Freemasonry : Its Background and History
There are probably few subjects as shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding as that of Freemasonry. Known under a variety of names (the Craft, the Brotherhood, the Order, the Fraternal Order, the Lodge, etc.), Masonry has been aligned with both the Christian church and the occult. A major problem for many whether within the Order or without is the question of the Mason’s ultimate allegiance. If, in fact, there is no appreciable theological difference between the church and Freemasonry, their antagonists have no basis on which to denounce them. However, if there are beliefs and practices in Masonry that are incompatible with biblical Christianity, then it becomes imperative for the non-Mason and Mason alike to understand the true teachings of the Lodge.
The history of the Lodge is not easily discernable. Along with those who believe that Freemasonry had Christian beginnings are a growing number of Masonic authors who espouse an occultic origin for the Craft. There are those who indicate that the Craft was an outgrowth of the Ancient Mystery Schools or that it was first associated with the Druids or the Illuminati. In order for the individual to make a correct decision regarding Freemasonry, he must first understand the motivation of the author.
Masonic authors Delmar Darrah, A. S. MacBride, and Melvin Johnson point out the unreliability of many of their fellow Masonic writers. Darrah, in his book titled History And Evolution Of Freemasonry, states that “Masons have believed the things concerning the origin of the institution that they wanted to believe and have gone forth and told them as facts. When links were missing, they have been supplied by drawing upon fertile imaginations.”(1)
Christianity and the Craft
Leading Masonic authorities in the 18th and 19th centuries held a distinctively Christian interpretation of Freemasonry. Such leaders as Rev. James Anderson, William J. Hughan, William Hutchinson, Rev. George Oliver, and others had a Christian view of their Craft.(2) Hutchinson, in particular, noted that Jesus Christ was the example for the Master Mason. He stated, “The Master Mason represents a man under the Christian doctrine saved from the grave of iniquity and raised to the faith of salvation. As the great testimonial that we are risen from the state of corruption, we bear the emblem of the Holy Trinity as the insignia of our vows and of the origin of the Master’s order.”(3)
The Anti-Masonic Movement
The decade between 1826 and 1836 represented troublesome years for the Masonic Order. After several incidents that cast a negative light on Freemasonry,(4) a growing anti-Masonic sentiment began to emerge. As a result, there was a mass exodus of Christians from the Lodge, thereby creating a vacuum to be filled by those who held a non-Christian view of Masonry. During this time Albert Pike seized the opportunity to spread and entrench his pagan interpretation of the Craft. Pike and others began to reinterpret the symbols of the Craft.
The paganization of the Lodge took place over several decades, but it did not reach public awareness until the latter part of the 19th century. Even so, it was not until the 1920s, when a large number of books began appearing in print that claimed pagan origins for the Craft, that these efforts became widely known.
The anti-Masonic movement dealt Freemasonry a severe blow. However, the exodus of large numbers of Christians proved to be a stabilizing factor(5) for the non-Christian forces of the Craft. Once the Christian majority had left the Craft, Pike was then able to redesign it in a way that would support his pagan views.
It is interesting to note that during the very time that Pike was heavily involved in his paganizing process, the Craft was experiencing a renewed growth in membership from Christians. The majority of these new Christian members represented church leadership and accepted the Christian interpretation of Hutchinson, Oliver, Hughan, and others. Their influence, however, wasn’t enough to offset the growing paganization of the Lodge.
Manly P. Hall, a 33rd degree Mason, was one of the early authors who claimed a pagan origin for Freemasonry. In his book entitled The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, he says that Freemasonry is not a material thing: it is a universal expression of the Divine Wisdom. “The Masonic order is not a mere social organization, but is composed of all those who have banded themselves together to learn and apply the principles of mysticism and the occult rites.”(6)
Hall (and a host of other writers including Pike) created a pagan history for Freemasonry that would later take root and grow to become the accepted understanding of Masonic origins. As this new interpretation took hold in the minds of the membership, Christianity was being all but eradicated from the Craft. It became unthinkable to mention the name of Christ or to pray in the name of Jesus. The Craft was set firmly on the ground of “universalism.”
