There is a matter vexing the Body of Christ just now which concerns the Christian speaker and author Jerry Boykin who is a decorated hero and a retired USA Lt General of the highest esteem. Here are some facts.
Boykin is an outspoken critic of Islam which got him into trouble when he made such statements whilst in office. Is he outspoken because he loves Christ – or because he loves his country? Or Both?
Boykin has been invited to speak at Christian prophecy and other conferences.
Boykin is also the Grand Chancellor of a so-called Christian charity called ‘The Florida Priory’ which likes to call itself ‘Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order’. It has Christian principals and rules however it is ecumenical so also welcomes Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican members who must adhere to these same rules.
Members are people who are perceived to have done something to advance Christianity and/or Christian charity. Or somebody who can afford the membership fee. Rick Joyner joined in 1996.
Many Christians therefore believe that Boykin should never be invited to speak on a Christian platform and that anybody who does invite him also has ecumenical tendencies and is on the road to apostasy themselves. These Christians believe that his senior appointment to this ecumenical charity outweighs all his good work and he should be treated as a persona non grata.
It is important to note however, that the present day so called ‘Knights of Malta’ is not a Knights Templar order tied to the Vatican and freemasonry. It has been through various incarnations in the last hundred years since moving its base to the USA but the main difference between this one (also known as The Florida Priory) and the other ‘original’ order (known as SMOM for short), is that the other one was and is Roman Catholic. This one sets itself up as ‘Christian’, drawing from the ‘4 main branches’ and is therefore ecumenical but it is not a Jesuit organization like the SMOM. It is run by the Greek financial expert Nicholas Papanicolaou. More information further down the page.
However, what may be even more concerning (to some) is the following.
Rick, Cindy, Seven Mountains and Lausanne
Alongside the aforementioned Nicholas Papanicolaou, Boykin is also on the board of The Oak Initiative which is a dominion theology, purpose based political organization which aims to Christianize America and even has strategies for choosing the next president.
Part of Boykin’s role is to speak at churches to expose the dangers of Islam to America…He may be retired – but he has not retired. He still works for his country – but one of his commanders is now Rick Joyner.
Started by more than 300 Christian leaders from across the spectrum of the body of Christ, within months of its founding, The Oak Initiative had a presence in all 50 states and more than 164 nations as of June 2011, with Oak Gatherings and Oak Chapters springing up rapidly.
The board’s president is Rick Joyner and other board members include self styled ‘prophet’ Cindy Jacobs and ‘Bishop’ Larry Jackson who had a pivotal role in establishing Unified 2000, a ministry designed to break down the denominational and racial barriers that divide the body of Christ, Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, Dr. Lance Wallnau who has been described by People For The American Way as the hidden architect behind the increasingly viral and politically potent seven mountain template for cultural impact and others.
They have taken the Lausanne Covenant to best reflect their aims and objectives and there is a veritable feast of items to pick over on their website… if there is any point. There is no room or time here to expand on the dozens of errors theologically with this organization.
The Oak Initiative – their own claims
The basic strategy of The Oak Initiative is to be a grassroots movement to find and help develop principled and effective Christian leaders who can mobilize and organize a cohesive force of activated Christians.
These will be called to work on every level where government is found, from the most local to state and national levels. Believing our strategy will only be effective to the degree that we have leaders and active members who are the most informed and best trained possible, a basic purpose of The Oak Initiative will be the development and dissemination of resources for the purpose of constantly increasing knowledge and upgrading skills to be effective citizens. Action plans of The Oak Initiative may include everything from community service, promoting commerce, disaster response, as well as the evaluation, proposing, and when necessary, the challenging of government legislation and/or actions that are deemed immoral or hurtful.
The Oak Institute is being developed to raise up effective leaders for all of the dominant areas of influence in the culture, including: government, business, education, arts and entertainment, family services, media, and the church. The Oak Initiative will help mobilize for and work with other organizations that share our common goals
Overview of The Knights of Malta
In 1798 the original knights were expelled from Malta with some returning to their homelands where they began their own Orders depending on their personal religion. Others migrated to Russia where Czar Paul I established the Polish Grand Priory for Roman Catholics and the Russian Grand Priory for the Russian and Greek Orthodox.
