[Excerpts from Crept In Unawares: Mysticism, by Heath Henning]

Michael Glenn Maness credentials in Masonry hold “a Scottish Rite Master Craftsman, Knights Templar, Shriner” as well as his Christian affiliations “of the Evangelical Theological Society… American Correctional Chaplains Association… the Karl Barth Theological Society”1)Michael Glenn Maness, Character Counts: Freemasonry Is a National Treasure and a Source of Our Founders’ Constitutional Original Intent, Revised Second Edition, author House, 2006, 2010, p. xvii etc. which proves he is influential in his local Church and cannot be ignorant of Masonry true agenda. As a Southern Baptist, Maness is also well aware of the reports and controversy that have occurred in the Convention, which is no doubt his reason for writing his book to justify Masonry for Christians.

By an estimated 80 percent margin the denomination approved a study stating that Freemasonry’s ideals and activities are, in part, compatible and elsewhere incompatible with Christianity….
Still, [Dr. James] Holly estimates there are between 500,000 and 1.3 million Southern Baptist Freemasons alone, with 14 percent of SBC pastors and 18 percent of deacons being Masons.2)Why the Baptist Battle over Freemasonry Erupts Anew, Christian Research Institute CRJ0162A.TXT file, http://www.cephasministry.com/baptists_masonic_differences.html; accessed 10/10/11

The SBC report on Masonry stated eight specific items which were negative and eight which were positive concerning the compatibility of Christianity, and yet the end vote of the…

1993 annual convention of Southern Baptists voted that Masonic membership was “a matter of personal conscience.”3)Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion, Harvest House Publishers, 1998, p. 253

How many negative issues are needed to make something incompatible? The answer ought to be one incompatibility makes it incompatible. The third listed should have been enough for all to cast their vote opposing Masonic membership: “3. The recommended readings in pursuance of advanced degrees, of religions and philosophies, which are undeniably pagan and/or occult, such as much of the writings of Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, Manly Hall, Rex Hutchins, W.L. Wilmhurst and other such authors; along with their works, such as Morals and Dogma, A Bridge to Light, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and The Meaning of Masonry.”4) As reported by the Home Missions Board, SBC, 1350 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30367-5601; cited by Ed Decker, http://saintsalive.com/resourcelibrary/freemasonry/freemary-and-the-sbc-the-story-goes-on-and-onson, accessed 2/18/12 Yet they were embraced with open arms.

This conclusion was based upon a report prepared by Dr. Gary Leazer when the Southern Baptist Convention was questioning the compatibility between Freemasonry and Christianity. “The Leazer affair proved without doubt that the Masons, themselves, were involved with the report and aided the man in charge of writing the report….
Next, the Masons made an unprecedented push to get control of the convention…
On the back of [C. Fred] Kleinknect’s letter was a twelve step plan for every Baptist Mason to follow in getting to be a messenger at the SBC…. Only the Masons know what percentage of the 17,800 Messengers were Masons.5)Ed Decker, “Southern Baptist and Freemasonry: The Story Goes On – and On,” The Dark Side of Freemasonry, edited by Ed Decker, Huntington House Publishers, 1994, p. 219

If the third point of this report in question states that Masonry holds occultic, religious teachings, it is utterly incompatible. Albert Pike affirmed, “Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instructions in religion.”6)Albert Pike, Morals And Dogma, The Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1871, p. 213; also cited by Ralph Epperson, Masonry: Conspiracy Against Christianity, Publius Press, 1997, p. 83; also cited by Dick Smith, “Freemasonry and the New Age World Religion,” The Dark Side of Freemasonry, edited by Ed Decker, Huntington House Publishers, 1994, p. 55; also cited by Dale A. Byers, I Left the Lodge, Regular Baptist Press, 1988, p. 33; also cited by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge: A Christian Perspective, Moody Press, 1989, 1990, p. 42-43; also cited by Gary Kah, En Route To Global Occupation, Huntington House Publishers, 1991, p. 121; also cited by Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Masons, Harvest House Publishers, 2001, p. 76 And further explaining, “So every Masonic Lodge is a Temple of Religion; its officers, ministers of religion; its teachings, instruction in religion.”7)Albert Pike, Magnum Opus or Great Work, Kissinger Publishing, LLC, 2004, p. 16; also cited by Ralph Epperson, Masonry: Conspiracy Against Christianity, Publius Press, 1997, p. 86, 179 Wilson Coil boldly declared “Freemasonry is undoubtedly a religion.”8)Henry Wilson Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1961, p. 158; also cite by Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with Masons, Harvest House Publishers, 2001, p. 75

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