Where Does the Masonic Ritual Conflict with the Bible/Part 2
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2009|
|Masonry teaches that the God of the Bible is the God of the Masonic Lodge. Is this true? The Masonic Lodge teaches that the Bible is only a symbol of the will of God and not to be literally obeyed. Is this true?|
Masonry teaches that the God of the Bible is the God of the Masonic Lodge. Is this true?
Masonry teaches at least three things about its God.
1. The Masonic God is called the Great Architect of the Universe (G.A.O.T.U) but must remain undefined.
Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia states the following about God:
- Men have to decide whether they want a God like the ancient Hebrew Jahweh, a partisan tribal god, with whom they can talk and argue and from whom they can hide if necessary, or a boundless, eternal, universal, undenominational, and international Divine Spirit, so vastly removed from the speck called man, that he cannot be known, named or approached. So soon as man begins to laud his God and endow him with the most perfect human attributes such as justice, mercy, beneficence, etc., the Divine Essence is depreciated and despoiled…. The Masonic test is a Supreme Being, and any qualification added is an innovation and distortion…. Monotheism… violates Masonic principles, for it requires belief in a specific kind of Supreme Deity.
At one level, Masonry teaches that its God must remain undefined and unknowable. In keeping God undefined and unknowable, Masonry believes it can then “accept” all men’s ideas of God. Masonry believes that by leaving God undefined, it can claim that it accepts the God of the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Mormons, etc. What Masonry means is that its “boundless Divine Spirit” is really the one true God that all men worship.
But this is completely false and is actually dishonest. The God of Masonry does have certain characteristics – he is single (unitarian, not trinitarian), deistic, the “Life Force of Nature,” and his secret name and true nature are described by reference to ancient evil and pagan gods and beliefs.
The simple fact is that the God or Gods of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, animism and all the other religions of the world are not the same God. To say that all gods are the same or that all religions teach the same fundamental truths is intellectual schizophrenia, disrespect for each and all religions, and deception to those to whom one teaches such falsehood.
Concepts of God throughout the world all conflict and disagree. For example, the God of Christianity, Jehovah, is infinite, personal, triune, loving, and holy. The deity of the Muslims, AIlah, is unitarian (not triune); he is merciful, but he is not necessarily loving or holy. The deity of the Hindus, Brahman, is impersonal and monistic (neither unitarian nor triune) or polytheistic (a belief in thousands of finite gods, both good and evil). Buddhism is either polytheistic (believing Buddha is God and that there are hundreds of other good and evil gods) or completely nontheistic, claiming there is no God. Buddhism replaces God with a confusing state of being called Nirvana. Mormonism is different from all the above in that it is henotheistic – accepting belief in one central deity (Elohim) but accepting many lesser deities as well.
Masonry is wrong in teaching that all religions ultimately have the same concept of God. Masonry is also wrong in teaching that the God of all religions is the Masonic deity. The gods of the above religions are not the same. All the above religions teach that God is either personal, impersonal, holy, evil, unitarian, trinitarian, monistic, infinite, finite, loving, not loving, existent, nonexistent, etc.
So when Masonry claims that the God all men worship is the God of Masonry, this can’t possibly be true. Masonry has a distinct concept of God that disagrees with almost all of these other religions’ specific concepts of God.
If we compare the God of the Bible with the God taught in the Masonic Lodge, we are faced with irreconcilable differences. As Martin L. Wagner has correctly stated, “This Great Architect as conceived by Freemasons is not identical with the Jehovah of Christianity, but… is another and distinct entity.” He says they “are entirely separate and different, mutually exclusive and no syncretism can harmonize them.”
Masonic authority Albert Pike admits, “If our conceptions of God are those of the ignorant, narrow-minded, and vindictive Israelite… we feel that it is an affront and an indignity to him [God], to conceive of him as cruel, short-sighted, capricious, and unjust; as a jealous, an angry, and vindictive Being.”
Pike later referred to the ignorance and stupidity of most Christians and confessed: “The God of nineteen-twentieths of the Christian world is only Bel [Baal], Molech, Zeus, or at best Osiris, Mythras or Adonai, under another name, worshipped with the old pagan ceremonies and ritualistic formulas….”
When Masons claim that the Lodge is “tolerant” of all faiths and accepts the God that all men worship, it is really engaging in dishonesty. The truth is that Masonry does not accept the God of any religion but changes each religion’s belief in God into the strange, distinct Masonic view of God as the Great Architect of the Universe (G.A.O.T.U.). Masonry falsely claims it is tolerant of other beliefs in order to attract men of different religious beliefs into becoming Masons. In actuality, a true Mason must forfeit his own religious beliefs in who God is and accept the new God of Masonry.
