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When the lodge has a grip on a church

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When a congregation has been spiritually compromised in a substantial way and the congregation as a whole, as well as those who stand as spiritual leaders, have demonstrated a stubborn willingness not only to tolerate, but to defend grievous error, it is necessary to confront both the congregation and its leaders in order to avoid judgment. Potential new members, as well as those members who were not present when the nature of compromise was previously shared with the congregation, have a right to information which will allow them to evaluate the spiritual climate in the congregation and the spiritual integrity of leadership.

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An Open Letter to Northside Baptist Church  (Sept, 1999)

(3021 East 71st St. - Indianapolis, Indiana 46220)

God's people have made a move from one location to another at various times. Perhaps the most remembered move was the time when the people of Israel moved into the promised land. The move took a number of years to come to fruition. First, God led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness. In the wilderness they became ensnared in the worship of false gods. It happened at the very time at which God was giving Moses the Ten Commandments on the mountain. God told Moses:

Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.      

Exodus 32:7

God was greatly angered at the people because He is a jealous God. As a result of their idolatry, many of the people were killed. God struck the remainder of them with a plague. (Exodus 32:35) Moses, too, was guilty of disobedience. He struck the rock twice with his rod to cause water to flow from it, rather than simply speak to it as God had told him to do. As a result of Moses' disobedience, he was not allowed to enter the promised land. (Numbers 20:11-12) Even though the people of Israel were not right with God, Moses was faithful in revealing God's will to them. Godly leadership, provided by imperfect men, played a part in leading the people to repentance.

God provided specific instructions through Moses. When the Israelites entered the promised land, they were not to live in harmony with the idolatrous people who inhabited the land. They were to destroy the pagan altars and make no treaty with the people. They were specifically commanded not to intermarry with them. The reason was simple. Worship of false gods would be a snare for them. Simply allowing those who were involved in idolatry to coexist with them would cause the people of Israel to engage in idolatry.

Modern Day Idolatry

The people of Northside Baptist Church are considering a move from one location to another. Is the new location the promised land for Northside? Like the people of Israel, the people of Northside are sending a group to scout the new land. The man named as chairman of the land acquisition team is a member of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. (A.A.O.N.M.S.) He is a Shriner. The Shrine and its ritual are centered around an Islamic motif. The Murat Shrine, where the rituals are enacted, displays the crescent moon of Islam boldly on the building. The jewelry which Shriners often wear, as well as other Shrine emblems, also display the crescent moon, a star and the scimitar. The scimitar is the large knife which Muhammad used to kill those who worshipped other gods in his drive to “rid the Ka’aba of idolatry.” Muhammad and Islam decreed death to all those who do not worship Allah. Allah is one of the many gods which were worshipped by the pagans surrounding the Ka’aba. Allah was chosen for unique worship simply because he was the “Supreme Deity” of the pagan Bedouin people. The people of Islam were no better off after Muhammad "purged idolatry" from the Ka’aba than they were before, because they simply exchanged the worship of one demon for another.

Islam was founded approximately 628-630 A.D., 600 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Muhammad taught and wrote that Jesus was not Almighty God, but rather simply a prophet. Islam claims to pay high tribute to Jesus Christ, yet they hold that He is a prophet who is less significant than Muhammad. The nature of the god of Islam is simple to discern. Allah does not have a son. The simple fact that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does have a Son makes it clear that Allah cannot be the God of the Bible. 2 John 9 makes it clear that those who do not follow in the teachings of Jesus Christ do not have God.

Does the fact that a man chosen as chairman of the land acquisition committee, as well as other men in the congregation, have embraced the Shrine hold significance for Northside? There are aspects of the A.A.O.N.M.S. ritual which are reason for concern. Shriners take the oath of a Moslem and name Allah as the god of their fathers in the Shrine ritual. It is obvious that Shriners are involved with a false god. Some of the Shriners in our congregation would insist that they are not involved in idolatry because they would claim that Allah is simply another name for God. Others would choose to deny that the ritual mentions Allah, or the Moslem faith in any significant way. Yet there are some in our congregation who have repented of the involvement in the Shrine who have admitted that the ritual does contain the oath of a Moslem and name Allah as God. Since confessions of those in our congregation who have repented agree with printed exposures of the Shrine ritual, there is little doubt about the truth concerning the Shrine ritual. Our situation is not that we are about to enter a promised land in which the inhabitants are ensnared in paganism. Rather, it is the people of Northside who will carry the snare of paganism into any new land.

