The Myth of the Christian Lodge
Many who have attempted to lead a "Christian" Mason away from the Lodge (that is, they have tried to lead him to repentance and into fellowship with Jesus Christ) have heard Masonic defenses which they know are untrue. Probably one of the most absurd claims which "Christian" Masons regularly make is that they are members of a "CHRISTIAN Lodge." "All of the members in my Lodge are Christians," they claim; "Prayers in my Lodge are closed in the name of Jesus." "There may be some bad things about Freemasonry in other states, or in foreign countries, but none of that goes on in my Lodge.", they explain.
Many mature Christians are able to see that any claim that all the members of a Lodge are Christians must be doubted, based on common sense. In Matthew 13, Jesus spoke of the wheat and the tares. Mature Christians know that all "members of the church" are not genuine Christians - how could the Lodge attain a higher standard? Any Christian who carefully examines the content of Masonic ritual will know that those who embrace Masonic teaching cannot possibly be Christians. Yet Masonic secrecy causes most people not to be in a position to know and/or prove the facts about Freemasonry.
The myth of the "Christian Lodge" has proven to be effective with many who don’t have access to Grand Lodge documentation which demonstrates the truth. Few non-Masons have access to Masonic documents. Without evidence to the contrary, the desire to give a member of the congregation who is a Mason the benefit of the doubt often causes the reluctant acceptance, or sometimes whole-hearted belief, of the myth. The myth of the "Christian Lodge" has caused doubt in the minds of many people we have spoken with. You can imagine how fervently the Christian mother or wife of a Mason must want to believe that her Mason is a good Christian man who would never, NEVER embrace paganism. The members of a congregation with a Masonic pastor want to believe that they are following a genuine spiritual leader, rather than a man who has mocked the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in secret. Mothers of guilty death row inmates often believe that their sons are innocent of wrong doing. This irrational aspect of human nature is familiar to all of us. The more grievous the heresy or wrongdoing, the less we want to believe that our friend or loved one could be involved in it. When our man is involved in something which has not been fully revealed, if he is involved in it, then it must not be heresy. The logic is simple -- and flawed.
Grand Lodge documents from all states we have examined can be used to quickly settle the issue in the minds of honest men. Simply examining the elements of ritual found in all Masonic monitors will provide incontestable evidence that Freemasonry has a plan of salvation which does not include Jesus Christ. How could any Lodge actually be composed of Christians who gathered together to teach a false plan of salvation? Freemasonry rejects faith in Jesus Christ as the critical factor in salvation. In the Legend of the Third Degree, Masons reenact the death burial and resurrection -- not of Jesus -- but of Hiram Abif, the Masonic savior.
[See An Open Letter to a Christian Mason for complete details and copies of the Grand Lodge documents which prove the facts. They are located at: ephesians5-11.org/opnltr.htm]
There is another selected group of Masonic documents we want to use for the purpose at hand. They speak directly to the credibility of the claim that there are "Christian Lodges." Unfortunately, this particular collection of documents will also be used to show how the myth of the "Christian Lodge" is being most effectively promoted.
Masonic Grand Lodge documents actually make no claim that Freemasonry is Christian in nature. In fact, they contain statements quite to the contrary. For example, the Grand Lodge of Louisiana has this to say:
Thus Freemasonry comes to us from the Temple,...It makes no profession of Christianity, and wars not against sectarian creeds or doctrines; but looks forward to the time when the labor of our ancient brethren shall be symbolized by the erection of a spiritual temple whose moral grandeur shall be commensurate with civilization; A temple in which there shall be but one altar and but one worship; one common altar of Masonry, on which the Veda, Sutra, Zend-Avesta, Koran, and Holy Bible shall lie untouched by sacrilegious hands; and at whose shrine the Hindoo, the Persian, the Assyrian, the Chaldean, the Egyptian, the Chinese, the Mohammedan, the Jew, and the Christian may kneel and with one united voice celebrate the praises of the Supreme Architect of the Universe.
- Louisiana Masonic Monitor, p. 111, 1988
Unity in one common worship among Hindu, Mohammedan, Jew and "Christian" Masons must necessarily exclude Jesus Christ as the object of worship. Since all Lodges are under the authority of, and the ritual is under control of, the Grand Lodges, it would be impossible for anyone who had credibly examined the Louisiana Masonic Monitor to believe that a Christian Lodge could exist in Louisiana. Claims that Indiana Freemasonry would allow "Christian" Masons to practice Christianity in Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Indiana are laid bare by text found in the Mentor’s Manual:
The same prohibition, plus another in the first of the Old Charges, prohibits discussion of sectarian religion.
Sectarian religion does not refer to Christian denominations; it refers to Christianity the same as any other of the world’s several religions. That means that Christian sermons should not be delivered at Lodge gatherings, nor should Christian prayers be offered, nor Christian symbols displayed.
