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Section 12A... The Occult/
Idol Worship

 

003white Index To Section 12A The Occult       >      Freemasonry

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Freemasonry
The Brotherhood.. The Lodge.. The Craft

Carol Brooks

Introduction.. A Word To Freemasons: In a world gone crazy even normal English words are given new meanings. A few years ago, the word tolerance had a completely different but accurate definition. Tolerance applies to how we treat people we disagree with, not how we treat ideas we think false. To argue that some views are false, incompatible with Christianity, or just plain silly does not violate any meaningful standard of tolerance and does NOT constitute an ‘attack’. To trash every one that has raised any objection against Masonry, is juvenile to say the least and certainly seems to set at naught the very ideals you say you stand for... A Mason “.. endeavours to oppose errors without arrogance” and “Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures”. Your words, not mine. [Sources [1] and [2]. While I would like to know if there are any factual mistakes in this article I will not accept any e-mails from any one other than a “true Freemason”.

Also See A Note to Christian Masons [below]
 

ON THIS PAGE

What is Freemasonry?
Overview
Degrees
Autonomy
Purpose
A Secret Society?
Humanitarianism

Whats all the Hoopla About?
The History and Origins of Freemasonry

The Charges Against Freemasonry
Assorted Charges
The Oaths
The Name of God and The Equilateral Triangle
Freemasonry and the Occult
Kaballah
The Letter G
Paganism
Deeper Significance
The Legend of Hiram

Albert Pike
Morals and Dogma [You Can’t Have It Both Ways]
Albert Pike And The Scottish Rite
About The The Scottish Rite

Connections to Ancient Egyptian Mythology & Islam
Symbolism of Various Degrees

The Daughters of Isis

The Shriners.. Introduction
Excerpts from the Ritual of The Shriners

Daughters of the Nile
Ancient Arabic Order of Daughters of the Sphinx
The Order of the Rainbow

Freemasonry and God
Belief In God
Is Masonry a Religion?

Is Freemasonry Compatible With Christianity?
I Am
Salvation
Born Again?
The Lambskin
The Death of a Mason

The Masonic Jesus
The Volume of The Sacred Law... The Bible?

Christian Lodges
Christian Lodges?

Conclusion
A Word to Christian Masons

 

What is Freemasonry?

With close to 34,000 lodges around the globe and a membership numbering upwards of 6 million, it the Encyclopedia Britannica calls Freemasonry the largest world-wide ‘secret’ society. Masons themselves refer to their organization as a Fraternity: [from the Latin words frater or brother] a group of people sharing a common profession or interests:

Overview: Biblical Discernment Ministries presents this overview of the actual organization ...

    “Masons have no national headquarters as such, but the largest regional is the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction (35 Southern states), which is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. U.S. membership is claimed at about 3.5 million, with about five million worldwide. The basic unit of Freemasonry is the lodge, which exists under a charter issued by a grand lodge exercising administrative powers. The lodges are linked together informally by a system of mutual recognition between lodges that meet the Masonic requirements. The lodge confers three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. Additional degrees are conferred by two groups of advanced Freemasonry: the York Rite, which awards 12 degrees; and the Scottish Rite, which awards 30 higher degrees. In the United States and Canada, members have formed a large number of groups to enable them to expand their social and charitable activities. The best known of these groups is the Shriners (official name: "Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine"), who hold festive parades and support hospitals for crippled and burned children. (To be a Shriner, one must be a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, or its equivalent in the York Rite [Knights Templar]). [The 33rd degree is an honorary degree bestowed upon especially worthy masons who have accomplished outstanding work in such fields as religion and politics.]”  [1] [TOP OF PAGE]
     

The Degrees.. The first three are the Entered Apprentice, FellowCraft, and Master Mason, all of which require the candidate to participate in an enacted drama and...

    “are a system of initiation that allows men to become familiar with the august and ancient history and principles of Masonry at a comfortable pace. Proceeding from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason in the US can take as little as three months, while in England, the degrees are spaced apart by a year's interval.” [2]

After completing the three degrees of Symbolic or Craft Masonry, a Master Mason can proceed down one of two branches… The Scottish Rite or the York Rite [consisting of Royal Arch Masons, Cryptic Masons, and Knights Templar]. The Scottish Rite includes the degrees from the 4° to the 32° and should be called additional degrees, rather than higher degrees. [TOP OF PAGE]

Autonomy: Masonic Lodges are largely autonomous with no central, unified authority

    “Masonic lodges still retain autonomy over their finances, activities, officer election, fundraising,
    and joining ceremonies. But administratively, each State or Province has a Grand Lodge which co-ordinates activities, serves as a central source of record keeping, and performs other administrative and policy functions for the fraternity. The state president is called the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. He has broad powers in overseeing the progress of the fraternity and while there is no national spokesperson for the fraternity, within his own state (Jurisdiction) he is the chief spokesman”. [3]

Purpose: For a little more about what they do, we turn to an official description...

    Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies, a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values, which does not solicit members. It is an organization of men bound together with a philosophy of moral standards, mutual understanding and brotherhood in which all men are on a level and equal. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons' customs and tools as allegorical guides. The purpose of Freemasonry is to enable men to meet in harmony, to promote friendship, and to be charitable. Its basic ideals are that all persons are the children of one God, that all persons are related to each other, and that the best way to worship God is to be of service to people. Membership is open to men of any race or religion who can fulfill this essential qualification and who are of good repute. The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership is a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden (as is any discussion about religion on Masonic premises). Freemasonry has been and is concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. Additionally, large sums are given to national and local charities. For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles: Brotherly Love, Relief (for the community as a whole), and Truth (requiring high moral standards). (Portions of this paragraph adapted from Grand Lodge of England’s official web site)

The Grand Lodge of Arizona says

    “One modern definition is: Freemasonry is an organized society of men, symbolically applying the principle of Operative Masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building. In other words, Masonry uses ageless methods and lessons to make each of us a better person”. [4] [TOP OF PAGE]
     

A Secret Society? Not really.

    “Freemasonry can’t be called a "secret society" in a literal sense. A truly secret society forbids its members to disclose that they belong to the organization, or that it even exists. Much of the Masonic ritual is in books called "Monitors" that are widely available, even in public libraries. Most Freemasons wear rings and lapel pins which clearly identify them as members of the fraternity. Masonic lodges are listed in public phone books, Masonic buildings are clearly marked, and in many areas of the country Masonic lodges place signs on the roads leading into town, along with civic organizations, showing the time and place of meetings.” [5]

The mission of Freemasonry in North Carolina states

    "Masonry is not a secret society, it is a society with secrets." Freemasonry does have some secrets it attempts to preserve. It has secret modes of recognition, which enable its members to quickly recognize each other as Masons upon their first meeting. The value of these secrets to members away from home is fairly obvious and it does not seem unnatural that the fraternity should wish to preserve them.

    And Masonry has its secret ritual, its mode of instructing new members in the three symbolic degrees. This ritual originated, in large part, with the old cathedral builders earlier mentioned and has been handed down over the centuries. Most of the secret rituals are based upon writings in the Holy Bible and the writings of other great philosophers, so they are secret only in their unique adaptation and presentation. This ritualistic mode of instruction has proven remarkably effective over the centuries and its use, being peculiar to Freemasonry, has kept the fraternity apart from those that would imitate it.” [6] [TOP OF PAGE]
     

Humanitarianism: In addition the Masonic Lodge is well known for it’s philanthropy. Among much else, they sponsor an extensive program of Dentistry for Children with Special Needs, centers to help children with dyslexia and run the Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center. They give

    “... almost $1.5 million each day to causes that range from operating children’s hospitals, providing treatment for childhood language disorders, treating eye diseases, funding medical research, contributing to local community service, and providing care to Masons and their families at Masonic Homes. [7] [TOP OF PAGE]

All this sounds pretty good so
 

What’s All The Hoopla About?
Among other acts of opposition Freemasonry has been attacked by the Catholic Church, Masonic lodges were shut down after the Russian revolution, and the group was banned by the Nazis shortly after Adolph Hitler’s rise to power (He called them servants of the Jews).. From the 1820's through the 1840's there was an official political party in the United States called the Anti-Masonic Party, which existed for the primary purpose of trying to eliminate Freemasonry in America. In fact, for what it’s worth, the Ayatollah Khomeini apparently wasn’t too impressed either.

It is difficult to equate Christianity with some of the often nasty, semi-hysterical charges I have seen leveled at Freemasonry. [Many Christian sites seem to carry similar information to each other, with very little new to add]... but on the other hand the hyperbole is not limited to ‘anti-Masons’. I have read sadly biased and some very odious statements on Masonic sites... from referring to Christians as bigots, to denigrating the Born Again experience, with plenty in between. For example I recently read the following.

    “It was also pointed out that many religious extremist groups had very high hopes for a major catastrophic event to occur at the beginning of the new millennium. When nothing they had anticipated occurred, their anger, frustration, and disappointment were unleashed in the form of attacks on groups they label as anti-Christian or involved in a "worldwide conspiracy" to take over the world. When this happens, Freemasonry is almost always at the top of their "enemies" list”. [8]

Good Grief! In the first place there was no ‘anger’ and ‘frustration’ at the turn of the century and one would have to be nuts to be “disappointed” that a catastrophic event had not occurred. Secondly Freemasonry has been opposed by the church for a LONG time now, not just for the last eight years, Third there is no “enemies list” and even if there were one, Freemasonry would not be anywhere near the top. Lastly you really do not know the difference between being opposed to the practices of a group and an “attack”. The above words are juvenile in the extreme.

Certainly neither camp is doing very much to promote a civil exchange, leave alone ‘brotherly love’. The truth is the truth and Scripture provides the only guidelines to all things spiritual. Hopefully a measure of common sense supplies the rest.

By the way [IPS] is not a profit-making businesses masquerading as a ministry. We are not influenced by any one’s opinion, have no axe to grind, nothing to sell and nothing to gain except the "well done" bit. We certainly do not make a penny off this web site.

Masons will all too often quote positive statements made about Masonry by famous Masons [including Christian pastors and ministers of different denominations] seemingly to declare that if it was good enough for Benjamin Franklin, Thurgood Marshall, Jimmy Carter, Bob Dole and an un-named pastor from the United Methodist church, it’s good enough for them. This is a very dangerous game for the Christian to play... There have been many oft quoted minds throughout the course of Christian history from Calvin and Luther to C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards, but every one’s words have to pass the test of compatibility with the Scriptures. The words of Ben F. were simply his opinion and little more. In this day and age when apostasy runs virtually unchallenged through the church, with too many feel good/wishy washy [if not downright heretical] messages, emanating from the pulpit... even the words of a pastor have to be examined through Scripture’s glasses.

Sadly, I was recently asked [by a past Grand Bible Bearer and a Christian to boot] how the Fraternity conducts its affairs was even any of my business, unless I was considering joining “this distinguished group of dedicated servants”. I was further told “The fact that millions of good, Christian men are now and have been Freemasons speaks for itself”.

Unfortunately this is not quite the case. There are millions of good men [and women] who have been totally taken by many many other organizations, including the church of Rome, a fact that does not make it any less of a cult [Defined as any major deviation from orthodox Christianity on many cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith].

I was also called a Neo-Fundamentalist for asking the the essential question, which is, and always will be

Can a Christian can, in good conscience, become or remain a Mason..

Trying to tread a sane path through this quagmire is not easy and the fact that the Masons have no unified, central authority makes it just that much more difficult. Regardless of the fact that it is quite unlikely that satan bursts through the floor at Lodge meetings, there are more than a few thoughts, ideas and practices behind Freemasonry that have to give the honest seeker much more than a moment of pause. [TOP OF PAGE]


The History and Origins of Freemasonry
Although the origins of Freemasonry is likely never going to be established with any degree of certainty, legend and story places the beginnings anywhere from the building of King Solomon's Temple to the mid-1600s (The first Grand Lodge was established in London in 1717). However the author and historian John Robertson, who had special interest in the Crusades and Medieval Britain made some interesting discoveries...

On a quest to understand certain aspects of the Peasants Revolution of 1381 which saw more than 100,000 men march on London, a revolt which showed many signs of being very well organized. But little was known about the force behind it. During his research into the history of the Knights Templar to examine whether there were any links between the suppressed Knights and the secret society behind the Peasants Revolt, Robinson did not initially realize how much he was going to turn up in the way of connections between the Knights Templar and the Free Masons. In a thoroughly believable book.. ‘Born In Blood The Lost Secrets Of Freemasonry’ one bit of evidence after another is soundly documented including plausible origins for many of the terms peculiar to The Masonic Lodge.

Why have I included this in a Christian site? Simply because if Freemasonry did indeed derive from The Knights Templar, many issues related to Masonry emerge from the shrouds of obscurity. For example, if the Knights were simply a secret society of former warrior monks, who, turned on by the Church and King, were dedicated to the very survival of their members, the ‘secrecy’ and other mysterious traditions of the Lodge becomes understandable.

Also, many of Freemasons unique terms come only make sense when traced back to medieval French (which is what the Knights Templar spoke). How many realize that our tennis term ‘love’ originated as ‘oeuf’, the French term for egg. Similarly Masonic meeting are protected by a ‘Tyler’ who protects from “Cowans and Eavesdropers”. The word couenne in French (koo-WAHN) means ‘igmoramus’, which makes perfect sense.. The Lodge was being protected from ignoramus’. These words have largely been handed down orally which makes subtle changes to the pronunciation inevitable..

Whether the author was a Mason or not is beside the point.. It is a book well worth reading if you are a Mason, interested in the origins of Freemasonry or simply a history buff.  [TOP OF PAGE]
 

The Charges Against Freemasonry
Assorted Charges
In the 21st century the charges brought against Freemasonry are many and varied...

