Freemasonry & James L. Holly

By Dr. Michael Glenn Maness

This from the my book Character Counts

See also Heart of the Living God



Intro to Review of James Holly’s Work on Freemasonry

I. Mystery Religions and the Sanctity of Secrecy

II. Bible on Mystery Religions and Holly’s Misrepresentation

III. Masonic Authorities & the Most Theological Section in Freemasonry

IV. Who Knows the Truth about Freemasonry & Holly’s “Lies”

V. Occultism of Freemasonry & the Pike’s Meaning of Mislead

VI. Lucifer—Where Did He Come From? … and the Kabbalah?

VII. Knights Kadosh—30th Degree—Lucifer Again?

VIII. How Can Christians Be So Duped?—The Question of Character

IX. What Are Christians To Do?

Volume II of III of Holly’s Freemasonry Series

Volume III of Holly’s Freemasonry Series


Intro to Review of James Holly’s Work on Freemasonry  ~  TOP

James L. Holly, M.D., is a very well-respected physician and founding partner and CEO of the Southeast Texas Medical Association (SETMA).[1] He has written on several Christian themes, especially on the connection between hope and health.[2] The following became difficult for me the more I read of Holly’s Christian work and the several e-mails we shared prior to our personal engagement on Freemasonry.

At first, I thought Holly just another anti-Mason tumbleweed. Then I discovered that he was a distinguished and wealthy medical doctor. He was unique in the anti-Mason field, and he proved more pivotal to the SBC affairs than I had previously thought. I initiated contact with Holly in order to obtain copies of his books and indicated that I was researching Freemasonry. His chief work was in three volumes, The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry (SBC-FM-I, II, III).[3] Especially through the first volume and much correspondence, Holly led the SBC to start a Freemasonry study, and he outlined some of the chief players and many of his own criticisms of the process in this series.[4]

Another point of significance comes with Bill Gordon; Gordon was in 1992 asked to do a critique of James Holly’s volume I.[5] Holly takes the SBC expert Bill Gordon to task. I really feel for Holly here, for Bill Gordon proves again his ineptness. Bill Gordon is supposed to be the SBC expert. Even in spite of my criticisms below of Holly’s work, Bill Gordon’s critique proves yet again how much substance Bill Gordon misses, how out of touch Gordon with straight thinking, and how—perhaps—Gordon just may be unable to carry a straight thought. Ironically and so very sad, Holly quotes Bill Gordon’s final statement, indicating that Gordon’s review of Holly’s volume I was at least 28 pages, but Gordon had given only about 8 pages to the 300-year-old institution of Freemasonry in his own closer look.

After this introduction, we shall address the nine chapters of Holly’s SBC-FM-I as numbered in that book; the first part of each chapter title reflects his book, and the second part reflects my comments. After that, we shall give a few comments on volumes II and III.

At the start, I said I was researching Freemasonry. I received several of his other Christians books and numerous health newsletters. I did not at first reveal the depth of my work yet or that I was a Freemason. Nor did I hide it, and the question did not arise for several months. After some e-mail correspondence, I sent him a copy of a couple of my books too, hopefully to open the door to sincere discussions.[6]

Unlike most of the best anti-Masons in history, Holly is unique in several ways. First, he is not a vocational minister or trained clergy, and he sure is not into the publication for the money (clearly the reason for many). Holly’s influence actually cost him a lot of his own money and time, and that truly sets Holly apart from the vast majority of anti-Masons. This became significant because Holly is a man with resources and influence, and today highly credentialed medical doctors are among our most respected people. Today, just having MD after one’s name usually carries a sizable amount of character counting quality. Second, Holly is unique in that he brought significant resources and influence against Freemasonry in the largest Protestant denomination on earth, the mighty SBC. And the SBC listened, even had to listen. Lastly, given the above, Holly is largely responsible for perhaps the largest blow against Freemasonry in history. The SBC is a mighty force, and so many Freemasons have been Southern Baptists.

Holly has said some terrible things about Freemasons. Is Holly right?

Before we go there, let me show you something else.

Holly’s fire for his faith led his head-on attack against Freemasonry. Like a lot of anti-Masons, he assumes Freemasonry is a religion. Holly is a cut above most anti-Masons, not in the literature, but based upon his extraordinary medical career. That medical success did not carry over in the quality of Holly’s work on Freemasonry, and that is hard to figure, unless Holly used a ghostwriter or a surrogate researcher. In part, it was Holly’s very character that would not allow him to sit still on this. He could not, not on Devil worship among otherwise good church members—How could this not be the worst thing in the SBC and its churches?

How could this not be the worst thing? Not just Holly’s version, but the official SBC version that we vivisected above too?

Overall—after having completed a review of Holly’s three volumes—we are certain and document below how Holly bought the ticket of the mainline anti-Masons and followed through like few before him. That follow-through is a matter of integrity and character counting quality too. Character is what matters most in all this. Truly, if the top leaders of the SBC in 1993 and today had been as straight about their vocal concerns, then surely someone should have attempted what Holly did. Moreover, persons like Paige Patterson and the other top leaders of the SBC are theological Titans with the largest network within the SBC in the SBC’s history—a tightly controlled and somewhat secret network—and they could have done better than Holly if they had been as devoted as Holly to their own voiced convictions and followed Holly’s lead and added their expertise to the issue.

Truly, the SBC leaders could have helped Holly. Just as Holly would help a new intern or new doctor in practice, the SBC leaders more accustomed to theologically and philosophically academic exercises could have helped Holly through his presentations. That they did not help Holly ameliorates some of the offenses that Holly commits, because at least Holly was trying to follow through with what the SBC leaders also believed and had been voicing for decades but did no substantial work of their own.

I wish there was a way around this review, for I truly do respect and appreciate and resonate well with Holly’s other work. Holly is a dedicated Christian with an expertise in medicine. Goodness gracious, but good Christian medical doctors are among the church’s greatest assets. In many ways and to praise Holly more, like few Christian MDs, Holly’s medical practice has truly become his Christian ministry.

If only Freemasonry was as simple as many of the anti-Masons attempt to make it appear, there would be clearer lines and less stress in all of the apologies and refutations. Another sad element to this whole debate becomes the shear absence of academic bridges. No anti-Masons are truly building upon what has gone before, and too many are mere parrots of what has gone before—with, as we vivisected above, Bill Gordon’s Closer Look being another shameful example in itself and shameful for the SBC.

Though I wish there was a way around this review, Holly did become pivotal for the SBC when he sent out his volume one, SBC-FM-I, to thousands. That is a remarkable feat of devotion. Holly followed through on his convictions like no one has in past within the SBC—not even the top leaders, which if Holly is right is rather embarrassing. Holly followed up with two more volumes of continued research. It looks like Holly has done his part on this issue, and it has cost him many friends in the SBC and in his own hometown, Beaumont, Texas.

Holly came into great conflict with his own local church, Calvary Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas, over this and was asked to leave.

Holly is a courageous man, did what few could of have done, did what several SBC leaders with deep theological training should have done, and then some of them turned on him. Some of the problems that we sight below could have been avoided if some SBC leaders had helped Holly instead of avoided him. As an obviously significant SBC leader, my own e-mails to Paige Patterson indicate there are many leaders who could have helped Holly articulate better what they all were thinking and voicing, especially if they had more substance than Holly. In some of Holly’s errors in reading the biblical references, Patterson and others would have seen immediately and could have helped. It is shame they could not have worked together better, and so Patterson and other SBC leaders can help divide the SBC more through their own criticism of Freemasonry because of Holly, yet turn on him at the same time too. What a sad state of affairs.

Even today, the SBC is not following through with the SBC’s own official reports; we indicated that up front with Bill Gordon’s tiny documents. If Bill Gordon was right, we need to re-address SBC history and even deface the buildings and issue a higher threat level than Gordon’s weak invectives. We need to clear out from the SBC the Paganism and rectify the previous support. We need to deface and apologize for the honor that was errantly given to SBC heroes, for they were not true heroes if they were dupes of Paganism, or worse, if they were duplicitous SBC theologians and pastors who were secretly Pagans. To that end, only James L. Holly stands out as consistent with respect to the seriousness of the official SBC documents that mirror Holly’s and even have an embryonic debt to Holly’s work.[7]

If Holly is right—as the SBC documents affirm and owe their origin—then Holly’s name needs to replace the names of others in the annals and honors of SBC life. To that end, and with respect to the severity of the critique to follow, it is instructive that the SBC leaders have not performed well on their own voiced concerns; that is, the SBC leaders are not that concerned about Paganism in millions of SBC church members. If Holly is not right, then perhaps we can persuade him to apologize too.

The following review will deal primarily with Holly’s volume one, SBC-FM-I, and then we will simply toss in observations on volumes two and three. In Holly’s overview, there is no doubt about where Holly stands: Freemasonry is of the Devil and among the worst things that has happened to the church, for “the issue here is not moderate or conservative, the issue is God and the Devil.”[8] That is clear from Bill Gordon’s Closer Look and from Paige Patterson’s e-mails, only they dance around it. Like so many other top leaders, Patterson only comments when the topic is broached with terribly divisive words that have no substance. Where are the men of such character counting quality willing to follow through with their convictions with the best articulations they are capable of? James L. Holly is one, and it cost him.

Is Holly right?

In the main, the majority of Holly’s case is dependent upon Freemasonry being a religion, as we have indicated the case with most of the best anti-Masons in ages past, including the Catholic church. I would like to hold out hope for my relationship with Holly, but I doubt that given the kind of language he uses in his three volumes. Yet I sense something odd in these three volumes that caused me to suspect that some (maybe most) of Holly’s research and writing in these volumes were accomplished through assistance. They are inconsistent with Holly’s general writing.

Here is our redress to Holly’s nine chapters in his SBC-FM-I.

I. Mystery Religions and the Sanctity of Secrecy  ~  TOP

Holly rightly notes that there has been an explosion of marginal sects and cults in the 19th and 20th century.[9] Holly does indicate the old meaning of “occultic” inferring merely something secretive or hidden. There was a time even in medicine where occult referred to the hiding of something, as even under the skin or in the sky.[10] Holly starts with a definition that he does not use throughout, and I suspect he knows that the more common connotation of occult for most Americans is an equation of occult with the black arts of soothsayers, black magic, and Satanism proper. Holly does not build a proper bridge between the innocuous secretive and the blasphemous soothsaying definitions of occult, and he never touches the latter more spooky definition throughout.

At first, I did not think much of that aberrance. What was the purpose of the innocuous secretive-hiding definition of occult? Only afterwards, only after the final draft of this entire appendix came into fruition, did I recognize another subtle purpose or possibility (intentionally or not). There appears to be one sense in which the secretive-hiding definition of occult can make in this book’s context. Did Holly or his writer desire to make subtle connection between the innocuous secrets (like Freemasonry secrets) and the common wicked meaning of occult? Regardless, why Holly starts with the innocuous secretive-hiding meaning of occult is truly an unsolved mystery—even occulted by Holly’s soothsaying definition implied throughout. And never the twine shall meet in any of these three volumes.

That is kind of sad, because it is clear that the early 18th through the early 19th century Freemasonry books did use Holly’s first definition of occult. But throughout, Holly’s uses the negative connotation, and then Holly quoting of early Freemasonry work (using Holly’s first definition) is likewise occulted. So—to be slightly facetious—Holly negatively occults a sizable amount of good Freemasonry material in his own use of occult.

Moreover, like many anti-Masons (like Bill Gordon in his Closer Look above), Holly calls Freemasonry a Pagan religion and the negatively connoted occult but never defines either. Holly like so many just depend upon the common Christian conception and disgust of the soothsaying occult. So this is a strange opening gambit, where Holly opens with a definition he does not use, then attempts to destroy Freemasonry as a Pagan and Satanic cult without truly defining occult, Pagan, or Satanism. More confusing still, when Holly does get into the secretive, he uses the term secretive.

So let’s be straight at the beginning. The more popular definition of occult has been coming into vogue today—the last thirty years especially—and has essentially consumed the former more technical sense in colloquial usage. More often than not, the occult in the Christian and religious mind refers to the non-Christian and even anti-Christian supernatural or supernormal powers and the secret knowledge of those powers—even Witchcraft and Satanism.[11]

Having seen the definitions, we wonder why Holly makes the following distinction too. Holly is most correct that the “manner in which Christian knowledge is hidden” is not an occultic secret, not an intentional secret, but rather that the highest “truths of Christ do not make sense … to those who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ.”[12] Well, that depends on which use of occult one is using—Yes? As Holly indicates, the hidden things of God and the higher elements of Christianity are for the mature and for those who believe and grow, milk for the immature, meat for the mature. I guess Holly could say the highest elements of Christianity are only for the initiated—occulted from the novice, milk to the babe—but that would be too much and not true either. In Protestant Christianity especially and under the priesthood of the believer, a Christian’s growth is dependent foremost upon that person’s relationship with God Himself.

Is not Holly’s point true in every profession and vocation on earth? From apprentice, to fellowcraft, to master—by whatever name—is that not how Holly himself progressed from student, to M.D., to intern, to independent practice, and then like very few into Holly’s extraordinary case as CEO practitioner of a multi-location medical association?

Here—whether Freemasonry is a religion or a fraternal profession—the same applies. Most sincerely and solemnly as a fraternal profession. No person enters into any religion or profession in full stature, not even into adulthood. Most of us—in our chosen profession—are humble enough to consider ourselves the student forever, especially in ministry where there is no full exposition of God’s inerrant and completed canon or of our relationship itself with God. No one has fully arrived.

It is likewise important to distinguish between the Christian faith and organizations that demand secrecy. Holly notes the most traumatic element in Freemasonry: the bloody penalties in Freemasonry for breaking the oaths. The only problem is that one will look far and wide for 300 years to find examples of the bloody murders that should have taken place against all those who have violated their oaths. It would be nice to have examples. Without oodles of examples, Holly makes mush of himself with the number of times Holly pictures Freemasonry as a kind of criminal mafia that seriously threatens people but provides no evidence (and using the antique Morgan affair does not count as epidemic by anyone’s account[13]).

Have there been threats? I am sure there have been. Freemasonry is composed of men—human men. But physical threatening and violence are not Freemasonry’s practice or epidemic. What Holly does not touch and that is pervasive is that there are legions of legends and millions of good men.

On the issue of bloody oaths, some Freemasons have argued that the oaths are not taken seriously in a defense against the exposures. But that is not true either. The oaths are taken seriously, otherwise Freemasonry means little and truly becomes a farce. Truly, this is another example of what many Freemasonry scholars have indicated as the teaching through symbolism and allegory and also another example of why Freemasonry is not a religion. The oaths symbolize the seriousness of the obligations and the seriousness of the whole affair of Freemasonry, and the oaths are required as they are also to impart to the initiate the importance of a man keeping his word.

We would be so much better off today if men kept their word, even as if every time they gave their word, there was a bloody penalty for the breaking of it. The reality is that even in the most honorable of times and even among the most honorable of men, men are still just human men and will break their word for a lot of reasons. Sometimes a promise is broken unintentionally from having over-committed or just from an accidental slip or even Freudian slip; sometimes a man bows under the social pressure of a good friend’s confidentiality around a camp fire (only later to discover that friend was not as confidential as he should have been). Then there are those who simply cannot keep their word because they are silly and immature, and of course there are traitors.

Freemasonry tries to weed out the silly and the traitor at the first step and throughout. At the same time, the importance is inculcated. It is honorable for men to keep their word.

To say that Freemasonry is “contrary to the Word of God” merely because Freemasonry has secrets is just wrong.[14] And Holly does not demonstrate that beyond his simple claim. Here, it is Holly’s reputation that grants to the claim a greater credibility than the cohesiveness or demonstrability of the claim itself. Holly should read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, where we are told “to give,” “to pray,” and “to fast” in secret, so that only God knows.[15] There is no room for Holly’s words there—unless Holly means to say that Jesus’ words are contrary too.

Furthermore, Holly indicates some of the secret cults in the past, but Holly does not indicate the vast array of trade guilds of the ancient and not so ancient past.[16] What is an apprentice anyway? Even James L. Holly, M.D., himself had to go through a long series of grueling tests to master his own trade where internship was a normal process. Call that an initiation, in the same manner, where not everyone can attend, apply, or even commence. Yes, there is nothing in the medical internship that is secret, except the evaluations and just how the mind of the master shall will and choose his successor. Yet much of the most important parts of the medical field are built upon a precious rapport between the patient and the staff—most especially with the physician—and the confidentiality as well as the confidence necessary to work. We shall touch that later, but here note that there is and ought to be secrecy is all of the most precious relationships that we have in life.[17]

And do not make a distinction between confidentiality and secrecy (as Holly attempts). If there is any distinction, it comes from secrecy at the top and confidentiality as the mode or method of that secret. Secrecy is the broad category, much like Protestant, under which a brood of groups differentiate: confidence, privileged, classified, top, sequestered, even family and friends, and surely of the nature of professional grade and professional trade secrets. Of course, there are hardly any issues or dynamics of professional grade or trade knowledge that are true secrets, but then again industrial espionage is something of a multi-million dollar concern.

Secrets!—they are the rub of life, this side of heaven.

In the latter trade secrets, there are some who just do not want or cannot learn what the advanced architect, lawyer, doctor, or Indian chief knows. Not truly secrets—no sir—but those arts and trades are as unobtainable as the highest government secrets through lack of motivation or inability in the spectator.

Freemasonry takes its professional grade secrets and public purposes seriously. Virtue is serious business to a serious Freemason. Regardless, most of the secrets have been betrayed in one form or another in past exposés. There has been some ugly manners used in the portrayals too—by Holly too. Yet Freemasonry has survived these, and secrecy is still important.

The real question on secrets revolves around the true nature of secrecy in distinction from the nature of Freemasonry. The real question is whether or not having secrets is good or not. If having secrets is bad, then all of the planet is hopelessly bad. Secrecy is an integral part of the life of the best men and women in the world and through the history of humanity. Every group or cabal or clique of friends has some secrets. The reality is that everyone has secrets, and maintaining some secrets is a sacred obligation for every mature person.

Said in another way, there are “no secrets” in decent and professional relationships, in spite of the fact that there are plenty of secrets inside of professional associations and trades and grades and ranks. Likewise, just as there are plenty of secrets in the senior warden’s prison office that are his affairs and his affairs alone—his burden too—out in the prison compound and among some of the planet’s most dangerous persons, there lurk some secrets too.