2. God’s secret name is “Jahbulon.”
The Masonic Lodge teaches in the Royal Arch degree that it knows the true name of God. The candidate is instructed that from now on the true name of God is Jahbulon. The candidate is clearly instructed in his Masonic manual that the term “Jahbulon” is a composite term for Jehovah (Jah), Baal (Bul or Bel), and Osiris (On, a corruption of Os).
Masonic authorities such as Coil and the Masonic Ritual and Monitor admit that “Bul” or “Bel” refers to the Assyrian or Canaanite deity Baal and that “On” refers to the Egyptian deity Osiris. Wagner reveals the Masonic goal in this pagan trinity:
- In this compound name an attempt is made to show by a coordination of divine names… the unity, identity and harmony of the Hebrew, Assyrian and Egyptian god-ideas, and the harmony of the Royal Arch religion with these ancient religions. This Masonic “unity of God” is peculiar. It is the doctrine that the different names of gods as Brahma, Jehovah, Baal, Bel, Om, On, etc., all denote the generative principle, and that all religions are essentially the same in their ideas of the divine.
But to equate Jehovah with the pagan god Baal – a god so evil that he led the Israelites into human sacrifice and other terrible vices – is blasphemous. Anyone who studies how evil Baal was in the Old Testament can see this clearly. For example:
- They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God… they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire… and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger (2 Kings 17:16-17).
- They built high places [altars] for Baal… to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing… (Jer. 32:35).
- Among the prophets… I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray (Jer. 23:13).
Baal was so evil a deity that to find the name of the one, true, holy God, Jehovah, linked with Baal and Osiris in the rites of Masonry is blasphemous. God says, “Those who honor Me, I will honor” (1 Sam. 2:30). The apostle Paul writes, “To Him [God] be honor and eternal dominion” (1 Tim. 6:16). If you are a Christian, according to Scripture is it honoring to God to participate in a rite that maligns his divine name by combining it with the names of evil gods? Didn’t God’s severe judgment fall upon Israel because she combined worship of Jehovah with the worship of Baal and other pagan gods? Didn’t God’s judgment fall because of teachings like those found in Masonry? As former Master Mason Edmund Ronayne confesses: “The very religious philosophy and false worship which caused Jehovah to destroy His own temple, and banish into captivity His ancient people, are precisely the same philosophy and worship which modern Masons profess shall fit them for the glories of heaven.”
3. Masonry teaches that its God is not the Christian God.
Masonry teaches that God is one person only (unitarian), while Christianity teaches that God is triune, not unitarian. An article by G. A. Kenderdeine, “The Idea of God in Masonry,” cited in the Masonic magazine The New Age on pages 269ff. states, “Masonry holds and teaches that with all and above all there is God, not essentially a Christian Triune God.”
Masonry also teaches that God is an amalgamation of all gods: “[The Mason] may name Him [God] as he will, think of Him as he pleases; make Him impersonal law or personal and anthropomorphic; Freemasonry cares not…. God, Great Architect of the universe, Grand Artificer, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge above, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, or Great Geometer….” But the Bible teaches that the Christian God alone is the one true God – he is not an amalgamation of all gods:
- O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no god like Thee in heaven or on earth… (2 Chron. 6:14).
- I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another (Isa. 42:8).
- Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other (Deut. 4:39).
Masonry also denies the biblical teaching on Jesus Christ. Albert Pike taught that Masonry held that Jesus Christ was only a man and not God:
- It reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the Lawgiver 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….
Masonry claims that it does not offend a Christian’s belief about Jesus Christ. For example: “We do not say to Christians that Christ was a mere man, whose life’s story is only a revival of similar older [pagan] stories. To do any of these things would be irreverent. We utter no such words.” But Masonry does teach that Jesus Christ was merely a man. The important Masonic Ritual called the Maundy Thursday Ritual of the chapter of Rose Croix states officially, “We meet this day to commemorate the death [of Jesus], not as inspired or divine, for this is not for us to decide.”
In his spiritual darkness or ignorance, an individual Christian Mason may choose to believe that Jesus was God and Savior of the world, but this is not Masonic truth. Those who consider themselves enlightened Masons hope that their unenlightened brethren will realize that all specific dogmas about Christ are in error. As Clausen emphasizes, it is important to “strip from all religions their orthodox tenets, legends, allegories and dogmas.” This is why the Masonic scholar Albert Pike asserts that Jesus was “a great teacher of morality” – but nothing more.
So it is neither fair nor true for Masons to say that Masonry does not offend Christians by teaching that Jesus was only a man. This is exactly what it teaches. Why does Masonry say that Christ was only a man and thereby offend the beliefs of Christians? It does this because it does not wish to offend the religious sensibilities of those Masons who are members of other faiths which deny that Jesus is the only incarnation of God and Savior of the world. For example, the unique nature and mission of Christ is denied by Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, etc. In order to not offend these people, it offends Christians.
