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.

Fraternally,


The Widow's Son
The Burning Taper

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Photo of John the Baptist courtesy "History Comes Alive"

29 comments:

  1. I have read your post and have found your argument to be truly inspired. It is good to see the Knights of Freemasonry as defenders of what can be described as "True Christianity". I also find it good to see other True Paths to be protected and cared for as well. It is an honor to serve with men such as you in the Craft.
    I have posted my own rant as well. It is long and tedious...as it was meant to be. Hopefully it's length will give the good reverend enough material to make a sermon on to his huddled masses... :)

    Fraternally,
    F. Roy Dean Schlipp

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  2. Response:

    My words will be in bold print below. My God grant you the understanding as you see my response. I hope my position is very clear.

    -------------------------------------------

    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!"
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: I will be glad to “discuss” any detail about Christianity or your view of it as long as we come to the understanding that my final authority is not my own opinion or logic, but rather – The Holy Scriptures. I have no problem quoting the likes of Calvin, Luther, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, or any other brilliant mind of days gone by, but they must never take precedence over Holy Scriptures.
    ----------------------------------------

    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.
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: I am sorry that you have this view of ALL Baptist people. I have ran across some Baptist people like those you have described, but I have not thrown aside the TRUTH as a result. By truth, I mean Holy Scripture – not the Baptist Faith and Message. Again, I publicly agree to answer your HARD questions that you seem to have……and I will do so with a sweet and kind spirit as well. In response to your estimation of my preaching on Hell, have you even heard me preach? Secondly, I do preach about Hell – because the Scriptures tell us about such a place. Jesus spoke more about Hell while in His earthly ministry than He did about Heaven. I never dangle the carrot of Heaven in front of people either, because it is not my carrot to dangle. Salvation is not issued by me nor can I save anyone!
    ----------------------------------------

    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!
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: How can we all be united under one all seeing Deity – if several people worship the true God and others worship nature or some other god? Your use of the term “Heresy” is inappropriate. The term refers to a teaching that denies the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptists do not deny the true gospel of Jesus Christ (death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ). A Mason writes the following in his book, “Hiram, like Jesus, is subjected to three temptations which he withstands. He, like all the other saviors, loses his life in the contest between Right and the Principle of Evil. He lies buried fifteen days in contrast to the three days Jesus is said to have been in the tomb. The manner of his resurrection is dramatically different from all the others. Here, in fact, is a more enlightening example of resurrection than in any of the savior legends (George Steinmetz, The Lost World Its Hidden Meaning, p.156).” How disrespectful of Jesus Christ! Sadly enough, many Masons buy into this lie.

    Regarding the Holy Scriptures:

    It seems that you too have a disrespect for Holy Scripture. Let me ask you this question. Do you have any publication or writing that you can base your life decisions on without wondering if it is accurate? If the Bible is not Holy, Inspired, Infallible, and Inerrant – what do we have to live by? How can our God be revealed? I base my decisions on what the Bible says. God inspired ALL Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) and He preserved it over time. The same God that created the stars of the sky can surely keep a Book without error over time – right?

    Without FAITH there is no Christianity. Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are you saved through FAITH, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of WORKS, lest any man should boast.” You seem to think everything you believe is based upon logic and gnosis, but you never met nor read the first Masons nor what they wrote – you take it by FAITH. How do you know that they are right? You accept it by FAITH. The difference in your FAITH and my FAITH is the foundation upon which is stands. My FAITH stands upon the Holy Scriptures, and your FAITH stands upon what some man said or taught you to believe. See the difference? God INSPIRED the Holy Bible –not Freemasonry.
    ----------------------------------------

    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.
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: As a Christian, I have been commanded by Christ to go out and tell others about Jesus Christ. Read Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15.
    ----------------------------------------

    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.
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: I would like to thank you men for visiting the site and being willing to share answers to my statements. I do not feel that they are lies, since they are all based upon what Masons have written over time. I can quote page number and source of all of my claims about Masonic doctrine.

    I am not out to harm you as individuals, and I want you to understand my motives are pure. I love people, and I care about you as well. I have seen good and well intending individuals get involved in Freemasonry and turn their backs on the truth of God’s Holy Word.

    Regarding your statement – “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.” Can you name one thing that is a lie and I will take it back publicly on my website? I do not want to be in error.
    ----------------------------------------

    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.
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: I want to proselytize ALL people. I have Baptist people in my congregation who are going to Hell involved in religion. Religion, Freemasonry, Baptism, Church Membership etc… all are works of man and have no ability to erase the stain of sin. It is Christ ALONE who has the ability to erase sin – Ephesians 2:8-9! My zealousness is only driven by love for people. I am sorry if I offended you. I have never turned a Mason away from my church. I know of a church in the area that voted to disallow any new members to become members of the church who are practicing Masons, but our church has not taken that position at this time. I will allow anyone to attend our services. Homosexuals, high dollar call girls, drunks, drug pushers, and those who deny God can all attend our services, but the membership is reserved for those who place their faith and trust in Christ ALONE.
    ----------------------------------------

    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.
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: As stated on the website, I must say what things become sound doctrine rather than my own words of wisdom. My words have a way of being sinful and harsh at times, therefore, I must rely upon the Holy Scriptures for my position. I will be happy to speak to you regarding what other men believe, but my final and ultimate position will be based upon the Holy, Infallible, and Inspired Word of God.
    ----------------------------------------

    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.
    ----------------------------------------
    ANSWER: I try to do this on a daily basis. I thank you for your words and comments.

    To God be the glory – Great things He has done!

    Servant of Christ and none other!
    ----------------------------------------


    Fraternally,

    The Widow's Son
    The Burning Taper

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  3. In response to F. Roy Dean Schlipp:

    You said, "It is good to see the Knights of Freemasonry as defenders of what can be described as 'True Christianity'."

    I am sorry that you believe that Freemasonry is where TRUE Christianity is found. I hope you do come to your senses regarding the TRUTH.

    Freemasonry is concerned with seeking the light. In John chapter 12, you will see that Jesus Christ is the true light and it is He that you must turn to for TRUE Christianity. Jesus says in John 14:6 that HE is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE - no man cometh unto the FATHER but by HIM. Nowhere is the "craft" or any mixture of Freemasonry mentioned in Holy Scripture.

    God Bless and May you see the true LIGHT of life - Christ Jesus and Him alone!

    Josh Buice
    For the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ

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  4. Thank you for joining us over here at the Burning Taper, Pastor Josh. We welcome you here, and appreciate your willingness to help us understand the Baptist mind, its usual intolerance of, and its zeal to attack, views that disagree.

    For much of my life I've wanted to have a Baptist theologian who would answer some of my questions.

    My first question has to do with "the Holy Scriptures." Given what we know about how the individual books came to be written, how they were preservered for three to six hundred years or so before they were put together in a "Bible" form, and what we know about the men who decided what to keep, what to edit, and what to ignore, and who was behind it -- the Emperor Constantine -- why do you think no error or contradiction or even heresy crept into the pages? Do you base your opinion on historical facts, on a general faith, or on a specific faith that because one of Paul's letters says "this is true" that everything that came to be the Bible is true? What, then, after it was stapled together as "the Bible"? Can the Catholic priests who held it for 1200 years before Gutenberg printed it be trusted to have kept it safe from the editor's pen? And then, the translation in English? No errors there, either?

    As I said in previous posts, I respect the Bible, which is called the Book of the Sacred Law in Freemasonry. But I do not -- and this a personal belief, not a Masonic one -- think that it is inerrant. If it is, why are there so many footnotes and margin notes saying, "other sources say...."?


