Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do not seek the treasure!

This is the time of year when I am inclined to share some thoughts on the incompatibility of Halloween and Christians. I did that last year, however, and I'll summarize with the notion that the American holiday of Halloween typically does one of two things, or both. It either sucks Christians into the glorification of evil and death (e.g., imagery such as witches, black cats, haunted houses, and other slooge that is either superstitious or blatantly deviltry) or into the consumerism whereby they spend lots of money on costumes and candy for no redeeming reason.

But ... what I wanted to talk about was another form of deviltry incompatible with Christianity, Freemasonry. A good buddy recently asked me for some Cliff's Notes on the subject since he knew it was the subject of a consuming study for me for about 1.5 years in the mid-1990s.

Back before the days of the Internet's proficiency, one had to work harder at research. So, I would visit Christian bookstores and gobble up every book I could find on the subject, always in the "Cults" section, mind you.

I've actually been meaning to whip up a little something about Freemasonry, so this was a good catalyst. There are a great many books and even a few good videos on the market that implicate Masonry as deviltry in varying ways and in varying degrees.

There are some good websites (e.g., Saints Alive in Jesus and Ephesians 5:11), though some are a little on the "fighting fundy" side (e.g., The Curse of Baphomet).

(FYI: "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." -Ephesians 5:11, ESV)

The gist is that Freemasonry is essentially a religion and not merely a club or a hobby. It uses religious language, meets in a temple in meetings led by the Worshipful Master, requires initiates to proclaim they are in darkness but want to be in light, etc.

And that's the trick really, Masonry is a source of light and it helps the initiates to navigate through the various light-givers (Jesus, Confucius, Lucifer, etc.) to learn the secrets of the craft and the world.

In fact, I just say this piece recently that the courts have provided Masonry religious protection. Pike would be proud.
"Every Masonic lodge is a temple of religion, and it teachings are instructions in religion...this is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries, and which it will continue to teach as long as time endures."
-Pike, Albert. Morals and Dogma, 213-14.

Even my SBC has put forth some criticism of the Masonic religion, though its been muted by the many Masons within the SBC who serve on deacon boards, etc.

They ordered a study in 1992, which was pretty tame, but even it found "many" tenets incompatible with Christianity and they didn't even really get into the writings of the higher ups like Mackey or Pike. Of course, we're a non-binding association/denomination anyway, but they couldn't say "Don't do it." The pressure they got from the masons within forced them to soften the conclusion to "examine in light of your conscience," but it's better than nothing.

Most denominations, however, actually have statements against Masonry and many even forbid lodge membership for its members.

I've read the primary sources and finally had to break down and buy them (e.g., Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry and Pike's Morals and Dogma). There's no denying that in them they say stuff like "Sure Adonay is god, but Lucifer is also god" and "we recognize only the light, not the light bearer." For those Masonic authorities, Lucifer is the supreme lightbearer.

I know, it seems far-fetched. We have an organization that bills itself as a bunch of good ol' boys and which encompasses the Shriners, who also do many great things. Many grew up as Rainbow Girls or Job's Daughters or in the DeMolay.

Either you or your relatives have probably been affiliated with Freemasonry in some way. Surely, Grandpa wasn't dancing around in goat leggings and toasting goblets of blood. Probably not, but he did wear an apron to protect his "generative principle" and he participated in an organization that is even less compatible with Christianity than Mormonism is, and membership for Christians is a "compromise and a contradiction" (Rice, John R. Lodges Examined by the Bible, 47).

But there's worked into the system a bit whereby they intentionally deceive the younglings so that they don't really understand all that they do, they just think they understand.
"The average Mason is lamentably ignorant of the real meaning of Masonic symbology and knows as little of its esoteric teaching"
-Steinmetz, George H. Freemasonry-Its Hidden Meaning, p.5

So, they give their money and it looks like a good philanthropic organization, but it's very similar to the Mormons in that regard whereby you call yourselves Christian and use some of the same terms, but give different meanings.

This is no surprise, especially when you realize Joseph Smith was a Mason and he brought much of that with him to the Mormons, who also have secret ceremonies and levels of advancement, etc. Also no surprise, Mormons are not allowed to be Masons. My assumption is that they don't want folks to gain "knowledge" prematurely or learn the overlap, etc.

Many writers have written about the influence Masons have had on our government, including the layout of Washington, D.C. and its monuments. Others have drawn connections to the Klan, and having had a relative who was public about one and very secretive about the other, I'm not surprised.