The primary standard for membership was, and continues to be, that the candidate believe in “God.” This god could be Krishna, Buddha, Allah, or any other god, but Jesus Christ is not to be considered anything more than their equal.
This universalist, or inclusive, idea about God has opened the door for every false deity to have a place within the Lodge. Hall makes his universalist orientation unmistakable by stating, “The true disciple of Masonry has given up forever the worship of personalities. With his greater insight, he realizes that all forms . . . are of no importance to him compared to the life which is evolving within.”(7)
Hall adds to his belief in universalism by stating that “the true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha, or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer.”(8) So, for the Mason, God is not a personal being, but an impersonal force, an energy that has no substance.
The Mason who is a Christian is put in a very difficult position. Although his Fraternal Order supported his Christianity in its early years, it now no longer allows for it as there is no question about the pagan orientation of Freemasonry in our day. Therefore, the Mason must ask himself whether he can, in good faith, remain a part of an organization that devalues the God of Christianity.
Freemasonry as a Religion
As the evolution of modern Freemasonry took place over a period of several hundred years, it continued to be influenced by those who held an occultic worldview. For them, the Craft was a revival of the ancient mysteries.
Albert Pike, the noted Masonic scholar, said that “it is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity.”(9) Pike’s statement is a good example of Masonic double speak. The Christian can interpret what is said as being in reference to the personal God of Christianity who created the universe. However, when one takes Pike’s statement together with the balance of his worldview it becomes apparent that he is referring to the impersonal god of Freemasonry as mentioned earlier.
Pike, in his book Morals and Dogma, says this about religion and Freemasonry: “Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion.”(10) According to the modern day interpreters of Masonry, it has now taken its logical place as the unifier of all religions. One such interpreter, Foster Bailey, an occultist and a 32nd degree Mason, said that “Masonry is the descendant of a divinely imparted religion” that antedates the prime date of creation. Bailey goes on to say that “Masonry is all that remains to us of the first world religion” which flourished in ancient times. “It was the first unified world religion. Today we are working again towards a world universal religion.”(11)
In other words, Freemasonry has its roots in the same sources as the mystery religions of the world that brought on the wrath of the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. And the Craft is now preparing the way for the revival of the same religion of the ancients.
The Mason, however, may be unaware of much of what is taught by the Lodge. The Mason who is uninitiated in the higher degrees is deliberately deceived by his brethren. Pike says that “truth is not for those who are unworthy.” He goes on to say that “Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray.”(12)
Hall put it this way: “Spiritual qualities are necessary before the real Masonic secrets can be understood by the brethren themselves.”(13) What Hall seems to be saying is that one must reach a certain spiritual level before he can rightly understand the deep symbolic teachings of Freemasonry. As an example, one of the most known symbols for Masonry is the letter “G.” Depending on whose interpretation one chooses, this symbol may represent geometry, God, or gnosis. A Christian would obviously interpret the symbol as God, whereas the pagan would see it as knowledge or gnosis.
Albert Pike was even more direct when he stated, “The Blue Degrees are but the outer court of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry.”(14)
The Mason may unwittingly be a part of the Lodge thinking that it is an extension of his Christian faith, when in fact it may be a “Trojan horse,” allowing another god into his soul.
The Masonic God
The god of Freemasonry and the God of the Bible are not one and the same. There is a great difference between the two concepts of God. The Masonic god, “The Great Architect of the Universe” (G.A.O.T.U), is believed to be above all other gods.
According to Albert Pike, all people, regardless of their spiritual orientation, can unite under the “Grand Artificer of the Universe.” The Masonic god is all-inclusive and all-embracing. All potential Masons must acknowledge a “God” in order to gain membership in the Lodge, but there is no definite criteria regarding which “God” is implied or what “God” is acceptable.
Pike states that Masonry is the unifier of all religions and that “the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim.”(15) In other words, the biblical God is reduced to the level of all the other gods and at the same time rendered as equal with the false gods of those religions. Therefore, Christianity is stripped of its uniqueness as the one true religion that offers humanity its only hope for salvation.
