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Pins and Patches vs. The Badge of Christ

One of the things the Seventh-day Adventist Church—at least the churches belonging to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists—is known for is the Pathfinders. Pathfinders is a club much like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, and members are easily recognized by their uniforms, which include such elements and sashes, scarves, pins and patches. This article will not give much detailed information about the Pathfinders organization itself, but will instead focus on the symbols used by the Pathfinders and the Adventurer Club.

When Pathfinders earn what are known as “honors,” they are awarded patches for their achievement. These patches are then worn on the uniform as adornment, which commands the attention of those who look at them. Before going any further, it’s important to read what the Spirit of Prophecy says about badges of honor.

”It was the last day of Christ’s teaching in the temple. Of the vast throngs that were gathered at Jerusalem, the attention of all had been attracted to Him; the people had crowded the temple courts, watching the contest that had been in progress, and they eagerly caught every word that fell from His lips. Never before had such a scene been witnessed. There stood the young Galilean, bearing no earthly honor or royal badge. Surrounding Him were priests in their rich apparel, rulers with robes and badges significant of their exalted station, and scribes with scrolls in their hands, to which they made frequent reference. Jesus stood calmly before them, with the dignity of a king. As one invested with the authority of heaven, He looked unflinchingly upon His adversaries, who had rejected and despised His teachings, and who thirsted for His life.”[1]

“Those who are Christians indeed will be branches of the true vine, and will bear the same fruit as the vine. They will act in harmony, in Christian fellowship. They will not wear political badges, but the badge of Christ.“[2]

“Christians have come out of darkness into the light. They have put on Christ, and they wear the badge of truth and obedience.”[3]

“Those who truly believe in Christ sit together with Him in heavenly places. Let us accept the badge of Christianity. This is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is something that reveals the union of man with God. Let us ‘put off the old man with his deeds; and … put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him’” (Colossians 3:9, 10).[4]

It should now be abundantly clear that we should forsake the donning of worthless adornment, and instead strive to wear the badge of Christ—a badge which cannot be issued by the Pathfinders or any other organization. Apart from this, we also must question why it is that the experience of being a Pathfinder involves a series of promotions strangely similar to what we see in secret societies such as Freemasonry, where members receive “degrees” as they advance onwards and upwards through the ranks of their fraternal order, showing that they’ve received “further light.” Does the Bible suggest that the Christian experience should be marked by external badges of honor, or is it as the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:4? “But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Let us now examine a few examples of the SDA Church’s scouting clubs’ symbols and emblems to illustrate that there is definitely a correlation between the symbols of the Pathfinders and the Adventurer Club and secret societies such as the Freemasons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Some of the connections are so strong that it would be very difficult to deny them.

This is the logo of the Adventurer Club, where SDA scouting begins for children aged 6–9 (and even younger). What’s truly astonishing is that all four of the signs featured in this logo are well known signs of Freemasonry.

The beehive
“The symbol of the beehive is central to both Freemasons and Rosicrucians, another secretive society. The hive itself can be seen to represent a lodge or meeting place, and the bees as members. The symbol of industriousness is also important to both groups.”[5]

The sun
“The Blazing Star in our Lodges, we have already said, represents Sirius, Anubis, or Mercury, Guardian and Guide of Souls. Our Ancient English brethren also considered it an emblem of the Sun. In the old Lectures they said: ‘The Blazing Star or Glory in the center refers us to that Grand Luminary the Sun, which enlightens the Earth, and by its genial influence dispenses blessings to mankind…’ (A. Pike)”[6]

Square and trowel
“Today this implement [the trowel] is considered the appropriate working-tool of a Master Mason, because, in Operative Masonry, while the Apprentice is engaged in preparing the rude materials, which require only the Gage and Gavel to give them their proper shape, the Fellow Craft places them in their proper position by means of the Plumb, Level, and Square; but the Master Mason alone, having examined their correctness and proved them true and trusty, secures them permanently in their place by spreading, with the trowel, the cement that irrevocably binds them together. The Trowel has also been adopted as the jewel of the Select Master. But its uses in this Degree are not symbolical. They are simply connected with the historical legend of the Degree.”[7]

Shaking hands
“The Shaking Hands represent the brotherly love that unites the members of the Order around the world. No-body knows where or when the word ‘brother’ originated. In Greek it was phrater, in the Latin frater, whence our ‘fraternal’ and ‘fraternalism.’ It has always meant men from the same parents, or men knit by very close blood ties. When associated with initiation, which has the general meaning of ‘being born into’ one can see how appropriate its use is in Freemasonry.”[8]

When looking at the various levels of Adventurer Club, we see most of these same symbols repeated as designators of children’s level in the club.

Once again, we see a bee, the sun, and a trowel. This time, however, handshake has been replaced with helping hands, a common symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

“Ordinary people from different trades and walks of life found it necessary to group together as brothers and sisters and contribute some of their hard-earned wages to a common fund which they could use for unfortunate times such as sickness, losing a job and even death. They would work together to help each other and the unfortunate families back on their feet, whether it was rebuilding a barn that had burned or putting in a new crop after a devastating season.

“It was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Such altruistic and friendly society came to be known as ‘Odd Fellows’ because it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. It was believed that they were ‘an odd bunch of fellows’ who would behave in such a selfless and seemingly impractical fashion. Odd Fellows are also known as ‘The Three Link Fraternity’ which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.”[9]

The remaining two Adventurer Club symbols, as it turns out, also correspond to Masonic symbols. It is particularly disgusting that the symbol of an innocent lamb has been taken and corrupted by an organization that opposes Christ, but, we must remember that the real Christian symbol of the Lamb is not a physical symbol, but rather a spiritual one.

The remaining two Adventurer Club symbols, as it turns out, also correspond to Masonic symbols. It is particularly disgusting that the symbol of an innocent lamb has been taken and corrupted by an organization that opposes Christ, but, we must remember that the real Christian symbol of the Lamb is not a physical symbol, but rather a spiritual one.

The lamb
“Masons use a masonic lambskin apron. But one may ask? Why a lambskin apron?

“The lamb is a symbol of purity and innocence.

”Operative Freemasons wear aprons to prevent garments from stain. Speculative Freemasons wear an apron to remind us that we must stay away from things that will defile us morally. The Bible says that we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world and our garments must remain white.”[10]

The beaver
“Beaver Scouts, often shorted to Beavers, is the youngest section of Scouting operated by The Scout Association in the United Kingdom.”[11] This is fascinating because, according to practicing Freemason V.W. Bro. Norm McEvoy, “Scouting and Freemasonry are independent worldwide Movements, both founded on moral principles and there are many parallels between the two Movements.”[12]

He goes on to explain many aspects of scouting that essentially mirror Freemasonry. “The third moral principle they have in common is to look after and develop oneself. Again this is expressed in different terms. In Scouting, one learns to always ‘Do your best’ and to ‘Be Prepared’, and to develop young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential so that they may take a constructive place in society. Freemasonry offers personal development in the form of a spiritual, but not religious journey. The degree structure and ritual of Freemasonry emphasizes the Mason’s growth as he progresses from ignorance to enlightenment.”[13]

Through the Pathfinders’ partnership with ADRA, there is a clear mind-body-spirit emphasis being promoted, which mimics the self-development aspect of Freemasonry. “The ADRA pin was designed in the shape of a star with three-pronged points symbolizing the mental, spiritual, and physical elements of a full education.”[14] Of the 2017 Inter-America Pathfinder Camporee, it was stated: “It is about edifying the body, mind and soul, and developing the seed of leadership and learning for service and the fulfillment of the mission.”[15]

In Freemasonry and other secret societies, there are many lodges with the word Beaver in their names or the symbol of the beaver in their logos. Below is the logo of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

Everyone reading this article should take the time to read the entire short article Scouting and Freemasonry by Norm McEvoy. For the most part, it does not matter that his comparisons are between Freemasonry and British scouting, as many of the same principles seem to apply to almost any scouting organization, including the clubs operated by the SDA Church.