    The Widow's Son

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  5. The Widow’s Son,

    The reason I believe that Freemasonry disrespects the Holy Bible is because of those things I find in print from Masons:

    --------------------
    Disrespect For The Bible
    Many Lodges open business and meet together with an open Bible, but they never read or study from the Bible. It is mostly a smoke screen for the true teachings of Freemasonry. The true doctrines of Freemasonry disrespect the Word of God.

    “The Holy Bible as the Word of God is no better or worse than any other holy book (Ed Decker, The Masonic Lodge What You Need To Know, Quick Reference Guide. See Also: Albert Mackey, 33rd Degree, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 133.).”

    “The Bible is a piece of Lodge furniture, a great symbolic “light” upon which the candidate obligates himself to Masonry (Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 90,I:133; 51,I:132) See also: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts On The Masonic Lodge. p. 63.”

    “The Bible is only a symbol for the will of God (Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 95:520) See also: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts On The Masonic Lodge. p. 63-64.”

    “The Scriptures of other faiths are equally valid for the Mason (Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 96,I:133) See also: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts On The Masonic Lodge. p. 64.”

    “The Bible is only part of the “revelation” of God (Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 81:3) See also: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts On The Masonic Lodge. p. 64-65.”

    “The Bible is not the literal Word of God is not to be literally obeyed (Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 51,I:129; see 95:520) See also: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts On The Masonic Lodge. p. 65.”

    “Masonic doctrine itself is the true (literal) word of God (Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 16:335-336; see 16:341-42) See also: John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Fast Facts On The Masonic Lodge. p. 65-66.”

    --------------------

    I will attempt to answer your question regarding the Holy Scriptures below:

    I. Inspiration:
    2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God. That word, “Inspiration” means – God breathed. It was not just Paul’s Words, but other texts that He was referring to when He penned the letter to Timothy – most likely the Old Testament Scriptures. To be a member of the Sanhedrin you would have to have the Old Testament memorized, and Paul was a member – and He loved the Word of God.


    II. Preservation
    Not only did God inspire the Word, but He preserved it as well. What good would it be for God to inspire His Word for a short period of history, and then allow it to be corrupted? If God’s Word has been corrupted, how do we come to know our God? How do we rely upon what the Bible tells us in ANY area – if corruption has taken place? Wouldn’t you agree that the same God who created the Rocky Mountains, the lush plains, and the beautiful stars has the power to preserve Holy Scripture? I think so!


    III. Printing Process
    The printing process involved much pain, anguish, and even death of those who sought to get the truth out to the people.

    Scribes would dedicate themselves in the early days to copying the pages of papyrus until the printing press was invented – and then things moved along much faster. In the ancient manuscripts, we find scribal errors – and we find other scribes coming along behind them on the next copy only to correct those mistakes. These errors were most likely due to sleep deprivation, or lack of light. It should be noted that no doctrinal errors or corruptions took place in this process. These scribes developed styles that allowed them to count words and letters in order to make sure no errors were made. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the New Testament was complied in Greek.

    Out of the literally thousands of copies made by the hands of scribes before AD 1500, we have 5,300 copies on file for study purposes. That means, the words of Holy Scripture have been preserved better than the writings of Plato, Caesar, and Aristotle.

    In 1455, the Bible became the first book to be published with moveable type – Gutenberg Press – LATIN BIBLE.

    In 1525, William Tyndale translates the New Testament from Greek into English, but could not get approval in England. He moves to Germany and smuggled Bibles there in sacks of corn. In 1535, Tyndale publishes part of the Old Testament which was translated from Hebrew. In 1536, Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake. Tyndale’s translation was used to compile the King James Version.

    IV. The Compiling Process
    Throughout history different councils were held which “recognized” the books that were inspired – they did not select them! It was very obvious in these councils that specific books were not inspired. For instance, in the Apocrypha – which the Catholic Church includes, but we don’t recognize – none of the books are written by an Apostle or assistant to the Apostle. None of the books contain phrases that are directly cited in another New Testament book etc…. so it becomes easy to dismiss these books as non-inspired. A very strict set of criteria was complied for this recognition process, and it became obvious to those involved which books were not inspired.

    V. My Faith:
    I do have faith in the inspiration and preservation of Holy Scripture. It seems that the attack on Holy Scripture was persistent throughout history, but it didn’t prevail. I say again, why would God allow His Word to be inspired for only a period of history? What about those who would follow? Isn’t the same God who created the universe capable of preserving His Word? YES – He is! My faith is not a blind faith, but one that has been tried with fire through a process of study and debate over the years.

    When I became a Christian, I chose the Baptist church because I studied all denominations to discover what they believe. When I saw the belief systems of other denominations, it became obvious that the Baptist church believed right. I did not choose it because I was raised there or because my family insisted upon it, or because of blind faith – I studied and prayed – and God led me to remain in the Baptist church after I was saved. I was a lost hell bound church member that became a Christian at 25 years old – only after I had been involved in religion my entire life. I am forever grateful for the Holy Scriptures for the truth they contain!

    I hope I answered your questions!

    Josh Buice

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  6. Unicorns with multiple horns are inspired, that's for sure.

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  7. Josh said: I hope I answered your questions!

    I say: Er... sorry, but no. You didn't convince me. You didn't offer anything of substance, just a lot of faith and warm fuzzy ideas that mortal men were "guided" to not screw anything up relative to the Bible.

    I guess I shouldn't have expected more, though. It's just that I'd always hoped someone would convince me. You know, dazzle me with logic. Maybe I'm just incapable of understanding.

    Here's what I heard:

    Your point #1 — Paul (a reformed Christian-killer, if I remember my Sunday School lessons) said it.

    Your point #2 — How could it not be true? Using reverse logic, you say that because the Rocky Mountains exist, God could easily preserve holy scripture. How about, the Catholic Church kept the documents close to their vests, while burning every competing document they could lay there hands on, destroying hundreds if not thousands of historical and religious texts?

    Your point #3 — Hundreds or thousands of scribes working in the dark or with oil lamps over 1200 years made sure nothing ever stayed written wrong for long.

    Your point #4 — Councils of enlightened holy men "recognized" which books were holy and which were not. Sounds just like the way the Catholic Chuch says the Pope is chosen... they just KNOW who it should be. Who were these men? How do you know none of them had ulterior motives? Why did they almost immediately after binding the books together as the Bible use these now-official books to justify 1000 years of brutal torture and murder of men, women and children that the Church considered heretics?

    Your point #5 — You believe it.

    As Spooky Mulder's poster said, "I want to believe." But unfortunately, on the evidence you've presented, I can't.


    — The Widow's Son

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  8. Again, let me point out that I do not speak for all Masons, and there is no "official Masonic doctrine." The closest you could get to finding official doctrine would be the Masonic Code books issued by individual Grand Lodges. Books you (or Ankerberg, Weldon and Martin) may have read were written by Masons on their own, trying to understand what they believed were the messages of Freemasonry, colored by their own particular interests and ways of looking at things. Do Ankerberg, Weldon and Martin SPEAK for Christianity, or are their books merely THEIR interpretation of what THEY believe to be Christianity's message?

    Josh said: Many Lodges open business and meet together with an open Bible, but they never read or study from the Bible. It is mostly a smoke screen for the true teachings of Freemasonry. The true doctrines of Freemasonry disrespect the Word of God.

    I say: Your first sentence is true. The second sentence is some non-Mason's opinion. Is there not a Bible in a courtroom, or in Congress, yet is never or seldom read from?

