before you." The design of the darkened lodge room is
such that a single light now shines just at this moment upon the
Bible. In both the Lodge and the Royal Ambassador rituals, the
attention of the candidate is directed to the Bible, while the oath
taking is being conducted.


                                                                                    13 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


    THE BISHOP INITIATION


Specifically designed for Pioneers, this ceremony is set up with
an air of secrecy and has even more direct ties to Freemasonry.
It is detailed on pages 26-28 of the referenced Brotherhood
Manual.

  In it, the Counselor is instructed to be secretive in the
operation of the ritual. "It is suggested that this initiation service
be known only to you, a few selected leaders, parents and
those boys who have been initiated. This initiation is a reprint of
an emphasis incorporated some years ago by Ivyloy Bishop,
the first national director of the Royal Ambassador program."

The room is prepared such that there are sequential piles of
cans, bricks, rocks, sticks and a ladder. A Bible sits upon a
table. There is a second room opening up into this ritual room.
The candidate is taken to this side room by the Director, where
his coat is removed, his sleeves rolled up. The candidate is
then securely blindfolded. He is then led to the door of the ritual
room.

  "The Director gives the secret knocks which are: two quick
raps, pause, then two more quick knocks. The Counselor
[inside] answers with the same knock, opens the door, asks
who the candidate is, if he will keep the secrets, do the work
and bear the responsibilities of a Royal Ambassador. After the
candidate answers "yes," he is admitted."



                                                                                    14 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


After he is admitted he is told that he is going on a journey and
must pray for guidance. After a short prayer, the candidate is
given a heavy sack of bricks or rocks. "It should be about all he
can carry to symbolize a real burden."

  "Carrying the burden, the candidate is led two or three times
around the room....At the end of the last round he is rudely
halted by the counselor....(removes the burden). The candidate
is then walked rapidly forward....a stick is held across his path
in such a way that it lightly taps him on the forehead. He is told
that this is to teach him that if on the journey of life he is proud
and high headed and does not bow humbly to the will of God,
he will meet with obstacles. He is told to bow very low, and so
passes under the rod..."

"He is now marched over various rough objects in his path.
These may include tin cans, bricks, a ladder lying flat on the
floor, stairs, etc. All this time the director is holding him by the
arm to prevent him from falling down, but allowing the candidate
to stumble along."

  "The candidate is halted and told that the path of life is not
always easy, but is often rough and difficult to travel. He will find
pitfalls and stumbling blocks along the way. He will not be able
to see what is ahead, but if he, with faith puts his hand in the
hand of Christ as he did with the director, he will be helped
along the way."

The candidate is led to the ladder and similar analogy is used
as he climbs the ladder being held by several of the men.


                                                                                    15 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


  "The candidate is now conducted to a low table or chair on
which lays an open Bible. The candidate kneels before this
Bible; his right hand is placed over his heart and his left hand
rests on the edge of the table touching the Bible. The candidate
is told that is kneeling before an open Bible and that his right
hand is over his heart as a symbol of sincerity. He is instructed
that in this position he is to take the obligation of his chapter
and if he will promise to keep the obligation, he is to answer "I
do" after each of [a series of] questions."

Following the obligation, which deals with Christian lifestyle, the
room is made entirely dark. The Counselor turns a flashlight on
the Bible. With the candidate still kneeling, the blindfold is taken
off and he is told that the world is in darkness without the Bible;
that the Scriptures are God's light that comes from above..."
The lights are turned on and the candidate is greeted by each
member of the Chapter. This ritual is repeated for each initiate.

  The parallels to Freemasonry are astonishing. First, we have
the usual blindfolding, the sleeves rolled up and the secret raps
and signals at the entry door between two ritual workers. The
Brotherhood manual clearly instructs that the candidate must be
asked if he is willing to "keep the secrets". This is asked in
Freemasonic fashion prior to the young mans knowledge of any
of the details of those secrets.

He must trust his Royal Ambassador leaders, just as he may be
asked in later life in Freemasonry to trust the Worshipful
Master. Of course, we have seen that the Worshipful Master will
lie to the Entered Apprentice so that he is seduced into


                                                                                    16 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


swearing the Masonic Obligation.