This is why nowhere in Masonic 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, and Masonry wishes to offend no one. The necessity for this approach can be found in the fundamental doctrines or Landmarks of Masonry (the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the immortality of the soul, Masonically interpreted). These doctrines presume beforehand that there is neither reason nor necessity that Jesus should be unique either as to his Person (God) or his mission (Savior). Thus, Masonry teaches that man already has a perfect standing with God. All men are guaranteed eternal life regardless of their personal religious beliefs. As a result, there is no need for God to incarnate (Phil. 2:1-8) in order to die for the world’s sin (John 3:16) because the teachings of Masonry assume all men are saved or redeemed to begin with.
This is why Masonry completely excludes all particular biblical teachings about Christ such as his incarnation, redemptive mission, death, and resurrection. In fact, there is no biblical truth about Jesus Christ that is affirmed by Masonry as one of their Landmarks. This is why former Mason Edmond Ronayne confesses:
- Freemasonry “carefully excludes” the Lord Jesus Christ from the Lodge and chapter, repudiates his mediatorship, rejects his atonement, denies and disowns his gospel, frowns upon his religion and his church, ignores the Holy Spirit, and sets up for itself a spiritual empire, a religious theocracy, at the head of which it places the G.A.O.T.U. – the god of nature – and from which the one only living and true God is expelled by resolution….
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is God:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us… (John 1:1, 14).
- Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13).
Because Jesus Christ is God, he will one day judge all the world, including all Masons and other men:
- For not even the Father judges any one, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him (John 5:22-23).
- But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…. Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”… Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”… And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46).
- And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
All of these teachings of Jesus in the Bible prove that Masonry is wrong in its teaching about Jesus Christ. How then can a Christian who claims to believe in Jesus as his Savior continue to support the false religion that denies his Lord? Did not Jesus himself say, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Did not even Jesus warn, “But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33)? And did he not say, “Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21)?
Masonic Ritual and oath demands that the Christian Mason’s first allegiance is to Masonry, not to Jesus Christ. Who then is the “Lord” of the Christian Mason?
In conclusion, Masonry is opposed to the Christian God. One of the leading Masonic scholars, Albert Pike, describes Freemasonry as follows: “Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim….” Notice that the term “Baalim” which refers to the false gods and idols that men worship is also applied to the Christian religion. That means Christianity is considered to be as false a religion as all the rest.
Masonry only claims to be tolerant of the concepts of God found in other religions. In reality, it sees them as inferior to its own concept of God. But then how is it possible for a Christian to support Masonry when it denies the true God, blasphemes Him, and leads people to worship a false God? Christians are exhorted to “live a life worthy of the Lord and… please him in every way… growing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10). They cannot do this by remaining members of the Masonic Lodge.
If Jesus came back today or you died and faced Him, how would you explain to Him why you continued to uphold the beliefs of an organization that rejects and denies Him?
The Masonic Lodge teaches that the Bible is only a symbol of the will of God and not to be literally obeyed. Is this true?
On the Masonic altar lie the square and compass and the Volume of Sacred Law. The Volume of Sacred Law is a symbol for the will of God.
Masonry has at least five distinct teachings about the Bible.
1. The Bible is a piece of Lodge furniture, a great “light” upon which the candidate obligates himself to Masonry.
2. The Bible is only a symbol of the will of God. Masonry teaches that the actual contents of the Bible are not the Word of God. In Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia we read, “The prevailing Masonic opinion is that the Bible is only a symbol of Divine Will, Law, or Revelation, and not that its contents are Divine Law, inspired, or revealed. So far, no responsible authority has held that a Freemason must believe the Bible or any part of it.”
3. The Bibles of other faiths are equally valid for the Mason. Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry states:
- The Bible is used among Freemasons as a symbol of the will of God, however it may be expressed. Therefore, whatever to any people expresses that will [of God] may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a Masonic Lodge. Thus, in a Lodge consisting entirely of Jews, the Old Testament alone may be placed upon the altar, and Turkish Freemasons [Muslims] make use of the Koran. Whether it be the Gospels to the Christian, the Pentateuch to the Israelite, the Koran to the Mussulman, [sic; Muslim] or the Vedas to the Brahman, it everywhere Masonically conveys the same idea – that of the symbolism of the Divine Will revealed to man.
4. The Bible is only a part of the “revelation” of God. In the Holman Temple Illustrated Edition of the Holy Bible, Masonic leader Reverend Joseph Fort Newton wrote:
- Thus, by the very honor which Masonry pays to the Bible, it teaches us to revere every book of faith… joining hands with the man of Islam as he takes oath on the Koran, and with the Hindu as he makes covenant with God upon the book that he loves best…. [Masonry] invites to its altar men of all faiths, knowing that, if they use different names for “the nameless one of a hundred names” they are yet praying to the one God and Father of all; knowing, also, that while they read different volumes, they are in fact reading the same vast Book of the Faith of Man as revealed in the struggle and sorrow of the race in its quest of God.