Shrine Ritual and the Rites of Lucifer

A portion of the Shrine ritual is similar to L'Air Epais, one of the Rites of Lucifer. L’Air Epais is documented in The Satanic Rituals, a book authored by Anton LaVEY - the founder of the Church of Satan. LaVEY examined the Shrine ritual and recognized elements of L’Air Epais within it. He wrote:

A striking American parallel to this rite is enacted within the mosques of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, an order reserved for thirty-second degree Masons. The Nobles (Shriners) have gracefully removed themselves from any implication of heresy by referring to the place beyond the Devil’s Pass as the domain where they might ‘worship at the shrine of Islam.’

The Satanic Rituals, page 56

Some at Northside, like LaVEY, would not admit that the Shrine ritual contains heresy. Yet, both Allah and the Devil are demons. Naming Allah as God is no less serious than naming the Devil as God. It does not avoid, or diminish heresy. Islam is a demonic religion which denies the Deity of Jesus Christ.

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The Structure of Freemasonry

Membership in the Shrine is available to those who hold membership in a Masonic Blue Lodge as well as membership in either the York Rite, or Scottish Rite. Heresy is not confined to the Shrine. Many Masons claim that the York Rite contains the “Christian” degrees. Yet the first York Rite degree is opened in the name of “God” and Hiram Abif, the Masonic savior. Ties to Lucifer, the Serpent, the Devil, etc., are not unique to the Shrine. They are found in Scottish Rite publication as well as those recommended by Grand Lodges, the authorities of Freemasonry.

The “Holy Spirit” of the Scottish Rite

A Bridge to Light is an official publication of the Supreme Council, 33rd Degree Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, published in 1988. In the description for the 28th Degree, Knight of the Sun, the furnishings of the room in which the degree is conveyed are explained:

The furnishings of the Council of the Knights of the Sun are few... Transparencies throughout the room provide additional light and have upon them the major symbols which are intended to help convey the teachings of the degree. . . . The most elaborate transparency hangs in the North and may be called the Ancient of Days. The first notable symbol in this complex transparency is its border: the Gnostic worm ouroboros, which is a simplified dragon or serpent biting its tail... The ritual says that the Active Principle seeks the Passive Principle; fullness, is amorous of the void; the serpent’s mouth attracts his tail, and revolving on himself, he at the same time flees from and pursues himself.

A Bridge to Light, pp 251-2

The drawing of the dualistic Masonic god, with the serpent devouring his own tail is shown on page 252.

The following explanation is provided:

“There is a Life-Principle of the world, a universal agent, wherein are two natures and a double current, of love and wrath. . . . It is a ray detached from the glory of the Sun, . . . It is the body of the Holy Spirit, the universal Agent, the Serpent devouring his own tail (p.734).”

A Bridge to Light, page 253

(Ellipses in the original. They quote from an earlier Supreme Council work, Morals and Dogma, by Pike.)

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Tying Lucifer to the Grand Lodges

The idea that the serpent is the Holy Spirit is not unique to Scottish Rite Freemasonry. The authorities of Freemasonry, the Grand Lodges, point the way to the “deeper teachings of the craft,” while attempting at the same time to maintain “plausible deniability.” Yet, when the evidence is on the table, the character of Freemasonry is obvious to those with an ounce of discernment. One of the introductory books used by Grand Lodges is The Builders, a book written by Joseph Fort Newton at the request of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. Many Grand Lodges recommend the book and some issue a copy to all new Master Masons. In Indiana, the Grand Lodge points to The Builders in the Indiana Monitor and Freemason's Guide. The Indiana Monitor is issued to all new Master Masons in Indiana. It recommends The Builders, with the words:

WHEN IS A MAN A MASON? The following was written by Brother Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, as the closing paragraph of his widely read book “The Builders.” It bids fair to become a Masonic classic. . .

(Indiana Monitor and Freemason's Guide, page 172)

The Builders contains a glowing three page tribute to Arthur Edward Waite, in a chapter titled The Secret Doctrine. Newton writes the following:

Perhaps the greatest student in this field of esoteric teaching and method, certainly the greatest now living is Arthur Edward Waite, to whom it is a pleasure to pay tribute.

The Builders, page 57.


Speaking of Waite's books, Newton wrote:

And the result is a series of volumes noble in form, united in aim, unique in wealth of revealing beauty, and of unequalled worth. Beginning as far back as 1886, Waite issued his study of the Mysteries of Magic, a digest of the writings of Eliphas Levi, to whom Albert Pike was more indebted than he let us know.

