The Religion of Freemasonry
Thomas G. ONeal
As one enters Masonry, in the first degree, the Entered Apprentice, he is asked, "Do you seriously declare upon your honor, that you believe in a Supreme Being to whom all men are accountable?" (Tennessee Craftsman, page 6; emphasis mine, T.G.O.). This statement is found on page 7 of this same book, "The foundation on which Freemasonry rests is the belief in and acknowledgment of a Supreme Being." Belief in "a Supreme Being" will do for "No atheist . . . can be made a Mason" (Ibid., page 15).
Dr. Albert Mackey says, "No disbeliever in the existence of a God can be made a Freemason." (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, page 847; emphasis mine, T.G.O.). One does not need to believe in Jehovah, just believe in "a God." The reason for this is Masonry is a universal religion taking into its membership even those who believe in pagan gods. "Masonry, as I understand it, lays claim to embrace all truth .... As it has borrowed and preserved truths from all the religions and philosophies of the past" (Joseph E. Morcombe, A Library-of Freemasonry, Vol. 5, page 496). Dr. Mackey says, "If Freemasonry were simply a Christian institution; the Jew and the Moslem, the Braham and the Buddhist could not conscientiously partake of its illumination; but its universality is its boast" (Ibid., page 579; emphasis mine, T.G.O.). Albert Pike says, "It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity" (Morals and Dogma, page 219; emphasis mine T.G.O.). Pike further says, "Masonry around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahman, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion" (Ibid., page 226). Pike again says, "Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her traditions reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she invites all men of all religions to enlist under her banners and to war against evil, ignorance, and wrong" (Ibid., page 311; emphasis mine, T.G.O.). Again quoting Pike, he says, "Masonry propagates no creed except its own most simple and sublime one; that universal religion, taught by Nature and Reason. Its Lodges are neither Jewish, Moslem, nor Christian Temples. It reiterates the precepts of morality of all religions. It venerates the character and commends the teachings of the great and good of all ages and of all countries. It extracts the good and not the evil, the truth and not the error, from all creeds; and acknowledges that there is much which is good and true in all" (Ibid., page 718). Since Masonry embraces the religions of the world, it can not require belief in Jehovah for this would exclude the most of the world. In order to accept Masons who believe in pagans, they require belief in "a God" or "a Supreme Being."
Masonry Offers Salvation
Being a religious institution, Masonry offers to the faithful Mason salvation in heaven at last. Dr. Mackey says, "The doctrine of a resurrection to a future and eternal life constitutes an indispensable portion of the religious faith of Freemasonry" (Ibid., page 851). Dr. Mackey quotes a Masonic writer as saying, "It is the Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry that commands our unqualified esteem, and seals in our heart that love for the Institution which will produce an active religious faith and practice, and leads in the end to 'a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens' " (Ibid., page 1035).
"The Covering of a Lodge is no less than the clouded canopy or starry-decked heaven, where all good Masons hope at last to arrive" (Kentucky Monitor, page 41). Masonry teaches that the redeemer of Masonry, Hiram Abiff, is "A kind messenger sent by our Supreme Grand Master to translate us from this imperfect to that allperfect, glorious, and celestial Lodge above, where the Great Architect of the Universe' presides, forever reigns" (Kentucky Monitor, page 152; and Tennessee Craftsman, page 98).
Masonry teaches only Masons will be saved. Pike says, "Let him who toils complain not, nor feel humiliated! Let him look up, and see his fellowworkmen there 'in God's Eternity; they alone surviving there" (Ibid., page 343; emphasis is Pike's, T.G.O.).
If salvation may be had in Masonry, then the Bible and the Lord's Church would not be necessary. Jesus was to save people from sin (Matt. 1:21). Christ came to save the lost (Lk. 19:10). Christ shed his blood to save mankind (Matt. 26:28). Salvation can be had only in the name of Christ (Acts.4:12). Those who are saved, God adds to his church, not to Masonry (Acts 2:41, 47). Christ is the Savior of the body, which is his church (Eph. 5:23-27); therefore, Masonry is not necessary for salvation since men are reconciled unto God in the body of Christ (Eph. 2:13-16).
Since Masonry claims to be a universal religion, it is necessary to believe in "a Supreme Being" which any pagan does, but faith in Jehovah is not required. By being faithful to Masonic teaching, one is assured by them of salvation in the Lodge above.
Christ saves and those saved are added to his church. If men are saved by Christ, then Masonry is unnecessary. If men can be saved in Masonry, then Christ died in vain and his church was established in vain.
Christ saves; his Church is essential. Therefore, Masonry is just another human system, promising men salvation, but not able to save.
Some Doctrines of Masonry
(1) Masonry teaches Jesus Christ is not divine. "Divine or human, inspired or only a reforming Essene, it must be agreed that His teachings are far nobler, far purer, far less allayed with error and imperfections, far less of the earth earthly, than those of Socrates, Plato, Seneca, or Mahomet, or any of the great moralists and reformers of the world" (Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma, page 719). A human reformer teaching error and imperfections is the Masonic picture of Jesus.
(2) Masonry is greater than the Lord's Church. "No institution was ever established on nobler principles, nor were ever more excellent rules and maxims laid down than are inculcated in the several Masonic Lectures" (Tennessee Craftsman, page 34 and Kentucky Monitor, pages 53-54).