  In the Pioneer ritual, the oath is also referred to as "the
obligation of the Chapter." Again, the candidate is asked to
promise to keep the obligation without knowledge of the actual
text. Here, it is simple and deals only with the young mans
relationship with Christ. However, in Freemasonry, it binds the
candidate to occult principles.

The bait and switch method of occult indoctrination is clearly
present here. Why is it necessary to blindfold and lead these
young men around some form of a lodge room? Why are
Christian leaders asking young men to violate Scriptural
warnings and swear oaths of obligation? I believe it is to soften
their spiritual sensitivities for the actual rites of the higher
degrees of Freemasonry.

  In the Masonic ritual, we find several very close parallels to
the Pioneer initiation. Perhaps the easiest to understand is the
Royal Arch or Seventh Degree ritual in the York Rite. This is the
degree in which the candidate steps directly into the occult path
of Gnostic enlightenment. Here, he learns the secret name of
the Masonic god and takes upon himself the password of the
Royal Arch member, I AM THAT I AM.

Candidates are presented in groups of threes and it requires
that same number of Royal Arch Masons to pronounce the
sacred name. The candidates are prepared by having their
coats removed, bandages placed over their eyes (or blindfolded
securely) and are tied together with a long rope, with about 3


                                                                                    17 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


feet of slack between them.

  The candidates are presented as three sojourners from
Babylon. A Royal Arch member plays the role of the Principal
Sojourner who leads them by the rope. Once past the entry
door and its responsive knocking or rapping and passwords, he
speaks to the candidates, "Companions, you will follow me. I
will bring the blind by a way they know not; I will lead them in
paths they have not known; I will make darkness light before
them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto
them, and will not forsake them. Stoop low brethren, he that
humble himself shall be exalted."

Meanwhile Lodge members form two facing lines and interlock
their fingers, forming a low arch under which the candidates
must stoop and under which they are eventually forced to the
floor to crawl their way through. This is a direct counterpart to
the Pioneer ritual of stooping under the stick to "bow very low".

  Notice the similarity between the Pioneer Director and the
Principal Sojourner. Both are there to lead the blindfolded
candidates through the perils of darkness and trials and bring
them to the light. While the Director is portrayed as the example
of Christ, the Principal Sojourner is not hampered by any such
restriction, he and the Lodge represent the light, the truth and
the way. Jesus is not mentioned.

Both rituals require the same form of solemn obligation, both
ask its candidates to agree to the ritual and obligation in
advance of knowledge and by virtue an implied but absent free


                                                                                    18 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


will; both use the metaphor of darkness and light and both
recognize the leader and group as the truth bearers. Both
require the candidate to kneel before a Bible to take their
obligation.

  In the Royal Arch Degree, the three candidates are led around
the Lodge room in a close equivalent of the Pioneer initiation.


"Each candidate shoulders his working tools and follows the
Principal Sojourner, going single file to a corner of the room
where a quantity of blocks or bricks are scattered around."

  The candidates find a trap door and after returning to the High
Priest of the Chapter to report their find, one of them eventually
goes down into a lower chamber to first recover three small
trying squares.. In this ritual, a ladder is usually used.

In the obligation of this Degree, the candidate swears an oath of
severe proportions. In part he states, "I furthermore promise
and swear, that I will keep all the secrets of a Companion Royal
Arch Mason (when communicated to me as such, or I knowing
them to be such), without exceptions." At the conclusion of this
three page oath, the initiate is commanded to seal his oath by
kissing the Bible (or other sacred book) seven times. One must
wonder what dark secrets have been hid from the world of truth
and justice under the guise of such fraternal fidelity.

 The initiation ritual of the Shrine (The Ancient Arabic Order,
Nobles Of The Mystic Shrine) is one that openly mocks the


                                                                                    19 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


dignity of Christian integrity. The initiation ritual is designed with
numerous sexual overtones and it is hard to imagine that any
Shriner would want his wife or children to watch him.

In one of the least offensive parts of the Shriner ritual, we can
see another connection to the Royal Ambassador initiation.
"The candidates are hoodwinked and in stocking feet enter after
three loud alarms (violent blows from the mallet). At first they
proceed one by one on carpet, then upon a spread of corn
husks, then a strip of stair cover or sheeting strewn with
pebbles, followed by a ladder with close rounds, camp stools
folded and a roller or any rough road most conveniently
prepared out through hallways, etc."