The question of whether Freemasonry is evil or good revolves around the nature and purpose of the secrets themselves. The real question that James Holly is asking is about the nature of Freemasonry and about the nature of Freemasonry’s secrets. That Holly got trapped in the anti-Mason lingo about “secrets—ooh and aahh! … what evil lurks there” is not unusual; that has been a mainstay for anti-Mason doubts for centuries, and even the chief dialogue for perhaps the most significant SBC leader in the SBC himself, Paige Patterson (see our e-mail dialogues). I tired of Patterson’s use of secrets, like that was the best he could do in his slapping of the reputations of ten legions of legends. So disappointing.

So Holly’s first section falls gravely short—is even occulted by the ten legions of legends of some of the finest men to walk the planet. Holly makes claims that Freemasonry is not biblical because of its secrets. That is not true or biblical. Even the church had to be secret during the early days of Roman persecution and throughout the centuries and even today in some parts of the world—ironically—considered occultic and evil by some of their communist or Islamic pursuers and persecutors. All of Holly’s and Patterson’s and other anti-Mason’s hullabaloo over secrets applies to the church too in its days of persecution.

They should be embarrassed by their disrespect of secrecy and their occulting of secrecy’s value to all intimate relationships.

II. Bible on Mystery Religions and Holly’s Misrepresentation  ~  TOP

Surely we all agree with James Holly that “where the Word of God is absolutely silent, we must broach no opinions” and likewise where the Bible is clear we should heed without question. Even if we are not able or fall back, the good Christian’s agenda is to try. Holly then broaches a sub-section where he indicates “hundreds of passages of Scripture that deal with” occultic organizations indirectly and four N.T. passages that deal “directly” with occultism.[18] Hundreds? Holly’s four “direct” passages deal with fables and not organizations at all. In the next section Holly unfolds the Greek meaning of fables as derived from muthos which indicates roots in keeping one’s mouth shut. And that leads Holly to say, “if the mouth is not shut voluntarily, the threat is made that it will be shut violently.”[19]

Well … the “threat” is there. A lot of people don’t like that threat. And I would bet that most all of those same people—if asked—would also concur that they do not like their own secrets told with wild abandon. One should not have to worry about the “threat” if one was truly adept at keeping secrets and keeping one’s word.[20]

There are some people that do not like to think about joining any group that would place serious boundaries upon them or think about any group that would require some self-control or some limits on their abilities to betray. Some people actually take a great deal of pride in their ability to betray—if it serves God, of course. Bonhoeffer acidly says:

It is only the cynic who claims “to speak the Truth” at all times and in all places to all men in the same way, but who, in fact, displays nothing but a lifeless image of the Truth. He dons the halo of the fanatical devotee of Truth who can make no allowance for human weaknesses; but, in fact, he is destroying the living Truth between men. He wounds shame, desecrates mystery, breaks confidence, betrays the community in which he lives, and laughs arrogantly at the devastation he has wrought and at the human weakness which “cannot bear the Truth.” He says Truth is destructive and demands its victims, and he feels like a god above these feeble creatures and does not know that he is serving Satan.[21]

Is it truly bad or evil that Freemasonry places such a high value on secrets and on a man being of so great integrity that he should keep his word? And the enactments and allegories and drama—How better can one instruct?

When Holly quotes from the Expositor’s Greek New Testament on I Timothy 1:4, he uses this quote: “They read the holy scriptures, and explain the philosophy of their fathers in an allegorical manner, regarding the written words as symbols of hidden truth which is communicated.”[22] To that, Holly says,

These are excellent descriptions of the Masonic Lodge. As such they demonstrate that the deceit, the syncreticism, and the symbolism and the secretiveness of the Masonic Lodge quality it as a practice condemned by the Word of God. No Christian body that embraces the inerrancy of the Word of God can ignore that Word’s condemnation of the Masonic Lodge.[23]

That is extraordinary and not the original intent of the Expositor’s Greek New Testament commentary, and that in no way or form or fashion condemns Freemasonry because of the symbolism or secrecy of Freemasonry. Holly forces a connection that is not there, adds bad taste with the word deceit, and blows past all sense at how I Timothy or how the Expositor’s Greek New Testament clearly condemns the Masonic Lodge.

One thing is true: Freemasonry does make sophisticated use of both allegory and symbols to teach the value of honor and morals; there is a moral lesson in every aspect of Freemasonry, and Holly does not indicate the morality or values or virtues of Freemasonry anywhere. Also, within the Christian church fathers, there was a whole genre of biblical exposition that used allegory to interpret the Bible, and they were never considered occultic. And what are the parables of Jesus? That jump by Holly is too broad to make a clear connection. That jump needed a fully suspended bridge that everyone could cross.

That kind of rationalizing is present in Yisrayl Hawkins’ rather bizarre Devil Worship: The Shocking Facts! when he uses the definitions of obelisk from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia and Collier’s Encyclopedia to start off his section on “the sun-phallic symbol erected at every temple of sex.”[24] From there he makes a direct connection from every heathen obelisk to every cathedral and church steeple, even St. Peters Church in Rome and with pictures:

These Church Steeples and Towers are just MODIFIED FORM of the “Obelisk and Asherah”—SYMBOLS of Male and Female Sex Members: PHALLIC SYMBOLS, which are actually the unspoken SYMBOLS of Sex Worship which is actually being taught in the building so ‘decorated.’[25]

In this book, Hawkins sees the devil everywhere, and everywhere the devil is there is perverted sex. I cannot imagine anyone spending this much time on the devil and sex, and his loony attributions to all of the Christian holidays and even Easter tire the soul. Fifteen minutes in this book was enough for me—just enough to get this and squirm at other junk. As we spent considerable time on Paganism above, we did indicate the Pagan origin of some parts of the Easter celebrations (and Hawkins adds Christmas, Valentines Day, etc.[26]), but Hawkins just about smashes every aspect of the church. His House of Yahweh is truly separatist. One could very well say that Hawkins has documented here in this book how every Protestant and Catholic church has roots in Satanism, and Hawkins did a better job in proving Satanism in Christianity than Bill Gordon (Holly and other anti-Masons) do in connecting Freemasonry with Satanism. The rationalizing is eerily similar.

There is certainly some truth about some of the Pagan origins to our Easter and Christmas celebrations, but that is not new or obscure to the best Christian scholars.[27] The real point that Hawkins and many anti-Masons miss is what the celebrations mean to the adherents, and asking the adherents might help. What Christian (or non-Christian) today associates church spires and steeples with phallic symbols? I would say only the most twisted, and it is ugly and nasty sacrilege to taint anyone minds with the thought.

Likewise, it is so very sour, sickening to think of ten legions of legions as duped by Paganism or as secret Pagans—incredible without rock-solid proof. The real and more important question Hawkins and his ilk do not ask is this: who actually believes today that Easter egg hunts are a form of devil worship? It will not be long before Hawkins will want to put skirts around telephone poles too—given the kind smashing he does. Here is a truly sex-tormented man.

Hawkins is exactly like Bill Gordon above with the 5-pointed stars. Once a Pagan or Satanist uses the star or matchstick or has ever in the ancient past used it—whatever it is—it is Pagan from then on. To these people and their bizarre mind-binding rationales, the Pagans and Satanists have already won—conquered—for thereafter, everything they touch becomes unclean and there is no cleanser available. The person who uses something touched by a Pagan becomes condemned no matter what the meaning that the successor attributes.

Easter bunnies and church steeples are Pagan and Satanic sex objects! And these same people who see these sickening things are trying to tell us that George Washington, George W. Truett, ten legions of legends, and millions more Freemasons who were among the best men who have ever lived are bad people, even duped or duplicitous people! That is truly scary.

That’s corny … almost laughable, but for the serious face of the accusers. What must it have been like for the accused witch in 17th century Salem and being told that, with weights tied around her body, that “you shall be deemed innocent if you sink and guilty if you float?” Sure—I am not stretching this; this is very tight and to the point. The rationales are eerily similar with just a little bit of thinking. The greater problem is that some of these kinds of persons do not think at all—just hate, hate, hate.

Holly connects his quotes from I Timothy and the Expositor’s Greek New Testament with some strange rationales and then condemns at the beginning when he says that his study will show that Freemasonry is a “practitioner of the black arts” and how “Masonic masters teach that when the Bible states, ‘Out of Egypt will I call My Son,’ God referred to His bringing the mystery religion of Sun worship out of Egypt.”[28] One clear connection to the “black arts” in Holly’s volumes would have helped.

Here—of my own free will—let me help Holly. Non-Mason historian Steven C. Bullock dug deep and articulated some extraordinary Freemasonry contributions to the American Revolution. At the very beginning he tells a true story of early Salem, Massachusetts, and how a young man spied on the secret meetings of Freemasons against his mother’s own warnings. She had heard other wives’ tales about how Freemasons were practitioners of the “black arts”; but the young man found out the truth, that the men he spied upon were among the leaders of the town and some of the best men in town.[29] There is at least one authoritative reference to at least the suspicion of Freemasonry and the black arts in New England. Would that Holly had provided at least one authoritative reference for his deprecating use of the “black arts” with respect to Freemasonry.

Add to that, Holly then indicates that the only “cult which has a more bizarre interpretation” is that which “sprang from Freemasonry” in “Mormonism, founded by the Freemason, Joseph Smith.”[30] What kind of a reference is that with respect to what Freemasonry believes?

Why is Mormonism getting this kind of publicity from a Southern Baptist perspective? Is Mormonism the errant child of Freemasonry? Not to the Mormons or to Freemasonry. This is the playing of a wildcard in a game in which there are no wildcards. Mormonism is not compatible with SBC doctrine, and vice versa. Both believe in exclusive claims to truth that exclude the other, and both believe that their truth is the only truth. And Freemasonry only concerns itself with the truths that both of them share and disconnects itself from the differences that divide them.

Holly throws in a wildcard, and everyone around the table is wondering what that means.

If Freemasonry was a religion, there are a few grounds for how Holly takes a few things below. But Freemasonry does not practice any magic at all or interpret the “out of Egypt” passage above like that, and Joseph Smith is not an example of Freemasonry any more than genocidal Jim Jones is an example of a normal Baptist in Guiana. And here, Mormon’s make a lot more sense than Jim Jones. Typecasting an aberration does not work here, for Joseph Smith was not a good Freemason or ever an example of Freemasonry. And there are probably a few Mormons who are good Freemasons too.

Holly brings up the “out of Egypt” passage later under the section where W. L. Wilmshurst is alleged to make Lucifer God. Even if there are indications that some persons make Lucifer or Satan a god, there is no one of good sense that equates Satan with God the Father on any kind of equal standing. Holly does quote accurately from Wilmshurst, but Holly does not indicate Wilmshurst’s meaning accurately. Wilmshurst said,

“Out of Egypt have I called My son” is, in one of its many senses, a biblical allusion to this passing on of the catholic Mysteries from Egypt to new and virgin regions, for their enlightenment.[31]

Holly says that Wilmshurst meant that God was bringing the mystery religion of Sun worship out of Egypt and as such, “This is blasphemous, equating the Egyptian mystery religions with the Only Begotten Son of God.”[32] Yet that is not even what Wilmshurst said above: he said “biblical allusion to this passing on.” In the next paragraph, Wilmshurst clarifies how the Bible indicates how Moses was schooled in Egypt, how Philo reiterated, and how Moses became a real “Master Mason”[33] qualifying him for the leadership that lay ahead of him. Wilmshurst continues,

The Mosaic system continued, as we know, along the channel indicated in the books of the Old Testament, and then, after many centuries and vicissitudes, effloresced in the greatest of all expressions of the Mysteries, as disclosed in the Gospels of the New Testament (or New Witness), involving the supersession of all previous systems under the Supreme Grand Mastership of Him who is called the Light of the World and its Saviour.[34]

That is a most strange thing to hear for any modern evangelical, admittedly, but very far away from the worship of Lucifer that Holly indicates.[35] Staying focused, Wilmshurst is still hard to grasp by a modern Christian and seems to indicate just a little slice of Holly’s imprecations; if Freemasonry is a religion, then Wilmshurst seems to indicate that the Gospel itself was transmuted from Egypt to Moses to a final “effloresced” expression in Christ. If—if Freemasonry is a religion and Wilmshurst is talking about the coming of Christ from Egyptian mysteries, there is a kind of the blasphemy that Holly warns.

Let me pause for a moment. Even as circuitous as Holly goes, even as overboard with Lucifer being God-of-the-Lodge that is not true and far out of touch—Holly has discerned some references here that are a concern to Christians and that should concern Christian Freemasons. I pause here because this is as close as we can get to blaspheming and a far more clear connection—that I am providing myself—than either Holly or Bill Gordon provide. Herein, if true, this becomes the more clear support for a blaspheming religion that is only shadow-boxed by SBC expert Bill Gordon’s cheap renderings, only loosely outlined in the SBC 1993 Original report, and fully by-passed altogether by Gordon in his tiny Comparison Chart that alleges Freemasonry to be a full-fledged Paganism.

These accusations have no place in a Christian’s life without rock-solid referencing, and moreover here in the 21st century without honorably encountering at least one of the many scholarly rebuttals.

Let me continue the pause here and re-enforce the force of these implications. As a non-theologically-trained medical doctor, Holly has said and pointed to blasphemy—clearly enough, though indirectly—and better than the SBC experts who were supposed to be trained. And as we outlined in the introductory chapters, the SBC has made clear claims (weakly) that Freemasonry is Paganism (soiling the names of ten legions of legends), and still does nothing about it. Holly is right that indicating Paganism is not enough. If-if-if Holly is also right that Freemasonry is a religious cult of Paganism—not enough at all—and the SBC needs to do a full purging and broadband clarifying with utter clarity.

As Holly asked—What can be of greater concern? If Holly is right.

Now let me tell you a small thing about Wilmshurst that was no secret. Wilmshurst also wrote in 1922, something not indicated anywhere in Holly. Throughout Holly’s three volumes (especially in volume three), Holly direly laments the sorry quality of scholarly work the SBC does, but Holly does not footnote or endnote a single thing. The dates or versions of the works he uses, apparently, Holly has deemed unnecessary for his SBC readers in—as Holly laments—the worst disease of all inflicting the SBC. Holly could not write like this for any medical journal on the planet.

Now let me tell you what Wilmshurst meant that was no secret. Wilmshurst is not easy to read—a few times just not making sense (at least to me)—and he wrote primarily to Freemasons with many of them being Christian Freemasons. That is the nature of some philosophical work, by the way and especially before the age of computers and access to great editors; even some of our best Christian philosophers and theologians prior to 1945 struggled. One of the differences between then and now is … the computer. Another is that readers who enjoyed the deep waters of books like Wilmshurst did not get bogged down in a few sentences or even a few paragraphs that appeared obtuse. For both Holly and Gordon and all of the modern anti-Masons, all of them need to address the modern Freemasonry works along side the classic Freemasonry works. Most of the works in Holly and Gordon were the classics. Should a classic be read, that classic should be somewhat respected for the times in which it originated.

Wilmshurst gives evidence of biblical knowledge and gives respect to solid Christian values and gives respect to Christ in several places without a seeming conflict to his elucidation of Freemasonry’s meaning (also not indicated anywhere in Holly). Holly did not represent Wilmshurst accurately or fairly; it was like Holly had not read Wilmshurst at all.

What does Wilmshurst mean by the passage indicated above and some of the mysteries coming from Egypt and finding “effloresced” expression at its greatest as “disclosed in the Gospels”? Here is what Wilmshurst means, at least three things. First, Freemasonry is not a religion and does not seek to separate the differences between religions. Against Holly and most of the best anti-Masons, Freemasonry is not a Universalism where all paths can obtain a true salvation in God. Wilmshurst refers to Freemasonry’s recognition that there is truth—however rough—in the Egyptian mysteries about morality in general, about a common sense in humankind that recognized that even the heavens declare the glory of God, about the common sense in all human beings—if they be human—that there are universal truths and values. Wilmshurst does not mean that all faiths ultimately agree or that Freemasonry is the final bridge to all faiths. In some respects, Freemasonry is the bridge over troubled waters between the differences of all religions, focusing more on the moral overtones and less upon the spiritual overtones: squaring their actions by the square of virtue and keeping their passions within the perimeters of the compasses.

Freemasonry does not engage the differences at all, but attempts to acknowledge the similarities with respect to truth and morality. Said in another way as we said above, all religions have some common elements: for instance, basically all of the major religions (and most of the mystery religions) value truth over lying, value saving life over murder, value family, value consensual relations over rape, and value fidelity in marriage over adultery. Most of the world’s religions value the Ten Commandments in whatever version they be found.

Secondly, Wilmshurst means there are universal truths among the differences of all religions. Wilmshurst said: “‘Out of Egypt have I called My son’ is, in one of its many senses, a biblical allusion to this passing on of the catholic [universal] Mysteries from Egypt to new and virgin regions, for their enlightenment.”[36] Wilmshurst said earlier, at the beginning of his book, that Freemasonry “explains, elucidates and more sharply defines, the fundamental doctrines common to every religious system in the world, whether past or present, whether Christian or non-Christian.”[37] If Freemasonry were a religion, truly a religion of its own, it would be the biggest mess and would have never succeeded past 1717. Who would have joined such a stone mason religion in 1717 but block heads? On the contrary, those who coalesced and started the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717 were among the most educated and elite of their day—medical doctors and clergy too. In 1717 Freemasonry fully changed from being a guild of operative stone masons into a fraternity of speculative masons using the imagery of stone masons to build each other up in a brotherhood.

Thirdly, remembering that Freemasonry is not a religion, please see what Wilmshurst did say: he did say that the highest truths of universal values (rightness, justice, equality, even humankind’s inherent knowledge of God) did effloresce in the revelation of the Gospel and the Gospel’s savior; that is, they effloresced and “burst forth” and “bloom”[38] in the Savior. To be clear about this, Wilmshurst did not say that the Savior or the Savior’s prophecy came from Egypt, only Moses. What Wilmshurst said that came from the Egyptian mysteries was in essence the moral desire itself; that moral desire also came concurrently from Greece and the Greek search for wisdom, from even before and through Plato and the philosophers (from whom we know that the church in part leaned upon Plato’s ideas of God’s perfections in developing some of the advanced biblical and theological reflections of God in Aquinas[39]).[40]

Following the curve of moral desire from Egypt does not exclude that in Palestine or in Abraham there was an original, unique, pure, and inerrant revelation of God to God’s people. Abraham carried the revelation of his purpose with him to Egypt, and God raised Moses 400 years later. The Red Sea crossing and the lifting of the serpent on a pole are a type of salvation. And Wilmshurst does not challenge any of that at all, which he should have and would have if he was articulating a theology; it is clear he knows the Bible and some significant Christian doctrine.

