Free masonry and the Baptist Church

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by fairbanks1363pm, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    Don Kirkland
    Editor and President
    Baptist Courier May 29, 2007

    100 Manly Street
    Greenville, South Carolina 29601

    Dear Christian Brother Kirkland,

    As a born again Christian, a member, and a leader in a Southern Baptist Church for over forty-seven years, I was deeply sadden to see the May 17th issue of our Baptist Courier used as a vehicle to bash and to try to discredit such an old and honorable institution as Freemasonry. I feel certain that our late Christian Brother James A. Hoyt, who served as the third editor of the Baptist Courier, would have also been sadden considering that he served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina during 1874 – 1875. We as Christians have been concerned over the national media being used as a platform to try to discredit the teachings of our Lord Jesus through slanted and bias reporting. It now appears that we are adopting similar techniques in our Baptist Courier to discredit that which we may personally dislike or disagree with.

    I am currently Chairman of the Deacon Board and the Adult Men’s Sunday School Teacher at Bethel Baptist Church in Prosperity, SC. Through the years my family and I have been faithful to serve and support our Church and the Southern Baptist Convention. In Columbia on April 27th I was installed during a public ceremony as Grand Master at the 270th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina. The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina is comprised of 43, 315 Masons of which a conservative estimate would be that over 20,000 of our members are currently members in Southern Baptist Churches in South Carolina and many of them serve as leaders and Pastors.

    The individual, who wrote that he was offended at the pictures of Christian Free Masons attending church in their aprons during a Masonic Recognition Service, misrepresented Freemasonry and the findings of the NAMB report which concluded: “Membership in a Masonic order is a matter of personal conscienceâ€. Below I would like to respond to several misrepresentations made by the offended writer.

    • The writer indicated that Christian Freemasons do not even know that the tenets of Freemasonry were not compatible with Christian beliefs. The tenets of Freemasonry have been published since the 17th Century and are Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love. Our teachings are the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. In my 33 years as a Christian Freemason, I have never found those teachings incompatible with my Christian faith and can not understand how anyone else would find them incompatible.

    • Freemasons never refer to God in a blasphemous manner. Freemasons always refer to God in the most reverent manner as a creature to his creator. We refer to God as God and as the Great Architect of the Universe, the Creator of all things.

    • There are oaths and promises made in Freemasonry just as there are oaths of office, oaths for citizenship, and oaths taken in many organizations. My pastor Lynn Peters and I both agree that the Bible verse quoted as prohibiting oaths is actually dealing with those who take oaths for show and then break those oaths. In Freemasonry, oaths are taken seriously. Freemasonry teaches its members to be men of their word and to keep their commitments made to God and man. There are those misguided religious organizations that use this same scripture to teach that the pledge of allegiance to old glory, the beloved flag of our country is non compatible with Christianity.

    • Every Bible verse used by Freemasonry is found in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is referred to as the Great Light of Masonry. Light is a term used by Freemasons to describe knowledge with the greatest light coming from the Holy Scriptures. The Bible or Holy Scriptures is referred to as the Great Light of Masonry, because from the Bible comes the greatest knowledge. In my 33 years as a Mason, I have never heard a pagan reading in a Lodge.

    • Referring to the Bible as the furniture of the Lodge is not a disrespectful term but rather a term of honor because no Lodge can ever open or conduct a meeting without the Holy Bible being present.

    • Freemasonry is not a religion and therefore does not teach any form of salvation. Freemasonry directs its membership to seek those teachings in the house of worship of their choice. Freemasonry teaches men to be men of their word, to be of good and moral character, and to aid and assist their fellowman in need. In today’s society, these teachings are needed as much now as ever before.

    • The tenets and teachings of Freemasonry are the same as those that our great country was founded upon. That all men (people) are equal regardless of their station in life, their religion, their race, or whether they are rich or poor. George Washington, a great man, the father of our country, and a great Freemason used his Masonic teachings in his everyday life and as the President of this country. He was Master of his Lodge while serving as President of the United States.

    • Masons are taught never to discriminate, but to treat all men (people) equal “on the levelâ€. Men of all races, religions, and stations in life are Freemasons and hold high offices in the Masonic Fraternity.

    • Freemasons contribute over $2,500,000 per day to the fraternity’s many charities which include helping children with burns, orthopedic issues, and language disorders. Those same Freemasons contribute even more daily to support their houses of worship and their communities.

    Churches that are members of our South Carolina Baptist Convention should be able to share pictures of their church’s events in the Courier without fear of being criticized from members of another church. There is probably someone who disagrees with every activity pictured in the Courier and could criticize every Church for having those events with which that person disagrees. But as Christians, we should maintain our conduct on a higher plane.

    On June 10, 2007, my church, Bethel Baptist Church is planning a Masonic recognition day where my Masonic Brethren will join my Church family in listening to the word of God and hearing about the salvation available through our Lord and Savior, Jesus. How can that be offensive to any Christian? On June 24th Jamestown Baptist Church in Conway SC will also hold a Masonic recognition service. On August 12, 2007, Jordan Memorial Baptist Church in Greenwood will hold a Masonic Recognition day. There are other recognition services scheduled at Baptist, Methodist, and other Churches in South Carolina and around the country.

    I sincerely hope that you will provide an un-biased approach by also publishing this letter in the “Your Views†section of the Courier and continuing to publish the provided pictures of all the events held by our member churches without prejudice.

