Freemasonry: A Baptist Layman's Charge


                                FREEMASONRY:
                         A Baptist Layman's Charge

              By Marion O. Reed, Editor, Masonic Home Journal


  SURPRISED?  Well I was.  Having been a Mason for 47 years and a Baptist for
more years than that, I was surprised when Informed that a recommendation would
be presented at the 1992 Southern Baptist Convention to appoint an *ad hoc*
committee "to study the Masonic Lodge and report back to the convention in 1993
with a recommendation for action."

    James "Larry" Holly, a physician of Beaumont, Texas, is said to have mailed
a packet of information condemning Freemasonry to 5000 Southern Baptist Conven-
tion leaders and is said to have distributed 5000 additn'l copies to Messengers
(Delegates) at the convention's annual session at the Hoosier Dome  in  Indian-
apolis, June 9-11.

    A synopsis of the motion is as follows: James L. Holley (TX) -- motion to
direct the President elected by the 1992 Southern Baptist Convention to appoint
an ad hoc committee to study all branches of Free Masonry; and to instruct the
ad hoc committee to make their report and recommendations to the 1993 Southern
Baptist Convention.

    The motion as amended:

    Alvin Rowe (FL) moved to amend the motion, referring the study to the
interfaith Witness Department of the Home Mission Board.  The amended
motion reads:

    "The Southern Baptist Convention in annual session June 9-11, 1992
at Indianapolis, Indiana, directs the Interfaith Witness Department of the
Home Mission Board TO STUDY the compatability with Christianity and Southern
Baptist doctrine of the organization known variously as the Masonic Lodge,
Masonry, Freemasonry, and or Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry.  The
study is to encompass any and all branches and/or lodges thereof.  Furthermore
the convention charges the Home Mission Board with the responsibility of
bringing a report with recommendation to the Convention which is to meet in
Houston, Texas, June 1993."

    The amended motion passed.

    Traditionally, Freemasonry has refrained from entering into any discussion
or argument with a religious or political body.  However, the enormity and far
reaching consequences of this proposed "study" of Freemasonry, in my opinion,
makes in necessary for all Freemasons, especially those who are members of
Southern Baptist Churches, to be made aware of what is taking place.

    A booklet (58 pages), produced by Mr. Holly, is a lengthy disertation on
the evils of Freemasonry, calling it a satanic religion and a cult.  He spends
many pages and much rhetoric on this subject, defining the occult, Satan worship
ancient societies and their evil teachings and practices.  He then associates
Freemasonry with these as he takes parts of Masonic ritual and tradition, and
the writings of those whom he deems as Masonic authorities, and uses them for
his purpose.  This booklet is especially critical of the degress of the Scottish
Rite, particularly the 30th degree.  He also cites in lenthy detail the writings
of Albert Pike and Albert G. Mackey's *Encyclopedia of Freemasonry*.

    Mr. Holly's booklet, entitled *The Southern Baptist Convention and Free-
masonry*l, and is designed to appear to be the official position of the Southern
Baptist Convention.  Even the insertion of the logo of his "Mission and Ministry
to Men, Inc.", which, not surprisingly, resembles the SBC logo, might lead the
unsuspecting reader to understand it as actually a Convention Program.