    You said: “The Holy Bible as the Word of God is no better or worse than any other holy book."

    I say: The Book of Sacred Law most revered by the particular group of men meeting is what is placed on the Holy Altar in a Masonic lodge. If the lodge was mostly made up of Jewish men, the Torah would be there; if of Muslims, the Koran. In the USA, the Holy Bible is on the Holy Altar in most lodges. Freemasonry is world-wide. Why should a lodge in Muslim Turkey use a Bible? It isn't their Sacred Book.

    You said: “The Bible is a piece of Lodge furniture, a great symbolic “light” upon which the candidate obligates himself to Masonry.”

    I say: True. What's your point?

    You say: “The Bible is only a symbol for the will of God.”

    I say: True. Again, what's your point? I'm assuming the word "only" bothers you? It's Mackey's word, not mine, and not Freemasonry's. Again, in a lodge, the point is not the discussion of religion, or to read from a Bible. The Bible is there, reminding the Mason of the Word of God, given as the rule and guide.

    You said: “The Scriptures of other faiths are equally valid for the Mason.”

    I say: True. Again... what IS your point? Masonry is NOT about religion. It's not a Baptist Mason's job to try to convert other Masons to Baptist-ism or any other demonination or faith. What you and your favorite writers Ankerberg, Weldon and Martin just don't seem to get is that Freemasonry isn't meant to be an organization that has its members sit down and read Bible verses, any more than the Optimist Club that begins with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance is.

    You said: “The Bible is only part of the “revelation” of God.”

    I say: Mackey must have believed that, if you say he wrote it. It's not an issue in Freemasonry; it's simply not discussed. Personally, I think God reveals Himself in a multitude of ways. Like in the grandeur of those Rocky Mountains you mentioned in your previous comment.

    You said: “The Bible is not the literal Word of God is not to be literally obeyed.”

    I say: Again, Mackey wrote what Mackey believed. It's not a Masonic teaching.

    You said: “Masonic doctrine itself is the true (literal) word of God.”

    I Say: Ibid. See above. You're beating a dead horse. Mackey's book isn't "doctrine," it's Mackey's opinion. Not scripture. Not handed down from On High. It's just his opinion.


    --The Widow's Son

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  9. I love the conversation.

    The same church that preserved the word for 1500 years is the same church that burned men and woman for alleged trysts with the devil, and the same church that sold absolution to sin, and the same church that esatblished an orthodoxy in the way people worshiped and recieved the LOGOS of God.

    But it has been kept in a tight and Godly controlled environment free from edits and changes. I think the mistakes from the KJV to the NIV are glaring to the potential for flaws in the text.

    But then, these are the same people who condone our present war as being "Godly".

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  10. Just foudn this...

    From Pastor Buice's blog. Maybe this is old news but Burrows, Lansing - President of the Southern Baptist Convention (1914-1916), secretary of the SBC from 1881-1913, and pastor of 8 Southern Baptist churches was a Freemason.

    Maybe they missed that or just changed their mind on Freemasons after Br. Lansing was in office.

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  11. OK, sorry to blow this up. here are a "few more" Baptist SBC masons.

    Carroll, B. H. - First president of Southwestern Seminary and instrumental in the creation of the Department of Evangelism of the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

    Hamilton, William W. - Named the Southern Baptist Convention's Home Mission Board's first head of the Department of Evangelism in 1906. He served as president of Baptist Bible Institute (BBI), now the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, from 1927to 1943. While president, he saved BBI from bankruptcy in 1932 when the school defaulted on $353,000 in bonds. President of the SBC from 1940 to 1942.

    Hobbs, Herschell Harold (d. 1995). - An ordained Southern Baptist minister for 69 years, he wrote at least 147 books and Bible commentaries used in Southern Baptist churches. He preached more than 700 sermons on the syndicated radio program, the "Baptist Hour" between 1958 and 1978. He was president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1961-63. He was raised a Master Mason in Siloam Lodge No. 276 in Oklahoma City at the age of 54, which was during his first term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He became a Scottish Rite Mason in 1966 while a preacher on the "Baptist Hour".

    Lawrence, J. B. - Vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention and Secretary-Treasurer of the Home Mission Board for 30 years.

    Baylor, Robert E. B. - Founder of Baylor University, Texas' first Baptist college

    Bellamy, Francis J. - The Baptist Minister who created America's Pledge of Allegiance

    McCall, Abner V. - President, Chancellor and President-Emeritus of Baylor University in Texas, he also served as the First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-80) and a long-time leader of the Organization of Baptist Colleges and Universities. He wrote "In thousands of meetings of Freemasons and of Baptists stretching back 60 years, I have seen nothing that made my belief and work in the Fraternity of Freemasons incompatible with my belief and work as a member of a Southern Baptist church."

    Newton, Louie D. - President of the Southern Baptist Convention; Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance; served 27 years on the SBC Executive Committee.

    Truett, George W. - Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas (1897-1944); President of the Southern Baptist Convention; President of the Baptist World Alliance.

    Wesberry, James P. - Pastor of the Morningside Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia for 31 years; Recording Secretary of the Georgia Baptist Convention for 20 years. Died in 1992.

    White, William - President of Baylor University 1948-1961; Executive Secretary and later President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

    Maybe they infultrated the ranks?

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  12. John the Baptist is a personal hero of mine as well as a central figure in Free Masonry.

    I believe he is probably one of the most under-rated, misunderstood and truly insightful figures of Christianity. And yet, his message, for all of John's barbary ways (as some might characterize them) speak to a personal relationship with God that is lost in some sectors.

    In the Craft, I find inspiration in the brethren, and I admire the enlightened ways of the hfraternity.

    Thank you for a thoughtful insight, brother.

    TBC
    Jim Purcell

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  13. While wandering through the Baptist Bloggers links from Brother Josh's main blog page, I ended up at a survey site that promised to tell me what kind of religionist I am. The results, for what they're worth, show that I scored in the top 96 percentile, or maybe it was the bottom 4 percentile — I'm not sure how the scale actually works, other than I'm as far away from being a "fundamentalist" as one can get. I didn't need a survey to tell me THAT!

    Try it yourself and tell us what the survey says you are!

    You scored as Emergent/Postmodern.

    You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

    Emergent/Postmodern 96%
    Classical Liberal 86%
    Modern Liberal 61%
    Roman Catholic 57%
    Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 43%
    Charismatic/Pentecostal 25%
    Neo orthodox 21%
    Reformed Evangelical 14%
    Fundamentalist 0%

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  14. In response:

    First of all, if Freemasonry is not a religious movement - why do you have a "HOLY ALTER"? Who are you reverencing at this alter?

    Secondly, I must say that your view of God's Word is very sad. You see, the truth being known, you don't have a book that can be named where God revealed Himself? That only took place in the Holy Bible.

    My point was that the same God who spoke the Rocky Mountains into existence is the same God who can preserve His Word over time.

    The Bible is not just like any other book. The Koran or other religious writing does not reveal truth – and they do not reveal the true and Living God – as the Bible does. Therefore, when Freemasons are linked together in a fraternal organization with others and forced to reverence the Koran or another religious writing based upon the majority population – that brings dishonor and disrespect to God! Again – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18!

    The SBC has not spoken out against Freemasonry. I am going out on a limb based on my understanding of the organization and on what the Word of God says! I am not a slave to the SBC – I am a slave to Christ my King! Big difference! Therefore, I don’t care if every SBC president was a Mason – I am not a Mason – and I want to show people the truth. Just because Grandpa and Daddy were Masons – that does not make it right! It is time we turn to an absolute for direction – the absolute being the Bible!

