Should a Christian be a Mason?

by David R. Reagan

The first sign of the end times which Jesus told us to watch for was false Christs and false prophets "which will lead many astray." In fact, Jesus warned about false and deceptive religions three times in His Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:5, 11, and 24).

For that reason, I have given special attention to the study of cultic groups ever since God called me into this prophetic ministry.

My study of the cults kept leading me to the Masons. I didn't pay much attention to them at first because I thought they were simply a fraternal order like the Elks or a social and service club like Rotary or Lions.

But when I discovered that nearly all of the Mormon Temple rites were copied by Joseph Smith directly from the secret rites of the Masons, I decided to study Masonry more carefully. What I discovered deeply disturbed me.

The Nature of Masonry

Masonry is a fraternal, social, and service organization. But it is more. It is also a religious organization.

The Masons usually deny this in their public literature, but their actions speak louder than their words. They require a belief in God -- any god -- as a condition of membership. They have published a Masonic Bible that contains special study guides. They conduct funerals for their members. Their official, non-public literature is filled with religious doctrine. In A.G. Mackey's Manual of the Lodge (page 46) he says: "As Masons we are taught never to begin any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing and protection of deity, and this is because Masonry is a religious institution."

Some personal experiences have convinced me that many Masons look upon the Masonic Order as their church, or perhaps more appropriately, as their ticket to Heaven.

This conclusion is based upon the letters I receive from the wives of Masons every time I broadcast a series of radio programs about Masonry. The wives express deep concern about their husbands' involvement in the organization.

The letters read like a broken record. Over and over the same sentiment is expressed: "My husband is a Mason. He claims to be a Christian. Yet he never studies his Bible, rarely prays, and attends church with me only two or three times a year. But he never misses a Masonic meeting."

The Masonic Order has definite cultic characteristics, but it is not a classic cult because it does not require exclusive membership in it only. In fact, Masons are encouraged to be an active member of a local church.

This distinctive feature of Masonry has given the organization far more influence within Christendom than all the recognized cults put together.

Church Prohibitions

To retard such influence, the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church prohibits Masons from becoming members of their church. Likewise, the Nazarene Church has banned from its membership any person who is a member of a secret organization.

The Catholic Church has also taken a strong stand against Masonry. Ever since 1728 Catholics have been prohibited from joining the Masons. That stance was reaffirmed by the Vatican in 1985 with a pronouncement that any Catholic who joins the Masons is "in a state of grave sin and cannot partake in Holy Communion."

The British Methodist Church also condemned Masonry at its General Assembly in 1985. The Assembly acted on a report of its Faith and Order Committee. That report, entitled Freemasonry & Methodism, outlined the occultic nature of Masonry in detail. The report concluded with these words: "There is a great danger the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing."

A Personal Observation

In light of these strong bans against Masonic membership, I want to make one thing very clear before I proceed. I am not advocating that Masons be kicked out of their local churches. I know many fine Christian men who are Masons. Most of them are in the Masonic Order for business contacts or social purposes or because it is a family heritage. Most of them do not pay any attention to the organization's religious teachings. In fact, most are probably ignorant of what Masonry teaches about God.

In other words, I believe it is possible for a person who is ignorant of Masonry's religious teachings to be both a Mason and a Christian. But, I have concluded that because of Masonry's cultic characteristics, a Christian who is a Mason can never grow to his full potential in Christ. For this reason, I believe that no Mason should be put in a position of leadership in a local church. How can any person serve effectively as a Christian spiritual leader when he has compromised his commitment to Christ by participating in a cultic organization?

Masonic Secrecy

What are the cultic characteristics of Masonry? Two which cannot be denied by any Mason are the requirement of secrecy and the taking of oaths.

Masonry is a secret organization. Ask any Mason what goes on at his meetings, and he will start evading your questions. He is sworn to secrecy. This is a classic characteristic of cultic groups, and it is an attitude that stands in opposition to Scripture. The Bible says: "Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that is may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God" (John 3:20-21).

In actuality, the Masonic Order really does not have any secrets because thousands of men have come out of Masonry and have exposed all its "secrets" in many publications. These revelations have shed light on a second cultic feature.

Blood Oaths

Every Mason is required to take three blood oaths. For example, in the first degree of Masonry, as an Entered Apprentice, the person is required to place a curse on himself by swearing an oath that he will bind himself "under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across and my tongue torn out by the roots ... so help me God."

It is incredible that the name of God would be invoked in such a demonic oath, particularly when the Bible commands us not to take any oaths at all: "Do not swear at all ... simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:34-37).

At the second degree, the Fellowcraft level, the Mason swears "to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder ... if ever I should prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath or obligation ... so help me God."

The third degree Master Mason swears "to have my body severed in two in the midst, and divided to the north and south, and my bowels burnt to ashes in the center, and the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven ... were I ever to prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this solemn oath ... so help me God."

The Scottish Rite oath is particularly demonic in nature. Notice how it commits the oath taker to commit murder, if necessary:

I do promise and swear upon the Holy Bible never to reveal where I have received this degree ... and in failure of this I consent to have my body opened perpendicularly and to be exposed for eight hours in the open air, so that the venomous flies may eat my entrails, my head to be cut off and put on the highest pinnacle of the world, and I will always be ready to inflict the same punishment on those who shall disclose this degree and break this obligation. So may God help and maintain me. Amen.

No Christian has any business putting himself under such oaths, even if they are not taken seriously. God takes them seriously, and so does Satan.

Further, in the case of married men, these oaths create a barrier to the marriage relationship because the Mason is not supposed to reveal his Masonic activities to his wife.

