September 22, 2017

Can One Be A Member Of The Lodge And The Lord’s Church

By Dudley Ross Spears

The title of this article is much like the question asked by Amos, "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Anyone who has given serious study to what the New Testament teaches about the church of the Lord and what the Masonic Lodge stands for becomes vividly aware of the drastic difference between the two institutions. It is difficult to understand how one can know enough to become a member of the New Testament church and think it right to engage in those things which Masonry practices and teaches.

Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters" (Matt. 6:24). Every Mason who is a member of the Lord's church ought to remember this each time he hears his brother Masons say something about their "Worshipful Master," or "the Grand Master" of the Lodge. How a member of the church could call anyone "Master" in any respect is beyond comprehension. No one can be a faithful Christian without recognizing Christ as the one and only supreme Master of life. The loyal Mason has a "Master" of the Lodge to which he belongs.

The incompatibility of the Lord's church and the Masonic Lodge is manifest in many vital and fundamental areas. Those who try to ignore or justify these incongruities "set themselves in opposition to themselves" (2 Tim. 2:25, MacKnight). The member of the church who tries to uphold the teaching and practice of Masonry is hopelessly self-contradictory and in almost complete disagreement with his brethren in Christ. When an honest person studies the matter in the light of biblical teaching, finding this inconsistency, he will either quit the Lodge or quit the church. It is the purpose of this article to amplify those inconsistencies and urge Christians to quit the Lodges and any other secret or non-secret religious societies.

One of the more blatant areas of disagreement between the Lord's church and the Masonic Lodge is discrimination. Masons discriminate against anyone who happens to have been born with a physical deformity. In the physical qualifications Masons list is that one must be hale and entire. Here is what one of the greatest Masonic authorities said.

The physical qualifications contribute to the utility of the Fraternity, because he who is deficient in any of his limbs or members, and who is not in the possession of all his natural senses and endowments, is unable to perform, with pleasure to himself or credit to the Fraternity, those peculiar labors in which all should take an equal part. He thus becomes a drone in the hive, and so far impairs the usefulness of the Lodge as 'a place where Freemasons assemble to work, and to instruct and improve themselves in the mysteries of their ancient science'.(1)

A further elaboration on the physical qualifications shows that Masons require a candidate to be "at least twenty-one years of age, upright in body, with the senses of a man, not deformed or dismembered, but hale and entire limbs as a man ought to be."(2) If you happen to have been the victim of war or accident and are without one of your limbs or body parts, the Masons will not have you. The physical condition of a man does not affect the qualification of an individual for membership in the Lord's church. Such discrimination is condemned (James 2:1-5). If there is the wonderful life in Masonry we are often told is there, why would they eliminate any from membership in such an organization? "My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons" (vs. 1).

All one must do to be a member of the Lord's church is to have obedient faith in Jesus as the Son of God. When the first gospel sermon was preached, proclaiming the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, the audience cried out, "Brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). These convicted people were told, "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins . . ." (vs. 38). Those who gladly received the words Peter uttered obeyed the commands and were added to the church right then (Acts 2:41, 47). Even those who were physically deformed were qualified.

The nature of membership in the Lord's church is such that is sinful to be a member of any other religious order like Masonry. The church of the Lord is the sum total of the saved ones. It is the sum total of all those who have been called out of "darkness and delivered into the kingdom of the Son of His (God's) love" (Col. 1:13). Being in this called out group is being in the body of Christ, of which there is "but one body" (1 Cor. 12:20). Those in that body possess "all spiritual blessings in Christ" (Eph. 1:3) and are said to be "made full in him" (Col. 2:10).

Membership in the body of Christ, the church, puts one in a right relationship with the Father and in order to have that to begin with sinners are told "come ye out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Cor. 6:17). Not only are we to sever our relationship with all darkness and sin, but we are to remain separate from it. That is why we appeal to Masons to quit the Lodge and be a faithful Christian. Sever your relationship with all darkness and error. Please read 2 Cor. 14-16 and notice the four contrasting pairs between which Paul says no fellowship can exist. (1) righteousness and iniquity, (2) light and darkness, (3) believers and unbelievers, and (4) the temple of God and idolatry. In these areas you will now see that Masonry is on one end and the church is on the other end of the contrasting elements - and no fellowship can exist between them.

