The doctrine of Masonry has not been considered in this series. At this point is shall be given some discussion. Also under consideration in this article will be conflicts between Masonic teachings and Bible teachings. I have not, and shall not, delve into "Esoteric Masonry." "Exoteric Masonry" makes the incompatibility of Christianity and Masonry clear enough to all who will not close their eyes to the facts. Look at a quotation from the "Standard Monitor for the Use of Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons under the Jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio." I quote from the consideration of the "Third Degree," pages 36 and 37:
"THE WORKING TOOLS of a Master Mason, which are all the implements of Masonry appertaining to the first three degrees indiscriminately, but more especially the trowel. The trowel is an instrument made use of by operative masons to spread cement which unites the building into one common mass. But we as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to use it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
How can a Christian obey Jude 3 where he is told to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints" and at the same time be a Mason cemented "into one sacred band among whom no contention should ever exist" when those who compose this "sacred band" (?) may be "men of every creed?"
I quote again from the consideration of the "Third Degree" found in the Standard Monitor. This time I quote from the "Charge" on page 45:
"To preserve, unsullied, the reputation of the Fraternity ought to be your constant care. It, therefore, becomes your province to caution the inexperienced against a breach of fidelity; to recommend to your inferiors in rank or office, obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and condescension."
A Mason of the "Third Degree" could not be an elder because the elders are to "take
care of the church of God" (I Tim. 3:5). And a "Third Degree" Mason is to give his "constant care" in order "to preserve, unsullied, the reputation of the Fraternity." Sometimes we hear of public officials who have a "conflict of interest." But for an elder to be a "Third Degree" Mason sounds like a spiritual "conflict of interest" to me.
How could a Christian obey I Corinthians 12:25-26 and give his "constant care" in an effort "to preserve unsullied, the reputation of the Fraternity?"
There is, also, another problem for the Christian found in this portion of the "Charge" which I quoted. As we have previously noticed, the Masonic Order "admits men of every creed." This includes Jews, Moslems or those of any other religious sect as long as they believe in a Supreme Being and a resurrection of the dead. The "Charge" of the "Third Degree" refers to "inferiors," equals and "superiors." Thus we understand that the Masonic Order is made up of men of various religions, many of whom do not believe in Christ, and all are united into "one sacred band" (?) of unequal : persons. I cannot see how a Christian can justify being a part of such an organization. A Christian is commanded, "be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Cor. 6:14)
In his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry under the heading "Creed, A Mason's' Mackey writes:
"Although Freemasonry is not a dogmatic theology, and is tolerant in the admission of men of every religious faith, it would be wrong to suppose that it is without a creed. On the contrary, it has a creed the assent to which it rigidly enforces, and the denial of which is absolutely incompatible with membership in the Order. This creed consists of two articles: First, a belief in God, the Creator of all things, who is therefore recognized as the Grand Architect of the Universe; and secondly, a belief in the eternal life, to which this present life is but a preparatory and probationary state. To the first of these articles assent is explicitly required as soon as the threshold of the Lodge is crossed. The second is expressively taught by legends and symbols, and must be implicitly assented to by every Mason, especially by those who have received the third degree, which is altogether founded on the doctrine of the resurrection to a second life."
The Christian should notice that the refusal of Masonry to recognize and approve Jesus as the Christ specifically as Deity, and their demand that their members "believe in God, the Creator of all things" is in reality a denial of the Deity of Christ. "All things were made by him" (John 1:3).
Mackey writes the following under the heading "Lustration,"
"A religious rite practiced by the ancients, and which was performed before any act of devotion. It consisted in washing the hands, and sometimes the whole body in lustral or consecrated water. It was intended as a symbol of the internal purification of the heart. It was a ceremony preparatory to initiation in all the Ancient Mysteries. The ceremony is practiced with the same symbolic import in some of the high degrees of Masonry. '
Under the heading "Baptism, Masonic" Mackey writes:
"The term 'Masonic Baptism' has been recently applied in this country by some authorities to that ceremony which is used in certain of the high degrees, and which, more properly, should be called 'Lustration.' It has been objected that the use of the term is calculated to give needless offence to scrupulous persons who might suppose it to be an imitation of a Christian sacrament. But, in fact, the Masonic baptism has no allusion whatsoever, either in form or design, to the sacrament of the church. It is simply a lustration or purification by water, a ceremony which was common to all the ancient initiations."
Now what is this but a declaration that in the "higher degrees" of Masonry there is practiced a "baptism" which is for the purpose "of the internal purification of the heart?" I will not consider the "form" of "baptism" in this study but notice its "design."
In effect Mackey denies that the "design" of Bible baptism is "purification of the heart." He may be able to find support from many religionists in 'this denial, but that will not change the truth contained in the scriptures.
Consider Hebrews 9:6-14. There we learn that the blood of animals under the first covenant was for the "purifying of the flesh" and that the "blood of Christ" is to "purge your conscience." The two phrases I have quoted constitute a contrast. They are both dealing with "purifying." What we need to know is how the "blood of Christ" is applied to "purge your conscience."
Jesus said in Matthew 26:28, "this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." On the day of Pentecost Peter, speaking as the Spirit gave him utterance, said "repent, and he baptized.., for the remission of sins." Now what do we have here? Jesus said his "blood" was "for the remission of sins" and the Spirit through Peter said "baptism" is "for the remission of sins." The only logical explanation of these two statements is that the "blood d Christ" is applied by baptism." Thus through "baptism" there is an eternal purification of the heart. By it you "purge your conscience."
Notice now I Peter3: 21. "Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection that "Masonic Baptism has no allusion to Bible baptism in "design" is based upon his failure to understand the "design" of Bible baptism.
We noticed that the "Masonic Baptism" is for the higher degrees. Under the heading "Purification" we find in Mackey's Encyclopedia:
"In Masonry there is in the first degree a symbolical purification by the presentation to the candidate of the common gavel, an implement whose emblematic use teaches a purification of the heart."
How can a Christian who has been baptized "for the remission of sins" submit to the
"symbolical purification by the presentation of the common gavel" in the first degree, or "Masonic baptism" for "the internal purification of the heart" in the higher degrees?
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 34, pp. 5-7
July 9, 1970