The Masonic lodge is only one of some 800 secret societies in these United States of America. Nearly half of our adult population, including multitudes of our most prominent and influential people, politicians, business men, preachers, lawyers, judges, etc. are affiliated with these numerous secret orders for both men and women.
Of these 800 secret societies Masonry is the oldest, largest and most influential. It is the parent of all secret orders, of which all the rest are born and after which all the others are patterned. When, therefore, you speak of Freemasonry you speak of lodgism in general.
The full name of this secret order is “Ancient and Accepted Freemasonry.” The “Ancient” in tins name has reference to the allegation of Masonry that this order had its inception in the very distant past. According to some Masons it is of divine origin. We are told that Noah and Enoch passed on certain secrets to Masonry, that King Solomon himself organized a Masonic lodge, that Zechariah was a Mason, and that John the Baptist and the Apostle John were patrons of this order. Boastful talk, of course, so characteristic of all secret orders. One who has read anything at all about Masonry and has watched them parade in their Halloween regalia, is familiar with their bombastic tendencies and is no longer surprised at anything they claim and do. Their claim of ancient and even divine origin are not supported by a single proof. It is all a hoax to deceive the simple. The Encyclopedia Britannica, which should know, tells us that Masonry had its inception no earlier than 1717 A.D. The “Accepted” in the name given above implies, that “the candidate accepts the lodge as it is, though he knows nothing about it when he joins.” And the “Free” indicates that the applicant joins of his own volition. This is true, by the way, of the first degree. Thereafter, however, all succeeding degrees are mandatory.
In all there are 33 degrees in Freemasonry. The one foundation of all Masonry is called the Blue Lodge, consisting of the first three degrees, that of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. All Masons, whoever they be, must pass through these degrees. Then comes the separation. So-called Christians follow the York Rite, consisting of the degrees four to thirteen; while Jews, Gentiles and Mohammedans follow the Scottish Rite, which comprises the degrees four to thirty two. Having gone as far as possible in either Rite one is eligible for the thirty- third degree, that of the Mystic Shrine.
The purpose of this world-wide organization is manifold. One joins this order for the sake of advancement in politics and business, of prestige and position in society and even the church. Preachers are told that Masonry will be a great help to them in their office and work. After all, Solomon and Zechariah, John the Baptist and the Apostle John, and even Noah and Enoch were Masons. There is also the purpose of material gain. All Masons are sworn to show partiality to fellow members of the order and to favor them, even above their fellow Christians, in business and politics. In fact, Masons are bound by the most bloody of oaths to protect and deliver one another from any kind of trouble, whether they be right or wrong. Besides, there is the element of social security. The Masonic lodge provides for subsidy in sickness and old age, help for widows and orphans and aid in financial distress. They also have their “Homes” for aged Masons and their wives as well as for the orphan children of their members. And so Masonry offers advancement to the politician, prosperity to the business man, aid to the distressed and aged and bereaved. In addition to all this Masonry also prides itself on being a center of morality and religion. It sheds light on all spiritual matters; it shows the way to heaven itself; it holds in trust precious spiritual truths which all non-Masons lack.
That Masonry claims ta be a religious organization is indisputable. From this point of view it differs from unionism, with which it, in many respects, has much in common. Both the lodge and the union are open to all men, who are willing to subscribe to their pure worldly laws and requirements; wherefore their mixed constituency, their amalgamation of church and world. In both the members are sworn to secrecy, promising under oath not to divulge the doings of their respective organizations to even their closest friends. Both lodgism and unionism have as their purpose the material gain and advancement, the temporal protection and security of themselves. Both glorify the brotherhood of man, and both are committed to force if it can promote their own interests. However, in this they differ, that lodgism reaches out into the domain of the spiritual as well as that of the natural and claim to show the way to heaven as well as to the abundant life in this world.
That Masonry purports to be such a religious organization and claims a place in the religious sun alongside the church of Jesus Christ is evident. It speaks about God and salvation; it has the Bible, although it does not hesitate to mutilate it as it sees fit; it has its priests and its chaplains, and its meeting places are usually called temples. Masonry speaks of immortality, resurrection and heaven; it calls on the
Name of the Lord in its meetings and on its funerals, and it professes to show the way to heaven. In addition, there is the testimony of leading Masons themselves. “The religion of Masonry,” writes A. G. Mackey, “is pure Theism.” The same author gives us this sample of Masonic bombast, “A Master Mason has discovered the knowledge of God and His salvation, and been redeemed from the death of sin and the sepulcher of pollution and unrighteousness.” And another leading Mason, T. S. Webb, tells us, “The meeting of a Masonic lodge is strictly a religious ceremony. The religious tenets of Masonry are few, simple, but fundamental.”
It is equally evident, however, that the religion of Masonry is not that of Christianity. That stands to reason, since all men are eligible for membership. The Jew, denies and rejects the Christ; the Mohammedan, who says that Allah is God; the Hindu and the Buddhist, both blind heathens, are as welcome in the lodge as the so-called Christian. If only the peculiar, distinctive views and convictions of all are left outside the brotherhood. The religion of Masonry is necessarily such that all men can subscribe to it, except the true child of God. It calls on God, but outside of Christ, and that god is whoever the individual Masons think him to be. The Name of of Christ is omitted from the Masonic prayers as well as from many passages in Scripture. One can blaspheme, deny the miracles of Scripture, ridicule the Virgin Birth, mock with the deity of Christ, deny the atoning power of the blood and trample under feet all that is essential to life and salvation,—and still be a respected and prominent Mason. Christianity, to the Mason, is a sect, and the Bible is no better, or worse, than the Mohammedan Koran.
