Tag Archives: Freemasonry

Rowland Springs and the Masons: Minister of Music Gary Lovingood Deflects Question About Cult

because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.‘” 1 Peter 1:16

In the wake of its wicked defense of the cult of Freemasonry, Rowland Springs Baptist Church has been recieving withering Google reviews from across the web. Church management has apparently been attempting to manage this onslaught of well-deserved criticism by challenging the reviews. Numerous one-star reviews have disappeared from Google. Conversely, long-time church members who for years did not see fit to plug their church are submitting five-star reviews. Still, Rowland Springs (in the care of its hireling pastor Joe Ringwalt) is struggling to hide from its new, well-earned reputation as a haven for Freemasons. Today, Music Minister Gary Lovingood got into the act.

A questioner named Darin on the church’s Google review section submitted the following query:

Are there really Freemasons in the church?

Lovingood responded with a deflection that not only ignored the question but demonstrated a startling lack of understanding of the nature of the church. Lovingood wrote:

Darin, what person would you not want to attend church? Your question seems to be a leading one. I’m sure you have yet to find a perfect church full of saints and that’s why you ask. Let those without sin cast the first stone.

Lovingood equivocates between someone visiting a church service (a non-member) and someone who is a covenant member of a church body. Gary should understand that “attending” a church service and being a “member” of a church body are different. If Freemasons (or Mormons for that matter) come to a church service and hear God’s word proclaimed, perhaps they will repent and leave the lodge. However, like unrepentant adulterers or active homosexuals, cult members cannot biblically be allowed to be church members. Lovingood, unbiblically, promotes his church as an event. According to the Bible, the church is body, a people set apart for the Lord. It is not a place where people “come” but the body is Christ that “is”. Christian Freemasons play the harlot with the lodge, committing spiritual adultery. This adultery is committed, unrepentantaly, within the body of Rowland Springs Baptist Church.

Lovingood makes a lucrative income-tax-exempt salary (in the form of a housing allowance) performing music for Rowland Springs and its Masonic members. He’s quite good at it. However, if church is not a body of holy people then Gary is just putting on a show. Given that Lovingood comes from a Pentecostal background, his dedication to Baptist doctrine is already in question. Now, Christians should question his very understanding of the nature of church.

Doubling down on his rejection of holiness, Lovingood alludes to John 8:7. This is the famous “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” statement. Even conservatives biblical scholars doubt that this story is original to John’s gospel. Futhermore, Lovingood’s use of it proves that he is a rank hypocrite. His church excommunicated me this very Sunday for the sin of refusing to abide Freemasonry. As the police escorted me off of the church campus, I certainly felt the stones of Rowland Springs Baptist Church.

I also felt the blackball of the Masons.

No church is perfect, but that doesn’t mean cultist should be tolerated. What kind of standard for church does Lovingood promote here? I ask you, if the church isn’t a holy light to a lost and dying world, who will be?

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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Christian Values and the Bartow County School Board Election – Freemasons Among Us

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.” John Wesley

Tony Ross is running for Bartow County School Board. Tony Ross is a Freemason. He is a lodge officer. Freemasonry is a cult. Tony Ross’s campaign website reports that he is a member of Cartersville First Baptist Church.

tony fbc

Ross’s campaign page shows a pic taken at the FBC Fireworks show.

From a Christian worldview standpoint, this is a serious problem for First Baptist Church and Christian values voters of Bartow County. Freemasonry stands opposed to a Christian worldview. If what I’ve written here seems familiar, it’s because I’ve basically already written this article. In July of 2016, I published a piece entitled “Christian Values and The Bartow County Magistrate Election – Freemasons Among Us”. In that article I called attention to the fact that another Baptist, Master Mason Bobby Wilson, was running for public office in Bartow County. On his campaign website, Mr. Wilson proudly advertised that he was both a Master Mason and the head usher of Morning View Baptist Church. Mr. Wilson, who had already run a failed campaign for County Tax Commissioner, was running for Magistrate Judge against eventual victor Brandon Bryson and two other Freemasons, both of whom are members of Southern Baptist Churches. One of those Masons was Tony Ross, who is now running for School Board.

According to the Bartow Baptist Association, 80% of Bartow County is unchurched. Last Sunday David Franklin, who is the associational missionary for Bartow County, visited my church. My pastor pointed him out during a sermon from Hebrews 10 about the importance of church attendance and made mention of the statistic that his association has provided – vast amounts of Bartow County are unchruched. This is problematic but the greater tragedy is that Bartow Baptists have failed to win their own pews for Christ. We have numerous cult members sitting in our pews and running for office while proudly advertising that they are both members of Baptist Churches and the Masonic Lodge. How do we expect to win the world for Christ when we accept the world, cult members from the world, as respected members of our churches?