This universal god of Freemasonry is believed by many within the Lodge to be the God of the Bible, but this god is not the triune God of the Christian faith. Freemasonry purposefully diminishes the co-equal and co-eternal status of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. That is, the second and third Persons of the Trinity are placed below God the Father, disallowing the triune nature of the biblical God.
The Masonic god is clearly given a greater position among all other “gods.” Albert Pike spoke of “God as being One; Unapproachable, Single, Eternal and Unchanging. . . . There is but one God, infinite and incomprehensible, to whom no human attribute can be properly assigned, even when imagined to be infinite.”(16) Therefore, according to Pike, the god of Freemasonry is “Single” in nature and not the triune God of the Bible. Likewise, the Masonic god is unapproachable. He is not a personality that cares for his creation, he is a force a principle.
Manly P. Hall, a 33rd degree Mason, refers to God as being the “Life Principle” that lies within all living things. In a passage quoted earlier, Hall stated, “The true disciple of ancient Masonry has given up forever the worship of personalities. With his greater insight, he realizes that all forms . . . are of no importance to him compared to the life which is evolving within.”(17) Hall reveals in this passage that
The god of Freemasonry is a force resident within all living things, and The religion of the Craft is pantheism.
On the other hand, the God of Christianity is transcendent and only becomes resident within the human family, and then only when He is invited to do so. In Masonry, Jesus Christ is not accepted as being “One” with the Father and is not looked to for salvation.
Jesus made his Father’s requirements very clear: “It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only'” (Luke 4:8). The Father says that “you shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him . . . you shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth” (Deut. 6:13-15).
The Mason who professes to be a Christian must decide whom he will serve: the God of the Bible or the god of Freemasonry. He cannot serve them both.
The Masonic Jesus
The central question that every Christian Mason must ask himself is “Who is Jesus Christ according to the Lodge?” Earlier we saw that Albert Pike was greatly influenced by the occult and that he was responsible for the rewriting of the rituals for all the degree work beyond that of Master Mason.
Because of Pike’s influence, Freemasonry has adopted a universalist approach toward divinity. According to Jim Shaw, a 33rd degree Mason who left the Lodge, Masonry teaches that “Jesus was just a man. He was one of the exemplars,’ one of the great men of the past, but not divine and certainly not the only means of redemption of lost mankind. He was on a level with other great men of the past like Aristotle, Plato, Pythagoras and Mohammed. His life and legend were no different from that of Krishna, the Hindu god. He is the son of Joseph,’ not the Son of God.”(18)
Jesus Christ is not to be looked upon as God incarnate, or as the Savior of humanity, but He is to be considered as no different than any other great spiritual leader or guru. To follow through with this conclusion, the Lodge does not permit the name of Jesus or Christ to be used in any of its prayers or rituals.
As an example, when Scripture is used in rituals the name of Jesus or Christ is omitted lest it offend someone. In essence, the Lodge has rewritten Scripture to suit its own end. The Bible is clear in its warning that God’s Word is not to be changed or tampered with. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it.”
Masonic prayers are not to include the name of Jesus Christ, but they are to refer to the Great Architect of the Universe. The Maryland Master Mason magazine offered this statement concerning prayer in the Lodge: “All prayers in Mason lodges should be directed to the one deity to whom all Masons refer to as the Grand Architect of the Universe.”(19)
For the Christian, this idea should cause some real concern. The Bible is clear regarding what Jesus says to those who are ashamed of the Son. “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”(20)
The biblical Jesus does not allow for the bias of Freemasonry when it comes to receiving His proper place of reverence and worship. In short, Jesus does not seem to be as tolerant as the Mason when it comes to His divine authority.
The Bible gives us further instruction regarding our response to the Christian faith. “And Jesus came up to them, saying, All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you'” (Matt. 28: 18-20).
