JULY-AUGUST NEWSLETTER 1993
A Note from Ed Decker
I received a copy of a Christian Newpaper the other day from one of our supporters, Pat D. In it, Pat had published our tract, FREEMASONRY, SATAN'S DOOR TO AMERICA! Aside from the obvious appreciation for Pat having paid for the tract to be there, I enjoyed reading the paper and just this morning, as I prepared to do this very late Newsletter, the slogan on the banner of the first page caught my eye. It read, "NOT ALWAYS ON TIME, BUT ALWAYS TIMELY." Amen! I sure know that feeling!
After having my face in the computer screen for the last several months working on the God Makers II and the large Encyclopedia of Mormonism, I have spent the last few weeks cleaning up my backlog of correspondence and going through the many prayer requests you have sent in. Time just got away from me. Now, I am over two weeks late in getting going on the August Newsletter, and have too many things to tell you about to fit. However, Please be assured that your prayer needs are among my highest priorities. I usually get to them after hours, at night, when I can devote the proper time and not be interrupted. What a blessing!
I also deeply appreciate your prayers for the ministry and your many notes of warm encouragement. They really make the difference!
Your brother in Christ,
PROPHETS WHO DON'T PROPHESY
Ezra Taft Benson, the aged and frail 93 year old Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Mormon church has become fully dysfunctional, according to his grandson, Steve Benson, the well known political cartoonist, according to a July 10th AP article.
The younger Benson was quoted as saying that his grandfather is so frail and infirm with age that he rarely recognizes people and can no longer take care of the most basic needs of life, nor can he function in his office of prophet and head of the LDS church. In effect, Benson said the church has no spiritual head and the General Authorities were keeping the truth from the members. The LDS church promptly responded in its usual way. The BYU Today (Alumni) Magazine cancelled a planned feature story on Steve, saying they had a space problem.
According to an AP report dated 8/5/93, Benson viewed the decision as "just the latest manifestation of what I believe to be an insidious poisoning of the intellectual and academic environment at BYU." He said that this restriction of freedom of speech at the Y "..will continue to foster this growing reputation of being nothing more than a glorified seminary with a good football team." Benson clarified his position on his grandfather's condition. "The point I was trying to make is that President Benson is the prophet in title only, not in role. President Benson is not carrying out his role. He can't."
The Question here goes far beyond the church's strong censure of Steve Benson for telling the world the real truth about his grandfather.The real question is, "What is a prophet who cannot prophesy?" Answer: "He is not a prophet." That was Steve Benson's point and I strongly agree.
In another news article (that I read and subsequently misplaced), a spokesman for the church was asked if the church would act now and appoint a successor to Benson. The response was that his calling was for life and it could not be changed without a new revelation from the present prophet. Therein is the rub. The present prophet cannot prophesy.
The church will continue to be run without a prophet at its head until the elderly Benson passes away. Even then, the one who will succeed him is always the most senior apostle in the Council of the Twelve. In this case, that man, Howard Hunter is already aged and frail himself and must use a walker. The LDS church is in a major dilemma.
The Mormon church characterizes itself as having the only true mantle of God's authority on earth. That authority, they teach, rests on the head of its living prophets who speak, daily, the mind of God Himself, to the church and its people. Yet, if that prophet has become so mentally diminished or senile that he can no longer recognize family members at his bedside, then logic cries out that the mantle of God's authority no longer rests upon the LDS church. At least within the defined structure they claim was divinely ordered by God.
Of course, we believe that it never rested with them to begin with and if it really ever did, God would never leave them stranded without His prophet to guide them in these latter days. This sad matter is reported to show you that Mormonism fails its own test of truth. It does not have a true prophet at its head. It never had one.
GEORGE LEE, FORMER LDS GENERAL AUTHORITY
CHARGED IN SEXUAL CHILD ABUSE CASE
This is one of those stories that I would rather not report, but because of its significance to charges made in the God Makers II Movie and book about the sexual corruption in high places within Mormonism, I need to inform you about the case. I personally believe Lee is innocent until proven guilty.
Lee is charged with sexual contact with a 12 year old girl in his neighborhood, during the summer of 1989, while he was still a member of the LDS Church's First Quorum of the Seventy. Lee resigned his membership at about the same time, being excommunicated on September 1, 1989.