Tony Lodge

Ross in his Lodge Officer attire.

The devil must be laughing at us.

The last time I visited the Bartow Baptist Association, the “7 Cultural Mountains” were posted on the wall. Many evangelicals believe that by influencing or dominating these “cultural mountains”, that Christians can win society and the world for Christ. Personally, I am wary of pushing these “mountains” because I associate them with dominionism and the New Apostolic Reformation. Nevertheless, a concerted effort has been made by Bartow’s Baptist leaders to pray about these mountains. Winning these mountains is what Bartow County pastors pray for and lead their churches to pray for. They are as follows:

Arts & Entertainment
Business
Education
Family
Government
Media
Religion

For our County School Board election, a Southern Baptist candidate who is in a cult has put himself forth.

Religion – Fail.
Education – Fail
Government – Fail. (Tony Ross already works for the government)

Bartow County Baptist leadership stands feebly at the bottom of the 7 Mountains giving them lip service while cult members climb to the top, all the while syncretistically worshiping in Bartow Baptist pews as members in good standing of both Christ’s church and the pagan Masonic Lodge. Again, the devil must be laughing. Southern Baptists in Bartow County want to win the unchurched? They have cult members in the pew and they vote for them.

Tony Ross’s campaign website is replete with commendations of his high moral character:

I’ve spoken with Tony Ross. I’ve shook his hand. Tony Ross seems like an interesting man. Tony Ross seems like a nice man. By the world’s standard, Tony Ross is a morally upstanding man. By Masonic standards, he certainly is. Tony Ross is not a morally upright man, by biblical standards. He engages in the false, cultic worship of the Masonic Lodge. First Baptist Church tolerates that. No church should.

I wonder if they’ve ever read the story of Akin from the book of Joshua?

Church members, souls are at stake. Tony Ross’s soul is at stake. Heed the words quoted above from John Wesley. Don’t wait on your pastor to act. He may not. Thus far, many of them haven’t. You can start taking every inch of Bartow County for Christ by retaking every inch of your church. Expel cult members from among us. Understand this isn’t is an issue because a cult member or lost person is running for political office. It’s an issue because he claims to be a Chrisitan and is a member of a Baptist Church.

For more information on Freemasonry, you may read my articles on the subject or watch this video:

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

**I know from personal experience that First Baptist Church is full of kind and generous people. They have a passionate pastor for a preacher and provide a loving and caring environment for children. I encourage people who are taken aback at this article or who need direction to reach out to me directly.

The Teachings of the Lodge and the Teachings of the Bible.

Did you know that Freemasonry is religious?  To be a member of a Masonic Lodge, a man must profess faith in a Supreme Being and the eternality of the soul.  Masonic Lodges elect a chaplain and use a sacred text (usually a Bible) as part of the “furniture of the lodge.”  Masonic Lodges are intended to mimic Solomon’s temple.  When a Master Mason dies, he is entitled to Masonic funeral rites.  These rites include a petition for the departed Mason to enter the “Celestial Lodge.”  According to Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, Freemasonry is a “mild religion” (p. 512).  Christians should ask, “Do the teachings of the Masonic religion agree with the teachings of the Bible?”

Salvation

The Bible teaches that a man is saved by the grace of God, through faith in the finished work of Christ and not by his own works.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that none may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Freemasonry teaches that a Master Mason can get to Heaven by living a “pious and virtuous life.”

Funeral rite language from Akin’s Lodge Manual with the Georgia Masonic Code (p. 138)

The Nature of Man

The Bible teaches that man is inherently sinful and evil from birth.  Without the grace of God, a man is unable to seek righteousness.  No one is good but God.  Only through Christ can men be empowered to do good works in the eyes of God.

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

The Message of Freemasonry is “Making Good Men Better” (Masonic Messenger, April 2014).  Freemasons seek to use the tenets of Freemasonry to build their own spiritual temple, to make themselves better through the practice of Freemasonry.  Freemasonry teaches that men who don’t know Jesus can make themselves better.

Syncretism

The Bible teaches that people should not mix false religion with the true religion of God.  The Ten Commandments require that man have no other gods before Yahweh and that man make no graven images.  The officers of a New Testament Church are pastors and deacons.  There is one high priest, Jesus, who is mediator between God and men.  God is a jealous God.  It is not acceptable before God to practice Christianity and another religion.  Christ and His church are to be held in the highest esteem.

