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¶630.1.4 AS REGARDS GOD: Secret Societies

¶630.1.4     Secret Societies

The Christian’s supreme loyalty is to Jesus Christ who is Lord (Romans 14:7-9; 1 Peter 3:15). In every association Christians must keep themselves free to follow Christ and obey the will of God (II Corinthians 6:14-18). Therefore, we abstain from solemn oaths of secrecy shared with unbelievers which cloud our witness.

Those voluntary associations which demand an oath, affirmation, promise of secrecy, or a secret password as conditions of membership are to be considered secret societies.  In contradiction to the teaching of Christ and the New Testament, these societies require pledges and vows which bind the future actions of those who join (Matthew 5:34-37). As Christians therefore, we refuse to swear unreserved loyalty to any secret society since we see such an allegiance to be in direct conflict with unconditional surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord.  We must keep ourselves free to follow the will of the Lord in all things.

Most secret societies are religious in nature.  Prayers are offered, hymns are sung, and members engage in acts of worship before an altar.  Chaplains are chosen to lead in worship and to conduct funerals.  But the worship of these societies is unitarian, not Christian; the religion is moralistic, not redemptive; and the ends are humanistic, not evangelical (Acts 4:12). We refrain, therefore, from membership in all secret societies and when we unite with the church we resign from active membership in any lodge or secret order previously joined.

We do not require those who become members of the church to cease all payments necessary to keep in force insurance benefits previously contracted through lodge membership.