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    Friday, May 19, 2006

    The Church of Freemasonry

    Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/RICK McFARLAND
    From the Culture Desk...
    Revisiting an Old Issue
    If you perused the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday, you might have noticed a big story on page one of the Style section on Freemasonry in Arkansas. [Click here to read it].
    Some quotes:
    We’re also seeing interest from baby boomers now in their 50s or early 60s, who are looking for balance in their lives after 30 years of constantly striving at work.
    [...]
    Masons like to say, “We take good men and make them better.�
    [...]
    ...the bedrock requirement to join is a belief in a supreme being and the immortality of the soul. The only component of modern Freemasonry that requires a specifically Christian faith is the Masonic Knights Templar. There are Jewish Masons in Arkansas and elsewhere. Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions are also eligible.
    [...]
    “I love the ritual,� says Graham. “Some of it is published and some is esoteric — unwritten and handed down by word of mouth. The ritual has been passed down for centuries, and it is very meaningful. It impresses on your mind important moral truths and virtues, like your duty to God and fellow men, and the importance of charity and helping others. It’s really about self-improvement, and that’s the essence of Freemasonry.�

    Freemasonry is essentially a church without a faith. I have heard of lodge meetings where they have a bulletin, a songleader, they take up a collection, and they mimmick religious rituals. For many non-believers, it is their religion. For believing members, it is a distraction from the true Church.

    Notice the statements above. Such things are empty outside of the tenets of Christianity. The place to go for balance, for making men better, for worshiping one God, for impressing The Truth on your mind is the Church, not the Lodge.

    When I was growing up, I remember a stir in the Southern Baptist Convention over Freemasonry. One of the deacons in our church was a 33rd-degree Mason. I believe several others were members as well. I never quite understood it. Still don't.

    To be clear, I certainly have no problem with fraternal socializing, but the practices and symbology of the Masons resemble those of the occult. Such things are dangerous for a believer and are warned against. Therefore, I am of the belief that Christians should not be associated with such an organization.

    What do you think? Any thoughts from readers?

    ======================

    Additional Reading:

    Click here to read the 1993 SBC Report on Freemasonry

    Click here to read the NAMB's bulletin - "A Closer Look at Freemasonry"

    Click here to see the NAMB's Comparison Chart on Freemasonry & Christianity


    posted by Arkansas Razorbaptist at 5/19/2006 03:47:00 PM

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