    From The Far Out ...The ultimate god of Freemasonry is satan himself ... something dark and sinister goes on inside of Masonic lodges... Freemasons are involved in a conspiracy to bring about an atheistic one-world government.. The Ku Klux Klan are related to Freemasonry (Many founding members of the KKK were supposed to be Masons who used their knowledge to develop an infrastructure for the KKK using secret hand grips, signals etc).

The eye in the pyramid (inscribed on the dollar bill) is often cited as ‘proof’ that Masons are somehow involved in a gigantic conspiracy to impose a new world order. However the pyramid is not a Masonic symbol and the eye is an ancient symbol of the "Eye of Providence" occasionally found on very old cathedrals such as The Aachen Cathedral in Germany, constructed more than a thousand years ago. The words "Annuit Coeptis" found on the dollar bill is translated by the U.S. State Department as He has favored our undertakings. The Lodge does use the symbol of an eye in a triangle, called the All-Seeing Eye.

    To The Ridiculous... Jack the Ripper was a Mason (Ummm! we have not been able to even identify Jack the Ripper, far less state what fraternity he belonged to)

    To The Far Less Colourful, but Undoubtedly Serious ... Freemasonry is a religion... Freemasonry derives from ancient pagan religions and preaches a different Gospel... Freemasonry is Cabalistic [Has a secret or hidden meaning] ...Freemasonry has ties to the occult.

    Pentagrams and Worshipful Masters. People have pointed fingers at the so called secret rituals and the fact that the ‘pentagram’ is found in some Grand Lodge seals and on the collar of office worn by the Masters of lodges and Grand Masters of Grand Lodges. (This ‘pentagram’ is conspicuous by it’s absence in the ritual and lessons of Freemasonry) and that the ‘Master’ of the Lodge is called ‘The Worshipful Master’. First it is unlikely that "Worshipful" is any more than an English term of respect which has the same meaning as "Honorable." [We do have "Concert Masters" after all]. And not all stars are pentagrams. I believe the star in question is called the Eastern Star, with symbolism other than that of Satanic associations.

It is also said that Masons

    “conceal each other's crimes”,

    “deliver each other from difficulty, whether right or wrong”,

    “unduly favor Masonry in political action and in business matters” and

    “Freemasonry is a virtual conspiracy against both Church and State”.

As best I can tell.. most of these ‘conspiracy’ allegations are made without any accompanying evidence. However The Royal Arch Ritual does include the words [Emphasis Added]

    “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 whether he be right or wrong.”

On the other hand the Entered Apprentice is charged..

    "to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing or countenancing any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; by paying due obedience to the laws under whose protection you live, and by never losing sight of the allegiance due to your country... to practice the domestic and public virtues. Let Temperance chasten, Fortitude support, and Prudence direct you, and let Justice be the guide of all your actions. Be especially careful to maintain, in their fullest splendor, those truly Masonic ornaments, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth." In the charge given to all Masons at the close of the meetings, it is emphasized again: "These generous principles extend further, for every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all." [9]  [TOP OF PAGE]
     

The Oaths
Much has also been said about the admittedly gruesome oaths taken as part of the Masonic initiation ceremonies, some of which are sworn “in the presence of God”. In the Ritual of the 18th Degree. the candidate says...

    I, ..., in the presence of God, Creator of the universe, and calling upon these my brethren as witnesses, do upon this sacred book, most solemnly and sincerely promise that I will never illegally reveal any or either of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to the several degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite from the first to the seventeenth both inclusive, which heretofore have been known by me, shall now, or may at any future time be communicated to me. [10]

Certainly no Mason swears to inflict the penalties himself, but calls them down on his own head should he break his solemn promises. There is absolutely no indication as to who is supposed to carry out the dreadful punishments, nor is there any indication that the punishments are self inflicted. It is also entirely possible that Masons of previous centuries believed that God Himself decreed disemboweling as punishment for betrayal as in the case of Judas.

Additionally if, as it seems extremely likely, some aspects of Freemasonry originated with the Knights Templar (See Origins of Freemasonry above) it is entirely understandable as to why the penalties for betrayal of another Knight were so severe. The betrayed Knight(s) suffered far worse consequences. Having one’s tongue torn out may be beyond the furtherest dimensions that our minds are capable of reaching but this, and worse, was not unknown to the 14th Century Christian. In fact during the ‘Black Death’ the third offense for blasphemy was the loss of the tongue... (You had already lost your lips).

For Templars in hiding, the violent penalties for breaking the oath made very good sense as it provided a measure of security in the fact that a person was willing (in the presence of God) be dealt with so cruelly rather than give up a brother, who would have possibly faced a worse fate..

So why, in this day and age, are the ancient oaths still kept alive especially since no modern day Mason can possibly believe that any of the ghastly retribution will ever fall on his head. (The worst that can happen today is expulsion from The Lodge) The only answer is tradition.. A tradition, the origins of which are shrouded in the mists of antiquity, is mysterious, dramatic and, lets face it, contributes towards the feeling that one is a member of a very special group.

Many Christians claim that the Bible tells us not to swear at all.. However this is not exactly true. In the words of the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, often known as a standard by which other Biblical encyclopedias are measured

    “The oath is the invoking of a curse upon one's self if one has not spoken the truth (Matthew 26:74), or if one fails to keep a promise (1 Samuel 19:6; 1 Samuel 20:17; 2 Samuel 15:21; 2 Samuel 19:23). It played a very important part, not only in lawsuits (Exodus 22:11; Leviticus 6:3, Leviticus 6:5) and state affairs (Ant., XV, x, 4), but also in the dealings of everyday life (Genesis 24:37; Genesis 50:5; Judges 21:5; 1 Kings 18:10; Ezra 10:5). The Mosaic laws concerning oaths were not meant to limit the widespread custom of making oaths, so much as to impress upon the people the  sacredness of an oath, forbidding on the one hand swearing falsely (Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12; Zechariah 8:17, etc.), and on the other swearing by false gods, which latter was considered to be a very dark sin (Jeremiah 12:16; Amos 8:14)….. Swearing in the name of the Lord (Genesis 14:22; Deuteronomy 6:13; Judges 21:7; Ruth 1:17, etc.) was a sign of loyalty to Him (Deuteronomy 10:20; I Samuel 48:11; Jeremiah 12:16).

    That oaths are permissible to Christians is shown by the example of our Lord (Matthew 26:63 f), and of Paul (2 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:20) and even of God Himself (Hebrews 6:13-18). Consequently when Christ said, “Swear not at all” (Matthew 5:34), He was laying down the principle that the Christian must not have two standards of truth, but that his ordinary speech must be as sacredly true as his oath. In the kingdom of God, where that principle holds sway, oaths become unnecessary”.

The Zondervan Bible Dictionary says

    “By the time of Christ the OT law regarding oaths (Exodus 22:11) was much perverted by the scribes, and Jesus therefore condemned indiscriminate and light taking of oaths. The lawfulness of oaths is recognized by the apostles, who called on God to witness to the truth of what they said (2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:20).”

Additionally there are many oaths a Christian may be called on to make. Serving in the Armed Forces requires the soldier to be to swear he/she will support and defend the constitution, obey the President and all this according to the ‘regulations and uniform code of military justice. So help me God”. (doesn’t UCMJ mandate the death penalty for some offences?). Courts of law also requires a person to take the oath that they will “tell the truth, the whole truth .... SO HELP ME GOD”. God is called on to be a witness in both cases in spite of the fact that the military oath binds believer and non believer. All doctors take the Hippocratic oath. While ministers often believe that Christians are forbidden to take an oath under any circumstances, they daily perform ceremonies in which the couple make their vows in the sight of God and man. Can a Christian who believes oaths are wrong refuse to take one in a court of law, after graduating medical school or boot camp? I believe not and certainly not many seem to make a point of it..

In any case we have at least two examples of oaths taken in the New Testament [Emphasis Added]

    “Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie”. [Galatians 1:20]

    “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets”. [Revelation 10:5-7]

Now how likely is it that Paul and the angel didn’t know they were never supposed to swear at all? [TOP OF PAGE]
 

The Name of God
One of the more serious charges brought up against the Brotherhood lies in the Royal Arch ritual which is supposed to reveal the Supreme Being’s true name as Jahbulon (Yahbulon). The controversy has raged back and forth as to what this word means. (No one knows how the word Jahbulon was pronounced through many years of an oral tradition. The last syllable has been spelled on, om, or un). Critics say It is a compound word in four languages [Chaldee, Hebrew, Syriac, and Egyptian] all meaning God. Others claim the name is an amalgam of three gods worshipped in the ancient Middle East,

    Jah [Yahweh] the Hebrew name for God,
    Bel [Ba’al] the Babylonian god 
    On thought to be Osiris the Egyptian god.

Incidentally Ba’al is a Hebrew word which means Lord, and is more of a title than a name. It is very unclear how many different deities in the Old Testament were referred to by this name.


The Equilateral Triangle is an important symbol of the Holy Royal Arch Degree. As the story goes, the secret name of God was inscribed on an equilateral triangle on a gold plate in a hidden vault.. [The jewel of the Knight on the Ninth or Royal Arch alludes to this plate]. The history of the degree reads as follows. [Insert in Italics Added]

    “Enoch, [sixth in descent from Adam] had a vision in which “The Deity appeared to him in visible shape, and said to him “Enoch, thou hast longed to know my true name: arise and follow me, and thou shalt know it.”

    “Enoch accepted “his vision as inspiration” and built in the land of Canaan a “modest temple” to the Grand Architect. “Upon a triangular plate of gold, inlaid with precious gems, he engraved the ineffable (too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words) name of God and sank the plate into one face of a cube of agate.” A brass column also built by him was later found by Moses who “engraved the ineffable name upon a plate of gold and deposited it in the ark of the covenant. [known only to Aaron, Joshua and the chief priests]. Later the Ark fell in a battle with the king of Syria, but the Israelites were led to it by a roaring lion with a “golden key in it’s mouth”. “Hence, upon the golden key worn by the treasurer, you see the initials of these words: “In arc leonis verbuminveni”. “In the lion’s mouth I found the word.””  [11]

There are several references to the “lost” word in the ritual of the 18th degree. For example

    "To respect the decrees of providence, to render worship to God alone, and with all humility and patience to endeavour to recover the Word." [12]

In the final analysis there is absolutely no consensus even among Masonic researchers as to the meaning of the word or even the word itself. For example...

    Early French versions of the Royal Arch degree relate a Masonic legend, or allegory, in which Jabulon was the name of an explorer, living in the time of Solomon, who discovered the ruins of an ancient temple. Within the ruins he found a gold plate upon which the name of God (Jehovah) was engraved. The context of these rituals makes it quite clear that the two names are never equated, and the name of God is always spoken in reverence, just as it is in the fictional works Ben Hur and The Robe. As there are variants of this ritual different forms of the explorer's name are also found (Jabulum, Guibulum, etc.). [13]

I also found a web site outlining the Ritual for Exaltation into Royal Arch Chapter, which says says the sacred name is Jehovah. They also state at the top of the page [in Dutch] that this ritual is most commonly used in England, with slight differences in the Netherlands. [14]

Incidentally Jehovah is not, and never has been the name of God. the term "Jehovah" is actually a erroneous reading of the Hebrew pronunciation of God, or YAHWEH, which is a proposed English reading of the name of the God in the Hebrew Old Testament. Ancient Hebrew contained no written vowels as distinct letters. The Scribes knew what vowels to use in the pronunciation of the words by the construction of the consonants, the context, and memory. It was written this way until the fifth century when the Masoretes added the vowels under the consonants in their version of the Old Testament known as the Masoretic Text.

    “The name of God in the Old Testament spelled YHWH, was considered holy, and was not to be read aloud. Instead, when the Hebrews came upon YHWH, they would say ADONAY, which means "Lord." In order to indicate this substitution, the Masoretes placed the vowels of ADONAY or the English equivalent of e, o, and a under the consonants of YHWH. Later Christian translators mistakenly combined the vowels of ADONAY with the consonants of YHWH producing the word "Jehovah." The term is recognized to be a late hybrid form never used by the Jews.” [15]

A Description, Not A Name? Others contend that the words on the triangle are intended as a description of God, not His name, ie. a compound of three Hebrew terms: Yah, I AM, which indicates eternal existence, bul, on high, in heaven and on, strength; pronouncing three aspects or qualities of Deity... Eternal Existence, Transcendence, and Omnipotence. But, considering the history of this part of the ritual and that many printed rituals refer to the letters on the triangle as a name, this is questionable. Although..

    “...there are many other rituals which stress that the circle contains the name of God, and the triangle contains descriptive words” [16]

So for the record ... In Holy Writ God called Himself by a number of titles and names, none of which were Jahbuhlon nor Jehovah. Nor is it even hinted at in the Bible that the Lord seeks to reveal His true name to only a chosen few. There is no ‘hidden knowledge in Christianity and no rites of passage to obtain knowledge more than ones peers, which is gnosticism not Christianity. [Gnostics believe that they have secret knowledge about God, humanity and the rest of the universe of which the general population is unaware]. [TOP OF PAGE]
 

Freemasonry and the Occult?
Manly P. Hall [1901-1990], a 33rd degree Mason [well known for his The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy] was one of the early authors who claimed a pagan origin for Freemasonry. In his book entitled The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, he says that Freemasonry is not a material thing: it is a universal expression of the Divine Wisdom. [Emphasis Added]

    "The Masonic order is not a mere social organization, but is composed of all those who have banded themselves together to learn and apply the principles of mysticism and the occult rites."

Masonicinfo [17] says since Manly P. Hall wrote this book thirty one years before he became a Mason...

