Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 185

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 186

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 187

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/greata7/public_html/aletheiabaptistministries.org/Blog/wp-content/themes/evolve/inc/dynamic-css.php on line 188
Cults Archives ~ Aletheia Baptist Ministries Skip to main content

Islam Rising

Islam Rising

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

I have collected many books on Islam over the years, most of them small paperbacks written by middle eastern converts to Christianity.  They have all been very good and helpful, although they are often written in a personal, testimonial, format.  This book by Jim Murk has been the most helpful so far.  Murk has his Masters degrees from the University of Chicago in History and the University of Minnesota in Anthropology, and his PhD from Bob Jones University in Theology.  He taught for several years at Wheaton College and has traveled in 26 foreign countries, so he comes to this field well qualified.

In the seven chapters and three appendices, covering 250 pages, Murk gives the life of Muhammad, the background of Allah, Muhammad’s religious and warrior background, the Qur’an, Holy Jihad, and a comparison of Islam and Christianity.  The book is well documented especially with references to the Qur’an as well as the Hadith and Sunnah.  I would recommend owning a copy of the Qur’an (or Koran as we call it in English) and looking up the references as you go through the book.

The life of the founder of a religion is always interesting.  Many false religions are begun in similar fashion as is this one.  Muhammad was raised in a polytheistic world in Mecca.  He first married an Ebionite Christian wife who was fifteen years older.  He thought an evil spirit appeared to him in a cave and began to give him “recitations” that later became the Qur’an.  These were dictated to others because he could not read or write.  Muhammad later claimed that the spirit was really Gabriel and that the revelations were from Allah.  “Allah” was the name of the moon god which he worshiped as a young man.  He came to believe that this was the only god rather than one of many.  The crescent moon is still the emblem of Islam.  After his first wife died he married about fourteen wives within ten years, including a six-year old girl when he was 53.  From there Muhammad was obviously given to lust and later to war.  He conveniently was given a revelation from Allah that he could have as many wives and women as he wanted though Muslim men are only allowed four at a time.  Muhammad gathered an army and raided caravans for money.  In one raid he beheaded 700 Jewish men and sold the women and children as slaves.    Murk says “At least 25,000 slaves used to be sold in the markets of Mecca and Medina each year.”  The last words of Muhammad are, “the Lord destroy the Jews and Christians.  Let there not remain any faith but that of Islam throughout the whole of Arabia.”  Holy Jihad continues to this day, of course, not just in Arabia but throughout the world, which Islam believes is Allah’s will.

The study of the Qur’an is interesting but difficult (I have read most of it).  It is not a story or narrative, but a listing of the “recitations” with no apparent order other than the longest of 114 chapters (or Suras) to the shortest.  Since there are many contradictions in the Qur’an, the later ones take precedent over the earlier ones. The earlier ones were nicer and written during his younger years, and the later ones during his lurid and warrior years.  That is why Muslims can point to peaceful commands or to Jihadist commands at the same time.  Also, since Muhammad originally broke his treaty with Mecca and then turned and conquered it, he became the divine example and permission for Islamic treaty breaking. Islam is more of a political movement than a religion.  Its goal has always been world domination as the Qur’an abundantly reveals.  There is no atonement in Islam, no redemption, no salvation.  There is no doctrine of sin or a fall. Allah has determined everything. It is strictly a system of works, or keeping the five pillars (allegiance, prayers, alms, fasting, pilgrimage).  One can only hope that he will find paradise in the end.  The only guarantee of paradise is murder i.e., Jihad.

Paradise, as described in the Qur’an, is a lustful and selfish conception.  Each individual will have 80,000 slaves, 72 virgins, 300 attendants at each meal which contains 300 dishes.  Beside all this is riches, clothing, jewelry, and various other luxuries.   “In other words,” Murk writes, “in Islam’s Paradise, one may indulge in every sensual pleasure, which on earth might be considered sinful.”  It is really a sad religion which begs for a positive message of salvation.