  We must realize that the young men going through the Bishop
Initiation are being prepared to accept spiritual submission to
the inner depths of Freemasonry without those spiritual warning
bells ringing. Freemasonry will have that familiar spirit. It will
bring to the surface those good feelings, that acceptance and
approval by those in authority and those they love.

Perhaps you can now see what Larry Holly and Charles
Burchett had their work cut out for them and why the National
offices wanted nothing to do with the issue. To deal with it
honestly would be the kiss of death to any career at the national
level. I was told by one such leader, "No one dares touch this
sacred cow. Too many influential Pastors and Lay leaders are
dedicated Masons."




                                                                                    20 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


  HOT POTATOES


  A letter to Dr. Jerry Falwell in early 1988 brought this response
regarding his position from Rick Lawreson, Theological
correspondent for Dr. Falwell, dated March 23, 1988. "I have
enclosed a commentary addressing the subject of Masons. I
would encourage you to take time to study this commentary so
that you will have a proper understanding of the position that
Dr. Falwell and this ministry [Liberty Home Bible Institute/
Old-Time Gospel Hour] take with regard to this subject."

The printed commentary stated, "We appreciate the opportunity
to be of assistance to you with regard to your inquiry regarding
whether or not the Christian should be involved in
Freemasonry.

  "Without doubt, the Freemason organization and especially
the Shriners and their particular interest in providing medical
assistance to children, both burned and crippled, is to be
commended. These humanitarian acts of charity are certainly
showing forth the character of a Christlike compassion... "It is
unfortunate that there is not more charity being shown in
today's society. Jesus Himself is our great example of One who
willingly gave Himself compassionately to those who were in
greatest need...


"Unfortunately, there are some individuals who condemn others
to Hell for belonging to the Freemasons. They fail to understand


                                                                                    21 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


the passage: For God sent not his Son into the world to
condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be
saved (John 3:17). People are not condemned to Hell because
of some organization that they do or do not belong to, but
people are condemned to Hell because of their unbelief in the
Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour...




"Dr. Falwell has never belonged to the Mason organization and
does not intend in the future to belong to the Mason
organization. He feels that all of his time should be given over
to the Christian service to which God has called him.

 "Dr. Falwell does not take a public stand concerning Masonry;
but neither does he let this be the issue that draws a line
between fellowshipping with other Pastors."  
 James Draper


During that time of family turmoil, when my Dad became so
violently upset over my book, The God Makers, and the
publication of my first article on Masonry, I wrote to several
national Christian leaders who were Masons to seek their
counsel in dealing with the dark side of masonry and its specific
effect upon my family. One was Dr. James Draper.

 On June 4, 1984, when I wrote to James Draper, he was the
President of the Southern Baptist Convention. In the letter, I
shared that my family had been involved in Masonry for a


                                                                                    22 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


number of generations, and that my questions and bold position
had caused a great division in my family because of my father's
strong defense of the fraternity.

I said that I had been told he was a 33rd degree Mason and
that I needed some straight answers. "If I can't trust you, I might
as well throw in the towel."

 I asked him, "Dr. Draper, how can a Christ centered Christian
put his thumb to his throat in an oath? How can a Christian call
upon the name of Jaobulon as the true God? Please! My father
and mother talk about ending their lives and Dad has a very
bad heart. I need help quick! I pray that you can speak to this
problem before it destroys my family."

Dr. Draper responded in a letter dated June 18,1984. _He
stated that he was a 32nd degree Mason, having joined the
lodge as a young preacher many years ago. He did not evade
my implication that he might just be a stumbling block in this
matter of my relationship with my father.

  He wrote, "I do not recommend anyone become a part of the
Masonic Lodge. I have not been active for many years. From
what I read and the things I have been able to find out, some of
the additional teachings of the Masonic Lodge are very heretical
and certainly not conducive to Christian commitment."
"However, I have discovered that many Masons are not even
aware of those things and feel they are actually extending their
commitment through the Masonic Lodge. Do not ascribe to your
father everything you have read about the Masons."


                                                                                    23 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43




The letter closed with the remark, "Again, let me tell you that I
do not recommend the lodge."
It was signed, In His Love, Jimmy Draper.