    “.. it can easily be seen that the book represents merely the personal theories of a non-Mason”
     he was a “self-avowed mystic and hardly a "leading authority" of Freemasonry”.  “his writings have not received official sanction by any Masonic body”

Official Sanction? I thought no Mason spoke for any other Mason or Lodge, and that there was no central or unified authority… Perhaps I missed something here. But it really does not matter since the Masonicinfo viewpoint is apparently not shared by other Masons unengaged in ‘defending the faith’ so to speak. A reviewer on Amazon.com  [a Mason in Fairfax, VA] addresses the fact that Hall was not a Mason when he wrote the book… He says

    “…I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, because, Mr. Hall's explanation of the meaning of the degrees, and previous mystic experiences, is one that seems quite valid as an interpretation and really more than valid, even highly inspiring and noble.” [K. D Kirk]

Other reviewers state [All Emphasis Added]

    “Manly P. Hall was not yet a Mason when he wrote this book, and yet he was able to clearly see
    the very essence of the Craft
    , and what it has come to mean in modern times. This is a beautiful essay which has inspired me to go back to my lodge after many years. ” [Scott Gaertner]

    “It puts Freemasonry and the degrees in a light you probably won't get otherwise but every
    Master Mason should experience
    . ” [blind_abraxas']

    “He details some of the spiritual aspects of the hidden meanings of Masonry and the ancient
    origins from-which the modern fraternity receives it's wisdom. The Foreward is by Reynold E. Blight, 33rd degree, K.T. & the illustrations are by J. Augustus Knapp, 32nd degree.... Obviously, this man is
    viewed as a Great, within the ranks of the Fraternity
    ”. [Graham Lincoln]

Interestingly the book was also read by someone who describes himself as a “Fundamentalist Christian”, who ‘willingly admits he is no fan of Freemasonry’ but who brings up the fact that Hall “didn’t see a need to change anything in the book after becoming a Freemason’ [a very telling point]. He goes on to say

    “The book is considered today to be accurate, factual, and authoritative by many Masons to this day, even though a non-Mason (at the time) wrote it! The fact that his previous occult knowledge plus reading a few books on Masonry was enough background for him to write knowledgeably on the connection between Freemasonry and the occult mysteries should tell you something…”

Furthermore
In an article called Is Masonry Occultic? author Hank Hanegraaff says [Emphasis Added]...

    “Christian author John Weldon lists five ways in which Freemasonry fosters occultic involvement among its members: First, Freemasonry supports the now-popular New Age dictum that man houses within himself unlimited power that can be unlocked using specific procedures. Second, Freemasonry espouses a philosophy and a system of symbols which bear a striking resemblance to many of the occultic arts — for example kabbalism, Rosicrucianism, and hermetic philosophy. Third, Freemasonry encourages its members to discover the deeper significance (or “esoteric truths”) lying beneath its ceremonies and symbols. Fourth, Freemasonry promotes the development of altered states of consciousness, an exercise rooted in mysticism. Finally, a number of Masons regard their organization as the vehicle that will lead the world into an age of occultic enlightenment”.

    “Why are so many Masons unaware of this side of Freemasonry?,” one may well ask. The reason is that a large portion of Masons seldom strive to advance beyond the initial ranks or degrees offered within their organization. But as one progresses to higher degrees, more and more details about the underlying foundations of Masonic ideology are gradually revealed, including its occultic dimensions. It is therefore imperative that we warn others about the dangers brewing beneath the surface of the Masonic Lodge”.

While it may not be possible to investigate all the charges listed above, the first, second and third seem far from baseless.
 

1) The first allegation is that that man houses within himself unlimited power. The Kentucky Monitor says...[Emphasis Added]

    “The three really great rituals of the human race are the Prajapati ritual of ancient Hinduism, the Mass of the Christian [Roman Catholic] Church, and the Third Degree of Masonry. Together they testify to the profoundest insight of the human soul: that God becomes man that man may become God!”  [18]
     

2) The second charge is that Masonry bears a striking resemblance to Occult Arts...

Kaballah: is the name of an occult philosophy and theosophy that developed among Jews in Babylonia, and later Italy, Provence, and Spain, between the sixth and thirteenth centuries A.D. The word “Cabala” means “to receive,” and refers to heavenly revelation received by Jews and passed on to succeeding generations through oral tradition Details].

The California Masons have a section on ‘Masonic Education’ on their site [freemason.org]. In the booklet for The Master Mason degree, a section entitled Kabbalistic Allusions Of The Third Degree [The Master Mason Degree] states [Emphasis Added]

    “Traditional Jewish mysticism known as Kabbala, and particularly its use of Gematria, often provides interesting clues to the interpretation of passages of Scripture. Since much of our ritual is derived from Scripture, many Masonic scholars see various Kabbalistic allusions throughout the rituals of Freemasonry.”   [19]

Mastermason.com talks about the Symbolism Of The Master Mason Degree [Emphasis Added]

    “After ceremonies in the first section which seem quite familiar, the candidate partakes of the central Mystery Drama of our Fraternity. The very nature of participating in this rite and assuming the role of the Grand Master Hiram Abiff is to forge a link with the inner soul of our Fraternity. And as our legend is completely and absolutely consistent with some of the august Mystery Schools of antiquity, we are communing with the archetypal forces that are the foundation of our tradition. And at least in some small way, we may momentarily forget who we were when we entered the Holy of Holies and realize who we really are”.

And goes on to speak of the “Qabalistic Allusions Of The Third Degree” [Emphasis Added]

    “The system of Traditional Jewish Mysticism known as Qabalah often provides important clues to
    the interpretation of passages of Scripture. Since much of our ritual is derived from Scripture, there
    are certain very interesting Qabalistic allusions throughout the rituals of Freemasonry
    …. Using the Qabalistic discipline of gematria, the Hebrew spelling of Hiram Abiff equals the number 273. So does the Hebrew word for “Hidden Light”. And the phrase found in Psalms 118:22 “the stone refused by the builders” also adds up to 273. Sometimes Gematria can cross languages, too. For example, the Greek word athanasia, which means “immortality,” also equals 273. From the standpoint of gematria, the message could not be clearer. [20]

And a paper presented to the Allied Masonic Degrees Britannia Lodge #303, on March 3, 1996 by Thomas Worrell says [Emphasis Added]..

    A careful look at many of the rites and rituals of Freemasonry reveals that there is indeed much kabbalistic influence to be found there. Some of our rites have obvious kabbalistic influence, such as the 28th degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite which is called: "The Knight of the Sun". [21] [TOP OF PAGE]
     

The Letter “G”
The reason that The letter “G” is so prominently displayed in Masonic lodges is revealed to the candidate In The Fellowcraft or second degree. They are told that “it is the initial of Geometry as well as the initial of the name of the Supreme Being”. The obvious question, to which even Masonic historians do not have all the answers, is why Geometry is given such an important place. Several theories have been put forth in Mastermason.com [All Emphasis Added]

    “…It is thought that the Egyptians became skilled at surveying because the annual flooding of the Nile obliterated boundary markers in their fields. They had to set out and calculate new boundaries each year. The Greeks named this skill Geometry, or “earth measurement…”

    “Pythagoras and his Society, and later, Plato and his Academy, raised Geometry to a sacred science of discovering the nature of reality and through it the Deity. We have such statements from Plato as: “Geometry rightly treated is the knowledge of the eternal.”

And also: “Geometry must ever tend to draw the soul towards the truth.”

    “There are some Masonic researchers who think that the letter “G” represents a little known method of Biblical interpretation known as gematria” [22]. [TOP OF PAGE]
     

Paganism:
The Texas Monitor seems quite clear that Masonry is related to ancient paganism.. [Emphasis Added]

    These [aspects and teachings of Masonry] were practiced from remote ages, in ancient temples of many nations....The most learned among Masonic scholars...conclude that Masonry is of very ancient origin, and is, in some aspects, the modern successor of, and heir to, the sublime Mysteries of the Temple of Solomon, and of the Temples of India, Chaldea, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as the basic doctrine of the Essenes, Gnostics and other mystic Orders. [23]

And advises that

    every candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry, at the proper time and in an appropriate manner, should be taught the truth that the rite of Initiation means much more than a formal ceremonial progress through the Degrees....Initiation is to be attained only after real labor, deep study, profound meditation, extensive research and a constant practice of those virtues which will open a true path to moral, intellectual, and spiritual illumination. [24]

Profound meditation? Spiritual illumination? That’s some fraternity!

    Please Note: I have read that the monitors are “routinely revised to more clearly reflect the current beliefs of the jurisdiction” [David Vs. Goliath. David S. Julian. Past Grand Musician, Free & Accepted Masons of Washington]. Apparently the Washington Monitor and Freemason's Guide has ‘already been through 17 revisions since 1976’ [ibid.] However this does not hold true for others. In a private e-mail, the Worshipful Master of a Lodge in Arizona says that their Monitor “was compiled in 1717 by a Presbyterian Minister” and hasn’t had any significant modifications since.
     


3) The Third Charge is that Freemasonry encourages its members to discover the deeper significance (or “esoteric truths”) lying beneath its ceremonies and symbols.

The web site of the California Masons says the following...

    “The search for “that which was lost” is not necessarily for a particular word. Our search is a symbol for our feeling of loss or self-imposed exile from the Divine. The search is ultimately for Divine truth…. In the Craft lodges, there is a substitute for the true Word. Each initiate must ultimately seek out and find the true Word for himself, through his own individual efforts. Some Masonic scholars speculate that the names of the three ruffians provide a hint at the lost Word. Indeed, there is an allusion to the sacred syllable of the Vedic texts found in these names. Either way, the true Word is a symbol, or manifestation, of that higher order that maintains the world.” Emphasis Added. [25] 

Further emphasized by

The Legend of Hiram Abiff
comes into play in The Master Mason or third degree. Each man being initiated portrays Hiram in the ritual. In the legend Hiram Abiff, supposedly the principal architect of King Solomon's Temple, is unjustly murdered by fellow craftsmen [ruffians], buried and raised from the grave. [The story is said to have more in common with the mythological one of Osiris and Isis than with anything remotely Biblical].

Mastermason says [Emphasis Added]

    Hiram Abiff is, in essence, identical with many of the Mystery School heroes. The drama of the Egyptian god Osiris began with his tragic death, the search for his body by Isis, its discovery and restoration. The Greek god Dionysus was attacked by the Titans. In the course of the fight he went through many transformations but was finally overcome. The Titans dismembered him, but in due time the goddess Rhea came to his aid and he rose glorious and entire. This formula is ancient. It is the concept of the sacred king, who in many instances is lame (which signifies his dedication), and is destined for sacrifice, that the earth might become regenerated and uplifted by divine power.”

Freemason.org talks of the experience [a rebirth] which makes the meaning of the mysteries clear. [All Emphasis Added]

    “The Hiramic legend has at its heart the slaying and symbolic restoration of an ideal of purity and order. Because the legend of the Grand Master Hiram Abiff is consistent with the teachings and rites of the Ancient Mystery Schools, the participant of the Masonic rite communes with the archetypal forces that are the foundation of human spiritual tradition.

    Initiation into the Ancient Mysteries was not simply a means of attaining intellectual knowledge, or “learning” (mathein in ancient Greek). Aristotle wrote that it was actually the  “experience”    (pathein), and not knowledge learned, that allowed the initiate to comprehend the secret meaning of the mysteries. This enlightening, transformative experience has generally been termed rebirth, or renatus in Latin, and appears to be the central theme of the most important rituals of almost all the Ancient Mystery Schools as well as modern initiatic organizations. [Master Mason Handbook. The Hiramic Legend And Rebirth”. [26]

And (The word Sublime was emphasized in the original. Other Emphasis Added)

    “The Master Mason degree is the crown of the Ancient Craft lodge. It is the culmination of all that has been taught and revealed to the candidate in the two preceding degrees…. After having symbolically mastered the intellectual and philosophical arts and sciences and crossed the threshold from the outer to the inner, from the material to the spiritual, he became ready to be raised to the Sublime degree of Master Mason…. Being raised to the Sublime degree refers to being exalted or elevated. It also means to undergo sublimation that, like distillation, requires a volatilization of a substance that rises and re-forms at a higher level. The significance of this degree is the portrayal of the removal of everything that keeps us from rising to that state where the soul communes with the Divine. It also represents a symbolic rebirth into the spiritual world, the true abode of the soul.” [27]

And in describing the aim of the ritual of the Master Mason degree the Monitor of South Carolina states.. [All Emphasis Added]

    “It was the single object of all the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness. . .to teach the immortality of the Soul. This is still the great design of the third degree of Masonry. This is the scope and aim of its ritual. The Master Mason represents man, when youth, manhood, old age, and life itself have passed away as fleeting shadows, yet raised from the grave of iniquity, and quickened into another and better existence. By its legend and all its ritual, it is implied that we have been redeemed from the death of sin and the sepulchre of pollution. . . .and the conclusion we arrive at is, that youth, properly directed, leads [us to the honorable and virtuous maturity, and that] the life of man, regulated by morality, faith, and justice, will be rewarded at its closing hour by the prospect of eternal bliss. . . The important design of the degree is to symbolize the great doctrines of the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul; and hence it has been remarked by a learned writer of our order, that the Master Mason represents a man saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised to the faith of salvation”. [28]

The Lost Word

    The focal point, around which this Degree’s allegory centers, is the legend of Hiram Abif. The lost word is perhaps the most important symbol of this allegory. A missing or lost word is a common motif in the histories of many ancient cultures, especially the ancient Hebrews. In Freemasonry the lost word has become a symbol of the never ending search for light, or truth, which is another way to say the search for unity or oneness with God. [29]  [TOP OF PAGE]

How does any Christian Mason get around the words that the legend and ritual of the Master Mason implies that the initiate has “been redeemed from the death of sin” and that the “Master Mason represents a man saved from the grave of iniquity”? This is a lie of immense proportions and, symbolic or not, seeks to usurps the place and authority of the only one capable of redeeming a person from the power of death, No one has to be a Master Mason to be rewarded with eternal bliss, and going through the rituals of the Master Mason does not mean you will be saved.