There isn’t much more room to cover the symbols used in Pathfinder pins and badges, unfortunately, but it’s crucial to have a look at the most egregious example this author has seen. Immediately below is an example from the 2018 Caribbean Union Pathfinder Camporee, showing the pagan symbols of the sun, moon and stars as well as pyramids and a point within a circle.

For those readers unfamiliar with the esoteric meaning of a point within a circle, here is a shocking and revealing quotation from Albert Mackey, author of the book The Symbolism of Freemasonry: Illustrating and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends, Myths and Symbols: “[…] what was the ancient interpretation of the [Point within a Circle] symbol, and how should it be read as a sacred hieroglyphic in reference to the true philosophic system which constitutes the real essence and character of Freemasonry?

“Perfectly to understand this symbol, I must refer, as a preliminary matter, to the worship of the Phallus, a peculiar modification of sun-worship, which prevailed to a great extent among the nations of antiquity.”[16]

Brothers and sisters, it really wouldn’t be possible to squeeze more Masonic symbolism into a single advert for a camporee. All these years we’ve been participating in our churches seemingly innocent scouting clubs and sending our own children there, never realizing how these clubs are nothing but Freemasonry repackaged. We need to call upon the Lord to show us the sins of these organizations so that we can get out of them and stop supporting them while our individual cases are still pending in the court of heaven.

1. White, Ellen G. Desire of Ages, p. 610

2. White, Ellen G. Counsels for the Church, p. 316

3. White, Ellen G. Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 476

4. White, Ellen G. The Upward Look, p. 233

5. http://magicbohemia.com/2016/08/18/secret-masonic-symbols-are-hiding-in-plain-sight/

6. http://www.ancientpages.com/2018/07/02/12-masonic-symbols-explained/

7. http://www.masonicdictionary.com/trowel.html

8. http://palaceoftypographicmasonry.nl/symbol/tracing-board-treasury/collection/

9. http://caioof.org/what-is-an-odd-fellow/

10. https://bricksmasons.com/blogs/masonic-education/the-masonic-lamb

11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Scouts_(The_Scout_Association)

12. http://theeducator.ca/scouting-and-freemasonry-2/

13. Ibid.

14. https://adra.org/adra-is-giving-away-a-humanitarian-pin-to-pathfinders-at-oshkosh/

15. https://www.interamerica.org/2017/04/inter-americas-pathfinder-camporee-opens-with-fireworks-and-focused-on-the-life-of-biblical-ruth/

16. https://www.masonic-lodge-of-education.com/point-within-a-circle.html

Comments (8)

Very good piece of research with the aid of the Holy Spirit

Thank you for a well written piece which may not be exhaustive but more than sufficient to open the eyes of those who will see. (This article doesn’t even attempt to touch on the Satanic drumming which goes on there)
As a child I was briefly a Pathfinder (a few months). I found nothing there that attracted me or that resembles the meekness and humility of Jesus. What I saw was pomp, pride and pomposity in every way and a militarism which existed on men accepting a strict hierarchal order of eminence. I saw little Bible there and if there was Bible it was with the wrong motive, often in the spirit of competition or to check some box on a checklist. My parents didn’t insist once I expressed my distaste and I didn’t make my children even look in.
Three years ago a club director confessed in conversation with me that there was a growing lgbt issue/influence in the clubs in recent times. That is to be expected as any group will be a cross-section of society at large. In light of the recent 21 page document which espouses a radical positional and doctrinal shift on homosexuality in Adventism if this is not become a beehive for the new model of future church members? While very few Christians/Christian parents are still sitting in GC Churches this article has aptly demonstrated the forward calculations of the enemy of our souls and the urgency and attention that must be given to totally separating from those ‘that loveth and maketh a lie.’

