Can you be a “Christian Freemason?”

Can you be a “Christian Freemason?”

In the last year I have come across a growing number of people bearing the name Christian and at the same time accepting active freemasonry within the same breath. My hope with this blog is to provide the reader with intelligent, organized, and biblical information in order to measure the teachings of freemasonry against the Word of God.

‘Universal Brotherhood’ Day – 24th June – “Freemasonry has no dogma or theology. It offers no sacraments. It teaches that it is important for every man to have a religion of his own choice and to be faithful to it in thought and action. As a result, men of different religions meet in fellowship and brotherhood under the fatherhood of God. A good Mason is made even more faithful to the tenets of his faith by his membership in the Lodge.”

Please take the time to read through the entire blog; the materials used are from freemasonries own primary recognized authorities. Please also take the time to review the three hours of video both at the top and bottom of this blog. There are also several testimonies at the end of the blog that were used with permission.

The Religion of Freemasonry

By Elder Wayne Peters

The Church of Jesus Christ has historically not accepted for membership anyone who is currently a member of a secret order. Similarly, the Church has withdrawn fellowship from any member who became a member of a secret order unless, after appropriate labor with the erring brother or sister, the secret order membership was renounced.

The secret order most often encountered is the Masonic lodge and its various branches including the Masons, Scottish Rites, Shriners, Eastern Star, Demolays and Rainbow Girls. Therefore, this study deals primarily with why a person cannot consistently belong to both the Church and the Masonic lodge. The same scriptural principles would apply to other secret orders.

Historical Position of the Church

The historical practice of the Church in not allowing within its fellowship members of secret orders such as the Masonic lodge is well documented. The Kehukee Association, which consisted of churches from which many present day Primitive Baptist churches derived, took action on this issue on May 20, 1786. Its action is documented in the following extract from the Association’s minutes:

“At this Association it was held to be disorderly to hold communion with a Church member who frequented a Free-Mason Lodge.”

Sylvester Hassell, in his work History of The Church of God, documents other declarations and actions taken by Primitive Baptists of various states recognizing that it is unscriptural and disorderly for church members to belong to the Masonic lodge. These actions were generally taken in the early part of the nineteenth century.

While some other Baptist orders have also taken a scriptural stand against church members belonging to the Masonic Lodge, the sad fact is that today many call themselves both Baptists and Masons.

The Secrecy of Freemasonry

The Masonic lodge system is clothed in secrecy. In fact, one of the earliest oaths taken by an initiate into Freemasonry includes the following:

“I furthermore promise and swear I will not communicate the grand Masonic word except in the way and manner in which I received it and then only in a low breath. To all of which I solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to keep and perform the same without any equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion of mind in me whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken thence and with my body burned to ashes and those ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven so that there might remain name, trace nor remembrance no more forever of so vile a wretch as I… .” Jesus condemned such oaths:

Matthew 5:36 – Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

This condemnation of oaths like those required of Masons was recognized in the London Confession of Faith of 1689 in Chapter 23, Of Lawful Oaths and Vows: “The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.

(Matthew 5:34-37; James 5:12; Hebrews 6:16; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Nehemiah 13:25) God’s word not only prohibits such oaths, but also includes specific instruction regarding things taught and practiced in secret:

Ephesians 5:11,12 – And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

A practical consideration of the secrecy of Freemasonry (as if we knew none of the secrets) discloses the inconsistency of Freemasonry and membership in the true Church. For example, Christ says that his people are not to live secret lives, but rather they are to live open lives giving testimony to him:

Matthew 5:14-16 – Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

God’s children are to let their light shine in the praise of their glorious Lord through a life of open obedience. Openness is a part of the Church and worship. In fact, what good motivation could a church member have for participation in secret activities? Jesus said:

John 3:20-21 – For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The principle of this text is clear: Those with evil motivations desire secrecy; those with good motivations desire light. Since God’s children are to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), they should not participate in activities that are secret and give the appearance that such activities are not Godly and cannot be done in the light!

Scripture condemns secrecy as contrary to the instruction of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel has no secret parts or portion. The secrecy of Freemasonry is contrary to the clear example and instruction of scripture, and this factor alone should be enough to cause God’s children to have no fellowship with the secret teachings and activities of Freemasonry.

God’s children are to live in obedience to the instruction of scripture, not some secret creed; and they are to allow nothing to be exalted above what God has revealed in His Word:

Deuteronomy 29:29 – The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Romans 16:26 – But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

2 Corinthians 10:5 – Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; God has revealed the Word to his children in the scriptures; are the secrets of Freemasonry superior and more authoritative than God’s word so that they must be guarded in secrecy?

Freemasonry and the Bible

Masons treat the Holy Bible as a mere “symbol” of the will of God, and for this reason they accept any “holy book” on their altar. This fact is declared in the Freemasons own recognized authorities (all references to books describing Freemasonry are to Freemasonry’s own recognized authorities and none are from books or writings that are being analytical or critical of Freemasonry

“The Bible is used among Masons as a symbol of the will of God, however it may be expressed. And therefore, whatever to any people expresses that will, may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a Masonic Lodge

Thus in a Lodge consisting of Jews, the Old Testament alone may be placed upon the altar. And the Turkish Masons can make use of the Koran, whether it be the Gospel of the Christian, the Old Testament to the Jew, or the Veda to the Brahman, it conveys the same idea, the will of God to man.” Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.

“The prevailing Masonic opinion is that the Bible is only a symbol of divine will, law or revelation, and not that its contents are divine law, inspired or revealed.” Henry Wilson Coil, Masonic Encyclopedia, page 520.

“Masonry propagates no creed except it’s own most simple sublime one; that universal religion, taught by nature and reason.” Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma, page 718.

“The Book of the Law shall be an indispensable article of the lodge furniture. This book, however, need not necessarily be the Holy Bible; but according to the religious faith of the members of the lodge. It may be the Koran, the Zend Avesta, or the Vedas or Shasters.” The Freemasons Pocket Companion, pages 4445. Thus, Freemasonry denies that the Bible is the inspired word of God! To make Freemasonry acceptable to persons of all faiths, it treats the Bible as just one among many acceptable religious books, and by doing so denies that the Bible is the only rule of faith and practice for God’s children. The Bible is treated as merely a “symbol” of God’s will along with many other books. If the Bible is only a symbol of God’s will, then to the Mason the art of the lodge is above the revelation of God’s will as set forth in the Scriptures. This is contrary to the clear teaching that scripture is the inspired word of God and there is nothing above it:

2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: God’s children are to beware of any teaching that is contrary to scripture, and certainly any teaching that claims to be superior to God’s Holy Word falls within that category:

Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Freemasonry and Christ

Freemasonry does not recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Rather, rather it denies the diety of Christ and relegates Him to being just another bearer of part of the light of the “religion” of Freemasonry:

“The true Mason is not creedbound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth.” Manly P. Hall, 33rd, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, page 65, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co. Richmond, Va.,1976.

“It [Masonry] reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the lawgiver to the Jews, in Confucius and Zoroaster, in Jesus of Nazareth, and in the Arabain Iconclast, 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 characteristics as his creed and truth require.” Albert G. Mackey Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Revised Edition, 1921, page 525.

“We do not undervalue the importance of any Truth. We utter no word that can be deemed irreverent by anyone of any faith. …And as little do we tell the sincere Christian that Jesus of Nazareth was but a man like us, or His history but the unreal revival of an older legend.” Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, page 524. Contrary to the teaching of Freemasonry, the Bible teaches that Jesus is the Christ, and the only Saviour and Son of the true and living God:

1 Corinthians 8:6 – But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1 John 2:22 – Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

The Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ and the only Son of God, and Freemasonry teaches that Jesus is just one of many bearers of light. With this blatent inconsistency of belief, how can one claim to be both a Christian and a Freemason? The fact is that he can’t without being totally inconsistent in both belief and practice, for the truths of Christianity and and the beliefs of Freemasonry are totally inconsistent and incompatible!

