Part Two: Practice

Chapter Nineteen: Secret Orders and Church Membership (pg 27 of 29)

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Chapter 19. SECRET ORDERS AND CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

  The true church has historically not accepted for membership anyone who is a member of a secret order, unless the order is renounced upon seeking church membership. Similarly, the church has historically excluded from its membership anyone who became a member of a secret order. The secret order most often encountered is the various branches of the Masonic lodge such as the masons, Scottish rites, shriners, eastern star, demolays and rainbow girls. Therefore, this discussion will primarily deal with why a person cannot at the same time belong to the true church and to a masonic order, although most other secret orders and lodges follow the same patterns as the masonic lodges and the same reasoning would apply to them.

               a. What is Freemasonry? A necessary background for a correct understanding of this subject is a general knowledge of what freemasonry is and what it teaches. As will be developed below, freemasonry is a religion unto itself, and its religion is contrary to the true doctrine and practices as taught by God's word. Therefore, if anyone can understand why a member of the true Church cannot also be a member of the Catholic Church, the Church of God, the Mormans, or any other religious body, then they should be able to understand why a person cannot at the same time be a member of the true church and the Freemasons! A person simply cannot truly subscribe to two religious beliefs when they are contrary to each other. The initial inquiry must be whether the teachings and practices of freemasonry are contrary to Bible doctrine. Some of the important points to be considered in this regard are the following:

               b. Secrecy. The lodge system is clothed in secrecy. In fact, one of the earliest oaths taken by an initiate into freemasonry includes the following:

"I furthermore promise and swear I will not communicate the grand Masonic word except in the way and manner in which I received it and then only in a low breath. To all of which I solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to keep and perform the same without any equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion of mind in me whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken thence and with my body burned to ashes and those ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven so that there might remain name, trace nor remembrance no more forever of so vile a wretch as I... ."
The Biblical instruction regarding works that are done in secret is as follows:
Ephesians 5:11-12 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Even considering masonry from a practical matter (as if we knew none of the masonic secrets) its secrecy is inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible. Christ says that his people are to not live secret but rather open lives giving testimony to him:
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Not only is the life of God's children to be open to his praise, but there are things in which God's children are not to participate. How do we know what a member is doing if he is a part of a body that maintains secrecy about its works and activities? Thus, there is a practical problem with a person claiming to be a part of the body of Christ as a member of His church and at the same time being a part of a secret organization. The secret could be "devil worship" or any other thing contrary to sound doctrine or the teaching of God's word. Mason's may say that they are not engaged in "devil worship" or any similar activity; but the church will never know for their activity is secret; and if their activity is good then they should let their light shine before men as the Lord commanded and not keep it secret!

Jesus Christ himself taught by his example that "secrecy" is contrary to religious truth or the gospel:

John 18:19-20 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

God's way is open before men and not secret! Therefore, from a practical standpoint alone, freemasonry regardless of its teachings and other practices is contrary to the Bible because what it does it does in secrecy and not openly as Christ instructed by his example and teaching!

               c. Masonry Is A Religion. A general examination of freemasonry discloses that it is in fact a religion and that is its claim according to freemasonry's own widely accepted authorities including the following:

Albert Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: "The religion of Freemasonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend the Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation handed down to us from some ancient and patriarchal priesthood--in which all men may agree and in which no men can differ." (Page 641)

Henry Wilson Coil, Masonic Encyclopedia: "Freemasonry has a religious service to commit the body of a deceased brother to the dust whence it came and to speed the liberated spirit back to the great Source of Light. Many Freemasons make this flight with no other guarantee of a safe landing than their belief in the religion of Freemasonry." "The prevailing Masonic opinion is that the Bible is only a symbol of divine will, law or revelation, and not that its content are divine law, inspired or revealed." (Page 520)

Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma: "It [Masonry] reverences all the great reformers. It sees Moses, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus of Nazareth, ... 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." (Page 525). "Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahman, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion." (Page 226)

The above statements from authorities accepted and approved by freemasonry document that freemasonry's own claim is that it is a religion.

               d. Freemasonry Is A Works System of Religion. The religion of freemasonry is a works system which teaches that man earns an eternal home in heaven by his good works. This is evident because it claims to teach its followers that "conduct which is essentially necessary to ...gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge Above."

There is not a single mention of salvation by Jesus Christ or by the grace of God in freemasonry. Therefore, the teaching of freemasonry is contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible that salvation is by grace and not by works:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead,... Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  

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