Certainly, the training that Moses received in the court of Egypt’s Pharaoh was not all good just as it was not all bad. Yet, the great pyramids are still wonders of the ancient world, and the Great Pyramid was already nearly 500 years old when Abraham went to Egypt. There was wisdom and geometry in Egypt during the time of Moses like few places on earth. What Wilmshurst indicates—even if a little vague and certainly not clear for a 21st century evangelical—is that there were concepts and tools and language idioms that accompanied Moses as he led the Hebrews out of the Egyptian civilization in which the Hebrews had lived for 400 years. After 400 years, something rubbed off and even followed that rough bunch into the wilderness. Even in the wilderness, sadly, the majority reverted to the worst in idol worship. But nevertheless, then as well as today, we are still indebted to them—can I say even the ancient Egyptians—as well as the Greeks for some of our very language and more abstract ideas.

Even Holly gives us some examples of Greek-to-English etymology. We do not live today without continuity to the past, but our whole way of life in language, government, and social morals has many roots traceable back to the Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Roman senate, the Greek masters, and even—dare I say—some of the ancient mystery religions. Easter egg hunting too.

The huge two-hundred-year old live oak tree that spreads his huge branches and foliage from coast to shining coast across America has innumerable roots, too many to follow, but roots exposed enough to know that the tree of American freedom stands today rooted in history. Yet none of that tracing or root examination or the wisdom therein or the debt to the former contributions is truth itself simply for the tracing. Moreover, Wilmshurst does not make the root-tracing truth or for that matter indicate that anything he says is on the same level as revealed truth or on the same level as biblical truth. A careful reading of Wilmshurst will indicate a subtle assumption of the validity of biblical truth (but that is for someone else to prove).

There are several indications where Wilmshurst appears to know and even give respect to the uniqueness of Christ—as the only savior—and Christianity as the true faith in distinction to others. With that, Wilmshurst presses the nature of truths that appear across the whole landscape of history.

Wilmshurst is rough reading. Contrary to Holly and many other anti-Mason implications, Wilmshurst never lifts up the ancient mysteries as theological systems equal to the Bible or superceding the Bible or even as valid systems for interpreting a good theology of God. Wilmshurst does not give us a theology of God at all, much less indicate or support Holly’s allusions to the God of Freemasonry being Lucifer or Satan. This allegation by Holly needed to be crystal clear or not made at all. These mistaken or malignantly deceptive allegations bring more questions to Holly’s work than they do to Freemasonry. For those looking at Wilmshurst, Holly’s allegations turn against Holly and lift up Wilmshurst as the more biblical—as strange as that is.

The above does not merit Holly’s closing words of this chapter. Holly ends with Titus 1:10-16 being “the perfect description of the Masonic Lodge” where mention is made to “Cretians are always liars.”[41] Therefore, according to Holly, men in Freemasonry are participating in activities that the Bible condemns, and the remainder of his book will “prove to anyone’s satisfaction that freemasonry is not only inconsistent with Christianity, but that freemasonry is the avowed enemy of Jesus Christ and of Christianity.”[42]

Anyone can voice an opinion. But before we call ten legions of legends Satanists and liars, we do need a clearly cohesive line that brims over with obvious credibility. Not just a splash of words loosely connected. Holly’s words are the worst kind of judgment that anyone give to a Christian man; they are heavy words, clear and forthright. There is no mistake about Holly’s judgment, but there is no demonstration in the above that is crystal clear in the words themselves—especially in the light of the above criticism.

Does Holly demonstrate the veracity of his judgments any better than he has thus far?

III. Masonic Authorities & Most Theological Section in Freemasonry  ~  TOP

In this chapter, Holly gives a series of quotes from several Freemason writers, none of which truly accomplish much, except in a round about way support Holly’s assumption of Freemasonry being a religion. That is a common mistake (at least a mistake) made by many, not even trying to distinguish between a religion and an institution with a religious bearing.

Fortunately for me, I have the same copy of Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma that Holly possesses; that made reference checking a snap.[43] Let me say this, I have not waded all the way through Pike’s ponderous volume; I have only spent several hours in several sittings. As picky as many anti-Masons are want to be about Pike, and rightly so, there is some stuff that strains the evangelical heart. If Freemasonry is a religion, then Pike becomes a challenge and very confusing—too confusing to make much good sense of, for some not wanting to dig deeper. Yet as Pike’s own preface says, “Every one is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue and unsound.”[44] You will not hear that in Calvin or Luther. And Pike indicates that about half of his tome was compiled.

It is also sad that even some Freemasonry researches (Freemason and non-Mason) have backed away from use of Pike, with some not mentioning Pike at all in their otherwise rather distinguished surveys. Pike has been attacked so much by the anti-Masons that many Christian Freemasons are afraid to use Pike. Pike is at times difficult and at times brash, but some anti-Masons are too sloppy and—given some internet gibberish too—even slanderers of Pike. James L. Holly does not help here either, but actually lends an MD credibility to the sloppy twists of Pike that Holly (or his writers) copies from others.

Let me say this about Pike. With the same skimpy quoting that anti-Masons like to pull from Pike—as odd sounding as some of those quotes might be—by the same token, we can take from Pike’s Morals and Dogma the same number and size of quotes and make him appear to be a rather staunch providential Calvinist. You will not hear that from any anti-Mason either, and we are not calling Pike a Calvinist either. Another weakness of the anti-Masons in their use and abuse of Pike is their focus upon dogma in the title instead of morals. The entirety of Pike’s book is a kind of commentary where by the initiate at each degree is to ascertain the moral lessons of that degree; please hear that, if nothing else, Pike’s book was designed to help the initiate gather moral lessons from each degree.

Not theology at all or anything explicitly anti-Christian, Pike attempted to author a compendium of studies interjected with a host of compilations most of which compilations have continuity within the specific chapter (or degree). A few times one paragraph will follow another without any true continuity; that is, the paragraph (compiled or not) will appear like a wise saying among a collection of many others.

It is interesting to note some of the things Pike does say that no anti-Mason appears to want known. For instance, take a look at a few of these.

What an unequalled interest lies in the virtue of every one whom we love! In his virtue, nowhere but in his virtue, is garnered up the incomparable treasure. What care we for brother or friend, compared with what we care for his honor, his fidelity, his reputation, his kindness? How venerable is the rectitude of a parent! How sacred his reputation! No blight can fall upon a child, is like a parent’s dishonor.[45]

This degree, like all others in Masonry, is symbolical. Based upon historical truth and authentic tradition, it is still an allegory. The leading lesson of this Degree is Fidelity to obligation, and Constancy and Perseverance under difficulties and discouragement.[46]

Masonry teaches that God is a Paternal Being, and has an interest in his creatures, such as is expressed in the title Father; and interest unknown to all the systems of Paganism, untaught in all the theories of philosophy; an interest not only in the glorious beings of other spheres, the Sons of Light, the dwellers of Heavenly worlds, but in us, poor, ignorant, and unworthy, that He has pity for the erring, pardon for the guilty, love for the pure, knowledge for the humble, and promises of immortal life for those who trust in and obey Him….

We know that God is good, and that what He does is right. This known, the works of creation, the changes of life, the destinies of eternity, are all spread before us, as the dispensations and counsels of infinite love. This known, we then know that the love of God is working to issues, like itself, beyond all thought and imagination good and glorious; and that the only reason why we do not understand it, is that it is too glorious for us to understand. God’s love takes care for all, and nothing is neglected.[47]

The Mason kneels, no longer to present his petition for admittance or to receive the answer, no longer to a man as his superior, who is but his brother, but to his God; to whom he appeals for the rectitude of his intentions, and whose aid he asks to enable him to keep his vows…. To Kneel for other purposes, Masonry does not require.[48]

Those quotes above are never shared by anti-Masons in the multitude of their skimpy attacks on Albert Pike. Side by side with the quotes that anti-Masons use and abuse, there is a complete non-sense to Pike if Pike was defending Freemasonry as a religion instead of explaining a few elements of moral lessons for a moral fraternity. The longest section in Pike’s Morals and Dogma concerns the 28th degree and extends for one-forth of the entire book for over 200 pages![49] The following is the first couple of sentences with a few other quotes.

God is the author of everything that existeth; the Eternal, the Supreme, the Living, and Awful Being; from Whom nothing in the Universe is hidden. Make of Him no idols and visible images; but rather worship Him in the deep solitudes of sequestered forests; for He is invisible, and fill the Universe as its soul, and liveth not in any Temple….

He is eternal, immovable, and Self-Existent. There are no bounds to His power. At one glance He sees the Past, the Present, and the Future…. He reads our thoughts before they are known to ourselves. He rules the movements of the Universe, and all the events and revolutions are the creatures of His will. For He is the Infinite Mind and the Supreme Intelligence.[50]

God is the First; indestructible, eternal, Uncreated, Indivisible. Wisdom, Justice, Truth, and Mercy, with Harmony and Love, are of His essence, and the Eternity and Infinite of Extension…. In Him were all things originally contained, and from Him all things were evolved….

In the Beginning, the Universe was but One SOUL. HE was The All, alone with Time and Space, and Infinite as they.[51]

Then after over a hundred pages of dialogue on the gods of other religions, some fancies in between and connections with modern conceptions, Pike attempts to cull a basic truth that runs between them all with clear indications of biblical truth. Pike is not the easiest to read, but he is clear enough; compared to the easy-going manner of much evangelical work today, some of Pike looks strange. Compared to heavy Christian writers like Karl Barth and Carl F. H. Henry, Pike would appear to be articulating some theology to the uninitiated: very few can be as clear as C. S. Lewis.

Between the stuff in Pike that a modern evangelical Christian would certainly doubt and some items in Pike that indicate Calvinistic meticulous providence (some Calvinism that some Christians doubt today[52]), it is important to note that Pike was not writing a theology or even a philosophy of Freemasonry. It is likewise important to know that Pike knew what a theology and philosophy system looked like. Between the evangelically strange and the Calvinist material in Pike, and without going into the exclusiveness of Protestant Christianity (and far away from the Protestant denominational divisions between Baptist, church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist, Assembly of God, Non-Denominational, etc.), Pike moves to explain the basics of God in perhaps the most theological section in all of the Freemasonry literature (that I have seen).

As Pike moves through the latter hundred pages of this huge chapter, he even quotes St. Thomas Aquinas several times, the famed Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church and to whom many Protestant theological scholars still owe a great debt (an abstract somewhat detached God of perfection) and to and among a conception of a personal God more like the evangelical non-Catholic would affirm—all this without clearly siding with either. Listen to this quote from Pike.

It is not correct to affirm, as is often done, that Christianity has in some sort discovered this noble sentiment [charity-love]. We must not lower human nature, to raise Christianity. Antiquity knew, described, and practiced charity; the first feature of which, so touching, and thank God! so common, is goodness, as its loftiest one is heroism. Charity is devotion to another; and it is ridiculously senseless to pretend that there ever was an age of the world, when the human soul was deprived of that part of its heritage, the power of devotion. But it is certain that Christianity has diffused and popularized this virtue, and that, before Christ, these words were never spoken: “Love one another; for that is the whole law.” Charity presupposes Justice. He who truly loves his brother respects the rights of his brother; but he does more, he forgets his own. Egoism sells or takes. Love delights in giving. In God, love is what it is in us; but in an infinite degree. God is inexhaustible in His charity, as He is inexhaustible in His essence….

Where is James L. Holly and Bill Gordon here? If they know anything at all about Paganism or Satanism, that quote from Pike is as far away as anyone can imagine. Goodness—that quote alone should convict them for how they strain to pull on Pike to support their imaginative claims. But that quote from Pike is only a tid-bit. Here are two more quotes.

God being all just and all good, He can will nothing but what is good and just. Being Omnipotent, whatever He wills He can do, and consequently does. The world is the work of God: it is therefore perfectly made….[53]

God, therefore, in the Masonic creed, is Infinite Truth, Infinite Beauty, Infinite Goodness. He is the Holy of Holies, as Author of the Moral Law, as the Principle of Liberty, of Justice, and of Charity, Dispenser of Reward and Punishment. Such a God is not an abstract God; but an intelligent and free person, Who has made us in His image, from Whom we receive the law that presides over our destiny, and Whose judgment we await. It is His love that inspires us in our acts of charity: it is His justice that governs our justice, and that of society and the laws….

When we love Truth, Justice, and Nobility of Soul, we should know that it is God we love underneath these special forms, and should unite them all into one great act of total piety…. When we learn the right, we learn the will of God laid down as a rule of conduct for the Universe; and when we feel disinterested love, we should know that we partake the feeling of the Infinite God. Then, when we reverence the mighty cosmic force, it will not be a blind Fate in an Atheistic or Pantheistic world, but in the Infinite God, that we shall confront and feel and know.[54]

Then in a remarkable statement, among others about the knowable and unknowable depths of God the Father, Pike notes the following as likewise authoritative about God.

Christ was, according to Saint John, “the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world”; and “that Light was the life of men.” “The Light shone in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.”[55]

Regardless, one would not want to give Pike’s Morals and Dogma to a new Christian or a new Freemason or make his book the top pick of the week for general reading. Nor was it ever intended to be. It is over 800 pages. But Pike is not the heretic either, nor the Universalist or the endorser of Freemasonry as a religion. Compare Pike with Manly P. Hall, and you can see Universalism in Hall and struggle to see that anywhere in Pike. What is clear is that Pike knew what Universalism was and did not claim it like the anti-Masons strain.

Perhaps, because of the anti-Mason fervor and need for Freemasonry to be a religion, Pike could be confused by a new Christian who was also a new Freemason. But if one followed Pike’s own admonition in his own preface, perhaps even the new convert would not take all of Pike as seriously as some of the anti-Masons make Pike to be. Regardless, Pike was serious about his morals and non-dogmatic dogma, where dogma can be seen as synonymous in Pike for instructive and specific moral themes.

Some anti-Masons make Pike more of a Freemasonry prophet than Pike thought of himself, and many anti-Masons go to great links to indicate Pike as more authoritative for Freemasonry than most Freemasons do. There is a large difference between highly respected and authoritative.

If you will look at some of the anti-Mason literature, you will see how several anti-Masons spend a lot of time and go to great lengths and talk and talk about how Pike is an authority—no, no, not an authority—but rather talk about how authoritative Pike is. Only after that is established, and only then, you will find a couple of quotes from Pike followed by a slough of invectives—just like Holly and Gordon. Some anti-Masons quote Pike like he is the Bible for Freemasons, but there is hardly a Christian scholar in all of Christendom (except perhaps C. S. Lewis) that is quoted as authoritatively as anti-Masons quote Pike for Freemasonry.

What is clear is that the anti-Masons have not read Pike closely or heeded Pike’s own words about reading his stuff. Sometimes it appears like anti-Masons are trying to establish the authority of Pike so that they can strain their own negativity out of a few small and strange passages in Pike and avoid doing real work. Then, with their snappy quoting of Pike as though Pike wrote ex cathedra for Freemasonry, the anti-Masons force a religion into Freemasonry that makes finding heresy in Pike a snap—especially with their pick-and-choose method.

There is plenty in Pike that might not set will with most evangelicals if taken as religious dogmatism and taken as a defense of the religion of Freemasonry. But if one looks a Pike’s Morals and Dogma as a series of lectures designed to help an initiate to see the symbols and allegories of that particular stage and the moral lesson of that degree—well then, what is the big huff?

The longest chapter in Pike’s Morals and Dogma is agreeably the most theological. What is the big huff if the moral lesson of that degree is—to oversimplify—the grandness of the one great and personal Father God? And moreover, what is the huff if the initiate is encouraged to look beyond the door of Freemasonry and encouraged to look to his own church for details on access to that personal and loving Father God? Freemasonry requires that the man is religious before he applies and assumes in fraternal trust that the man will retain his religiosity throughout his life; there is never a test of a man’s spiritual welfare (as all good religions generally require and another proof that Freemasonry is not a religion). That is—evangelically speaking—Freemasonry assumes that the man is already a faithful church member. Freemasonry is not a religion, but certainly religious; not advocating a particular form of salvation or Universalism, but certainly indicating God and future judgment. Not a religion, yet under God, Freemasonry focuses upon … well … building and masonry with the trowel as emblematical of that instrument that spreads the cement of brotherly love according the square of virtue and within the compasses that represent our attempts to circumscribe our wild passions.

Excuse me—that is light years away from Holly’s sloppy assertions.

Pike’s Morals and Dogma would have been far better had he used a computer. I do not know all of the other limits under which Pike had to work, but this book is a hefty piece on comparative religions to say the least. And it is a contribution to moral philosophy especially—distinguished by 32 degrees especially. Pike was a good writer of many of the things he did write, sometimes indicating a very wide spread of multi-lingual reading. We are at a great loss—and it is Pike’s disservice—that Pike did not footnote or reference what appears to be hundreds of authors in that work from all over the world. At least a bibliography was have been nice and intriguing. But look at the size of the thing! How much work went into it is enough, and the technology to footnote before the turn of the 20th century must have cost a fortune in overtime (instead of the nothing today). In a way, perhaps, Pike may have known that its very size would have prevented all but the most serious from reading it, and prevented all but Freemasons from taking it seriously, and therefore Pike relied on his own character counting quality with respect to his profuse quoting.

Pike wrote to Freemasons specifically pursuing the advanced degrees in the Scottish Rite. But most of the anti-Masons—Holly and Gordon especially—seem to rely on Pike most of all to criticize all Freemasonry. That with the misrepresented straining is bad enough, even without the knowledge that the Scottish Rite does not represent all or even the majority of Freemasonry.

So, having said all of that, it is surprising that anti-Masons would lunge into Pike’s Morals and Dogma as totally from Pike and as a definitive explanation of all Freemasonry—which it is only 3/32nd of a part specifically and only as a constituent in the rest—but without noting the larger purpose of Pike’s book being more for the initiates to latter degrees. Pike’s book assumes that there are additional elements in each degree not present in the book’s lectures themselves. Said in another way, the anti-Masons make Pike’s Morals and Dogma an authoritative explanation of Freemasonry for the masses, which it was never intended to be. At least James L. Holly should have known better.