    May God grant us peace and mercy as we make a decision on Freemasonry.

    Josh Buice
    Servant of Christ Jesus

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  15. I just posted this to our favorite reverend... Thought he might like it. You got him pretty good with your last posts. Why is he removing posts???

    Jesus' teenage years are missing. So are his twenty something years. In fact, there is absolutely no word in the Bible or any other text from the middle east of his whereabouts until the age thirty. There are documents in Tibet however and travelers have seen them. It's that simple. Yes, Jesus is the only begotten son of God but he is not the only son or daughter of God. The Bible used to say that until it was changed to "children of God." There is a path of mastery that needs to be walked. Jesus walked it. Did he ever! His training and mission took him to Persia, India and Tibet.We are intended to 'walk in his footsteps,' maybe not to those countries but we are supposed to become the master and 'put on the mind of Christ,' and 'do greater works than He,' as Jesus and the disciples admonished us to do.
    How do you do that? It's best to start early, with the best education from parents and institutions. If the parents have the awareness to tap into the esoteric mysteries of one or more of the major religions and transmit that to the child, then that will be of inestimable value down the road for the soul. What a blessing if the teenage years could be spent in pursuit of spiritual advancement. Jesus knew that. He went to India and Tibet to preach and continue his education. There were some things Joseph and Mary just weren't able to teach him, like advanced mantras and meditations using the third eye ('if thine eye be single then thy whole body be full of light.') and of course everybody's favorites, walking on water and rising up into the sky. All these things adepts in India and Tibet have been known to do. Where it might take a normal disciple years and maybe lifetimes to learn these "miracles," I'm sure Jesus learned them in record time.
    Calm down Christian fundamentalist person out there. I can feel a disturbance in the force. The path to mastery in all esoteric traditions involves the calming of the feeling world. You will be happy to learn that Jesus also preached to the Zoroastrians, the Jains and Hindus, probably even Buddhists too. He chastised the priests for keeping the sacred mysteries from their flock. He warned them of the perversions in the caste system and generally admonished people that the one God dwelt above and within. He taught Bhakti Yoga before he even knew what it was. (It is the path of Divine Love. Ramakrishna and Yogananda were exemplars of this path.) The Hindus knew this as they witnessed and felt the love flowing forth from his heart chakra. Above all else, Jesus teaches love and forgiveness, not a placid or meek love nor a sad love as depicted in many pictures; but a dynamic love, always proactive and vigilant.
    Many people have seen or have been told of the evidence in Tibetan books. Their stories are all documented in one book, The Lost Years of Jesus by Elizabeth Clare Prophet (including all of Notovitch's book). Nicholas Notovitch, the Russian gentleman below, was one of the first.

