At the suggestion of a dear friend, I will endeavor on occasion to write about random goings on in my life so I don’t remain a mysterious, shadowy figure behind a keyboard spewing rhetoric into the blogosphere every day. So, here goes.
After Wednesday service ended last night I talked a few moments with my pastor. I asked for wisdom in my witness to my Hindu friend. I briefly told him what I had spoke with him on, and he agreed that my approach was good. He asked if I had invited him to Easter service. I said yes, and that I was very hopeful that he would come.
Pastor then told me I should study apologetics because he thought I had the mind for it. I was surprised. I thought he knew me better than that… I thanked him for the encouragement, but said I was still trying to get my theology straightened out. Apologetics wasn’t a big priority at the moment. I gave him my view that while apologetics was important, the preaching of the gospel is what saves souls and that’s my main focus. I did defend apologetics, giving him my illustration that apologetics is akin to keeping the fish in the pond so they don’t float off down a shallow stream of deceit and die. Apologetics keeps fish in the pond so they can get caught up in the gospel net. Apologetics makes for better fishing! Someday when I have grasped my theology better I will engage this noble ministry more fully.
After pastor left, I sat in the empty sanctuary to do my daily scripture reading in peace. A man sat down next to me and introduced himself. I had never seen him before. We chatted for awhile and I discovered he had a passion for reading. I warmed up to him immediately. He gave me a couple of links to access massive libraries of free on-line books. I thanked him and then asked what his favorite Christian books were. This question gave him pause. After several moments of thought he finally said, “The Purpose-Driven Life. It has had a profound affect on me.”
I swallowed every knee-jerk response that whirled in my mind with a mighty gulp. “You mean Rick Warren’s book?” Was all I could manage to say. I’m grateful he didn’t ask for my opinion on it. It may have ruined any future interactions with this kind gentleman.
He and a friend of his who came into the sanctuary encouraged me to attend their Promise Keepers meetings on Wednesday nights and Tuesday mornings – at 6:00 AM!!!! I politely declined the offer for both times. The evening meeting conflicts with the bible overview and prayer meeting my pastor conducts. As for 6:00 AM – just not happening. In addition, I’m not a fan of the PK ministry.
This gentleman asked me where I worked, then asked me if I knew so-and-so. I said “yes, I work with him”. He said he knew so-and-so quite well. I mentioned that I see my co-worker’s wife in church but never see him. I asked if he knew why he never came to church. He exchanged glances with his friend, paused for a moment then said, “Well…I’m not trying to say anything bad about them or anything, but… you know he’s a Freemason, don’t you?”
“Well, it seems when people rise up in the ranks of Masonry they just stop going to church.”
I was stunned. I had heard mutterings here and there about freemasonry’s secretive and some say cultic nature, but I know little about them. I just know I would never become one. I asked my new friend if prominent members were forced to quit church.
He shrugged. “Nobody knows. They don’t tell their secrets.”
This worries me greatly. I know my co-worker claims Christ as savior, but swearing allegiance to a secret organization to the point of forsaking the body of Christ is soul-damning apostasy. I pray for an opportunity to discuss this with my co-worker in the near future.
Not coincidentally, when I got home from church I sat back and watched a special on National Geographic about the Knights Templar of the middle ages. They were an elite group of Christian crusaders who were originally commissioned as guardians of pilgrims as they traveled to and from Jerusalem and other holy places. Their duties and influence expanded over the years. They became powerful and wealthy throughout several western European nations. It is said that when they conquered Jerusalem they set up headquarters in the ruined temple of Solomon. They discovered something among the ruins that had value beyond all estimation. The special provided several possibilities, including the head of John the Baptist, or the holy grail. Another theory proclaims they discovered concrete evidence of a devastating truth that would change the world forever. This truth, many theorize, has something to do with Jesus Christ. Some say the Templars discovered evidence that he was never crucified, married Mary Magdalene and had children. (Yep, here we go with all that nonsense again.)
Anyway, after 150 years or so the Templars were seen as a threat by the king of France because of their great influence (and he owed them money). He charged them with many outrageous blasphemies, arrested them and tortured them until they confessed to the charges. Many Templars were killed throughout Europe, but history records that a remnant survived. Some historians theorize that Templars still exist today, guarding the treasure or secret discovered in the temple. Only they aren’t known as the Knights Templar, but as Freemasons.
Hmmm… interesting. If this theory has any grain of truth in it, maybe it helps explain why high-ranking Masons do not attend church. Perhaps they are entrusted with ‘the secret’. (Que melodramatic music) Curiosity is getting the better of me. I may investigate this organization further.
More ramblings later.