All of the above was said to make clear one thing about Pike: Pike did not intend his Morals and Dogma to be a solitary and complete philosophy of Freemasonry. Given the amount of work that Freemasonry historian Allen E. Roberts has contributed, it is shameless abandon that anyone would criticize today’s Freemasonry based primarily upon antique writers and without even trying to deal with any one of some of Freemasonry’s modern writers. Why do Holly and Gordon and Ankerberg ignore Allen E. Roberts’ The Mystic Tie? Albert Gallatin Mackey’s Mystic Tie, and most especially Joseph Fort Newton’s The Religion of Masonry: an Interpretation?[56] I mean, did they not even do an internet search? While maybe they did not have internet in 1993, Macoy Publishing was operating in 1993. Regardless, they could today. And look at the titles! Those should have been irresistible to serious researchers, even if merely listed; surely there would be clear quotes about the mysticism they hunt in Pike in works entitled Mystic Tie and Religion of Masonry. If they had been interested in real authorities today, no other man has contributed as much history to Freemasonry literature in the 20th century than Allen E. Roberts.[57] Listen to Allen E. Roberts:

Myth: Freemasonry is a religion.

Fact: Absolutely false. This is one of several arguments employed by certain religious fanatics in an attempt to discredit Freemasonry. They quote Albert Pike and Henry Wilson Coil, among others, neither of whom was a man of the cloth, to “prove” their statements. Pike was not a researcher. Most of the hundreds of thousands of words he wrote came from his own mind, or the minds of others whom he never mentioned but with whom he agreed. Coil wrote millions of words about Freemasonry, and he was a lawyer and an excellent Masonic researcher. Most of the time the words of these and other writers are taken out of context to “prove” the thesis of the anti-Masons. Freemasonry’s enemies conveniently ignore the thousands of Christian ministers, and some Rabbis, who prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Freemasonry, although religious is far from being a religion. Here are just three of these Doctors of Divinity who have proven the critics in error: Joseph Fort Newton, Norman Vincent Peale, and Forrest D. Haggard.[58]

That is not all by any means. Joseph Fort Newton could have been taken out of context a lot easier, with a couple of quotes from his Religion of Masonry doing precisely what anti-Masons desire in making Freemasonry a religion—title and all. Only Newton was a Christian minister with a wonderfully articulate sense of presence. While Newton grants a respect to other religions in Freemasonry (as other faiths would use other books), Newton is clear and poetic about the Bible supremacy for the Christian Freemason. Newton’s book shines like a light and lifts up the Bible as God’s holy Word; what Newton means by the religion of Freemasonry is merely the assent to a belief in God and immortality of the soul, and for the Christian Freemason the Bible is … well … here is what Newton says.

Still, though we honor every Book of Faith in which man has found comfort and command, for us the Bible is supreme, at once the mother-book of our literature and the master-book of the Lodge. In depth, in wonder, in richness of moral truth there is no book like it; none near it. Its presence in the Lodge is proof against pettiness…. Its pages are holy, its laws are binding, its spirit is the breath of God….

Far better than any words about the Bible are the words of the Bible itself—so simple, so searching, so sublime, alike in the flaming splendor of its poetry and the granitic solidity of its prose—to read which is know whence we came, why we are here, and whither we go. Read it, Brethren; follow it faithfully, obey it honestly, trust it utterly, and learn that the Religion of a Mason is to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God.[59]

If there is a religion of Freemasonry, it is solely the religion of the man under God in total respect to his fellow man and outside of difference: to encourage submission and love for God and love for others, simply, and after that a man goes to his church of preference as his own conscience leads him and as God him for a fuller application—even difference—of how the Christian Freemason applies the Bible.

The irony here is that James L. Holly does indicate a familiarity with Macoy Publishing, just not any familiarity at all with the works Macoy has produced, especially those by Roberts who is the veritable flagship for Freemasonry history today. A further irony is how James L. Holly thought to make his three volumes seem authoritative with a mass of quoting from so few sources—what, a dozen?—and most of them antique. How in the world? And who is to know, since Holly does not properly footnote a single one or give the date of a single one. Holly would not do that with a medical paper today—I hope not, anyway—for the laugh-ability of such a paper would spawn in the editor’s hands.

In closing, Albert Pike certainly did not intend for anyone to construe Freemasonry as a religion from his Morals and Dogma. If Pike lived today, he certainly would have written a chapter or small book that would have clarified in powerful terms how Freemasonry was not a religion, but that did not need to be clarified for Freemasonry in 1871. Comparatively few people in America in 1871 mistook Freemasonry as a religion then (except the Catholic church). Furthermore, if there any anti-Masons in 1871, they were in a select minority. For during and after the American Civil War, there was many a peace-making made between Yankee and Confederate that would not have taken place had it not been for their fraternal bonds, blood and Freemasonry alike.[60]

IV. Who Knows the Truth about Freemasonry & Holly’s “Lies”  ~  TOP

Holly’s use of “lies” in this chapter is strange.

In this small one-page chapter, Holly opens with a very important question that indicates that Holly is truly thinking about how much character counts. Holly says, “If Freemasonry is as wicked as this paper contends, then how can otherwise sincere men, who genuinely believe that they are Christians, embrace the tenets of an occultic and indeed satanic organization?”[61] Holly actually indicates that if the Christians were truly listening to the Spirit of the Lord that they would know. That’s quite presumptuous, like many do not know now. Holly quotes Albert Pike saying, “No! … because we lie to them,” but Holly should have footnoted that.[62] Otherwise, how does Holly expect people to believe him there without a quote and context?

Where are the lies?

Then Holly does quote from Pike’s Morals and Dogma where there is an indication of deceit, but the context does not bear out the deceit Holly lambastes—“contemptuously and intentionally misleads its adherents.”[63] That quote is used in a lot of anti-Mason slurs, but even non-Mason researcher John Robinson said, “I have asked enough Masons to convince myself that there is no Mason anywhere who agrees with that statement.”[64] What makes Holly’s lambasting lose its luster is that Holly is quoting Pike as though Pike was hiding something. Pike himself was not hiding anything, for Pike was writing to an adherent about the Blue Degrees in Pike’s own strong language.

When Pike says, “but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations,”[65] Pike is not talking about the overt deceit implicated by Holly, not at all; Pike could have been clearer, but the context bears out no purposeful deceit or spooky-spooky lying. What Pike said could have two meanings: one, the meaning of deceit implied by Holly if in isolation or in the context of deceit; or as the context indicates, two, that the initiate is “intentionally misled by false interpretations” that the initiate himself tries to impute in the natural course of curiosity.[66] Truly, if Pike had intended to say what Holly implied, Pike would have been just a courageous as Holly and said just that. Pike has been conspicuously bold for 800+ pages; no reason to stop; but what we see is a champion for truth for 800+ pages and in dozens, even scores of contexts.

Let me prove that. What was your first impression of the Square and Compasses insignia with the letter “G” in the center? That is the ubiquitous symbol for Freemasons, worn on rings and belt buckles around the world. There are a host of symbols in Freemasonry. When an initiate goes through any stage—as an initiate—he sees things he cannot know and is inevitably even intentionally misled by false interpretations of his own making. Read Pike and prove me wrong there.

Here is another shading of two above on intentionally lying. The master masons conferring the degrees know that the candidate will not comprehend and not appreciate all of the symbolism, and—beg your pardon here—but Pike’s next sentence helps clarify that early on “it is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine that he understands them.”[67] When I walk into a church, I fairly well understand everything there; I have been in the ministry for over twenty years and have had extensive training. When a new convert walks into the church, he or she might think they understand or not; it is not intended that the new convert understand everything, but with the stained glass and alter there is an intention that the new convert will think about and imagine that he understands them. Yet there is nothing in the church that is truly secret, anymore than there is in Freemasonry. After twenty years and hundreds of books, I know I have come hundreds of miles from where I started. But what is a hundred miles compared to eternity and the matchless graces and infinite love of God?

Here I believe Holly followed someone else, for Holly would not make the jump to his version of that reading of Pike all by himself. Holly’s character counts too much here, and he likely believed some other lesser anti-Mason on that point (perhaps even with a quick look, Holly opened Pike to verify the quote). Holly trusted in the integrity of several anti-Masons far too much, and it cost him here and elsewhere. But I shall choose to believe until corrected that all of what Holly lives for mitigates against Holly being that naïve or intentionally deceptive, based at least upon Holly’s medical expertise and upon what he has written on numerous non-Masonic Christian inspirations.

V. Occultism of Freemasonry & the Pike’s Meaning of Mislead  ~  TOP

Holly tries to declare a difference between confidentiality and secrecy. And here, Holly makes a notable contribution not seen in the anti-Mason literature. Holly does know that some secrecy is a part of life and very biblical. His notes on confidentiality are well written and to the point. Towards the end, certainly the Bible never commands that truth be secreted, for the truth shall set people free.

Holly tosses in a ditto on how some marriages have been ruined because of a man allowing the Lodge to come between him and his wife. OK—point taken. Yet, my goodness: “Time after time in various lectures, the Freemason is told never to put his duties and responsibilities to the Masonic fraternity ahead of his duties and responsibilities to his church, to his country, and to his family.”[68] The same goes for the church and job and booze. Except for this, and just like the church, that man should not have used the Lodge as an excuse for neglecting his wife (and wife too). There is also plenty of testimony about how Freemasons are the best of husbands and employers; truly, because of the ten legions of legends and millions more, there is vastly more testimony in favor of the honorable Freemason than the negative (just like the church). In addition to the millions of good Christian Freemasons, oh please, do look at the anti-Mason cries themselves which bespeak of terrible heresies not well-founded; but the anti-Masons would have been so much more effective if they had found oodles and oodles of sorry church members among the Christian Freemasons than the anti-Masons are trying to vilify.

Listen to this. No anti-Mason bothers in these contexts to mention the Freemasonry chivalric degrees—that is, chivalry … you know … knights in shining armor. I must joke a little. But Freemasonry is serious about morality and ethics and family love—even chivalrous about the best things. Talk about non-Christian activity, the anti-Mason is the worst when he belittles and calls men Satanic who value to the uttermost courage and honor and honesty and selflessness; that is almost unimaginable, except there it is in all of the anti-Mason literature from top to bottom.

In Holly’s closing sections, somehow Holly connects all of that to the Freemasonry Lodge being the “seat of jealousy.”[69] How is that? Unless holding private meetings has become inherently evil and unbiblical, I must say I do not see the slightest connection. It is the purpose of the meeting and the judgments of the meeting that shall make any meeting wicked.

Sheese!—do we really want to bring the SBC takeover meetings for the last 20 years into this context? Yes we do! Darn tooting—most solemnly and sincerely we do! And every SBC leader who has uttered a contrary syllable against Freemasonry and who claims a shred of honor for himself should too. If ever in the history of the world that the issues of secrecy so lamented in Freemasonry apply, those exact same issues of secrecy apply to the SBC takeover—tenfold—where SBC presidents are today pre-selected by a handful within the secret bonds of a cabal, what cabal has no written constitution and entrance into the cabal requires the passing of a series of unwritten tests, and promotion in the ranks is invisibly and tightly controlled. That is what the Religious Right wants to do the Republican party the U.S. presidential elections too.[70] We all know that the all of the current heads of the SBC agencies and major departments within the SBC and all of the current seminary presidents (and deans too) passed—that is passed—the muster of the secret cabal before those candidates got to the boards of the agencies they are heading. Who in the SBC does not know this? By that standard of very closely guarded secrecy—all God given, I am sure they believe—the SBC secret takeover cabal has Freemasonry beat by a long stinking shot, and then Paige Patterson as the veritable chairman of the secret autocratic cabal has the gall to lament Freemasonry secrecy.[71]

Come now. Just who is being duped here? And Patterson wants to ask “what has happened to me?”![72] Most especially since he has written the less of any major player in the SBC in SBC history.[73]

The last section of this chapter is about how Freemasonry … lies. So where are the lies? This chapter is a kind of double-take or a backpack to the previous chapter. So … where are the lies? Holly does not give any lies at all; he just quotes from an obscure passage that includes the word mislead and blows that over 300 years of history, thousands of volumes (even the 800+ pages of Pike’s Morals and Dogma), ten legions of legends, and over millions of good Christian men. That is quite a sweeping jump—a real Guinness World Record maker. So let me help there and give a better quote that more directly says what Holly pulls from his own smaller quote. Albert Pike actually says at the close of the Master Mason section in chapter 3 the following:

Masonry, like all the Religions … conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it….

The Teachers, even of Christianity, are, in general, the most ignorant of the true meaning of that which they teach. There is no book of which so little is known as the Bible. To most who read it, it is as incomprehensible as the Sohar.

So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray.[74]

What in the world does all of that mean but just what it says? To boot—are the teachers of Christianity truly “ignorant of the true meaning” of what they teach? If one is inclined from the beginning to look for all the bad and take the worst meaning possible, there is the best example of deceptive malignancy as one can get from Albert Pike. Why is that here in this book of mine instead of on the back covers of all of the Freemasonry exposés?[75] I suspect because many of the anti-Masons did not actually read Pike, but copied and recycled from other anti-Masons—some a hundred years old—and then claimed new discoveries. (That’s a kind of lying too.) Truly, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Humanum Genus has been out since 1884, is the most famous Catholic anti-Mason document, and there has been ceasing of sprouts from it and strange hybrids from other denominations since—yet Holly gives the appearance of originality, just like Bill Gordon.[76] But enough of my own blather. What does that quote from Pike mean if not out-right lying and calling distinguished seminary professors ignorant?

I sure wish that Albert Pike would cater more to my 21st century evangelically prissy heart a little more—truly. How insensitive to me. Pike should have known that people would not like those words, especially as the Puritanical and Pharisaical self-righteousness would make a revival in the 21st century, those words alone would be enough to cause a huff and a puff and a book burning. In some Pharisaical corners anything not evangelical and said in Jesus name is likely to get a cork screwing.

What then did Albert Pike mean? Given over 800+ pages of morals from even a speed reading or meaningful scan, Pike was not talking about lying per se. Very, very easily, Pike could have said, “we lie to people.” He did implicate ignorance too, yet what teacher among our greatest and most distinguished theological professors would admit to have finally exhausted any part of our Christian Faith? Name me one. The most learned among us know and know to the marrow of our bone that all of our sure and good learning is but a drop in the ocean compared to what shall be revealed. St. Paul said it so wonderfully: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed” and “may have power together with all of the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.”[77] Of course, we only “see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.”[78] When it comes to the fullness of God and the fullness of our heavenly inheritance, what teacher can say more than that they are ignorant and that there is no book like the Bible about which so little has yet to be grasped—a vast and deep ocean full of eternal treasure, some treasure crystal clear and absolutely certain (God in Christ reconciling the world) and some treasure more vast than the Pacific ocean and we but guppies peddling around the shoreline.

Yet the primary question remains. What then did Albert Pike mean with respect to mislead? Tell me this—if you can—How do you tell a 5-year-old where babies come from? What do you say your 7-year-old girl when she asks what rape means? What child abuse means? What gang rape means? How do you talk to your child when they ask about the meaning of torture in the news bulletins? You do not lie about that—do you? Surely no evangelical would misrepresent that.

Listen—this may be hard to hear—but I have heard of Christian wackos that have removed all of the inside doors from their homes, all of the bedroom and bathroom doors. They shall not hide anything. There is a person who needs some medication. What’s the difference there between that and a nudist camp? Biblically speaking of course.

Are we having fun yet?

What about your household and homey secrets? I am sure that everything that happens in your home is an open book. When some nosey neighbor asks an impolite or rude question about your finances or children’s grades or your sex life—what do you say? You can—as some of us would—say it is none of their freak’in business and forever after keep a distance. But there are others in our life who might ask questions harder to answer, where “none of your business” would not truly be appropriate for a person you truly care about.[79] You know all of the answers to many questions, and about many secrets in your family and social lives, but I would like to see the man or woman who willingly betrays any secret and any confidentiality for the asking. I say with full conviction that such a person does not have many confidantes to tell, for he or she does not have very many friends left who share with him or her.

What did Albert Pike mean? He meant what Jesus meant when He said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”[80] Very ironically in this entire context, if you would like a real kicker, listen to what Greek scholar H. Leroy Metts, Professor of Greek at the very conservative even fundamental Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, has to say about this very verse.

This verse does not mean that the blessings of the gospel are not to be offered to the Gentiles, but rather that spiritual mysteries should not be pressed upon those who are either unready or unwilling to accept or appreciate their value. The verse continues logically in the train of thought developed in the sayings which immediately precede it. While judging others is not the prerogative of man, there are, nonetheless, those whose uncleanness and violence prevent the sharing of the sweetest and most noble insights of the Christian faith.[81]

Please … oh my please—by the anti-Mason logic and referencing technique that means that the Criswell Study Bible whose chief editor was Paige Patterson is in support of Freemasonry. That is a very good quote and source, given the times, and some very good tidings indeed.

Do we deceive anyone or misrepresent any of the Christian witness? Of course not, and we do not lie either. With respect to Freemasonry and in the face of the mocker and the scoundrel, what does one say? What do you say to your children? I hope to high heaven you do not tell your children that babies come from flying storks. On the same token, I know you do not tell little children about sex. Heck fire and shiver my timbers, but sometimes parents do not tell their children about sex at all—even in SBC homes.

What did Albert Pike mean? He meant that it was a rough world in 1871, and sometimes you misrepresented or misled things to avoid an outright lie. “How did you like that birthday present Grandma?” How does Grandma answer that question? There is only one answer: “I liked it very much little Johnny and Susie—sincerely and solemnly.” Because they gave it, not because you would ever use it. And only a fool would call that a lie, but it sure is a misrepresentation.

Albert Pike meant that a fraternity has secrets and that Freemasonry as a moral crafts-man-ship cherishes its symbols and allegories and processes of instruction. The degrees and the work in the degrees are not for everyone. For, as we have indicated the time-honored definition, “Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.[82] It is a bit conceited to think that an anti-Mason can appreciate the symbols or allegories much less understand them when he (or she, though it is usually a he) is obsessively bent toward the negative from the outset, but that is the history of anti-Mason slurs for a couple of hundred years now.