“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2

Masonry teaches that one may become a high priest by advancing through the degrees of Masonry.  Doyle Franklin Williams was a member of the first Baptist Church of Emerson, Georgia where he was a deacon and the Music Director.  He was also a member of Emerson Masonic Lodge #738 where he served as the Worshipful Master.  He also served as the “High Priest” of Cartersville Royal Arch #144.  In Freemasonry, there are hymns of praise to the lodge and Freemasonry is considered the highest institution on Earth.  The Lodge is to be held in the highest esteem.  Freemasonry encourages syncretism.

“No institution was ever raised on a better principle, or more solid foundation.  Nor were ever more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down that are inculcated in the several Masonic lectures.  The greatest and best of men, in all ages, have been encouragers and promoters of the art, and have never deemed it derogatory to their dignity to level themselves with the fraternity, extend their privileges, and patronize their assembles” Akin’s Lodge Manual With Georgia Masonic Code (p. 137-138)

 For more information on Freemasonry, contact us.

[Contributed by: Seth Dunn]

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Masonic Bartow Baptists: A Listing

As frequent readers of this blog are aware, I have been researching and writing about Freemasonry for some time. I have determined, after study, reflection, and communication with former Masons, that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity. Freemasonry is, in and of itself, a religious institution. Its teachings simply do not agree with the teachings of the Bible. As a matter of biblical holiness, no unrepentant freemason should be allowed membership in a New Testament Church. Much to my dismay, Masonic presence in the churches of the Bartow Baptist Association has been widespread. Several months ago, I sought a way to determine the extent to which Freemasons have influence in the Baptist churches here in Bartow County. Online obituaries provided an accessible resource for identifying Masons who had been members of Bartow Baptist Churches. The listing below is the result of my research into Masonic obituaries in Bartow County. The listing contains the name of every church in the Bartow Baptist Association as well as the names and titles of former Masonic members that I could identify.

Adairsville Baptist Church

Dr. Sidney Faith Hutcherson – Member. Adairsville Lodge #168

Max Landrum – Member. 10-year Mayor of Adairsville. Adairsville Lodge #168.

Jim Purvis –Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Leader. Shorter Alum. Adairsville Lodge #168

Hoyt Sutton – Member. Adairsville Masonic Lodge #168.

Atco Baptist Church

Roy Eugene Chambers – Member. Ordained Missionary Baptist Church minister. Cartersville Lodge #63 F&M. Past Master, Scottish Rite and York Rite – Daylight Lodge of Rockmart, Past Patron of Carterville Order of the Eastern Star #329.

Charles Hendricks, Sr. – Deacon, member of the willing workers Sunday School class, Chair of the senior care ministry. Cartersville Lodge #63. Past Patron of the order of the Eastern Star #329.

James Robert Morris – Lead usher. Cartersville Lodge. Past Master, Past District Deputy, Past Grand Tyler for the state of Georgia, Lodge Secretary, Past Patron of the order of the Eastern Star #329.

Jimmy Rampley – Member. Cartersville Lodge #63. Yaarab Temple.

Arthur Lee Woody, Sr. – Member. Adairsville Masonic Lodge #168.

Bethel Crossroads Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research. Doyle Williams, the former music director of First Baptist Emerson was buried in the cemetery of this church.

Brandon’s Chapel

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Cartersville First Baptist Church

Ella Dee Crabtree – Member. Order of the Eastern Star and Rebekah Lodge of Georiga #28. Wife of James Crabtree.

Corey Wayne Godfrey – Member. Aragon Davitte Masonic Lodge # 513.

Rev. Charles L. Goss, Jr. – Member. Ordained graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Cassville Baptist Church

James D. Kimsey – Member. Adairsville Masonic Lodge #168.

Cedar Creek Baptist Church

Howard Garland – Member. Adairsville Masonic Lodge #168.

Connesena Baptist Church

Hugh Dennis Jenkins – Member. Kingston Masonic Lodge #394.

Corinth Baptist Church

Rev. George Chastain –Chastain was the former pastor of Corinth Baptist Church. His obituary stated “Masons will serve as honorary pallbearers.” His son-in-law, Lamar Pendley, is known to be a Mason in Bartow County.

Rev. Hubert Ortel Cabe – Cabe was the former pastor of Corinth Baptist Church.[1] Stilesboro Lodge #260.

CrossPoint City Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Euharlee Baptist Church

Calvin Harold Miller – Member. Euharlee Masonic Lodge #457. Past Master.

Expedition Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Faith Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

First Baptist Church of Emerson

John Carroll Hale – Deacon. Emerson masonic Lodge #738. Past Master.

Doyle Frank Williams – Deacon and Music Director. Emerson masonic Lodge #738. Past Master. Cartersville Royal Arch Chapter #144. Past High Priest. Yarab Shrine Temple. Order of the Easter Star. Past Worthy Patron.

Floyd Creek Baptist Church

Lessie Free – Former member, pianist, organist, Sunday School Teacher. Chapter #321 Order of the Eastern Star, Appreciation Certificate from John W. Akin Masonic Lodge. Widow of William Free.

William Harry Reagan – Buried at Floyd Creek Baptist cemetery with John W. Akin Masonic Lodge Masons serving as pallbearers.

Ray Earwood – Attending at time of death. Rockmart Lodge # 97 F. & A.M

Friendship Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Glade Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Glade Road Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Grace Baptist Church

Billy Cline – Member. Stilesboro Lodge #260. Cartersville Shrine Club.

Jerry Edward Ray – Member. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Daniel Webster Turner, Sr – Member. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Greater New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Kingston Baptist Church

Bill Blankenship– Member. Kingston Lodge #394.

Ronald Coleman Casey – Chairman of Deacons. Former mayor of Kingston. Kingston Lodge #394. Shriner.

Lake Point Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Macedonia Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

New Hope Baptist Church

William Craig – Funeral and burial at the church. Acworth Lodge #176.

Arthur Lee Hightower – Deacon. Acworth Lodge #176.

Oak Grove Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Olive Branch Community Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Oothcalooga Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Peeples Valley Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Pine Grove Baptist Church

Ray Jackson Popham – Trustee, Sunday School Teacher, choir member. Former Cartersville School Board member. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Rev. Hubert A. Woodward – Former Pastor. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

Vance Sanford Hyde – Men’s Bible Class teacher. East Floyd Lodge #728. Order of the Eastern Star 501.

Racoon Creek Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Rowland Springs Baptist Church[2]

C. Duncan– Member. Fort Campbell Masonic Lodge #486.

Fred Gunn, Jr – Member. Former Adairsville Chief of Police. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Robert Hobgood – Member. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63

Snow Springs Baptist Church

Rev. Julie Dennie Adcock – Deacon. Scoutmaster of Adairsville Boy Scout Troop #12. Adairsville Masonic Lodge #168, Past Master. Shannon Masonic Lodge #100.

Charles “Sonny” Jones – Deacon, Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent. Bartow County Associate Magistrate Judge. Adairsville-Bartow County School Board Member. Masonic Lodge #168, Past Master. Rome Yaraab Shrine.

Tabernacle Baptist Church

Denny Kennedy – Funeral held at the church. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63. Cartersville Royal Arch #144.

Odas Alton Kiser – Deacon and Church Trustee. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63. Yaraab Shrine Temple. His wife was the director of Director of Preschool and After-school programs at the church and a Pre-school Sunday School teacher.

F.G. Lankford – Deacon. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63.

Marvin Vernon Mitchell – Member. Cartersville City Councilman. Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63. Yaraab Shrine Temple.

Taylorsville Baptist Church

Charles Garrison – Deacon, Sunday School Director, Choir Member. John W. Akin Lodge #537.

James Roy Lanier – Member. John W. Akin Lodge #537.

Alfred C. Morgan – Member. John W. Akin Lodge #537.

The Church in the Hills

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

The Stone Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Trinity Baptist Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Unity Worship Church

No Masonic members were identified in my research.

Wofford’s Crossroads Baptist Church

Larry Atkins Bozeman– Member Cartersville Masonic Lodge #63 F&AM, Cartersville Chapter #144 R.A.M., Minor Shadburn Council #49 R.&S.M., 32 Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Yarrab Shrine Temple.

Rev. T. S. Dehart – Lodge Unknown

rev dehart

Homer Gilstrap – Lodge Unknown

gilstrap

Homer S. McEver – Lodge Unknown

hse

Given that Freemasonry is a secret society, the reader should keep in mind that the pastors and non-Masonic members of the county’s Baptist churches may be completely unaware of the wicked nature of Freemasonry. Furthermore, pastors who are aware of the sinful practice of Freemasonry may be under immense pressure from Masonic church members, Masonic deacons, and their family members to turn a blind eye to the practice of Masonry within the church body. Pastors can face losing their jobs for taking a biblical stand. If you have questions about Freemasonry, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your pastor. If you know of a Freemason who is a member of your church, you are under biblical obligation to call him to repentance under the tenets of Matthew 18. Make no mistake; Freemasonry is not a harmless fraternity. Do not be deceived; it is not the case that only high-level members understand the sinful nature of Freemasonry. A man must sin to even take first Masonic oath. You can find a resource to assist you calling Masonic church members to repentance here.

Read over the names on this listing and consider it deeply that these men are dead. No one will ever have a chance to call them to repent before they face the judgement of their maker. While Masons still live, the best way to demonstrate Christ’s love to them is to call them to repent.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

[1] “Corinth Baptist Church” is a common church name. It was not made explicitly clear in this Bartow County native’s obituary that he served as pastor of Corinth Baptist in Cartersville. He was a member of Center Baptist Church when he died.