The Religion of Freemasonry

To better understand why members of the Church cannot consistently belong to a Masonic lodge, it is important to have some understanding of what Freemasonry is and what it teaches.

First, and foremost, Freemasonry is a religion. Most Masons contend that Freemasonry is not a religion, claiming instead that it is a “fraternal order” or a social order for personal improvement which engages in benevolent work. However, as discussed more fully below, the argument that Freemasonry is not a religion is refuted by the officially prescribed activities and creeds of the lodge. While Freemasonry may not be a religion in name, it is certainly one in creed and practice.

The religion of Freemasonry is a secret religion which teaches that good works and activities as taught by Freemasonry are the way to heaven. This works religion is contrary to the doctrines of grace taught by the Word of God and held by the true Church.

The Bible teaches that there is but one gospel, and that any teaching contrary to the one true gospel is subject to God’s curse. Church fellowship is not to be maintained with anyone who, after they have been labored with in love, teaches or adheres to doctrine contrary to the one true gospel of Jesus Christ:

Galatians 1:6-9 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

2 John 1:10 – If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

Titus 3:10 – A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

The Greek word translated “accursed” in Galatians 1:6-9 is “anathema” which means a religious ban or excommunicated thing or person. Those who teach and adhere to doctrine contrary to the doctrine of scripture are to be banned or excummunicated. Of course, this should only occur after appropriate labor in accordance with the instruction of scripture and in a spirit of love.

If anyone can understand why a person cannot simultaneously be a member of the Baptists and the Mormons, or the Church of God and the Catholic Church, or any two religious bodies that are totally inconsistent in doctrine and practice, then they should be able to easily understand why a person cannot at the same time be a member of the true Church and the Masonic lodge! A person simply cannot in good faith subscribe to two different religious beliefs when they are so diametrically opposed to each other.

The Opinion of Freemasonry’s Authorities

Freemasonry is a religion. While those who want to be active in both Freemasonry and the Church may argue otherwise, the fact that Freemasonry is a religion is asserted by Freemasonry’s own and most widely accepted authorities:

Albert Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry:

“The religion of Freemasonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend the Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation handed down to us from some ancient and patriarchial priesthood–in which all men may agree and in which no men can differ.” (Page 641) Henry Wilson Coil, Masonic Encyclopedia:

“Freemasonry has a religious service to commit the body of a deceased brother to the dust whence it came and to speed the liberated spirit back to the great Source of Light. Many Freemasons make this flight with no other guarantee of a safe landing than their belief in the religion of Freemasonry.” Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma:

“It [Masonry] reverences all the great reformers. It sees Moses, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus of Nazareth, … 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.” (Page 525).

“Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahman, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion.” (Page 226) The above statements from authorities accepted and approved by Freemasonry clearly document that Freemasonry is a religion and is considered as such by knowledgeable Masons.

When Masons assemble together, they meet in a “temple” to offer “prayers” to the “Great Architect of the Universe”; and “kneel” at the “sacred altar” to engage in their “sacred vows”. On the “sacred altar” is a “Volume of Sacred Law” which can be a Bible, a Koran or any other holy book. What more could be required before an assembly could accurately be referred to as a religion?

Freemasonry As A Works System

The religion of Freemasonry is a works system which teaches that man earns an eternal home in heaven by his good works. Freemasonry teaches that “conduct which is essentially necessary to …gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge Above” (See 3. Initiation Lambskin below).

There is not a single mention of Jesus Christ or salvation by the grace of God in the ritual teaching of Freemasonry! Therefore, the teaching of Freemasonry is contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible that salvation is by grace and not by works:

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Acts 4:10-12 – Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, …Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Evidence From Rituals

The rituals of Freemasonry, when examined in the light of God’s Word, confirm that Freemasonry is a religion, and also that it is a false “works system” of religion. Portions of the Masonic rituals will be discussed below to document this fact!