The Mason is thus faced with the choice of whom he will serve: Jesus, the Savior of his soul, or the tolerant god of Freemasonry who leads him to destruction.
Masonic Light and Darkness
“Freemasons are emphatically called the Sons of Light, because they are in possession of the true meaning of the symbol; while the profane or uninitiated who have not received this knowledge are said to be in darkness.”(21) In other words, the Mason has been delivered from the darkness into the light and is elevated above those who have not received the initiation into the degrees and mysteries of Freemasonry.
The “profane” individual, or the non-Mason, remains in darkness and is in need of light. The Mason, after being enlightened, continues to be in need of more light. It seems that the Mason never comes to fully understand his Craft and all that it means. However, as the Mason gains more light and understanding of the various symbols representing each degree, he becomes more aware of its different meanings. Albert Pike, the Masonic scholar, speaks of this deception, “Masonry conceals its secrets from all except Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it. So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray.”(22)
According to Pike, “Masonry is a search after light.”(23) The question that one must ask oneself is, What is the source of this “Light” that contemporary Freemasonry is based on? Pike goes on to tell us that the light of Masonry is based on the Kabalah, or Jewish mysticism. For the Christian this is indeed a difficulty, because the Christian cannot accept the occult beliefs of the mystics. The Bible tells us that “truth” or “light” can only be found in God’s Word.
The Mason is taught that as he receives more light he grows in perfection. As he grows in perfection, he believes that he actually increases his personal worthiness and, in the process, gains a deeper appreciation of Masonry. This in-depth understanding leads to a greater degree of enlightenment and enables the Mason to feel as if he has done all he must do for acceptance into the Grand Lodge above. This appeal to human pride is a deadly trap because we all have a sin nature and want to feel that we have “earned” salvation and “deserve” it.
However, the Mason who professes Jesus Christ as his Lord is left in a very difficult position by the Lodge. The Lodge considers the Christian as being profane or unworthy to receive the “Light” of the Craft. The Mason is faced with this dilemma: if the Lodge has the Light that mankind is looking for and if Jesus is that Light, how is it then that Jesus is not to be mentioned in the Lodge if He is indeed the Light of the world?(24) This idea becomes increasingly difficult when the Christian attempts to reconcile what the Bible says regarding Jesus and what the Craft says about the presence of Jesus in the Lodge.
Albert Pike speaks of Lucifer as the Light-bearer! “Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls?”(25) The Bible identifies Lucifer as being Satan and an angel of light. According to Paganism, Lucifer is the bearer of the light that enlightens man’s understanding of his Higher Self or his “God Self.” Masonic author Foster Bailey says it this way, “Masonry therefore, is not only a system of morality, inculcating the highest ethics through which result, if followed, the conscious unfolding of divinity. . . . It portrays the recovery of man’s hidden divinity and its bringing forth into the light . . . the power to achieve perfection latent in every man.” Masonry purports to be the Light that awakens man’s mind to his perfection and ultimate divinity.
The question that begs to be answered by each Mason is simply this: “Which Light’ will he follow, the true Light of Christ or the dimly lit light of the Lodge?”
The Hidden Things of Freemasonry
There is a great deal of secrecy in Freemasonry. From the very beginning the Entered Apprentice is kept in the shadows regarding the full meaning of the symbols of the Craft. He is not offered any further understanding until he has proven himself worthy to receive deeper truths.
Not only is the Mason to keep the secrets of the Lodge, but he is to swear oaths accompanied by severe penalties if he ever chooses to reveal them. According to Carl H. Claudy, a former Grand Master of Masons, the Masonic penalties are intended to inspire terror in the candidate. Claudy says that if a candidate breaks his oath, he will experience the abasement that any man would feel when he had broken a solemn pledge. But even more so, he would experience “the wrath of God blasphemed. The horror of a sin of which there is none greater.”(26)
The above statement is an example of the misinformation that the Mason often labors under. The idea that God recognizes and upholds the Mason’s oath to a pagan god is simply not biblical. However, the biblical mandate for the believer is to “swear not at all . . . But let your Yes’ be Yes,’ and your No, ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”(27) In other words, the Lord makes it very clear that anything sworn other than yes’ or no’ is from the mouth of the Devil.
