Christianity and the Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge – Program 6

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Jack Harris, Jim Flannagan, Bill Mankin, Dr. Walter Martin; ©1985
Adherents claim Masonry is not a religion, but do they teach a way of salvation in their rituals?

Does the Lodge Turn Men Away from Jesus Christ?

Introduction

On this edition of John Ankerberg, we will compare the secret teachings of the Masonic Lodge with Christian belief. You will hear what the Lodge teaches in the first three degrees of Masonry, as well as the higher degrees of the York Rite and the Scottish Rite. Masons are promised in their authoritative Masonic ritual that nothing in the Lodge’s teachings will ever conflict with one’s own religious beliefs. Has Masonry lied to Christians in stating this? Is it really possible for a Christian to embrace the teachings of Freemasonry? Tonight, you will find out.

Invitations for tonight’s program were extended to current leaders, scholars, and Worshipful Masters of the Lodge. But Lodge members declined our invitation to come and be a part of this program – though our invitation remains open. However, you will meet and hear two former Worshipful Masters, Mr. Jim Flannigan and Mr. Jack Harris, explain what they used to believe and teach as leaders of the Lodge.


Ankerberg: Good evening. The question we want to examine during this program is, “Does the Masonic Lodge turn men away from Jesus Christ?” We’re going to examine four areas: (1) Does the Masonic Lodge deny Christ’s Deity? (2) Does the Masonic Lodge deliberately delete the name of Christ from its prayers and Scripture quotations? (3) Does the Masonic Lodge make Christian Masons disobey Christ by officially prohibiting them from speaking or witnessing of Christ during their Lodge activities? (4) Does Masonry commit blasphemy by offering the inviolate and nontransferable offices of Jesus Christ to non-Christian Lodge members?
Well, to begin, let us start with the question: Does Masonry deny Christ’s Deity? I want you to listen as Mr. Jack Harris tells how he came to understand the Lodge’s teachings concerning Jesus while he was the Worshipful Master in his Lodge. Please listen.
Ankerberg: You actually had 600 men in your Lodge that you presided over. Is that correct?
Harris: That is correct. Six hundred men. And at the time we had a Pentecostal Chaplain which always opened and closed his prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Well, at the time I was Master he closed his prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. At this one particular meeting, a Past Master stood up and said, “We won’t have any of that here!” Well, in a Blue Lodge parliamentary procedure is normally always followed. So when the Lodge closed I approached this brother, “Why did you object to this?” He said, “Well, look in your Maryland Masonic Manual. It tells you how to close your prayers. And you’re supposed to use no additional endings, just ‘Amen’ or ‘So mote it be.’”
So I approached the Grand Master in 1968 at the time, and I said to the Grand Master, “I’d like to have a Christian flag in the East [and] an Old and New Testament on the altar, and I would also like to have, on top of all of this, I’d like to close my prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. I noticed there were some objections from the Past Masters.” He said, “Well, an Old and New Testament I have no problem with. Christian flag, that’s an impossibility!” I said, “Why?” He said, “Because we have Jews, Christians, Moslems, Buddhists…we have all religions of the world as a part of Freemasonry.” I said, “We do? I didn’t know that!”
And then he said, “Close your prayers in the name of Jesus Christ? So long as no members object, I have no problem with that. But, if one member objects, I must insist that you don’t close your prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. If you do, I will insist on shutting your lodge down and it will cease to exist.” At this point I began to wonder, “Is there a difference between Freemasonry and the teachings of the Bible?”
When I first came into Masonry they told me that I was “in darkness, seeking spiritual light.” And when I read in John 8:12 where Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” And as I saw many other passages that said I am a child of light. In the book of Colossians, “He has called me out of darkness” [Col. 1:13]. I thought, “Well, wait a minute! If I’m out of darkness and I’m in Jesus’ light, why am I still in darkness in every degree of Freemasonry until I come to their light?” So this kind of opened my eyes that something is wrong here with Freemasonry.
I then contacted the Grand Lodge of the State of Maryland, debated with them on the issue, and their final word was: “We worship the Supreme Architect of the Universe here. If you want to worship Jesus Christ, you go to your church.” My point was, “Sir, in the light of the first chapter of John, Jesus Christ is the Architect of the Universe but He has a name: it’s Jesus Christ.” He said, “End of argument.” I then decided in order to be true to the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, I must renounce Freemasonry.
Ankerberg: Now, does Masonry deny Christ’s Deity? Well, Albert Pike taught, “Masonry reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the law giver of the Jews, in Confucius and Zoroaster, in Jesus of Nazareth and in the Arabian Iconoclast great teachers of morality and eminent reformers if no more, and allows every brother of the Order to assign to each such higher and even divine character as his creed and truth require.” Notice, Masonry says it’s okay if you want to believe Zoroaster, Jesus, or some Arabian leader are divine, but Masonry itself only recognizes these men as “reformers” or “great teachers of morality.”
Let me ask you, if you’re a Christian, do you believe Jesus was only a great teacher of morality and no more than that? Well, Masonry believes Jesus was only a man and not God. In the important Masonic Ritual called the Maundy Thursday Ritual of the Chapter of Rose Croix Masonry officially teaches, “We meet this day to commemorate the death of Jesus, not as inspired or divine, for this is not for us to decide.” Here, the Lodge admits that Masonry perceives Jesus only as a man, not as God or someone divine. This agrees with what Pike said: “Jesus was a great teacher of morality, but nothing more.”
In fact, nowhere in Masonic Ritual or literature will you find Jesus called God or said to be the world’s Savior who died for men’s sin. To portray Him in such a light would offend men in the Lodge, and Masonry wishes to offend no one. But in doing so, Masonry offends every Christian who believes Jesus is both Lord and Savior.
