The Wrong In Secret Societies
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First, let me give a preface. My primary mission in this screed is to inform people about the wrong of secret societies. While I will rail against those societies unapologetically, I am going to do my best to do so in a manner that I might lead people towards Jesus, and away from those groups; rather than the other way around. I feel the best way to do that is to start off with some scripture to reinforce my positions which I will state afterwards.
Matthew 10:26-27 Jesus said, "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs."
Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
John 3:19-21 Jesus said, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters..."
Although the first three scriptures were spoken in different contexts, they have a common theme- they speak against secrecy, or more importantly; they endorse transparency in ones actions, life, and soul. The last scripture is self-explanatory. Notice the author of these four important passages. This is not your average Joe prophet talking here. This is THE author- the only one in this universe who can save you from eternal damnation- from the "Fraternal Organization of the Secret Society of the Burning Lake of Fire!" (that is unless you are just absolutely hell-bent -pun intended- on joining that club too.)
Now. One of the biggest problems in making people understand about these secret societies, is in how we label these societies. It is my belief that from a Christian perspective, these groups are NON-benevolent fraternal organizations. Further I believe that any fraternal organization is not totally benevolent by its nature- even though the group may be totally benevolent on the surface, and perform actions within the community which are definitely beneficial. There is a fine line between fraternities- secret or non-secret- and genuinely benevolent service organizations. I will let the individual reader make that determination according to their heart. However, fraternities in general and service organizations differ in that USUALLY legitimate service organizations are localized, whereas fraternities are networked, and in general, fraternities are brotherhoods which promote the gain of the members of the brotherhoods.
My main focus is on secret societies as opposed to all fraternal organizations. Still, it is important not only to make a distinction between the two, but to also highlight the similarities. They both are similar in that they usually set up camp in any populated area, and they end up with an exclusive membership which- intended or not- fosters an environment where favoritism is a direct effect. Fellow Optimist, Rotary, or Kiwanis members end up showing favor towards other members in business as well as personal relationships, and these relationships will invariably "trickle down" to even the children.
My famous case-in-point which I like to tell, is my experience in the Optimist Youth Baseball League. When the season was over, I eagerly awaited the picking of the All-Stars- of which I figured that I was a shoe-in since I had a .500 batting average, AND only one other ballplayer in the whole league had hit more home runs. But I was not selected. Even some other boys from my own team were picked- including a couple who couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag. In time, I was informed matter-of-factly that the reason I was excluded was due to the fact that my father was not a member of this benevolent fraternity. From that point on, I have always had nothing but antipathy towards these groups, and will never join one. (In the end, I will rewarded by being included on an even greater ALLSTAR TEAM!)
Now, secret societies are not much different in their actions- in fact, it is presumed that the favoritism, or cronyism extends even farther, as those members are embedded in high positions within the Power Structure or The Community. Of course, the difference is that we really can't know for sure can we? They are a secret society.
Even though we hear that secret societies promote extrication of their own, favortism within their ranks, and even pledges to kill people who divulge said secrets; we can't be for sure can we? They are a secret society, so even their modus operandi remains a true secret. Of course, people throughout history have infiltrated these groups and published their mottos, creeds, writings, and orders of business. Still, we never be totally sure of the content, since we do not have direct access to the secrets.
This is why secret societies are wrong. They breed suspicion. Suspicions divide people, and makes them militant.
IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT GOOD THESE ORGANIZATIONS DO on the surface- it is what is underneath that defines the group. You say some of these societies build children hospitals, etc? So did Saddam Hussein. So did Adolf Hitler.
You say members of secret societies built this country. They wrote our constitution! So? Does the MEANS justify the ENDS?
It is clear that members of secret societies are good members of the community. Most are basically good people. Most will say even that their organizations are Chrisitian organizations, or that they are founded on Chrisitian ideals or imagery, etc. So is the Ku Klux Klan.
This illustration highlights secret societies' wrong more than anything. I read this on the front page of the Paris News a couple of years ago. A picture shows a Freemason leader pinning a little pin on the lapel of an old Mason widow's dress. The accompanying text below read basically like this:
"...today we're honoring these fine widows of masonry for their years of devotion (a seemingly benign statement), and we do this also that they can be identified and given assistance..."
SEE! Here is the rub! Remember, Satan is VERY slick. Often he is so slick that we do not even notice his prescence. We may even be confused into thinking that we are doing God's will, when in fact we are not. Hence the saying, "The road to hell is filled with good intentions." You may not still even noticed the harm in the above statement, but let me help you. What it IMPLIES is this:
"...We stop and help little 80 year-old ladies that have a little "G" pinned on them, but we don't stop and help those who don't- or we might at least be less inclined..."
That is clear. Of course even I believe that 95 percent of Masons would stop and help a little old lady regardless, but, nonetheless- that is the implication. It reminds me of the popular saying: What Would Jesus Do?
So, secret societies are wrong for a couple of reasons: 1. They involve secrecy. 2. They practice favoritism (read James Chapter 2). 3. Secret Societies are a form of Idolatry. Yes. Idolatry.
When you join a secret society, and take little oaths and pledges, and memorize bodies of words (so they can remain secret), you are doing more than just joining an exclusive good-ol-boys club. You are engaging in a form of idolatry- which from God's perspective- is one of the worst things that you can do. In the simplest way of expressing it: God desires that you put that much work into memorizing and quoting his word. He is a jealous God. He wants you to have that much zeal about HIS Temple.
It goes back to Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters..."
And make no misstake. The term secret society is properly named. They are secretive. Most do not use written records of their writings for obvious reasons. That is why I will give you this little study to put them to the test. I will give a hypothetical study account, and the expected responses. Believe me, I have already put this into practice before. It goes something like this:
Non Member: You are in a secret society.
The Member: No. We are a society of FEW secrets.
Non Member: Okay then. Why don't you bring me copies/printouts of all your groups' writings, codes, etc.?
The Member: We don't write ours down. We memorize them.
Non Member: Of course. Well, why don't you just write them down on paper and then bring them to me.
The Member: I can't. I took a pledge to not do that.
Non Member: Well, I'll let you look at my Book... (hand them your Bible.)
The Member: (funny look on face....)
Non Member: Big Smile
The Member: (will usually say something totally stupid at this point...)
Of course, at this point they are caught in a trap. And they know it. In their heart they know it is wrong. Sadly, most of them join just for social gain. It is not even about fraternity. Afterall, most join when they are young men, and why would they want to go hang out with a bunch of old gray haired monkey men? For social gain, of course...
Yes, that is where you separate the sheep from the goats folks.
If they won't tell you their organization's secrets, then there is probably a good reason why. It is probably because they would be ashamed to. Ashamed that you and they would both know that the secrets would collapse under analysis from the Christian perspective- and then make them look even more stupid since they stated- usually out of ignorance- that they belong to a "Christian Organization."
There is no such thing as a True Christian-based Secret Society. That is an oxymoron by every measure.
But, I tell you what! I am a sinner too, but I am not a member of a secret society. I belong to Jesus Christ. I will let you look at all of his writings. Feel free to make copies, and pass them around! You can even upload them onto the Internet. Post them in the newsgroups! Upload them to Napster!!!
Tell the whole world! JESUS IS LORD! (and THAT is not a secret.)
Matthew 10:16 Jesus said, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
by Charles Lance Bailey 2003©
"leading people to Jesus Christ"
(scripture quotes - NIV)
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