Also, in these oaths absolute allegiance is pledged to all fellow Masons, many of whom do not even confess Jesus as Christ. This violates Scripture, for we are commanded not to yoke ourselves with unbelievers, "for what fellowship does darkness have with light?"
(I1 Corinthians 6:14).

Unscriptural Doctrines

Several doctrines taught by the Masons are particularly repulsive to the Word of God. One is that there are many ways to God. Consider, for example, this quote from Carl Claudy's book, "Introduction to Freemasonry" (1931): "In his private petitions a man may petition God or Jehovah, Allah or Buddha, Mohammed or Jesus; he may call upon the God of Israel or the Great First Cause. In the Masonic Lodge he hears petition to the Great Architect of the Universes, finding his own deity under that name. A hundred paths may wind upward around a mountain; at the top they meet." By contrast, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.." (John 14:6).

Lest you think this quote from Masonic literature is not representative of contemporary Masonic thinking, read these words taken from the current manual of instruction used by Masons in the state of Kentucky (Kentucky Monitor by Henry Pirtle, p. 95):

Masonry makes no profession of Christianity ... but looks forward to the time when the labor of our ancient brethren shall be symbolized by the erection of a spiritual temple ... in which there shall be but one altar and one worship; one common altar of Masonry on which the Veda, Shastras, Sade, Zend-Avesta, Koran, and Holy Bible shall lie untouched by sacrilegious hands, and at whose shrine the Hindu, the Persian, the Assyrian, The Chaldean, The Egyptian, the Chinese, The Mohammedan, the Jew, and the Christian may kneel and with one united voice celebrate the praises of the Supreme Architect of the Universe.

In other words, Masonry teaches salvation through all religions, whereas the Bible teaches there is salvation in only one name under Heaven - the name of Jesus
(Acts 4:12).

Another unscriptural Masonic doctrine is salvation by works. Masonic literature is replete with references to being justified before God by our works. For example, in the Kentucky handbook quoted previously the lambskin apron worn by Masons is described as a reminder "of that purity of life and conduct which is essential to gaining admission to the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides" (Monitor, p. 32)

A third unscriptural posture of Masonry is its treatment of Jesus. Jesus in not exalted in Masonry. The Kentucky handbook lists only one reference to Jesus in the index, and it is indirect. Masonry focuses on "The Great Architect of the Universe" who can be defined any way the worshipper wants to define him. In the Kentucky handbook there are dozens of prayers for every conceivable thing from the dedication of halls to

the internment of a body. Not one prayer in the book is offered in the name of Jesus, yet the Word of God says that Christians are to offer all prayers in Jesus' name
(Colossians 3:17).

The Masonic Defense

Many Masons respond to these criticisms by observing that George Washington was a Mason and that fourteen of our Presidents have been Masons. But these facts are irrelevant. No one denies that many good and great men have been and are Masons.

Others defend the Masons by pointing out that many ministers are Masons. This too does not prove anything. Many ministers are also members of the apostate National Council of Churches.

Others Masons point to the good works of the Masonic Order. But again, no one denies that Masons do many good works. Their good works are just not relevant to the issue.

The Real Issue

The issue is Jesus Christ. He calls us to be open about our faith. The Masons operate in secret. Jesus calls us to refrain from taking oaths. The Masons require blood oaths. Jesus call us to do all things in His name, to His honor and glory. Masons do their good works in the name of Masonry and to the glory of "The Great Architect of the Universe." The Word says Jesus is "the blessed and only potentate" (I Timothy 6:14-15). Masons exalt their temple leaders by calling them spiritual titles like "Worshipful Master."

If you are a Christian and a Mason, I believe you should prayerfully denounce the Masonic oaths you have taken. You should ask God to forgive you for ever having taken the oaths. You should resign your Masonic membership and rededicate yourself to Jesus and Him only.

Then you should start spending the time you used to spend in Masonry in your local church working to expand the Kingdom of God.

Reference Materials On Masonry:

1) "Freemasons and the Bible" by Christian Living, Inc., P.O. Box 397, Aledo, Texas 76008. An excellent comparison of Masonic doctrine and the Bible. Available for a donation.

2) "The Masonic Report", by C.F. McQuaig. Can be ordered for $4.50 from Answer Books and Tapes, 5166 Old Norcross Rd., Ga. 30071.

3) "The Question of Freemasonry", a booklet that can be ordered free from P.O. Box 1076, Issaquah, Wa. 98027.

4) "A Frank Exposure of Freemasonry", a booklet published by The Baptist Examiner. This is a very hard hitting attack on Masonry. Copies can be secured by writing to P.O. Box 910, Ashland, Ky.

5) "Masonry Exposed As False Religion", an article by Dr. Alan Street, published in the Sept./Oct. 1984 issue of the Southern Baptist Advocate.

6) The Masonic Edition of the Holy Bible -- published by the A.J. Holman Co.

7) Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry by Albert Pike. Originally published in 1871 and revised in 1966 -- the "Bible" of Masonry.

8) Pastor Jim Shaw, a former 33rd degree Mason, publishes many tracts and booklets on Masonry. A list of his publications can be obtained by writing to P.O. Box 884, Silver Springs, Fl. 32688.

9) Another excellent ministry that is aimed at Masons and is headed up by a former Mason is HRT Ministries. You can get a catalogue of this ministry's publications by writing to P.O. Box 12, Newtonville, N.Y. 12128.

10) The Godmakers, by Ed Decker and Dave Hunt is an in-depth study of the Mormons. It contains a lot of material proving that Joseph Smith stole the demonic Mormon Temple rituals from the Masons. Available in paperback at any Christian bookstore.

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