Mottos for Success

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Faith of Christians in Niger Grows Stronger in Face of Unprecedented Violence

Morning Star News, Jan. 23, 2015

Christians in Niger are joyfully meeting in homes under police protection as they plan to rebuild church buildings and houses after attacks last weekend (Jan. 16-18) that were unprecedented in scale.

“Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened in this nation,” wrote one missionary couple in the capital, Niamey. “Nearly every church in the capital city of Niamey was burned or looted, along with some schools and orphanages and several other churches and Christian homes throughout the nation.”

Muslims protesting the depiction of the prophet of Islam in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo destroyed 72 church buildings and killed at least 10 people in attacks that began in Zinder on Jan. 16 and hit Niamey the next day, according to Christian support organization Open Doors. A church leader today put the total of ruined church structures at 68, and a final count remained uncertain.

Analysts suspect a growing amount of Islamic extremist preaching, coupled with political rivals fanning flames of furor over Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou participating in a unity march in Paris against the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo offices, contributed to the scale of the attacks. More than 170 people were reported to have been injured.

“Last night the church members met for prayer as the pastor, who lost everything, encouraged them by flashlight to not only stand strong, but to move forward and to know that this attack will grow the church,” wrote the missionary couple to concerned partners. “The room was dark on the outside but illuminated by the fire in the hearts of His people, even as stones were being thrown on the roof.”

In spite of the violence, so many present at the church meeting were eager to share testimonies of God’s faithfulness during the attacks that they were asked to wait until Sunday, they added.

The Rev. Mai’aki Kadaidai, president of the Evangelical Church in the Niger Republic (EERN), told Morning Star News by phone that attacks on Christians and churches were spread across five regions and the capital.

“This is the first time we are witnessing violence of this magnitude against the church and Christians,” Kadaidai said. “In all, 68 churches were destroyed across five regions of Agadez, Damagaram, Diffa, Maradi, Zinder, and in our country’s capital city of Niamey. The Muslim rioters destroyed five of our [EERN] churches, destroyed four homes of our pastors and many of our members were adversely affected.”

Attacks began on Jan. 16 in Zinder with the destruction of several church buildings and Christian-owned homes. Several other towns suffered damages as the violence spread to the capital by the next day, with angry Muslims also looting shops, attacking police stations, bars and hotels, and ransacking businesses that were either of French origin or owned by non-Muslims.

Charlie Hebdo had published a cover cartoon of Muhammad carrying a sign with the slogan (“I am Charlie”) that signified solidarity with free speech and the 12 victims of the shooting deaths by two Islamic terrorists at the magazine’s offices on Jan. 7. Depictions of Muhammad are forbidden in most branches of Islam, and prominent schools of Islamic jurisprudence prescribe death for defaming him.

Muslims make up about 98 percent of Niger’s population and have lived in relative peace with the country’s miniscule (0.3 percent) Christian minority. In spite of growing Islamic extremist elements within the country, few in Niger expected to hear the chants of “Kill the infidels, kill the Christians,” as protesters ransacked the nation. Niger was unranked on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Religion Of The Masonic Lodge
by David Padfield

The Masonic Lodge claims six million members worldwide. In its ranks you will find some of the greatest men in American history. Men like Henry Ford, General Douglas MacArthur, George Washington and 12 other U.S. presidents. You will also find doctors, lawyers, judges and, unfortunately, many Christians.

I have a great deal of respect for Freemasons as individuals. Many of my uncles are in the Lodge. While I respect these men, I hold their lodge in total abhorrence. It is an insidious evil for it duplicates the sin of Absalom when he "stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (2 Samuel 15:6). Masonry will steal the heart of a Christian. The Masonic temple is the temple of Baal, and at its altar unsuspecting men solemnly vow their lives to a pagan god.

If we can establish that Masonry is a religion, then surely any honest Christian would feel compelled to abandon the Lodge. God's prophet of old asked, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Can a man worship the God of Masonry and the God of the Bible at the same time? In Matthew 12:30 Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad."
Is Masonry A Religion?