Albert Pike.. Morals and Dogma [You Can’t Have It Both Ways]
An oft-quoted Mason, Albert Pike was a student of Harvard and Brigadier-General in the Confederate Army (A rather large statue of him stands in Judiciary Square Washington, DC). He was also leader of the Scottish Rite in the southern United States and the author of Morals and Dogma (out of print) published in 1871. (I have no idea whether Pike was a KKK member but this is beside the point).  In quoting Pike many that are opposed to Masonry call Morals and Dogma the ‘Masonic Bible’, which leads one to believe that it forms the core of the beliefs of the Lodge or at least exerts significant influence over Freemasonry today.

However is this the case? While on the one hand, it is fairly apparent that many Masons have never heard of Pike, and very few have made their way through an obviously ponderous and very hefty (800+ pages) tome which, apparently rambles and is unlikely to be anyone’s idea of a spending a pleasant couple of hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon... . .

On the other hand The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Jacksonville, Florida in talking about the book A Bridge to Light by Dr. Rex Hutchens seems quite clear that M & D is the cornerstone of Freemasonry. They state that Dr. Hutchens … [Emphasis Added]

    “summarizes our Scottish Rite Degrees and assists in a ready understanding and appreciation of our Ritual. Also, it frequently returns to the great cornerstone of our Order, Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma, by presenting eloquent quotations that clearly fix the meanings of each of the Degrees and places them within the context of the modern era… A copy of this book is provided to each new Fourteenth Degree initiate in the Southern Jurisdiction” [30].

By the way, Pike says in M & D

    The first Masonic Legislator whose memory is preserved to us by history, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years before the Christian era, reformed the religion of Manous. [31] [TOP OF PAGE]
     

Albert Pike And The Scottish Rite
The heart of continuity for the Masonic Craft is centered in the Ritual, a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. Albert Pike was single handedly responsible for rewriting the Ritual of the Scottish Rite. Note that Morals and Dogma and Pike’s revision of the Scottish Rite are separate works.

While I reiterate that not many have ever read ‘Morals and Dogma’, many many Masons go through the rites shaped by Pike..

    “The Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction recognizes in its fraternal relations 40 Supreme Councils and four National Grand Lodges practicing the Rites that include the Scottish Rite, in different countries throughout the world” . [32]

While these numbers may not be exact... U.S. membership of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction (35 Southern states, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia) is claimed at about 3.5 million, with about five million worldwide. That’s a lot of Masons. Numbers which could make Pike’s worldview very significant indeed.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Jacksonville, Florida talks about Pike’s revision of the Scottish Rite, saying that he ...

    “…. retained the original titles, substance, and sequence. Out of his own great scholarship and knowledge of ancient philosophies, he added new substance and significance to the Degrees, which enhanced their importance. The Southern Jurisdiction has continued to use the basic Albert Pike Rituals. While the Rubrics permit variations in the manner of their rendition, the Degrees have remained otherwise relatively unchanged. The Pike versions are also widely, although not exclusively, used elsewhere. [34]

In fact, The Supreme Council and its Committee on Ritual and Ceremonial Forms has authorized Dr. Hutchens, 33°, Grand Cross,

    “ to modernize the language, accent the significance, and enhance the dramatic performance of the Pike Degrees. The Revised Standard Ritual maintains the moral vision and philosophical integrity of the original Pike Degrees while making them more accessible to contemporary Brethren”. [35] Also

    Fred Kleinknecht who was active in the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States as Grand Secretary for 18 years and as Sovereign Grand Commander for 18 years, presented a copy of the revised standard Pike ritual to the Supreme Councils of Prince Hall Scottish Rite Freemasonry” [36] 

Pike certainly had some interesting things to say about the Scottish Rite.. In Transactions, 1870, p. 158, he stated: [Emphasis Added]

    "Resorting to another method, I satisfied myself that many of the degrees were purposely constructed to conceal their meaning and the objects of those who used them as the means of union and organization Such, I believed, were the Fifteenth and Sixteenth, of the Knight of the East and princes of Jerusalem, but I could not fathom their meaning or detect the concealed allegory They seemed to teach nothing and almost to be nothing…

In the words of phoenixmasonry.org.. [Emphasis Added]

    “He set himself to study the Order, his enthusiasm keeping pace with his curiosity, in search of the real origin and meaning of its symbols. At last he found that Freemasonry is the Ancient Great Mysteries in disguise, it's simple emblems the repository of the highest wisdom of the Ancient World, to rescue and expound which became more and more his desire and passion. Here his words: "It began to shape itself to my intellectual vision into something imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in the grandeur and loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden, for the enlightenment of the coming generations, the sacred books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the World; like the Sphinx, half-buried in the sands. In essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living religions. So I came at last to see that its symbolism is its soul."

Words that certainly should not give any Christian a warm feeling. So, since symbolism is the soul of Freemasonry, let’s examine some of the symbolism in the Scottish Rite.... [TOP OF PAGE]
 

The Scottish Rite
The Jacksonville Scottish Rite Masonic Center makes two statements about the Rite. [All Emphasis Added]

    “The Degrees of the Scottish Rite are one-act plays often staged with costume, scenery, special effects, and the full rigging of any production. Their purpose is to examine different philosophies, ancient religions, and systems of ethics. Through all of these, people have tried to answer certain universal questions. The Degrees of the [Scottish] Rite do not tell a person what he should think about these questions. Instead, they tell him about what great thinkers and civilizations of the past have thought, and they try to create a situation in which the candidate or Brother can gain insight.” . [37]

    “The moral truths that prevailed in Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome are just as valid, just as imperative in the digital 21st century. In his confidence in the reality of these principles, man has built his faith in the permanent value of moral truth. Here is to be found the basis of optimism, of faith in the free institutions, and of confidence in a civilization resting on ethical principles. No man can witness the Degrees of the Scottish Rite and be either a cynic or a pessimist. They renew his faith in God, in man, and in the process of history”. [38]

While the the above high sounding rhetoric [defined as language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content] may impress the non-Christian, what is the world are different philosophies, ancient religions, and systems of ethics to do with the Christian? And what moral truths prevailed in the above mentioned civilizations? Lets talk about the latter days of the Roman Empire...

    “Burdensome regulation and taxes made manufacturing and trade unprofitable. Families were locked into hereditary trades and vocations allowing little if any vocational choice. Eventually, children were seen as a needless burden and abortion and infanticide became commonplace. In some cases, children were sold into slavery. Manners and social life fell into debauchery. Under Justinian, entertainment grew bawdier and more bizarre. Orgies and love feasts were common. Homosexuality and bestiality were openly practiced. Under Nero, Christians were blamed for the great fire in Rome and horribly persecuted”. [39]

And the ONLY moral truth that existed in Jerusalem were The Scriptures which haven’t changed since.

Besides which a large portion of the symbolism has ...
 

Connections To Ancient Egyptian Mythology
The Jacksonville Scottish Rite Masonic Center takes the site visitor on a ‘trip thru the various degrees’ including a summary of the degrees and a short explanation of the symbolism employed by each one. Much of the symbolism is a noxious pot-pourri of Egyptian and Greek mythology, astrological symbolism and twisted Biblical references. [All Emphasis Added]

In the 6th Degree – “Intimate Secretary”

    “The jewel is a triple-delta superimposed upon an equilateral triangle of gold. Each delta has a center design composed of one of the astrological signs for the Sun, Moon and Mercury. As explained in the degree summary, the form of the jewel is utterly derived from Pike's favorite source of Masonic Symbolism, the Pythagorean Tetractys.” [40].

In the 12th Degree – “Master Architect”

    "In all the Scottish Rite Degrees thus far, the candidate has made twenty-one prescribed circuits around the altar; this degree adds seven for a total of twenty-eight. This practice, called circumambulation, is derived from the ancients and existed among the Romans, Semites, Hindus and others. It is thought to have been a rite of purification. … In Scottish Rite Masonry, this ancient symbol of purification is adopted to represent a renewal in virtue through the performance of duty”.

In the 17th Degree “Knight of the East and West”

    a jewel is worn, suspended from a black ribbon. “The jewel is a heptagonal (seven-sided) medal, half gold and half silver or mother of pearl. These two colors are emblems of the sun and moon, themselves symbols of the Egyptian deities Osiris and Isis, who represent the generative and productive powers of nature, illustrated in Masonic Symbolism by the columns Jachin and Boaz as the active and passive forces manifested in nature (Morals and Dogma, p. 202). On one side are engraved, at the angles, the same letters as are on the capitals of the columns in the ceremony and possessing the same meaning, that of the last seven of the Sephiroth of the Kabalah. A star is over each. In the center, on the same side, is a lamb, lying on a book with seven seals, on which seals are, respectively, the same letters, though shown in this representation as the Roman equivalents. On the reverse side are two crossed swords, points upward; their hilts rest on an even balance. In the corners are the initials in Greek of the names of the Seven Churches (Revelation 2 and 3). [41]

In the 18th Degree “Knight of the Rose Croix”

    “The jewel is the compasses with points opened to sixty degrees and resting on the segment of a graduated circle. On the lower part, on one side, is an eagle, with his wings extended and head lowered. Among the Egyptians the eagle was the emblem of a wise man because his wings bore him above the clouds into the purer atmosphere and nearer to the source of light, and his eyes were not dazzled with that light. Since the eagle also represented the great Egyptian Sun god Amun-ra, it is a symbol of the infinite Supreme Reason or Intelligence… The rose was anciently sacred to the sun and to Aurora, Greek Goddess of the dawn. As a symbol of the morning light, it represents resurrection and the renewal of life, and therefore immortality. Together the cross and rose symbolize immortality won by suffering and sorrow.” [42]

In the 19th Degree “Grand Pontiff”

    The “cordon” has embroidered on it “twelve stars and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega The stars upon it allude to the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the twelve fruits of the Tree of Life, the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles” And goes on to say...

    “...distinctive ornament of this degree is the breastplate of the High Priest of ancient Israel with twelve different gems embedded in a 4 X 3 matrix” . [43]  [TOP OF PAGE]
     

Daughters of Isis
There are organizations that are affiliated with Freemasonry that admit both Master Masons as well as non-Masons who have some relation to a Master Mason. These include ladies groups such as The Order of Eastern Star and Amaranth, and Youth Groups such as Triangle, Rainbow, Constellation, Job’s Daughters; for girls, and Order of DeMolay for Boys.

One of these affiliated bodies is The Imperial Court, Daughters of Isis. Yes, you heard me correctly… I said The Daughters of Isis. The home page of their ‘Imperial Court’ is embellished with Egyptian statues, while their history page states..

    “The Imperial Court, Daughters of Isis, is an auxiliary of female family members of Prince Hall Shriners, and was formally organized at the annual session of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, held in Detroit, Michigan, on August 24, 1910….

    …The purpose of the Imperial Court, Daughters of Isis, is to unite the relatives of all members of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S. into one common bond of friendship, to practice charity and benevolence, and to inculcate honor and integrity as symbolized in the legend of the Egyptian queen, the goddess Isis.”
    [44]

Of all the that I have read connected with Freemasonry, this nugget of information has totally disgusted me. Isis is a goddess in Egyptian mythology. One of five children of the Earth God Geb and Sky Goddess Nuit, she is the wife and sister of Osiris and mother of Horus, and was worshipped as the archetypal wife and mother.

Daughters-of-Isis-2Let me say that again… Isis is a goddess in Egyptian mythology.

A born again Christian woman is a DAUGHTER OF THE LIVING GOD and can have nothing to do with an Egyptian Deity, regardless of how symbolic and regardless of how much ‘charity’ they indulge in. Have you not read the superabundance of Scriptural warning to stay away from any contact at all with other gods?

In Ezekiel 8 God called women weeping for Tammuz a great abomination. What doDaughters-of-Isis-Emblem you think he would call a woman who refers to herself as a ‘Daughter of Isis’, and who prances around wearing headgear with an Egyptian goddess on it? Or do you imagine the God who will once more shake the Heavens and the Earth has gone soft, or changed His mind about what He does or does not consider an abomination?

    Note: the mode in which the rites of Tammuz were celebrated was essentially the same as the rites of Osiris. The weeping ceremony was connected with agricultural rites of Egypt where the priestesses acting the parts of Isis and Nepthys, mourned for the slain corn god Osiris.

However (believe it or not) It gets worse...


The Ritual for the Daughters of Isis is said to be

    “loosely based on the legends of the Egyptian goddess after whom the order is named, instead of being the usual milk-and-water Christianized version of a male ritual” [45]

In this ritual the candidate is “the nurse of the youthful Horus”, who “has escaped from the wrath of Typhon and desires to find refuge with the Daughters of Isis”. She is then instructed by Ill. Commandress to

    “… kiss the Bible three times, the Koran once, the red stone once”.

For any born again Christian woman to be calling herself a daughter of Isis and kissing the Qur’an in the process is stepping way over a line. If this is resembles the ritual you participated in, you had better consider scrambling to get back on the right side of that line, which includes burning that obnoxious headgear before it is too late. Or I hope you have your feeble excuses well rehearsed when the Lord God asks you on judgement day why you kissed the Qur’an... That is assuming He even gives you the opportunity.  [Also See The Wrath of God]

In that day your church will not save you. Your charities will not save you. And be assured your lodge will not save you.

[TOP OF PAGE]

 

The Shriners … [Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine]
Who are the Shriners?
The Shriners, A.A.O.N.M.S. or Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, established in New York City in 1870, is an appendant body to Freemasonry and are usually recognized by the red fezzes they wear. Their web site says there are “191 Shrine Temples, or chapters, located in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama. Informal Shrine Clubs are located around the world” and that they are…

    “A brotherhood of men...dedicated to fun and fellowship...but with a serious purpose.

    Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life and a commitment to philanthropy. They enjoy parades, trips, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions. They support what has been called the "World's Greatest Philanthropy," Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals, operated and maintained by the Shriners. All children, up to 18 years old, may be eligible for treatment at Shriners Hospitals if they, in the opinion of the hospital's chief of staff, could benefit from the specialized care available at Shriners Hospitals. Eligibility is not based on financial need or relationship to a Shriner”. [46]

When I first heard about the Shriners I dismissed the name [Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine] as distasteful but probably harmless… more quirky than anything else. However a closer look reveals several ties to the Muslim world, starting with their ...