 

 

Yoga: Forming a Right Response

Yoga: Forming a Right Response

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

              In 1857 The Atlantic Monthly published “Brahma” by Ralph Waldo Emerson which included, “The strong gods pine for my abode, And pine in vain the sacred Seven; But thou, meek lover of the good! Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.”1

              In 1893, at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda opened the Parliament of Religions saying that Hinduism “taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. . . The whole world of religions is only traveling . . . through various conditions and circumstances, to the same goal.”2

In 1929, Margaret Woodrow Wilson, daughter of the President, turned from her Presbyterian heritage to Yoga and “craved only ‘the Realization of God consciousness’ and did ‘not really care about anything else.’”3

In 1948 the Hollywood ad about Yoga read, “Look Pretty, feel good.  Marilyn Monroe, who plays the ingénue lead in Columbia’s Ladies of the Chorus, exercises her way to beauty and health.”4 

In 1967 George Harrison of the Beatles proclaimed, “Like, in the beginning was the word and I knew mantras were the words. . . We don’t need drugs anymore.  We think we’re finding other ways of getting there.”5

In August, 1969, Swami Satchidananda gave the “invocation” at Woodstock by saying, “America is helping everybody in the material field but the time has come for America to help the whole world with the spirituality also.”6

In 2009, at the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn, First Lady Michelle Obama proclaimed, “Our goal today is just to have fun.  We want to focus on activity, healthy eating.  We’ve got Yoga, we’ve got dancing, we’ve got storytelling, we’ve got Easter-egg decorating.7

After taking the reader through 150 years in 300 pages, Yale literature author Stefanie Syman, with no religious or Christian perspective to this point, concludes her book, The Subtle Body, by writing,

They’ve spent the last century and a half convincing us that this ancient, Indic, and half-tamed spiritual discipline doesn’t contravene our most sacred beliefs.  They may actually be wrong on this point.  It’s hard to reconcile the subtle body and the possibility of experiencing divinity for yourself by methodically following a program of exercise, breathing, and meditation with Judeo-Christian notions of God and the afterlife, but we seem willing to ignore the discontinuities.8

Today, this ancient religion is more influential in America and American Christianity than ever.  One article, about the yoga dieting craze, says, “Right now there are all these yogi Instagram celebrities with millions of followers . . . And they’re not drinking beer, they’re drinking juice.  Mindfulness, in a way, is the new church.”9  One blogger wrote,

Can yoga be completely stripped of Hinduism and even ‘Christianized’? Many Christians believe it can.  In fact, some churches and Christian colleges, like Wheaton College and Gordon College, even offer yoga classes.  Christian yoga proponents admit that yoga originated as a form of Hindu worship.  But, as an article posted to the Wheaton College website says, ‘yoga today is often just an ancient system of postures and breathing’ that’s ‘largely void of religious overtones’. . . It’s one of those things like Christmas and Easter, which was once pagan, but now has been co-opted for Christian worship.10

One author notes that a Google search for yoga on the internet jumped from 66,800,000 hits in 2007 to 220,000,000 in 2011 alone!10

Many still try to convince themselves that incorporating yoga into exercise and diet is in no way connected to the ancient religion itself.  Yungen quotes a Jesuit priest, William Johnson, who argues this point,

The twentieth century, which has seen so many revolutions, is now witnessing the rise of a new mysticism within Christianity . . . . For the new mysticism has learned much from the great religions of Asia.  It has felt the impact of yoga and Zen and the monasticism of Tibet.  It pays attention to posture and breathing; it knows about the music of the mantra and the silence of Samadhi.12

However, Douglas Groothuis, well-respected apologetics professor at Denver Seminary has written,

