I travel to Atlanta quite a bit and sometimes, when I only need to be in Atlanta for a day, my father offers to ride with me. I suppose this is to make up for time we didn’t get to spend together in my early years but nevertheless, I usually welcome the opportunity to talk and discuss various topics.
On one such trip, on the ride back to Augusta (a 2.5 hour trip) my father slid over a print-out from the North American Mission Board on Freemasonry and asked me what I thought.
Now at this point you need to understand that my family has a long and distinguished history with the freemasons of a variety of stripes and both my father and my grandfather have attained some of the highest ranks or degrees within the freemason system.
My father, in fact, has attempted to persuade me to join their ranks for quite some time and had hoped for a long time that I would take my grandfather’s masonic ring.
So when my father asked me about my position on the freemasons, the question was not one of mere intellectual inquiry but one probing into the future of our family’s involvement with the freemasons as well as an invitation to critique the considerable investment of time, money, and energy many in my family have made to the masonic order.
Not having grown up in the masonic order I wasn’t very familiar with the oaths and practices, and until this moment I had purposefully avoided this topic since I knew about the baggage that came along with it. Reluctantly, however, I picked up the position paper from NAMB and began to read about the blood oaths, pledges, and general secrecy masons are required to perform and uphold in the course of their membership.
I don’t know why, whether it was my recent reading through the Penatauch or whether it was the cavalier nature in which these oaths present foreign Gods, but the descriptions of the practices in freemasonry struck a chord with me and I began to question my father about it.
“Why would you say such things?” and “What kind of witness does this provide to those outside (or even inside) the lodge?” and finally “How is this any different than the Israelites playing with God and being condemned for their whoredom in Ezekiel 23?
I still don’t know how the conversation went, needless to say I haven’t been asked to join the freemasons again and thankfully my father hasn’t gone to their meetings in several years. Coincidentally, his departure from their meetings coincides with the renewal of his commitment and walk with Christ which further highlights how Christ offers a choice and will not stand for less than 100% commitment.
Why this issue isn’t addressed from the pulpit of more churches?
I have known a few pastors who have dared to raise this issue who have been relieved of their posts by the churches they served. Not because the congregation could offer any compelling reason to serve God and Mammon, er, Masonry, but because they see their involvement with the Masons as something that truly rivals their commitment to Christ. Something that defines them just as much, if not more so than their calling as children of God.
This is a dirty little secret within the SBC and something I believe is sorely in need of addressing before we make any meaningful impact on our culture since it highlights our hypocrisy when we attempt to tell the Hindu or African tribesman that they ought to give up their folk religion when so many of us are unwilling to give up ours.
A few weeks ago my wife and I decided to go on a ski trip in North Carolina. When we went to come home we decided to prolong our trip and take the longest, most scenic route we could find home. Along the way we passed beautiful mountain vistas and not a few churches. Curiously, most of these churches seemed to be planted right next to a Masonic lodge.
It was so prevalent (sometimes the lodge being larger and more well-kept than the church building) that I began to refer to them as “ticks on a dog”. Blood-sucking parasites whose religiously pluralistic rituals and blood oaths cause their members to be professional charlatans. No wonder our churches are largely devoid of men devoted to sound doctrine. How can they be when they “pretend” to pray to a whole host of gods in their lodges and then come to serve in the house of the one true God?
God (specifically YHWH) help us if we cannot even manage to remove an obvious blight such as this from among us.