Recently, I saw an inspiring praise video and in admiration sought to find out more about the talented musician superstar gospel singer and pastor who composed the beautiful arrangements and featured as the lead vocal. My research revealed he had won several global music awards, made many positive contributions to charitable causes and other noble exploits. Then a few lines in Wikipedia reported offhandedly that he had recently been initiated into a named fraternity ... as though saying he had just contracted with a new recording studio.
The minor detail of the fraternity haunted my peace until I deleted his enchanting music from my hard disk ... but still reflecting. What is wrong with this peculiar fraternal association after all I had no evidence to suggest any malevolence? But then I recalled a sermon recently pointing out that true spiritual change for good starts from the inside (the heart) – the unseen part and eventually over time manifests in virtue on the external. Similarly, evil is birthed in quiet unseen dark corridors where it can be left undisturbed to fester and then suddenly manifesting in strange but powerful harvests of destruction and vice...the enemy finally emerges to “kill, steal and destroy”. The habits with most potent long-term impact appear the most innocuous....either for good or for bad.
A secret society describes clubs or organizations in which activities and inner functionings are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. Often they hide part of their activities and memberships but maintain a public presence and image which portray very strong humanist positive virtues. Also their activities might involve the retention and transmission of secret knowledge, denial of membership in or knowledge of the group, the creation of personal bonds between members of the organization, and the use of secret rites or rituals binding members in altruistic terms and beliefs such as “charity, brotherhood and unity” etc. Many fraternities model excellence and make laudable contributions to nation building and societal good through undeniable services to the community.
The origins of fraternities predate the earliest civilisations – their existence span different cultures. In African traditions, for example, traditional secret societies include ruling-class hunting elites societies whose members are taught not only the physical methods, but also respect for the spiritual aspect of the hunt and use of “honourable” magical means to obtain important co-operation from the animal hunted or to remain influential. Members are supposed to have been initiated into, and thus have access to, occult powers hidden to non-members. In the modern west, things are perhaps more refined - these societies hunt for social relevance, recognition and achievement and have equally perfected honourable but mystical means to influence their environment to retain and promote their wealth, gains and noble causes. The search for prosperity keeps many flocking through their selective and well-guarded doors. In the pressures of recession, their membership searches are unlikely to be unfruitful ... seeping into houses of worship. Many are innocently lured ... some not so innocent. As they offer esoteric spiritual truths to satisfy hunger for knowledge not met by sound Bible teaching - the “careless, frolicking or prosperity-crazed church” provides their perfect recruiting ground. The always well concealed dangers include all manners of unmentionable bondage and pending misfortune.
John 18  Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
Ephesians 5 Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them.  For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret.  But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light. Amp
Matthew 5  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
2 Corinthians 6  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Matthew 7 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Luke 8 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is open to all tribes, cultures, color, peoples from all strata of society - rich...enlightened...poor..illiterate...Brethren should not be unequally yoked to cults or secret societies/fraternities with peculiar restrictions to entry. Though very often masked behind very noble themes, one can recognise the traditions of secret societies which may include some of the following:
- Oath taking / strange covenants...unusual barriers to joining sometimes related to race, gender, social status etc.
- Secret meetings ... excluding even family members often at night
- Initiations sometimes disguised as harmless social activities
- Difficulty to exit driven by fear
- Extra-biblical knowledge and revelation ... and secret processes
The best defence is to know your Bible and seeking to know your God through His word. The word of God warns extensively that there are unfortunate consequences awaiting those who persist and refuse to repent and come out of shameful deeds done under the cloak of secrecy. Be careful of promises of gain and protection that are not biblical. Though we all have that innate need to prosper - this is not the way.
I Timothy 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
If you are already in what looks like a fraternity/secret society and bound by extra-biblical covenants ...you can go to your knees now and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ to break these bonds quoting His word ... even where you voluntarily entered into error and became a lawful captive. Be unafraid of the consequences. You can be free. The next act is to leave.
Isaiah 49 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?  But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
If you earnestly said these prayers I believe the Lord Jesus Christ has heard and will help you.
God bless you. Amen