Initiation Introduction

The initiation ritual for a Freemason discloses this works system. As part of the initiation process, the candidate is introduced to the “Senior Deacon” as follows:

_________, a poor blind Candidate, who desires to be brought from darkness to light; who wishes to receive a part of the rights and benefits of this right worshipful Lodge erected to God and dedicated to the holy Saints John, as many brothers and fellows have done before him. One of the Mason’s own leading authorities on Freemasonry describes this ritual as follows:

“There he stands, without our portals, on the threshold of his new Masonic life, in darkness, helplessness and ignorance. Having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollution of the outer and profane world, he comes inquiringly to our door seeking the new birth and asking a withdrawal of the veil which conceals divine truth from his uninitiated eyes.” Albert Mackey, The Manual of the Lodge, page 20. Freemasons say that they are the light which reveals divine truth, contrary to what Jesus Christ says about himself being the light:

John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus Christ is the source of spiritual light for God’s children, not Freemasonry:

2 Timothy 1:10 – …Our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Initiation Prayer

The initiation prayer for a new Mason, which is offered by the Worshipful Master, is as follows:

“Vouchsafe thine aid, Almighty Father of the Universe, to this our present convention, and grant that this Candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service. Endue him with the competency of thy divine wisdom, that by the secrets of our art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of holiness of thy holy name. Amen.” Notice that it is by the “secrets or our art” that the initiate, who was in darkness but now has the light, can display the beauties of holiness! Is this not contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ that we are to follow him:

John 12:26 – If any man serve me, let him follow me;

Also notice, that this prayer is not in the name of Jesus Christ, as his name is not mentioned in Freemasonry.

The Grand Lodge of the State of Maryland has issued a statement explaining the significance of this prayer, and also disclosing the works system of Masonry:

“Thus, Masonry is a great fellowship of men of all countries and ages who are capable of discovering in the religious teachings of all humanity, some of them crude indeed, the fundamental truth common to them all: that God is the Father of all mankind and all men are brethren, that this principle is worth dying for, and that he who remains steadfast in the service of this ideal may well hope for and expect immortal life.” According to the doctrine of Freemasonry, eternal life can be expected by all men of all religions, if they are Masons who remain steadfast to their Masonic service! They thus obviously have no need for the benefit of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, for they claim to earn eternal life through their secret Masonic arts!

If Freemasonry has a way to eternal life, why should they keep it secret! Why not share it with all? The fact is the lodge has no way to eternal life and has nothing to share with God’s children who through his grace are saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Initiation Lambskin

Upon the completion of the initiation, the new Mason is addressed by the Worshipful Master as follows:

“I’d like to present you, Brother _____, with this lambskin, or white leather apron, which is an emblem of innocence and a badge of a Mason… He therefore who wears a lambskin as a badge of a Mason is continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge Above.” Notice that the Mason is taught that it is “purity of life and conduct” by which one gains admission to heaven; contrary to the teaching of the scriptures that we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Masonic Funeral Service

The standard Masonic funeral service which is recited by fellow masons states:

“Masonry seeks constantly to build the temple of the soul, and thus to fit us for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. When our brother labored with us in Masonic attire, he wore a white apron, which he was taught was an emblem of innocence and a badge of a Mason. By it, he was constantly reminded of that purity of life and that rectitude of conduct so necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge Above.”

Again, as in the other parts of the ritual, at the grave praise is given to the Mason for his good life by which he earned an eternal home. Not one mention is made of the saving work of Jesus Christ. It is adherance to the teachings of Masonry which Freemasonry claims to fit one for heaven; thus denying that salvation is alone by Jesus Christ!

Not one mention is made of the fact that Jesus taught that we are saved by him alone:

John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Titus 3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Ephesians 2:8-10 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The Bible teaches that we get to heaven by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and not by the “secret art” revealed by Freemasonry.