The Christian God is not a god of fear and misery, but He is a God of compassion and mercy. Masonic author and 33rd Degree Mason Manly P. Hall identifies the nature of the cosmic force to which the Mason owes his allegiance. He states that “the average Mason, as well as the modern student of Masonic ideals, little realizes the cosmic obligation he takes upon himself when he begins his search for the sacred truths of Nature. . . . Every Mason knows that a broken vow brings with it a terrible penalty. . . . When a Mason swears that he will devote his life to (Masonry) . . . and then defiles his living temple . . . he is breaking a vow which imposes not hours but ages of misery.”(28) The Mason is not offering his loyalty to the God of Christianity, but to the pantheistic god of Nature.
Albert Mackey, author of the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, offers several reasons why non- Masons object to Masonic secrecy. However, there are only four which he accepts as being true. First, it is an oath. Second, it is administered before the secrets are communicated. Third, it is accompanied by certain superstitious ceremonies. And fourth, it is attended by a penalty.(29)
The candidate is led to believe that the penalties accompanying the oaths that he swears to are indeed carried out. At no time is he told that these penalties are simply symbolic. Mackey states that the penalties are not to be inflicted by the Lodge but by God. He says that “the ritualistic penalties of Freemasonry . . . are in the hands not of man, but of God, and are to be inflicted by God, and not by man.”(30) The Lodge is standing on thin ice when it presumes that God will safeguard its paganism by putting its detractors to death.
The greatest problem for the Christian Mason is that by taking the oaths of the Craft, and living his life according to them, he has opened the door to Lucifer to steal his relationship with the living God.
Symbolism and Freemasonry
“In all time, truth has been hidden under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories: where veil after veil had to be penetrated before the true Light was reached, and the essential truth stood revealed.”(31) These words of Albert Pike, the noted Masonic scholar, sound noble and true. However, the Christian must weigh Pike’s lofty words with the Scripture.
Our Lord was, at all times, eager to help his disciples recognize the truth of His teachings. The only problem they had to overcome was their lack of spiritual understanding. The gospel writer of Matthew 7 tells us that all we must do, is simply ask. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”(32) The Lord desires to draw us near to Himself. We do not have to pass through veil after veil to reach divine understanding. He has readily given it to us in His Word. According to Dr. Robert A. Morey’s research, “there were no degrees in Masonry two hundred years ago; and that the Master’s degree is no more than 150 years of age.” He goes on to say that “most Masonic historians now admit that it was the Frenchmen Desaguilliers or Dr. Anderson who invented the first three degrees. The few symbols introduced by these two Christian clergymen came from the Bible and were Christian’ in every sense.”(33) Here again we see that the origins of the Craft were rooted in Christian belief.
However, as we have seen earlier, the Craft has undergone a paganization process by those who would subvert it to their own use. Whereas, in the early years of the Lodge, the symbols that were introduced revealed truth, in the present, those very same symbols and hundreds of others are used to mislead the candidate. Albert Pike made it clear when he stated, “part of the symbols are displayed . . . to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations.”(34)
Jesus taught in parables and made use of symbols in His instruction. He freely offered understanding, and He was quick to help others recognize His Father. But when we look at Freemasonry we find secrecy and the “truth” concealed. A person must prove himself worthy in order for the “Light” to be shared with him. And when it is made known to the initiate, this “truth” is often hidden further in false interpretations.
Masonry has numerous symbols. For the Christian, Masonry utilizes the Bible as one of its symbols as it uses the Koran, the Vedas, the Gita, or any other “holy” book. When the Christian candidate sees the Bible on the Masonic altar and hears the Bible referenced to in the rituals, he assumes that Freemasonry is indeed Christian as he has, most likely, been told. However, the Bible is seen only as a symbol by the Lodge, as are all the other “holy” books of other religions.
