Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 19, 1950
NUMBER 36, PAGE 4-5a

Masonry And The Church

A. G. Hobbs. Jr.

The church must cope with the various problems that arise in each generation. Not every problem we confront is mentioned by name; but the Bible contains principles to govern the Christian and help him solve every problem.

Every preacher, sooner or later, has to face the question as to whether it is right or wrong for Christians to belong to fraternal orders. In these articles, we shall deal directly with Masonry. However, the principles that apply to Masonry, in a general way, (and in some instances directly), apply to all fraternal orders; such as, The Eastern Star, and The Odd Fellows.

Preliminary Observations

(1) A person does not have to belong to the Masonic Lodge to learn their fundamental doctrines. This is as true as the fact that a person does not have to become a Catholic to learn Catholicism. Anyone can buy their standard and authorized books and learn of both their doctrine and practice, even their "secret" grips and signs.

(2) All Masons do not know all Masonry. Many sectarians do not know all for which their respective denominations stand. Hence, for some individual Mason to deny some point of Masonry does not disprove it.

(3) We shall quote only from Masons or ex-Masonsmen who speak with authority. This is fair and right. We do not want to misrepresent them.

(4) Masonry has a clever way of blinding its devotees. They claim to be in possession of great truth, and to be teachers of the truth; yet many of them deny emphatically clear and fundamental truths of the Bible. Each candidate, before being initiated, is taught that there is nothing in Masonry that will conflict with his religion. In this claim, they presume to know and understand all religions, including Christianity and the church of the New Testament; but they do not understand undenominational Christianity as set forth in the New Testament. It is evidently this false premise of Masonry that causes its members to close their ears, as a general rule, to the pleadings and warnings of gospel preachers.

(5) Preachers should be informed on this subject. Masonry is growing. Members of the Church of Christ are frequently led into it, and many others are asked to join. It is the duty of preachers to be informed and able to teach and warn against this growing menace.

(6) Masonry is a detriment to the church. This is true, to say nothing of Masonry conflicting with the teaching of the New Testament. All preachers, or at least nearly all, will admit that good Masons are not among the most zealous workers in and for the church. There may be exceptions, but this is the rule. Here is another fact that cannot be denied: If the lodge has a meeting during a gospel meeting, the Masons will attend the lodge instead of the meeting. Those who do not are the exception to the rule. In more ways than one, Masonry is definitely hurting the church. This fact should be recognized and something done about it.

It is the writer's conviction that Masonry definitely conflicts with the teaching of the New Testament. The reader is invited to consider carefully the following facts and principles:

I. CHRISTIANS ARE COMMANDED TO DO ALL THINGS IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. "And whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Col. 3:17.)

a. The lodge opens and closes with prayer, but not in the name of Christ. Such prayers are but vain repetitions. Jesus said, "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14.) Hence it is nothing short of mockery and an outright refusal to follow the New Testament when members of the church will not obey the divine injunctions on this point. Therefore, it is wrong for members of the church to engage in the vain and Christless prayers of Masonry.

b. Charity work cannot be done through the lodge and in the name of Christ both. If a basket of groceries is delivered to a needy family from the lodge, who gets the glory? Christ or the lodge? The lodge of course. Maintaining a home for orphans is a good work; but there is no promise of a reward for doing it in the Masonic Lodge. (1 Cor. 15:58.) There are homes for orphans maintained by the church. If one is a Mason and a member of the church, and he should die, in which home should his children be placed? In which home would they be placed?

It is not for us to decide in whose name our good works are done. We are commanded to do all; in word and in deed, in the name of Christ. But Masons do not obey this command; hence, members of the church of Christ who are Masons are transgressing it, and therefore sinning for sin is lawlessness. (John 3:4.)

II. MASONRY EXTENDS HOPE OF A CHRIST-LESS SALVATION TO ALL ITS MEMBERS. Some may deny this point; but the facts cry aloud in sustaining it.

a. The white apron is a badge of innocence. "The Lambskin, or White Apron, is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason." (Masonic Manual, Grand Lodge, A. F. and A. M. of Alabama, Compiled Under Authority of the Grand Lodge by Oliver Day Street, 1940, Reprint 1943, Premier Printing Company, Birmingham, Alabama, p. 75. Note: all quotations following, in this article, shall be taken from this manual.) Now, may I ask, what is there about Masonry that can make a man innocent?

b. Prayers at their services reveal that Masons have a hope of salvation, even though they have not obeyed the gospel of Christ. Note these quotations:

"May we so practice Thy precepts in the rigid observance of the tenets of Freemasonry, that we may finally obtain Thy promises, and find an entrance through the gates into the Temple and City of our God. Amen. So mote it be." (Ibid. p. 8, 9.)

"And when we shall have ended our labors on earth may we forever sing songs of deliverance and joy in that Heavenly Lodge where love is supreme and the ties of fraternity and friendship are never to be broken. amen." (Ibid., p. 145.)

c. Masonic funeral services are conducted as though all Masons will spend eternity in the "celestial lodge above." Note the following quotation:

"As a reminder to the living of that rectitude of conduct which should characterize man in this life, we deposit this apron with the body of our deceased brother with the hope that the virtues symbolized by it will gain ready passage for him from our imperfect lodge here to that all-perfect, celestial lodge above, where there is a higher, a wider, and a brighter realm of life and labor." (Ibid., p. 84.)

Hence, if these quotations from their own manual do not mean that they, as good and faithful Masons, have a hope of eternal salvation; it is difficult to conceive how such would be stated. Note these conclusions derived therefrom:

(1) Masonic hope of salvation is apart from Christ, his name, his blood, and his church. Can a Christian scripturally and consistently belong to a lodge that teaches and practices such deception? Their hope and salvation are false.

(2) We can now understand how a Mason can argue, as many of them do, if a person will only be a good Mason he can be saved without belonging to the church.

(3) If a person says he does not think one can be saved in and through the lodge, it cannot be denied that the lodge so teaches. If we uphold and bid Godspeed a doctrine that is false, we are a partaker in the evil work, regardless of what we say. (2 John 9-11.)

These two points or conflicts between Masonry and the New Testament should cause anyone who loves the truth and wants to be saved to renounce the lodge and get out of it, if he is in. No member of the church can scripturally belong to it.

(To be continued)