History: “New York physician Walter M. Fleming and actor Billy Florence, both Masons, created the Shrine fraternity in the late-19th century. According to Shrine legend, Florence chose the Arabian theme after attending an Arab diplomat’s party in France. Party guests became members of a secret society after an ornate ceremony. Florence made note of the ceremony’s pageantry, and later worked with Fleming to create Shrine rituals, titles and costumes that followed suit. The founders thought giving the fraternity a bit of mystery would help draw new members”. [47]

The “Mecca Temple”, complete with a high priest & prophet, was the first Shrine Temple founded in New York City on September 26 1872 [Mother Mecca Welcomes You].

With the outstanding exception of one ‘Aloha Shrine’, many of the names of the Shrine Temples have connections with the Muslim world. For example they have the Al Koran Shriners in Broadview Heights, Ohio, the Medinah Shriners in Addison, Illinois, the Mohammed Shriners in Peoria, Illinois, the Moslem Shriners in Southfield, Michigan and the Wahabi Shriners in Jackson Mississippi.   Not forgetting the Osiris Shriners in Wheeling, West Virginia. Shriner-Fez

The Fez: The headgear of the Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine is the Fez decorated with crescent, star and scimitar. The fez was chosen as part of the Shrine's Arabic (Near-Eastern) theme, around Shriners-Emblemwhich the color and pageantry of the Shrine are developed.

The Crescent was adopted as the Jewel of the Order. Though any materials can be used in forming the Crescent, the most valuable are the claws of a royal Bengal Tiger, United at their Base in a gold setting. In the center is the head of a sphinx and on the back are a pyramid, an urn and a star. The Jewel bears the motto, "Robur et Furor" which means "Strength and Fury". Today, the Shrine emblem includes a scimitar from which the crescent hangs, and a five-pointed star beneath the head of the sphinx. [48]

While the crescent moon and star symbol pre-dates Islam by several thousand years it is an internationally-recognized symbol of the faith of Islam, featured on the flags of several Muslim countries including Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey etc.


Shriner's Greeting: 
According to the Cairo Shriners site, Dr. Fleming and his colleagues formulated the salutation used today by Shriners, which they spelled as "Es Selamu Aleikum!". However Es Salaam Aleikum or may peace be upon you, the response to which is Wa Aleikum Es Salaam (and upon you) is an ancient and very common greeting in the Arab world.

    “Dr. Fleming and his colleagues also formulated a salutation used today by Shriners - "Es Selamu Aleikum!" - which means, "Peace be with you!" In returning the salutation, the gracious wish is "Aleikum Es Selamu," which means "With you be peace”.

Additionally a reading of the Rituals of the Prince Hall Shriners leaves the mind reeling. Note: that I do not know if any of the same format is followed by any other than the Prince Hall Shriners.

Excerpts from the Ritual of The Prince Hall Shriners. [All Emphasis Added].

    Illustrious Potentate: “In the name of God, our Father, and by the existence of Allah, the creed of Mohammed, and the legendary sanctity of the Temple of Mecca, I now proclaim this Temple regularly opened for business and ceremony, and hereby forbid any discord that might mar our mystic rites.

    Candidate [repeating after the Illustrious Potentate]” I, ..., of my voluntary desire, uninfluenced and of free accord, do here assume, without reserve, the obligation of the Nobility of the Mystic Shrine, as did the elect of the Temple at Mecca, the Moslem and the Mohammedan. I do hereby, upon this Bible, and on the mysterious legend of the Koran, and its dedication to the Mohammedan faith, promise and swear and vow on the faith and honor of an upright man…. And upon this sacred book, by the sincerity of a Moslem’s oath, I here register this irrevocable vow, in wilful violation whereof may I incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade, my feet flayed and I be forced to walk the hot sands upon the sterile shores of the Red Sea until the flaming sun shall strike me with livid plague; and may Allah, the God of Arab, Moslem and Mohammed, and the God of our fathers, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same. Amen, Amen, Amen.”

Prince Hall Shrine Lecture on Initiation

    Nobles, you have just completed your rugged trek across the hot sands of the desert in search of the great Moslem capital, Mecca, which unfolds in the wilderness of the Arabian desert, halfway between Yemen and Syria. This city in which you now stand is the Holy City of Islam…. In the heart of this city is the great Mosque, BAIT ALLAH (House of God) (the Altar), which is situated, according to Arab tradition, in the center of the world and immediately beneath the throne of the Almighty. Upon the BAIT ALLAH, Altar, are a Bible and Koran. The Koran is the unique history of our founder Mohammed…. start anew as one who is now a member of the Nobility in the courtyard of Allah. [49]
     

Christian Shriners... If a simple reading of the Scriptures has not made clear to you that the God you profess to serve is a jealous God, one that will brook no association with false gods, then there is something very very wrong with your understanding of the Great Architect. If you agree to be “a member of the Nobility in the courtyard of Allah” [whether symbolic or otherwise] you may as well take that Bible down from your so called altar and burn it, for all the good it is going to do you. And even if the above section of the Ritual is not anything like the Ritual you participated in, there is absolutely no excuse for traipsing around in a Fez that has the star and crescent on it, and even less for belonging to an organization that calls one of their ‘branches’ the Mohammed Shriners.

Once again I repeat what I said to the Daughters of Isis above.. Your charitable works will not save you, your circus will not save you, your lodge will not save you and that red fez is not going to look quite as perky in hell. The only "Strength and Fury" you will see will be in the form of a very angry God. It is a pity that the Imperial High Priest and Prophet [part of the 13-member body that helps govern the Shriners] hasn’t prophesied what happens to those who call Him Lord, Lord, but do not do the things He said.  [TOP OF PAGE]
 

Other Rituals [50]

Daughters of the Nile
The ritual involves a Princess Badoura (from The Arabian Nights?). Although the ritual was not near as
bad as that of the Shriners it is said to be according to ancient Egyptian rites and refers to the river Nile as a  “sacred” river. [Emphasis Added]

    P.B.: It is Her Majesty’s order that you enter this Temple, Daughters of the Nile, and be received according to ancient Egyptian rites and ceremonies.
     


Ancient Arabic Order of Daughters of the Sphinx
There are three degrees the Order of Daughters of Sphinx.. The Fraternal, Queen Esther and Sphinx Degrees. In The Test Lecture on the Sphinx (3rd) Degree, the following transpires… [All Emphasis Added]

    Question: Have you an emblem of this Order?

    Answer: I have, and it is a crescent and a star attached to the crescent and a sword over the crescent.

It is further stated that..

    “The crescent represents peace, friendship and power. The crescent is an emblem that is used in Turkey and other Oriental countries, in numerous religious denominations.”

Later in the ritual the Most Worthy Grand Matron places a wreath of flowers on the candidate’s head stating that it is

    “a peculiar emblem of the Order because of the lasting nature of its bloom. The wreath was regarded by many of the Ancients as the symbol of immortality and the possession of its early blossom inspired the belief that the soul would enjoy eternal rest in the realms of the celestial home, and now, as an additional memento to confirm our friendship, we crown you with the emblem of the crown of life… There is no death to the pure and loving. May your admission to the land Celestial and Everlasting be sure… may your ransomed spirit be crowned with the never-ceasing favor of Almighty God.”
     

The Order of the Rainbow
In the Initiation ritual of The Order of the Rainbow for Girls, described as a “non-profit character building, service oriented organization” for girls ages 11-20/21. “The seven colors of the Rainbow represent seven teachings that each member receives on her journey toward the pot of gold”. The FAQ’s page on their
site states that “Nothing in Rainbow - meetings or activities - will ever be contrary to basic Christian teachings”. However…

At an early stage in the ritual one question and answer are as follows...

    Worthy Advisor: “Worthy Associate Advisor, what is the symbol of this Assembly?”
    Worthy Asso. Adv., rises on being addressed: “The Rainbow in the heavens spanning from the North to the South.”
    Worthy Advisor: “What does it symbolize?”
    Worthy Asso. Adv.: “The ancient promise of God to His people that He will never again destroy the world.”

Which is complete falsehood. There is no place in Scripture that has God promising to never destroy the world again. The rainbow was His sign that He would never again destroy the world BY WATER. [Emphasis Added].

    “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11).

On the contrary He is going to destroy this world one more time..  [Also See The Wrath of God]

    For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. [Matthew 24:21]

    And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet Once More I Will Shake Not Only The Earth, But Also The Heaven." [Hebrews 12:26]

    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea”. [Revelation 21:1]

Later the Sister of Religion says... [Emphasis Added]

    “We would impress upon you the beauties of Religion as exemplified by its Great Author, whose life was one of gentleness and kindness. He never brought a tear to the eye, nor an ache to the heart of any one because of any act of His. He was gentle and forgiving. Finding those who were troubled or who had sinned, He forgave them, for He came not to call the righteous but the sinner to repentance”.

There is so much wrong with this sentence that it would take a separate article to deal with it. For starters Jesus spoke far more about Hell than He did about Heaven and His inclusiveness was not of the “come as you are” sort. Jesus offered new, transformed life in the kingdom of God, not acceptance of all people as they were in their sinful state. [See The Inclusiveness of Jesus]. Jesus preached some very inflexible messages saying that ...those who do iniquity would spend eternity in the fiery furnace (Matthew 13: 37-42) where the worm never dies (Mark 9:48).

Returning to the Ritual... [Emphasis Added]

    Worthy Advisor: “On the Altar before you is the Holy Bible. It is the rule of right living for all. Its heroines are those who in the past have stood for the Trinity of Home, Church and Nation, and whose courageous deeds have ever graced the pages of human history.

I would be very very curious to know what hat people pull these soppy/sentimental/feel-good completely fictitious statements from. Certainly not Scripture, that never even hints that it’s heroines stood for “the Trinity of Home, Church and Nation”  [TOP OF PAGE]


Freemasonry and God

Belief In ‘God’
A non-negotiable prerequisite to become a Mason is the belief in ‘God’. Most Lodges do not specify which god and the candidate is never required to say what god he believes in [Some require a profession of Christ or belief in the Trinity. See Christian Lodges below]. In the first place it is baffling as to why a fraternity claiming to be non religious would require any such thing. In the Old Charges ‘no stupid atheist’ could become a Mason. The answer is again to be found in the History of Freemasonry. .

When the Knights Templar were forced into hiding by a three pronged enemy (the Catholic Church, the King of France and The Hospitallers), they were hunted mercilessly. Members who were caught were subject to the most horrible tortures and they very lives depended on their underground organization and other Knights. (This is also the reason for the secret signals, the use of the word ‘Lodge’, the oath not to have anything to do with another Knight’s wife and female relatives etc. etc.) When a man was admitted to the Lodge he was required to take the ‘blood oath’ to never betray another Knight. However an oath by a man who did not believe in God was of no value. The one time warrior monks could only trust in an oath made by a man who was well aware and afraid of the penalties of hell.

In the light of the history the requirement of faith in a Deity makes perfect sense.. and it is probably true that tradition has also played an important part in the continuation of this precondition. If the Lodge is a fraternity, not a religion, then this precondition is closely akin to joining a local club which requires, for some strange reason, that you have to believe in God to play tennis on it’s lawns.

However the million dollar question to be asked at this juncture is ....


Is Masonry a Religion?
Again the answer to this question is going to depend on whom you talk to. Masons claim that it is NOT a religion but a Fraternity, with many Christians claiming otherwise.

Part of the problem lies in how one defines ‘Religion’. While many scholars can, and do, get into long and esoteric discussions on What "Religion" is and how it can be defined, most of the rest of us consider it to be interchangeable with faith or belief system.. Usually a personal faith in, and beliefs about whatever we may consider the divine. It usually relates to the existence and worship of a deity [or deities] and divine involvement in the universe and human life.

Masons will argue that they are neither sectarian nor theological. However, religion is not necessarily sectarian nor does it have to involve formal theological teachings [the study of the nature of God and religious belief] but can simply be the belief in and worship of God.

    “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods”[iFinger dictionary]

    “the service and worship of God or the supernatural” [Merriam-Webster Online]

    “people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life” [MSN Encarta]

    “the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship” [Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary]

    “a] belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe. b] expression of such a belief in conduct and ritual”
    [yourdictionary.com].

However MasterMason.com tells us that …[Emphasis Added]

    “The Scottish Rite is wholly non-sectarian. It is deeply religious in character, but in the same sense that Symbolic Masonry is religious - it teaches religion, not a religion

And

    “Later, matters wholly new to Master Masons are taken up, and a wealth of philosophy, religion, and knowledge made available for the postulant.” [51]

Even the non-theological argument is contradicted in this explanation of the symbolism of the 14th Degree “Perfect Elu”

    “The jewel is a pair of compasses, opened upon a quarter of a circle, and surmounted by a pointed crown. Within the compasses is a medal, representing on one side the sun, and on the other a five-pointed star… The sun as the source of light to our system was once worshiped as a god. The star as a type of the myriad suns that light other countless systems of worlds is an emblem of that Masonic Light in search of which every Mason travels - the correct knowledge of the Deity and of His laws that control the universe”. [52]

This may come as a surprise to you, but you only have to travel as far as the nearest Bible for a “correct knowledge of the Deity”. Nothing you can do, no quest you can embark on, and no knowledge you can seek to obtain can add to that which He has chosen to reveal about Himself.

MasterMason.com makes the following statement.. strange words for a ‘non-religious’ organization. [Emphasis Added]

    “The central piece of furniture in the Lodge is the Altar” which “symbolizes the presence of Deity” and “The Altar is the point on which life in our Masonic Lodges is focused and it should be accorded the highest respect.” [53]

Incidentally Kneeling At The Altar goes on to say the Worshipful Master’s station in the East is likened to the sun rising in the East to shed light on the world. The Brethren "approach the East in search of light." And astonishingly…

     “The wisdom of the Master is said to flow from his station in the East to the Altar.  Thus, one should never cross between the Master’s Station and the Altar when a Lodge is in session”

The wisdom of the Master flows from his station in the East to the Altar??? Wow!

