The Masonic Lodge claims six million members worldwide. In its ranks you will find some of the greatest men in American history. Men like Henry Ford, General Douglas MacArthur, George Washington and 12 other U.S. presidents. You will also find doctors, lawyers, judges and, unfortunately, many Christians.
I have a great deal of respect for Freemasons as individuals. Many of my uncles are in the Lodge. While I respect these men, I hold their lodge in total abhorrence. It is an insidious evil for it duplicates the sin of Absalom when he "stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (2 Samuel 15:6). Masonry will steal the heart of a Christian. The Masonic temple is the temple of Baal, and at its altar unsuspecting men solemnly vow their lives to a pagan god.
If we can establish that Masonry is a religion, then surely any honest Christian would feel compelled to abandon the Lodge. God's prophet of old asked, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Can a man worship the God of Masonry and the God of the Bible at the same time? In Matthew 12:30 Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad."
The answer to this question depends upon whom you ask. The Grand Lodge of Indiana publishes a small tract titled Freemasonry, A Way Of Life. This tract, given to outsiders, says, "Though religious in character, Masonry is not a religion, nor a substitute for one." This would be good, except the story changes after a man has become a Mason. For example, the Indiana Monitor says, "Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational, and religious society." The Kentucky Monitor goes even further when it states, "...as Masons we are taught that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity. This is because Masonry is a religious institution..." Albert Pike (a 33rd Degree Mason), one of the most celebrated Masonic scholars, claims that "every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion." (Morals and Dogma, p. 213). This book was published under the auspices of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree of the Scottish Rite.
The problem is that the Lodge lies to candidates before their initiation. "Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hereticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it ... So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters away." (Morals and Dogma, p. 105). Can you imagine a sane man joining any organization if he knew they were going to "intentionally" mislead him?
Another Masonic scholar, Albert Mackey (a 33rd Degree Mason), claims the only reason to defend Masonry is because of its religious element. "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, that without this religious element it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good." (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 727).
The Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist church has issued a report urging men not to join the Masonic Lodge since it is a "competitor of Christianity." The report also states, "There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing." (Evansville Courier, June 13, 1985). If the Methodist church can understand this, why can't some of my brethren? Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"
One of my greatest concerns about the Lodge is its attitude towards the Bible. "The Volume of the Sacred Law is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Lodge. In our jurisdiction it is usually the Bible, but any candidate not a Christian may have substituted for it any other volume which he considers sacred: e.g., the Old Testament, Koran, Vedas, or Laws of Confucius. In one lodge in China, there are three Sacred Books open on the altar at the same time, and the candidate elects one of the three on which he is obligated." (Indiana Monitor, p. 38). While the Bible might be described in various ways, it is not a piece of furniture! It is the source of all religious truth. It is the book of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
When a candidate bows before the Masonic altar he kisses the "Volume of Sacred Law." This volume can be any book he deems to be religious. "The explanation of the presence of the Holy Bible on the altar could not tell the whole story, although true in itself. It represents the Sacred Book of the Law, but has not exclusive rights as such on the altar of Freemasonry, for the supremely sane reason that no one religion has exclusive rights within the Fraternity. The Vedas of the Brahman, the Zend-Avesta of the Parsee, the Koran of the Mohammedan, have, among Masons of these faiths, as rightful a place upon our altar as the Holy Bible. In any faith, however, its Sacred Book of Law is the symbol of man's acknowledgement of and his relation to Deity. And in this universality of Masonry we find one of our greatest lessons: Toleration." (The Entered Apprentice, Grand Lodge of Indiana, p. 14). This toleration is too much for any man who claims to be a Christian.
If nothing else, the oath a man takes when he joins the Lodge ought to forever settle the question, "Can A Christian Be A Mason?" While blindfolded, half naked and kneeling at the altar, the candidate takes an oath swearing he will never reveal the "secrets of the Lodge." The oath ends with these words: "I furthermore promise and swear that I will not write, print, stamp, stain, cut, carve, hew, mark or engrave them on anything moveable or immovable, capable of receiving the least impression of a sign, word, syllable, letter or character, whereby they may become legible or intelligible to any person under the canopy of heaven, and the secrets of Masonry be thereby unlawfully obtained by my unworthiness. All this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep the same, without the least equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion whatsoever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots and buried in the sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I in the least, knowingly or wittingly, violate or transgress this my Entered Apprentice Obligation. So help me God and keep me steadfast." (King Solomon's Temple, Indiana edition, pp. 24, 25). What a contrast to our Lord who said "do not swear at all ... but let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.'" (Matt. 5:33-37).
To those who are in the Lodge, let me beg you to heed the words of Paul and "come out from among them and be separate" (2 Cor. 6:17).