How Many Souls Will Our Deacons Lead to Hiram?
Jesus gave us explicit instructions
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave his disciples clear instructions that they were to share the Gospel with others, making disciples of them. These last instructions have become known as the Great Commission.
Today, one of the principle tasks of the church is to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus. In the United States, there are many branches of the church, the body of Christ, who all share the same core beliefs. They publicly stand in agreement with the words of Paul:
The Southern Baptist Convention
Possibly the largest denomination (group of congregations) in the country is known as the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Southern Baptists are 15 million strong and have more than 20,000 churches scattered in every state in the union. Many congregations have been planted in other parts of the world by Southern Baptist missionaries.
Southern Baptists are evangelical. SBC congregations are active in declaring the Gospel of Grace from the pulpits. SBC congregations have chosen to cooperate with one another to send and support missionaries. The missionary efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention are conducted by the Foreign Mission Board and the Home Mission Board. SBC congregations channel a portion of the offering to support the cooperative program.
The purpose of the Foreign Mission Board is to share the Gospel and plant churches in foreign lands. The charter of the Home Mission Board is to share the Gospel and plant churches in areas of the United States which do not yet have an SBC congregation.
A number of other groups promote a false Gospel
Also present in the United States, and other parts of the world, are groups which have distorted the Gospel of Grace and are actively involved in teaching hollow and deceptive philosophies which depend on human traditions and the basic principles of the world, rather than on Jesus Christ. These groups are commonly referred to as cults. They include the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Scientologists and a host of others. What these groups have in common is that they reject the claims of Jesus Christ.
False teaching is not a new problem. Paul addressed it and warned of the consequences:
Things are not always as they appear
On the surface, it appears that Southern Baptists have been quite faithful carrying out the commandment of Jesus, known as the Great Commission. The number of SBC congregations, the impressive facilities and the large number of programs and activities conducted under the SBC banner is substantial.
However, the SBC (as well as other denominations) have been infiltrated by a group of men who meet in secret to teach salvation on the basis of another savior. The number of men participating in this secret activity is staggering. Approximately 3.5 million men in the United States are involved. Of the 3.5 million men, an estimated 1.3 million of them are Southern Baptists. (Estimates from Florida Baptist article.) If Southern Baptists are divided into groups of men, women and children, there are approximately 5 million in each group. Of the 5 million men in the SBC, 1.3 million, or 26% of them, are secretly involved in promoting a plan of salvation which is based on another savior!
Who are the infiltrators?
The infiltrators and their converts are not uniformly distributed throughout the various congregations. A disproportionate number of these deceivers are in leadership positions in the infected congregations. They include Sunday School teachers, Southern Baptist Bible College presidents, Southern Baptist pastors, and many Southern Baptist deacons.
The infiltrators and their converts fall into two groups. The active group regularly takes part in the secret meetings, teaching salvation on the basis of imitating their false savior, whose name is Hiram Abiff. They conduct the rituals which teach salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ, standing in agreement as other men are conducted through the ritual. Many SBC pastors, Sunday School teachers and deacons are in this group. Most of the men who are drawn into the cult are not Southern Baptists and many do not claim to be Christians. Non-Christians who are ensnared obviously view the teachings of the cult as compatible with their conception of Christianity. They reason, if it were not compatible, why would so many Southern Baptists pastors, deacons and others be standing in agreement with the teachings of the ritual?
The inactive group have all been through the rituals which teach salvation without Jesus, but they do not regularly participate in the ritual teaching aspect of the cult. Instead, they act as a public relations element providing false information to anyone who has questions. In cooperation with the active group, they attempt to intimidate those who would oppose their involvement in false religion. They rally with the active group whenever substantial opposition appears. They have driven some of the pastors who have been bold enough to take a stand from Southern Baptist pulpits.
The cult is known by several names. Freemasonry or simply Masonry are the two most common. The buildings in which the secret rituals are conducted are know as Masonic Lodges. A few Masonic Lodges use church buildings through the week for their secret activities. The rituals are conducted in a building, or on a floor of a building, which has no windows. When the rituals are conducted, a guard, known as a tyler, is posted to keep non- Masons from getting into the lodge to see what is going on, or hear what is said.
Specific examples of false teaching
Masonry teaches that there is only one God and men of all religions worship that one God using a variety of different names. Of course, Christians know that such a teaching is Biblical nonsense. In Pauls first letter to the church at Corinth, he wrote that the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. All men who worship a Supreme Being other than Jesus are simply worshiping a demon. Masonry worships a god known as the Great Architect of The Universe (GAOTU). When a Buddhist worships his demon god in the Lodge, he refers to him as the GAOTU. Similarly, the Hindu worships the GAOTU in the Lodge finding it a suitable representation of his demon god. If pagans are able to worship their demon gods using the name GAOTU, then clearly it would not be pleasing to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for a Christian to join in the worship of the GAOTU while pretending that he was worshiping Jesus.
Masons include Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Southern Baptists and men who have infiltrated other denominations, such as Methodist and Disciples of Christ. There are other men in the lodge who have no religion other than Masonry. Moslems, Buddhists and Hindus openly reject the claims of Jesus Christ, yet they find the teachings of Masonry acceptable. Why? The first Masonic ritual a new Mason takes part in, known as the Entered Apprentice degree, contains the following teaching:
In the Entered Apprentice degree, the Fellow Craft degree, and the Master Mason degree, the following words are spoken:
During the third degree ritual, the Masonic savior is unjustly murdered, buried and then raised from the dead. Just before the Masonic savior is raised from the dead, the Worshipful Master says a prayer which ends with the following words:
Knowing that there are Masons who are Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons and men who claim no religion other than Masonry, it is obvious that the ritual of the Masonic Lodge teaches a false gospel. Some Masons will admit privately that, "Yes, Masonry does say that Masons will go to heaven, but it doesn't say how. That is left up to the individual." However, at the close of the third degree the following conclusion is spoken:
The meaning is perfectly clear. By imitating the Masonic savior, Hiram Abiff, Masons can welcome the grim tyrant, Death, and be translated into the celestial Lodge above (heaven). Hiram Abiff is the (prototype) Masonic savior. By imitating Hiram, Masons can get into heaven without faith in Jesus Christ. The Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana offers the following explanation of the meaning of Masonic ritual on page 154 of the 1993 edition of the Indiana Monitor and Freemasons Guide:
Southern Baptist Masons are teaching in secret that Master Masons, as a group, may die in the hope of a glorious immortality, that they represent those raised from the grave of iniquity and that they have been redeemed from the death of sin. Southern Baptist Masons teach in secret that Master Masons have salvation! However, the Holy Bible is quite clear: Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. John reported:
The group of men known as Master Masons includes Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, men who profess to be Christians and men who have no religion other than Masonry. Hindus, Moslems, and Buddhists all reject the unique Deity of Jesus Christ and reject him as the Savior and Redeemer for all mankind. Since the infiltrators teach in secret that Master Masons, as a group, may die in the hope of a glorious immortality, represent those raised from the grave of iniquity and that they have been redeemed from the death of sin, they are teaching a gospel of salvation which does not require faith in Jesus Christ.
The infiltrators are using