The Lodge System of Masonic Education, Booklet 1, pg. 11, says this...[Emphasis Added]

    "Every Mason must believe in God and in the immortality of the soul. The Volume of sacred Law must be open on every Lodge Altar. A candidate takes his Obligations upon his knees. Before engaging in any important undertaking a Mason seeks aid and guidance through prayer from the Sovereign Grand Architect of the Universe. This is religion, but it is not a religion. It is faith, but it is not a faith confined to any one creed. It is worship, but it is not a worship chained to any one Altar. In the great words of the First Book of Constitutions it is the religion in which all good men agree. It is the ground which underlies all religions, all churches, all creeds..."

Apart from the fact that the quotes above contradict the non-religion bit, I hope all Christians can see the problems with the words in bold directly above. There is no such thing as a “the ground which underlies all religions”.

Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon in Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions makes the following statements [Emphasis Added]

    “Freemasonry seeks no converts. Freemasonry has no dogma, cosmology, eschatology or theology. Freemasonry offers no sacraments or ritual of worship, nor does it claim to lead to salvation by any definition”.

    “Freemasonry is not a religion and promotes no doctrine or dogma. The "search for light" found in Freemasonry is a reference to a quest for knowledge, not salvation. Freemasonry promotes a hope in resurrection, but it does not teach a belief about resurrection. The first is faith, the second is religion”

    “The ritual makes reference to "a vital and immortal principle" found within the perishable frame, and a hope that we will ascend to "those ethereal mansions above." But these are poetical allusions and do not constitute a doctrine of belief imposed on candidates.” [54]

In reference to the “quest for knowledge” above, my question would be... knowledge about what? The quest for the conventional (academic) forms of knowledge is usually undertaken at school, universities or other institutes of higher learning. As far as I know the Brotherhood does not teach biology, medicine or physics.. So what kind of ‘knowledge’ are we talking about here? Spiritual perhaps?

In any case whether Freemasonry is or is not a religion cannot be defined by what individual members believe. The issue has to be decided on the ritual itself. Albert Mackey made some interesting points when he said... [Emphasis Added]

    “On the contrary, we contend, without any sort of hesitation, that Freemasonry is, in every sense of the word, except one, and that its least philosophical, an eminently religious institution- that it is indebted solely to the religious element it contains for its origin as well as its continued existence, and that without this religious element it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good. . . . We open and close our Lodges with prayer; we invoke the blessing of the Most High upon all our labors; we demand of our neophytes a profession of trusting belief in the existence and the superintending care of God; and we teach them to bow with humility and reverence at His awful name, while His Holy Law is widely opened upon our altars. Freemasonry is thus identified with religion” [55]

While it may be argued that Albert Mackey lived a long time ago and his words are not incumbent upon modern day Masons, the facts in the above paragraph are inescapable, no matter who said them and how long ago.. Interestingly

    .... on October 3rd 2007 a California court of appeals suggested Freemasonry may rank with Christianity, Judaism and Islam as an official form of "religious exercise," "We see no principled way to distinguish the earnest pursuit of these (Masonic) principles ... from more widely acknowledged modes of religious exercise," the statement said... The court concluded that "chief" Masonic principles include "the reverence of a Supreme Being and the embrace of other forms of religious worship.".. The court's statement countered a lower court's opinion that "the `Freemason' organization is (not) a religion." [56] [TOP OF PAGE]


Is Freemasonry Compatible With Christianity?

I Am
During the ceremonies of the Masonic ritual for the Royal Arch degree, the following questions are asked by the ‘high priest’ and answered by the captain of the host, or any other officer that is qualified. [57]

    Q. Companion captain of the host, are you a royal arch Mason?

    A. I am, that I am.

It is impossible for me as a Christian to overcome the blatant disrespect, nay sacrilege of the above. God used the words I am, that I am to identify Himself when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14). To hear a human being willfully and knowingly use the same phrase to identify himself is beyond understanding and tolerance.
 

Salvation
Returning to the statement made by the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon regarding Freemasonry not offering any sacraments or ritual of worship, nor claiming to lead to salvation by any definition [Bearing in mind that the commonly held definition of salvation is preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil with promise of an afterlife]..

Master Mason Degree
As explained on various Masonic sites, the 3
rd Degree has a great deal to do with the hope of resurrection and immortality. Remembering that it is men from a variety of faiths and belief systems that go through this ritual, there is little question that the symbolism implies that a person is redeemed from the death of sin. [All Emphasis Added]

    “There are many interpretations of this degree and each one is true. But essentially it is a drama setting forth the truth that though a man withers away and perishes, there is always a part of him which never dies. [58]

     “In its Second Section the Sublime Degree departs from the familiar. Instead of being concerned with moral principles and exhortations, as is the first degree, or with architecture and learning, as is the second, it answers the cry of Job, "If a man die, shall he live again?" … As a whole the degree is symbolical of that old age by the wisdom of which "we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality." But it is much more than that. It is at once the universal and yearning question of man throughout all ages and its answer. To teaches no creed, no dogma, no religion; only that there is a hope of Immortality; there is a Great Architect by whose mercy we may live again, leaving to each brother his choice of interpretations by which he may read the Great Beyond.” [59]

Both the above statements fly in the face of Christianity. There is NO hope of immortality for the non-Christian, since God has already told us how to reach the “Great Beyond”, and not given us any “choice of interpretations” .

    “It teaches of the power - and the powerlessness - of evil. For those who are happy in a belief in the resurrection of the physical body, the Sublime Degree has comfort. For those whose hope is in the raising only of that spiritual body of which Paul taught, the degree assures of all the longing heart can wish.” [60]

The quote directly above is slightly ambiguous since, for the record, Paul did teach the resurrection of the body

    "If Christ be preached, that he rose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1 Corinthians 15:12-21.).

     “And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).

A brief description of the 19th degree (Grand Pontiff) says

    “…proclaims the spiritual unity of all who believe in God and cherish the hope of immortality, no matter what religious leader they follow or what creed they profess. It is concerned primarily with the perennial conflict between light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan”. [61]

In a prayer offered in this degree, The Thrice Potent says

    "Give us Faith that we shall see the New Jerusalem, that we may receive commendation for our works, and join in singing with the innumerable throng that surrounds thy throne, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Sabaoth!" …. “Give us Hope for the salvation of the soul, and aid us in the struggle for the perfection of our intelligence, and in the advancement of man toward a true, understanding of thy will”. [62]

In the 28th degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the initiate is told that

    "the true Mason [is one] who raises himself by degrees till he reaches heaven" and that one of his duties is "To divest self of original sin ..."
     

The All-Seeing Eye
Every Masonic manual explains the symbol of the All-Seeing Eye..

    “The All-Seeing Eye who pervades the innermost recesses of the human heart will reward us according to our works.”

In talking about balloting (done with white and black cubes) both The Iowa Masonic Library and Masonic world say

    “ No man will know what we do; no eye will see, save that All Seeing Eye that pervades the innermost recesses of our hearts, and will, so we are taught, reward us according to our merits. [63] 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Lodge makes no claim to teach a doctrine of belief, nor are the above words specifically under the heading Salvation, they do say “the true Mason” raises Himself by degrees to Heaven. No matter how many verbal gymnastics you engage in, no matter how much you skirt the issue.. Getting to Heaven is Salvation.

And here I will repeat a paragraph I quoted in the legend of Hiram Abiff (above).[All Emphasis Added]

    “It was the single object of all the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness. . .to teach the immortality of the Soul. This is still the great design of the third degree of Masonry. This is the scope and aim of its ritual. The Master Mason represents man, when youth, manhood, old age, and life itself have passed away as fleeting shadows, yet raised from the grave of iniquity, and quickened into another and better existence. By its legend and all its ritual, it is implied that we have been redeemed from the death of sin and the sepulchre of pollution. . . .and the conclusion we arrive at is, that youth, properly directed, leads [us to the honorable and virtuous maturity, and that] the life of man, regulated by morality, faith, and justice, will be rewarded at its closing hour by the prospect of eternal bliss. . . The important design of the degree is to symbolize the great doctrines of the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul; and hence it has been remarked by a learned writer of our order, that the Master Mason represents a man saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised to the faith of salvation”. [28]

What was that again? “we have been redeemed from the death of sin” and “the Master Mason represents a man saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised to the faith of salvation”.

The Indiana Monitor and Freemason's Guide says [All Emphasis Added]

    “The covering of a Lodge is a clouded canopy, or star-decked heaven, where all good Masons hope at last to arrive. . .” [64]

    “. . .as Fellow Crafts, we should apply our knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties, to God, our neighbors and ourselves, so that in age, as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality.” [65]

This is not only salvation, but salvation by works/character development, in complete contradiction to the Christian faith and forever condemns the one who believes it. Have the Christians involved ever ensured that the men involved in this ritual know that this part of the Ritual is a lie [okay ..a poetic allusion] and it is not possible to raise oneself by degrees into Heaven and that all good Masons will not get to a star decked Heaven? At the very best how can any Christian Mason take the chance that his non-Christian ‘fellows’ may actually believe the words in their guides and rituals and lose their souls?

A Fraternity? If you insist! But a fraternity that often treads very dangerous ground, making radical statements such as...

    "It is the Great Light of Masonry which unfolds the beauties of God's Eternal Truth." (Kentucky Monitor, p. 11).

I am afraid not. Again this rhetoric is so totally meaningless and so untrue as to be almost laughable (is it were not such a serious matter). [TOP OF PAGE]

Born Again

    "There you stood without our portals, on the threshold of this new Masonic life, in darkness, helplessness, and ignorance. Having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollutions of the outer and profane world, you came inquiringly to our doors, seeking the new birth, and asking a withdrawal of the veil which concealed the divine truth from your uninitiated sight. And here, as with Moses at the burning bush, the solemn admonition is given, 'Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.' Ceremonial preparations surrounded you, all of a significant character, to indicate to you that some great change was about to take place in your moral and intellectual condition. There was to be not simply a change for the future, but also an extinction of the past; for initiation is, as it were, a death to the world and a resurrection to a life." [66]

Not only is the first statement religious, it is also completely false. The only Eternal Truth we have about God is to be found in His revelation about Himself... the Bible. NOT in the Masonic Lodge or anywhere else.

The second statement is equally reprehensible... A New Birth? The Masonic Lodge withdraws the veil concealing the divine truth? To be perfectly clear.. there is ONE new birth and that is the one spoken of by Jesus. [See Born Again] and the Holy Spirit is the one that reveals truth.

    “when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

[Note: The Kentucky monitor may not contain these statements any longer, but it did.. not so long ago].

Again in a private e-mail I was reminded by a Freemason that

    “Freemasonry does not tell you how to get to heaven, it simply reminds you that unless you lead a morally-principled life, you won't”.

Which is true for the Christian Mason, but is NOT true for the Non-Christian one. A “morally-principled” life will not do squat for him in terms of heaven. In fact the differences between Christianity and Freemasonry is a chasm deeper and wider than the universe itself.. [TOP OF PAGE]
 

The Lambskin
The instruction concerning a lambskin which is found in the Ritual book of all the Lodges in all 50 states. Although it may be placed in different rituals in the manuals of different states, it has little, if any, material difference. [Emphasis Added]

    “The Masonic symbol of the lambskin or white leather apron is explained, in part, to each candidate as follows: "The lamb has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence; he, therefore, who wears the lambskin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct, which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial
    Lodge Above
    , where the Supreme Architect of the Universe [God] presides”. [67]

There is nothing inherently wrong with the lambskin as a symbol of purity of life and conduct and, for the Christian, it is perfectly true that without these attributes [which the Bible calls righteousness] no one, regardless of how ‘saved’ they think they are, is ever going to gain admittance in to the Celestial Lodge Above.. Heaven in more mainstream terminology. However this rite [if rite is the proper word] is NOT limited to Christians. To tell a non Christian that purity of life and conduct is going to gain him admittance into Heaven is doing him a great wrong, since it is completely untrue. And one wonder where this practice originates.. [Emphasis Added]

    The apron as a mark of distinction has been found in many similar organizations of initiatory nature including the Essenes and the Mythraic Mysteries, and has been conspicuous on statues of some Egyptian and Greek deities. [68]

And make no mistake.. the church does not get off the hook here. Current evangelism has made a career of misleading people with their many and varied versions of Easy Christianity. However this article is about Freemasonry, not the church... for which you will have to see section The Contemporary Church.

In a thoroughly civil [for a change] even pleasant correspondence with The Worshipful Master of Apache Lodge No. 69 Free & Accepted Masons and Knight Templar in Arizona, he told me... [I have his permission to quote him with the understanding that ... “no one person or group in Freemasonry has the authority or right to speak for any or all Masons, not me as Master of my Lodge, not the Grand Master of a State or Country and not Albert Pike over a hundred years ago”].

    “Could a Brother take that paragraph and think without further instruction that gaining admission into Heaven is dependent upon his "rectitude of conduct" and "purity of life". He could I suppose, if we claimed to be a Religion and if we were in the process of giving Religious instructions. However, we are not - we are just a Fraternity. We make no claims otherwise. In fact, in the States I am familiar with - we go out of the way to make sure the candidate understands that we are not a Religion and that we will not interfere with nor supplant any Duty which he owes to his Religion or God”.

    “One trusts that the Brother's religious instruction and that his personal relationship with God is one so that the paragraphs in our Rituals that encourages him to live a good and upright life to the best of his ability and to avoid excess and vice will not detract from his salvation”.

    “Once we leave the Lodge Sanctum and retire to the rec hall or parking area, I personally tell each initiate that the ceremonies were not a Religion and they in no way insure eternal life or salvation - and, that I would be happy to discuss my faith with them outside of the Lodge if they wished”.