The question becomes, “How can Christians who are Masons continue to support an organization that denies their Lord?” You know, Jesus warns, “Whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33).
Now, second, let’s examine the evidence to find out if Masonry has deliberately deleted the name of Jesus Christ from its prayers and Scripture quotations. Listen as former Worshipful Master Jack Harris explains what he discovered while he was in the Lodge.
Ankerberg: Alright, let me ask you this: Concerning God specifically, what offended you in the Masonic Lodge as you started to study your Bible?
Harris: Primarily that the name of Jesus Christ was excluded from the Ritual and because there was so much contention within the Masonic Order to pray in His name.
Ankerberg: Give me an example.
Harris: Chaplains open and close their prayers. If there are objections from the sidelines from other members, they are restricted from closing prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Only if all the members agree is this allowed. And, of course, we are told to pray in His name when we ask the Father for something. In a Lodge I’m told I can’t do this.
Ankerberg: Is there any problem with not mentioning Jesus Christ’s name in the Lodge?
Harris: Well, the fact is that in all of their Rituals, everything that they teach you, they exclude the Person of Jesus Christ. When they talk about how to gain eternal life in the Hiram Abiff legend, they only say “the tribe of the Lion of Judah.” They don’t say who this person is. Whenever they talk about the white apron…the white apron? The blood that dripped off of that white apron saved me by grace. They never say this. They tell me about “our purity of life and conduct.” So, all throughout the Rituals, Jesus Christ is never mentioned. [He is] totally excluded. It’s not a matter of just omitting it at the prayers, it’s a matter of omitting Him totally.
Ankerberg: Proof that Jesus’ name has been deliberately deleted from the Rituals of the Masonic Lodge can be seen in at least two examples from the Charge at the Opening of the Royal Arch degree. In this Ritual, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 and 2 Thessalonians 3:12 are both quoted, but they are misquoted in this manner: “Now we command you, brethren, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” Now notice how the Bible really reads: “Now we command you brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdrawn yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”
The other verse that is misquoted is 2 Thessalonians 3:12, and the words “Jesus Christ” in the biblical passage cited in their Ritual are again deleted. Now notice, in both of these scriptural passages Masonry has deliberately and dishonestly removed the name of Jesus Christ from their Ritual.
Every Christian knows the Bible is God’s Word and it’s not to be tampered with. God warns in Deuteronomy 4:2, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you nor take away from it.” Masonry not only dishonestly deletes the name of Christ from Scripture passages, it also forbids prayer to Jesus in the Lodge or prayer to God in Jesus’ name. For example, the Maryland Master Mason magazine of March 1973, Volume 2, stated the following regulation concerning prayer for the lodges in the state of Maryland: “All prayers in Mason Lodges should be directed to the one deity to whom all Masons refer as the Grand Architect of the Universe. Prayers in the Lodges should be closed with expressions such as ‘in the most holy and precious name we pray,’ using no additional words which would be in conflict with the religious beliefs of those present at meetings.”
Similar statements have been made in other states. In fact, if one examines every prayer Masonry suggests ought to be offered in the Blue Lodge and all the prayers of the 40 higher degrees of the York and Scottish Rites, one will discover that not one of these sample prayers is offered in the name of Jesus Christ. Now, one would think that as soon as Christians recognized this, they would be ashamed to remain in the Masonic Lodge! Scripture tells us, “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father. The one who confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23).
Third, we want to find out, does the Masonic Lodge make Christian Masons disobey Christ by officially prohibiting them from speaking or witnessing for Christ in the Lodge? Well, all Christians know they have been commanded by Jesus Christ during His Great Commission to witness about Him to all men everywhere they go. But Masonry prohibits Christians from talking about Jesus Christ in any fashion in the Lodge. The Ritual of the 20th degree of the Scottish Rite teaches, “No man has the right to dictate to another in matters of belief or faith. No man can say that he has possession of truth.” The Texas Monitor, along with many others, stresses the point that Masonry is correct in “forbidding all sectarian discussion within its Lodge rooms.” In brief, what this means is that Masonry absolutely prohibits all attempts by Christians to share Jesus Christ or His Gospel with other Masons in the Lodge.
Fourth, Masonry turns men away from Jesus Christ by speaking blasphemy in the Lodge and offering the nontransferable offices of Jesus Christ to unbelieving Lodge members during their ceremonies. First, what is “blasphemy”? Well, blasphemy is committed when men identify themselves with the name reserved only for God or with the activities only God can do. For example, in the Bible in Revelation 5:1-5, only God is said to be permitted to open the seven seals mentioned there. Yet, in the seventh degree of the Scottish Rite ceremony the All Puissant acts out the very scene in Revelation 5 and takes the place of God in opening the seven seals. Another example of blasphemy is when men take to themselves the different names that are reserved only for God. Listen as former Worshipful Master Jim Flannigan explains how all Royal Arch Masons blaspheme God by appropriating to themselves God’s personal name of the “I Am.”
High priest: Companion Captain of the Host.
Captain: Most Excellent High Priest.
High priest: Are you a Royal Arch Mason?
Captain: I am that I am….
Ankerberg: Now, why is this blasphemy? Well, God said about His name, the “I Am,” “This is my name forever, and this is my memorial name to all generations” [Ex. 3:15]. God also said, “Ye shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name” (Exodus 20:7). Now, the Masonic Lodge misuses God’s name, reducing it to a password for unbelievers.
Now, another example of where the office of Christ Himself is given to non-Christian Masonic candidates in the Lodge was brought out during our debate with 32nd degree Mason Mr. Bill Mankin and Dr. Walter Martin. Dr. Martin pointed out the following information.