The answer to this question depends upon whom you ask. The Grand Lodge of Indiana publishes a small tract titledFreemasonry, A Way Of Life. This tract, given to outsiders, says, "Though religious in character, Masonry is not a religion, nor a substitute for one." This would be good, except the story changes after a man has become a Mason. For example, the Indiana Monitor says, "Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational, and religious society." The Kentucky Monitor goes even further when it states, " Masons we are taught that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity. This is because Masonry is a religious institution..." Albert Pike (a 33rd Degree Mason), one of the most celebrated Masonic scholars, claims that "every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion." (Morals and Dogma, p. 213). This book was published under the auspices of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree of the Scottish Rite.

The problem is that the Lodge lies to candidates before their initiation. "Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hereticism and Alchemy, 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 the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it ... So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters away." (Morals and Dogma, p. 105). Can you imagine a sane man joining any organization if he knew they were going to "intentionally" mislead him?

Another Masonic scholar, Albert Mackey (a 33rd Degree Mason), claims the only reason to defend Masonry is because of its religious element. "I contend, without any sort of hesitation, that Masonry is, in every sense of the word, except one, and that its least philosophical, an eminently religious institution that it is indebted solely to the religious element which it contains for its origin and for its continued existence, that without this religious element it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good." (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 727).

The Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist church has issued a report urging men not to join the Masonic Lodge since it is a "competitor of Christianity." The report also states, "There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing." (Evansville Courier, June 13, 1985). If the Methodist church can understand this, why can't some of my brethren? Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"
Attitude Towards The Bible

One of my greatest concerns about the Lodge is its attitude towards the Bible. "The Volume of the Sacred Law is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Lodge. In our jurisdiction it is usually the Bible, but any candidate not a Christian may have substituted for it any other volume which he considers sacred: e.g., the Old Testament, Koran, Vedas, or Laws of Confucius. In one lodge in China, there are three Sacred Books open on the altar at the same time, and the candidate elects one of the three on which he is obligated." (Indiana Monitor, p. 38). While the Bible might be described in various ways, it is not a piece of furniture! It is the source of all religious truth. It is the book of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

When a candidate bows before the Masonic altar he kisses the "Volume of Sacred Law." This volume can be any book he deems to be religious. "The explanation of the presence of the Holy Bible on the altar could not tell the whole story, although true in itself. It represents the Sacred Book of the Law, but has not exclusive rights as such on the altar of Freemasonry, for the supremely sane reason that no one religion has exclusive rights within the Fraternity. The Vedas of the Brahman, the Zend-Avesta of the Parsee, the Koran of the Mohammedan, have, among Masons of these faiths, as rightful a place upon our altar as the Holy Bible. In any faith, however, its Sacred Book of Law is the symbol of man's acknowledgement of and his relation to Deity. And in this universality of Masonry we find one of our greatest lessons: Toleration." (The Entered Apprentice, Grand Lodge of Indiana, p. 14). This toleration is too much for any man who claims to be a Christian.
Barbaric Oaths

If nothing else, the oath a man takes when he joins the Lodge ought to forever settle the question, "Can A Christian Be A Mason?" While blindfolded, half naked and kneeling at the altar, the candidate takes an oath swearing he will never reveal the "secrets of the Lodge." The oath ends with these words: "I furthermore promise and swear that I will not write, print, stamp, stain, cut, carve, hew, mark or engrave them on anything moveable or immovable, capable of receiving the least impression of a sign, word, syllable, letter or character, whereby they may become legible or intelligible to any person under the canopy of heaven, and the secrets of Masonry be thereby unlawfully obtained by my unworthiness. All this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep the same, without the least equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion whatsoever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots and buried in the sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I in the least, knowingly or wittingly, violate or transgress this my Entered Apprentice Obligation. So help me God and keep me steadfast." (King Solomon's Temple, Indiana edition, pp. 24, 25). What a contrast to our Lord who said "do not swear at all ... but let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.'" (Matt. 5:33-37).

To those who are in the Lodge, let me beg you to heed the words of Paul and "come out from among them and be separate" (2 Cor. 6:17).

The Religion Of The Masonic Lodge, a very detailed sermon outline which explains that the Masonic Lodge is a religion -- a religion that is not compatible with the religion of Jesus Christ. The lesson explores the "secret" ritual of the Blue Lodge and the barbaric oaths that are taken at the Masonic altar. Freemasonry is a pagan religion and Hiram Abiff is a false saviour (PDF file size: 292k).
This article is also available as a free Bible tract that you can reprint.
You can also read an article on Captain William Morgan, a man who was filled by Freemasons in Batavia, New York.

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