This attitude toward the Bible makes it clear that, for Masonry, the Bible is not seen as being inspired by God, useable for reproof, correction, or training in righteousness. Rather, it “is only a symbol of Divine Will, Law, or Revelation.”(35)
Salvation in the Lodge
“This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”(36)
The early Masons followed a biblical understanding of salvation and what it meant to be a Christian. However, the pagan writers who rewrote the Masonic rituals omitted the references to biblical salvation and wrote them in a way that would not offend anyone of another religion.
The early rituals for the Master Mason Degree were Christian in their overall meaning. According to Dr. Morey, biblical phrases such as “regeneration,” “redemption,” and “heaven” were used without question.(37)
The greatest issue for the Mason, at present, is whether he will accept the life and work of Jesus Christ for his redemption or whether he will look to himself for personal salvation. Manly P. Hall says that “a Mason is evolved through ages of self- purification and spiritual transmutation.”(38) So, the modern Mason, who follows the Fraternity’s writings, looks to himself for purification and acceptance before a righteous God. Hall says elsewhere that the Master Mason’s “spiritual light is greater because he has evolved a higher vehicle for its expression.”(39)
Foster Bailey, the author of The Spirit of Masonry, says that “Masonry is one of many ways to God” and that Masonry “is not only a system of morality, inculcating the highest ethics through which result, if followed, the conscious unfolding of divinity, but it is also a dramatic presentation of regeneration.”(40)
In other words, Bailey is saying that Masonry is a vehicle for mankind to discover his divinity and achieve personal regeneration. This idea is totally foreign to the Bible. The Christian cannot, in any way, get beyond the fact that Jesus Christ as the Light giver and redeemer of humanity is opposed to the teachings of the Lodge.
The Bible distinctly teaches that salvation only comes through the person of Jesus Christ. It cannot come by any other means. The Scripture is clear that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will receive salvation. It is not based upon our works or deeds; it is solely based upon what Jesus did on the cross.
Masonry does not accept the fact that man is born sinful and is in need of redemption. The Craft does not have a grasp of the depth of man’s rebellion against his Creator. Masonic author H. L. Haywood in his book, The Great Teachings of Masonry, states that “many think that man was once a perfect being but that through some unimaginable moral catastrophe he became corrupt unto the last moral fiber of his being, so that, without some kind of supernatural or miraculous help from outside him, he can never be saved.”(41)
Because Masonry does not have an understanding of the serious nature of man’s separation from God, it cannot offer a suitable solution to his problem. The Bible tells us that man is in a state of separation from God and that he is in need of a savior. The Gospel writer of Mark speaks of the fallen nature of humanity. The Scripture says that it is what comes out of man that defiles him. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, adulteries, thefts, murders, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”(42) Freemasonry cannot offer mankind an adequate solution to his problem of sin.
A Christian Response to Freemasonry
I recall the words of my father when I first spoke to him about his involvement in Freemasonry. He told me that the Lodge taught that “once a Mason, always a Mason.” Even as a senior citizen, that idea continued to have a definite hold on his thinking. My father, as a Christian, had not been able to see the vast difference between the teaching of the Church and that of the Lodge.
Once I was able to share the teaching of the Lodge with him, he was then able to make a clear decision regarding his future with the Fraternity. But, even after he had left the Lodge, he was unable to mentally sever the tie that bound him to the Lodge; he still felt the tug: “Once a Mason, always a Mason.”
The Mason falls within one of four categories regarding his continued relationship with the Lodge.(43) First, there are some who do not have a clear knowledge of Christianity. They believe that religion and Christianity are the same and that if someone uses the Scriptures, that person must be a Christian. Such people are sincere but untaught. Because they do not know what Christianity teaches, they see nothing wrong with Freemasonry.
A second category would be those who do not know what Masonry is and what it teaches. They are not only uninformed about Christianity but are equally uninformed about the teachings of Freemasonry. These individuals are without any theological foundation on which to discern truth from error. Likewise, they are often ignorant of the occult direction the Lodge has taken over the past few decades.