Overstressed Americans are increasingly turning to various forms of Eastern meditation, particularly yoga, in search of relaxation and spirituality.  Underlying these meditative practices, however, is a worldview in conflict with biblical spirituality—though many Christians are (unwisely) practicing yoga. . . . Yoga, deeply rooted in Hinduism, essentially means to be ‘yoked’ with the divine.  Yogic postures, breathing, and chanting, were originally designed not to bring better physical health and well-being (Western marketing to the contrary), but a sense of oneness with Brahman—the Hindu word for the absolute being that pervades all things.  This is pantheism (all is divine), not Christianity.13

Albert Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Baptist Seminary took much grief (even from Christians) for this statement, “When Christians practice yoga, they must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga.  The contradictions are not few, nor are they peripheral.”14

With the flood of yoga and other eastern religious practices coming into America in the last century, came also the commercialization.  America was where the money was, and to make it big in America meant fame and fortune.  Syman tells of television programs from the early 50s and 60s in Los Angeles. On one program called Yoga for Health on KTTV, the star of the show, a man deeply committed to yoga and Zen, knew, “Americans didn’t really relate to yoga.  They related to ‘exercise, sports, health.’  He felt he had to keep its esoteric elements—pesky and possibly untoward details about the subtle body and Kundaline—to a minimum if he was to reach Americans ‘en masse.’”15

Author Ray Yungen tells of attending a New Age convention where the speaker said, “If you barge in with occult lingo it turns them off right away.  You have to tell them how you can make their employees happier and get more productivity out of them—then they will listen.  You are really teaching metaphysics, but you present it as human development.”16  No doubt, yoga and other metaphysical religions have won millions of unknowing converts who are convinced that they are merely exercising and dieting their way to spirituality.

German theologian Kurt E. Koch (1913-1987), Th.D from Tübingen University and author of many books on cults has written,

The word yoga itself has a meaning corresponding to the unio mystica of German mysticism, that is, the mystical union with the universal spirit.  The difference between yoga and German mysticism is that yoga is atheistic in nature whereas the German mystics were engaged in a search for God.  Their similarity lies in the fact that they share the idea of self-realization.  Man must aim at attaining to his eternal self through the practice of many exercises in purification.  This eternal self or real self is supposed to be part of the universal or ultimate reality.  As we have said, yoga calls this process self-realization.  We can see already that it will always be impossible to harmonize yoga and Christianity.17

Koch also, after defining yoga as mystical, magical, and occultish, shows how participants grow in this religion through four stages to finally mastering the cosmic forces.  The first of these four stages “embraces remedial gymnastics, breathing, exercises, relaxation exercises, exercises in concentration, contemplation and meditation.”18

Much more could and should be said about the history and the beliefs of yoga.  That would take a book not an article, and those books are out there for people to read who will.  But this much is true: yoga is an ancient religion that is God denying and Christ denying.  That is firmly fixed in the thoughts and convictions of millions of people alive on this planet right now.  Any attempt to personally divorce it from that pantheism does not work for them, it only says “God speed, more power to you” in their ears.

What should a Christian do?

Let me give some Scriptures that I think apply to the use of something like yoga, and then I will give a few practical reasons I think yoga should be avoided by believers.  Finally, I will give a bottom line as to what a believer can do.

First, do not say “God speed” to yoga (or “like”) because when you do you are “partaker” in all of its pantheistic deeds (2 John 11). This is not the same thing as Christians keeping Christmas or birthday cakes. No one in the world today is keeping the ancient rituals that these words come from.  Besides, Christmas also has a unique Christian message which yoga does not.  When Halloween again began to be practiced for real in America, many of us discontinued its use for testimony’s sake.  I think I can continue to say “Thursday” without someone mistaking what I said for a worship of Thor.  I can eat a birthday cake without someone thinking I am baking cakes to Tammuz.  But you cannot practice yoga today without encouraging millions of people in this world in their false religion.

