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[159th General Synod Minutes, 22 May 1981, pp. 142-145; Documents of Synod, pp. 261.]


The Rev. Robert Lambert continued with the report:

OVERTURE K--Instruct Presbyteries and Sessions Regarding Freemasonry

Philadelphia Presbytery, at its meeting on March 14, 1981, respectfully overtures the 159th General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, meeting at Lookout Mountain, Tenn., on May 22-28, 1981, as follows:

Inasmuch as Freemasonry among church officers in the PCA has been identified as an issue in the current talks relating to the invitation to enter the PCA, and inasmuch as the Philadelphia Presbytery agrees that it is an issue, we wish to convey our concern about Freemasonry among church officers in our denomination. We therefore overture the 159th General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, to instruct presbyteries to encourage sessions to determine if they have installed Freemasons as officers of local congregations, and challenge the sessions to counsel those individuals with reference to the irreconcilable differences between the lordship of Jesus Christ and membership in the Masonic order.

Respectfully submitted,
E.T. Noe, Clerk

In response to Overture K regarding Freemasonry, the Bills and Overtures Committee agrees with the Philadelphia Presbytery that this is an important concern in our denomination. Therefore, we recommend that:

I. The 1955 statement of the Bible Presbyterian Church as recorded in the Minutes of the 147th General Synod of the RPCES (1969, pp. 79-82) including the four adopted recommendations on p. 82, be included in the Minutes of the 159th General Synod.

II. Presbyteries be reminded that adopted recommendations 2, 3, and 4 remain as synod guidelines for dealing with this issue:

"2. That Ministers and Elders give study to the whole matter, so they may speak intelligently to those who come before them.
"3. That Ministers with discretion see that congregations are informed concerning oath-bound secret societies; and that they do it firmly and kindly, maintaining the Scriptural position on separation.
"4. That Synod construes that this matter comes before Synod as an appeal from the lower judicatories."

III. Synod assist ministers and elders in carrying out recommendation II, 2 by encouraging careful consideration of the 1955 statement of the BPC and the pamphlet "Christ and the Lodge" (Great Commission Publications) and the Christian Reformed Church report 45, "Lodge and Church Membership Summary Pamphlet," pp. 547-569, 1975 Acts of Synod.

The response was adopted as amended.

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