The prohibition on discussion of religious subjects in Masonic meetings applies to Masons even if every member of the Lodge is of the same religious belief.
- Mentor’s Manual, p. 16 Grand Lodge of Indiana, 1975
The Grand Lodge of Indiana has taken a clear position. Even if every member of a Lodge professes to be a Christian and even if they are all members of the same denomination, Christian prayers are not to be offered in Lodge. Christian teaching is unwelcome within Lodge and Christian symbols, such as a Christian flag, are unwelcome. If the members are required to leave Jesus Christ outside when they enter the Lodge and the rituals which they perform teach salvation without Jesus, how could those men be members of a "Christian Lodge?"
The key membership requirement for Freemasonry is well known. Literature produced by the Grand Lodges makes plain the fact that faith in Jesus Christ is not required as a condition of membership. Faith in God is not required, contrary to the claims of many Masons. What Freemasonry actually requires is faith in the existence of "A Supreme Being." Freemasonry is willing to accept faith in Vishnu - a Hindu god, Buddha, or any other pagan god, as a valid expression of "A Supreme Being." Freemasonry teaches that all men, of all religions worship the same God, knowing Him by many different names.
The truth is quite different. The Scriptures clearly reveal that there is only one God and also reveal that the gods of pagan nations are idols. (Isaiah 45:5, Psalms 96:5) The objects of idol worship are demons, rather than God, according to Scripture. (1 Corinthians 10:19-21). When Freemasonry accepts the Christian, Jew, Buddhist and Hindu as having met the requirement of faith in the existence of "A Supreme Being," it holds pagan gods as equal in nature to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible. The nature of Masonic worship is documented in Grand Lodge documents:
...Freemasonry is non-sectarian. Before its altar Christian, Jew, Mohammedan, Buddhist, Gentile, Confucian, may kneel together.
Masonry accepts good men who are found to be worthy, regardless of their religious convictions, and strives to make better men of them by emphasizing a firm belief in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Immortality of the Soul.
- Mentor’s Manual, p. 17 Grand Lodge of Indiana
The Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man doctrine teaches that all men of all religions are children of God, whether they be Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, Jews, or Christians. The Scriptures teach something quite different. Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God. (John 3:16) Man may become an adopted child of God through faith in Jesus. Even Jews who reject Jesus are not children of God, according to Scripture:
He came to that which was his own, but His own did not receive him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (John 1:11-13)
Scripture reveals that a person becomes a child of God by ADOPTION through faith in Jesus Christ:
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
If Jews, like Paul, and the members of the pagan nations who accept Jesus are already children of God, adoption would not be possible. One cannot adopt his own child.
Masonic worship within "Christian Lodges" is identical in nature to worship in all other Lodges; they practice the same ritual. Prayers in ritual are prescribed. Many are found in Masonic documents. Freemasons do not worship God in Lodge, but rather a SYMBOL:
One fundamental of Freemasonry is its non-sectarian character. Any man may offer his devotions to the Deity he reveres, under the Masonic title, no matter what name he may use in his religious worship. . . Thus, Great Architect of the Universe (or any of its variations) is a symbol of Deity as named and worshiped in all religions.
- Mentor’s Manual, p. 49 Grand Lodge of Indiana
Worship of an idol, symbol, or false concept of God is idolatry, even if offered by a "Christian" Mason.
The Scriptures reveal that a Christian is able to approach the throne of God with confidence because of faith in Jesus. (Eph 3:12, Heb 4:16) Freemasonry teaches that all men may approach God at the Masonic altar on a common level:
To the altar of Freemasonry all men bring their most votive offerings. Around it all men, whether they have received their teachings from Confucius, Zoroaster, Moses, Mohammed or the founder of the Christian religion--just so long as they believe in the universality of the fatherhood of God and universality of the brotherhood of man--meet upon a common level. The Jew returns to his synagogue, the Mohammedan to his mosque and the Christian to his temple--each better prepared for the solemn duties of life by the associations in this universal brotherhood.
- Louisiana Masonic Monitor, p. 150, Grand Lodge of Louisiana, 1988
Part of this Masonic teaching is actually true, but not in the sense that they meant it. Anyone who believes the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man has not embraced the Gospel. On that basis, he is as lost as the Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Hindu, or Jew who rejects Jesus Christ.
Quite clearly, the myth of the "Christian Lodge" is not true. Any man who has thoughtfully listened to Masonic ritual, or studied Masonic Grand Lodge documents knows that it is not true. Simply put, it is a lie and a Mason or studied person offering it generally knows it is a lie.