Second, realize that Hinduism’s yoga is pantheistic and unchristian. To them, God is everything, you are part of everything, therefore you are part of God. Even Jesus Christ was no more part of God than you are.  Meditation and exercise are the primary forms of coming to the realization that you are God.  They release the seven “chakras” within your spiritual body that allow the “kundalini,” or serpent energy,  to flow from the lower parts to the highest parts and elevate you into God consciousness or the higher wisdom.  This is also done with the help of “centering” prayers and visualization.19

This all sounds much like the first century problem in the church over Gnosticism.  Its fundamental denial of the divinity of Christ, and one’s esoteric rise to full-knowledge is uncannily similar to yoga’s doctrine and practice.  John specifically warned that such doctrine is the spirit of antichrist (1 John 2:18-22, 2 John 7).  His warning was to “try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1).  He did not say to “try out” the spirits and then decide whether they are beneficial.  “He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

Third, the period of the Old Testament judges repeatedly shows that God commanded Israel to have no part in the gods of the new land they were entering. The saddest verses are those which show that a king did most things right but “nevertheless” the high places and the groves were not taken away. In 2 Kings 16 Ahaz, king of Judah, went to Damascus where he saw an altar of the religion of the Syrians.  He then commanded that a replica of the altar be brought to Jerusalem and erected in the temple of Jehovah, setting aside the proper instruments of God’s temple.  It was not until his son Hezekiah came to the throne that these abominations were destroyed and the true worship again established.  God is not pleased when we give honor to false gods by connecting them to the worship of the true God.

Fourth, Paul specifically commanded the Corinthians, a church badly affected by the false religions around them, not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-18). He then asked five questions that showed why they must not do this. “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” Paul’s inspired command to be separate from these entanglements (vs. 17) should be the desire of every believer today.  When we do God says, He will be “a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.”

In addition, here are a few practical applications.

Fifth, there has been an inordinate emphasis in our day upon the physical body, and yoga plays perfectly into this scenario. True, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I believe we ought to take care of it, even diet and exercise when possible and necessary, but the exercise of it only profits minutely compared to godliness (1 Tim. 4:8). As a pastor over the years, I have seen many men and women drawn away into a world of lust because they play with fire in this emphasis on their (and other’s) body.  Many times this is at the gym or pool or track.  Yoga’s history in America is riddled with sexual scandal because of the nature of the exercises that men and women do together.  One of the reasons older saints are more mature is because “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).  “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Rom. 8:12).

Sixth,your children will take your emphasis in life much further than you. Dabbling around the edges of yoga and other ancient mysteries will open a door for them that the world is already displaying. From Harry Potter’s superconsciousness to Darth Vader’s dark side, the dangers are enough as they are, without us adding to them.

Seventh, surely believers see and understand the spiritual decline of our country and even of the church of Jesus Christ. We are to be salt and light, ambassadors of our Lord, people with a higher thought process than the vain things of this world. Why is it that believers need these worldly methods to live spiritual lives?  Why isn’t the Word of God, time in prayer, simple worship with God’s people, verbal witness to our friends, satisfying and fulfilling?  Paul’s words in that ancient pagan world are appropriate, “Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:23).

And So . . .

Joshua’s words to Israel in the new land of spiritual challenges is good for us as well,

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15).

Every family or church has the right to practice by its own conscience.  A church may set its own guidelines as to how it wants to handle these issues, even though that may differ from other churches.  You should seek a local church which sets these boundaries in a way in which your family wants to practice.  Where you worship, raise your kids, and fellowship with believers is important to you because that will affect you and your children (and grandchildren) for generations to come.  Choose wisely.