At the time of the Bolshevik revolution, Grand Duke Alexander moved the HQ from St Petersburg, Russia to Florida, USA where it changed its name to the current one – i.e. Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order. It was known as ‘the Ecumenical Order” which became the parent company of the “Florida Priory”. It held its first meeting in New York on 19th January 1908. It then incorporated as ‘The Knights of Malta, Inc’ January 18th 1911, then changed its name to ‘the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem’ in 1953 which was dissolved in 1989.
There has been much to-ing and fro-ing with the names and corporations ever since – suffice to say The Florida Priory was formed in 1992 and was incorporated in 2005. It has no formal connections to the Vatican or the Roman Catholic church per se but exists as a charitable organization. They also have an Italian base where somebody who claims to be a King of Ghana also links in as a leader… it is all rather strange and reminds me of the Nigerian scam in the way it presents itself.
However, its underlying objective is the same as The Oak Initiative. See The Oath at the foot of the page.
An official statement about itself says:
“… receive no government support and yet over the last three years alone has donated more than $60 million in medicines and medical supplies around the world. Its humanitarian record has been recognized by governments and senior officials in various countries including Honduras, Ukraine, Serbia, Ghana and Romania.
This record is made possible through our very low overhead costs and the absence of official diplomatic relations with other nations, which would necessitate the maintenance of expensive embassies whose benefit to the local needy and poor is highly questionable… hopes to also be recognized by the UN.
OSJ vigorously defends and supports Christians in nations where Christianity is under attack at present, such as Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria and others. Such support is carried out with medical supplies and through appearances in international media such as Fox and CNN, where OSJ Knights speak out frequently in defense of Christians and of our Judeo-Christian laws and values. In doing so publicly, OSJ is probably unique among the many Orders of St John.”
Regarding humanitarian works, our research has only revealed work done by individuals/ organizations who are members – I have not been able to ascertain work done by the charity in its own right. Its publicity is also cleverly worded to be sure to align itself to the ancient order and it has thereby been able to attract a number of luminaries including minor European royalty to continue these ancient precedents. It is often appealing to Americans with no aristocracy to be numbered amongst them.
So, on the surface, this is a good organization which apparently does good works and has not belonged to the Vatican in its current entity for the last two hundred years or so.
From a Christian perspective however, somebody who is regenerated in their spirit (born again), who loves the Lord and His Word, would not want to be called ‘ecumenical’ in the sense of the word that they hold hands with Roman Catholicism which practices a false religion rooted in paganism. In fact, they would run in the opposite direction from it and they would most certainly not want to be in their leadership. They would surely not wish to be robed, wear various regalia and take a vow…
There again, readers may wish to examine their own lives to see if they too are in such a situation. How many Christians around the world are on the boards of companies or charities and can attest that every other person on that board or committee or organization is another born again Christian? It is crazy to expect that. We are not of the world but we do live in it.
So, these are the various arguments back and forth. So, is this good, or bad or does it not matter either way?
What about taking the world for Jesus a la Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs and co with their Oak Initiative? Sounds good on the surface, doesn’t it? In fact, if you don’t support it, you could be accused of being “un-American”. But did God REALLY say “pledge allegiance to the flag”? Or do we give all our allegiance to Him? This is a huge challenge for our American brethren to get their heads around having been indoctrinated since childhood… after all; surely there is nothing wrong with pride in your country? Or nationalism? Why not ask those persecuted by the National Front in the UK, Nazism in Germany, Apartheid in S.Africa and on and on…
Questions – To seek the answers for yourself – not to ‘think’ you know the answer but to actually search the scriptures rather than read what others say.
a) So where do we draw the line? Do we draw a line? What does scripture say about such things?
b) Is being the head of an ecumenical charity an offence? What if you are not a charity yourself? Why would you want to take that position? We cannot judge his heart – only God alone can do that. Perhaps he sees it as an honor to preside over princes and kings? Perhaps it looks good on the CV?
c) What about being active politically and using churches to get your message out regarding a threat to your nation. Is that allowable either legally or scripturally?
d) Therefore, is it wise to invite Jerry Boykin to speak at a Christian conference? If not wise, can it still be done scripturally?
