Christianity Today's offering on Freemasonry is pertinent and timely for this blogger/observer ... ironically, I just put up a copy of a hundred-year-old address on the subject by the son of the Johnathon Blanchard mentioned below, Charles A. Blanchard.
Click over to The SHEEP'S CRIB - Inspiration to read the most pointed refutation of Freemasonry I've come across ... and that by a former 33rd degree Mason.
In CT's TIDINGS column they bring us ..."The Freemasonry Threat - Faint echoes remind evangelicals of a nearly forgotten foe" by Ted Olsen; a timely reminder of things past ...Once you read Blanchard's charges you might want to reread Wilberforce.
Family Life Church loves their new building ... except for one thing: The walls still bear symbols of its past as a Masonic temple. The suburban Chicago Daily Herald reported that Elgin officials barred the markings' removal because they "contribute to the overall character of the building, its history." The church argued the symbols conflict with Christian belief, but the government said the church can only cover them up, not remove them.
Family Life Church's effort echoes a long fight in Kenya's Presbyterian Church of East Africa over eradicating Masonic symbols in colonial-era churches and government buildings. "These symbols and artifacts must be removed and destroyed," PCEA head David Githii explained to The Nation as at least 30 stained-glass windows and other items were removed from Nairobi's St. Andrews Church. "They are anti-Christ." Githii sent demolition squads to other PCEA churches around the country ... .
Yes, there are still Freemasons, including a reported 1.8 million members in the United States. And if the unconfirmed anecdotes ct editors hear regularly are to believed, Masonic cliques still wield power in several places.
But membership is half what it was 50 years ago. It's hard to believe that Freemasons and similar secret societies were one of the top three social ills targeted by evangelicals of the mid-1800s, along with slavery and alcohol. In 1868, several prominent evangelicals, including revivalist Charles Grandison Finney and Wheaton College founder Jonathan Blanchard, created the National Christian Association (NCA) to warn believers that "all secret societies [are] deistical, antagonistic to Christianity, [and] tend to loosen moral ties."
Now Freemasonry is nearly forgotten, and the Christian campaign against "secretism" had little to do with the decline. ... The tough question is when to listen to William Wilberforce and when to listen to Gamaliel (Acts 5:38): "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail."