Saturday, January 28, 2006
Josh the Baptist and Freemasonry
Over at Baptist preacher Josh Buice's blog, his put-down of all things Masonic continues. Josh has found himself in theological deep water after being confronted with the question of whether God wants all people to go to Heaven or not. When contradictory Bible verses were pointed out, Pastor Josh replied with this bit of theological sleight-of-hand: "God elects, chooses, picks, and appoints people to Salvation, however, each person must choose Christ in order to be saved."
Here's The Widow's Son's latest response:
My brother Josh,
Practical — Level-headed, efficient, and unspeculative.
Theology — The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.
Discussion — Consideration of a subject by a group; an earnest conversation; the exchange of thoughts, opinions, and feelings; talk.
Your blog here is called "Practical Theological Discussions." Yet, you're hardly being practical — level-headed, or being rational in your inquiry of religion. Nor have our exchanges so far been a "discussion" — in your last post you condescendingly dismissed my inquiry — difficult and important questions — with 1) absurd illogic, 2) a wave-of-the-hand dismissal by saying "off-topic!" and 3) a cop-out by saying, "How dare you imply there are errors!"
Men just like you — trained at Southern Baptist seminiaries to act with zombie-zeal in pushing a brand of Christiantity that rejects logic and and dismisses reality as a nuisance, a brand of Christianity that refuses to answer a true seeker's questions, a brand of Christianity that tries to scare people with Hell and that dangles the carrot of Heaven, but NEVER answers hard questions — are why I left the Baptist church I grew up in and looked for truth, light and meaning in other churches, faiths and practices. I may or may not have found The Answer in those other institutions or schools of thought, but at least there were answers offered.
As a Mason I am taught that we are all brothers, united under the all-seeing eye of Deity. I try not to judge other people too harshly, though sometimes I do. I admit that I find Baptists the most heretical of all Christians. To me, they seem to have abandoned common-sense in their beliefs; theologically and spiritually they rely totally on faith and none on gnosis, or knowledge. The belief that the Bible is inerrant is a strange and heretical and terribly illogical belief. To believe X is true based on the fact that X says it's true while X can be pointed out to be internally inconsist — that it has errors — defies all reason!
I'm under no illusion that anything I've said will change your way of thinking one bit. I don't really care if you change or not. I'm not on a mission from God, like you are.
My Fellow Travelers and I have visited your website the past several days in response to the outlandish lies — yes, lies — you have been spreading about Freemasonry. We have told you that you're wrong; we have offered ourselves as sources of information. You have at your disposal at least three Master Masons, all honorable and knowledgeable men willing to answer almost any question you may have about Freemasonry. The only things we won't share are the grips, signs and tokens of recognition, and the actual wording of rituals (which in some states are still "secrets" only out of tradition), but these are readily available by searching Google.
Instead of taking advantage of this treasurechest of information at your disposal, sent to you by the Great Architect of the Universe, you seem on the one hand to want to proselytize to us — there's that Baptist zealousness again — and on the other hand, to make sure we and other Masons are kept well away from your congregation. Your preconceived ideas — wrong as they are — show that you are less interested in learning and understanding, and more interested in pushing your own beliefs.
If you bother responding to this, please try to do so, just once, without resorting to quoting Bible verses. We've already seen that Bible verses can contradict each other. Tell me what YOU think, not what God and Jesus think (as written in the inerrant but contradictory Bible), and not what Ankerberg and Weldon and Walter Martin think... but what YOU think.
I hope you'll take a look inside your own heart and mind, Brother Josh. Check for logs in your own eyes before trying to pull splinters out of other people's.
The Widow's Son
The Burning Taper
John the Baptist | Josh Buice | Van Buren Baptist Church
Photo of John the Baptist courtesy "History Comes Alive"