Freemasonry in its oaths and rituals teaches a works system of salvation, and thereby denies that salvation is by the grace of God and through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Those who deny salvation through the Lord Jesus have no right to fellowship in His Church.

The secret practices and doctrines of Freemasonry are contrary to the doctrines of the Bible and the Church. Freemasonry and its teachings conflict with the truth of God’s Word. There are many good men, sincere in their Christian beliefs, who as Masons also hold to beliefs contrary to their Christian beliefs.

It is likely that there are many Masons who do not realize that the teachings of Freemasonry are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Bible. It is important to remember this in dealing with Masons, and to help them to compare the teaching of scripture with the teaching of Freemasonry.

When a child of God is led to a knowledge of the truth of the doctrines of grace, and compares those true doctrines to the teaching of Freemasonry, they should follow the teaching of Jesus and renounce that which is contrary to his Word:

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; …

God’s children who are entangled in the yoke of Freemasonry should repent of their error and follow Jesus’ instruction to “be ye separate.” To do less than this is to deny the clear teaching of Jesus and the Bible!

Testimonies pictured below used with permission:

When what you’re reading in your Bible and what is coming from the pulpits aren’t aligning.

When what you’re reading in your Bible and what is coming from the pulpits aren’t aligning.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:4

As unsettling changes take place in your Christian environment, you might find yourself in this scenario:

  1. In my Christian reading, I get a gritty feeling about a phrase here or a teaching there. Then . . .
  2. I sense that new meanings are being applied to established Christian terms. Then . . .
  3. I find outright heresy in books and/or sermons.
  4. I notice certain names repeated in those sermons or in the endnotes of books.
  5. I voice concern to my minister, but he’s dismissive: “Now, now, we can’t all agree on everything.”
  6. I see acceptance of practices that I’ve discovered are misleading: Eastern wellness techniques . . .
  7. and contemplative prayer . . .
  8. and interspirituality.
  9. But I also wonder if I’m missing out, if I’m not as spiritual as others who are having “experiences.”
  10. I come to realize that I can’t blindly follow authorities; they may be losing their grasp of the Scriptures. I’ll get into the Word for myself, stay connected to the church [the body of Christ] and to the real Jesus.

That gritty feeling

A phrase or idea sounds “off” in a seemingly solid book: “the Christ-thing which has no name.” (John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted); “Our souls are those sacred centers where all is one.” (Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey); “There is nothing wrong . . . with eroticism in worship.” (Tony Campolo, Adventures in Missing the Point)

Same vocabulary, different dictionary

Terms that have traditionally been associated with the church have been infused with new meaning, like: Christ, God, atonement, kingdom, silence, spirituality, meditation, incarnational . . .

Outright false teaching on foundational doctrines

Rob Bell on the virgin birth, Jesus’ deity, truth of Scripture: If “Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archaeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time,” Bell says, we wouldn’t lose any significant part of our faith, since it’s more about how we live. (Velvet Elvis, p. 26)

Brian McLaren on salvation: “I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish contexts.” (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 260)

Alan Jones on the atonement: “The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end . . . [because of] . . . the vindictive God behind it.” (Reimagining Christianity, p. 68.)

Foster, Willard, Peterson, Brueggeman reject the messianic passages in Isaiah, calling them “poetic imagination.” (Renovare Study Bible notes)

Sue Monk Kidd, on goddess worship: “My soul is my own. It is all right for women to follow the wisdom in their souls, to name their truth, to embrace the Sacred Feminine. . . . She is in us.” (


Among those who promote mysticism (some inadvertently) is a pattern in the sources being quoted. Learn to check the endnotes in popular books. Some key names: Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila, Desert Fathers, John of the Cross, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence, Madame Guyon . . .

Dismissive leaders in the local church

The response to your concerns/research: “Well, I haven’t heard about this, so you must be wrong.” Or “That’s a brilliant scholar you’re criticizing!”

Eastern wellness techniques

Yoga (union with the divine), reiki (spirit energy), and mindfulness are brought into our culture from paganism, often somewhat sanitized and/or billed as non-religious. Compare manifestations of kundalini (coiled) yoga and the Toronto Blessing/IHOP movement. Catholic writer Philip St. Romain equates kundalini serpent power to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Contemplative prayer

An integral part of “spiritual formation” disciplines, contemplative prayer (aka centering prayer, abiding prayer, breath prayer, prayer of the heart, Jesus prayer) is described by Richard Foster as: wordless (no content), not for the novice (exclusive), unmediated, and dangerous. Thomas Merton gives the dangers: you could lose your faith, contact a demon, be led into false belief by your own imagination, feel a dread sense that God has abandoned you, or have a mental breakdown. No Scripture prescribes the following ritual to achieve union with the divine: sit quietly, use measured breathing, repeat a phrase over and over for 20 minutes until your mind is empty. Is this altered mental state really the one way to achieve union with God, as mystics claim? . . . Aren’t Christians already covered with the blood of Jesus and indwelled with the Holy Spirit?

One Christian blogger expressed what thousands of proclaiming Christians are coming to believe about meditation: “The ridiculous theological squabblings between adherents of different faiths disappear when the thoughts that produce all that dissension are stilled. Call it centering prayer; call it mantra meditation. The practice is the same, and it brings mystics together under the sheltering tent of wordless reality.”

Interspirituality/Interfaith dialogue

Do these terms mean “doing benevolent work with people of other faiths” or “blending religions”? We’re hearing about Chrislam, Christian Zen, Buddhist Catholics, and demon-invoking ceremonies in churches. Also adopted from paganism and moving into the church are labyrinths, rosaries, monks and monasteries, enforced celibacy, extreme asceticism, visualization, consulting the dead, channeling, and goddess worship.

Missing out on something?

You may begin to question your own faith. Others are having spiritual experiences—seeing lights or spiritual beings, visualizing Jesus for a personal message, feeling an ecstatic unity with all mankind and the universe—all of which can subtly begin to take precedence over the authority of God’s Word and the Lord Jesus.

Naïve acceptance

Perhaps you haven’t felt the need to question Christian study materials until recently. But how are destructive heresies secretly introduced? Why are doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3) associated with asceticism, and how is the church exposed to them? How could demonic doctrines be so clever that the elect [the whosoevers] could be deceived?

Who is “the Christ-thing which has no name”? Would God refer to his Son in that way? What are the implications of “eroticism in worship”? When confronted with several wrongly translated texts in The Message Bible, someone from the publisher dismissed the problem by asking, “Does anyone really know what any of the Bible really means anyway?”


Ironically, a couple of insightful Western Buddhists seem to see the problem better than we do, probably because they understand pagan doctrine. From a Buddhist’s review (2008) of Rob Bell’s popular book: “Velvet Elvis contains enough inconsistencies of logic and violations of orthodox Christian theology to raise the hairs on the back of any well-read and deep-thinking Christian’s neck.” And from a Buddhist blogger to his student on how to convert Christians to Buddhism: “If this information [Merton’s teachings, for example] could be taught in the Seminaries it might start to impact the various preachers 10 or 20 years down the road. This is the angle I’m working. If the preachers are inwardly ‘Buddhists’ in their hearts, then you don’t need to beat your head against the wall dealing with ignorant congregants.”

Take heed that no one deceives you.

This article is from Lynn Lusby Pratt’s blog. Used with permission. Click here to see the source page and also if you want to download the above article and an expanded version of it. Lynn is the author of two Lighthouse Trails booklets.

Contact Understand the Times here or here; follow on YouTube.

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I knew I was invoking something else but I was not aware of how dark it actually was.

I knew I was invoking something else but I was not aware of how dark it actually was.