There is a reply that often is made by Masons who claim membership in the church. They say, "Masonry is not a religious society and does not conflict with my service to the Lord." Elsewhere in this issue this matter is dealt with, but I would just point out that Albert Mackey wrote, "Masonry, then, is indeed, a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Mason defend it"(3)Here is a man who knew more about Masonry than any of us today can know. He says that Masonry is a religious institution and should be defended "mainly, if not alone," on the ground of its religious character. I urge my brethren who are Masons to either give up Masonry or defend it like the scholars and teachers of Masonry define it. Now notice the complete dichotomy between Masonry and the Lord's church in these areas.

1. The Iniquity of Masonry. The term used in 2 Cor. 6 for "iniquity" means, "a lawless attitude." It is the same as saying that something has no scriptural authority to exist. There is not the slightest authority in the scriptures for the existence of Masonry or anything like it. The Masonic claim to be able to trace its roots back to the time of King Solomon has no more merit than the Catholic claim to be able to reach back to Peter as their first "pope." The word "iniquity" is defined, "What is not in harmony with the law, what contradicts the law."(4) This article will show many contradictions Masonry makes to the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Here is how Masonry regards the inspiration of the Bible.

The Mason believes that God has arranged this glorious but perplexing world with a purpose, and on a plan. He holds that every man sent upon this earth, and especially every man of superior capacity, has a duty to perform, a mission to fulfill, a baptism to be baptized with; that every great and good man possesses some portion of God's truth, which he must proclaim to the world, and which must bear fruit in his own bosom. In a true and simple sense, he believes all the pure, wise, and intellectual to be inspired, and to be so for the instruction, advancement and elevation of mankind. That kind of inspiration, like God's omnipresence is not limited to the few writers claimed by Jews, Christians, or Moslems, but is co-extensive with the race.(5)

Can one be a member of the Lord's church and hold such a view of inspiration? But some may say that they do not believe what the Masons say about "inspiration." But would the same individual allow preachers, teachers and gospel writers to publish such things in the name of Christianity? It is done in the name of Masonry. The Masonic position on revelation equates the Koran with the Bible and any sort of "pure, wise and intellectual" writing or saying. Yet, the Bible claims that the scriptures alone are "inspired of God" (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).

2. The Darkness of Masonry. The Mason never comes to the full light of Truth. He cannot. Masonry denies that there is such an attainable truth possible. Here is another reliable Masonic scholar and teacher who says,

The doctrines of the Bible are often not clothed in the language of strict truth, but in that which was fittest to convey to a rude and ignorant people the practical essentials of the doctrine.(6)

Perhaps you thought that the Bible was written language of "strict truth" but the Masonic scholars do not. Even though our Lord said of God's word, "Thy word is truth" (John 17:17), according to Masonry, that is not "strict truth." However, when Peter referred to the word he called it "a more sure word of prophecy" (2 Pet. 1:19).

Now please observe that Masonry does not believe in an absolute truth that you can attain.

It is our duty always to press forward in search; for though absolute truth is unattainable, yet the amount of error in our views is capable of progressive and perpetual diminution; and thus Masonry is a continual struggle toward the light.(7)

Possibly you thought that truth was absolute and attainable - but not if you held the views of Masonry. But again, some may say "I do not agree with them on that." Would you retain your membership in the church if every preacher that came along preached that? If not, then why maintain membership in something that officially has taught for years what you know is a contradiction to the Bible?

The last quote from Pike reminds us of a Biblical statement. Paul described some as, "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7). That is Masonry, perfectly described. They are always in a "continual struggle toward the light," but viewing it as an impossible task, for truth is, to them, unattainable. Even though Jesus said He is the truth (John 14:6), Masonry denies Truth is attainable. Albert Mackey said that every Mason should "strive incessantly for light, and especially for the light eternal!"(8) As a Christian and a member of the Lord's church, you have all the light there is in the world and are commanded to walk in that light (1 John 1:7). Masonry admittedly does not walk in the light. They have never found it yet - how could they walk in it?

3. The Unbelief of Masonry. The requirement of a belief in God in order to be a Mason indicates the depths of their unbelief. That may seem paradoxical, but notice the requirement first, and then what they mean by belief in God.