Notes:

  1. Stefanie Syman, The Subtle Body (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011) 12.
  2. Ibid., 44.
  3. Ibid., 145.
  4. Ibid., 195.
  5. Ibid., 200.
  6. Ibid., 233
  7. Ibid., 3.
  8. 291.
  9. “Sober is the New Drunk: Why Millennials are Ditching Bar Crawls for Juice Crawls,” The Guardian.com. April 21, 2016.
  10. Julie Roys, “Three Reasons Christians Should Think Twice About Yoga,” http://julieroys.com/three-reasons-christians-should-think-twice-about-yoga/.
  11. Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come in My Name (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Pub., 2015) 102.
  12. Yungen, 120.
  13. Douglas Groothuis, “Dangerous Meditations,” ChristianityToday.com, November 1, 2004.
  14. Albert Mohler, Jr., “The Subtle Body—Should Christians Practice Yoga?” albertmohler.com, 9/20/2010.
  15. Syman, 246-247.
  16. Yungen, 59.
  17. Kurt E. Koch, Occult Practices and Beliefs (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1971) 123-124.
  18. Ibid., 125.
  19. These and many other descriptions can be found easily in any book on cults, Hinduism, and yoga. See Yungen, chapter 9, “New Age Religion;” Syman, chapter 11, “How to be a Guru Without Really Trying;” Koch, section 47, “Yoga.”

 

 

The Subtle Body

The Subtle Body

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

This is a 2010 book by Syman, a literature graduate of Yale University.  I first heard of the book when Albert Mohler wrote a review of it.  Syman practiced yoga for fifteen years before writing this historical review.  It is not a Christian book or even religious for that matter.  Syman tells the story of yoga in America from the days of the Transcendentalists (especially Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau) in the late 1800s, to the rise in Hollywood, the wild 60s, and today’s commercialized use of the ancient religious ritual.  Since the author is not criticizing yoga per se, nor defending Christianity, she accomplishes her purpose of merely telling the story of the 150 years of yoga in America, an interesting and sometimes twisted story.  But Syman has done her homework, as you would expect.  Of the 390 pages, the text runs to 292, then the footnotes to 358, followed by 6 pages of bibliography, followed by the index.

The title “Subtle Body” is described a few times and is worth including the first description here.

“In Hatha Yoga, the subtle body describes a network of channels (nadis) and wheel-like vortices (chakras).  These are invisible to the naked eye and even the microscope; the subtle body is distinct from the gross or physical body, though manipulating one necessarily affects the other.

The purpose of practicing Hatha Yoga, including the postures as well as internal cleansing practices and breathing exercises, is to raise Kundalini, a powerful energy, which is typically lodged in the bottom chakra at the base of your spine, to the crown of your head, the top chakra” (p. 5).

The story of yoga in America is one of gradual inculcation and infiltration.  It first came to the east with the Transcendentalists, then to the west where it found a foothold in Los Angeles, especially Hollywood.  It was slow-going until yoga could be repackaged as an exercise and then practiced by well-known people from Marilyn Monroe to the Beatles.  A whole chapter is devoted to Margaret Woodrow Wilson, the daughter of the President, who made it acceptable to the elite political class as well.  Yoga has always been part of the drug and sex culture.  A few pictures are included in the middle, one of which is Maharishi Mahesh with the Beatles, and Swami Satchidananda, along with about twenty other swamis, giving the “invocation” at Woodstock which, of course, was nothing but sex and drugs.  The story is brought to the last chapter, “The New Penitents,” by which Syman means the gullible Americans who practice yoga feverishly as a way to punish the body in exercising and diet.  Of course, this also made yoga a very profitable industry in America.  The only reference to Christianity is at the end (see my article) where she admits that Americans are “willing to ignore the discontinuities” between yoga and “Judeo-Christian notions of God and the afterlife” (p. 291).

Mohler, after answering criticisms for his review of this book wrote, “I have heard from a myriad of Christians who insist that their practice of yoga involves absolutely no meditation, no spiritual direction, no inward concentration, and no thought element.  Well, if so, you are simply not practicing yoga.  You may be twisting yourselves into pretzels or grasshoppers, but if there is no meditation or direction of consciousness, you are not practicing yoga, you are simply performing a physical exercise.  Don’t call it yoga” (albertmohler.com, 10/07.2010).