The Builders, page 59.

The Mysteries of Magic contains the following teaching concerning the nature of Lucifer:

What is more absurd and more impious than to attribute the name of Lucifer to the devil, that is, to personified evil,  The intellectual Lucifer is the spirit of intelligence and love; it is the Paraclete, it is the Holy Spirit, while the physical Lucifer is the great agent of universal magnetism.

The Mysteries of Magic, page 428.

The next paragraph goes on to explain that the Devil does not exist:

To personify evil and exalt it into an intelligence which is the rival of God, into a being which can understand but love no more-this is a monstrous fiction. To believe that God permits this evil intelligence to deceive and destroy his feeble creatures is to make God more wicked than the devil. By depriving the devil of the possibility of love and repentance, God forces him to do evil. Moreover a spirit of error and falsehood can only be a folly which thinks, nor does it deserve indeed the name of spirit. The devil is God’s antithesis, and if we define God as He who is we must define His opposite as he who is not.

The Mysteries of Magic, page 428

Freemasonry denies worshiping Satan. The mindset is easy to understand: “The devil simply does not exist; Lucifer is not the devil, but rather the Holy Spirit.”

Grand Lodges point to Lucifer

Grand Lodges point to Lucifer

 

Grand Lodge members at Northside

All Masons are members of the Grand Lodge. Most likely, some of the Masons who are members of Northside Baptist Church have not read The Satanic Rituals, A Bridge to Light, The Builders, or The Mysteries of Magic. Yet, were they led by the Holy Spirit they would know that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity based on the ritual teachings in the Blue Lodge.

The man being initiated into Masonry takes an active part in the ritual. In the Master Mason degree, the new Master Mason portrays Hiram Abiff. In that portion of the ritual known as the Legend of the Third Degree, Hiram is unjustly killed, buried and then raised from the grave. At the close of the ritual, the following summary of the meaning is spoken:

Then, finally my brethren, let us imitate our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, in his virtuous conduct, his unfeigned piety to God, and his inflexible fidelity to his trust; that, like him, we may welcome the grim tyrant, Death, and receive him as a kind messenger sent by our Supreme Grand Master, to translate us from this imperfect to that all-perfect, glorious, and celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

(See Kentucky Monitor, page 152.)

The meaning of the ritual is clearly explained: Masons are to imitate Hiram Abiff that they may welcome death and be translated into heaven.

Masonic Savior - Tolerated at Northside

When a man is raised to Master Mason, he is given a small book called a monitor. Monitors are produced and are distributed at the direction of the authorities of Freemasonry, the Grand Lodges. The 8th through 13th editions of the monitor used by The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, The Kentucky Monitor, reveal the identity of Hiram Abiff in a discussion of various religions:

All believed in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome and the Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and suffer a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, Love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; Masons, Hiram.

Kentucky Monitor, pages XIV-XV

The meaning is perfectly clear. Masonry teaches that Jesus is not unique. Jesus is a savior for Christians and Krishna is a savior for Hindus, while Hiram Abiff is a savior for Masons. The Meaning of Masonry, by Lynn Perkins, clarifies the teaching:

Therefore Masonry teaches that redemption and salvation are both the power and the responsibility of the individual Mason. Saviors like Hiram Abiff can and do show the way, but men must always follow and demonstrate, each for himself, his power to save himself, to build his own spiritual fabric in his own time and way. Every man in essence is his own savior and redeemer; for if he does not save himself, he will not be saved. The reader who succeeds in getting back to the real teachings of the masters, including Jesus of Nazareth, will find unanimity of thinking on this matter.

The Meaning of Masonry, page 95.

The evidence concerning the existence of a Masonic savior has been shared with many within the Northside Baptist congregation. As a congregation, the position toward Freemasonry has been to condone and even defend it. Leadership at Northside Baptist Church has maintained a working relationship with Freemasons for many years after the facts were proven using Masonic Grand Lodge documents. It seems not to matter to the “spiritual leaders” of the congregation, or to the members that Freemasonry has another savior and worships a false god. Those who have participated in the rituals and have portrayed Hiram Abif as he is killed, buried and raised from the grave continue to be considered for membership, as well as for prominent positions with the congregation, including deacon. Some of the leaders have gone so far as to imply that those who oppose the idolatry and false gospel of Freemasonry are demon possessed! Those who speak for Northside Baptist cannot defend the ground they hold against truth, so they attempt to shoot the messenger. It is a common tactic of those who do not want to repent. Northside is, in every sense, a Masonic church.

