Religious Titles And Oaths Used By Masons
Through personal contact with members of the Masonic Lodge, I have been made aware of the fact that many members of the lodge have very little knowledge or understanding of the real meaning and teachings of the lodge. One member, when questioned about the ceremonies which he had been a part of and the oaths he had taken, said, "Yes, I did those things, but I didn't really think about what I was saying or what they meant." I am convinced that many members of the lodge are in the same condition as this man. They view the lodge as just a harmless (maybe even helpful) order that chooses to keep its activities secret. The initiation ceremonies are viewed as just harmless rituals one must go through to advance from one degree to the next higher one. It does not occur to them that the ceremonies involve them in the taking of foolish and profane oaths under the direction of one calling himself "The Worshipful Master."
Jesus said, "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ" (Matt. 23:8-10).
Jesus is our one and only Master, yet Masons call the ruler or head of each lodge "The Worshipful Master." The Worshipful Master is that one among Master Masons who is most to be honored and obeyed because he is magistrate or ruler or head of the lodge" (Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume 3, p. 1407). This man may not even believe in Christ, yet he is called "The Worshipful Master" by Masons. I say he may not even believe in Christ because, contrary to the contentions of some, one does not have to believe in Christ to be a member of the lodge. Mackey states, "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. In its language, citizens of every nation may converse; at its altar men of all religions may kneel; to its creed, disciples of every faith may subscribe" (Ibid, Vol. 1, p. 579).
In addition to calling the ruler of the lodge "The Worshipful Master," we find these other titles worn by Masons: "Perfect Master" (5th degree), "Prince of Jerusalem" (16th degree), "Grand Pontiff" (19th degree), "Prince of Mercy" (26th degree), and "Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret" (32nd degree). No one can be a believer and follower of Jesus and be called by such titles nor can he call any man by such titles.
Before entering the lodge as an Entered Apprentice (First degree) and before advancing to each of the following degrees, the candidate must agree to take certain oaths binding him to secrecy and loyalty. These oaths can be found in several Masonic publications, including "Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Moniter" and "Look To The East," a ritual of the first three degrees of Masonry.
The oath taken by the candidate for Entered Apprentice is:
I, ____________________, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and this Worshipful Lodge erected to him and dedicated to the Holy Saint John, do hereby and hereon (Master presses his gavel on candidate's knuckles) most hail, forever conceal, never reveal any of the secret arts, parts or points of the hidden mysteries of Masonry which may have been heretofore, or shall be, at this time, or at any future period, communicated to me as such, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be a true and lawful brother Mason, or within the body of a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of Masons; nor unto him or them until, by strict trial, due examination, or lawful information, I shall have found him, or them, as lawfully entitled to them as I am myself. I furthermore promise and swear that I will not write, print, paint, stamp, stain, cut, carve, hew, mark, or engrave them on any thing movable or immovable capable of receiving the least impression of a sign, word, syllable, letter or character, whereby they may become legible or intelligible to any person under the canopy of heaven, and the secrets of Masonry be thereby unlawfully obtained by my unworthiness.
All this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep and perform the same, without the least equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion whatsoever; binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots, and buried in the sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should 1, in the least, knowingly or wittingly violate or transgress this my Entered Apprentice obligation. So help me God, and keep me steadfast (Look To The East, pp. 30, 31).
It is hard to believe that grown men would involve themselves in such foolishness. Such sounds like the actions of little kids playing. But this is not playing. This is the taking of profane and foolish oaths and then using the name of God and kissing the Bible. Such is nothing short of blasphemy.
The candidate for Fellow Craft (Second Degree) makes a vow similar to that taken by the Entered Apprentice and includes the following:
I furthermore promise and swear that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud a Lodge of Fellow Crafts, or a brother of this degree, knowingly or wittingly.
All this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep and perform the same, without the least equivocation, mental reservation or self-evasion whatsoever; binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked from thence, and given to the beasts of the field and the birds of the air as a prey, should I, in the least, knowingly or wittingly, violate or transgress this my Fellow Craft obligation. So help me God and keep me steadfast (Ibid., p. 96).
Does this oath imply that it would be right to "cheat, wrong or defraud one who is not a member of the lodge? A Christian will have no part in such profanity.
The oath taken by Master Masons (Third degree) includes much of the same affirmations as the first two. Included in this oath is the promise that "I will not violate the chastity of a Master Mason's wife, his mother, sister or daughter, knowing them to be such" (Ibid., p. 154). Are we to conclude that the Master Mason would not be wrong if he were to "violate the chastity" of some woman other than a relative of a fellow Master Mason? How foolish can one be?
Some members of the lodge have told me that they do not take these oaths seriously and do not feel bound by them. If this be true, I am convinced that they are still wrong. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:33-37 that we should not engage in false, profane or frivolous swearing. If Masons take these oaths seriously then they stand condemned for taking such profane oaths. If they do not take them seriously and do not feel bound by them, then they stand condemned for such frivolous swearing and using the name of God in such.
As we noted before, after making each of these oaths the candidate is asked to kiss the Bible. Such doings make a mockery of God's word and no one who has any respect for God and His word will be a part of such.
Perhaps the oath taken by those entering the Royal Arch, or Seventh Degree, sums up the Mason's attitude toward truth and right. Contained in this oath is the following:
I furthermore promise and swear, that I will assist a Companion Royal Arch Mason when I see him engaged in any difficulty, and will espouse his cause so far as to extricate him from the same, whether he be right or wrong ( Revised Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry Complete, p. 230).
Please not, a Mason's loyalty to a fellow Mason comes before his loyalty to what is right. After taking this oath the candidate again kisses the Bible. Can you imagine such profanity?
I know that many have already become a part of this false religion and think they are doing something good. I hope you will give serious consideration to the material presented in this issue and will turn away from such. I am thankful that some have done so, however, many others are more devoted to Masonry than truth. These take the oaths they made very seriously. These may never change. However, I am convinced that the greatest good to be accomplished by these articles will be the prevention of many honest individuals from becoming involved in and deceived by this false religion. Friends, you cannot believe the Bible and be a member of the Masonic Lodge.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 45, pp. 727-728