Freemasonry: A Baptist Layman's Charge

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 5,000 Southern Baptist Convention leaders and is said to have distributed 5,000 additional copies to Messengers (Delegates) at the convention's annual session at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, 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, 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.