I would add to Mohler’s conclusion, that by continuing to call exercise “yoga,” you are continuing to link your exercise to a false religion.  “Yoga” is not just a name with no connotation.  For millions of people in the world it connects your activity with their belief, something a Christian should not do.

 

 

For Many Shall Come in My Name

For Many Shall Come in My Name

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

In choosing books to read on the subject of yoga and other cults, I found this book by Yungen who has studied the New Age movement for thirty years and has found yoga to be a central part of that subject.  It is published by Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2007, 2015.  Yungen writes, “A perfect example of just how widespread Eastern religion has become in our Western world is the popular practice of yoga.  In the beginning of the 21st century, around twenty million Americans are doing this practice based on Eastern religion, often in church recreation halls and at the YMCA” (p. 50).  After quoting a Catholic defense of yoga retreats and Zen meditations, Yungen says, “I wonder how it is possible that Christians can use the same techniques that Buddhists and Hindus use to reach their gods without, in fact, reaching their gods (sic).  Metaphysical meditation remains exactly the same no matter what name you tag on it.  Changing the mantras does not make it Christian” (p. 122).  Yungen divides his chapters into the use of various New Age materials in business, in education, in alternative health, in arts and media, and also in religion, showing how pervasive yoga, meditation, centering prayers, etc., have become in American religious life.  He ends his book with a chapter on prophetic things, and then lastly with a good gospel presentation.

 

 

 

Occult Practices and Beliefs

Occult Practices and Beliefs

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

The subtitle of this small book is “A Biblical Examination from A to Z.”  Koch (Th.D, Tübingen) lists cults alphabetically, but gives the most space to yoga.  In these pages he gives a list of yoga doctrines including:

  • Every bodily organ is related to the soul.
  • Every person has a physical and spiritual nature which strive with one another for pre-eminence. A harmony and union of these two natures is to be achieved through psychological exercises.
  • Man’s eternal self is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
  • Man’s eternal self is both transcendent and immanent; it is without beginning and without end, having neither birth nor death.
  • Material things are on a lower level than the mind, the intelligence and the spirit.
  • Yoga includes all branches of physics and metaphysics. Yoga implies a synthesis of the physical and the metaphysical universe.
  • Heaven and hell are the products of man’s mind.
  • Yoga is magic, mysticism, occultism.

 

 

God Will End the Caliphate

God Will End the Caliphate

by Rick Shrader

It is amazing to watch the developments in the Middle East. It is also sad to see the lack of leadership by the United States. Our President evidently cannot accept the fact that Islam can be violent, nor can he bring himself to admit that violent Jihadists purposely kill Christians and Jews. No one is old enough today, so historians tell us, how similar this is to the 1930s when no one thought that a man named Hitler and his Nazi party was a real threat to the rest of the world. Satan’s purpose to eliminate the Jewish people, and to destroy as much of Christianity as possible, is the real driving force behind all such hatred.

The battle of Gog and Magog is coming. It is an invasion from the northern enemies of Israel to flood into the holy land and exterminate the Jews and take the spoil of the land (see Ezekiel 38-39). These northern enemies include Turkey, Iran, Libya, and other allies. It also includes parts of Russia to the “far north” (Ezek. 38:1-5). Could this invasion be just around the corner? No human knows for sure. We only know it will happen some day. I believe this happens towards the middle of the seven-year tribulation period and therefore would be a short three and a half years after the rapture. At that time God will destroy the northern enemies by miraculous means (Ezek. 38:17-23). Unfortunately, this is only the first battle in a war called Armageddon, a conflict which Jesus Himself will conclude by His glorious return.

Christians should support every effort to destroy the enemy of Israel and all other peace-loving countries, even if that means righteous warfare. Our best but least used weapon is prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, for Israel, the church, and for lost souls in the whole world. But whatever happens in the near future, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever. For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:20-21).

 

 

The Question of Freemasonry and the Foun...