[2] As a matter of disclosure, I am a member of this church. Since these church members are dead, I am obviously unable to approach them privately under the tenets of Matthew 18.

Freemasonry and the Christian Conscience

On what day of the week to hold church services, going to see rated R-movies, eating or abstaining from pork and shellfish, drinking alcoholic beverages, shopping at Target, getting circumcised, boycotting Disney, dressing casually at church…these are matters of Christian liberty…these are matters of Christian conscience. What about membership and participation in the Masonic Lodge, though?  Is Freemasonry a matter of Christian liberty?  No; not at all.  Calling it a matter of Christian conscience is error.  It should be called what it really is: sin.

The seminal biblical example of Christian liberty is found in Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians.  This epistle was written during a time when pagan temple worship was a very visible and common way of life.  Judeo-Christian values were obscure and certainly did not influence the prevailing culture and governance of the Roman Empire.  Pagan mythologies explained how the world worked and ordered religious exercise.  Sacrifices to the gods were a part of everyday life.  Out of this darkness, the Lord began drawing people to Himself in the city of Corinth.  These early Christians were being drawn from paganism to Christianity.  They were being drawn from the pagan temple to the Christian Church.

“Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.  Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.” 1 Corinthians 8:1-8

Today’s Christians, especially in the Bible belt, are often drawn to the Lord from one part of the church building to another.  Kids who have grown up in Sunday School and been taught the Bible from birth come of age in Christian environments and make professions of faith.  Nothing about their religious environment changes.  They repent of their sins on one Sunday and return to the same place of worship that they were raised in on the next.  Since ~54 AD, When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, Christendom has greatly expanded.  The Judeo-Christian worldview is no longer obscure and has exerted great influence over the governments of Western society.  Science explains how the world works; pagan mythologies have been relegated to the translations exercises of 10th grade Latin classes.  Sacrificing animals for religious purposes is completely foreign to today’s Western Christians.  They have never seen such practices.

But they have seen a meat market.  Every week, Western Christians peruse fresh, USDA-certified beef in their local supermarkets.  Friendly butchers provide eye-pleasing, safe, and affordable cuts of meat as often as their customers desire it and in whatever amounts are demanded.  Customers know exactly where the meat comes from: farms.  Modern industrial farming has made protein-rich meat more affordable than it has ever been.  For today’s Western Christians, eating meat is a daily expectation.  In the Bible-belt, meat with three vegetables and a cup of sweet tea is a lunchtime staple.  It’s such a popular meal that an entire category of eateries known as “meat and three restaurants” has sprung up. Meat is relatively cheap (and vegetables are even easier to come by).  Even if today’s society was permeated with pagan practice, few people would sacrifice beef.  It’s not costly enough.  Sacrifices are supposed to be costly.  Meat has become a very affordable commodity.

Meat and three was unheard of in ancient Corinth.  The ancients were lucky to have clean water, sweetened drinks were a luxury.  So, too, was meat.  That’s why animals were a source of sacrifice.  The gods were to be provided with something of great value.  Once an animal’s blood was spilled and the gods were satiated, there was a valuable by-product of the religious enterprise: meat.  Ancients were just an enterprising as moderns are; they weren’t going to let this item of value go to waste.  So, the meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols was placed for sale in the meat market.  From there, consumers would buy it. Today, Ingles, Kroger, and Publix sell meat from big corporate farms. The ancient Corinthian meat market sold meat from both farms and pagan temples.  Pagan temples, unlike farms, are inherently sinful.

Certain gentile Christians, who came from pagan backgrounds, were aghast that their fellow Christians would purchase or consume meat that had been used as an essential component of a pagan religious ceremony.  The meat had been sacrificed to false gods.  In their minds, it was tainted by pagan worship.  Having come out of pagan idolatry, this meat reminded them of their old selves.  As new creatures in Christ, they wanted nothing to do with anything remotely connected to paganism.  Other Christians, especially those of Jewish background, were not as a concerned.  They understood that these pagan idols weren’t real gods.  To them, buying or being served meat that could have been used in a pagan ceremony wasn’t an issue.  They understood that earth and everything in it belonged to the Lord.  They harbored no painful memories of being involved in pagan worship.  It was nearly as foreign to them as it is for a modern young boy raised in a Southern Baptist Sunday School program.  They knew who God was and they knew who God wasn’t.  Meat sacrificed to idols became a source of controversy in an already contentious Corinthian church.  The Apostle Paul had to address it.  He determined that it was a matter of Christian liberty, but not one to be enjoyed at the expense of the conscience of wounding the conscience of those brothers who were abhorred by it.

