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by Pierce Dodson, a Southern Baptist

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In June 1998, the Southern Baptists held their annual convention and the accompanying pastors' conference. For the first time, the Baptists met in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the heart of Mormon country. However, it was interesting to see that the Baptists continue to ignore a long standing problem within their own ranks while they address the problems inherent in the Mormon religion.

The Baptists had plenty to say about Mormonism, especially at the pastors' conference which preceded the annual meeting. Various speakers pointed out the many false beliefs espoused by Mormonism, and well they should. By the end of the conference and the convention, it was quite evident that there is a distinct difference between historical Christianity and the religion organized by Joseph Smith in 1830. In fact, there is a gigantic gulf separating the two!

However, it was quite interesting to see nothing was said or done about the other religion wed to Mormonism which has so many Baptists within its ranks.  That religion is Freemasonry, and it is a subject which the Baptists are very reluctant to address after having failed to deal with it in a Christ-honoring fashion a few years ago. In fact, the subject has proven so intimidating that not even one Baptist preacher has dared to use the word "Freemasonry" from the podium of the S.B.C. pastors' conference during the decade of the 90's. The pulpits in Baptist churches are also silent in this matter so the people in the pews are largely ignorant of the spiritual dangers of Freemasonry.

So where are the prophets while the pastors are keeping silent? The leading Baptist prophetic spokesman on the Freemasonry issue, Dr. Larry Holly, is now no longer a Southern Baptist, largely because he made too many waves over this problematic issue. Is that any way to treat a prophet whom God has raised up to deal with an issue? Certainly not, but that does seem to be the prophet's lot in life--ostracism and rejection by his own people. He is expendable!

Once again it seems that the real issue before the Baptists relative to tackling the Masonic problem is not the world's perception of the denomination, or how many people or how much money might be lost, or just the inconvenience and discomfort that goes with a controversy. No, the real issue before the Southern Baptists is "What would Jesus do?" Today this slogan has become faddish and can be seen on bracelets and tee shirts, often worn by people who are not even Christians. However, it is a valid question that Southern Baptists need to be asking. In effect, it is just another way of asking what is God's will in this matter? Inquiring minds and sensitive hearts need to know.

So let's try to answer the question, "What would Jesus do?" about the matter of Freemasonry. First of all, He would do that which is consistent with His Person and Work. Jesus is God incarnate, not the Jesus of Mormonism or Freemasonry, and He came to seek and save those who were lost in sin. He alone, as the God/Man, could pay the price for sin and defeat Satan's design for mankind. He did so through His incarnation, His substitutionary death and his glorious resurrection from the dead. He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. "

Therefore, it would seem obvious that anyone or anything that deceived or detracted people from His offer of eternal life found only in Him would meet with His censure. For example, in John's Gospel, Chapters 9-10, Jesus confronted the religious leaders of His day. He declared Himself as the Good Shepherd, contrasting Himself with the Pharisees and scribes who rejected His Messianic ministry. In Matthew 23 Jesus exhibited great boldness in denouncing false religious leaders. Today fear has replaced boldness when it comes to Freemasonry.

Since Jesus did what was consistent with His Person and Work, so should all Christians, including the Baptists. Freemasonry definitely detracts from the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.

In Freemasonry Jesus' uniqueness as God's Son is just not to be found. His unique death for sin and his bodily resurrection from the dead which qualify him alone to be man's savior is absent in Freemasonry. Instead Hiram Abiff is given equal footing with the incarnate Son of the Living God. What blasphemy! Want proof? Read this from the 1946 Kentucky Monitor:

"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."

(page XV)  Download PDF Source Document (Requires Adobe Reader)

In Freemasonry man can become his own savior. Lynn Perkins, a Masonic writer, states,

"Every man in essence is his own savior and redeemer; for if he does not save himself, he will not be saved."

(The Meaning of Masonry, CSA Press, p. 95)

This is nothing more than a false gospel which is really no gospel at all. Therefore, Baptists should not remain silent in the face of such heresy! How can they? Their Lord and His Work are treated so shamefully, and the souls of lost men hang in the balance?

Secondly, the question of "What would Jesus do?" in this matter can be answered by stating that He did and would still do (and we should too) what is consistent with the written Word of God, the Bible. Jesus came and fulfilled all righteousness and kept the law to the letter. He lived a life consistent with God's Word. In fact, He is called the Word made flesh-that's how consistent His life was with God's Word and will. His words were God's Word to us.

In Jesus' own words in Matthew 7:1-6, He gives us the principle that before you get too critical of others, deal with your own problems and sin. Baptists can and should expose the errors of Mormonism, but do they have a right to remain silent about the serious sin and compromise within their own ranks relative to Freemasonry? Could they be more effective in ministering to the Mormons if they dealt with this major problem within their own

As we look further at what Jesus would do in the light of God's Word, we should also remember the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus taught that our neighbor is anyone who needs help and that help should be given to those in need. In the story two religious professionals walk by and ignore the man in need of help. Similarly, today we see how the S.B.C.'s conservative leadership that previously needed and wanted help to win the inerrancy battle walk by on the other side ignoring the issue that has left some of their colleagues wounded and hurting. Is that consistent with God's Word? Are the wounded brothers terminated by Masonic intrigue worse than a Samaritan or is it just not "politically correct" to risk siding with their brothers by coming to their defense and speaking on this issue. What Jesus would do is obvious from the story of the Good Samaritan.

It should also be noted as we consider the point that Jesus would do that which is consistent with the Bible, that a portion of the Bible was explicitly written to counter false religious thought. Galatians dealt with the legalism of the Judaizers and John's first epistle, and maybe even His Gospel, was written to deal with the Gnostic error. Interestingly, Freemasonry is basically the old Gnostic heresy which never really died but just got repackaged. That's quite a commentary on Satan's lack of originality and mankind's continuing gullibility.

Therefore, is it Biblically right to ignore the spiritual error and dangers to which those in your ranks have exposed themselves to (and what about those outside) as have the Masons in the Baptist churches? Does truth ignore error? Does love look the other way? Is there no Biblical mandate for preachers to be watchmen and for pastors to exercise a shepherding role to protect the flock? The answer is simple: Jesus would do what is consistent with His Word. So why don't the Baptists?

I conclude this article with a further appeal to my Baptist brethren. It was proper to deal with Mormonism and call Mormons to repent of sin and trust in the Jesus of the Bible. But let's be consistent and loving, and let's also take a firm, unambiguous stand against Freemasonry. There just really isn't any other acceptable option. Do it for the one and only reason that really matters--it is what Jesus would do.

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Author's Note: Recently Charles Finney's book, The Character, Claims and Practical Working of Freemasonry, has been republished along with some important additional material.

It can be ordered by sending a check for $18.00 (includes S&H)

JKI Publishing
P.O. Box 131480
Tyler, TX 75713
credit card orders - call 1-800-333-5344.

Download an order form in PDF format.

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Pierce Dodson may be reached by email, or by writing:

Pierce Dodson
%Ephesians 5:11, Inc.
Box 291
Fishers, IN 46038

Copyright 1998.  Publication on another web site is prohibited.