A third group is made up of individuals who profess Christ, yet continue as Masons regardless of how much they know about Christianity and Freemasonry. They are indeed in a state of rebellion and have chosen not to follow the truth of Christ.
The final group are those who profess Christ and yet have abandoned the Christian faith. Those who have embraced this position are essentially Unitarian in their belief. They no longer hold to the absolute deity of Christ or His blood atonement.
For the most part, all Masons fall into one of these categories. In some cases, it may be that the blame is not to be laid on the individual but on the Christian church for not adequately teaching its truths. The Mason has a choice to make, but the church has a responsibility to equip its people with the truths of the faith.
Jesus made it quite clear in the Scripture. He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”(44) It is difficult for the Mason to abide in Christ as long as he remains in the Lodge and follows its teachings. It is impossible to bear fruit apart from Jesus. He alone is the one who brings the fruit forth.
It is imperative for the Christian to deal with the question of obedience. It is impossible to serve two masters without loving one and despising the other. The root problem is often the fact that the individual has not been spiritually reborn. Once again Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . . . unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God . . . you must be born again.”(45)
1. Delmar D. Darrah, History And Evolution of Freemasonry (Chicago: Charles T. Powner, 1979), 207.
2. Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (Chicago: The Masonic History Co., 1946), 734.
3. Albert A. Mackey, History of Freemasonry, vol. I (New York: The Masonic History Co. 1898): 136.
4. One such incident was the brutal murder of William Morgan in 1826. He had made it known that he intended to write a book exposing the secrets of the Lodge.
5. Albert Pike, Morals And Dogma (Charleston, S. C.: The Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A., 1950), 814.
6. Manly P. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1976), 11-19.
7. Ibid., 64; Foster Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry, (New York: Lucis Publishing Co., 1979), 109.
8. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 65.
9. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 219.
10. Ibid., 213.
11. Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry, 29.
12. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 105.
13. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 69.
14. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 819.
15. Ibid., 226.
16. Little Masonic Library, vol. 5 (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1977): 51.
17. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 64.
18. Jim Shaw, The Deadly Deception (Lafayette, La.: Huntington House, Inc., 1988), 126-27.
19. Maryland Master Mason magazine (March 1973), vol. 2.
20. Matthew 10:32-33.
21. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 594.
22. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 104-5.
23. Ibid., 741.
24. See John 8:12 and 1 John 1:5.
25. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 321; 2 Corinthians 11:14.
26. Carl H. Claudy, Foreign Countries: A Gateway to the Interpretation and Development of Certain Symbols of Freemasonry (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., 1971), 90.
27. See Matthew 5:34-37 and James 5:12.
28. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 11,68.
29. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 760.
31. Pike, Morals and Dogma, 248.
32. Matthew 7:7-12.
33. Robert A. Morey, The Origins and Teachings of Freemasonry (Southbridge, Mass:, Crowne Publications, Inc., 1990), 76.
34. Pike, Morals And Dogma, 819.
35. Henry Wilson Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia (New York: Macoy, 1961), 520.
36. Acts 4:11-12.
37. Morey, The Origins And Teachings of Freemasonry, 113.
38. Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, 71-72.
39. Ibid., 54.
40. Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry, 105,140.
41. H. L. Haywood, The Great Teachings of Masonry (Richmond, Va.: Macoy, 1971), 138.
42. Mark 7:20-23.
43. Alva J. McClain, Freemasonry and Christianity (Winona Lake, Ind.: BMH Books, 1983), 32-35.
44. John 15:4-5.
45. John 3:5.
About the Author
Russ Wise has been an observer of the occult and cults (both Eastern and Western) for over 20 years. Russ seeks to create an awareness of these non-biblical teachings in the Christian community, thereby helping to prevent Christians from falling victim to these deceptions. He is a former associate speaker with Probe Ministries and resides in Richardson, Texas, with his wife, Wendy.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3 1/2 minute daily radio program, our extensive Web site at http://www.probe.org, and the ProbeCenter at the University of Texas at Austin.
Further information about Probe’s materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 480-0240 FAX(972) 644-9664
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