Maximizing Effectiveness of a Lie
Often times, a lie which is told for a man by someone else is more effective and believable than the lie the man would be able to offer with his own lips. Guilty individuals have been found innocent on many occasions in trials where false testimony was given to establish an alibi. Former Worshipful Master and United Methodist Pastor, Harmon Taylor, stated that while he was both a Mason and a pastor and someone in the church found fault with his duplicity, Masonic members of the congregation would "run interference" for him. Harmon usually did not have to deal with those who were critical of the craft. Often, Masons will enlist the efforts of pastors who are Masons to effectively deceive or rebuff a wife, or someone else, who opposes his involvement in Freemasonry. Of course, a more effective defense can be mounted using a shill who is not and has never been a Mason. What would he have to gain by lying? Sometimes the non-Mason defender of the craft actually believes the lie and that makes him just that much more effective. Occasionally, a pastor who "knows what is good for him" will spread the lie of the "Christian Lodge" to defend the Masonic involvement of members, deacons, or elders of the church. He may want to believe it to salve his conscience. Who could possibly be a more effective liar than a pastor? The answer is pretty obvious, actually: a group of pastors, or a group of respected church leaders, who conspired to "investigate" a matter and then provide false testimony.
Scripture tells us that Satan is in control of the world. (1 John 5:19, Rev 12:9) If a prosecutor and the investigators in a fairly well publicized criminal case chose to aid the guilty party, rather than seek justice, they could conspire to falsely investigate the crime and focus the state’s case on minor issues. This latter aspect would be necessary to cause the public to believe that justice was being served. For example, they could concentrate on physical evidence from a store which was proof of shoplifting, while ignoring the body in the back room. If an earthly judge were part of the plan, he might sentence the guilty person to probation. Deals made behind closed doors often have an impact on justice even when all of the facts of a crime become known. Anyone who lived through the Clinton years has seen evidence of this. Unfortunately, such influence is not limited to what we perceive as the world. History and Scripture have demonstrated that Satan is at work within the church as well.
If a group of Godly men were to study Freemasonry and issue a report outlining the compatibility, or incompatibility of Freemasonry with Christianity, they would issue a report which contained truth. They would produce a report which was unbiased and objective. If they issued a false report which distorted the teachings of Freemasonry to make it seem compatible with Christianity, you would know that the work was not a Godly effort and you would further know that they did not have the best interests of Freemasons in mind. If many influential members of the congregation(s) authorizing the study are Freemasons and they were able to cause the report to actually be a veiled defense of Freemasonry, it would be an example of what Paul warned Timothy would occur:
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 2:3-2)
The Southern Baptist Convention
Today, the most effective group which is promoting the myth of the "Christian Lodge" is the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is the largest denomination in the United States which can be shown to understand the Gospel. (Catholicism is larger, but they teach salvation on the basis of faith AND works. See Ephesians 2:8-9)
In 1992, at the convention in Indianapolis, the Interfaith Witness Department of the Home Mission Board - the group which became the North American Mission Board - was directed to do a study of Freemasonry and issue a report with recommendation. They completed and published A Study of Freemasonry and issued A Report on Freemasonry, along with a recommendation. A Report on Freemasonry was approved by the convention and remains the official Southern Baptist position on Freemasonry.
A Report on Freemasonry can be found on the website of the North American Mission Board. While the report does list eight elements of Freemasonry which are incompatible with Christianity, it attempts to perpetuate the believe that a man can be both a sincere Christian and a Mason.
For example, consider the following statement from the report:
We acknowledge That many outstanding Christians and Southern Baptists now are, and in the past have been Masons, including such notable past Southern Baptist leaders as...
- A Report on Freemasonry, p.2
Clearly, the SBC maintains the position that a man can be an outstanding Christian and a Freemason. If you ponder the position taken in the report, you might wonder, "How could a man be an outstanding Christian if he is involved in eight things which are genuinely incompatible with Christianity?"
Additionally, the SBC continues to promote the belief that there are Christian Lodges. In the report we find:
To be sure, not all Grand Lodges affirm Christian doctrine, and many do not declare Jesus as the unique Son of God; but many do, and for this we commend them. There is not complete uniformity in tenets or practice among lodges.
