Questions by the Southern Baptist Convention


Questions by the Southern Baptist Convention



The following questions have been proposed by the committee of
the Southern Baptist Convention that has been given the
responsibility to investigate Freemasonry as to whether it is
appropriate for Southern Baptists to be members of the
fraternity.  These were sent to Bro. Allen E. Roberts, Executive
Secretary of the Philalethes Society.  He in turn sent me a copy
as well as many others.  I asked his permission to post them
here on the Masonic Section for the Cornerstone Computer Chapter
of the Philalethes Society as many of our Brethren may have
input that may be helpful.  Don't feel that you have to answer
all the questions; answer only those you have sufficient
background.  Also, do to the volume that will be generated,
please mail or fax Bro. Roberts with your answers rather than
putting them in a thread here on the forum.



   Allen E. Roberts

   P.O. Box 70

   Highland Springs, VA  23075-0070

   FAX 804/328-2386



You input may benefit the fraternity.  If I can be of service or
answer any questions for you please feel free to contact me. 
Mark R. Sandstrom, CIS #72406,303.  What follows is from the SBC:



POSSIBLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS



The following questions have been raised by Masonic critics and
I believe must be answered.  While testimonies are good, I must
have documentation from Masonic writers to be able to use in my
report.  I am just getting a good start on my research and
answers to these questions will be most helpful.



1. Is Freemasonry a religion?  This is the crucial issue from
which nearly every criticism of Freemasonry arises.  Every
Masonic Critic cites Albert Pike, who said, "Every Masonic Lodge
is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in
religion." -- MORALS AND DOGMA, p.213.



2. Most Masonic critics cite writers such as Pike for
documentation that Freemasonry is based on -- or is in fact -- a
pagan religion.  They quote him in dozens of places.  How much
of an authority is Albert Pike?  Is his MORALS AND DOGMA used in
Scottish Rite Masonry?  How closely are his discussions on each
degree followed?  How much, if any, of Pike's discussions are
seen as his opinions which Scottish Rite Masons may openly
reject?  Please respond to Jim Shaw's statement that Pike's
"position in Masonry was, and is today, unparalleled, not only
in the United States, but throughout the world (THE DEADLY
DECEPTION, p.63).



3. L. James Rongstad in HOW TO RESPOND TO THE LODGE (St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1977), p.17 says that the
"rediscovered" name of the true God is "Jah-Bul-On."  He claims
this is the Royal Arch Masons' "Trinity" and that "Jah" is an
abbreviation for the Hebrew name of God (Jahweh or Jehovah);
"Bul" is the name for the Assyrian deity Baal; and "On" is the
Egyptian sun god Osiris.  John Ankerberg in, THE SECRET
TEACHINGS OF THE MASONIC LODGE, makes the same charge.  Please
respond to these charges.



4. The Masonic funeral ceremony is especially disliked by many
critics.  Does Masonry teach that all men, regardless of faith
in Jesus Christ, will live forever in the Celestial Lodge Above?
 Masonic critics state this is the impression they receive
during  Masonic funeral ceremonies.



5. How literally do Masons take the Blue Lodge oaths?  How
literally are they supposed to take these oaths?



6. Are all references to Jesus Christ removed from Masonic
rituals?  Are Scripture passages referred to him omitted when
the Bible is read in Lodge meetings?  Masonic critics make this
claim while pointing out that other religious leaders such as
Mohammed or deities such as Orisis are regularly mentioned. 
Please comment on this.



7. Robert A. Morey in THE ORIGINS AND TEACHINGS OF FREEMASONRY
argues that the "Christian interpretation of Freemasonry was the
accepted norm until the later half of the 19th century" (p.17). 
He says that only after the anti-Masonic movement from 1826 to
1836 did Christians leave the Lodge in such numbers that
non-Christian leaders, such as Albert Pike, were able to change
the direction of Freemasonry.  Please comment on this.  Can you
recommend any books from the early 1800s which I might read?



8. One Masonic critic said he read a report in a newspaper that
most of the money collected by Shriners is used for their
temples and meetings with little actually going directly to
Shriner hospitals.



9. In MASONIC PHILANTHROPIES (1991), it is said that Masonic
Philanthropy collected $525 million in 1990.  Explain how this
money was collected and how it was spent.  Are 1991 figures
available?



10.    Explain Prince Hall Masonry, its beginning, growth and
relationship to the Grand Lodges today.



11.    Did a change in the political/relgious atmosphere in England
have anything to do with the creation of the first Grand Lodge
in 1717?



12.    Did Greece ban the Masonic Lodge in 1970 because it was "an
illegal, secret society" as claimed by L. James Rongtad in HOW
TO RESPOND TO THE LODGE (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House,
1977), p.12.  I want to include a section in my report on
attacks or bans against Freemasons in countries such as Spain,
etc.  I heard that the Ayatollah Khomeini had many Masons put to
death when he took control of Iran in 1979.  Is that true?



13.    Was Mason critic Jim Shaw a 33nd degree Mason, "Knight
Commander of the Court of Honor," and "Past Master of all
Scottish Rite bodies" as he claims on the cover of his book THE
DEADLY DECEPTION which he co-authored with Tom McKenney?



14.    Masonic critic Jim Shaw makes a connection between the
legend of Hiram Abiff and the legend of Isis and Osiris.  Both
Hiram Abiff and Osiris were killed and buried with an Acacia
tree to mark the grave.  Shaw quotes Pierson, TRADITIONS OF
FREEMASONRY, p.159, "We readily recognize in Hiram Abiff of the
Egyptians."



15.    Names of well-known Southern Baptist Masons, such as George
W. Truett, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas,
would be helpful.  I do not want to embarrass living Southern
Baptist Masons so do not plan to include there names in the
report unless they agree.