A belief in the existence of God as the Grand Architect of the universe, is one of the most important landmarks of the Order. It has been always admitted that a denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power is an absolute disqualification for initiation.(9)

Here is what they mean when they talk about God. You will find it quite different to what the Bible says about God and what Jesus taught about God.

The religion of Masonry is cosmopolitan, universal; but the required belief in God is not incompatible with this universality; for it is the belief of all peoples. "Be assured," says Godfrey Higgins, "that God is equally present with the pious Hindu in the temple, the Jew in the synagogue, the Mohammedan in the mosque, and the Christian in the church."(10)

The apostle Paul wrote, "But to us there is but one God, the Father . . ." (1 Cor. 8:6). Ephesians affirms the same (Eph. 4:4). But Masonry allows that God is to the Christian exactly what Allah is to the Mohammedan and what Krishna is to the Hindu. And to those who do not believe this Masonic doctrine, again - would you remain a member of the church where you now worship if such were preached and not opposed? If not, why stay in the Masonic Lodge when it has been and still is one of their historic doctrines?

4. The Idolatry of Masonry. There are many things in Masonry which are idolatrous. Idolatry is the worship of images or symbols that represent a deity. This was strictly forbidden to the Jews and they were not allowed to have graven images of the likeness or representation of God (Exo. 20:3-4). But in the symbolism of Masonry, there are several such symbols and images. Albert Mackey tells us about "the All-seeing Eye."

Both the Hebrews and the Egyptians appear to have derived its use from that natural inclination of figurative minds to select an organ as the symbol of the function which it is intended peculiarly to discharge.

On the same principle, the Egyptians represented Osiris, their chief deity, by the symbol of an open eye, and placed this hieroglyphic of him in all their temples. His symbolic name, on the monuments, was represented by the eye accompanying a throne, to which was sometimes what has been called a hatchet, but which I consider, may as correctly be supposed to be a representation of a square.(11)

Mackey affirmed that the important "symbol of the Supreme Being, borrowed by the freemasons from the nations of antiquity,"(12)

is a fitting representation of Masonry! This is pure and simple idolatry. If you think not - would you be willing to have the symbol of "the Allseeing Eye" put on the pulpit in the meeting house, on the Lord's Table, or on the front of the meeting house? It is idolatry to the Mason just as much as it was to the ancient Egyptian who worshipped Osiris and made the same image - and Masonic teachers say it was borrowed by Masonry from the Egyptians.

The Bible teaches that we are to "flee idolatry" and to "keep yourselves from idolatry" (1 Cor. 10:14; 1 John 5:21). The next time you look at your Masonic ring or your Masonic Bible or enter your Lodge, remember from whom the Masons borrowed that "symbol of the Supreme Being."

No man can serve two masters. No man can be a member of the Lord's church and the Masonic Lodge without making an effort to serve two Masters. The question is, what religion will the honest man take? Are you satisfied with the Lord's church and its completeness? My friend, there is nothing in the mystical, superstitious and ludicrous practices and beliefs of Masonry; they are practices dangerous to your salvation. "Come ye out from among them and be ye separate."

Endnotes:

1. Albert G. Mackey, Masonry Defined - A Liberal Masonic Education, Memphis, Tenn: Masonic Supply Co., p. 337.

2. Ibid., p. 337.

3. Ibid., p. 355.

4. Hermann Cremer, D. D., Biblio-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek, Edinburg: T & T Clark, p. 434.

5. Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Charleston, A. M. 5632, p. 225.

6. Ibid., p. 224.

7. Ibid., p. 223.

8. Mackey, p. 238.

9. Ibid., p. 166.

10. Ibid., p. 26.

11. Ibid., p. 28.

12. Ibid., p. 26.

QUESTIONS

    1. What physical condition disqualifies one as a candidate for membership in the Lodge?
    2. What is the difference in qualification for membership in the Lord's church and membership In the Masonic Lodge?
    3. What does Paul say Is that in which we are made full?
    4. List the things that are contrasted in 2 Cor. 6:14-16.
    5. What is meant by "iniquity"?
    6. Can one walk in the light and walk as Masonry teaches?

 

Truth Magazine XXIV: 45, pp. 729-732
November 13, 1980

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