The Sixth Day of Apostasy: Secret Societies
The Sixth Day of Apostasy
I submit that the book of James is critically important for those who wish to discern the errors of our time. James focuses our attention to the various causes and symptoms of “false faith.” He asks “Can that faith save you?” This is the sixth in a series of twelve apostasies. Click here for Day 1 (Liberal Theology), here for Day 2 (Prosperity Gospel), here for Day 3 (Liberation Theology), here for Day 4 (Free Grace Salvation), and here for Day 5 (Subjective Charismania).
[Please note that I am NOT making any claim that particular Christians who are part of these movements are unsaved! Further, many truths may be taught and practiced by those who hold to these teachings. What I am suggesting is that the abuses found in the movements promote apostasy]. The links to the opinions of others may differ from those of my own.
Strike up the music:
On the sixth day of apostasy, James is warning me… of SECRET SOCIETIES… Subjective Charismania! … Free Grace Salvation, Liberation Theology, Prosperity Gospel, and of Lib-er-al Theolo-gy.
Apostasy #6 – Secret Societies & Fraternal Orders
Keyword(s) from James: Do not swear (James 5:12)
Teaching: The “Belonging” Gospel
Beginnings: Pagan mystery religions
Motto: “Cross my heart and hope to die”
Influencers: The Jesuits, Albert Mackey, Prince Hall
Effects: Pagan worship/occultism; unequal yoking; favoritism
Cultural icon: National Treasure
Adherents: Freemasons, Knights of Malta (link), Greek Letter Organizations
Interesting reading: PCA Report on Freemasonry (link)
Click here for: A message for blood brothers
I. Warning against ungodly oaths. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be your yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. James 5:12.
Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, “Yes, yes” or “No, no”; anything beyond these is of evil. Mt. 5:36.
Secret societies typically have an initiation ceremony that requires that the pledge take a vow or blood oath. James and Jesus provide strong warnings against such vows. Freemasonry and the Knights of Malta will be investigated.
II. We humans are wired to be social. We long to belong. We want to be accepted as part of the “in crowd.” We love the influence and the camaraderie. We want to feel special. The Church is the place that God has designed for Christian fellowship. We formally enter the church through the ceremony of baptism. We are part of the blood covenant of Jesus Christ. We vow loyalty to Him.
But Satan has his counterfeits that are designed to supersede or override God’s plan. Secret societies and elite organizations can offer the satisfaction of belonging. They make us feel special by designing secret ceremonies, oaths, and pledges. We formally enter the societies through an oath-taking. We vow loyalty to the organization.
III. One of the appealing factors of these organizations is their mystery. The origins of secret societies can likely be traced to pagan mystery religions. Some of the ceremonies of modern-day fraternal organizations have ties to Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythology. God’s chosen people often succumbed to the appealing nature of the religion of their neighbors. They worshiped other gods.
IV. The secret oaths and secret rituals are their hidden “motto.” The Freemasons have their secret handshakes and greetings. College fraternities do as well. The Freemason apprentice calls down threats of bodily harm upon himself to dissuade him from ever divulging the secrets of the organization.
V. Why is there such a severe prohibition against oath-taking in the Bible? The swearing of unbiblical oaths represents a willful rebellion against the God of providence.
The Westminster Confession of Faith states:
No one may vow to do anything forbidden in the word of God, anything hindering a duty commanded in the word, or anything not in his power, which he has neither the ability nor warrant from God to perform. In this respect, monastic vows of perpetual celibacy, professed poverty, and consistent obedience do not perfect us but are actually superstitious, sinful traps, in which no Christian should entangle himself.”
The Jesuits take vows of poverty, chastity and unquestioning obedience to the pope. During the Counter-reformation they were the pope’s secret spy network that infiltrated foreign governments, using whatever means necessary to counteract the Reformation.
Albert Mackey was an influential Freemason writer. Prince Hall started the black lodges. Freemasonry is not just a fraternal organization. It is false religion. Many Christians who get involved in Freemasonry do not realized that they are participating in pagan idolatry. A report by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in 2000 found that over 1,000 SBC pastors were Freemasons and that 37% of the members of Freemasonry are Southern Baptist.
A study by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) found that:
- Freemasonry is a universalistic religion
“Masons meet in “temples” where “prayers” to a “deity” are made. They kneel at their “sacred altar” to make their “sacred oaths.” They are to be in subjection to the leader of the lodge who is called a “Worshipful Master” who has hanging over his head a large letter “G” which symbolizes the Masonic concept of deity. On the “sacred altar” is placed a “Bible,” a “Koran,” or other sacred book depending on the particular religious faith of the candidate. One cannot join the lodge without swearing belief in “a Supreme Being.” Moreover, the candidate in the rituals is “taught” the immortality of his soul.”
