By Owen H. Thomas
Those who have an understanding of the teachings of Christ and are also acquainted with the teachings and practices of Masonry, find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to be a Mason. It is even harder for them to understand why anyone claiming to be a Christian would want to be a Mason. But the sad truth is that there are several members of the Lord’s church who are practitioners of the false religion of Masonry. It is the conviction of this writer that the majority of Masons are deliberately deceived by the Masonic Lodge as to its true nature and teachings, and that if they knew these things at the beginning they would never become members of the Lodge.
When one makes the charge that the Masonic Lodge is a religious institution, Masons in the lower degrees will vehemently deny it and accuse them of misrepresentation. They are honest in this because they have been led to believe it by their instructors in the higher degrees. It is not the purpose of this article to prove that Masonry is a religion; another article in this series will deal with that point. But I do want to show from their own writings that they deliberately deceive their initiates as to the real meaning of the symbols and teachings of the lodge, and to point out some other things which most Masons do not know about the lodge.
All quotations in this article are taken from Morals And Dogma of the Ancient And Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, edited by Albert Pike and “prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States and published by its authority.” Now, as to the proof that they practice deception, I ask that you consider the following statements.
The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry. The whole body of the Royal and Sacerdotal Art was hidden so carefully, centuries since, in the High Degrees, as that it is even yet impossible to solve many of the enigmas which they contain. It is well enough for the mass of those called Masons, to imagine that all is contained in the Blue Degrees; and whoso attempts to undeceive them will labor in vain, and without any true reward violate his obligations as an Adept. Masonry is the veritable Sphinx, buried to the head in the sands heaped round it by the ages (Morals And Dogma, p. 819).
Masonry, like all the religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism 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 astray (Ibid., pp. 104, 105).
It is only after the initiates have proven themselves willing to accept and do whatever they are told by the “Princes of Masonry” that they are permitted to the higher degrees where the real meaning of the symbols and a true understanding of the teaching is revealed unto them. “You have taken the first step over its threshold, the first step toward the inner sanctuary and heart of the temple. You are in the path that leads up the slope of the mountain of Truth; and it depends upon your secrecy, obedience, and fidelity, whether you will advance or remain stationary” (Ibid., pp. 106, 107). “Secrecy is indispensable in a Mason of whatever Degree. it is the first and almost the only lesson taught to the Entered Apprentice” (Ibid., p. 109).
Masonry does not believe and teach that God has revealed all truth unto mankind in the Bible as promised by Jesus in John 16:13 and affirmed as being so by Jude (v. 3). “We hold that God has so ordered matters in this beautiful and harmonious, but mysteriously-governed Universe, that one great mind after another will arise, from time to time, as such are needed, to reveal to men the truths that are wanted, and the amount of truth that can be borne. He so arranges, that nature and the course of events shall send men into the world, endowed with that higher mental and moral organization, in which grand truths, and sublime gleams of spiritual light will spontaneously and inevitably arise. These speak to men by inspiration” (Ibid., p. 225). In fact, they deny the need for any written revelation from God: “He considers that if there were no written revelation, he could safely rest the hopes that animate him and the principles that guide him, on the deductions of reason and the convictions of instinct and consciousness. He can find a sure foundation for his religious belief, in these deductions of the intellect and convictions of the heart” (Ibid, p. 226).
Masonry teaches that “no human being can with certainty say, in the clash and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it” (Ibid, p. 160). “Perfect truth is not attainable anywhere” (Ibid, p. 223), and “No man can say that he hath as sure possession of the truth as of a chattel” (Ibid, p. 166). Therefore, they believe that, “No man is responsible for the rightness of his faith; but only for the uprightness of it” (Ibid., p. 166). It is on this basis that they accept and approve all religions. That they do not understand nor believe the truth as taught by Jesus Christ is evident from this statement: “Its teachings are eminently practical; and its statutes can be obeyed by every just, upright, and honest man, no matter what his faith or creed” (Ibid, p. 138). This statement is an outright indictment against ever person who believes the Bible to contain the perfect revelation of God’s will and that it is the absolute truth. It accuses those who believe that faith in Jesus Christ is essential to salvation as being either dishonest, unjust, or not upright, for Masonry teaches that faith in Jesus Christ is not essential and that the Bible does not contain all the truth, and that if you are just, upright, and honest, you can accept their teachings. I deny it!
I plead with those who are already in the Masonic Lodge and with all who are contemplating becoming members, to consider these things. I ask you: can an institution that knowingly and deliberately practices deception upon its members be of God? Can you honestly accept and believe a doctrine that denies the Bible as being true? Can you honestly and in good conscience support an institution that denies that faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is essential to one being justified before God?
- Do most Masons in the lower degrees believe Masonry is a religion?
- Does the Masonic Lodge want its initiates, or new members, to understand the truth about Masonry?
- What do the “Princes of Masonry” do to keep the new members from understanding the true meaning of their symbols and teachings?
- Name three things which those in the lower degrees must do if they want to advance to the higher degree?
- Do Masons believe that the Bible or any written revelation is necessary to their belief?
- Do you believe one can believe the Bible and also accept the teaching of the Masonic Lodge? If so, please explain why.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 45, pp. 732-733
November 13, 1980