Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 26, 1950
NUMBER 37, PAGE 4-5a

Masonry And The Church -- No. 2

A. G. Hobbs, Jr.

Masonic Lodge A Religious Institution

If members of the church could see and would admit this point, they should be able to see immediately that they cannot belong to it without transgressing the teaching of the New Testament.

Concerning this point, we shall let undeniable facts and men of authority sustain it.

First, let us note these facts:

(1) The lodge is opened with prayer; prayers are offered at their funeral services; prayers are said at their dedication and consecration services, and in taking some of the degrees.

(2) But Masonic prayers are not in the name of Christ; and no one can get to God today except through Christ as mediator, (1 Tim. 2:5); and in and through his name. (John 14:14.) Hence, their prayers are in defiance of New Testament teaching.

(3) The Masonic Lodge offers to all its faithful members the hope of eternal salvation. (This was pointed out in last article.)

(4) For brethren to "cross their fingers" and say that the lodge is not a religious institution does not remove the facts—neither does it remove their guilt for belonging to it.

However, let us hear the authorities on this point.

First, we shall quote from Albert G. Mackey:

"On the contrary I contend, without any sort of hesitation, that Masonry 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 which it contains for its origin and for its continued existence, and that without this religious element, it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good." (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, McClure Publishing Co., Philadelphia, 1917, p. 727.)

Again Mackey says, "Masonry may rightfully claim to be called a religious institution." (Ibid., p. 728.) He further says:

"Masonry, then, is, indeed, a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Mason defend it." (Ibid., p. 729.)

From another writer, we quote as follows:

"Entirely too little is known to the vast majority of these brethren of the modern organizations known as Masonic. They have been given the letter, which, though beautiful in itself, does not contain the life, and because of this lack, they cannot successfully defend the expression frequently heard, that Masonry is a religion." (R. Swinburne Clymer, The Mysteries of Masonry, The Philosophical Publishing Company, Beverly Hall Corp. Building, Quakertown, Pa., p. 6.)

Design Of Masonry

Men may join the lodge for various reasons: some do so for business reasons; some for fellowship possibly. But what is the chief design of Masonry? Let Mackey tell us:

"Design of Freemasonry. It is neither charity nor almsgiving, nor the cultivation of the social sentiment; for both these are merely incidental to its organization; but it is the search after truth, and that truth is the unity of God and the immortality of the soul" (Ency. p., 243.)

Brethren is it consistent and right for members of the church who, in Christ are complete (Col 2:10), to join a lodge that is searching after truth ?

Before being initiated into the lodge, a man is represented as being in darkness, and ignorance, and seeking light and the new birth. I quote from Mackey under the heading, "The Shock of Entrance":

"The Lodge is, then, at the time of the reception of an Entered Apprentice, a symbol of the world, and the initiation is a type of the new life upon which the candidate is about to enter. There he stands without our portals, on the threshold of this new Masonic in darkness, helplessness, and ignorance. Having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollutions of the outer and profane world, he comes inquiringly to our doors, seeking the new birth, and asking a withdrawal of the veil which conceals divine truth from uninitiated sight...The world is left behind—the chains of error and ignorance which had previously restrained the candidate in moral and intellectual captivity are to be broken—the portal of the Temple has been thrown widely open, and Masonry stands before the neophyte in all the glory of its form and beauty, to be fully revealed to him, however, only when the new birth has been completely accomplished." (Manual of the Lodge" Albert G. Mackey, New York: Clark & Maynard, 1867, p. 28, 29.)

From the same author and book, we have the following:

"The material light which sprung forth at the fiat of the Grand Architect, when darkness and chaos were dispersed, has ever been, in Masonry, a favorite symbol of that intellectual illumination which it is the object of the Order to create in the minds of its disciples, whence we have justly assumed the titles of 'Sons of Light.' This mental illumination—this spiritual light, which, after his new birth, is the first demand of the candidate, is but another name for Divine Truth—the truth of God and the soul—the nature and essence of both—which constitute the chief design of all Masonic teaching." (p.29.) Before drawing some concluding facts by way of a summary, let us note another quotation or two.

"In the Ancient Mysteries the aspirant was always kept for a certain period in a condition of darkness. Hence darkness became the symbol of initiation. Applied to Masonic symbolism, it is intended to remind the candidate of his ignorance, which Masonry enlightens; his evil nature, which Masonry is to purify; of the world, in whose obscurity he has been wandering, and from which Masonry is to rescue him." (Ibid., p. 39.) Again we note:

"As Masons, we are taught never to commence any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing and protection of Deity, and this is because Masonry is a religious institution, and we thereby show our dependence on and our trust in God." (Ibid., p. 40.)

A person does not have to believe in Christ to be a Mason—only in some supreme being. Concerning belief in God, Mackey says, "This constitutes the sole creed of a Mason—at least, the only creed that he is required to profess." (Ibid., p. 40.) Albert Pike says, "We utter no word that can be deemed irreverent by any one of any faith. We do not tell the Hebrew that the Messiah whom he expects was born in Bethlehem nearly two thousand years ago; and that he is a heretic because he will not so believe." (Morals and Dogma, p. 524.) Then he says, "Masonry is a worship" (Ibid., p. 526.) For Masons to deny that Masonry is a religion does not change the facts.

It is high time for us to get our eyes open, and to cry out against this false religion with its Christ-less worship, false doctrines, and pagan practices.