According to a Salt Lake Tribune article, dated July 30/93, "The alleged sexual abuse was not known to Mormon leaders at the time, said LDS spokesman, Bruce L. Olson in a prepared statement Thursday. Mr. Lee's attorney David Sanders said his client was never alone with the girl....He is confused by the charges."
I want to stop here for a moment and make a very important point. Mormonism stands or falls on its claim to be guided in every capacity by latter day revelation power. Albeit, the prophet of the church may be senile and not able to function in the office of prophet, seer and revelator. But, the church claims that it really isn't a serious problem because those directly under the prophet sort of pick up the spiritual slack and they are guiding the church with one ear at God's throne...daily at each level of office.
Yet, if the charges are proven to be true, then their claim of the gift of revelation authority has to be a complete lie or grand deception of eternal consequence. Here is a General Authority, right in their very midst, sexually abusing a child, and not one blip on the spiritual screen right in the middle of the home office.
However, a spokesperson for Mr. Lee, Romero Brown, stated that charge is "obviously a political plot by the LDS church to discredit Mr. Lee" at a time when Lee is in line to win the Navajo tribal presidency next August.
Whatever the result of the investigation, it falls in line with the look behind the veil as shown in both the GodMaker II movie and book. Without the true Priesthood of the believer and within that priesthood created by the vain imaginations of sinful man, corruption and manipulation of power are the fruits we see in the headship of Mormonism today. We pray for George Lee, the little girl and all those effected by this ugly situation and we pray that the Mormon people will escape from under the power of the dark priestcraft of its leaders.
ARE THERE MORMONS WHO ARE REALLY SAVED?
That is perhaps one of the most often asked questions in our ministry. A lady recently said this to me, " My sister was a Baptist for 20 years before she became a very active Mormon and now she is deeply offended when I suggest she might not be a born again Christian. Can she actually be both?" My answer, unfortunately was, "Not if she is adhering to LDS doctrine."
Today, the Mormons are using Christian words and phrases to let people think they are true Christians, but they can't escape the real doctrines of Mormonism. Let's go back a little and let reality get a hearing.
In the 1947 Mormon Sunday School manual, James Talmage wrote, “Salvation is graded. Thus, it is decreed and provided that every soul shall find his place and mingle with his kind in a state of lesser, advanced, or supreme salvation” (from THE GOSPEL MESSAGE by William Berrett, p. 18) In the Improvement Era, the official magazine of the LDS Church for many years, it is taught that “salvation, however, is based on merit...”(Nov.1965, p.962)
In the 1931 Gospel Doctrine Sunday School Lessons booklet, it says: “Quite different from most Christian denominations, Latter-day Saints cannot at any time during their lives boast that they have been saved. Salvation comes not from a mere compliance with Church rituals. A confession of Jesus will not bring it.” (p.107)
THE SBC CONVENTION AND THE FREEMASONRY VOTE
It's an amazing thing that after the smoke has all settled, the Freemasons are now declaring a mighty victory at the SBC. In the August/93 Scottish Rite Journal, (pp. 3-6) The Grand Commander, C. Fred Kleinknecht, called the vote historic, saying, "this [vote was the] significant turning point for modern Freemasonry." And well it might be. The Masonic Fraternity believes it has withstood its most severe challenge in more than a century.
As most of our regular readers know, the SBC, by an overwhelming majority approved the report and recommendation on Freemasonry issued by the SBC Home Missions Board, which listed a number of things about Freemasonry that were compatible with Christianity and a number of things that were not. The report went on to say that membership in a Masonic order was the business of the individual, not the church.
The Grand Commander calls it a great victory. He states that by its vote, the SBC has "... joined Freemasonry in its elevation of individual conscience as the guide to personal beliefs and actions."
In a letter addressed to All Active Members, Deputies of the Sup- reme Council, Representatives and Secretaries, dated June 21, 1993, Kleinknecht again inferred that vote was a great victory for the craft. He stated, " The Board's [Home Missions Board] report, based on a nearly year-long study by the SBC's Interfaith Witness Department, rejects the allegation that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity and Southern Baptist Doctrine."
It sure sounds like a victory for the craft so far, but he mentions one problem a little further in his letter. He says, "Although the report contains 8 unjustified, we feel, specific criticisms of Freemasonry, it also includes several commendations of Freemasonry."