I do agree with Holly—as do all Freemasons—that “‘intentional deceiving’ of others is born of the god of this world, not the God of heaven.”[83] And there are thousands of pages to support that and could be referenced—even hundreds in Pike alone. But Holly errs when he says that “pecuniary advantage” is “one of the greatest motivations for men to join the Lodge”; excuse me, but that would be “evil” as he indicates, if that was true.[84] Yet again, we have another categorical complaint without quote—poof, it just appears, like a stab in the back.

I just wish that if Holly is going to make those kinds of jabs that he would use real knife—metaphorically and symbolically speaking—where it truly penetrates under the skin. Rubber knives are for children.

As we have indicated, this may be the best time to join—not because of gain—but because of the character counting quality of Freemasons today as well as for the last 300+ years. Most join today because of the character of their family and friends and little else.

VI. Lucifer—Where Did He Come From? … and the Kabbalah?  ~  TOP

Note at the beginning here, a chapter that Holly entitles about Lucifer and a contents that likewise construes a message about Freemasonry Kabbalah. Note that, before we take off, because Holly talks about both in this same chapter as if both were a part intrinsic part of Freemasonry. Yet even an elementary understanding of either would indicate there distance from each other, and that just gets worse when we see that Holly does not even define the Kabbalah he struggles to confuse. Just a scan of this short chapter would see that. Now let’s look a little closer.

Holly is in grave error throughout this chapter. His worst statement of all is—characteristically—right up front.

The truth is that the lies are necessary to conceal that Lucifer is the god of the Lodge and that all worship in the Lodge is the worship of Satan himself.[85]

That hurts. James L. Holly bought into Léo Taxil’s Lucifer hoax … hook, line, and stinker bate.[86] (I pray Holly will feel embarrassed if he read up on that. A really apology is due here if no where else.)

In the last section of this chapter, Holly brings up emanation and the Kabbalah. Just what is meant by these is hard to determine. If God does not emanate anything of Himself, how can the heavens declare the glory of God? Yeah, yeah … another stretch, but not too much. Holly is referring to an emanation from neoplatonism that the world is somehow connected to God or somehow emanated from God. We saw that such was not true for Pike in the quotes above, where God is personal and individual, and Pike’s section is more substantial than Mackey’s section (that used by Holly) and by a long margin—even though Holly seems to use Pike and Mackey as on the same footing. And a comparison of religions is not the advocacy of them.

Yet, in all that emanation—loosely speaking—the Bible clearly indicates that in God all things consist. Hmmm—the meaning of that has been debated for 2,000 years, and the common consensus among the best biblical scholars is that no one truly knows what that means; it just means that in Him all things consist, and we shall see what that means by and by—after the final bye-bye.

Go ahead and laugh, for goodness sake.

Moreover, God did become a man in Jesus Christ, a fully human man who was also God in the flesh, and though certainly not emanation there was as certainly no separation. The refutation that Holly is making here is very far from clear; sheese, it is like London fog. On the very nature of the Trinity, however, we still have not figured all of it out; we still need a lot of faith. And neither Mackey or Pike deny the Christian Trinity either, which would have been very appropriate for them to do if they were precisely the ugly creatures described by Holly and so many other anti-Masons.

What is clear is that Pike and Mackey have no inhibition or lack of writing skill. Nor where they ignorant of the Bible or the Trinity. They could very easily have denied Christ and denied the Trinity, and they had the courage to do so. Our point here is that they would have done so if they were trying to articulate a religion anything like the gross and sloppy religions created by the anti-Masons for their own lambasting.

The Masonic plan of salvation indicated by Holly is not the concern of the ladders he is attacking—again, missing the symbolism entirely. We do not know of any Freemason or SBC Freemason who has ever had a problem with this, and so we will not even bother to refute this. And Pike did not either—again—mention anything about salvation.

How in the world does En Soph as the First Cause or Prime Mover turn out to be Lucifer? That is too unlike Holly, so very unlike Holly that I will have to hear him say that he constructed all of that himself before I would believe it. From two quotes by Albert Mackey on Kabbalah, then an imputation of Isaiah 14:16, as though the secret was finally discovered that the Lucifer who makes the earth tremble of Isaiah is the same entity that causes the earth to quake in Mackey. That is too much paper assumption.

Perhaps one of the greatest short pieces on Kabbalah (something handed down by tradition) is that contained in the Encylopædia Judaica.[87] This massive article and its huge bibliography touches on most everything, so it seems, and is clearly a significant Jewish authority (150+ notebook-size pages, double-columned, in relatively small well-edited print)—naturally a good place to go for Jewish mysticism. It seems prudent here to add a little about Kabbalah since there is nothing on the SBC InterFaith Witness web site about it and it is becoming more popular; it also seems prudent because so very few know anything about Kabbalah, and Holly makes a connection without a definition to this very complex term (again). Here is a small clipping.

Kabbalah is a unique phenomenon, and should not generally be equated with what is known in the history of religion as “mysticism.” It is mysticism in fact; but at the same time it is both esotericism and theosophy. In what sense it may be called a mysticism depends on the definition of the term, a matter of dispute among scholars. If the term is restricted to the profound yearning for direct human communion with God through annihilation of individuality … then only a few manifestations of Kabbalah can be designated as such…. However, Kabbalah may be considered mysticism in so far as it seeks an apprehension of God and creation whose intrinsic elements are beyond the grasp of the intellect…. In essence, the Kabbalah is far removed from the rational and intellectual approach to religion. This was the case even among those kabbalists who thought that basically religion was subject to rational enquiry, or that, at least, there was some accord between the path of intellectual perception and the development of the mystical approach to the subject of creation. For some kabbalists the intellect itself became a mystical phenomenon. So we find in Kabbalah a paradoxical emphasis on the congruence between intuition and tradition. It is this emphasis, together with the historical association already hinted at in the term “kabbalah” (something handed down by tradition), that points to the basic differences between the Kabbalah and other kinds of religious mysticism which are less closely indentified with a people’s history. Nevertheless, there are elements common to Kabbalah and both Greek and Christian mysticism, and even historical links between them.

Like other kinds of mysticism, Kabbalah too draws upon the mystic’s awareness of both the transcendence of god and His immanence within the true religious life, every facet of which is a revelation of God, although God Himself is most clearly perceived through man’s introspection. This dual and apparently contradictory experience of the self-concealing and self-revealing God determines the essential sphere of mysticism, while at the same time it obstructs other religious conceptions. The second element in Kabbalah is that of theosophy, which seeks to reveal mysteries of the hidden life of God and the relationships between the divine life on the one hand and the life of man and creation on the other. Speculations of this type occupy a large and conspicuous area in kabbalistic teaching.[88]

Obviously, not an easy subject to broach. Within some Kabbalah traditions, there are diagrams indicating emanations and are “closely akin to the spirit of Gnosticism.”[89] At first, the term itself referred to books and parts of the Bible not in the first five books (the Pentateuch). So then, “Kabbalah is only one of the many terms used, during a period of more than 1,500 years, to designate the mystical movement, its teaching, or its adherents” and developed to refer to those who are “children of faith,” who “know wisdom,” “who entered and left in peace,” who were “masters of service,” and those who knew “the true, inner way to the service of God”; and then “from the beginning of the 14th century the name Kabbalah almost completely superseded all other designations.”[90] So—Is there anything clear? Kabbalah is about a grappling to know God and to know the person of God, spiritually as well as through the beauty and intricacies of God’s creation—and so much more. On God, “the Kabbalah is not a single system with basic principles which can be explained in a simple and straightforward fashion, but consists rather of a multiplicity of different approaches widely separated from one another and sometimes completely contradictory.”[91]

Kabbalah—hmmm—I am still not sure what that means from the Kabbalah’s most significant authority. Holly does not make Albert Mackey’s use clear enough, much less deal with the ponderous Kabbalah itself. It seems to me that Kabbalah is a term that refers to the broadband mystic relations that a Jew and Jewish tradition espouse, and that Kabbalah only has a loosely Christian connection when it refers to a Christian discerning some of the depths of God as Paul encourages in Romans 8:18. For evangelical Christians, we do not truly espouse any kind of Kabbalah but have a far better and easier set of terms almost universally recognized—called Abba and Father in a real-time relationship with our God.

What in the world does all of that on Kabbalah have to do with Freemasonry and Holly’s refutations? The transcendence and un-know-ability of God and other statements referring to Supreme Being indicate an aloofness that both Holly and I dislike, but are more characteristic of staunch Calvinism than not.[92] If Freemasonry is a religion and truly one form of Kabbalah, then Holly has a point when he says “the roots of secular humanism with its deification of man and its anthropomorphizing of God are seen here as the Kaballist creates a god who is inept.”[93] Yet how much is Freemasonry connected with Kabbalah? One will look in vain in any of the sources Holly uses or in Albert Pike’s massive Morals and Dogma for how a person is to have a relationship with God through the degrees of Freemasonry, much less become a god—which is Holly’s round-about point. Holly mentions Kabbalah as though the mention itself is belittling to Freemasonry, apparently unaware of its meaning or diversity, as though nothing at all about the Jewish Kabbalah has even the remotest bearing to Christian history.

The degrees and ladders in Freemasonry are not to help people climb up some kind of spiritual or mystical ladder in a sectarian or pure knowledge of God; they are symbols at least or allegories at most, that indicate a kind of knowledge about God. One does not get closer to God in the 30th degree than he in the 3rd degree. Moral lessons on fidelity or God’s greatness can inspire awe about the natural goodness of fidelity or the manifold greatness of God, but they are still just moral lessons. However, a spiritual man might also see a spiritual side unique to his own faith; he is a Free-mason after all. Furthermore, it is a historical well-worn dogma in Freemasonry that there is no higher degree than the 3rd, the Master Mason, and the other degrees in the various rites are aids to the Master Mason. The other degrees are moral lessons, some more than others building upon the previous. Hopefully the candidate will learn something, perhaps even about his spiritual life through the moral lessons, but that is entirely up to the Free-mason himself.

How a person has a relationship with God is the purview of the man’s religion. Freemasonry starts with the religious man already, of just about any faith that acknowledges a good Supreme God, individual of creation, and who has promised a life after death. Herein, the predominant number of Lodges are Christian Lodges, focusing efforts and their symbols around Christianity. You might say that Freemasonry focuses upon the moral dimensions of agreement between men and between their differing faiths and what they share, and Freemasonry philosophy attempts to discover more truth of what they share.

In the quotes that Holly uses, there is an indication of comparative religions, but no true demonstration that the comparisons are also descriptions of a singular or unifying Freemasonry theology. Holly’s forcing of Manly P. Hall’s Universalism is just that—a forcing. Truly, if ever there was a theological school in Freemasonry, of all of the fraternities that have ever existed in recorded human history, then Freemasonry would have had plenty of offerings from the many hundreds of world-class philosophers and Christian and even Baptist theologians within Freemasonry’s ranks. A good question that the anti-Masons ought to sincerely address is this: is there any other fraternity in history that has had more of the most distinguished Christian theologians among its ranks? Like unto that question, who were some of the major theologians among Freemasonry’s ranks and what have they written? We have noted a few above in the SBC Magnificent Seven.

Respect is very difficult to give to anti-Masons in this light. Nevertheless, with due respect to the anti-Masons and what little work they have done, the anti-Masons should notice that in all of the research and documentation to date they would have done very well to have produced at least one Freemasonry theologian in 300 years. It is kind of said that this author—me—has to be the one to point out what appears to be the most theologically potent section in Freemasonry literature just between the pages of the anti-Masons own quotes in Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma (on the 28th degree extending for one-forth of the entire book for 200+ pages![94]). The anti-Mason should pay attention here: that there is no clearly Freemasonry theologian for 300 years should be very instructive and even illustrative of Freemasonry not being a religion and instead being indeed a “system of morality” with a few significant philosophers of morality. And look at the record: ten legions of legends of Freemasons and counting, and millions more where Character truly Counts most of all.[95]

VII. Knights Kadosh—30th Degree—Lucifer Again?  ~  TOP

Holly starts with a series of “ifs” that seem to make all that follow dependent upon the validity of the entire series of “ifs.” Yet that does not truly unfold, as the conclusions for this section are independent from the “ifs” he references. Holly alludes to the possibility of the “ifs” about fables and theosophic emanations as becoming some kind of staunch Freemasonry philosophy, but that is hardly proved. From there, Holly takes the staunch philosophy (from the ifs) and indicates that as informative about the 30th degree. That journey is too forced; Freemasonry is not a religion and will not fit into a theosophic or a Kabbalistic or decisively Christian box. Religiously speaking, there are tons of references to just how Freemasonry is anti-box to the uttermost, and it is anti-Mason delinquency that they never address the Freemasonry literature on itself not being a religion.[96]

Holly’s journey negates too many other parts of Freemasonry, most especially that part of Freemasonry that attempts to cull the truths that can be shared from among divergent faiths. Certainly, between theosophy, Kabbalah, Islam, and Christianity—among all of them, there are common denominators: especially with respect to one God and a future life, but also and to varying degrees that God personally relates and Who as God also has infinite elements that are beyond our understanding. We all share that, and yet we can also agree among us that for the Christian the God of Islam is not that of Christianity, or that Jesus and the Christian God is not that of the Muslim—not deep down. We keep our differences outside the lodge, and Christians and Muslims have separate lodges even as we shall be brothers. I shall not bow down before the Quran anymore than I would expect a Muslim to bow down before the New Testament. Yet we both share that our God is one and that we have several areas of concurrence, most especially about morality itself having a divine origin.

For the Christian, God the Father is able to be known, but no child of God should be deceived into thinking that God is fully knowable.

From Holly’s series of “ifs” and the short and unsure journey to how those imply something about the Ladder of Kadosh, we see that the first section of this chapter is: “Meeting with Satan.”[97] That hurts—just like a blow that comes from behind without any warning, a true stab in the back, rather than a clear and manly frontal attack. That hurts—like a stab in the back, because it comes without any kind of crystal clear train of thought, not a droplet. If a Christian wants to say that about another Christian, oh God please, let that man ride a fully stocked and modern locomotive straight into the station house. But that is not how Holly does it, and that is very uncharacteristic of all of Holly’s other work. That Satanic allusion is an illusion—not even a good magic trick at that—and is over-the-top rationalizing without any clear connections at all. Lucifer is not the god of the Lodge, never has been, and no one to date has documented that with anything remotely clear. And if Albert Pike is any kind of authority, as all anti-Masons need him to be, then why leave Pike out here? The quotes used by Holly from the Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated do not make clear the connections either.

I must re-enforce this. My God in heaven—have mercy. Before entitling a section “Meeting with Satan,” one had better be very sure and document very well. We are talking about millions of Christian men and at least ten legions of legends. Without crystal clear clarity, such a judgment is the worse kind of judgment that one person can level to a Christian man—the worst, the most ugly and nasty. We talked about that above, with respect to Bill Gordon, and how Jesus’ condemned the curses from one man to another; how if man says “thou fool” to another, that man is in danger of “hell fire.”[98] Is not Jesus authoritative here? Clearly, the fool is the man who denies God and denies Jesus Christ, and the person who would call another man a follower of Satan has also called that man the greatest fool of all, most certainly if Jesus’ words meaning anything at all. That is the strictest judgment given by Christ in the Bible, so a person uttering that condemned word “fool” had better be absolutely certain. If not certain, then that person is in the gravest danger of all—hell fire—according to Christ’s own words.

That’s the Bible for you—like a locomotive, just drives right up and toots, unmistakable and fog busting.

Holly says: “the masons first face to face encounter with the god of the Lodge, with Lucifer, with EN SOPH, will take place in the thirtieth degree.”[99] That is based on a slip-shod transference of EN SOPH into Lucifer in the previous chapter and the very unsure six-sentence journey predicated upon “ifs” that lead to that spooky declaration. That is truly a frightening way to curse millions of Christian men and pass clean over ten legions of legends spread over 300+ years.

Whoo! Where’s my Bible?

Let’s be careful here. Holly makes that spooky declaration because Holly wants us to believe that in the preceding chapter and in the previous six sentences of this chapter that he has established that EN SOPH in Freemasonry is actually Lucifer. Yet, look for all of the uses of EN SOPH in his preceding short chapter, and there is no clear link to EN SOPH being Lucifer. And one will look in vain in Albert Pike. Worse still, how Holly construes Simon ben Jochai to be Lucifer too is not clear at all from Holly’s quotes or rationales. That is so out of character for James L. Holly based upon the quality of all of Holly’s other works; Holly is a good writer; I just have to believe that someone else wrote those ugly sections, that Holly just placed too much trust in that person, and that person betrayed Holly.

I sure hope I am right there.

All the degrees are symbolic. Albert Pike said that, and Holly certainly has established Pike as one of his authorities (Pike is a great authority for all of the best anti-Masons). Then toward the end, Holly determines after several quotes that the “reality of the symbols to be seen is Luciferianism and the prejudices to be repudiated are Christian doctrine, and the unique revelation of God in Jesus Christ.”[100] Reading that interpretation, one is rather shocked. But one will struggle in vain to see Holly’s interpretation in any of his quotes or even in Albert Pike’s chapter on the 30th degree in his Morals and Dogma.

If there is ever a worship service in any degree—or even the 30th degree—in Freemasonry, there would certainly be cause for grave concern. Let’s not confuse a sectarian worship with a lecture or celebration of virtue as in a military pledge of service and the honorable self-sacrifice—hoooráhhh!—implied in the combat esprit de corps chants or training or ranking; likewise, let’s not confuse sectarian worship or military pledges with the advanced and protracted allegorical enactments of moral lessons in Freemasonry. Those who do not know the difference between worship and allegory truly need to get to church more. So, let’s be clear, none of the degrees are worship services by any standard definition of worship—Southern Baptists or otherwise.

Contrary to the multitude of anti-Mason dribble, Don’t you think that “worship” would have been used? At least once in 300 years? My goodness, just who is being selective and duped here?

What is meant by teaching a moral lesson through allegory? Why is that so hard for anti-Masons to grapple with? Why do anti-Masons not grapple with allegory or moral lessons at all? If the anti-Masons are pretending to be direct, why not attack the language actually used in Freemasonry? That would be a refutation. Why do anti-Masons just have to force the degree work of Freemasonry into a worship service? There are no worship services in Freemasonry Lodges, never have been, though in the past—like with the beginnings of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas—Freemasons have loaned out their Lodges for churches to meet in until they could get on their own.

Freemasonry has aided in the start of many churches in the past. Why don’t the anti-Masons deal with that instead of hide that? Or run from that? Freemasons are not the ones being deceitful or hiding.