In a sermon entitled, "Freemasonry and Christianity" Alva J. McClain (Founder and 1st President of Grace Theological Seminary) shows why a Christian cannot be a Mason. He offers four (bad) reasons why a "professing" Christian might stay, but lists men of faith who have fought against Masonry (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, James Madison, Millard Fillmore, Daniel Webster, Charles Sumner, Charles Finney, D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, for example).

There's a good video I have entitled, "Freemasonry: From Darkness to Light" that essentially shows just how similar Masonry is to witchcraft in its ceremonies and incantions, including the initial initiation ceremony and both ending their prayers with, "So mote it be." You can watch a portion of the video here.

There are many books and articles that can be read and I'd be happy to share with you an annotated Bibliography, though somewhat dated now. Most Christian bookstores will have some slooge on Masonry in their "Cults" section. You can also watch a video on the secret history of Freemasonry here.

G.A.O.T.U. (The Great Architect of the Universe) is not the same as the God of the Bible. If nothing else, I hope you come away knowing that.

Many Masons never make it out of the Blue Lodge, the first 3 degrees. Many never branch off into either the York or Scottish Rite. Many never get the fullness of the secret words like Tubal Cain, Boaz, "No help for the widow's son?", Mahabone, Hiram Abiff, Jabulon, the sexuality of the "square & compass," Jachin, the "point within a circle," the obelisk, and the Luciferian nature of Masonry.

So, I don't want to give the impression that every Mason worships the devil in spirit and falsehood. But I would say that any professing Christian serious about his commitment to Christ should prayerfully examine the organization. But, it's inconceivable to me that one could not have the eyes to see the conflict with Christianity.

Bob Jones III, President of Bob Jones University (in a letter to Thomas D. Resinger) wrote, "It is a Luciferian religion. We are fully aware of its diabolical origin and purpose. I believe than any born again Christian, when the facts from the lips of the Masonic writers themselves are presented showing that Masonry is a religion and is the worship of Satan, will immediately withdraw."

Masonry treasures light, but that light is not the Light of the World, but a false light. Do not seek the treasure.

13 Comments:

At 30 October, 2007 18:13, Blogger Oilcan said...

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Hopefully not at the Masonic Temple! My grandfather was a Scottish Rite Mason, and as I honored him, I considered joining at one point but didn't pursue it - even then I knew that something was off and too weird about it. I have always thought it odd that these European churches had demonic gargoyles, demons, etc, carved in stone on the building, and that was just an obvious red flag that there is a huge inconsistency between Christianity and Freemasonry.

Sometime after my conversion in late college, probably around Gunny's anti-Freemasonry heydey, I looked into it much more with curiosity and discovered only disturbing information about it. It is so clearly spiritually dark and evil to even the youngest believer who looks into it. And let me tell you, even with only the lightest research, I didn't want anything to do with it after that and was so glad that I never had pursued anything earlier.

My grandfather, along with many defenders, had said that his involvement in Freemasonry simply made him a better Christian, but from my research and discovery - there is NO possibility that his statement could be true for him or for anyone else. Freemasonry DOES NOT make you a better Christian - Freemasonry offends God.

 
At 30 October, 2007 19:26, Blogger Kasey said...

My grandfather was a Mason before he died almost 20 years ago, and my grandmother is a member of Eastern Stars. As a child, I spent many long hours at their lodge waiting while they practiced their ceremonies. They wanted me to join Rainbow Kids, but my mom learned that it was a cult and wouldn't let me. Before my grandfather died, my mom talked him into foregoing all Freemasonry funeral traditions, including being buried in his apron. I think my grandmother is still bitter about that to this day.

Did you run across any info on the Eastern Stars while doing your research?

 
At 30 October, 2007 19:40, Blogger Rev. said...

You do realize that the president of Ligonier Ministries takes exception with you on this topic, don't you?!?

 
At 30 October, 2007 23:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Mormons can be Masons.

 
At 31 October, 2007 00:13, Blogger Jade said...

Rev wrote:
You do realize that the president of Ligonier Ministries takes exception with you on this topic, don't you?!?
Yeah, I heard that about! I don't get that! I was reading up on this cult earlier because a friend has joined it. I can't recall the title of the book (since it's packed away) but it was written by someone who used to be part of this cult. Good post Gunny!

 
At 31 October, 2007 02:19, Blogger GUNNY said...

Kasey,

Wow, that's amazing your mom was able to be that persuasive; it really is. Not getting the proper burial rites, particularly the apron, is just HUGE.

I've actually heard stories of the family saying, "No thanks" to the Masons and them still bullying their way into the service to take part.

I've been at a few funerals where they performed their rituals for us all to see (including the "so mote it be" slooge) and it's really creepy, to say the least.

With regard to the Eastern Star, I don't know much beyond what seems to be a bit of a syncretism whereby Biblical stories are used, but not always as contextually intended. Plus, what's obvious to me is that their symbol is the inverted pentagram. It takes no rocket scientist to identify that as the symbol of the "Goat of Mendes" or the symbol of Satanism and Wicca (though in Wicca it's not necessarily inverted).

Here is an article that mentions some slooge about the Eastern Star.

Rev,

I'm not so sure it's that clear where RC is this issue.

To the best of my knowledge, he's only addressed it in his book, Now that's a Good Question! (p.184)

He asks, "How are Christians to view the Masons and other fraternal orders?"

He writes:
"My father, my gradfather, my unlce, and my father-in-law were all Masons. I'm a little distressed by all of the conflict that seems to be going on now about the Masons and other fraternal organizations. The controversy calls for some explanation."

From that alone you might think he's a fan of the Masons. Yet, we note that RC himself is not a Mason. He just knows some (well) and my assumption is that he's using that as a means to establish some credibility to speak to the issue.

Also, I'm assuming these men are well regarded by RC, which he's using his relationships to demonstrate that a Mason isn't necessarily an (obvious)evil-doer.

He continues:
"First of all, there are different kinds of fraternal organizations, some of which are strictly social."

Agreed, and I agree with him that those strictly social and those "banded together for the express purpose of being service organizations" are fine. But I would suggest the Masons are included in those categories, but in the next category he mentions.

"You can run into problems with some of the organizations because their historic origins have strong religious overtones, having spelled-out creeds and ceremonies. What happens when a Christian joins an organization that has a creed that isn't altogether compatible with his own Christian beliefs? Then he has obvious conflict. That conflict can be very difficult for other people to understand."

Up to this point, I'm still in total agreement with RC. Note, he's yet to say which of these 3 categories include the Masons, and he never does.

He continues:
"For example, in America there is this eclectic, pluralistic view that says it doesn't matter what you believe just as long as you're sincere. Some of these groups have creeds that say there's no difference ultimately between Christianity and Islam or other religions."

Yet, that's what the Masons are and do. In fact, if a Muslim wants to join the Lodge, he just swears his oath with his hand on the Koran instead of the Bible.

A Master Mason, for example, is obligated by oath to help his fellow Master Mason (though he be Muslim, atheist, or other) in his time of need, under the threat of punishment that includes having his bowels cut out and "fed to the beasts of the field."

"That's [equating of religious without distinction] offensive to a Christian because there are significant differences between these religions, the main difference being their view of Christ."

Again, I'm agreeing with RC ... HARD.

"We're devoted to Christ. We're convinced that he's the only begotten Son of God. So if I confess on Sunday morning that Christ is the only begotten Son of God and at a fraternal order meeting another time confess something to the contrary, I have a conflict in my religious profession of faith."

That's pretty much the gist of my post.

He closes that paragraph with:
"People who are sensitive to that have great struggles."

I'm not really sure how to take that. It could be that those with an overly sensitive conscience are in mind or it could be that those convicted (rightly) by the Holy Spirit are in mind.

Apart from his first statement about having Mason relatives, I would think this whole answer is right in line with what I've said in my post. Yet, that first sentence confuses me, admittedly, because I would expect the following to be a justification of Lodge membership and/or an explanation that the Masonic rituals are not really deviltry.

Yet, neither of those are case. What follows is a description of how some Lodge involvement is incompatible with Christianity. My question for RC would be, "Which group(s) would you put in this category?"

My point is simply this, it's hard to know for certain what RC is really saying.

For example, how would it change my original post if I had started with the statement: "My uncle, my cousin, and great-uncle were all Masons."?

Would you automatically assume a defense is coming or would you say, "Gun's not totally ignorant of this subject"?

Because mine is so explicit, it's obvious the latter would be in view. With RC's comments, I'm uncertain as to his purpose in sharing the personal side of what then becomes a purely theoretical discussion of the subject.