In truth, the religion of Freemasonry is a conglomeration of all that is anti-Christian. It is Pelagian, Unitarian, modern, pagan, everything,—nothing. This is evident from what Dr. A. G. Mackey, Past General High Priest and a famous Masonic authority, wrote in the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. “The religion of Masonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend a Jew, it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation—handed down to us from some ancient and patriarchal priesthood—in which all men may agree and none may differ.” Again: “If Masonry were simply a Christian Institution, the Brahmin, the Moslem 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; all its altars all religions may kneel, and to its creed every faith may subscribe.” Such is Freemasonry. It accepts no Trinity, no divine Savior, no atonement in the blood of Christ. It needs no regeneration or conversion. It speaks of salvation by character, by works, by subduing of passions, especially by favoring fellow members. To the Mason salvation is simply “the just reward of a pious and virtuous life.” And besides all this Masonry is rank paganism. Writes A.T.C. Pierson, another authority on the subject, “The religious system of Masonry comes from the East, and has reference to the primitive religion, whose first occupation was the worship of the sun.”
One does not speak of Masonry without referring to its horrible, blood-curdling oaths. I shall quote the oath, that must be sworn when one receives the first degree of Masonry, that of the Entered Apprentice. “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 Saints John, do hereby and hereon, most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear that I will always hail, ever conceal and never reveal any of the secret arts, parts or points of the hidden mysteries of Ancient Freemasonry, which have been heretofore, may at this time, or shall at any future period, be communicated to me as such, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother of this degree, or within a regularly constituted Lodge of Masons, and neither unto him nor them, until by strict trial, due examination, or legal information, I shall have found him or them as lawfully entitled to the same as I myself. I furthermore promise and swear that I will not write, print, paint, stamp, stain, cut, carve, make nor engrave them nor cause the same to be done upon anything movable or immovable, capable of receiving the least impression of a word, syllable, letter or character, whereby the same may become legible or intelligible to any person under the canopy of heaven.” And mark the penalty attached to this oath: “All of this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution, to keep and perform the same without any equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion of mind whatever, binding myself under a no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots and buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this my solemn obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”
Every succeeding degree of Masonry has its own bloodthirsty oath and corresponding penalty. Thus the Fellow Craft swears to keep the secrets of Masonry “under a no less penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out and given as a prey to the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air.” The Past Master invokes the penalty of having his “tongue split from tip to roots,” and the Most Excellent Master swears to have his “heart taken out and exposed to rot on a dung-hill.” These are only a few samples of the shocking brutality and godlessness of the Masonic vows and penalties. Ridiculous, were they not so murderous and blasphemous. Obviously, they make of every Mason a potential murderer.
The evils in these oaths and in Masonry in general lie at the surface.
There is the grievous sin of being yoked together with unbelievers and professed infidels, on a basis that can satisfy the most vindictive Jew and the most hateful Mohammedan, and that under a yoke intended to be more binding than any relationship on earth. The lodge yoke presumes to be even more sacred than the marriage vow. A Mason’s fellow lodge – members are nearer to him than his own wife. He swears to keep the secrets of his order even from her. He may stay out all night, but may not divulge to her what took place. The lodge yoke supersedes the duty of a man to his church. Under no circumstances may a Mason discuss the doings and secrets of his lodge with a brother in Christ, or with his pastor, even in sickness and death.
Stronger even than the obligations of citizenship is the yoke of Freemasonry. Members of the order are sworn to show partiality to one another, even in preference to fellow members of the church of Christ. Masons are under oath to deliver one another from any kind of trouble, including, it seems, crime. The oath of the seventh degree Mason vows: “I will aid a companion Royal Arch Mason when engaged in any difficulty; and espouse his cause as far as to extricate him from the same, if in my power, whether he be right or wrong.” It is not difficult to imagine how this must effect the integrity of our judges, jurors, witnesses and policemen when dealing with fellow members of the Masonic order.
Finally, there is the element of their secrecy. It is well to remember, that much of their hullabaloo about deep and wonderful secrets is nothing but a hoax and so much Masonic “big talk.” Masonry dotes on bombast and sensationalism. That is revealed in all they say and do. Think only of all the fanfare connected with their funerals, and parades, the gaudy uniforms, the plumed hats, fezzes, scarlet sashes, white gloves and tin swords. Like so many children on a Halloween parade! Child-play; tomfoolery unworthy of a sane, self-respecting man; laughable, were it not so serious. In like manner they speak much of their marvelous secrets and men pay great sums of money for degrees on the claim that they will acquaint the candidate with wonderful secrets and lessons, which are never forthcoming. The Masonic oath speaks of “secret arts, parts or points of the hidden mysteries of Ancient Freemasonry.” More boastful talk! All the secret signs, grips, oaths, degrees and symbolism of Masonry are in print, and leading Masons themselves make use of the books available to anyone to study up on their own lodges. The secrets they do have pertain especially to their evil practices, the secrets revealed of and unto one another, and the ways and means they devise to promote their own interests wherever possible. With respect to these they are secret societies. These secrets they are pledged to keep until death. And such secrecy is out of hell. No Christian many or can possibly pledge fidelity to that which is not even known to him; much less can he swear to keep faith with that which he knows will involve him in all sorts of corruption. Besides, in this way of secrecy one withdraws himself from all the influence of the church and covers himself with a darkness which even the discipline of God’s church cannot penetrate. Only that which is of darkness need be kept secret. That which is of God can stand and seeks the light, even as God is light. How completely contrary to the principles of Scripture and the testimony of the Lord Jesus Himself, “In secret have I said nothing.”
More could be said, no doubt, in proof of what ha^ been adduced, but space does not permit. Even so, it should be evident, that Masonry and Christianity can never go together and no Mason can have a place in the church and at the table of our Lord Jesus Christ.