- Freemasonry has a degrading concept of God
“Freemasonry affirms the existence of one God, but Masonry’s concept of the unity of God is not Christian. Masonry’s one God is a syncretizing of the names of deities of several monotheistic religions in the world.”
- Freemasonry denies the sufficiency of Scripture
“Freemasonry does not see the Bible as the sole written revelation of God to man. The Bible contains only parts of the Truth. In the lodge the Bible is one of three great lights on the altar. The other two being the square and the compass. The Bible is only seen as a symbol of God’s will to man.”
- The Freemason concept of Jesus is blasphemous
“Masonic authority Albert Pike has said, “It (Masonry) reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the lawgiver of the Jews, in Confucius and Zoroaster, in Jesus of Nazareth and in the Arabian Iconoclast, Great Teachers of Morality, and Eminent Reformers, if no more, and allows every brother of the order to assign to each such higher and even Divine Character as his Creed and truth require.”
- Freemasonry teaches a works based salvation
“The purpose of Masonry is to enable man to rid his nature of sin’s pollution . . . but without Jesus Christ! We are told by Masons that Masonry’s purpose is to enable “good men to be better.” Masonry, in the meaning of its symbols and in the performance of its ceremonies, denies the Bible’s concept of original sin. Masonry emphatically declares that men can, by their own good works, achieve eternal salvation.”
- Secrecy is not legitimate when dealing with truth about God
“Freemasonry, while claiming that its secrets contain truth good for all men, are to be in secret so that the profane not be privileged to it. The stationing of the Tyler outside the door of the lodge symbolizes the restriction of Masonry’s mysteries to its initiates only. Pike has declared: ‘Secrecy is indispensable in a Mason of whatever Degree. It is the first and almost the only lesson taught to the Entered Apprentice.'”
- Freemasonry requires ungodly oaths
“All Masons are required to take sacred oaths never to reveal Masonic secrets, and they bind themselves under blood curdling penalties if they dishonor this oath… Furthermore, the Masonic oath is taken before one even receives the secrets that he is swearing never to reveal. We must be fully aware what we are swearing to, lest we be guilty of rashness… Finally, one cannot separate the oath from implicit involvement in the religious teaching of the lodge. If an oath means anything it is full identification of a person with the group to which the oath has bound him. Masonic authorities and the ritual do not take oaths lightly; the Bible doesn’t either.”
VI. Members of Freemasonry and Greek Letter Organizations perform rituals and recite prayers to gods who are not the God of the Bible. This is a dangerous practice that amounts in many cases to occultism. Christians who become blood brothers with non-Christians are unequally yoked and participate in the sin of the non-Christian. Participation in secret societies encourages favoritism. Participation in these secret societies becomes a way to receive special treatment from well-to-do “brothers.”
VII. Natural Treasure was a movie starring Nicolas Cage. The movie makes many references to Freemasonry, and promotes the idea that the United States was founded by Freemasons.
VIII. Another elite secret society is the Knights of Malta, which has separate Catholic and Protestant branches. Its members come from the upper echelons of society. The Catholic Knights of Malta (link) is headquartered in Rome, is a member of the United Nations, and has diplomatic relations with over 100 nations. Rick Joyner, founder of Morningstar Ministries, explains why he joined the Protestant order of the Knights of Malta:
“In 1987 I met a man from one of the old noble families of Eastern Europe. His family had owned a large and prosperous industry before the communist takeover in their country. In a conversation with him, I was told about an extraordinary order of knights who were keeping alive the vision of chivalry and the defense of Christianity, and were waging a brave fight to reclaim what had been lost to the enemies of the cross. He explained that you could not join this order, but had to be recommended and proven to be true of the most stringent biblical standards of morality and integrity, and have risked your life for the sake of the gospel. I was very intrigued, and decided to research this order called “The Knights of Malta.”…Over the next couple of years, I often traveled through Europe, and was surprised to find many who still revered the famous Knights of Malta. I became convinced that, even though the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual, there was a desperate need for such courageous souls to again band together and vow to retreat no further before the enemies of the cross. I saw many parallels in the history of the Knights of Malta, who are also called the Order of St. John (OSJ), with what I had been shown prophetically in the vision I was given about the coming harvest and the struggle that much of the world was about to face.”
Just what Christianity needs: rich and powerful secret soldiers to defend the honor of Jesus Christ against the anti-Christian hordes! Wouldn’t it be a great idea (link) to form a religious worldwide organization to resolve the worlds knotty problems and to promote religious understanding?