    In 1894 he published a book, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ (see link below). He almost didn't get to see the texts as he was refused at first. But as luck would have it he had to return to the monastery because of a broken leg. The world become enriched by that 'lucky' fate. Here is a quote from Notovitch in Lost Years of Jesus. A lama speaks ...
    "Issa [Jesus] is a great prophet, one of the first after the twenty-two Buddhas. He is greater than any one of all the Dalai Lamas, for he constitutes part of the spirituality of our Lord. It is he who has enlightened you, who has brought back within the pale of religion the souls of the frivolous, and who has allowed each human being to distinguish between good and evil. His name and his acts are recorded in our sacred writings. And in reading of his wondrous existence, passed in the midst of an erring and wayward people, we weep at the horrible sin of the pagans who, after having tortured him, put him to death." ...
    "Where are these writings now to be found? And by whom were they originally written down?" I asked.
    "The principal scrolls, whose compilation was effected in India and Nepal at different epochs, proportional to the events, are to be found at Lassa to the number of several thousands. ..." pp. 154-155
    Notovitch copied down notes as an interpreter read from the scrolls in a monastery at Ley, the capital of Ladak. Here are some highlights:
    "The Life of Saint Issa"
    Chapter V
    1. "In the course of his fourteenth year, the young Issa [Jesus], blessed of God, came on this side of Sind and established himself among the Aryas in the land of God.
    2. "Fame spread the reputation of this marvelous child throughout the length of northern Sind, and when he crossed the country of the five rivers and the Rajputana, the devotees of the God Jaine prayed him to dwell among them.
    3. "But he left the erring worshippers of Jaine and went to Juggernaut in the country of Orissa, where repose the mortal remains of Vyasa-Krishna and where the white priests of Brahma made him a joyous welcome.
    4. "They taught him to read and understand the Vedas, to cure by aid of prayer, to teach, to explain the holy scriptures to the people, and to drive out evil spirits from the bodies of men, restoring unto them sanity." ...
    "It is not certain what route Jesus took on his journey to the East. Here is one possible itinerary via ancient roads and trade routes, reconstructed from Notovich, Abhedananda, and Roerich texts and legends: Jesus departed Jerusalem (follow the yellow line), took the Silk Road to Bactra, headed south to Kabul, crossed the Punjab and proceeded to a Jain area on the Kathiawar peninsula where Jain temples were later built bear the town of Palitana. He crossed India to Juggernaut (Puri), made trips to Rajariha (Rajgir), Benares, and other holy cities and, fleeing his enemies went to Kapilavatsu--birthplace of Gautama Buddha. Jesus took a trail just west of Mt. Everest to Lhasa (where the palace of the Dalai Lama was built in the 17th century). On the return trip (follow the violet line), he took the caravan route to Leh, went south to the state of Rajputana and the north to Kabul. He proceeded on the southern trade route through Persia where Zoroastrian priests abandoned him to wild beasts. Jesus survived and arrived unharmed in Jerusalem." Map and text from The Lost Years of Jesus.
    Jesus, having immersed himself in Hinduism, began preaching to the lower castes about the inequities he saw and errors in doctrine that became distorted and diluted over time. The priest class (Brahmans) and the warriors (Kshatriyas) found out about it and plotted his death.
    Chapter IV
    2. "But Issa, warned of his danger by the Sudras, left the neighborhood of Juggernaut by night, reached the mountain, and established himself in the country of Gautamides, the birthplace of the great Buddha Sakyamuni, in the midst of a people worshipping the one and sublime Brahma.
    3. "After having perfected himself in the Pali language, the just Issa applied himself to the study of the sacred writings of Sutras.
    4. "Six years after, Issa, whom the Buddha had elected to spread his holy word, had become a perfect expositor of the sacred writings."
    Here are miscellaneous quotes attributed to Jesus as recorded by Notovitch:
    Chapter IX
    12. "Enter into your temple, into your heart. Illumine it with good thoughts and the patience and immovable confidence which you should have in your Father.
    13. "And your sacred vessels, they are your hands and your eyes. See and so that which is agreeable to God, for in doing good to your neighbor you accomplish a rite which embellishes the temple wherein dwells he who gave you life.
    14. "For God has created you in his own likeness—innocent, with pure souls and hearts filled with goodness, destined not for the conception of evil schemes but made to be sanctuaries of love and justice.
    15. "Wherefore I say unto to you, sully not your hearts, for the Supreme Being dwells therein eternally.
    16. "If you wish to accomplish works marked with love or piety, do them with an open heart and let not your actions be governed by calculations or the hope of gain.
    17. "For such actions would not help to your salvation, and you would fall into that state of moral degradation where theft, lying and murder pass for generous deeds."
    Chapter X
    13. "Earthly power is not of long duration, and it is subject to many changes. Of what use that man should revolt against it, seeing that one power always succeeds to another power? And thus it will come to pass until the extinction of humanity.
    14. "Against, which, see you not that the mighty and the rich sow among the sons of Israel a spirit of rebellion against the eternal power of heaven?"
    ...18. "But having heard that my brethren were suffering still greater tortures, I have come back to the country where my parents dwell to remind my brothers of the faith of their forefathers, which teaches us patience on earth to obtain perfect and sublime happiness in heaven."
    ... 20. "... I have enjoined the purification of the heart from all blemish, for it is the true temple of God."
    Chapter X
    10. "Listen, then, to what I say unto you: Respect woman, for she is the mother of the universe, and all the truth of divine creation lies in her. [Definitely a teaching from his Indian sojourn, and see how it is somehow absent in the NewTestament; An accident? I think not! Editor]
    11. "She is the basis of all good and beautiful, as she is also the germ of life and death. On her depends the whole existence of man, for she is his natural and moral support.
    12. She gives birth to you in the midst of suffering By the sweat of her brow she rears you, and until her death you cause her the gravest anxieties. Bless her and worship her, for she is your one friend, your one support on earth.
    13. "Respect her, uphold her. In acting thus you will win her love and her heart. You will find favor in the sight of God and many sins shall be forgiven you."
    ...17. "Even as the God of armies separated of old the light from darkness and the land from the waters, woman possesses the divine faculty of separating in a man good intentions from evil thoughts."
    Swami Abhedananda had read Notovitch's book and traveled to Tibet in 1922 to find the truth of it. He was shown a text remarkably similar to the one shown the Russian. Here is an interesting quote:
    "Thus he returned to his homeland at the age of twenty-nine and began spreading the word of peace amongst his oppressed countrymen."
    Another Russian, Nicholas Roerich, who painted the picture at the top of the page (showing Jesus traveling in Tibet), found many references to Issa's travels in India. He wrote about his investigations in Himalaya; and also in Altai-Himalaya, where a Hindu had this to say:
    "Why does one always place Issa in Egypt during the time of his absence from Palestine? His young years of course were passed in study The traces of his learning have naturally impressed themselves upon his later sermons. To what sources do these sermons lead? What is there in them of Egyptian? And why does one not see traces of Buddism—of India? It is difficult to understand why the wandering of Issa by caravan path into India and into the region now occupied by Tibet, should be so vehemently denied."
    Also from Altai-Hinalaya:, Roerich writes:
    "Lamas know that Christ, passing through India and Tibet, turned not to the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas, but to the Sudras [lower caste]—to the working and humbled ones. The writings of the lamas recall how Christ extolled woman—the Mother of the World. And lamas point out how Christ regarded the so-called miracles."
    Roerich goes on to quote many passages that corroborate what Notovitch and Abhedananda saw as well as some marvelous incidents such as Jesus conversing with a Tibetan sage named Ming-ste and healing the sick in Ladak.
    Again, in 1938, another, Dr. Elisabeth Caspari, who studied under Maria Montessori and who only recently passed away in 2002, had the opportunity to see the evidence. Forced to stop in a monastery on their way to Himis, a chance meeting with the monastery's librarian took place. They snapped his picture as he told them that the loose leaf texts he held documented Jesus' travels in Tibet.
    "Shortly before the pilgrims departed, the librarian, carrying ancient manuscripts, approached Mrs. Gasque and Madame Caspari as they were seated on the roof: "These books say your Jesus was here." from The Lost Years of Jesus.
    The great Yogi, Yogananda also knew that Jesus visited India and Tibet. One of Yogananda's missions was to study and bridge the gap between East and West. He did this with the blessings of his guru, Sri Yukteswar. Yogananda not only studied Christianity, he had personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is from a lecture delivered at Mt. Washington, called 'Oriental Christ.'
    ... Now, I want to tell you something in the beginning, lest there be any doubt in your minds: What I received from the Great Oriental Masters, that same have I received from the teachings of Jesus, the Christ!
    The Great Ones, like waves, bathe in the Eternal Sea, and become One with It. Disciples make all the trouble and differences. They begin to create narrowness and bigotry. The pure Message becomes diluted with ignorance. Humanity drinks of the polluted waters and then cannot understand why the thirst remains. Only pure waters can quench thirst. The time has come to separate truth from falsehood, knowledge from ignorance. All truth and knowledge must be sued to combat the black doubts and superstitions hedging humanity in the prison of unhappiness, that the mighty flood of Truth may inundate the gathered darkness of the ages, setting the soul of humanity free.
    It amuses me when I hear my Western brothers say—"Do you believe in Christ?" I always say "Jesus Christ." And I picture Him in my mind as He really was—Oriental Christ. Many painters have tried to give Him blue eyes and light hair, but He was a pure Oriental. And you of the West have taken from an enslaved nation, Jesus Christ as your Preceptor, and the greatest gift of all—spiritual freedom, taught by this great Oriental.
    Every human being is a product of his climatic conditions, heredity, family characteristics, and the pre-natal and post-natal actions performed by him, as influenced by right or wrong will, right or wrong judgment, right or wrong habits, right or wrong feelings, and by the soul’s intuitive guidance. No matter what Jesus Christ was Himself, as regards His own Soul—none can deny that He, being born in the Orient, had to use the medium of Oriental civilization, customs, mannerisms, language, parables, etc., in spreading His message. Hence, the teachings of Jesus Christ, no matter how universal they may be, are saturated with the essence of Oriental civilization.
    Jesus was an Oriental, by birth and blood and training. The Wise-Men of the East, or East India, came to confer about Him when He was born, knowing Him to be one of the greatest message-bearers of Truth.
    I am not saying that Jesus Christ learned everything from the Great Masters of India, because God never teaches directly through human vehicles. But it has been definitely proven that Jesus was connected with the High Initiates and the Masters of India. In the "Unknown Life of Christ," by Nicholas Notovitch,—the Russian author tells how he went to Tibet, hoping to study Tibetan literature, hand-written on papyrus scroll. Because of the secretiveness of the Lamas, it was impossible to find a trace of what he wanted; but a strange miracle happened. Just when he was returning fruitlessly to India, he fell from a cliff and broke his leg, and was taken back to the Monastery to receive the necessary care! The Tibetans are very hospitable to their invited or stricken guests. While the injured man was recovering, the head Lama asked him what he wanted. He said—"Read to me the papyrus scrolls!" From these sacred scrolls, he secured conclusive evidence that Jesus Christs’s name was Isa—meaning Lord, which afterwards was pronounced as Jesus. He conferred with the Masters on Yoga and great problems of human upliftment, living with them at the Monastery; but at the age of fifteen, it is said, they tried to get Him married, so he fled. I don’t blame him. But, alas, those who do not marry, repent; and those who do marry, repent. That is why I am glad I am married to the Infinite Nature and Spirit. There is never any hurt and disappointment in that kind of marriage.
    The sacred scrolls further revealed that as Jesus Christ was visited by the Wise-Men of the East, so He paid them a return visit to Tibet, and conferred with the Great Masters. Jesus then went to India to commune with the Masters there; and after preaching the Message in India, he went to Asia Minor. He wanted to spread His message universally. Mr. Nicholas Notovitch, in order to prove the above fact about the trip of Jesus, challenged many missionaries to go with him to Tibet. But they did not want to do so. ...
    Below is a fantastic picture from a Tibetan thangka. It is one scene of six. Here Jesus is with Tibetan monks in front of a Gompa or fortress monastery. To see a larger image of this picture as well as two other scenes and to learn more about this extraordinary thangka, click here.
    What is the import of this information on Issa? And why is it opposed? Number one, just as Jesus found in India, there is a priest craft/class, in this case the Brahmins and Kshatriyas, that wish to hold on to power in every religion. They do not want us to know that the power and light is within us, if we just follow the path laid out by Buddha and Jesus (well, as we all know, it's not that simple). They keep the little people down by taking away the mysteries and distorting the truths laid out by the Prophets of God.
    By denying that Jesus traveled in India, the naysayer may be ultimately denying the Christ in you. That person believes that only one person can become the fullness of the Christ mind and the Buddha within. He could be denying the very teaching of Jesus himself and instead, chooses those Bible verses that are self serving and meant to keep the modern day Sudras in their place.
    Jesus needed to travel to India and Tibet during his teenage years to fulfill his mission. In so doing, he became the greatest exemplar of the path to the Ascension and the breaking of wheel of karma and rebirth. He wants us to travel that path of knowing the creator and the light within. He values the supreme role of women for he knows that among other things, they are instrumental in shaping the teenage years of the youth today. Here is a quote from El Morya in 1938 from Supermundane - The Inner Life - Book 1 by Nicholas Roerich:
    "History knows little about the Mother of the Great Pilgrim, who was as exceptional as Her Son. The Mother came from a great family and was the embodiment of refinement and nobility of spirit. She was the One who laid the foundation for His first high ideals, and sang a lullaby to Him in which She foretold His miraculous future. She took great care to safeguard Her Child, and was a source of strength for His great achievements. She knew several languages, and thus made the path easier for Him. Nor did She object to His long pilgrimages, and gathered all that was necessary to make the travels easier. She rightly valued the common people and knew that they would guard the treasures of His Teaching. She recognized the grandeur of the Culmination and thus could give heart to those of diverse character who were weakened by doubt and rejection. She was prepared to experience the same achievement as Her Son, and He entrusted to Her His decision, which was confirmed by the Teachers. It was the Mother who understood the mystery of His wanderings. For the fundamental truth about the Mother's life to be clear, one must understand the local conditions of those times. However, She was led by Her insight into the future and was able to rise above the customs of Her country." El Morya from Supermundane - The Inner Life - Book 1 (1938) - 147: Agni Yoga Society
    As you can see even the great Master needed guidance and help. Oh what a blessing if only mothers, fathers and teachers today could realize they hold the destiny of civilization before them because the little child entrusted to their care has the potential to realize the Christ within. This is why the role of Mother and of education is always under attack. How great is the folly of taking God out of schools. It is rooted in atheism, couched in legalistic jargon that has nothing to do with the Constitution. It is the same old trick, keep the masses away from the God source.
    The path to salvation is a life long path. It is not easy and it certainly does not come by saying somebodies' name nor in sudden enlightenment. The earlier one starts the journey just as Issa did, the better for the soul.
    William House
    Editor, Reverse Spins