[Excerpt from “Christianity and the Masonic Lodge: Are They Compatible?”]

Martin: “It is then that the Thrice Puissant anoints him with oil on the crown of his head and says, ‘Be thou a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.’ And after receiving the password ‘Immanuel,’ and the sacred word, ‘Alleluia,’ he is dressed in a robe of white linen and given a cordon sash of honor worn across the breast of crimson color.” Scottish Rite Masonry Illustrated: The Complete Ritual, Volume 2, E. Cook Publications, 1974. Is it not significant to you, as a Christian, that in the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesus Christ alone occupies the priesthood of Melchizedek? In fact, the Greek says, “He holds it inviolate and untransferable.”
Mankin: I have to go back to symbolism. We have to go back to…
Martin: But let me…
Mankin: …a symbolic act and not something that is designed to…
Martin: But I can’t say to you, “You’re a priest after the order of Melchizedek” when that’s our Lord’s priesthood.
Mankin: I don’t want you to.
Martin: But that Rite says they do it to people that aren’t even Christians. You’re giving the priesthood of Jesus Christ who intercedes for us in heaven as our Lord to people who don’t even acknowledge Him as God. That’s what I’m saying. That’s why Masonry is a cult. It denies the only Lord God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ankerberg: Now, these examples show that the Masonic Lodge is blaspheming God’s name in Rituals that deny, distort and repudiate everything God has taught in the Bible. What could be more irreverent than applying the name of God to oneself and then participating in pagan rituals? You know, Jews in the Old Testament out of reverence for God would not go so far as to even pronounce God’s name in public. But Masons use it in their profane skits, assigning it to unbelievers who mock God by citing His name in approval of doctrines He abhors and condemns!
In conclusion, Masonry claims that it reveres Jesus Christ but in fact, it denies Him, blasphemes Him, and turns men away from Him. It deletes the name of Christ from its prayers and scriptural quotations. It offers the titles and offices of Christ to unbelievers. It forces Christians to disobey Christ by prohibiting all discussion of Christ from the Lodge activity. And it denies the Deity of Jesus Christ and teaches that He was only a man, and in the process, denies His role as Savior of the world.
If you’re a Christian, how can you remain part of an organization that denies your Lord?

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