God holds the church accountable for what it tolerates as well as for what it teaches from its pulpit. The letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation make this clear.

To the Church at Pergamum He said:

I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation 2:14-16

To the church at Thyatira He said:

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.

Revelation 2:20

Although we have men present who have met in secret to engage in ritual which teaches salvation on the basis of imitating Hiram Abif, we hear messages from our pulpit about Northside being a cutting edge church and a church that can change the world. The truth of the matter is that the congregation at Northside is a congregation which has embraced the world and has formed an alliance with those who are ensnared in paganism and promote a false gospel which is based on another savior. Northside Baptist Church has become corrupted and compromised.

The congregation at Northside has offered sanctuary to those who worship false gods and lift up another savior. Obviously, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and worship of the one true God simply are not that important to many at Northside. Although all genuine Christians are convicted that the Gospel is worth defending, Northside Baptists have not contended for the faith as the Holy Spirit urged in Jude 3. Many at Northside do not consider the Masonic issue worth pursuing. Some would have the Masons in our midst go to hell without hearing God's will concerning Freemasonry voiced from our pulpit. Others would claim that participating in idolatry within the Masonic Lodge and taking part in a ritual in which another savior is portrayed as killed, buried and raised from the grave will not have an impact on a Southern Baptist's salvation. Yet Ephesians 5:5 tells a different story. No idolator will enter the kingdom of heaven. Galatians 1:8-9 explains clearly that the consequence of teaching a false gospel is condemnation. Repentance is the only path to God’s forgiveness.

Does the lampstand remain?

There is a remnant at Northside who have not actively embraced compromise, or defended error. Yet, very few of that remnant are able to claim that they do not tolerate that which God hates. Almost all who know the truth remain silent. That silence is evidence of tolerance. Will God hold them blameless? Will He declare that they are lukewarm? Why will He consider them zealous for truth if they are not?

Is it too late for Northside Baptist Church; is the lampstand already gone? Are the numbers and the commitment of the remnant significant enough to awaken the congregation to a need for repentance? Will they petition God for revival? Do they care enough to require that those they consider to be leaders reveal the whole will of God to those who are ensnared in error?

Responsibility does not rest strictly with leadership. All those who know the truth have responsibility to share it. Concerning Freemasonry, Charles Finney wrote:

Those individuals and churches, who have had the best means of information, owe it to other branches of the church, and to the whole world, to take action and to pronounce upon the unchristian character of Freemasonry, as the most influential means within their reach of arousing the whole church and the world to an examination of the character and claims of Freemasonry. If churches who are known to have examined the subject withhold their testimony; if they continue to receive persistent and intelligent Freemasons; if they leave the public to infer that they see nothing in Freemasonry inconsistent with a creditable profession of the Christian religion, it will justly be inferred by other branches of the church, and by the world, that there is nothing in it so bad, so dangerous and unchristian as to call for their examination, action, or testimony.

Charles Finney was only one of many voices condemning Freemasonry during the 19th century. Another evangelist of the period was Dwight L. Moody. Moody spoke clearly on the issue as well:

I do not see how any Christian, most of all a Christian minister, can go into these lodges with unbelievers. They say they can have more influence for good, but I say they can have more influence for good by staying out of them and then reproving their evil deeds. You can never reform anything by unequally yoking yourself with ungodly men. True reformers separate themselves from the world. But, some say to me, if you talk that way you will drive all the members of secret societies out of your meetings and out of your churches. But what if I did? Better men will take their places. Give them the truth anyway and if they would rather leave their churches than their lodges, the sooner they get out of the churches the better. I would rather have ten members who are separated from the world than a thousand such members. Come out from the lodge. Better one with God than a thousand without Him. We must walk with God and if only one or two go with us, it is all right. Do not let down the standard to suit men who love their secret lodges or have some darling sin they will not give up.

Scripture makes it clear; the penalty for silence is particularly severe for those who are considered watchmen:

"Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.”

Ezekiel 33:2-6

The sword is coming. The congregation at Northside is poised to meet the cutting edge. Is there anyone in leadership who will break ranks and sound a warning, or will they all stand before God with blood on their hands? What will Jesus do if He returns to find us standing shoulder to shoulder with men who meet in secret to lift up another savior?

Larry Kunk, member, Northside Baptist Church

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