Let’s end by looking at what the Knights of Malta says about itself. Today, although the Knights, like the Christian Church, are split into many Orders, our Order is true to the original tradition and operates under the royal protection of Prince Enrique de Borbon of Spain and the late Prince Wasili Alexandrowich Romanov, president of the Romanov Family Association, and son of the last Imperial Grand Master of the Russian Order of St. John (Order of Malta). Along with the other two major Orders of St. John, the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of Rhodes and of Malta (SMOM), and the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John (VOSJ), our Knights and Dames are all bearers of the centuries-old tradition of caring for the sick and the poor and observing the Code that was written centuries ago. We remain an Ecumenical Order and we highly regard all of our members that make up the four main branches of Christianity – Orthodox, Evangelical, Catholic (and Anglican), and Protestant.
The Grand Magisterial Chancery
H.R.H. Prince Enrique de Borbon y Garcia-Lobez of Spain, GCSJ
Prince Grand Master
H.S.H. Nicholas F.S. Papanicolaou GB.GCSJ(H)
Lieutenant Grand Master
H.S.H. Prince Anton Esterházy de Galantha BGCSJ(H)
H.E. Chev. Lt.Gen William G. Boykin (U.S. Army, Ret.) GCSJ
Deputy Grand Chancellor
H.E. Count Alphonso Carlos Luelmo Montero de Alba, GCSJ and Baillee Over Spain and Portugal
Director General of Fundraising
H.E. Chev. Lonnie R. Rex Gr.Cdr.OSJ (USA)
H.E. Chev. Count Carlos Luelmo Montero de Alba GCSJ, Lieutenant Grand Chancellor, Bailiff for Spain and Portugal
H.E. Chev. Joris Buijs GCSJ – Treasurer General, Grand Prior of the Benelux Countries, Netherlands.
H.E. Chev. Francis Tin GCSJ – Grand Prior of the Orient – Macau
H.E. Chev. Arpad Bartha de Bonta GCSJ – Grand Prior of Hungary – Hungary
H. E. Chev. Dr. Giovanni Masi Gr.COSJ- Grand Prior of Saint Nicolas Di Bari – Italy, Interim Grand Prior of Rome – Italy
H.E. Chev. Rev. Rick Joyner GCSJ – Grand Prior of the Carolinas – USA
H.E. Chev. Archbishop Gregory Holley GCSJ – Grand Prelate, Grand Prior of Texas- USA
H.E. Chev. Lt. Col. Robert Vella GCSJ – Malta
H.E. Chev. Capt. Gen. Valeriy Vynogradnyy GCSJ – Ukraine
Grand Prelate (United States)
H.E. Chev. Archbishop Gregory L. Holley GCSJ
Chev. Rev. Ardell Daniels OSJ
H.E. Chev. Rev. Rick Joyner GCSJ
The Oath – taken by a Knight of Malta
The following vows are taken at the altar of the applicant’s Church, or at the Convent of the Order, with his or her right hand upon the Bible; or in the presence of a Knight or Chaplain of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, acting as witness.
Vows of a Knight or Dame
Upon the True Faith of a Christian, may God witness that I hereby vow and dedicate myself as a servant of Christ and the Poor, the first qualification of a True Knight.
I promise to be faithful and loyal to Christ and to be guided by the ideals of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem: to do everything in my power to contribute to its Glory, Protection, Prosperity, Support and Utility: to combat everything prejudicial to its well-being: never to act contrary to its Dignity, but to conduct myself always as a true Knight of Christ: a good Christian and a person of Honour.
Believing that Christ will grant me a special token of his favour, I therefore, in all Humility, Charity, and Respect agree to join with every sincere and Godly Christian of whatever Church, to bring about by prayer and deed the salvation of the Christian World by helping to promote a lasting Christian Unity.
I will adorn my Knighthood with true Charity, the mother and solid foundation of all virtues.
I will wear on my person the Christian Maltese Cross of eight points, to constantly remind me of my religious vow of always bearing in my heart the Cross of Jesus Christ, adorned with the virtues that attend it.
So help me God.