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 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 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) ...
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
( 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 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 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.
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."
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.
"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 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 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 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 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."
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 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."
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 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."
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 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 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?
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
3. IBID, page 97
4. IBID, page 98
8. IBID, page 171
9. IBID, page 107
10. IBID, page106
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
18. Letter dated June 18,1984 James T. Draper, on file
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