    Here are some similar quotes from Jesus and Buddha, The Parallel Sayings. While not exact, I think they do show the commonality in these two founders and their religions. There is one God, one Truth and it is found in the esoteric understanding of core beliefs.

    "There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile." Mark 7:15
    "Stealing, deceiving, adultery; this is defilement. Not the eating of meat." Sutta Nipata 242
    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:19-20
    "Let the wise man do righteousness: A treasure that others can not share, which no thief can steal; a treasure which does not pass away." Khuddakapatha 8:9
    "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8
    "Anyone who withdraws into meditation on compassion can see Brahma with his own eyes, talk to him face to face and consult with him." Digha Nikaya 19:43
    "Jesus spoke unto them saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." John 8:12
    "When a Bodhisattva descends from heaven, there appears in this world an immeasurable, splendid light surpassing the glory of the most powerful glow. And whatever dark spaces lie beyond the world's end will be illuminated by this light." Digha Nikaya 14:1:7

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  16. I'm a classical Liberal...funny, I love these quizzes.

    You scored as Classical Liberal. You are a classical liberal. You are sceptical about much of the historicity of the Bible, and the most important thing Jesus has done is to set us a good moral example that we are to follow. Doctrines like the trinity and the incarnation are speculative and not really important, and in the face of science and philosophy the surest way we can be certain about God is by our inner awareness of him. Discipleship is expressed by good moral behaviour, but inward religious feeling is most important.
    Classical Liberal

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  17. Mr. Schlipp,

    You condemn and discredit yourself with your own words: "There are documents in Tibet however and travelers have seen them. It's that simple. Yes, Jesus is the only begotten son of God but he is not the only son or daughter of God. The Bible used to say that until it was changed to "children of God." There is a path of mastery that needs to be walked. Jesus walked it. Did he ever! His training and mission took him to Persia, India and Tibet.We are intended to 'walk in his footsteps,' maybe not to those countries but we are supposed to become the master and 'put on the mind of Christ,' and 'do greater works than He,' as Jesus and the disciples admonished us to do."

    First problem - Can you prove that Jesus visited these places? Have you personally read or studied the evidence?

    Second problem - you said there are other children of God other than Jesus Christ. That (taken outside of the truth of all Christian as His children) is a heresy.

    Third Problem - You preach a WORKS based salvation which is condemned in Holy Scripture. You said, "There is a path of mastery that needs to be walked." Are you speaking of Freemasonry? It sounds rather fishy to me!

    Fourth Problem - You preach another heresy by saying the following, "That person believes that only one person can become the fullness of the Christ mind and the Buddha within." There is only one Christ! There has only been one Cross where Christ died. There has only been one empty tomb! Christ Jesus is the ONLY Christ - because there is only ONE God - and Christ was the manifested presence of God in flesh while on earth.

    Fifth Problem - You preach another heresy by suggesting other "Christs" and other "ways" to heaven. This is very sad - and will end in utter disappointment in the end.

    Conclusion: Have you actually read any of the sources you have cited from? Have you actually researched the reliability of the sources? I would encourage you to do so, because I do know that they contain serious errors that cannot be verified through written, historical, or tradition. The stories you are quoting are simply fiction.

    My prayer is that you see your errors and turn to the only TRUTH - JESUS CHRIST - the One who died on the Cross of Calvary - was buried in a borrowed tomb - and rose again from the tomb on the 3rd day!

    Josh Buice

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  18. To All Masons:

    Since Mr. Schlipp wants to believe that I have been stumped - for what reason I don't know - the evidence remains true - I am waiting to be disproven. The ball remains on your side of the net!
    Can you disprove the Holy Bible? I am waiting.......

    Secondly, I would like for Mr. Schlipp to present evidence (concrete with eyewitness accounts - and more than one eyewitness - let's set the bar rather high - say.... 25 or more) of your SAVIOR who RAISED FROM THE DEAD. Can you do it? What about those OTHER Christs you spoke of earlier? What about Buddha? Surely you are not basing your life upon dead men who said religious things?

    Christ Jesus lived, Christ Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary - not because of the Roman government or any other reason - but for the sin of mankind - Christ Jesus was buried - and Christ Jesus rose from the dead.

    There are many eyewitness accounts. At one point He appeared to more than 500 witnesses at one time in one location. The Jewish Historian (unconverted to Christianity) Josephus wrote about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It cannot be disproven! It is a FACT!

    I plead with you to turn to Christ.

    In Love,

    Josh Buice

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  19. The "spam" message deleted by our host at Josh's Place was my message also posted here, the one that provided the link to a site where you can take a survey to help you categorize what type of Christian you are.

    I left this message over at Josh's:


    Dear Sir,

    I've never spammed in my life, and hardly ever even eaten the spicy pork product it was named for. Spam is unsolicited commercial email or postings.

    My post you removed was about a site I discovered following links you had posted, where a survey could be found to help people catagorize their theological stances.