In conclusion, virtually all Masonic authorities “establish three things: (1) that the Bible is only a symbol, (2) that a Mason is not required to believe its teachings, and (3) that some other book may be substituted for it.”
This is what Jesus and the apostles taught about the Bible:
- He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment what to say, and what to speak… (John 12:48-50).
- All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof; for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
How can a Christian Mason, who claims to believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God, help to promote an organization that denies the Bible is God’s Word and denies Jesus’ teachings on the Bible? Scripture tells us we are to live “worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12).
- Henry Wilson Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia (New York, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1961), pp. 516-17.
- Martin L. Wagner, Freemasonry: An Interpretation (nd., np., distributed by Missionary Service and Supply, Route 2, Columbiana, OH, 44408), p. 284; The Baptist Union of Scotland (endorsed by the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland), Baptists and Freemasonry (Baptist Church House, 1987), pp. 4-5.
- Wagner, Freemasonry, pp. 281-351.
- Ibid., pp. 137-355.
- Ibid., pp. 288-302.
- Ibid., p. 321.
- Ibid., p. 300.
- Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (Charleston, SC, The Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, 1906), p.223.
- Ibid., pp. 295-96.
- Wagner, Freemasonry, pp. 288-302.
- e.g. Malcolm C. Duncan, Masonic Ritual and Monitor (New York, David Mckay Co., nd), p. 226.
- Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 516.
- Duncan, Masonic Ritual, p. 226.
- Wagner, Freemasonry, p. 338-39.
- cf. Edmond Ronayne, The Master’s Carpet; or Masonry and Baal-Worship – Identical (nd., np, distributed by Missionary Service and Supply, Route 2, Columbiana, OH 44408); A. E. Cundall, “Baal” in Merrill C. Tenney (ed.), The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 1975); “Baal” in Encyclopedia Britannica-Micropedia, Vol. 1 (Chicago, IL, University of Chicago, 1978); “Baal” in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI, Baker, 1977), pp. 390-93; Lewis Bayles Payton, “Baal, Beel, Bel” in James Hastings (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 2 (New York, Charles Schribner’s Sons, nd); George A. Barton, “Baalzebub and Beelzaboul” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, subsequent article; W. L. Liefeld, “Mystery Religions” in Merrill C. Tenney, The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 4 (Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan, 1977; John Gray, “Baal – The Dying and Rising of Richard Cavendish” in Man, Myth and Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural, Vol. 2 (New York, Marshall Cavendish Corp., 1970).
- E. Ronayne, Chapter Masonry (Chicago, IL, Ezra A. Cook, 1984), p. 126.
- Various authors, Little Masonic Library, Vol. V (Richmond, VA, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1977), p. 51; Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, pp. 516-17; Wagner, Freemasonry, pp. 321-51.
- J. W. Acker, Strange Altars: A Scriptural Appraisal of the Lodge (St. Louis, MO, Concordia, 1959), p. 37, emphasis added.
- Carl H. Claudy, Introduction to Freemasonry, Vol. II (Washington, D.C., The Temple Publishers, 1984), p.110.
- Pike, Morals and Dogma, p. 525.
- Henry C. Clausen, Clausen’s Commentaries on Morals and Dogma (The Supreme Council, 33rd Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, 1976), p. 159.
- Acker, Strange Altars, p. 34; e.g. Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed by One of Its Top Leaders (Lafayette, LA, Huntington House, 1988), pp. 126-27.
- Shaw and McKenney, Deadly Deception, p. 127, cf. Henry C. Clausen, Practice and Procedure for the Scottish Rite (Washington, DC, The Supreme Council, 33rd Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Mother Jurisdiction of the World, 1981), pp. 75-77.
- Clausen, Clausen’s Commentaries, p. 157.
- Pike, Morals and Dogma, p. 525.
- Ronayne, The Master’s Carpet, p. 87.
- The Supreme Council, 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, Liturgy of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, Part Two (Washington, DC, 1982), p. 202, emphasis added.
- Little Masonic Library, Vol. V, pp. 51-52.
- Little Masonic Library, vol. V, pp. 47-52; the Supreme Council, Liturgy, pp. 137, 202.
- Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, revised and enlarged by Robert I. Clegg, Vol. I (Richmond, VA, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1966), p. 133; Little Masonic Library, Vol. I, p. 132.
- Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 520, emphasis added.
- Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia, vol. I, p. 133.
- Holy Bible, Temple Illustrated Edition (Nashville, TN: A. J. Holman Co., 1968), pp. 3-4.
- Little Masonic Library, Vol. I, p. 132.