While I am glad to hear of someone telling the initiate that the ceremonies in no way ensure salvation,  the lodge in question is one of those where “one must profess his faith in The Christ as Lord to complete his orders” [details below]. Therefore one can hope that the person’s religious beliefs is on solid ground...  But what about the others? What about the hundreds of lodges where no one speaks openly to the initiate and where it is possible that men who have not heard the Gospel may take the words of the rite literally.

It is claimed over and over again that Freemasonry is NOT a religion.. A claim that I certainly am very willing to accept if someone can explain to me what in the world a fraternity is doing telling people how to get to ‘Heaven’?

And we are back to the definition of ‘Religion’ which has already been touched on above. [TOP OF PAGE]


The Death of a Mason
Some of the Masonic Memorial Services contain words that would be quite appropriate at a Christian’s funeral. However remember that these words are spoken at the services of ANY Mason whether he be Jew, Muslim or Buddhist. It is hard to escape the fact that this terminology indicates a belief that the practicing Mason will attain Heaven regardless of belief. While I do not know if this wording accurately reflects the Monitors currently in use [some have been revised] it may be well to check.

    "So, in the bright morning of the world's resurrection, your mortal frame, now laid in the dust, shall again spring into newness of life, and expand in immortal beauty in realms beyond the skies." (Kentucky Masonic Monitor, page 180)

    "He [deceased] has passed out of the love of human hearts to a higher, better love; out of the dim lights of the lodge on earth to the brighter, glorious Lodge above." (Louisiana Masonic Monitor, pages 177 -178)

    "As we mourn the departure of our Brother from the circle of our Fraternity, we believe that he has entered into a higher Brotherhood, to find rest from earthly labors and refreshment from earthly cares." (Texas Monitor of the Lodge, page 217)

    "...we have the assurance that Thou hast taken to Thyself his soul...Masons believe sincerely that when life on earth comes to a close, the soul is transplanted from the imperfections of this mortal sphere to that all-perfect glorious and Celestial Lodge above." (Maine Masonic Text-Book, 1992, pages 104-105)

    "We firmly believe our Brother has but heard the invitation - 'Come thou blessed, inherit the kingdom prepared for you." (Official Monitor and Ceremonies of New Mexico, page 212 (Also found in the monitor for the state of Oregon) [TOP OF PAGE]
     

The Masonic Jesus
The central question that every Christian Mason must ask himself is "Who is Jesus Christ according to the Lodge?" [Also See Religious Pluralism] In some Lodges, Masonic prayers are not to include the name of Jesus Christ, but they are to refer to the Great Architect of the Universe. The Maryland Master Mason magazine offered this statement concerning prayer in the Lodge:

    "All prayers in Mason lodges should be directed to the one deity to whom all Masons refer to as the Grand Architect of the Universe."(19)

Here, once again we have to remind the reader that there are many many differences between Masonic Lodges from state to state. Some of which certainly should give the Christian pause for thought.. Serious thought! For example...[Again ...if these particular monitors have been since revised, this wording may have since been changed. It is up to the reader to check].

    “Thus Freemasonry comes to us from the Temple, . . . It makes no profession of Christianity, and wars not against sectarian creeds or doctrines; but looks forward to the time when the labor of our ancient brethren shall be symbolized by the erection of a spiritual temple whose moral grandeur shall be commensurate with civilization; A temple in which there shall be but one altar and but one worship; one common altar of Masonry, on which the Veda, Sutra, Zend-Avesta, Koran, and Holy Bible shall lie untouched by sacrilegious hands; and at whose shrine the Hindoo, 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”. [Louisiana Masonic Monitor, p. 111, 1988. Emphasis Added]

And

    “All believed in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome and the Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and suffer a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, Love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; Masons, Hiram.” [pages XIV-XV, Kentucky Monitor].

The statement immediately above implies that that Jesus, Krishna, Kioun-tse, Balder, Hiram etc. are all the same person. The problem is that Jesus is not near as tolerant as the Mason when it comes to His divine authority and supreme status.. He is God and with Him there is no other.   [TOP OF PAGE]

See Jesus is the only way to God? .. An outline of the issues involved, with links to more detailed resources
 

The “Volume of the Sacred Law.. The Bible?
Much is made of the fact that the altar in every lodge holds an open “Volume of the Sacred Law.” [almost always a King James Bible in the U.S. and Canada, bound with a special cover stamped with the Masonic insignia] … literally part of the furniture of the Lodge. However Freemasonry has no commitment to the Bible as the unique Word of God, and unhesitatingly substitutes non-Christian scriptures when Christians Masons are not in the majority.. Even when the Bible is used, it is often no more than another symbol.

    “…true that the majority of Lodge members are essentially Christian in their affiliations. Its presence is no more than a symbol, a representative of all the great books of the religious teachings, which have particular significance to particular groups of people. In some Jurisdictions other works replace the Bible on the altar. Singapore Lodge, a Lodge working under the English Constitution, uses no fewer than six Vs ((volumes) of SL (Sacred Law) of different faiths.” [69]

The seven Volumes of the Sacred Law in common use through the East, include...

    “The Bible (OT) for the Jews. The Bible (OT & NT) for Christians. The Dhammapada for the Mahayana Sect of Buddhism. The Gita for Hindus. The Granth Sahib for Sikhs. The Koran for
    Muslims. The Zenda Avesta for Parsees and some Iranians”.  [70]

And the reason for this symbol? [Emphasis Added]

    “A prime role of the Holy Writings is to provide an acceptable medium for taking and sealing our Obligations so that candidates will consider such obligations to be solemn and binding upon them”. [71]

(In support of this… In an article entitled Impressions of a master mason, The Qur'an Upon a Lodge Altar the author says he [Emphasis Added]

    “….attended a Lodge wherein a Muslim brother had just been raised. In the course of the conferral, the Qur’an was upon the Altar, spine-to-spine with the Holy Bible, and opened to allow the petitioner to be obligated upon his holiest book…Taken together, the Bible and the Qur’an must always be referred to as the Volume of the Sacred Law,” [72]

For more information on the Qur’an see section on Islam

In Brothers And Builders:, The Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry, Joseph Fort Newton (Litt.D.) says.. [Emphasis Added]

    “Thus Masonry invites to its Altar men of all faiths, knowing that, if they use different names for "the Nameless One of an hundred names," they are yet praying to the one God and Father of all; knowing, also, that while they read different volumes, they are in fact reading the same vast Book of the Faith of Man as revealed in the struggle and tragedy of the race in its quest of God…. None the less, while we honour every Book of Faith in which have been recorded the way and Will of God, with us the Bible is supreme, at once the mother-book of our literature and the master-book of the Lodge”.   [73]

While describing the Old Testament Scriptures performing “their traditional function” as a landmark of the order, The Great Lights In The East goes on to say..

    “It is most interesting to note that the many problems, which could have arisen from the meeting of Brethren of various creed, have been anticipated and procedures have been adopted to promote Peace and Harmony within the Lodge and the welfare of Freemasonry in general”. [74] [TOP OF PAGE]


Christian Lodges?
The above mentioned conversation with the The Worshipful Master of a lodge in Arizona brought several facts to my attention, particularly that in The Order of the Temple (Knights Templar in the York Rite) “one must profess his faith in The Christ as Lord to complete his orders”.

I later discovered that The Swedish Rite [a variation of Freemasonry that is worked in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland] demands brethren be Christian, and not just that they believe in a supreme being. See the web sites of The Norwegian Order of Freemasons [75] is no longer valid) and The Swedish Order of Freemasons. [Unfortunately this link www.frimurarorden.se/eng/index.html is no longer active, and the others are not in English]. Which undoubtedly is more than some churches do...

The second series of degrees [17° and 18°] in the Scottish Rite is the Rose Croix also has some little known preconditions in some lodges. For example [All Emphasis Added]...

The Freemasons of New Zealand

    “The Rose Croix in New Zealand.. Application for membership in the “Rose” is open to members in good standing in any Craft Lodge who are Master Masons of 1 year’s standing. Acceptance for membership is subject to the usual Masonic conditions of residence, sponsors, investigation, and ballot. Physical impairment is not a disqualification. Belief in the Holy Trinity is an essential requirement”. [76]


Hunters Hill - Sydney - Australia

    “All Master Masons, of the Christian Faith, of more then 12 months good standing, and current, in their Craft Lodge are most welcomed to make enquiries.” [Chapter Information from Omnes Sancti Sovereign Chapter 193. [77]

However this makes it even worse. How in the world can anyone profess belief in the “Holy Trinity” then participate in a Ritual of which one of the emblems is an eagle... the symbolism of which is explained by a Masonic site which says

    “Among the Egyptians the eagle was the emblem of a wise man because his wings bore him above the clouds into the purer atmosphere and nearer to the source of light, and his eyes were not dazzled with that light. Since the eagle also represented the great Egyptian Sun god Amun-ra, it is a symbol of the infinite Supreme Reason or Intelligence… The rose was anciently sacred to the sun and to Aurora, Greek Goddess of the dawn. As a symbol of the morning light, it represents resurrection and the renewal of life, and therefore immortality. Together the cross and rose symbolize immortality won by suffering and sorrow.” [78]

And the Valley of Fort Wayne [Scottish Rite] Indiana, part of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, makes
the following statement [Emphasis Added]

    “18° - Knight of the Rose Croix of H.R.D.M. - The lessons taught in this degree are that man must have a new Temple in his heart where God is worshiped in spirit and in truth and that he must have a new law of love which all men everywhere may understand and practice. This degree affirms the broad principles of universality and tolerance”. [79]

Which smacks of universalism. [See Section on Religious Pluralism and Jesus .. the only way to God? .. ]

In an article entitled Eighteenth Degree, Knight Rose Croix, Jim Tresner, 33°, who’s credentials include being “Director of the Masonic Leadership Institute and Editor of the Oklahoma Mason. A frequent contributor to the Scottish Rite Journal and its book review editor, a volunteer writer for the Oklahoma Scottish Rite Mason and a video script consultant for the National Masonic Renewal Committee”, says this degree is a “a major milestone in the progress of the candidate” and describes the regalia for the degree, which includes a “red passion cross on the body of the apron’ Of which he says

    “The cross, which is part of the design on both sides, is an ancient symbol of infinity and has been used as a sacred symbol from early antiquity—far predating Christianity. Thus it may be said to represent the world or the condition of the world”. And “All of these symbols point, of course, to the transformation of the world with the discovery of the New Law of Love.’  [TOP OF PAGE]
     

Conclusion:
This article, which used to be pretty standard fare.. reiterating ‘the party line’ so to speak, has recently been reworked with many changes made and much detail added. This revision of the subject was spurred by a very nice e-mail from, and subsequent conversation with, the above mentioned Worshipful Master, a Christian Mason, from whom I learned a few things. He brought up at least one factual error in the original article, which I researched, then changed. However two subsequent and very rude messages from other Masons coupled with the usually scathing treatment of “anti-Masons” on many Masonic web sites kept niggling at me. I could not get rid of the ‘Methinks thou dost protest too much’ feeling. So I started digging. And the more I dug, the less I liked what turned up.. what the Masons themselves said.

While the philanthropic side of the Lodge is more than obvious, there are plenty of organizations [Christian and otherwise] that do a great deal of charitable work and do not require one to assume a pretentious title and get-up resembling that worn by the Lord Mayor of London. I read the following on a forum, which made a great deal of sense..

    “I certainly agree that Masons do indeed labor intensely at charity. However, I must disagree that the fraternity exists only to be a charitable organization. After all, the fraternity existed long before it established official philanthropies. This is not to downplay the importance of charity. Actually, charity is the first lesson a man learns as an Entered Apprentice. But charity is a side effect, rather than the primal purpose, of Freemasonry. If Freemasonry were only a charitable society, it would not consist of our Traditions, Ancient Usages, and Degrees of Philosophy and Science. There are other organizations in existence, such as Habitat For Humanity, which exist only for charity. But Freemasonry is much more than these organizations, and is primarily educational and spiritual, which in turn gives rise to its charitable viewpoints”. [80]

However it is the Rituals that really got my attention. Why would so many grown men don some absurd garb and participate in theatrics based on fables, fairy tales and folklore with, in some cases, a Biblical twist? And, take it deadly seriously to boot. Why indeed?

The commonalities between Freemasonry and ancient mystery religions, paganism, Kaballah and Egyptian mythology etc. have been documented in part here. While the origins of all the practices are so buried in the mists of time they can probably never be completely traced, there are red flags aplenty. What ever is really behind the the peculiar rituals certainly fosters a usually overwhelming allegiance and commitment to the Lodge, and often prompts a vehement, almost strident defense of the organization.


The Defense
The careful reader will have noticed the phrase ‘on the other hand’ liberally sprinkled throughout the article, representing the significant variations in beliefs and practices between the Lodges from area to area and the often almost contradictory opinions offered by various Masons.. I have been assured in person twice [by two separate ‘Masters’], and have read innumerable times that no one person [or group] speaks for all of Freemasonry. That the development of the Ritual [in ‘basic’] Freemasonry over the centuries is not always linear. That every Mason, speaks only for himself.

When there is no consensus of opinion on where or when Freemasonry had it’s origins, no central authority, when every Mason speaks for himself, when the symbolism seems open to varied and individual interpretation, when no two areas have exactly the same monitors, I fail to see how, when it comes to defense of the Lodge, Masons can speak in sweeping generalizations, defending the organization as a whole, not only the specific lodge [or lodges] they belong to. Especially since it is readily apparent that most Masons are not particularly familiar with, or even aware of, the variations from area to area.

Christian Masons [especially those that belong to Lodges which require a belief in Christ to join] seem to view Masonry through their ‘Christian glasses. Yet the practices and beliefs [and Monitors] may be quite different, and not as benevolent, in other jurisdictions. Not only this.. even those that profess a Trinitarian belief are subject to the same rituals as everyone else. Rituals which have too many connections with the occult.