    Hmmm.... I think I've used the word "censor" here before in a previous post to describe the typical actions of Southern Baptists.

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  20. Josh said: First of all, if Freemasonry is not a religious movement - why do you have a "HOLY ALTER"? Who are you reverencing at this alter?

    I say: Who are we reverencing at the Holy Altar? Uh, that would be GOD, the Great Architect of the Universe.

    On the subject of altars... In Exodus we are told that two altars were erected, the altar of burnt offering (Exodus 30:28) and the "table of the Lord" (Malachi 1:7). The table of the Lord is described in Exodus 27:1-8. It was a hollow square, made of shittim wood, overlaid with brass. Its corners were ornamented with "horns," according to Exodus 29:12 and Leviticus 4:18. Two questions come to mind: 1 — Why would God allow a wood to be used whose name contains within it a "diry word" once it is translated into English, and 2 (my real question) — what's up with these horns? Horns in Christianity are typically representative of the Devil, aren't they? In this case, though, they may represent a moon god -- Isis, most likely, since these wandering Jews had just left Egypt, original home of Isis and Osiris, though the later pagan Horned God comes to mind, too.

    You say: Secondly, I must say that your view of God's Word is very sad. You see, the truth being known, you don't have a book that can be named where God revealed Himself? That only took place in the Holy Bible.

    I say: Why is a book needed at all? Until the 1800s, most people couldn't even read! God reveals Himself in the stars, in the sun, in the faces of little children. You don't have to be able to read a Bible to know God.

    You say: The Bible is not just like any other book. The Koran or other religious writing does not reveal truth – and they do not reveal the true and Living God – as the Bible does.

    I say: Do you not get it? There are millions of people who believe that the Koran or other religious writings reveal Truth, and they base their belief on exactly the same thing you do — faith that they are right. You're like one of the blind men in the story of the elephant; each described it as being exactly like the part of the elephant they could touch.

    John Godfrey Saxe's ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend,

    It was six men of Indostan
    To learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the Elephant
    (Though all of them were blind),
    That each by observation
    Might satisfy his mind.

    The First approached the Elephant,
    And happening to fall
    Against his broad and sturdy side,
    At once began to bawl:
    "God bless me! but the Elephant
    Is very like a wall!"

    The Second, feeling of the tusk
    Cried, "Ho! what have we here,
    So very round and smooth and sharp?
    To me `tis mighty clear
    This wonder of an Elephant
    Is very like a spear!"

    The Third approached the animal,
    And happening to take
    The squirming trunk within his hands,
    Thus boldly up he spake:
    "I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
    Is very like a snake!"

    The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
    And felt about the knee:
    "What most this wondrous beast is like
    Is mighty plain," quoth he;
    "'Tis clear enough the Elephant
    Is very like a tree!"

    The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
    Said: "E'en the blindest man
    Can tell what this resembles most;
    Deny the fact who can,
    This marvel of an Elephant
    Is very like a fan!"

    The Sixth no sooner had begun
    About the beast to grope,
    Than, seizing on the swinging tail
    That fell within his scope.
    "I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
    Is very like a rope!"

    And so these men of Indostan
    Disputed loud and long,
    Each in his own opinion
    Exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right,
    And all were in the wrong!

    Moral:

    So oft in theologic wars,
    The disputants, I ween,
    Rail on in utter ignorance
    Of what each other mean,
    And prate about an Elephant
    Not one of them has seen!

    You said: Therefore, when Freemasons are linked together in a fraternal organization with others and forced to reverence the Koran or another religious writing based upon the majority population – that brings dishonor and disrespect to God! Again – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18!

    I say: Paul said, you believe it, that settles it. Why oh why didn't Jesus tell us all these things? Why did the job fall to Paul, a man of such questionable background?

    You say: The SBC has not spoken out against Freemasonry. I am going out on a limb based on my understanding of the organization and on what the Word of God says!

    I say: Your understanding of Freemasonry is, as Masonic Traveler and F. Roy have been telling you for over a week now, WRONG.

    You say: Therefore, I don’t care if every SBC president was a Mason – I am not a Mason – and I want to show people the truth. Just because Grandpa and Daddy were Masons – that does not make it right! It is time we turn to an absolute for direction – the absolute being the Bible!

    I say: Your Granpa and Daddy were Masons? Imagine that! Wonder how THEY feel about your Mason-bashing?

    You say: May God grant us peace and mercy as we make a decision on Freemasonry.

    I say: We? I've already decided. Apparently, so have you. What's this decision-thing you're talking about?


    Widow's Son

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  21. In a recent Epistle to the Masons, Josh wrote, "You preach a WORKS based salvation which is condemned in Holy Scripture. You said, 'There is a path of mastery that needs to be walked." Are you speaking of Freemasonry? It sounds rather fishy to me!'"

    After I point out the ironicly amusing FACT that the Fish is a symbol of early Christians, I direct your attention to this excerpt from Davis D. Danizier's "Paul vs. Jesus."

    Paul (originally as Saul of Tarsus) was an admitted persecutor of Christians who might have found a more effective way to undermine the followers of Jesus. Perhaps he infiltrated their ranks and taught a doctrine that opposed Jesus on several fronts, replacing Jesus' selfless teaching of universal compassionate action with a selfish teaching of desire to gain a "free gift" of salvation based only on faith and completely devoid of any behavioral requirement or obedience to law, and distracting us from the selfless teachings of Jesus.

    Jesus teaches that BEHAVIORAL requirements (works/deeds), rooted in an internal change of spiritual growth within the person (not external or apart from the person, though the gift of teaching and techniques to achieve this personal change are a gift of grace not earned or deserved by us, but requiring ACTIONS [deeds] to implement), are integral to salvation. While perhaps it is not possible for us to "earn" the "free gift" that Jesus DID give -- a teaching of the universal compassionate love by which the evil within us CAN be transformed into a more holy kindness of love -- Jesus clearly includes a behavioral component to his requirements for "salvation." While he does not say that this satisfies any "debt," he still requires it; perhaps he is demanding merely a small partial "payment" as a gesture of "good faith." (In fact, James suggests this by his comments in James 2:26, that we demonstrate our faith -- if it is genuine -- BY our works or deeds.)

    Some will say that puny mortals can never perform enough good behavior to "earn" or "merit" salvation based on the value of their deeds -- that the attempts at human righteousness is as "filthy rags."

    Aside from the fact that this simply contradicts Jesus, the point is not whether or not our puny mortal attempts at righteousness have intrinsic value or not. Just as a child may offer its parents or grandparents an awkwardly-drawn piece of art, which likely holds little real artistic merit (perhaps in terms of art critics it might be as "filthy rags"), still the parents sincerely and genuinely cherish such efforts.

    It may not "merit" winning an art contest and may be able to "earn" very little, but loving parents find it good enough to represent the qualities THEY deem of real and lasting value.

    Why would a loving god, as spiritual father on a more perfect scale, for those who believe him to be that, not be able to give even greater acceptance, even of "filthy rags," if sincerely offered as the best effort ... ESPECIALLY if he has said that he would do so?

    To argue against that is to join Paul in contradicting the teachings of Jesus.

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  22. Brother Pastor Josh asked for a list of other Saviors who were ressurected. The following comes from charts at Wilson's Almanac.