“But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 9:-13

Eating meat sacrificed to idols was not equivalent to pagan worship and eating it was okay as long as it didn’t offend other Christians.  Going further, Paul was clear that no one was under obligation for making sure that the meat he obtained did not come from a pagan temple.

“Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:25-32

Looking at Paul’s example, some Christians have determined that membership in the Lodge is an equivalent issue of Christian liberty.  It may sear the conscience of some Christians to go the Masonic Lodge, swear secret blood oaths, and pray to “The Grand Architect of the Universe”.  So, they could never bring themselves to be a Mason.  Yes the Masonic lodge is a temple, with a Chaplain, Deacons, and a Worshipful Master.  Yes, some people at the Lodge may treat it as their religion.  Yes, Freemasonry teaches a works-based salvation.  But the Christian members of the Lodge understand who God really is.  They don’t really believe the religious tenets of Freemasonry.  They believe salvation comes by the grace of God, not works.  They agree with the Baptist Faith and Message.  So, it’s a matter of Christian Liberty for them to participate in the ceremonies of the Lodge even if their fellow church members couldn’t’ do the same.

Wrong.  Dead Wrong.

Paul never said it was acceptable to participate in a pagan worship service.  Paul said it was okay to accept the by-product of that worship service.   There is a major difference between participating in a pagan ceremony where an animal is sacrificed to a false god and eating meat that went from the pagan temple to the meat market to the dinner table.  A modern is example is helpful for understanding this difference.

Imagine a soup kitchen that serves hot meals to the local homeless population.  It receives food donations from local churches, local businesses, and the local Masonic lodge.  Is a Christian who eats at the soup kitchen obligated to ask if his particular bowl of soup was provided by the Lodge before he eats it?  No.  Furthermore, a fellow church member who chastises the poor brother for eating soup that could have come from the lodge legalistically denies the Christian liberty of his brother in Christ.  There may be some homeless Christians, former Masons, who choose to go hungry rather than possibly eat Masonic soup.  That would be a matter of their conscience, just like it would be a matter of liberty for any homeless Christians who choose not to accept meals from the soup kitchen.  Eating the soup is not participating in Masonic practices.

But Christian Liberty stops and the front door of the Masonic Temple.  A Corinthian Christian committed no sin to consume meat that had been sacrificed at a pagan temple.  However, a Corinthian who participated in the ceremony that slaughtered the animal committed idolatry.  When a pagan Corinthian became a Christian, his days a practicing religion at the pagan temple had to end.  About this Paul was exceedingly clear.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

To draw a parallel from ancient Corinth to modern times, Freemasons aren’t eating meat which was sacrificed to idols; they are sacrificing the bull to the false god.[1]  Christians who participate in Masonic religious ceremonies commit sin.  Numerous examples could be provided to demonstrate this but only one is required.  Consider the practice of Masonic funeral rites.

All Master Masons are entitled to a Masonic funeral.  Anyone who believes in a Supreme Being is eligible to become a Master Mason.  There is no requirement to profess salvation in Christ by grace alone through faith alone.  There is no requirement to be a church member.  It is a historically and biblically demonstrable fact that there are Master Masons who die and spend an eternity in Hell because they have not received Christ.  Despite this, they receive Masonic Funeral rites which proclaim that the reward of their virtuous living is spending an eternity with The Grand Architect of the Universe (God) in the Celestial Lodge (Heaven).  The following is the funerary language from Akin’s Lodge Manual with the Georgia Masonic Lodge:

“Most Glorious God, Author of all good and Giver of all mercy, pour down  thy blessings upon us and strengthen our solemn engagements with the ties of sincere affection. May the present instance of mortality remind us of our approaching fate; and by drawing our attention towards Thee, the only refuge in time of need, may we be induced so to regulate our conduct here that when the awful moment shall arrive that we are about to quit this transitory scene, the enlivening prospect of thy mercy may dispel the gloom of death; and after our departure hence in peace and in thy favor, may we be received into thine everlasting kingdom, and there enjoy, in union with the souls of our departed friends, the just rewards of a pious and virtuous life. Amen!”[2]

pious and virtuous life

This language is to be read by the Worshipful Master of the Lodge.  (Sadly, it is not uncommon to come across Worshipful Masters who are progressing Christians.)  According to this funeral language, which is proclaimed in front of the deceased grieving friends and family members, entering into Heaven is the “just rewards of a pious and virtuous life.”  This contradicts the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-1

“For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Isaiah 64:6

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:16

Furthermore, it gives false hope to non-Christians (and their grieving loved ones); non-Christians die without hope of ever seeing Heaven or being reconciled with God. Freemasonry teaches a works based gospel.  If a Christian Freemason recites the Masonic funerary language, he proclaims a false gospel.  If he doesn’t truly believe it, he sins further by telling a lie.  If he does truly believe it, he denies the very words of Christ.  How can his fellow church members countenance that?