More Than The Body
I do not for one instant discount the tremendous amount of good that is done by the Masons or any one else, but will ask the question.. Is it enough? Bear with me here.

It is a tremendous service to runs a clinic for disabled children or any of the other things the Masons do.. but in the final analysis what is it worth IF the Gospel is not preached as well. Certainly it will make someone’s life healthier and happier, and there is huge value in that… More so if we were only talking of a span of 70 odd years. But we are not… we are talking eternity.. As Jesus Himself asked..

    What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul??

And again I am not saying that we should only save souls. Taking care of the widow and the orphan has always been very high on God’s list of priorities and was perhaps one of the largest reasons for the Old Testament tithes [There is an in-depth study on Tithes on the site]. As James said.. in the context of needy people…

    What does it profit, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Is that kind of faith able to save him?

However while every Christian is obligated to do whatever he can to help the less fortunate.. People as members of the ‘body’ have different jobs to do [I Corinthians 12], and nothing can compare with saving souls.  I will say this… if I had any money at all it would go to organizations like this one... GFA [Gospel For Asia] because, as far as I am aware, they have the right idea.. No fancy buildings and big budgets, Just preaching the Gospel. On average, the native missionaries establish nearly 12 fellowships every day in Asia among unreached villages and people groups… .

What the Masons do for their fellowman is invaluable in this life. What these people do will count for eternity. 
 

A Word to Christian Masons.
Perhaps, above all, I have been most disappointed with the reaction of Christian Masons, many of whom seem far more ready to defend the Lodge than Christianity, seeming to forget that many of the so called ‘Anti-Masons’ are defending the faith to the best of their ability. Many Christian organizations that have been labeled Anti-Mason are simply comparing what they know to Scripture. It is an absurdity to state that they are anti everything. They are anti whatsoever contradicts the Word of God, and so they should be. Just as an example I have read Christian Masons ranting about the Anti-Masons being against the Jehovah’s Witnesses.. Presumably in an effort to prove the Anti-Masons are against everyone who does not think exactly the way they do. You do know of course that the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Deity of Christ. Silly me! Of course you knew that!

In any case just because you disagree with them does NOT give you the license to trash another brother or sister in Christ. You do need to remember that another born Again Christian is FAR more your brother than every non-Christian Mason that has ever lived.. This is the body of Christ we are talking about ...substantially above any man made organization, even the Lodge.. Surprise surprise ! You have every right to disagree with another Christian while remembering that you are both on the same side. The sun does not rise and set on the Masonic Lodge, which, like everything else manmade, will shortly be relegated to memory.

    [And here I have to make the distinction between an honest difference of opinion between two Christians and the many false prophets and wolves that have invaded the church, teaching doctrines totally contrary to the Word of God. Men and women that one can not call Christian by any stretch of the imagination and who are leading the sheep astray, perhaps even to their doom].

Let me put it this way ... If ONE Christian has been pulled away from the snares of Astrology, Ayurvedic Medicine or Eastern Style Mediation thanks to the research and work of John Ankerberg and John Weldon, then they have saved a soul, not just a body. Yet you show neither respect nor appreciation for this. [And by this I certainly do not mean that I agree with every word they have ever written]

If you are not aware of what is going on the Contemporary Church, it may be time for you to pull your head out of the Lodge (I am really being polite here) and look around. Look around and weep for what we have become. And I am curious... In a world going to hell on a broomstick, you have reams of stuff defending the Lodge but, where are your sites propagating the Word of God? Where do you defend the only thing that eventually matters.

When you read your old Testament, if you pay attention to what the prophets of old said, you will notice that ninety percent of their preaching was negative. They seldom had anything positive to say and you could say they were pretty mean [Read Jeremiah 18:19-23 where there is NO evidence of God rebuking J for his very ‘unchristian’ words].

Warning people of the dangers out there [and they are a legion] serves a very very necessary function. Examine, if you will, the words of the ‘apostles of love’

    “Peter wrote an entire chapter and a half to warn of false teachers in his second epistle, calling their teaching “damnable heresies” (2 Pet. 2:1), their ways “pernicious” (2 Pet. 2:2), their words “feigned” (2 Pet. 2:3), and their future “damnation” that “slumbereth not” (2 Pet. 2:3). He likened them to the “filthy conversation” of Sodom and Gomorrah (2 Pet. 2:6-9) and called them “presumptuous” and “self-willed” (2 Pet. 2:10). He even likened them to “natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed” (2 Pet. 2:12). Peter made a lot more vitriolic-sounding statements about them, too! Just read 2 Peter 2-3”.

    “And as for John, he was no slacker when it came to rebuking false teachers. He called them antichrists and warned of the fact that “they went out from us, but they were not of us” (1 John 2:18). He called them liars (1 John 2:22) and seducers (1 John 2:26) and taught the believers to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). He further warned of the “many deceivers” that are entered into the world (2 John 7) and dogmatically said that “whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God” (2 John 9). That means that a lot of preachers in these end times do not have God and should be publicly exposed as such. John would certainly expose them if he were here today! John even warned of Diotrephes, a puffed-up preacher (3 John 9-10).” [Read Article[TOP OF PAGE]
     

Footnote
Inplainsite.org is an 100+ page site dealing with every conceivable topic associated with Christianity, from detailed sections on Why Christianity, The Evidence for The Bible, God and Jesus, Prophecy, Salvation, Barriers to Faith, Questions Skeptics Ask, Safeguarding Your Soul, Other Beliefs [including Evolution and Other Religions], Postmodernism, Atheism, Relativism, and The New Age. More detailed sections on Living The Faith, Defending The Faith and Sharing The Faith, Controversial Issues and Heresies in The Church. To say nothing of very extensive sections on Cults, The Contemporary Church, Ecumenism, Social Issues and of course the Political/Spiritual Alliances of our day. Adding the large section on Our Country and Our Children and the one on the Occult, does not complete the list. [See Site Directory]

Please do not disagree with this one page and write me an extremely rude e-mail telling me how ignorant I am!
 

End Notes
[All Sources were accessed in the summer of 2008]

[1] http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/masons.htm

[2] You Think You Know Masonry? http://www.calodges.org/no51/mission.html#top

[3] http://www.msana.com/organization.asp

[4] http://www.azmasons.org/masonic_info/purpose.asp

[5] http://www.msana.com/secrecy.asp

[6] http://www.grandlodge-nc.org/freemasonryrevealed/secrets.htm

[7] http://www.msana.com/historyfm.asp

[8] The Masonic Information Center. http://www.msana.com/micantimasonry.asp

[9] David S. Julian. [Past Grand Bible Bearer, Past Grand Organist, Past Deputy of the Grand Master in District #5, Free & Accepted Masons of Washington. http://www.masonicinfo.com/stevens.htm

[10] http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/ovoo_r18e.html

[11] http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/AASR_1884_/13th_degree_royal_arch_of_enoch.htm.

[12] http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/ovoo_r18e.html

[13] www.srmason-sj.org/web/SRpublications/deHoyos-chapter3.htm#i4

[14] www.stelling.nl/vrijmetselarij/ovokg_re.html

[15] Pat Zukeran. History And Beliefs of the Watch Tower

[16] The Words On The Triangle - An Alternative View. An address to Grand Chapter on 13 November 1985 by E Comp the Revd Canon Richard Tydeman, Grand Superintendent in and over Suffolk. http://www.gkf.ic24.net/coe/apx9.htm

[17] http://www.masonicinfo.com/authors.htm

[18] Kentucky Monitor, p. XX. As quoted in Playing God, The Lust for Power—Part 4 by Dave Hunt

[19] Master Mason Handbook. Kabbalistic Allusions Of The Third Degree.
http://www.freemason.org/documents/Master%20Mason_large.pdf.

[20] The Three Degrees of Freemasonry. http://mastermason.com/jjcrowder/threedegrees/threedegrees.htm

[21] Thomas D. Worrel. [http://mill-valley.freemasonry.biz/worrel/kabbalah.htm

[22] The Three Degrees of Freemasonry. http://mastermason.com/jjcrowder/threedegrees/threedegrees.htm

[23] Grand Lodge of Texas, Monitor of the Lodge: Monitorial Instructions in the Three Degrees of Symbolic Masonry (Waco, TX: Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F.&A.M., 1982), 13-14.

[24] Ibid., xv, xvi

[25] Master Mason Handbook. The Lost Word. http://www.freemason.org/documents/Master%20Mason_large.pdf.

[26] http://www.freemason.org/documents/Master%20Mason_large.pdf.

[27] Master Mason Handbook. Introduction. http://www.freemason.org/documents/Master%20Mason_large.pdf

[28] Ahiman Rezon… Monitor of South Carolina. pages 141-2. 1947 Edition. as quoted in http://www.ephesians5-11.org/pdf/sc141-2.pdf

[29] The Master Mason Degree. http://www.freemason.com/education/MM_Script.pdf. All Emphasis Added

[30] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/what_is_scottish_rite.htm

[31] Morals and Dogma. Xviii. Knight Rose Croix. p. 277

[32] The Website Of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Valley of saint Louis, Orient of Missouri.
http://www.geocities.com/stlaasr/

[33] http://www.libertyfunddc.org/FRED_Kleinknecht_TESTIMONY_NCMAC_FINAL_JUNE_25_06.pdf

[34] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/what_is_scottish_rite.htm

[35] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/what_is_scottish_rite.htm

[36] http://www.libertyfunddc.org/FRED_Kleinknecht_TESTIMONY_NCMAC_FINAL_JUNE_25_06.pdf

[37] Scottish Rite Bulletin of Freemasonry, Alexandria, Virginia (Feb. 2000) http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/scottish_rite_degrees.htm

[38] Scottish Rite Bulletin of Freemasonry, Alexandria, Virginia (Feb. 2000) http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/scottish_rite_degrees.htm

[39] When Nations Die. Kerby Anderson

[40] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/sixth_degree.htm

[41] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/seventeenth_degree.htm. Also mentioned in website of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Valley of Northeast Kansas. http://neksvalley.org/rose_croix.htm

[42] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/eighteenth_degree.htm

[43] Jacksonville Scottish Rite Masonic Center. http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/nineteenth_degree.htm

[44] History of the Imperial Court, Daughters of Isis Female Auxiliary of the Prince Hall Shriners. http://doipha.org/doi_history.htm

[45] http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/frame_en.html

[46] http://www.shrinershq.org/Shrine/Membership/

[47] http://www.religionnewsblog.com/3636/from-fezzes-to-secret-rituals-a-field-guide-to-shriners

[48] http://www.meccashriners.org/history.htm

[49] http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/History_of_the_Shrine.htm

[50] http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/ritualen.html

[51] http://www.mastermason.com/jjcrowder/scottish/scottish.html

[52] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/fourteenth_degree.htm

[53] The Three Degrees of Freemasonry. Kneeling At The Altar. http://mastermason.com/jjcrowder/threedegrees/threedegrees.htm

[54] http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/anti-masonry08.html

[55] Albert G. Mackey, Mackey ‘s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,2:846-47.

[56] pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=14306

[57] Ritual of Freemasonry [Published 1853] By Avery Allyn [Page 120], Light on Masonry by David K. Bernard [Page 126] and The Mysteries Of Freemasonry by Captain William Morgan [Page 185], Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor by Malcolm C. Duncan [Page 252

[58] Iowa Systematic Masonic Enlightenment Course. Master Mason Degree. Symbolism of The Degree.”
http://www.burbankmason.org/Iowa-MM/Iowa-MM.pdf

[59] Iowa Systematic Masonic Enlightenment Course. Master Mason Degree. The Raising of a Candidate.
http://www.burbankmason.org/Iowa-MM/Iowa-MM.pdf

[60] Introduction To Freemasonry .. The Master Mason Degree By Carl H. Claudy. As quoted in
http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/master_mason.htm

[61] http://unitedsupremecouncilnjpha.org/ScottishRiteDegrees.html And http://www.mastermason.com/jjcrowder/scottish/scottish.html

[62] http://www.bradford.ac.uk/webofhiram/?section=ancient_accepted&page=19gradnpontiff.html

[63] The Black Cube. http://www.iowamasoniclibrary.org/webforms/Downloads/Ballot.pdf] and
http://www.masonicworld.com/education/files/blackballwhiteball.htm]

[64] Section on the Entered Apprentice Degree. 1993 edition. Page 68

[65] The Three Steps, page 109

[66] Kentucky Monitor, pp. 26-27. Emphasis Added

[67] John Weldon. The Masonic Lodge And The Christian Conscience

[68] The Three Degrees of Freemasonry.
http://mastermason.com/jjcrowder/threedegrees/threedegrees.htm

[69] http://www.themasonictrowel.com/Articles/Freemasonry/philosophy_files/the_volume_of_sacred_law.htm. Emphasis Added

[70] http://www.iowamasoniclibrary.org/webforms/Downloads/Volume%20of%20Sacred%20Law%20original.pdf

[71] The Year Book of The Grand Lodge of Scotland as quoted in The Great Lights In The East. From the Beehive State Trestleboard by Roy L. Demming, S.W., Utah Research Lodge

[72] http://www.freewebs.com/squaretyre/quranuponthealtar.htm

[73] Chapter II The Holy Bible. http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/brothers_and_builders/chapter_2.htm

[74] The Great Lights In The East. From the Beehive State Trestleboard by Roy L. Demming, S.W., Utah Research Lodge

[75] http://www.frimurer.no/engelsk.htm. link

[76] http://www.freemasons.co.nz/side_orders/rose_croix/

[77] http://www.rosecroix.org.au/welcome.html

[78] http://www.aasrvalleyofjax.org/eighteenth_degree.htm

[79] The Chapter of Rose Croix. The Philosophical and Doctrinal Degrees of the Chapter of Rose Croix.
[http://www.aasr-ftwayne.org/divisions/chapter.htm

[80] “Masonic Light; member of AboveTopSecret.com”, Freemason 32nd Degree Ritual;
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread48627/pg1#pid546223

The Occult

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