Don’t know how anyone can view this and not tremble. SDAs today are truly barrelling into a Satanic pit. May the Lord help break the spell that is over their eyes, so that they and their children can see the alarming danger they are in. I was involved in spiritualism before Jesus broke the power of demons over my own mind many years ago, and have praised Him ever since. I’ve been shocked and astounded to see how easily and blindly so many aspects of it have been welcomed with open arms into what was once the denomination raised to give God’s light to the world. We don’t realise as we need to that Satan’s power is very, very great – far beyond our finite minds to even comprehend, and certainly are unable to escape. Our Saviour Jesus Christ is the only One with power to break that control, if we will only ask Him for help in deep sincerity, turn away from these evils, and simply trust and obey Him, as once Adventists delighted to do. What an utter, sad tragedy.

I wish I could have been there , when the organization of Pathfinders was started. I was a pathfinder in USA and South America when my parents missionaries . I can remember studying for my honors learning about trees, Birds, insects, cats, dogs, baking, cooking, reptiles and other many other honors. At 72 years I could apply for other honors, like Skin Diving, Scuba Diving, All swimming honors, swimming instructor , Life Guard, Model R/C aircraft, Basic CPR , Advance CPR, amateur radio, and pilot license, Wood working, back packing etc.. Yes , I can remember learning the books of the Bible for one of the honors. So Pathfinders helped me to make a decision to follow Christ at early age of 13 years old and was baptized in the Pioneer Memorial Adventist Church at Andrews University.

What did Pathfinders do for me:
1) Impressed me chose Christ as my savior.
2) Also it gave the desire to learn many different things and God will give me the ability to see me.
3) My career was about learning to serve others so they can breath better. Help them to get rid of there bad habits that
put in the hospital. I was a Respiratory Therapist for 38 years. Many days I would pray to God to help me to do the right things fo my
patients. He never failed me. Til this day I dream of helping Respiratory patients.
4) My goal in life was to be a medical missionary pilot in South America . I saw the need down there after spending 10 years with my parents
as they were missionaries in Bolivia and Peru. My missionary all was to be a Respiratory Therapist in USA.

Please do not give the Pathfinder organization bad press. Just remember each person who volunteered to do that job loves children and the youth of there church. Lot of youth of your church would not be in church today. God works in strange ways.
Gary Jamerson

Amén. I agree with you.
I know that many of our Adventist youth have been led to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and have dedicated their lives to serve God and others in Spirit and in Truth. My husband and I were directors for our church’s Pathfinder Club for several years. We are so blessed to see some of our Pathfinder members, now adults, that are involved in the Lord’s work and have stood firm on the faith of Christ.
Everyone has freedom of choice to choose between truth or a lie. Of course, we can only plant the seed of the truth of God and He will take care of the rest, if the kids accept the truth.
I am so glad that being a member of the Pathfinders Club influenced you to serve God and others and be obedient to Him. Always be blessed in Jesus’ name. 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Diane I am with you in what you are saying and what I myself is witnessing in Gods remnant church , but remember that there will be a true remnant of the remnant I pray we that sit in this remnant will ask for Jesus to help us and open our eyes to where we stand in our own life as a believer in our Lord and Savior and what we ourselves are promoting to others for we shall be accountable on that day
God Bless you Diane for your words of wisdom. Fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom.

It’s the first day I get this wonderful Truth, GC is jeopardizing itself, but all in all this article will knock at their doors

This is very informative, I was a member of the local Pathfinder club at my church. However, I recently made the decision to quit the club and reading this article has further strengthened my resolve. Seeing everything explained as it did makes so much sense because I always wondered why we did stuff similar to the Scout movement.
Thank you so much!

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