    C. 3000 BC until c. 400 AD — Osiris and Horus. Horus was born to a virgin, Isis, in a manger or cave, on Dec. 25. (One of the names Isis was called was "Stella Maris," Queen of Heaven, as is Mary til this day by the Roman Catholic Church.) His birth was heralds by a star in the east, and was attended by three wise men. Like Jehovah the Father and Jesus the Son, Osiris and Horus are interchangable, both God in different manifestations or aspects. Like Jesus, Horus is claimed to have said: "I and my Father are one." Egyptian myths told of Horus raising the dead, walking on water, "preaching a sermon" from atop a mountain, and performing many other miracles. He had 12 disciples. Followers of Horus assimilated with him through baptism; Tertullian, an early Christian writer, even referred to the Isis-worshippers of his time disdainfully as performing baptismal rites. Horus was crucified on 'an accursed tree' in sin-atonement, between two thieves. After suffering death, Horus, like Jesus, was buried in a tomb where he was resurrected and ascended into Heaven, or 'Amen-ti.'

    C. 2,000 BC — Tammuz, the Hebrew name for Dumuzu, was worshipped in Syria and Babylon. He was born of a virgin on December 25. He performed miracles and healed the sick. He was known as Adonis in Greece. Tammuz is mentioned in Ezekial 8:14. He died a painful death to become mankind's savior. He was resurrected to a new life on the third day. It is said that the lands became fertile again upon his resurrection.

    C. 1400 BC — Krishna, one of the manifestations of God in India, was born in a mystically illuminated cave, born of a, you guessed it, virgin. He was baptised in the River Ganges. He was referred to as the Shepherd God, the Sin Bearer, the Beginning and the End, and proclaimed Himself the "Way to the Father." He was killed by being hung in the branches of a tree, around around age 30, and was later transfigured in front of His disciples. He descended into the Underworld, retrieved two boys, and then ascended to Heaven after three days.

    Uncertain, sometime between 1700 BC and 1000 BC — Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was born of a virgin, in a cave. He received his prophetic calling at about 30 years of age, and was baptised in a river....

    Oh, why go on? I'm only on page one of this chart. Go read it yourselves.


    The Widow's Son
    The Burning Taper

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  23. Brother Pastor Josh the Baptist,

    When you get to Heaven and God asks you to give an accounting of Your Life, be sure to mention that through your hardheaded refusal to see outside your self-imposed box, you helped push me away from what shred of Christianity I had left in me. Re-realizing today that the entire Jesus-saga has been played out not once but several times in stories pre-dating Him by centuries and even millenia has Enlightened me unto a New Path, one which will indeed lead me directly to God.

    Thank you.

    I have enjoyed our exchanges. You have not convinced me of anything, but you have reinforced my belief that Baptists by and large are, well, stubborn in their misplaced beliefs. For standing up for what you believe, I commend you. Personally I think most of it borders on nonsense (a word you used to describe Freemasonry, I believe), but I respect your right to believe it.

    I don't think any of us [went to your site] came here to argue theology with you. You're a Baptist; you can't help but act like one, and that's okay. But you need to do some real homework — talk to real, live, breathing Freemasons about Freemasonry, and not just perpetuate the lies that began with the 1830's anti-Masonic movement and the fictions written by Leo Taxil in the late 19th century.

    Your original posting said you intended to "teach and expose" Freemasonry, yet you didn't talk to any Freemasons to find out what they do or what they believe, but instead relied on questionable research by professional Haters whom I'm sure embarrass Jesus greatly, if He cares at all.

    You've had a dose of Truth handed to you this week... more than you expected, I'm sure. I've offered to tell you most everything you want to know about Masonry, but instead of taking advantage of it, you've tried to seize the opportunity to prostelytize and push your narrow vision of what Christianity is really about.

    Just please stop with the Mason-bashing. It's been done to death already. See the Big List of anti-Masons on this page at MasonicInfo.com. Look in the righthand navbar for the Big Names in Mason-bashing. There's also a link to "lesser Mason haters." Ask nice and they might add you to the list.

    I wish you well on your Path. See ya in Heaven.


    The Widow's Son
    The Burning Taper

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  24. An interesting site has recently come across my desk. For those who are not afraid of what they may find, please take a look at the following link:

    www.tombofjesus.com

    There are a lot of references that support the allegation that Jesus Christ may have actually survived the crucifixion and returned to India along the silk road and lived out the remainder of his life. This site has a lot of photos, info from the documentary movies and articles from various researchers in the field. I'll tell you something! If this is proven to be FACT... Then a lot of people in the Church are going to want you to NOT hear it!!! Something this sensational will rock the Christian Church to it's fundamentalist foundations!!!

    For your Perusal,
    F. Roy Dean Schlipp

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  25. I'm still waiting for your firmly through faith alone plug the Unicorns Dilema.

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  26. Masonic Traveler,

    C. 3000 BC until c. 400 AD — Osiris and Horus:

    RESPONSE: Is there any proof? Eyewitness accounts? How many eyewitnesses? Did anyone die for preaching the Horus resurrection?

    C. 2,000 BC — Tammuz, the Hebrew name for Dumuzu:

    RESPONSE: Is there any proof? Eyewitness accounts? How many eyewitnesses? Did anyone die for preaching the Dumuzu resurrection?

    C. 1400 BC — Krishna, one of the manifestations of God in India:

    RESPONSE: Is there any proof? Eyewitness accounts? How many eyewitnesses? Did anyone die for preaching the Krishna resurrection?

    Uncertain, sometime between 1700 BC and 1000 BC - Zarathustra (Zoroaster):

    RESPONSE: Is there any proof? Eyewitness accounts? How many eyewitnesses? Did anyone die for preaching the Zarathustra resurrection?


    Three questions:

    1. Do you believe any of these?
    2. Which one are you willing to die for if called upon?
    3. Why did ordinary fishermen die ruthless deaths for preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Don’t’ you think if it was all simply allegory – when they took out the sword or started to nail them to the cross – at least one of them would have said, “Ok! It’s all false – if you let me live, I will tell you how we pulled off that whole empty tomb thing and the appearances of Jesus!” --- don’t you suppose something like this would have occurred? I know I would not be willing to leave my wife and child behind for some crazy prank or allegory!

    Josh Buice

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  27. To all Masons,

    One of your fellow “brothers” writes the following:

    “Therefore Masonry teaches that redemption and salvation are both the power and the responsibility of the individual Mason. Saviors like Hiram Abiff can and do show the way, but men must always follow and demonstrate, each for himself, his power to save himself, to build his own spiritual fabric in his own time and way. Every man in essence is his own savior and redeemer; for if he does not save himself, he will not be saved. The reader who succeeds in getting back to the real teachings of the masters, including Jesus of Nazareth, will find unanimity of thinking on this matter (Lynn Perkins, The Meaning of Masonry, p.95).”

    1. Do you agree?
    2. What is your plan of action in obtaining your own Salvation?

    Josh Buice
    For the sake of the TRUE gospel!

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  28. Gentlemen,

    I have enjoyed the candor of the conversation, though I realize there is a certain "air" to it. I might want to pose just one question in regards to one of the latter posts regarding the "Jesus story being played out" many times before He arrived on the scene. I would simply ask this: Did any of those persons mentioned have any prophecies that were specific about them BEFORE they arrived on the scene and were those prophecies specific concerning who they were, what they would do, how thye would die and why, and their resurrection? Only Jesus Christ has those credentials. That alone is enough for me. While I respect all men to have a clear conscience before God, I think it appears rather obvious that you do not take the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ serious at all, or else you would not have lumped Him in with such "questionable" figures.

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  29. Tim,

    What prophecies? Please be very specific and elaborate on how you know these "prophecies" are really prophecy at all, and if they are, that they prophecy Jesus.

    Thanks.


    — WS

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