In a large majority of modern churches, there will be male members who profess to be Christians but are also members of the Freemasons. Members of this well-known organization are frequently leading citizens and respected business and civic leaders in communities across the United States. Famous Americans and even U.S. presidents were Masons. These include George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ben Franklin, James Garfield, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Douglas MacArthur, Lyndon Johnson, John Wayne, Will Rogers, Mark Twain, and Gerald Ford. The Freemasons boast of a membership of some 1.17 million in the United States, and thus are not an isolated or fringe group. Freemason halls exist in hundreds of U.S. cities, both large and small.
Church members frequently make the argument that “the Freemasons are not a religious group at all.” The point of this article is to clearly demonstrate that Freemasonry very much DOES exist as a religious group which stands in direct conflict and opposition to the tenets of Christianity. The evidence is found in the writings and doctrines of the group itself. Masonry is rooted in religion, and is as anti-Christian as an organization can possibly be.
In this study, we will examine Masonry from its own internal sources, writings, and materials. Many of these sources are astonishing in their revelations of Masonry’s structure and requirements, but the paramount importance of these materials cannot be overstated. In short, it is inconceivable for a person to claim to be both a Mason and a Christian. The two terms are in direct conflict, as thoroughly evidenced.
What do the writings of Freemasonry itself have to say about the group’s religious stances?
From the Indiana Monitor, p. 35 (see also “Declaration of Principles, Adopted June 12, 1940, by “The Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Vermont): “Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational, and religious society.”
From Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Albert G. Mackey, p. 640: “…we contend, without any sort of hesitation, that Masonry is, in every sense of the word, except one, and that its least philosophical, an eminently religious institution — that it is indebted solely to the religious element which it contains for its origin and for its continued existence, and that without this religious element it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good.”
From Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 848: “Masonry, then, is indeed a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the Mason defend it.”
From Morals and Dogma, p. 213: “Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion.”
From Kentucky Monitor, p. 28: “As Masons we are taught that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity. This is because Masonry is a religious institution.”
Clearly, Masonry very much stands as a religious organization as per the stated parameters of the group itself. It would seem nonsensical to attempt to even dispute that point, but yet many choose to do so. But does Masonry uphold the tenets of Christianity? Can a person be both a Christian and a Mason? Again, let’s take a closer look at what Masonry itself says about the group’s religious stances.
From Indiana Monitor, p. 38: “The Volume of the Sacred Law is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Lodge. In our jurisdiction it is usually the Bible, but any candidate not a Christian may have substituted for it any other volume which he considers sacred: e.g., the Old Testament, Koran, Vedas, or Laws of Confucius. In one lodge in China, there are three Sacred Books open on the altar at the same time, and the candidate elects one of the three on which he is obligated.”
From The Entered Apprentice, Grand Lodge of Indiana, p. 14: “The Vedas of the Brahman, the Zend-Avesta of the Parsee, the Koran of the Mohammedan, have, among Masons of these faiths, as rightful a place upon our altar as the Holy Bible. In any faith, however, its Sacred Book of Law is the symbol of man’s acknowledgment of and his relation to Deity. And in this universality of Masonry we find one of our greatest lessons: Toleration.”
Jesus Christ himself states that “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Yet in Masonry multiple “paths” thus become appropriate avenues to heaven, so to speak. One can be Muslim, or Christian, or a Brahman. Each religious leaning is equally acceptable within Masonry, and thus clearly in conflict with the words of Jesus Christ. By definition this would render the group to NOT be Christian in nature.
From “What Masons Believe,” http://www.masonicinfo.com: “In order to become a Mason, one must assent to a belief in a Supreme Being. How, specifically, that belief is interpreted or how it is addressed in one’s daily life is left up to the individual. Freemasonry NEVER tries to describe or explain that to the candidate/member. Some Masons are Christian, some are Jewish, some don’t subscribe to a particular religious belief set.”
As per the Masons’ own writings, Christianity is simply one of multiple options a follower may pursue, with each religion equally valid as another.
From Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 104: “The Bible is used among Masons as a symbol of the will of God, however it may be expressed. And, therefore, whatever to any people expresses that will may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a Masonic Lodge. Thus, in a Lodge consisting entirely of Jews, the Old Testament alone may be placed upon the altar, and Turkish Masons make use of the Koran. Whether it be the Gospels to the Christian, the Pentateuch to the Israelite, the Koran to the Mussulman, or the Vedas to the Brahman, it everywhere Masonically conveys the same ideas — that of the symbolism of the Divine Will revealed to man.”
From Jurisprudence of Masonry, by Mackey, p. 57: “Under the shelter of this wise provision, the Christian and the Jew, the Muhammadan and the Brahmin, are permitted to unite around our common altar, and Masonry becomes in practice as well as theory, universal.”
From Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma, p. 226: “Masonry does not specify any God of any creed; she merely requires that you believe in some deity, give him what name you will…any god will do, so he is your god.”
How can a group possibly refer to itself as “Christian” when that group holds no one religion? How can a group refer to itself as “Christian” when the tenets of that group openly state that there are great truths in all religions, thus rendering Mohammad, Krishna, and a litany of others on par with Jesus Christ? If there are many different ways to seek God, then Jesus lied in John 14:6.
An additional citation provides astonishing insight into how the Masons view the deity of Jesus. From Kentucky Monitor, pgs. 14-15: “All believe in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a Mediator or Redeemer by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome and Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and have a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kiontse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; Masons, Hiram.”
“Hiram,” specifically “Hiram Abiff” to the Masons, is the identity of the one “born of a virgin” and who would suffer “ a painful death.” (See “Hiram Abiff—The False Christ of Freemasonry” at http://www.evangelicaltruth.com for further detail). Note that the above quote also very clearly differentiates between the Christians and the Masons, clearly indicating that the Kentucky Monitor, a Mason publication, viewed the two groups as very separate and very distinct. This is further proof that Masonry is ultimately NOT a Christian organization, by their own admission. (See also “The Religion of Freemasonry,” by Jarrod Jacobs, Truth Magazine.)
Any Christian who is considering becoming a Mason should ask himself one simple question. Am I supposed to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, or follow the Grand Master, Hiram Abiff?
Despite these astonishing, anti-biblical, heretical teachings and doctrines, Masons frequently attend and even lead professed Christian services nationwide. For example, as reported by Biblical Discernment Ministries a 1991 survey by the Southern Baptist Convention Sunday School Board noted that 14% of Southern Baptist Convention pastors and 18% of SBC deacon board chairs were Masons, and that SBC members comprise 37% of total U.S. Mason lodge membership. An updated SBC report from 2000 found that over 1,000 SBC pastors were Masons.
Masonry even holds that the biblical account of the fall of man is mere legend. From Morals and Dogma, p. 100: “The Hebrew allegory of the Fall of Man, which is but a special variation of a universal legend, symbolizes one of the grandest and most universal allegories of science.”
Consider this from Duncan’s Ritual of Freemasonry, Part 1, pgs. 30-31: “All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same, without any mental reservation or secret evasion of mind whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this Entered apprentice obligation. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”
And this from Morals and Dogma, p. 105: “Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hereticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the 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 … So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters away.”
Do these vows, oaths, and symbols sound even remotely Christian? Are they not blatant violations of Matthew 5:33-37? Why would a religious group need to conceal its secrets or use false explanations to mislead? Why would any Christian participate in ceremonies where participants make oaths regarding having their throat cut or their tongue torn out?
From the Evansville Courier, June 13, 1985: “There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing.”
Freemasonry stands categorically in defiance with Christianity. One cannot, by definition, be involved in both groups. It is our sincere hope that readers of this article will thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what Freemasonry actually stands for and represents, and will reject membership within this organization based on the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Tim works as a chaplain and attends the Oldham Lane congregation in Abilene, TX. He speaks and preaches at various churches in West Texas.