The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

I’ve only recently found a few of David Burton’s books recommended to me by a friend.  I learned a lot from this short book on the Freemasons.  Burton’s premise is that America’s founding fathers were not as involved in Freemasonry as many would have us believe, and that those who were, were not involved very much, and that even then Freemasonry was not at all  what it is today.  With over 300 footnotes in a little over 100 pages of text, Burton does a thorough job of presenting material from both sides.

Burton presents the history of masons as they progressed from stone masons to a society.  He dispels modern Masonic claims to biblical history and characters.  He presents five periods of their history in America:  from 1730s through the Revolution; the corrupting influence especially around 1813 when Masonry opened up to a pluralistic belief system; the period of demise in the middle 1800s; the period of revival in the late 1800s; and modern Masonry of the 20th century which is totally unchristian.  His point is that even if founding father like Washington (whom he spends much time on) were members, it was little more than a club, or like joining the WMCA or the Salvation Army in its early days.  Washington once wrote, “The fact is, I preside over none [of the lodges], nor have I been in one more than once or twice within the last thirty years.”

Burton does not believe the symbols on the dollar bill came from any Masonic connection and shows their history as they were commissioned to be made.  He debunks the idea that Washington DC is laid out to picture a Satanic pentagram.  He also explains that the common pictures of George Washington in Masonic regalia were all done after the fact.  For example, the one of him so dressed laying the cornerstone for capital building was actually done in 1993 by John Melius, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason.  BTW, the Great Seal of the United States (with the Eagle) was actually designed by Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress (1774-1789) who was not a Mason.  Actually this is the Thompson who was the author of the Thompson Bible, a Christian theologian, and therefore the Great Seal had nothing to do with Freemasonry.  Burton argues that Thompson’s involvement with the pyramid and the all-seeing eye was not Masonry either, and that NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM is not “A New World Order” as many think, but is “A New Order of the Ages” which Thompson said, signifies “the beginning of the new American Era, which commences from that date [1776].”

 

 

Whited Sepulchers

Whited Sepulchers

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

 This is a short expose about the Mormon Temple.  The authors have written other works that I have found helpful regarding Mormonism.  This one centers on the symbols that were built into the Salt Lake City Temple.  It is interesting why Brigham Young (especially) would want symbols of the all-seeing eye, planetary stones, the bee symbol of fertility, the Saturn stone, a pentagram keystone, and many others.  After detailed descriptions, the authors conclude, “Such a fastidious reduction seems contrived to the uninitiated.  It’s sort of like trying to add up the numerical values of Hitler or Henry Kissinger to get 666.  But we must understand the mind of the occultist.  The occult mind is continually haunted by numerology.  Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were consummate occultists.  In fact, Brigham Young University history professor D. Michael Quinn, has written a 300-page book documenting the occult atmosphere of early Mormonism—Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Signature Books).

 

 

Queen of All

Queen of All

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

The sub title to this book is “Queen of Rome, Queen of Islam, Queen of All.”  The proposition is that Mary worship has engulfed the whole world without anyone realizing it.  It is easy to catalog all of the apparitions (so-called appearances) of Mary throughout history and even today.  The authors also document how Mary is revered in Islam.  They also hold to the position that the harlot woman of Revelation 17-18 is the Roman Catholic church, a view which I have always held, and a view held by many throughout church history.  After these general views, however, they begin to see Mary worship in too many things.  In the parable of the leaven (Matt. 13), for example, they see Mary in the woman who hid three measures of leaven in a loaf, or also in the woman in the basket in Zech 5.  Those stretches of interpretation taint the rest.

 

Mormonism’s Temple of Doom

Mormonism’s Temple of Doom

by Rick Shrader

%%tb-image-alt-text%%

This is an update of a book that has been around since 1987.  Schnoebelen is a former witch, Catholic priest, Mason, and Mormon.  His premise is that there is little difference among them.  He reviews the temple dress, rituals, practices, and beliefs.  This is an eye-opening book about what goes on in the Mormon temple. The book can be ordered from:

www.BeyondMormonism.com