I'll finish with the rest of RC's answer:
"To be fair to other people, some say that it's just part of the ritual and the ceremony, that it really doesn't touch on the essence of what the club is about. I think people are very sincere when they say that. Christians have to be careful to listen to that and say that the reason these people are involved in the order is not because they're tying to make it a substitute religion."

In other words, the folks who do the ceremonies may not intentionally be doing anything to violate their Christian faith. However, as he continues you see that it's still in essence what they're doing.

"These organizations have creeds, and people are required to recite them, and whether they want it to be a religious activity or not, it is still a religious activity that puts pressure on people who have a different religious persuasion."

So, Rev, while I would say that I wish RC would have said more, I could cut & paste his answer verbatim (minus the mention of his relatives) and give it to anyone who asked me about the subject, and do so with a clear conscience.

If there's more from RC on the subject, then I'm happy enough to be instructed, but based only on this answer, I'm not willing to say RC is okay with Christians performing the functions required of a faithful member of the Masonic Lodge.

I think he's giving anyone a means of evaluating whether or not the activity conflicts with Christian doctrine and practice. Which is a great way to go, for he doesn't have to give a list of groups that are in and those that are "right out."

What he doesn't seem to answer is whether or not Freemasonry is included in the realm of such conflict.

Without firsthand personal knowledge, he may only be willing to say that.

I'll be at a conference where RC is speaking this weekend. Should God make it feasible, I will ask him about the topic.

I've found him approachable about random topics in informal discussion before, so it would be nice to have a more definitive answer from him on this issue.

Ultimately, I know RC is a human being and not my ultimate authority on such matters, but I am a HUGE RC Sproul fan, so it would be nice to be on the same page with him.

;-)

 
At 31 October, 2007 13:00, Blogger Lance said...

I'm just amazed that you've found something in which you and Finney agree.

 
At 31 October, 2007 15:26, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
My point is simply this, it's hard to know for certain what RC is really saying.

But Gunny, why the vagueness? It's not like he's not able to correctly articulate his views. The fact that he doesn't take a hard line on this and condemn even what his ancestors participated in is worrisome for a leader that professes to be a teacher of the Word. You cannot be a leader and wobble on the fence on this. It's not like there's controversy on what Masons practice. It's blatantly satanic. To not condemn it is condoning it.

 
At 31 October, 2007 16:43, Blogger GUNNY said...

Lance: I know and I can assure you it makes me very nervous to be in agreement with such infamous company.

Jade: Yeah, other than making his family members look bad, I can't understand his timidity.

I wish RC would have said, "I love my dad and grandpa, etc. They're good dudes, deep down, but they're misguided on this. Freemasonry is from the pit of hell and I pray for their souls with passion and regularity."

But he's an adamant guy about the perpetuity of the binding nature of head coverings, and I would think that would be more debated and controversial than the Freemasonry thing.

"I'm persuaded that the principle of covering the head is still in effect because it was built into creation. And even though it's not culturally accepted anymore in our society, I still believe it's principle. I don't think it matters one bit whether it's a babushka, a veil, or a hat, but I think that the symbol should remain intact as a sign of our obedience to God."
-RC Sproul, Now That's a Good Question! (pp. 347-48)

So, I can only surmise that he doesn't want to hurt their feelings and perhaps there's some family tension over the issue. After all, I do find it interesting that seemingly every male in his family has "bowed the knee," but he has not.

My gut tells me that RC doesn't read this blog ... with regularity, but if you do, RC, we'd love to hear from you.

;-)

 
At 31 October, 2007 22:57, Blogger Jared Nelson said...

I like Halloween.
I like candy.

 
At 01 November, 2007 21:06, Blogger Rev. said...

Handled nicely, Gun. ;)

 
At 11 December, 2007 01:57, Blogger KS said...

Dear Mr. Gun,

Very helpful blog on Masonry. I too have numerous relatives on both sides of my lineage involved in this Satanic cult. I too was disappointed with Sproul's comments and lack of outright disdain. So...I am anxious to hear back from you when you get face to face with him. I too love him as a teacher and great man of God!

 
At 11 December, 2007 02:02, Anonymous KS said...

Dear Mr. Gun,

Very helpful blog on Masonry. I too have numerous relatives on both sides of my lineage involved in this Satanic cult. I too was disappointed with Sproul's comments and lack of outright disdain. So...I am anxious to hear back from you when you get face to face with him. I too love him as a teacher and great man of God!

 

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