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Galatians 1:8

“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight” Proverbs 12:22

Is the gospel a matter of Christian liberty? We can look to Paul’s words to the Romans for the answer:

“Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  For it is written,

‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God.’

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.” Romans 14

Paul is clearly talking about Christian liberty in this verse, but as in the case of 1 Corinthians 6, he is talking about matters of everyday living (what to eat, what to drink, etc…).  Essentially, Paul is addressing the difference between living under grace and living under law.  Forcing Christian brothers to adhere to Jewish ceremonial regulations keeps them under law.  Under the grace of Christ, they have liberty.  There is absolutely no permission in the passage of scripture above for the Christian to participate in Freemasonry.  That is what makes defenses of Freemasonry as a matter of Christian using Romans Chapter 14 so insidious.  Freemasonry proclaims a works-based gospel, essentially putting adherents under law.  This is antithetical to Christianity which proclaims a grace based gospel.  So, the question is answered.  Participation in Freemasonry is not a matter of Christian liberty.

Is bearing false witness a matter of Christian liberty?  No

Is denying the claims of Christ a matter of Christian liberty? No.

Freemasonry does both.

Whether or not the Christian Mason truly believes the dogma of Freemasonry is immaterial.  There is absolutely no room for Christian Liberty where Masonry is concerned.  Do the same Masons who go to church and tell their pastors that they don’t really believe in the religious claims of Masonry but just go as a social club go to the Lodge and tell their Masonic brothers that they don’t really believe the religious claims of Christianity but just go as a social club?  Maybe.  But what’s it really matter?

This case has been made.  Christian masons participate in idolatry, lying, proclaiming a false gospel, and denying the words of Christ.  The Bible demands that their fellow church members hold them accountable.

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves”. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17

“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” Ephesians 5:11-12

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

Will you stand for the Holiness of your church and the love of your brothers no matter what the cost?  Wake up, O’ Sleeper.  Freemasonry in your local church must be addressed and excised.  It may be a tough battle, perhaps even fraught with spiritual resistance from the demonic realm.  It may cost you something to challenge Masonry and stand for the holiness of your church, but, remember, sacrifices are supposed to be costly.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-13

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

[1] I am speaking metaphorically here.  I am not saying Freemasons sacrifice live animals at their temple.

[2] Akin, J. W. (1911). Akin’s Lodge Manual With the Georgia Masonic Code. Mrs. John Akin. (p. 137-138)

If a Freemason Died Today…

“Freemasonry teaches that salvation may be attained by ‘good works’ and not through faith in Christ alone.”  The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

If you are a Christian you have probably asked this question to someone at least once in your life:

“If you died today, do you know if God would accept you into Heaven?”

Every Sunday, in churches all across the world, this is a question that preachers ask as they prepare to give a gospel invitation to their audiences.  This same question is asked during the rest of the week as God’s people go throughout their cities to evangelize the lost.  Faithful Christian evangelists communicate the answer to this question clearly – those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will perish in Hell.  The correct answer to this question is easily supported by the Bible:

“Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.’” Acts 4:8-12

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’” John 14:5-7

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15

This question is one of eternal consequence.  It is perhaps the most important question that can be asked.  The Christian answer to it is clear, but how do Freemasons answer this pivotal question?  The Masonic answer to this question is apparent from their official policies and funeral rights.

When any Master Mason dies, he is entitled to a Masonic burial.  Funeral rites are prescribed by Masonic handbooks and include readings, responses, and prayers.  Clearly, Masonic funeral rites (which are led by the “Worshipful Master” of an individual lodge) are religious services.  Yet, these services are not particular to any one religion.  A specific religious affiliation is not required to be a Freemason.  According to Cartersville Masonic Lodge 63 F&M[1] an absolute requirement for becoming a mason is to “have belief in a Supreme Being (of any faith. No particular religion or faith is required or excluded. All are welcome.)”  The Cartersville lodge claims that “Masonry is universal in its ideals.”

Any Master Mason is entitled to a Masonic funeral and Christian belief is not required to be a Freemason.  Thus, deceased non-Christian Freemasons can (and do) receive Masonic funeral services.  According to God’s word, non-Christians suffer for an eternity in Hell.  Yet, Masonic funeral rites do not indicate such, in fact, they indicate the opposite.