Let's back up just a hair. Those of you who have been following this will remember that several months before the report was released, we discovered a letter written by the SBC man in charge of the study to a Masonic friend. The letter proved that Masons, themselves, were involved with the report and aiding the man in charge, that he had obviously chosen sides.
Next, the Masons made an unprecedented push to get control of the Convention. The same Grand Commander wrote a letter to all those addressed above, plus the Editors of all Masonic Publications and said that "It is crucial that Masons who are Southern Baptists become messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention."
On the back of Kleinknecht's letter was a 12 step plan for every Baptist Mason to follow in getting to be a Messenger at the SBC. The Masons rallied as never before. Only the Masons know what percent of the 17,800 Messengers were Masons. Yet, in spite of the enormous efforts put out by the Masons, the report still listed a number of things so wrong with Freemasonry, that if they were reviewed in context of Biblical Christianity, no Christian could truly be a Mason.
EIGHT PROBLEMS WITH FREEMASONRY
1. The prevalent use of offensive concepts, titles, and terms such as "Worshipful Master" for the leaders of the lodge; references to their buildings as "mosques," "shrines," or "temples"; and the use of such words as "Abaddon" and Jah-Bul-On," the so-called secret name of God. To many, these terms are not only offensive but sacrilegious.
2. The use of archaic, offensive rituals and so-called "bloody oaths" or "obligations," among those being that promised by the Entered Apprentice: [not listed for lack of space] or that of the Fellow Craft degree: [not listed for lack of space] Or that of the Master Mason: [not listed for lack of space] Or that of other advanced degrees with required rituals considered by many to be pagan and incompatible with Christian faith and practice.Even though these oaths, obligations and rituals may or may not be taken seriously by the initiate, it is inappropriate for a Christian to "sincerely promise and swear," with a hand on the Holy Bible, any such promises or oaths, or to participate in any such pagan rituals.
3. The recommended readings in pursuance of advanced degrees, of religions and philosophies, which are undeniably pagan and/or occultic, such as much of the writings of Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, Manly Hall, Rex Hutchins, W.L. Wilmhurst and other such authors; along with their works, such as Morals and Dogma, A Bridge to Light, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and The Meaning of Masonry.
4. The reference to the Bible placed on the altar of the lodge as the "furniture of the lodge," comparing it to the square and compass rather than giving it the supreme place in the lodge.
5. The prevalent use of the term "light" which some may understand as a reference to salvation rather than knowledge or truth.
6. The implication that salvation may be attained by one's good works, implicit in the statement found in some Masonic writings that "Masonry is continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is necessary to obtain admittance into the Celestial Lodge above where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." (Louisiana Monitor, page 79)
Even though many Masons understand that the "purity of life and conduct" can only be achieved through faith in Jesus Christ, others may be led to believe they can earn salvation by living a pure life with good conduct.
7. The heresy of Universalism (the belief all people will eventually be saved), which permeates the writings of many Masonic authors, which is a doctrine inconsistent with New Testament teaching.
8. The refusal of most lodges (although not all) to admit for membership African Americans.
As reported by the Home Missions Board, SBC 1350 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30367-5601
Please write to them for copies of either the summary from which we quoted or the entire report.
On the positive side, the report commended the Masons for its many charitable endeavors, hospitals, burn centers. It acknowledged that many outstanding Christians and Southern Baptists now and in the past have been Masons.
They recognized that many of the tenets and teachings of some Grand Lodges could be considered compatible and supportive of the Christian faith and practice, such as a strong emphasis on honesty, integrity, industry and character and the insistence that every member believe in [a] God. The report then quoted a number of Biblical quotes from the Texas Monitor to show that there are some explicit references to the Christian faith.
However, the report cautioned that "To be sure, not all Grand Lodges affirm Christian Doctrine, and many do not declare Jesus as the unique Son of God; but many do, and for this we commend them."
Their final statement concludes with this:
"We exhort Southern Baptists to prayfully and carefully evaluate Freemasonry in the light of the Lordship of Christ, the teachings of the Scripture, and the findings of this report, as led by the Holy Spirit of God"
And we say that if a Christian Mason truly did that he would honestly have to leave the Lodge.
(c) copyright, 2009 Ed Decker, all rights reserved
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