    Yours in Christ,


    Gerald L. Carver

    Cc: Rev. W. Lynn Peters, Rev. Carroll Caldwell. Rev. Glenn Mosteller, Grand Lodge of AFM Officers
     
  2. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    That's some good stuff there! Thanks for sharing it.
     
  3. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    got it from a brother in north carolina. i enjoyed it also!
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post!
     
  5. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    Some thoughts

    I would say that the oaths are somewhat for show. If a Mason breaks the oath, no one is really going to carry out what it says in the oath on that Brother.

    I would say that is only because he is in South Carolina, a Conservative Christian state. You go to some west coast lodges and you will certainly hear a pagan reading in a Lodge.

    I would be interested to know how many African-Americans were raised during the last year in South Carolina, and I don't mean in Prince Hall.

    Really? I thought that it was depending on the holy book for the members of the lodge.
    A lodge of Jews would have the Torah, a Lodge of Muslims would have the Koran, a Lodge of Wiccans would have (i am sorry but i am not sure what they use) what ever they consider a holy book. In these three instances does the Bible still have to be present?

    Also to be fair, I emailed my questions and comments to MWM Carver to see what he says.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  6. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    I'm Baptist and sadden by this report.
     
  7. Robert Marshall

    Robert Marshall Secretary, Waco 92 Premium Member

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    The mention of a Lodge of Wiccans I think is a bit extreme, Brother A7V. In Masonry, we are taught to invoke God, The Supreme Architect of the Universe. It's my understand that Wiccans worship multiple gods. Would they be the Supreme Architects??
     
  8. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    Thanks for the post. It's good to see some people will stand up and dispell the rumors and clear up the non truths that are floating around out. i hope that this letter was published the "Courier"
     
  9. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    These are great thoughts, made me question a few things. Below, you can see my responses.

    "For show" would insinuate that someone taking the obligation has no intention of keeping his word. I have every intention of doing what I said I would do and not do if humanly possible. Of course nobody's going to carry out any punishment for breaking them (save for getting kicked out of lodge), but that doesn't mean they are "for show."

    I've heard plenty of pagan readings in Church, too. One could argue that almost everything in Christianity has a pagan root of some kind.

    I wonder how many applied, or if they even knew they were welcome. That being said, I understand what you mean, and of course individual men have prejudices that they have problems with, but that is not Masonry teaching.

    In Texas, when a brother prefers a Torah or Koran, they put a Bible on the East side of the altar and a Torah/Koran on the West side. Lots of grand lodges do that.

    The other side of that, if they don't: That's fine, there are great lessons to be learned in the Toran/Koran/Vedas/Wiccan books. Just because you don't believe in those religions, can you not learn from them? I personally wouldn't mind being taken by the hand, brought to the altar, and told that within whatever book they have are great lessons that any good man can learn from.



    They are great questions, hopefully he has good answers. If you don't mind sharing what he says, I'd like to hear.
     
  10. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I would like to know if there was any rebuttal as result of this message.
     
  11. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    The last people who would be critical of Masonary in Texas should be the Baptist Church..! they do not know the influence the church had on the Lodge over the years.. ? is there any doubt why the Grand Lodge Building is built in Waco...? If you look at some of our laws compaired to other grand lodges you will see that a lot of our Baptist brothern had a lot of influence in the early years... ! Sam Houstons wife was the daughter of a Baptist preacher.. ! and he had a lot of input as to our formation of the Grand Lodge of Texas..? Thru the years just look at the Grand Masters who were Baptist..?
     
  12. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    The Southern Baptist have had an ongoing battle over Freemasonry for many years.

    In 1985 Dr Holly introduced at the convention the following:

    "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."
    It was sent to committee (Home Mission Board's cult department) for further study.

    In 1993 there was actually a vote at the Southern Baptist Convention about if Masonry is compatible with Christianity. While the motion failed, the fact that Dr Holly and others worked as hard as they did sending out books and pamphlets (see Chick) that often referred to Masonry as a Pagan Religion, Satanic or worse.
     
  13. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    I think anybody who has ever meet Dr. Holly understand he is a nut.. ! he is on some mission from God.. ? and hears voices.. !
     
  14. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    Dr Ed Young who is the pastor of second baptist in houston stood up for the fraternity in1992 when the convention was in houston. I worked with a brother a few years back from Alabama who told me they were members of the same lodge. I have heard this from many different people. Rgardless of your views on this letter I am proud that a brother stood up for the fraternity and did it in a very professional manner.
     
  15. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    My Brother you are correct in saying that no Mason will not carry out the penalty of the obligations but if we think back to the EA degree we are told that it is not our job to do that, the Almighty diciplines us if we break our obligations,(we must declare a belief in Diety otherwise an obligation would not be binding) Forcing us to look at them as symbolic and not actual acts that could be carried out. Here is my take, the EA's ability and/or the willingness of well informed Brothers to converse with him would be cut off which is crucial to his advancment and his path to true enlightenment would stop there.
    The FC who breaks his obligation would lose heart and ultimately be very unhappy and a Master Mason breaking his obligation would live a life of strife and futility having his hands full trying to make himself one again.
    This is just my humble opinion and take on them but I know we can all agree that no Mason is crazy enough to do that stuff.
     

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