The funeral ceremony of the Mount Scopus Lodge A.F & A.M. includes the following language:

“My Brethren, the roll of the workmen has been called, and one Master Mason has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of the Craft and with them he has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors here below have taught him to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting his mind as a living stone for that spiritual building — that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Strengthened in his labors here by faith in God, and confident of expectation of immortality, he has sought admission to the Celestial Lodge above.”

Clearly, there is an expectation that the dead Freemason (whether or not he accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior) will reach Heaven, or what the Freemasons call the “Celestial Lodge” of the “Great Architect of the Universe”.  Akin’s Lodge Manual, which was published by John W. Akin of Cartersville, GA, includes the following funerary language:

“Most glorious God, Author of all good and Giver of all mercy pour down thy blessings upon us…may we be induced so to regulate our conduct here that when the awful moment shall arrive that we are about to quit this transitory scene, the enlivening prospect of thy mercy may dispel the gloom of death; and after our departure hence in peace and in thy favor, may we be received into thine everlasting kingdom, and there enjoy, in union with the soul of our departed friends, the just rewards of a pious and virtuous life.  Amen!”

From a Christian worldview, this language is profoundly disturbing.  A dead non-Christian has no hope of receiving mercy from God.  He has no hope of being received into God’s kingdom.  His Christian friends will never again unite with him.  He is forever under the curse of sin, destined for Hell.  To make matters worse, the language of the funeral rite implies that getting to Heaven is the result of living a “pious and virtuous life.”  In other words, getting to Heaven is the result of living a good life and doing good works.  Scripture clearly and absolutely teaches that good works do not and cannot save.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

The language of the Masonic funeral rite cannot be said or believed by a Christian in good conscience.  It is a lie.  It contradicts God’s word.  This lie is more insidious than the Christian friends of Masons might know.  Akin’s manual actually includes alternate funeral language which is to be read when a Masonic funeral service is held at a church.[2]  The language designed for readings in front of a body of Christians does not include the language which indicates that works save.  Thus, Christians may be unaware of the unbiblical practices of their fellow church members who participate in Freemasonry…because they have been hidden from them.

Freemasons have one answer to the question “If you died today, do you know if God would accept you into Heaven?” at church and another at their lodge.  They are double-minded men.  Scripture teaches that a “double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, like the surf of the sea and driven and tossed by the wind.”  Unchecked, such men are dangerous to the health of a church.  If there are Freemasons at your church, scripture makes your duty clear.  Members of this secret society must be dealt with according to biblical standards:

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:6-12

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

As a Christian, it is your moral responsibility to call Freemasons to reject freemasonry in repentance.  If a Freemason refuses, thereby proving that his loyalty to his lodge is greater than his loyalty to Christ’s church, then he must be treated according to the prescription of 1 Corinthians 6:

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

This will not be easy…but then again taking up your cross and following Jesus is not supposed to be.  The most loving thing to do is call sinners to repentance.  The most Holy thing to do is to remove the wicked from the body.  Like the Israelites who suffered from the secret sin of Achan, the work of the local church will be hindered by the secret sins of its Masonic members.  The more Freemasons that infiltrate a church, the greater influence they have.  Freemasonry is not harmless.  It has temporal and eternal consequences.  It literally teaches a different, works-based gospel than the faith-based gospel taught in the Bible.

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Galatians 1:8

Because church membership is so prevalent among Freemasons, potential pastors should inform church pulpit committees that they will not countenance Freemasonry under their shepherding.  Church members should support their pastors and fellow church members who insist on exercising Biblical fidelity and church discipline in regards to Freemasonry.

After reading this you may be saying to yourself, “There have been Freemasons in my church for years.  They seem like good men.  I’ve never heard any of this before.  I didn’t know any of this.”

Well…you know it now.  Faithfulness to Christ is paramount.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

For an additional, first-hand resource on Masonic funeral rites, see the video below from Chrisitan Apologist John Ankerberg of Chattanooga, TN:

*I have resided in Cartersville, Georgia since 1996.  I write to you from the very town where Akin’s manual was written and is practiced.  This is a small town.  Pray for me that the Lord will protect me from any persecution that comes as a result of my taking of this biblical stand against an influential group.  If you need any help with this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  If you are a Freemason, I adjure you to abandon the craft.

**Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

[1] “F&M” refers to “Free and Accepted” masonry.  It is the mainstream form of masonry.  Free and Accepted lodges operate under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodges.  Cartersville #63 operates under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

[2] Many pastors do not allow Masonic funeral rites to be held in their church buildings.  Many of these same pastors, however, do not initiate church discipline on Masons.  This action is contradictory.  If a Mason can be a member in good standing, why can he not have a Masonic funeral in a church?