An "Ask the Preacher" article as it has appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Gazette (Milton, Florida). The author is Pastor Carl Gallups of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida. Click HERE to go to the Main Index page of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church to read many more such articles. This article is copyrighted by Carl Gallups and may be reproduced provided that copyright notice is given.

Dear Pastor Gallups, " I have heard you make a connection between the Muslim faith and the order of Freemasonry. Can you explain that here for me?" G.H. Milton

Dear G..H., After a man passes through the "Blue Lodge" or the first 3 degrees of Masonry and has achieved the status of Master Mason he can petition to become a member of the Shrine or the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine." Until 2000, one had to complete the Scottish Rite or York Rite degrees of Masonry to be eligible for Shrine membership, but now any Master Mason can join.

One of the most distinguishing marks of a Shriner is the Fez hat that he wears. So named after the city of Fez, Morocco...which by the way has been the site of numerous documented massacres of both Jews and Christians by various Muslim conquerors. The Fez is a distinctly Muslim symbol and, at least indirectly, celebrates the Muslim conquest of the area.

The emblem found on the fez is that of Muslim origin. It contains the Arabic pagan god symbols of the Crescent Moon and Star found on every flag of Islam. The symbols are hung under a "scimitar" or an Arabic sword of war. This is the sword that has killed the "infidels" down through the ages under Muslim conquest.

It is often reported on many Christian websites that the color red represents the blood of Christians and Jews spilled by the Muslim conquerors. I can find no hard facts to back this claim, but it is a fact that the FEZ is a Muslim symbol, invented in Fez, Morocco - the undisputed site of many Muslim atrocities leveled against Christians and Jews.

The Shriner meets in TEMPLE - most of which have distinctly Arabic names. They are often built to resemble a Mosque. He wears his fez with the Muslim symbols on it. He takes his oaths and says his prayers in the name of ALLAH. Many of his secret passwords and code phrases are in Arabic, which he is required to memorize in order to be in the "order".

I could go on and on but I think you see the obvious connection. If you have a Shriner friend or relative he will probably deny what I am saying. However, I can refer you to several men in this community who have come out of Masonry and the Shriners and who have committed their life to Jesus Christ as Lord who can verify all that I have written here. This is why I have long contended that a person cannot be both a Mason and a Christian. Please read Joshua 24:14-15

READERS OF THIS ARTICLE - A short time after the above letter appeared in the Newspaper, Mr. Gregory Smith of the Hadji Shrine of Pensacola, paid for and took out a quarter page space to refute all that I had said above. Below is my response to his rebutal.

Dear Readers,

In order to dispel the inaccuracies of Mr. Gregory Smith's (General Counsel of Hadji Shrine Temple) response to one of my recent "Ask the Preacher" articles, I find it necessary to write this. If you read that article, you will remember that I "predicted" such a response from the Shrine. But, I also assured my readers that I did indeed know what I was speaking of.

Mr. Smith states that "he (Pastor Gallups) has little or no knowledge of Freemasonry…he knows nothing about…the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith."

My well-read library of Freemasonry's own materials is extensive. I have spoken, preached, written and conducted conferences on this topic for many years around the United States and Canada. My writings and tapes on this subject have been distributed around the country. I was invited by the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention some years back to come and speak to this issue to the Board of Directors.

I have often found that I have more knowledge of this subject than most Masons themselves. Particularly regarding the theological aspects and implications of Freemasonry. It is not that I am so wise, it is simply that I have read and studied THEIR material profusely. Many Masons have not. As for me knowing "nothing" about the Christian faith, well, the ridiculousness of that statement requires no comment.

Mr. Smith says that the ruling principle of Freemasonry is " The brotherhood of man, under the Fatherhood of God." My point precisely! If Mr. Smith truly knew his Bible, he would also know that the New Testament is VERY clear that God is the Creator of all but the "Father" of those ALONE who are born again through His Son, Jesus Christ. Men are Creations of God but are "brothers" ONLY in Jesus Christ. So…Biblically speaking, the very "ruling principle" of Freemasonry is totally UNBIBLICAL.

Mr. Smith also erroneously would have his readers believe that Freemasonry requires members to believe in the "one everlasting and true God." Not so. Page 5, paragraph 4, of the Florida Masonic Monitor under Qualifications of Candidates, states, "a Mason must be a man believing in the existence of a Supreme Being".

Believing in the existence of "A Supreme Being" is a far cry from believing in THE ONE EVERLASTING AND TRUE GOD. I have always found it hypocritical of the Masonic Order that they require definitive religious beliefs in order to join, yet when they are questioned on the accuracy of their theology they proclaim, "we are not a religious organization."

Mr. Smith's observation that Baptist Hospital has some professional association with the Scottish Rite, I suppose, was an attempt to imply that Baptists support Freemasonry. They do NOT. The Southern Baptist Convention has published much literature condemning the Order of Freemasonry and its affiliate organizations as "universalist" and "heretical".

Baptist Hospital was incorporated in 1951. Some wonderful people from the First Baptist Church of Pensacola conceived it in the 1930's. Thus, it derives its name from this history. Since its opening in 1951 it has not been affiliated with ANY Baptist denomination.

As to Mr. Smith's denial that the wearing of Fez has no connection to the city of Fez Morocco. He was either being purposely deceitful to his readers or he simply does not know the truth. There are scores of SHRINER websites that attest to the fact that the Fez is DIRECTLY connected to the city of FEZ, Morocco.

Mr. Smith quoted John 7:24 "Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment." He has taken the passage grossly out of context. Ironically the words contained in the passage are the very words of Jesus himself in regards to those who REJECTED him as the only Messiah and Savior! The very thing that Freemasonry does. . I have also read Ephesians 5:8-14. So… now that the readers know the TRUTH… I will let THEM make a "right judgment.