In section “E” Holly tries to make out how Freemasonry is anti-sectarian and how that becomes anti-Catholic. But the history as given by the Catholics themselves is how much the Catholics have rigorously opposed Freemasonry for a hundred years, sometimes with brutal and bloody persecution.[101] Moreover, some Freemasonry writers allude to the fraternity as non-sectarian, but I would like to see the Freemasonry writer that Holly quotes as a declaration about “the Lodge’s opposition to ‘sectarianism’, while cleverly disguised as anti-Catholic.”[102] Sometimes Albert Pike in his Morals and Dogma appears anti-Catholic, but he really is not any more anti-Catholic than the SBC; what Pike challenges is even challenged by some of the more noble Catholics where abuses of authority are concerned (remember, Pike wrote in 1871). Freemasonry is not truly against sectarianism, not truly against the divisions among the religions or divisions among the Christian denominations. Freemasonry is non-sectarian itself, as its only requirement for membership is that the prospect be a man of good character who believes in God and who believes in a future life.

From there, Holly delves into his interpretations of the 16th, 17th, and 19th degrees, and then tries to distinguish between “toleration” and “receiving.” That was a round-about way of indicating Universalism in Freemasonry toleration with a contrast against the uniqueness of Christ for Christianity. Freemasonry does not declare that all faiths bring one to the true God; Freemasonry is not Universalism, though open to a Universalist (like Manly P. Hall). Nor does Freemasonry challenge the uniqueness of Christ for mainline Christianity. Freemasonry is a fraternity whose rules say members shall tolerate and respect members and non-members who are of a different faith; never has any Freemason said or written that Freemasonry is a religion that joins all faiths into one Freemasonry faith. Freemasonry toleration is toleration and not agreement, and the term toleration is even a poor term to use with respect (or in disrespect) to Freemasonry.

Holly’s chart about toleration in contrast with receiving on page 34 pushes the limits of toleration into nonsense. I do not know of anyone who would concur with his version of toleration there, especially in its forced opposition to receiving. How that is related to Freemasonry—well—Holly does not say or prove or illustrate. His chart just appears. That was strange at best, and also so uncharacteristic of all of Holly’s other Christian work.

On the Masonic Altar Bible, Holly indicates—understandably—that the Freemasons have written their own Bible. That is simple misrepresentation. Holly mistakenly notes that the Bible sits on “the altar of worship in every Masonic Lodge in America.”[103] There is no altar of “worship,” even though the center piece is called an alter, and the Bible is the great light. Sure—that is foggy, and it is easy to see how there could be worship wherever there is an altar. But then again and again, how many times does have Freemasonry have to say that everything is symbolic in the Freemasonry lodge. I don’t know what to say—Write it on the wall, and the anti-Mason would stub his toes and still not see it. I sometimes believe the anti-Mason is constitutionally unable to understand the term symbol, in his genes maybe or a uniquely male problem (as there do not appear to any women anti-Masons in the literature—anywhere I could find).

Surely, the comments inside of the Masonic Altar Bible indicate Freemasonry principles sure enough, but do not indicate a standard theology. Holly does not reveal that the Masonic Altar Bible contains the normative canon of Scripture, the Old and New Testaments. Surely, Holly knows that. I have scene a hundred kinds of Bibles, like the Inside-Out Prisoner’s Bible and the Combat Bible and the Women’s Study Bible. These are not to be confused with a different set of pseudo-holy writings like the Satanic Bible and the Vampire Bible.

How Holly says that the name of Jesus is “Ridiculed By the Masonic Lodge” is a strange affair to say the least.[104] If Freemasonry is a religion, Holly has a small point. In a Christian Lodge a Christian prayer can certainly be made. How Holly construes that Jesus Christ is culled from Scripture references in Pike is a real concern—even nerve racking—and I wish Pike has done better there. Yet Pike’s Morals and Dogma is not considered to be the inspired Word of God, and Pike does not claim it to be; Pike is just a man, even from Pike on himself, just a man. Using portions from Scripture to flesh out a moral lesson in an allegory is one thing, and the point of the lessons in Pike. But that is a far cry from Holly’s declaration that the lessons and explanations are also definitive Freemasonry theology; Holly’s declarations are his own declarations, and Holly does not demonstrate the Freemasonry theology he refutes.

Holly is just wrong when he equates the 21st degree’s commentary about raising “man to the consciousness of what he … ought to be” with that meaning the man’s “ability to become god.”[105] And the “national magazine of the Masonic Lodge” is not The New Age.[106] The magazine by that title was for Scottish Rite Freemasonry, and the title was changed as a result of just that kind of misconstrual of Freemasonry with the New Age movement. And Holly’s connection yet again of Freemasonry with Mormonism because of Joseph Smith is a strange way of forcing weakness into Freemasonry.

Joseph Smith’s departure from Freemasonry and his establishment of Mormonism are just another indication of Freemasonry not being a religion. Mormonism certainly is a religion. Joseph Smith expelled from Freemasonry for violations, by the way, and not because of his faith. Today, a Catholic, Mormon, and Baptist can be a member of a Christian Lodge precisely because the Lodge is not a center of worship and precisely because there are points of agreement; the Bible that sits on the altar is the symbol of the will of God for all three, but not necessarily that all three concur or even worship the same God. A Freemason may have a kind of worship experience in the Lodge, even as one might have on the fishing lake; regardless, there are not nearly as many moral lessons on the lake. In the lodge, the lessons and allegories have a moral focus without regard to a specific theological doctrine. Just as on the lake for those who love to fish, a worship experience might happen in such reflection—one is supposed to pray without ceasing. Even when a fish is nibbling. Even when you are reflecting upon how to square your actions by the square of virtue, trying to honorable in all things. In a similar fashion, in reflecting upon the moral drama and geometric reflection upon God’s creation and the symbols of virtue, a man might or may reflect within his own faith and toward his own God and therein worship.

But hear this: there never has been the intention that lodge work was supposed to be a specific kind of sectarian worship service or substitute for the church—never. What all Freemasons concur on—to be Freemasons—is that there is one almighty God, and in the Christian Lodge concur that the God of the Bible is the only God and has reserved a place for a future life. To worship that God fully according to that man’s faith, the Freemason must go to his own church and is encouraged to go to his church.

Freemasonry is a fraternity under God with the purpose of forwarding truth, hardship relief, and brotherly love. That is easy and limitlessly profound. That is also why “Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.[107] The more one wants to make Freemasonry a religion, the more complex it becomes; truly, if one starts with Freemasonry being a religion, all of the Freemasonry writers become nonsense. If one equates morality as equal to religion, or equates Freemasonry’s moral instructions as Freemasonry’s unique religion, Freemasonry becomes nonsense. But if one will allow a common sense of morality as a truly universal truth—under God—then one will recognize that all of the mainline religions of the world do have elements of universal truth among their many irreconcilable differences.

Beyond the belief in God and in the future life, Freemasonry is not concerned with the faith differences of its members. Truly, look at the literature; the anti-Masons are the ones who are the most concerned with differences. A great piece of frustration—perhaps the greatest—is how the anti-Masons demand a concern about differences in faith and make their own concern about differences a point of negative critique about Freemasonry. The anti-Masons make a huge fuss about Freemasonry tolerance as though tolerance were evil in itself.

Tolerance is a weak term to use about Freemasonry and part of the anti-Mason’s problem. Freemasonry is not tolerant, not truly, Freemasonry is more than tolerant: Freemasonry does not concern itself or make a focus on the faith differences at all. Freemasonry focuses upon the points of agreement and allows a man—in genuine respect—to have any faith irrespective of the differences. True respect for differences is another apparently constitutionally incapacity for the anti-Mason.

Still, tolerance is a weak term to use about Freemasonry. One tolerates a difference without agreeing; that is the nature of toleration. A tolerant person essentially says, “I believe this to be absolute truth and you to be sincerely wrong, but I will put with you and even respect you in your wrongness.” The best of the tolerant are those who will met out justice to their family in the faith and to the stranger of an opposite faith with blinded justice, on the square and level. A Freemason tolerates, but Freemasonry itself stands before toleration as a “system of morality” making no judgment at all between differing brothers if they both be in accord with one God and a future life.

Said in another way, within its own creed if agreement, Freemasonry itself is not tolerant per se because it does not make any judgment among the brothers. Freemasonry focuses upon the building, like building a wall, focuses upon spreading the mortar of love rather than upon the anti-Mason wrecking ball.

Freemasonry does not have a specific theological creed beyond a belief in God and in the future life, even in the Christian Lodge, so there are no other specific differences for general Christian Freemasonry to tolerate. The reason a specific Lodge and the majority of Lodges would be considered Christian Lodges is because they hold the Bible as the great light and the members of various traditions consider themselves Christian. The work of the Lodge is moral in nature within a context of an understanding that says: we hold these truths to be self-evident to all men, even life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—yes—even the value of love, truthfulness, honor, justice, and equality.

From an evangelically Christian perspective, I am most exclusive and believe with all of my heart that my truth is the truth, that Jesus Christ is the only way to God—period. That has enormous and categorical implications for me. As a Freemason, I do not have to turn from that, but I also believe that every man and woman has the right to believe as they wish (wrong though they may be); yet, as a Freemason and as a Christian, I also recognize that my Muslim and Mormon and Catholic friends also recognize and esteem many of the same biblical values that I esteem, like Love, Family, Justice, Goodness, and even the rights to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness. Freemasonry is not a religion defending any set of theological doctrine—except God and future life—and does not force or even lead in any kind of specific worship. As such, there is no conflict with my Christian faith and plenty of support for my Christian application of my faith in Freemasonry.

I am a speculative Free-mason. How I use the trowel to spread the cement of love is entirely my responsibility; my Christian faith is my guide there. How I square my actions according to the universally accepted square of virtue is my responsibility; my Christian faith is my plumb line there. And most of all, how I battle to circumscribe my passions within the points of the compasses is my responsibility; my Christian faith and relationship with God are my fore and aft anchors there.

Shoot fire and tickly my innards—but where else on earth can one share so much on morality without focusing upon the religious differences?

Where? Certainly not in any anti-Mason camp sick [sic].

VIII. How Can Christians Be So Duped?—The Question of Character  ~  TOP

James L. Holly asks, How can Christians be so duped?

Now there is a question that truly needs pondering more than all of the rest of his questions. Holly needs to sincerely ask that question himself, for it appears that throughout all three volumes Holly actually believes that millions of Christian Freemasons are idiots or have no character strength at all for over 300 years. Or the millions are simply chicken-hearted cowards, afraid of Freemasonry retaliation.

As we have shown in the pages above and indicated in many more specific works of mighty contribution, the historical Record tells a story opposite to Holly’s profuse complaints about Christian dupes and cowards.

If character counts, then there needs to be a lot more work done before Freemasonry is cast aside, especially as Holly attempts here. In the light of the above, Holly says Freemasons are followers of Lucifer or Satanists or—God forbid—“fiendish devils.”[108] Holly’s incredible categorizing of millions of Christians into liars and devils runs against all sense. Those fiendish accusations run up against Holly’s greatest challenge of all.

Here is the anti-Mason’s greatest challenge and James L. Holly’s too. If Holly’s books and all of the anti-Mason literature were put together, stacked in a little stack—then we ask, Is that all they have against Freemasonry? Even with the misrepresentations, the single debunked devil quote of Pike, and other stretches—that is still a very small stack, hardly enough to stain millions. That small stack hardly compares to some of the life-work of one of the ten legions of legends, some of whom have written a stack of their own larger than the anti-Mason stack. Well then, that is not enough.

From the above criticism, Holly is far from crystal clear on Freemasonry being a religion much less against Christianity. Several of Holly’s conclusions are naïvely wrong—hardly conclusive—and if not naïvely wrong, then even malignantly deceptive. I pray for the mistake and naïveté and hope for an apology, but we shall see. Most of Holly’s most significant points do not have demonstrable cohesion—in the light of the above criticism—and the connection with Satanism is the loosest of all. There is a Satanic Bible and Wiccan Bible, and even a Vampire Bible. If one wants to become one of those, go online and look. Pagan and Satanism do not mix with Christianity, and the history of Freemasonry tells a 300-year-old tale about Freemasonry being the most anti-Pagan of all fraternities in the history of the humanity. In spite of all of the light shown on Holly’s mistakes or leaps above—perhaps consigned to his fire for Christ burning just a little too wildly (at times errantly) and even carrying the torch of SBC leaders where they were afraid to go—Holly’s greatest challenge is in his very own question right here.

Character counts right here, counts for the entire argument. Ten legions of legends on one side, and Holly’s on the other side.

What a magnificent question: How can Christians be so duped? How can millions and millions of Christians and even some distinguished SBC Christian theologians who helped shape the SBC itself and ten legions of legendary heroes throughout 300+ years of Freemasonry be duped? Said in another way, on the one hand, we have a few anti-Masons with a small amount of work—not sterling work either, some of which has repeated lies and has clearly misrepresented—that has convinced many against Freemasonry. On the other hand, we have many Founding Fathers of the United States of America, many of the SBC Founding Fathers, ten legions of legions, some of the greatest statesmen and military generals and admirals and physicians and jurists—including the first President of the United States, the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice—and millions of other good men who have had no problem at all between their exclusive Christian faith and their membership in the selective fraternity of Freemasonry that recognizes a basic level of truth among all of the human race.

Just who is being duped?

For us to believe the anti-Masons, there needs to more. It is terrible delinquency that no anti-Mason to date has taken one of the serious apologies, like that of deHoyos, and addressed them.

IX. What Are Christians To Do?  ~  TOP

That is a good question, and one that needs attending to. As we have said elsewhere, if Freemasonry is as wicked and Satan inspired as several anti-Masons indicated—as Holly has clearly indicated but has not proved—then we need to deface all of the buildings and rewrite the history books. Satan, then, should get the credit for a good portion of the founding of our United States and for a good portion of the building of the SBC and many very fine churches. We should not have a Washington Monument in our national capitol dedicated to a follower of Satan—the dollar bill and Mount Rushmore too. Truett Auditorium at the mighty SBC Seminary in Fort Worth needs to be changed too. All across the nation, Christians should band together and remove all vestiges of heroism. Here is a source document:

William R. Denslow’s magnum opus 10,000 Famous Freemasons from A to J Part One. (672p.), K to Z Part Two (796p.; Kessinger Publishing, 2004;; 1st pub. Missouri Lodge Research, 1957).[109]

We can start the purging of the accolade of hero from our Satan-inspired leaders from our history books and monuments and then go abroad too.

There is much more that could be said about what Christians should do if the anti-Masons are right. Perhaps a leading anti-Mason would step forward to be our authority for the Christian purges—call him the Director of Christian-Land Security (as it would be a him, yes?). Funny thing though, unlike the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi Holocaust, What does the master purger ask? Recant Satanism? There is no Satanism. The case that Bill Gordon and Holly make together would not stand up in the lowest court in the land, with even the weakest defense attorney. Recant his being a liar? Freemasons do not lie, not any more than any other Christian. And what lies? The master purger has instructions to purge, but what does he purge? Do we seek a roll call of Freemasons and force them all to leave?

By Holly’s argument, all Freemasons are liars and fiendish devils—all of them. Since he has hardly proved that most—if any—are liars and has but a couple of sentences twisted out of context for devil-may-be Freemasons, how in God’s heaven can Holly make such declarations is as hard as the task of purging the so-called devils.

Fiendish devils?[110] What in God’s name is that? Our Founding Fathers, some of our greatest heroes—who is Holly talking about? How dare him! Who does Holly associate with? Has he ever met a truly wicked man—a truly fiendish devil? I doubt if Holly has ever met a truly Pagan man or a true Satanist. I have. No Freemason that I have ever met—the good and the not so good—no Freemason I have ever met resembles the ugly swamp thing Holly describes, not even the slightest resemblance. Read the chapters above on real Paganism that no one seems to be truly worried about today, including the SBC expert Bill Gordon and the entire InterFaith Witness Department.

The real point of this facetious exercise is to ask just who has been duped. Does not the Character of so many Count for more? And if all we have is the anti-Mason literature that exists today—in the quality that it exists today, especially in contrast with the Freemasonry rebuttals—then how in heaven can we be concerned with Freemasonry?

I think we need to be concerned with the anti-Masons, especially the likes of Bill Gordon and the entire climate that would support Gordon and his official and teeny-tiny SBC documents. Holly documents some of this in his volume III, but the documents do not make Holly shine. How the good name of so many can be ignored is only part of the problem; the other problem is how the good name of so many can be trampled under foot with such small documents; and the greatest problem is how so many good Christian men can be called the worst thing in the world for a Christian man—Satanist—with such small and inferior documents. Given the above, James L. Holly muddles the water with doubting words but does not clarify anything significant, and he overlooks or ignores the entire focus of Freemasonry on brotherly love, truth, and hardship relief.

I shall stand with George Washington, James Madison, B. H. Carroll, Herschel Hobbs, George W. Truett, Abner McCall—even John Wayne, Audi Murphy, Will Rogers, Douglas McArthur, Buzz Aldrin, and Ernst Shackleton—and another ten legions of legends, millions more, and many more men of rock solid integrity in my own community. I petitioned the Lodge because of the respect of my Founding Fathers as well as the men in my past and in my present. We need more men like them, and we need less men who trample under foot the good name of others with such weak documents. I did not join out of curiosity—no sir—but out of respect and because I wanted to join them and be numbered among them. I enjoy the presence of people of integrity.

Well, praise God, I am a Freemason now too and unworthy to be mentioned with many. I shall be damned before I shall be called a Satanist too without a fight. Though I respect James L. Holly, I do not see Holly’s rationale, indicated why, pointed to some very specific and serious lapses, many clear errors, and pointed out many other sources. Having read several of Holly’s other books and many of his articles, I do not believe he wrote a lot of this book—based upon the higher quality of his other writing and how his character counted so much more powerfully in those articles and in our e-mail dialogues. I do want to believe Holly consigned a lot of it out, in trust, as a good, trusting, resourceful, and wealthy man of strong conviction might. Regardless, I hope to win him over and want to believe him to be a sincere Christian. As for little old me and me alone, how he responds to this critique will determine much.

Volume II of III of Holly’s Freemasonry Series  ~  TOP

Here are a few comments on volume II of Holly’s critique of Freemasonry in the SBC.