 

    JIMMY DRAPER DEMITS
  In late July, I received a copy of Jimmy Draper's Letter of
Demit, dated July 17,1984. Addressed to the Estelle Lodge No.
582, A.F. & A.M. in Euless, Texas, he described his
membership as that of Blue Lodge masonry, having been
raised to the degree of Master Mason. (In his letter to me, he
had indicated he was raised to the 32nd degree. I am inclined
to believe that his letter to me was in error on that point.)

Dr. Draper wrote that he had never felt his Christian walk
challenged by his involvement in masonry. He said, "All this is
to say that my experience with the masons has been a positive
one." He wrote that while he had been inactive for the last 14
years, he had "maintained my dues in the organization. I have
many cherished friendships in the Lodge and am grateful to
God for them."



It wasn't difficult to see that Dr. Draper was struggling between


                                                                                    24 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


his long term friendships with good people and the Biblical
position regarding Freemasonry.

  His letter of Demit continued, "For the past several years I
have been studying the teachings of Freemasonry. Obviously,
there is much taught in advanced degrees that I was not taught.
(This is way I am sure he was in error stating that he was a
32nd Degree Mason...ed) In studying Mackey's Encyclopedia of
Freemasonry and other books produced by masons, I have
learned that there are additional teachings to the ones I
learned. While Freemasonry teaches the unity of God, it does
not center on the Jehovah God of the Bible and His only son,
Jesus Christ... while the Bible is honored, it is not viewed as the
sole rule of truth. Good works and virtue are seen as the key to
heaven."

"In these critical times in which we live, I find that I must
carefully identify myself with the Lord Jesus Christ and no other
entanglement must be seen as competing with that
commitment. The Bible tells me that "If eating meat causes my
brother to stumble, then I will not eat meat." It is obvious that
my membership in the Freemasons is a stumbling block to
others. For that reason I must ask that my name be removed
from the rolls of the [Lodge]."

 "I make this decision after many months and several years of
prayer and study. My love for you as brothers in Christ remains
constant. I am not on a crusade to discredit Freemasonry. I
simply must make clear in my own life that my sole and
supreme allegiance is to my Lord Jesus Christ and no vow must


                                                                                    25 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


be seen as competing in any way with my love for and
commitment to Him."

Let me note here that after the publication of this article,
the SBA pulled these youth rituals that were so blatantly
Masonic. The greater question is why were they there in
the first place, and if I am not telling the truth, why pull
them after I revealed them? Remember that most of the
adult male membership of the SBA went through these
Masonic rituals as youth. Is it any wonder that the SBA still
sits joined at the hip to the Masonic leadership within the
SBC?




 

  Footnotes:


1. A RESOLUTION FOR THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST
CONVENTION, C. Burchett, J. Holly, 1985, page 3.




2. STANDARD FREEMASONRY ILLUSTRATED, THE
POWNER CO, CHICAGO, 1983, pages 96-97




                                                                                    26 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


3. IBID, page 97




4. IBID, page 98




5. IBID




6. IBID




7. IBID




8. IBID, page 171




9. IBID, page 107



10. IBID, page106



                                                                                    27 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43




11. IBID, page 109




12. DUNCAN'S MASONIC RITUAL AND MONITOR, Malcolm
C. Duncan, Ezra Cook Publ., Chicago, 1974, page 226




13. IBID, page 228




14. IBID, pages 241




15. IBID, Royal Arch Oath, page 230




16. THE MYSTIC SHRINE, AN ILLUSTRATED RITUAL, Ezra
Cook Publ., Chicago, Ill, 1975. page 32.



17. Letter Dated March 23, 1988, Rick Lawrenson, enclosure;
notes entitled, Masons


                                                                                    28 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43


    18. Letter dated June 18,1984 James T. Draper, on file

 




 




 




(c) copyright, 2001, 2009 Ed Decker, all rights reserved




Saints Alive In Jesus
PO Box 1347 Issaquah WA 98027
email Ed at: ed@saintsalive.com

Your gifts to the ministry are tax deductible!



Visit our Website to contribute.



                                                                                    29 / 30
Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Church

Written by Ed Decker
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:15 - Last Updated Friday, 24 September 2010 20:43




www.saintsalive.com




                                                                                    30 / 30

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:11/21/2012
language:English
pages:30