(3) Masonry teaches a new birth. "Your reception within the lodge is . . . your introduction into the life of Masonry. It is a symbol of the agonies of the first death and of the throes of a new birth. There you stood without our portals, on the threshold of this new Masonic life, in darkness, helplessness, and ignorance. Having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollutions of the outer and profane world, you come inquiringly to our doors, seeking the new birth. Ceremonial preparations surrounded you, all of a significant character, to indicate to you that some great change was about to take place in your moral and intellectual condition. There was to be not simply a change for the future, but also an extinction of the past: for initiation is, as it were, a death to the world and a resurrection to a new life. And hence it was among the old Greeks the same word signified both "to die" and "to be initiated." But death to him who believes in immortality is but a new birth. The world is left behind-the chains of error and ignorance which had previously restrained you in moral and intellectual captivity art- to be broken-the portal of the Temple of a Future Life has been thrown widely open, and Masonry stands before you in all the glory of its form and beauty, to be fully revealed, however, only when the new birth has been completely accomplished" (Kentucky Monitor, page 26-27; emphasis mine, T.G.O.).
(4) Masonry teaches the redeemer is Hiram Abiff instead of Jesus Christ. "All antiquity . . . believed in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome and the Supreme Deity reconciled to his creatures. The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and suffer a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kiountse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, Love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; Masons, Hiram" (Kentucky Monitor, pages XIV-XV, emphasis mine, T.G.O ).
(5) Masonry practices baptism. In the 26th degree of Masonry, Albert Pike says, "Qu.What are the symbols of the purification necessary to make us perfect Masons? Ans. Lavation with pure water, or baptism; because to cleanse the body is emblematical of purifying the soul; and because it conduces to the bodily health, and virtue is the health of the soul, as sin and vice are its malady and sickness: -- unction or anointing with oil; because thereby we are set apart and dedicated to the service and priesthood of the Beautiful, the True, and the Good" (Morals and Dogma, pages 538-539).
(6) Masonry observes a fraternal supper. In the 26th degree "Q u. What is to us the chief symbol of man's ultimate redemption and regeneration? Ans. The fraternal supper, of bread which nourishes and of wine which refreshes and exhilarates, symbolical of the time to come, when all mankind shall be one great harmonious brotherhood .... To our Jewish Brethren this supper is symbolical of the Passover: to the Christian Mason of that eaten by Christ and His Disciples, when, celebrating the Passover" (Morals and Dogma, pages 539-540).
(7) Masonry teaches evolution. "For countless ages a fragment clings to its sun-a world in preparation; eventually it is thrown whirling into space to begin a separate existence-the birth of a world; the gases solidify, land and water appear-the period of development" (Kentucky Monitor, page 105).
The "Doctrine of Christ" in the Bible
In Section VI, "Some Doctrines of Masonry," quotations were given to set forth in the language of Masonic authors their doctrine. Let us now contrast the error taught by Masons with the truth of Jesus Christ taught in the Bible.
(1) Jesus is divine. The Word was in the beginning with God, was God, all things were created by the Word; the Word became flesh and dwelt among man. Christ is divine (John 1:1-17). God said Jesus was God, thus divine (Heb. 1:5-8). Thomas said Jesus was divine (John 20:28). Peter said Christ was divine (Matt. 16:16).
(2) Christ's Church is the greatest institution. The Church was in the mind of God from eternity (Eph. 3:811). This is not so of any other institution. Jesus purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28; Epb. 5:25). Masonry, nor any other institution, has been blood bought.
(3) The new birth puts one into the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus said one "born. again" would see the Kingdom of God, not Masonry (John 3:3). One born of water and the Spirit enters the Kingdom of God, not the Masonic Lodge (John 3:5). Peter said when one was "born again" they had been "redeemed", had purified your souls," had "obeyed the truth" and all of this by the preaching of the gospel (1 Pet. 1:18-25).
(4) Christ is our Redeemer. One has redemption through the blood of Christ, in Christ, by translation into the Kingdom (Col. 1:13-14). Redemption is "with the precious blood of Christ" "which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:18-25). Men are reconciled unto God (2 Cor. 5:17-21) not God reconciled unto men as Masonry teaches. Man, not God, sinned; therefore, man, not God needs to be reconciled.
(5) Baptism is into Christ. Men are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27). They are baptized to be saved (Mk. 16:16) and "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). This is a burial in water (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12). Upon being raised, one is to walk a new life (Rom. 6:3-7) and not be hear some "secret words" like "Mah-hah-bone."
(6) Christ put the Lord's Supper in the Kingdom (Lk. 22:16). The Lord's Supper is to be observed upon the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Its purpose is .not physical food but "in remembrance of me" (1 Cor: 11:24-25). What "supper" the Masonic Lodge eats is not the "Lord's Supper" instituted by Christ for Christ did not put it in the Lodge.
(7) The World Was Created. "All things were made by him" (John 1:3). "God that made the world and all things therein" (Acts 17:24). God "created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9). "All things were created" by Christ (Col. 1:16). Christ "made the worlds" (Heb. 1:2). God created man (Mt. 19:4; 1 Cor. 11:9); he did not evolve.
Truth Magazine XXII: 17, pp. 280-282