In chapters one and two, Holly opens with a good summary of the history of the Freemasonry study within the SBC. Within chapter two, we see a lot of what we address in Bill Gordon’s Closer Look at Freemasonry above, and we addressed that extensively above, especially in the 24 dirt clods we exposed Gordon’s work. Bill Gordon’s work is grossly inferior to the task and at the same time provided a wonderful platform upon which to lampoon most of the best anti-Mason work.

In chapter three, Holly presents us with an excellent survey of what other denominations have determined for Freemasonry. That is a real keeper. I had not run across that anywhere and am glad to have it now. However, did those determinations base their conclusions upon the same kind of rationales as the SBC original or Bill Gordon’s tiny and very inferior Closer Look? The declarations of unorthodoxy is not the proving of unorthodoxy—certainly we can all agree on that. Did those denominations just follow the SBC or the Catholics? Where are their studies? In all of Holly’s three volumes, without a single footnote or endnote, those references surely needed to be included.

In chapter four, Holly adds comments on several other Freemasonry books. If Freemasonry is a religion, there is a concern with statements like “the perfectibility of human conduct.”[111] How one gets salvation from works in that is not clear at all—even if Freemasonry were a religion. Holly makes too many declarations without any clear proof. Hints should never count for so much. Without being a religion, Freemasonry certainly strives for good character; so,

What in the world is wrong with looking toward character improvement? Striving toward the upward call in Christ means for the Christian a perfectibility of human conduct—yes—and most especially so when we receive our inheritance which will be a righteousness purchased by blood after we pass through the grave. Yet, here on earth, what human or Christian believes themselves to be as pure as Christ in all their actions? The person believing such is equal to Christ in righteousness, right then at that very moment, before he receives his inheritance; to claim an equality to Christ’s righteousness at any time prior to inheritance is Satanic indeed. That is strange, yet the rather subtle implication of Holly. Freemasonry believes in improvement, and some of its philosophers use language that points to a stature of moral perfection—squaring their actions by the square of virtue—but Freemasonry leaves the individual Freemason to find his salvation in his own faith and God under Whom he came to the Lodge with and to Whom he gives communal worship outside the Lodge in his own church.

In chapter five, Manly P. Hall is discussed. Well, OK … if I have to. Hall is a master of the occult like few men in history (see his bibliography), as obsessed as Robert Ripley was with his Believe It or Not oddities. He became a Freemason—I believe and don’t have any proof—because he wanted to be the world master of the mysteries of religion. He is a Universalist, and I resent him being used to speak for all Freemasons. I wish we could have staged a debate between him and Albert Pike, and in the cross-fire have some mighty Christians Freemasons like George Washington and George W. Truett offering commentary. Yes—but according to Holly all Freemasonry are liars, except the ones Holly chooses on his own to be negatively credible.

I would like to see the criteria Holly uses to determine between the Freemasonry lies about what it considers good and about what and how Holly alone considers to be devil worship; that would have been Holly’s best service. As it stands, using Manly P. Hall to describe all Freemasonry is like using Bultmann to describe all Baptists; true, many Baptists have used Bultmann, but Bultmann’s extensive and world-class knowledge does not make him a Baptist or an authority for Baptists. Another difference is that Baptists do have people who speak authoritatively—see Bill Gordon’s tiny Closer Look above—but Freemasonry only has Grand Lodges that speak authoritatively for their jurisdictions, and no one person has ever spoke authoritatively for all of Freemasonry. What is sad is that more anti-Masons use Manly P. Hall than do distinguished Freemason writers.

In chapter six, we have more books by Freemasons.

In chapter seven, we have some on Albert Pike, particularly about how several Freemasons and Lodges have endorsed him. Pike is an authority, but even he refused to be authoritative. There is a difference.

In chapter eight, there is a discussion about the plan of salvation in Freemasonry. Holly has a point here and there if—if Freemasonry is a religion. If a Freemason makes Freemasonry his religion, Holly has a few points. Without a church home, a man can begin to see Universalism or a kind of primeval god-before-gods religion in Freemasonry. But then such a man is a true paradox, because he has gotten so involved with Freemasonry without truly understanding its major tenets and values and without much reading or meaningful inquiry. Truly there is a difference between recognizing universal truths in all faiths, on one hand, and on the other hand choosing a true Univeralism where there are no distinctives. Clearly, most Christians know the significance of Christ to Christianity—most especially most of the Southern Baptists who have been in a decent SBC church for any length of time, even most of the vacation Bible school kiddies know about Christ. I do not think that millions of Baptist Freemasons so weak, and not weaker or less educated or less courageous than James L. Holly either. And I am not that weak either.

In chapter nine: What does the Lodge say about the Word of God? If Freemasonry is not a religion, then what is wrong with a fraternity using the Bible as the symbol of the will God and what is wrong with that fraternity not trying to be a church or a substitute for a church. Holly criticizes like any use of the Bible outside of the church is wrong, which is a very strange way to criticize. Fraternities that have drinking parties are not criticized; medical schools that utilize the Pagan snake-on-the-pole caduceus are not criticized. But Holly criticizes the placing the of the Bible in the center of the Lodge as a symbol of the will of God—that is strange. In the attempt to focus on what is agreed throughout Christendom—in all Christian faiths—the Bible is the great light. See above for more on Freemasonry’s use of and even defense of the Bible.[112] What Holly derides here is equal to Holly criticizing the Lodge for not being a local Baptist church. Worse, what Holly derides is precisely what he is doing; Holly accuses Freemasonry of disrespecting the Bible by placing the Bible in the center of the room when many Baptist churches do not even do that. The Bible is in the center of the room and is the symbol of God’s will—and Holly does not like that! Holly himself is the CEO of a great medical association, and the Bible is not in the center of his own conference rooms. Holly disrespects the Freemasonry respect of the Bible, and then he calls Freemasonry a heresy for their placing of the Bible in the center. That is among the strangest things in the world.

Holly has some good points—if the Lodge was trying to be a church—and those same points apply to every extra-church activity that a man might be engaged in, whether that be fishing, hunting, golfing; American Legion, VFW, Lions Club, Rotary; any other fraternity in the world (most of which have no place for the Bible at all); any other professional association in the world (like many a secular medical specialty association); or the Salvation Army. Freemasonry is I believe the only fraternity in the world that actually does use the Bible as the great light and around which the Lodge conducts all of its activities and whose fraternity is focused decidedly upon morality itself and the making of a good man better.

Look at the record. What other fraternity or association (even medical association) in the history of the world has ever placed the Bible in the center of the room? That it is a greater respect of the Bible than Holly gives in his very own medical association. James L. Holly is in no position to criticize when he does not even give the same level of central respect to the Bible in his own medical association. And his own association employs Muslims too. Does that mean that Holly as CEO endorses Islam too?

Talk about room to complain here—Holly does not have any room whatsoever, not even a fidget. My goodness gracious, my God in heaven, but right here we are also being very merciful and generous with Holly.

In chapter ten, there is a bit of speculation on reincarnation. Holly quotes from hostile Presbyterian and Catholic anti-Masons to lead out, quite unfairly, to explain that. That made me dizzy. A snippet from Steinmetz that has no true bearing, and then again a long list of Russian Orthodox anti-Mason complaints about Freemasonry to prove what Freemasonry believes. Then a couple of rogue articles? Talk about pulling stuff out of thin air! That was like using the National Inquirer to prove a point, but not really; that was more like using Karl Marx to prove that capitalism was of the devil. Listen to this: that is precisely the kind of low level scholarly work that Holly derides in his volume III about SBC experts; only worse, for Holly does not use even secondhand sources, he uses anti-Mason sources on Freemasonry.

Then a section on whether Freemasonry is a religion? Being religious and a religion are two things (we dealt with that above). There is some other stuff on reincarnation that originates from comparative religions more than any kind of Freemasonry doctrinal stance. Holly established that there were differences, but hardly established reincarnation. Holly implies Freemasonry reincarnation, but he does not supply a single solitary quote worth a plugged nickel: that is terrible misrepresentation. Even among those religions that do believe in reincarnation, are there no similarities of some truths that would be also biblical among a clearly non-biblical reincarnation? Personally, I do not know any Freemason Christian or even any Freemason who has ever believed in reincarnation—except by some Redneck joking. To say nothing of a Freemason Baptist. And did Holly ask one single solitary SBC Freemason? Why not?

One has to work very hard to read some of these interpretations into Freemasonry—unless, one is convinced at the outset of Freemasonry’s full-fledged dogmatic religion status. As we have asked before, where in the world is the theology of Freemasonry, even with all of the distinguished Christian theologians who have been Freemasons? Except for pseudo-theologian Manly P. Hall, one has to look hard for any theologian at all in 300 years, where there should be a thousand at least. Furthermore, Freemasonry is not helped with Universalists like Manly P. Hall who is truly groundless. Just what faith or religion is Manly P. Hall? That is truly harder to figure from his books than his Universalistic interpretation of Freemasonry, and he is perfectly entitled to be a Universalist too. Freemasonry is opened to all faiths.

The very moment the Lodge becomes a worship service, it ceases to be Freemasonry and becomes a form of the most bizarre sectarianism—a religion with no roots at all.

When viewed as a true fraternity under God and ultimately for God—more generally speaking—Freemasonry is more easily understood, and Albert Pike is less offensive to Christian senses. Even with Pike’s grappling theology in his Morals and Dogma in the 28th degree, where he gets as close to a doctrine of God as any Freemason ever has been, Pike does give plenty of clear connections to meticulous sovereignty; from that chapter one could cull 100 quotes that would mirror thousands of Calvinist and neo-Calvinist theologians today. Albert Pike has been demonstrated by Holly and SBC Bill Gordon (and many other anti-Masons) as an authority, but they do not use the hundreds of quotes that contrast their own culling.

Manly P. Hall becomes more offensive in his specific Universalism in the guise of Freemasonry, and so very few Freemasons use Manly P. Hall. And the predominance of Christian Lodges throughout the United States is distinctive, the constitutions of old and today, and monitors of the Grand Lodge testify—Freemasonry is a fraternity under God with good morality itself as its practical benchmark. Everything in the Lodge is emblematical—a symbol—and the degree work are allegories of moral lessons. 

A real paradox arises between the anti-Masons and the horde of Christian Freemasons for 300 years. The paradox is confused with the influential anti-Masons who are vocal but write nothing (like Paige Patterson) and with the few anti-Masons who do try to write their rationales; from all of those spoken and written rationales, there is a clear shortage of clarity that support anti-Mason allegations. There is not a single anti-Mason allegation that has not been significantly, even overwhelmingly addressed.

Worse still, there is not a single anti-Mason book that does not seriously misrepresent Freemasonry—some innocently and some maliciously. And similarly astounding—to date—there is no anti-Mason book that has truly encountered the Freemasonry rebuttals with anything approaching the look of scholarly material. James L. Holly too. Truly encountering the substantial rebuttals is the best place to start—even deHoyos’ 1993 version—would have been the honorable place to go. There is a lot of talk from those anti-Masons like Paige Patterson who have the reputation of high caliber, but put nothing of high caliber on paper; and then there are others like Bill Gordon and his ilk who appear constitutionally unable to generate something of high caliber.

The paradox worsens—for a truly scholarly anti-Mason does not exist today. Or they would have started with deHoyos and other current Freemasonry scholars, rather than pick and choose and stretch and misrepresent as Holly’s authors have done (innocently or not, through a ghost writer or not).

Volume III of Holly’s Freemasonry Series & Lucifer Again  ~  TOP  ~  TOP

This volume is less of a contribution and more of a lament. Holly uses a metaphor of an appellate court to start, but I cannot image any appellate court tolerating the low quality of humming spread throughout this volume.

Holly struggles with the SBC Home Mission board and becomes sorely frustrated at them. That consumes the first hundred pages of volume three, and most of that is about Gary Leazer and how Holly slices Leazer. Holly very clearly and in numerous fashions tries to prove Leazer’s bias as though Holly himself was not. The worst thing about these invectives is how Holly pretends that Leazer could have and should accomplished a condemnation of Freemasonry without contacting any Freemason authorities.

Given the degree of pursuit that Holly documents, and what Holly reveals about his own pursuit, we could document in about ten pages how Holly proved that he would not have settled for anything but total condemnation of Freemasonry. Holly laments several times that his “630 Page Presentation” should have been critiqued.[113] Holly makes a large point there, only his volumes I and II did not have enough; Holly even indicates that his volume I did not mean as much after the SBC study commenced (we are not told what Holly means by that in volume III).

Gary Leazer was not a Freemason when he led the first stages of the SBC study, and Leazer chose to respect many SBC Freemasons and many mighty Freemason SBC leaders in the past. Leazer was on target for walking slowly and respecting the character of so many. If Leazer made mistakes here and there and did not do precisely what Holly imagined that Leazer should do—that is not a great problem. What is a great problem is how Holly refuses to give a plugged nickel for the character of millions. That’s a hell of a problem.

Holly also attacks another non-Mason researcher: John Robinson, who became a Freemason after much research. There are dozens of errors and stretched misrepresentations in volume III equal to our criticisms above. But I shall only deal with a perfect example that truly needs corrected. Holly quotes from John Robinson’s A Pilgrim’s Path: One Man’s Road to the Masonic Temple a passage about the etymology of lucifer. Here is Holly at the worst, when he concludes, “Did Dr. Lewis or the Trustees know that Robinson identified Jesus as Lucifer? Why didn’t they?”[114] First off, even though I attack the SBC report and Gordon with vociferous abandon above, Holly himself did not read what Robinson wrote. Holly did not read what he accuses the SBC HMB trustees of not reading. Let’s look a little closer at this.

Holly has now been attacking Gary Leazer for 170 pages, including how Leazer had used Johnson as an objective and noted and respected non-Mason Freemasonry scholar (just the kind that Holly wants). Then Holly asked why Larry Lewis and the Trustees did not know something about Johnson; that is strange, but obvious. The answer to Holly’s dastardly question is this: because Gary Leazer was the researcher.

But that is not the worse thing at all about Holly’s directions and questions here about Leazer’s use of John Robinson. The worst thing of all is that Holly says that Robinson identified Jesus as Lucifer. As Holly quoted, Robinson did say “Lucifer is the classical Roman name for the morning star, and now Jesus is the morning star.”[115] Look at that quote, and then look at Holly’s interpretation. Look at Holly’s whopping two pages on Robinson. That is terrible work by Holly that says that Robinson believes that Satan as Lucifer is Jesus. That is terrible.

If James L. Holly had read Robinson, then Holly would have seen that Robinson had decided to follow the interpretation of Hebrew theologians on Isaiah who said the reference to Lucifer was to the king of Babylon and not Satan.[116] In that context, whether or not one agrees with Robinson’s interpretation, Robinson does not force it. What is clear is that Robinson does not equate Satan-Lucifer with Jesus. Holly terribly misrepresents Robinson.[117] For God’s sake, take a look yourself. In the limited passage that Holly interprets out of context, one can see Robinson’s meaning—but only vaguely. But inside of Robinson’s context, it is so very clear that when Robinson looks at Jesus, Robinson says precisely what he means, that now Jesus is the morning star. Excuse me!—but that is precisely what Jesus himself said, that “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”[118]

I suppose I could stretch Holly’s meaning to say that Holly does not believe that Jesus is the Morning Star, and from that impute that Holly does not believe the Bible. That is how Holly approached too many items throughout volumes I-III. But that is not what Holly believes in spite of how Holly treats the meaning of the word lucifer.

It is terrible bedside manners for Holly to return such an indictment upon the Lewis and the Home Mission Board trustees with so little thought. And Holly clearly slanders Robinson. With respect to nearly every single quote among several hundreds in volumes I-III, a page could be written about a ratcheted twist or stretch or blatant misrepresentation. How Holly drew such a terribly errant conclusion from Robinson is indicative of all of volumes I-III. That indicates the vast scope of the problems—innumerable.

This from the my book Character Counts

See also Heart of the Living God



Intro to Review of James Holly’s Work on Freemasonry

I. Mystery Religions and the Sanctity of Secrecy

II. Bible on Mystery Religions and Holly’s Misrepresentation

III. Masonic Authorities & the Most Theological Section in Freemasonry

IV. Who Knows the Truth about Freemasonry & Holly’s “Lies”

V. Occultism of Freemasonry & the Pike’s Meaning of Mislead

VI. Lucifer—Where Did He Come From? … and the Kabbalah?

VII. Knights Kadosh—30th Degree—Lucifer Again?

VIII. How Can Christians Be So Duped?—The Question of Character

IX. What Are Christians To Do?

Volume II of III of Holly’s Freemasonry Series

Volume III of Holly’s Freemasonry Series


  ~  TOP  ~









[1] See and their main office, Setma One, 2929 Calder, Suite 100, Beaumont, Texas 77702.

[2] James L. Holly, A Matter of Life and Death (Foreword by John F. MacArthur, Jr. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995; 208p.) on abortion, Covetousness, Contentment, Complacency (Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, 1992; 241p.) on avarice, and The Basis of Victory in Spiritual Warfare: The Blood of Jesus Christ (Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.; 157p.).

[3] Duly noted as SBC-FM-I, SBC-FM-II, and SBC-FM-III, from James L. Holly, The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry (3 vols. Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, 1992; 57p.; 1993, 2 vols.; 1994 edition, vol. 3, has a critique of “A study of Freemasonry” and “A report on Freemasonry” including a response to Dr. William Gordon’s critique of “The SBC and Freemasonry, Volume I” and a cumulative index to all three volumes.).

[4] The SBC study commenced in 1992, was condensed from a 75-page document (unnamed) into a report to the 1993 SBC; sometime later, Bill Gordon of the SBC InterFaith Witness of the SBC wrote a short article called A Closer Look at Freemasonry and then put together a Comparison Chart that allegedly compared the Bible with Freemasonry (I suspect the chart was by Bill Gordon, looked too similar to the Closer Look, but he refused to reveal who the author was as seen in the e-mails to InterFaith Witness offices in Appendix 6).

[5] SBC-FM-III, from James L. Holly, The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry (3 vols. Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, 1992; 57p.; 1993, 2 vols.; 1994 edition, vol. 3): 320-337.

[6] Three, Michael G. Maness, Heart of the Living God: Love, Free Will, Foreknowledge, Heaven: a Theology on the Treasure of Love (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004), Heaven: Treasures of Our Everlasting Rest (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004), and Fringes of Freedom and Liberty Weekend 1986 (Bloomington, IN: 1st Books, 2000); see

[7] And this shame doubles over when the official SBC documents fail to give any kind of linkage to James Holly. That befuddles the imagination too, when Bill Gordon attempts to give a Closer Look at Freemasonry.

