A Hill on Which to Die:
by Pierce Dodson, a Southern Baptist
Another in a series published in The Christian News
Part of the title of this article is borrowed from a recently published book by Judge Paul Pressler, A Hill on Which to Die, published by Broadman and Holman. It deals with the Southern Baptist Convention (S. B. C.) and its battle with liberalism and its stand for inerrancy. The phrase "a hill to die on" is used to refer to an issue or belief held to be so important that it is worth fighting for, at all costs. The figure of speech has its basis in military strategy referring to a literal hill on which a strategic battle is fought.
The judge and other conservative Southern Baptist leaders came to the conclusion over twenty years ago that the liberal drift in the S.B.C. must be stopped, and that it was worth the fight to turn the tide. The thinking was that if liberalism were not checked, then evangelism would suffer and untold numbers of people would not come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Those conservatives leaders were right, and they and the others who joined with them were right in taking their stand.
Unfortunately, however, most conservatives, having captured that hill, are now willing to camp on that hill and not move on. Admittedly, camping is much easier than fighting, but it is a luxury that cannot be ours all the time. In order to maximize further the inerrancy victory, the problem of Freemasonry should now be addressed in such a manner that also results in victory. In the early nineties, an opportunity to deal with the problem of Freemasonry was badly botched by the S.B.C. because virtually no one wanted "to die on that hill". A few were willing to stand, but they were abandoned on that hill, left to fight alone and take a beating.
Now in this millennium, we shall see if the S.B.C. has enough of a heart for the things of God to move on to this next hill and fight this battle. There is some hope and some indication that it might yet happen, but, no doubt, it will ultimately require divine prodding and intervention to get it done right; fear, ignorance and passivity are not easily or quickly overcome.
As with the problem of liberalism, evangelism is also very relevant to the issue of Freemasonry. Freemasonry espouses a false gospel which has led and is still leading many a man to an eternal hell. Certainly, some Masons are indeed Christians, though deceived about the lodge, but unfortunately many other Masons are unsaved and need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and not the false gospel of the lodge. But how many more unsuspecting men will yet be lured into this trap if the S.B.C. and its preachers remain silent on this subject? Also, Freemasonry is a stifling influence on evangelism by its very presence in many churches, and not just Southern Baptist ones either. Consequently, how many others outside the lodge will go unreached and eternally lost because of moribund churches weakened by Freemasonry of their evangelistic zeal, unless this battle is fought?
Along with evangelism, the concern and need for revival is also related to the issue of Freemasonry. In fact, the most effective evangelism is a result of churches which have experienced revival. How can preachers and other leaders expect revival of a really significant nature when something so grievous to God as Freemasonry goes unchallenged and unchecked in the churches? If the reader is not aware of the many anti-Christian, unbiblical problems raised by Freemasonry, then consult the recently published book by Ron Campbell, Free From Freemasonry. Or if you wish, consult an older book by evangelist and revivalist Charles Finney, The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry, (see footnote) sold through the LifeWay stores of the S .B. C. In fact, Finney reported that great revivals broke out in 1830 in areas where churches addressed this issue following the Masonic murder of William Morgan in 1826 (p. 179). For Morgan, it was literally "a hill on which to die". Also, Southern Baptists should read A Closer Look At a Bridge to Light, produced and available through their North American Mission Board. After doing some homework, a Christian should be able to see how Godís Spirit is grieved and quenched by this leavening influence in the churches. It is no peripheral or secondary matter!
Pray for God to raise up men with discernment and courage within the S. B. C. and elsewhere who are willing "to die on this hill" in order to remove this egregious obstacle to revival and evangelism. Southern Baptists donít have to camp on this hill, but they do have to be willing to fight there if they wish to know more of Godís favor. It would seem that an understanding of that Hill of all hills, Mount Calvary, and what it means in the Christian life and ministry, would spur men of God to charge up this hill, taking it for Jesus Christ, so that this stronghold within the ranks of the Church might be torn down to Godís glory, the vitality of His Church, and the furtherance of His Gospel. Revelation 12:11 should be the battle cry as these gates (Matthew 16:18) are stormed and this hill is climbed: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."
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)
Pierce Dodson may be reached by email, or by writing:
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