By Jason Carlson

Rarely a week goes by when our ministry isn't asked a question about the nature and beliefs of Freemasonry and the Masonic Lodge. The questions that are especially concerning to me are the ones related to followers of Jesus Christ who have erroneously gotten caught up in the Masonic system. For example, one recent questioner wrote in and asked me, "Pastor Carlson, I recently found out that the Sr. Pastor of our church is a member of our local Masonic Lodge. I've heard mixed reports about Freemasonry and I don't know if my Pastor's involvement with this group should be of concern to me or not?" The answer to this question is simple, Freemasonry is a cult and followers of Jesus Christ have no business associating with the Masonic Lodge!

Freemasonry as it is known today was formally organized in the 18th century in England and Scotland. What originally began as a trade guild for stonemasons gradually evolved into a religious organization that masks its true nature behind a façade of fraternal and charitable activities.

The journey into Freemasonry begins in what is called the Blue Lodge. These are the local chapters of Freemasonry found in towns throughout America. The Blue Lodge consists of 3 levels or degrees (1st entered apprentice degree; 2nd fellowcraft degree; 3rd master mason degree). After going thru the 3 degrees of the Blue Lodge, the Mason has the choice to stay in the Blue Lodge or seek the advanced degrees thru the York Rite or Scottish Rite branches of Masonry (many Masons will do both branches). The Scottish Rite consists of 32 degrees and an honorary 33rd degree, while the York Rite consists of 13 degrees. For those who attain the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite, they can then petition to become a Shriner.

What must a person do to join the Masonic Lodge? It is in this process where the truly occult nature of Freemasonry begins to reveal itself. To begin, each prospective Mason must go thru an initiation process where they are blindfolded, with a noose placed around their neck, and led, with a sword to their chest, into the inner room of the Lodge where an altar is set-up. Behind the alter stands a man called "The Worshipful Master." He is the master of the Lodge and presides over the initiation ceremony. All prospective Masons will bow down before "The Worshipful Master" and say the following, "I am lost in darkness, and I need the light of Freemasonry." Following this declaration, the initiate is required to take a blood oath, swearing allegiance to the Lodge and pledging to protect all of the secrets of Masonry. This blood oath, repeated by every Mason who has joined the Lodge goes like this, "Binding myself under no less a penalty than having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and buried in the rough sands of the sea…" Blood oaths such as this one are not limited to the initiation ceremony, but are repeated at each new degree as the Mason progresses through the secrets of Freemasonry.

And what are the secrets one learns as they progress through the degrees of Freemasonry? It soon becomes apparent that Freemasonry is very much a religion and its goal is to unify the people and religions of the world under the banner of a universal religion, where creeds, doctrines, and individual faith are done away with and replaced by a universal brotherhood of good works. Dr. Albert Pike, the most universally accepted authority on Freemasonry who wrote what is termed by many to be the "Bible of Masonry" (Morals & Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Rite), said this, "Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion, and its teachings are instruction in religion" (p. 213). Pike also declared that Masonry is, "The universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long lived that was not built upon this foundation… The ministers of this religion are all Masons… Its sacrifices to God are good works… and perpetual efforts to attain to all the moral perfection of which man is capable" (p. 219).

One thing that is important to understand is that Masons do not discriminate against people of any religious background- they only require that their members have a belief in a god, any god. The name of a person's god is not important to the Masonic Lodge. Why? It is unimportant because as you progress thru the degrees of Freemasonry you will discover and learn the true identity of god, the Masonic god. Manly P. Hall, another prominent Masonic leader declared, "The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha, or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth" ("The Lost Keys of Freemasonry", p. 65).

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The Impact of Freemasonry within the Church

-Masonic Christians have made a treaty with the pagan people who worship other god's, namely the Hindus, the Moslems, the Buddhists and those of all other false religions. They gather around a strange altar, the altar of Freemasonry, and worship a god named the Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU).

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