[8] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, vi.

[9] See one of my heroes, John P. Newport’s The New Age Movement and the Biblical World View: Conflict and Dialogue (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1998; 614); and excepting his small comments on Freemasonry criticized above, see Dave Hunt’s the very thorough Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1998; 647p.).

[10] Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1979 [1st 1971]): s.v., occult, “now chiefly in technical and scientific use,” and like “a heavenly body (as the moon …) hiding another (as a star)” or as in “in lighthouses, applied to light cut off from view for a few seconds.” And excepting the terms occultism and occultist, this Oxford edition did not include the third definition for occult now found in Webster below.

[11] Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1989): the third definition of occult with a date of 1923 for first use in this manner, and references also occult-like, “matters regarded as involving the action or influence of supernatural or supernormal powers or some secret knowledge of them—used with the.”

[12] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 1.

[13] Jasper Ridley, The Freemasons: A History of the World’s Most Powerful Secret Society (NY: Arcade Pub., 1999): 176; Ridley indicated that the Morgan may have been killed by the Freemasons: “If so, this is the only case in the history of Freemasonry in many countries of the world in which such a thing has occurred.” That has enormous implications for both Freemasonry and the anti-Mason slurs.

[14] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 1.

[15] Matthew 6: any translation will do.

[16] Did you know the trade guilds still exist? Sometimes under the names of commission or associations or unions, even barbers and Hollywood scriptwriters have their own controls.

[17] There are laws protecting patients and penalizing doctors; recently greater measures have been instituted to protect confidentiality in our post-911 era categorically and throughout the medical industry.

[18] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 3, refereeing to I Timothy 1:3-4 on fables, 4:6-7 on old wives’ fables, II Timothy 4:3-4 on itching ears, and Titus 1:13-14 on Jewish fables.

[19] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 4.

[20] With respect to “threats,” do see our comments in the previous section.

[21] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics (Edited by Eberhard Bethge; NY: The Macmillan Company, 1955): 328-329.

[22] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 5.

[23] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 5.

[24] Yisrayl Hawkins, Devil Worship: The Shocking Facts! (Abilene, TX: House of Yahweh, 1992; 609p): 194-200.

[25] Yisrayl Hawkins, Devil Worship: The Shocking Facts! (Abilene, TX: House of Yahweh, 1992): 199. All of the capitalization and all-caps are his; this is one those books where every paragraph has several words or phrases in all-caps, underlined, and extra quoting, making it as hard to read as it is to type.

[26] With quotes from The Zondervan Pictorial Bible, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion, Collier’s Encyclopedia, The Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore, and Symbols, and Unger’s Bible Dictionary—some of the most popular and conservative biblical references—and after all of that we have yet another sex tirade.

[27] See The Zondervan Pictorial Bible, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion, Collier’s Encyclopedia, The Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore, and Symbols, and Unger’s Bible Dictionary.

[28] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 5.

[29] Steven C. Bullock, Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840 (Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina, 1996; 421p.).

[30] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 5.

[31] W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (NY: Barnes and Noble, 1999, 1st 1922): 179.

[32] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 19.

[33] W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (1922): 179; Moses a Master Mason yes, but Wilmshurst does not trace Speculative Freemasonry to Moses or to the actual building of Solomon’s temple. The legends of Hiram Abiff are still legends for Wilmshurst, and the allegories in today’s Speculative Freemasonry are legends still and not equated on an equal footing with the Bible truths.

[34] W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (1922): 179.

[35] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 19.

[36] W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (1922): 179.

[37] W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (1922): 27-29.

[38] Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1989): s.v. effloresce.

[39] Not really followed today by many Protestants, though Aquinas is still the great doctor of the church for the Roman Catholics. Here, oodles could be added that reflect upon the ancient Greeks, Aquinas, Protestant theological debt, and how that is just as much a source—however rough and whether fully followed today—for modern conceptions in theology as in Freemasonry.

[40] W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (1922): 178.

[41] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 6.

[42] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 6.

[43] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States and Published by Its Authority, Charleston, SC, 1916; Richmond, VA: L. H. Jenkins, 1916, 1st 1871).

[44] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): iv.

[45] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 198.

[46] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 237.

[47] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 239-240.

[48] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 327.

[49] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 581-800.

[50] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 581. Here and through this chapter, Pike would have wonderful company with some of today’s super-conservative theological Titans on providential fatalism as represented in John Feinberg’s No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God (Foundations of Evangelical Theology series; Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001; 879p) and John Frame’s The Doctrine of God: a Theology of Lordship (P & R, 2002, 864p.). I do not fully concur with Pike, Feigberg, or Frame and offer them a challenge in my own Heart of the Living God: Love, Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Heaven: a Theology on the Treasure of Love (AuthorHouse, 2004; 706p.), but that does not prevent me from being able to appreciate or appropriate some of their articulations either.

[51] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 582, all emphases his.

[52] See Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?: Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God (OR: Loyal, 2002).

[53] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 705, all emphases his.

[54] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 706-707, all emphases his.

[55] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 743.

[56] Allen E. Roberts’ The Mystic Tie (Richmond, VA: Macoy Pub. & Masonic Supply Co., 1991; 295p. See Albert Gallatin Mackey (1807-1881), Mystic Tie (NY: Masonic Publishing, 1867;  233p.); and Joseph Fort Newton (1876-1950), The Religion of Masonry: an Interpretation (Washington, D.C.: The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1927; 160p.; Richmond, VA: Macoy Pub., 1969;

[57] Hold the horses, but this is astounding and only a partial list: see Allen E. Roberts, Freemasonry in American History (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply, 1985; 462p.), Georege Washington, Master Mason (Macoy Pub., 1976; 206p.), Brother Truman: the Masonic Life and Philosophy of Harry S. Truman (A Special Missouri Lodge of Research ed. Highland Springs, VA: Anchor Communications, 1985; 297p.), Freemasonry’s Servant, the Masonic Service Association of the United States: the First Fifty Years (Washington, D.C.: Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1969; 125p.), House Undivided, the Story of Freemasonry and the Civil War (Missouri: [n. p.] Missouri Lodge of Research, 1961; 356p.), Key to Freemasonry’s Growth, Leadership, Planning, Goal Setting, Communication, with Guides for Action in the Management of the Order (Macoy Pub., 1969; 170p.), Masonic Trivia (and Facts) (Highland Springs, VA: Anchor Communications, 1994; 201p.), and he revised Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia. (Macoy Pub., 1996; 734p.).

[58] Allen E. Roberts’ The Mystic Tie (Richmond, VA: Macoy Pub. & Masonic Supply Co., 1991; 295p. See 128, and see the works of historian Allen E. Roberts above.

[59] Joseph Fort Newton (1876-1950), The Religion of Masonry: an Interpretation (Washington, D.C.: The Masonic Service Association of the United States, 1927; 160p.; Richmond, VA: Macoy Pub., 1969; 95-96.

[60] Ahhh … ibid., please ibid., and see a few of the works by Allen E. Roberts above.

[61] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 10.

[62] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 10, but no reference for origin of quote.

[63] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 10.

[64] John J. Robinson, A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right (NY: M. Evans and Co., 1993; 179p.): 46. 

[65] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 819.

[66] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 819.

[67] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 819, emphases mine.

[68] John J. Robinson, A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right (NY: M. Evans and Co., 1993; 179p.): 34, emphasis his.

[69] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 17.

[70] See our comments above on the Founding Fathers and chapters thereon.

[71] See my e-mail correspondence with Paige Patterson in appendix 6.

[72] Ibid., emphasis mine.

[73] Most recently, Russell Dilday, Columns: Glimpses of a Seminary Under Assault (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Pub., 2004; 352p.), Fishers Humphreys, The Way We Were: How Southern Baptist Theology Has Changed and What It Means to Us All (Revised ed.; foreword by Walter B. Shurden. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2002 (1st NY: McCracken Press, 1994), Humphreys and Philiop Wise, Fundamentalism (Smyth & Helwys, 2004), Humphreys and Paul E. Robertson, God So Loved the World: Traditional Baptists and Calvinism (Insight Press, 2000), Grady Cothen & James Dunn. Soul Freedom: Baptist Battle Cry (Smyth & Helwys, 2000); Rob James and Gary Leazer, The Fundamentalist Takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention: A Brief History (Timisoara, Romania: Impact Media, 1999); Paul Pressler, A Hill on Which to Die: One Southern Baptist’s Journey (Broadman & Holman, 1999); Walter Shurden & Randy Shepley, Going for the Jugular: a Documentary History of the SBC Holy War (Mercer, 1996); David Morgan, The New Crusades, the New Holy Land: Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention, 1969-1991 (University of Alabama Press, 1996); Nancy Tatom Ammerman, Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention (Rutgers University Press, 1990), Ellen M. Rosenberg, The Southern Baptists: A Subculture in Transition (Univ. Tennessee, 1989).

Compare those with: Paige Patterson, “Anatomy of a Reformation: the Southern Baptist Convention, 1978-1994,” Paper presented at the 46th National Conference of the Evangelical Theological Society, Lisle, IL, Nov. 17, 1994 (Microfiche; Portland, OR: Theological Research Exchange Network, 1998; ETS-4661; 17p.).

[74] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 105, emphasis his, with Sohar referring to Zohar, one of the esoteric books on the Kabbalah.

[75] Compare Charles Madden’s Freemasonry: Mankind’s Hidden Enemy: with Current Official Catholic Statements (Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1995; 65p.): 6-7, and throughout, eerily similar with much of the same kind of hateful reasoning and a total absence of the vast predominance of Freemasonry literature on moral values.

Perhaps Holly or his researchers took from Madden’s work which first appeared in 1990 and 1991 articles of Mission of the Immaculata. Madden starts with Pope Leo XIII’s hateful remarks, and then adds his own vicious remarks, twists completely backward Freemasonry’s moral focus, and then Madden misrepresents Pike and uses more anti-Masons to support. Madden merely sums and repeats Pope Leo XIII encyclical Humanum Genus (1884), the most famous of the Catholic anti-Mason documents, and is dependent upon Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma and The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. And of course, the Madden strains without documentation to re-enforce the Luciferian doctrine. Just like Bill Gordon and James L. Holly, Madden is replete with vicious statements without any anchors to them.

[76] See Catholic Encyclopedia at s.v., Masonry, which lists the following edicts against it: Clement XII, Const. “In Eminenti”, 28 April, 1738; Benedict XIV, “Providas”, 18 May, 1751; Pius VII, “Ecclesiam”, 13 September, 1821; Leo XII, “Quo graviora”, 13 March, 1825; Pius VIII, Encycl. “Traditi”, 21 May, 1829; Gregory XVI, “Mirari”, 15 August, 1832; Pius IX, Encycl. “Qui pluribus”, 9 November, 1846; Pius IX, Alloc. “Quibus quantisque malis”, 20 April, 1849; Pius IX, Encycl. “Quanta cura”, 8 December, 1864; Pius IX, Alloc. “Multiplices inter”, 25 September, 1865; Pius IX, Const. “Apostolicæ Sedis”, 12 October, 1869; Pius IX, Encycl. “Etsi multa”, 21 November, 1873; Leo XIII, Encycl. “Humanum genus”, 20 April, 1884; Leo XIII, “Præclara”, 20 June, 1894; Leo XIII, “Annum ingressi”, 18 March, 1902 (against Italian Freemasonry); Leo XIII, Encycl. “Etsí nos”, 15 February, 1882; Leo XIII, “Ab Apostolici”, 15 October, 1890.

[77] Romans 8:18 and Ephesians 3:18-19, NIV, emphases mine.

[78] I Corinthians 13:12, NIV—no emphasis needed.

[79] You are supposed to care for everyone equally, if that were possible, and what a difference between the ethic and the reality that brings.

[80] Matthew 7.6, Criswell Study Bible (KJV; Thomas Nelson, 1979: 1117).

[81] Matthew 7.6, Criswell Study Bible (KJV; Thomas Nelson, 1979: 1117).

[82] Quoting from an old English lecture, Albert Gallatin Mackey (1807-1881), Mystic Tie (NY: Masonic Publishing, 1867; 233p.; 1; Committee on Masonic Education and Service, To the Candidate Elected to Receive the Degrees of Freemasonry (Waco, TX: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1980): 4; Robert J. Lewinski, What Is Freemasonry? (Silver Spring, MD: Masonic Service Association, 1999 revised [1st 1961]): 7; see also, Carl H. Claudy (1879-1957) and Introduction to Freemasonry: Entered Apprentice (Morristown, MJ: Temple Publishers, 2003; 64p.).

[83] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 17.

[84] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 17.

[85] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 18.

[86] Léo Taxil (1854-1907; original name, Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pagès; Le Culte du Grand Architecte. London: 1886) and Les Mysteres de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Paris: 1888); see the bibliography for more on Taxil. Abel Clarin de la Rive in La Femme et L’Enfant dans la Franc-Maçonnerie Universelle (Woman and Child in Universal Freemasonry; 1894) was one of first modern places of the false Lucifer quote attributed to Pike by Léo Taxil in a slanderous hoax; this was copied by Edith Star Miller (Lady Queenborough) in her rather popular Occult Theocrasy (1933). Sadly, Taxil confessed to his hoax publicly, the full and lengthy transcript of which was recorded in Frondeur 18 (April 1897). Taxil’s hoax has been thoroughly documented in Art deHoyos and S. Brent Morris’s Is It True What They Say about Freemasonry?: the Methods of Anti-Masons (NY: M. Evans and Co., 2004; 262p.; Silver Spring, MD: Masonic Service Center, 1997; 1st 1993) and in heretofore non-Mason John J. Robinson’s A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right (NY: M. Evans and Co., 1993; Chapter 7; 178p.).

[87] Encylopædia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1971; volume 10: s.v. Kabballa, 490-654.

[88] Encylopædia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1971; volume 10: s.v. Kabballa, 490.

[89] Encylopædia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1971; volume 10: s.v. Kabballa, 493.

[90] Encylopædia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1971; volume 10: s.v. Kabballa, 494-495.

[91] Encylopædia Judaica. Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1971; volume 10: s.v. Kabballa, 557.

[92] See Dave Hunt’s masterful What Love Is This?: Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God (OR: Loyal, 2002).

[93] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 23.

[94] Albert Pike, Moral and Dogma (1916, 1st 1871): 581-800.

[95] See William R. Denslow’s magnum opus 10,000 Famous Freemasons from A to J Part One. (672p.; K to Z Part Two; 796p.; Kessinger Publishing, 2004;; 1st pub. Missouri Lodge Research, 1957) just for starters. See the history books in the bibliography for more.

[96] For instance, see chapter 12 above, which includes E. R. Johnston and A. C. Monette, editors, Masonry Defined: A Liberal Masonic Education: Information Every Mason Should Have (Shreveport, LA: National Masonic Press, 1930; appendix & dictionary, 1939; 935p., answering 1,025 questions; compiled from the writings of Albert G. Mackey and many other authorities): 442-445.

[97] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 25.

[98] Matthew 5:22.

[99] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 25.

[100] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 28.

[101] Catholic Encyclopedia at s.v., Masonry, which is a lengthy cross-linked document with some good history and some of Taxil’s hoax; there is also a link to the most vehement anti-Mason encyclical by Leo XIII, Encycl. “Humanum Genus”, 20 April, 1884 as well as the others beginning in 1738.

[102] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 29.

[103] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 35.

[104] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 36.

[105] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 37.

[106] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 37.

[107] Quoting from an old English lecture, Albert Gallatin Mackey (1807-1881), Mystic Tie (NY: Masonic Publishing, 1867; 233p.; 1; Committee on Masonic Education and Service, To the Candidate Elected to Receive the Degrees of Freemasonry (Waco, TX: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1980): 4; Robert J. Lewinski, What Is Freemasonry? (Silver Spring, MD: Masonic Service Association, 1999 revised [1st 1961]): 7; see also, Carl H. Claudy (1879-1957) and Introduction to Freemasonry: Entered Apprentice (Morristown, MJ: Temple Publishers, 2003; 64p.).

[108] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 42, bottom of the page.

[109] See also, Art deHoyos and S. Brent Morris’s Is It True What They Say about Freemasonry?: the Methods of Anti-Masons (NY: M. Evans and Co., 2004; 262p.; Silver Spring, MD: Masonic Service Center, 1997; 1st 1993) and in heretofore non-Mason John J. Robinson’s A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right (NY: M. Evans and Co., 1993; Chapter 7; 178p.); see also. Marcus Cunliffe’s George Washington: Man and Monument (Little, Brown, & Co., 1958), Steven C. Bullock’s Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840 (Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina, 1996; 421p.), Margaret C. Jacob’s Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe (NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991; 304p.), and Henry Leonard Stillson’s History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons and Concordant Orders (editor; Boston & NY: The Fraternity Publishing Company, 1904).

Also, though David Barton does not mention Freemasonry and only a couple of sloppy invectives, do see David Barton’s Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 2004, 1st 2000), for therein when compared to Denslow’s 10,000 Famous Freemasons and other histories, many of the most significant Christian Founding Fathers in Barton were Freemasons too, and most of their Freemasonry membership is better documented than their church membership (by Barton’s own lack of church membership record in his vast documentation). Moreover, for those looking at Barton’s book or web site, George Washington is the most influential Founding Father according to Barton, though Barton does not indicate—really hides—that Washington was more active in Freemasonry than his church; and even though his Freemasonry is not a religion, we know that he was a part of a Christian Lodge and a fine Christian too.

[110] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-I (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. I, 42, bottom of the page.

[111] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-II (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. II, 31.

[112] Where several Freemasons were wanting to constitute the Bible as the inerrant Word of God fifty years prior to the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy first convened; that’s a piece of history worth noting.

[113] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-II (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. III, 77, among many other references.

[114] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-II (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. III, 176.

[115] James L. Holly, SBC-FM-II (2-in-1, with vol. II followed by I, with each vol. individually numbered; Beaumont, TX: Mission and Ministry to Men, n.d.): vol. III, 176, quoted from John J. Robinson, A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right (NY: M. Evans Co., 1993; 178p.): 48.

[116] That is even seen in a careful reading of the small quote from Robinson that Holly uses and abuses out of context.

[117] John J. Robinson, A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right (NY: M. Evans Co., 1993; 178p.).

[118] Revelation 22:16, NIV, capital letter emphasis theirs.