Part one of……

We will talk about “heaven and God” but we are reluctant, afraid, or even unaware of the very real spiritual warfare and enemy we have. The very one Jesus Christ defeated.  The very one who is after our souls of every human life. The father of lies who will do anything and everything to convince you Jesus Christ isn’t real, and should you realize Jesus is real, satan will surely try to find a way to have you believe in another jesus, or attempt to keep a true believer paralyzed and inoperative.

Early on in life I was in contact with the spiritual realm and while this may seem unreal to many people it is very real and very dangerous.  During my childhood I became very aware of a very large dark silhouette presence in my childhood home.

Now, one might say I just imagined it or perhaps made an “imaginary friend” but this “imaginary friend” woke me up at night because it literally sat on the foot of my bed. I could feel the weight of it as it sat on my bed, so much so that it woke me from my sleep.  I had been playing with a Ouija board that I had hand made. I learned it from the older neighborhood kids. I would go to their homes as a young child and adolescent and their moms would regularly read my tarot cards, tea readings, Ouija boards, and casting sheets were about as normal as stopping at a neighbor’s house to use their bathroom. It was very normal and for the most part most people (still do) regarded these practices as harmless. I recall being at a friends home and standing in front of a mirror with candles lit and chanting. I didn’t know what I was invoking but I certainly knew it wasn’t the Lord, with the numbers 666 written in lipstick on my friends mirror.

I went on to practice the occult on my own and often alone.  I knew I was invoking “something else” but I was not aware of how dark it actually was. Especially after the death of my biological father I had an unusual bout of visitations.  I was not seeking these visitations by what seemed to be “my father” rather they sought me.  These experiences were not able to be explained nor swept under the rug as my imagination.

A handful of years later a group of friends wanted (“just for fun”) to play with the occult and you would think I would’ve said no considering all the ungodly spiritual encounters I had already had– but I missed my dad and wanted to “talk to” him.  So I proceeded to contact my “father” using witchcraft. I truly believed I was in contact with my father. I was certainly and immediately contacted back but it was not my dad, rather a familiar spirit, but I wouldn’t come to realize that until many years later.

I was not born again in Christ yet at this time and I reflect back on these things and see just how much the Lord protected me even when I wanted nothing to do with Him.  While many people look at these occult practices as harmless or “just a phase” I can tell you that doing such things have serious dark spiritual consequences and bring real danger.  

There is a reason the Lord calls these occult practices abominations and detestable and NOT to partake in these things on any level. Deuteronomy 18:10 -11 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, (a necromancer), or one who calls up the dead.”

Today Christianity or “so called” is exactly as described in …. With influences from the East in Isaiah 2:6.

Many of these practices are passed off under the guise of Christianity as “spiritual” and even permissible according to leaders, pastors, people who should have the whole counsel of God and Godly Wisdom. 

According to Scripture they are not permissible and God calls such practices abominations. So how are they practiced and to the undiscerning eye seem ‘good’ and perhaps even ‘holy’?

How does that happen? 

Here are a few of many ways it happens:

  • Shepherds sleeping on the job and leaving the pasture gate open. John 10:12-18
  • Watchmen who are mute dumb dogs and don’t bark. Isaiah 56:10
  • Sheep who prefer to eat weeds instead of green grass. 2 Timothy 4:3
  •  satan who disguises himself as an angel of light, who prowls around seeking whom he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8
  • Biblically illiterate churches. Romans 10:3
  • An overall tossing out of Scripture for an experience based “christianity” which lands people in the counsel of the ungodly and despisers of the knowledge of God.

The occult is alive and well in the churches and it’s not wearing horns and carrying a pitchfork screaming “heyyy ……I am sent from satan!” No, because he disguises himself as an angel of light. And his ministers and workers “appear” righteous. There is a reason Jesus warns of deception and to take heed you are not deceived.

Deception is…. well…. deceptive!

More to come on many of the ways the occult is all intertwined and crept in unaware into the body of Christ.

 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.  

Counterfeit practices in the church and other resources on the occult and new age.

To be continued……….until then ponder this here.