What Does Masonry Teach About Christianity?
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg / Dr. John Weldon; ©2004|
|Masonry claims it is compatible with the Christian faith, but, in fact, Masonic literature reveals Masonry is anti-Christian!|
What Does Masonry Teach About Christianity?
- The great thrust of Masonry does not establish the Kingdom of Christ; it is in fact hostile to Christ.
Masonry claims it is compatible with Christian faith. But, as we will show, Masons themselves admit that Masonry is not Christian. In fact, as we will show, Masonry is anti-Christian.
In Albert Mackey’s The Symbolism of Freemasonry, it is acknowledged that the “Christianization of Freemasonry (the interpretation of its symbols from a Christian point of view)” is wrong. “This is an error into which [some] have fallen. It is impossible to derive Freemasonry from Christianity…. [Freemasonry’s] religion was derived from the ancient priesthood.”
Joseph Fort Newton, perhaps the most popular Masonic writer of all time, acknowledges that, “The pilgrims and the Puritans were not of our Craft, and if we may judge from their real interests we may be sure that they did not care anything about it.” He also observes that Masonry did “finally emancipate itself from any sectarian and dogmatic interpretation of Christianity….”
In his The Great Teachings of Masonry, H. L. Haywood argues that Christians who think that Masonry is Christian are simply wrong:
- Many brethren, misled by the predominantly Scriptural cast of the Work, and misunderstanding a few scattered references here and there, assume that in some sense Freemasonry is specifically a Christian institution…. These brethren should be made to understand the facts in the case…. The ritual [of Masonry] is not built on the text of the Bible, for the great major incidents in the ritual—and this applies to all the grades—are not found in the Book at all.
He acknowledges that the main reason, historically, why Christians joined Masonry was because of the “serious and religious nature of the ritual” as well as the citations from the Bible. In other words, Christians joined Masonry because it appeared devout and biblical, even though this was not its intent or its true nature.
On this subject almost everyone agrees—Masonic, secular and Christian authorities alike— Masonry is not Christian. The standard work on Masonic history freely admits that in the Constitutions of 1723, “Christianity was discarded.”
It seems, therefore, that only Christian Masons believe that Masonry is Christian. Other fellow Masons do not believe this, nor do former Masons who are now Christians, nor do secular researchers on the subject. Even Stephen Knight, who defines himself “as a neutral investigator holding no brief for Christianity” admits,
- One does not have to be a theologian—nor even a Freemason or a Christian—to recognize that Christians and Freemasons would have to worship the same God for the two to be compatible…. [But] Masonry and Christianity are mutually exclusive…. [There is] overwhelming evidence of Masonry’s incompatibility with Christianity….
One of the clearest statements documenting the true goal of Masonry comes from the 28th and 30th degrees. Masonry had earlier promised the candidate that it would not hinder him from following his own religious beliefs. But Masonry shows that this was only a ruse in order to get a person started in Masonry, for the goal was that the Lodge would eventually change a person’s original beliefs. And notice that in the following block quote, one’s original religious beliefs are called “superstition.” This ritual teaches that all men are lost, in spiritual darkness, and not true Masons until they accept this.
This statement also reveals that the true goal of the Masonic Lodge is to have its initiates finally drop and repudiate their previous religious beliefs—their “superstitions and prejudices”— and to accept the final and only truth of Masonry. Thus, the 28th degree teaches that “the first degree represents man, when he had sunken from his original lofty estate…. He is emphatically profane, enveloped in darkness, poor and destitute of spiritual knowledge, and emblematically naked. The material darkness which is produced by the bandage over his eyes, is an emblem of the darkness of his soul.” In the 30th degree it is revealed to the initiate that his earlier religious beliefs are “superstition” and that the claim of religious compatibility was only a ruse to get him started in Masonry:
- In all the preceding degrees you must have observed that the object of Scotch Masonry is to overthrow all kinds of superstition, and that by admitting in her bosom on the terms of the strictest equality, the members of all religions, of all creeds and of all countries, without any distinction whatever, she has, and indeed can have, but one single object and that is to restore to the Grand architect of the Universe; to the common father of the human race those who are lost in the maze of impostures, invented for the sole purpose of enslaving them. The Knights Kadosh recognize no particular religion, and for that reason we demand of you nothing more than to worship God. And whatever may be the religious forms imposed upon you by superstition at a period of your life when you were incapable of discerning truth from falsehood, we do not even require you to relinquish them. Time and study alone can enlighten you. But remember that you will never be a true mason unless you repudiate forever all superstitions and prejudices.
From this it can be seen that Masonry teaches that of all the faiths in the world it alone is the true faith and that ultimately all other religions are false superstition. With such a belief, Masonry can hardly claim that it seeks to unite all religions into a common brotherhood. The only way Masonry unites all men is if they abandon their former beliefs. As Joseph Fort Newton states, “Masonry seeks to free men from a limiting conception of religion, and thus to remove one of the chief causes of sectarianism.” Newton hopes that as Masonry expands around the world, all religious creeds and dogmas will “cease to be,” and that what remains will be “The one eternal religion—the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, the moral law, the golden rule, and the hope of a life everlasting.”
Do these sentiments of Masonic authorities sound “tolerant” toward the Christian faith—or any faith?
- Everette C. DeVelde, Jr., “A Reformed View of Freemasonry” in James B. Jordan, ed., Christianity and Civilization, Vol. 1: The Failure of American Baptist Culture (Tyler, TX: Geneva Divinity School Press, 1982), p. 281.
- Albert G. Mackey, The Symbolism of Freemasonry: Illustrating and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends Myths, and Symbols (Chicago, IL: Charles T. Powner Co., 1975), p. 326.
- Ibid., p. 327.
- Various Authors, Little Masonic Library, Vol. II (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1977), p. 143.
- Ibid., p. 92.
- H. L. Haywood, The Great Teachings of Masonry (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1971), pp. 97-98.
- Ibid., pp. 96-98.
- See extensive footnotes in John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), p. 269
- Henry Wilson Coil, Freemasonry Through Six Centuries, Vol. 1 (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1967), p. 174.
- Stephen Knight, The Brotherhood: The Explosive Exposé of the Secret Word of the Freemasons (London: Grenada Publishing, Ltd./ Panther Books, 1983), p. 230.
- Ibid., pp. 230, 231, 234, 240.
- J. Blanchard, Scottish Rite Masonry Illustrated: The Complete Ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Vol., 1 (Chicago, IL: Charles T. Powner Co., 1979); Rongstad, How to Respond to the Lodge, pp. 221-222.
- Blanchard, Scottish Rite Illustrated, Vol., II, pp. 263-264, emphasis added.
- Joseph Fort Newton, The Builders: A Story and Study of Freemasonry (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1951), pp. 243, 246, 247.