- A Report on Freemasonry, p.4
Those familiar with the foundational teachings of Freemasonry will instantly know that this statement is false. Some who did not have access to the documents the study and report had been based on, still doubted the truth of the claim that there are "Christian Lodges." When A Report on Freemasonry was published in 1993, Jenifer Falk read that paragraph and then wrote a letter to the Home Mission Board (the group which did the study and wrote the report), asking them to name an example Grand Lodge which lifted up Jesus Christ in this way. She received a reply from the HMB which stated:
Our research did not find any local Masonic lodge nor any Grand Lodge which have taken a position for or against the biblical teaching affirming the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
- HMB letter from Tal Davis to Jenifer Falk, September 15, 1993
The HMB response to Jenifer’s letter is interesting in two ways. First, it clearly states that those at the HMB knew that the statement on page 4 of the report claiming that some Grand Lodges declared Jesus as the unique Son of God, was not true when they wrote it. Second, the response itself demonstrates either another lie, or additional gross incompetence. It is obvious that the HMB researchers who examined Freemasonry, as well as the man who responded to Jenifer, conveniently ignored or did not comprehend, the foundational Masonic teaching of the Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of man. Since Masonic doctrine declares that men of all religions are all sons of God, obviously all Grand Lodges have taken a stand against "the biblical teaching affirming the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the Son of God" simply by promoting the Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man doctrine. That doctrine is uniform among all Lodges, quite contrary to the position of the SBC report.
Though HMB and NAMB personnel have long known that there are no Lodges, or Grand Lodges which lift up Jesus as the unique Son of God, they continue to distribute the report which contains this falsehood.
[This report can be viewed in full as a PDF file at: 4truth.net]
New Evidence of SBC Collusion
Recently, this year and last, additional facts concerning the actions of the SBC have come to light. A few Southern Baptists have reported that the North American Mission Board is now producing legitimate apologetic materials on Freemasonry. They are under the impression that the efforts of the North American Mission Board are now honest and true.
Last year, we came into possession of several of the documents which were used as the basis of A Study of Freemasonry and A Report on Freemasonry. Having these documents allowed us to check the context of quotes found in A Report on Freemasonry. Examination of these documents demonstrates portions of Masonic teaching which were in SBC hands during the study. This new information has provided additional evidence of the character of the current SBC position, based on the continued use of the report. All of the Masonic quotes used in this paper were taken from those documents.
Consider the following statement in the report which was used in an attempt to support the believe that there is such a thing as a "Christian Lodge."
Or the explicit reference to Jesus in the Masonic Code of the Grand Lodge of Alabama: "It is therefore proper and in accordance with Masonic law and tenets for a Mason who believes in the Christ Jesus to offer prayers in the Lodge in His Name."
- A Report on Freemasonry, p.2
The actual text in the quoted Masonic document is as follows:
339. MASONRY AND RELIGION Masonry has no religious dogma other than that it requires a belief in Deity. Any man, good and true, whether he be Christian, Jew, Mohammedan, Parsee, Buddhist, Brahman or Deist may be admitted to Masonry because all these religions require a belief in Deity.
340. SECTARIANISM - WHAT IS NOT A Mason offering prayer in the Lodge may pray to his God -- observing his own conception of Deity. It is therefore proper and in accordance with Masonic law and tenants for a Mason who believes in the Christ or Jesus to offer prayer in the lodge in His Name. None should take umbrage because he addresses his prayer to his own conception of Deity. He must use prayer in the Ritual in all ritualistic ceremonies. Any other prayer is out of order in such ceremonies.
- Masonic Code of Alabama, p. 141-2, 1963
First, notice that the SBC report intentionally misquoted the section of text from Masonic Code of Alabama. They left out one critical word, the word "or." Notice how the meaning changes when this single word is included, or excluded. "The Mason who believes in the Christ Jesus" would refer to a "Christian Mason." "The Mason who believes in the Christ or Jesus" would refer to a Mason who believes that Jesus is not necessarily the Christ. Clearly, the Grand Lodge of Alabama takes this latter position because they placed the word "or" to imply there is a difference between Christ and Jesus. The SBC report uses falsehood to attempt to create a favorable impression of Freemasonry, namely that Lodges and Grand Lodges lift up Jesus Christ in a meaningful way, while just the opposite is true.
Notice the context of the quoted passage. The text just immediately proceeding states: "A Mason offering prayer in the Lodge may pray to his God -- observing his own conception of Deity." Take a look at the context in the paragraph 339 - Masonry and Religion, immediately preceding the quote. Notice that Freemasonry admits men who have faith not in God, but in any god. The Buddhist is accepted based on his faith in Buddha. The Hindu (Brahman) is accepted based on his faith in Vishnu.
SBC officials were being intentionally deceptive when they misquoted "It is therefore proper and in accordance with Masonic law and tenets for a Mason who believes in the Christ Jesus to offer prayers in the Lodge in His Name." Not only was the quote altered by removing a word, but it was taken out of a context which demonstrates the opposite of what those SBC officials attempted to show. The truth of the matter in Alabama Lodges is that a Mason may offer prayer in the name of "Christ or Jesus" or Vishnu, Buddha, or any demon a pagan Mason may worship. Of course, in the rituals which teach salvation, the prayers are prescribed. The position of the Grand Lodge of Alabama is that, "None should take umbrage because he addresses his prayer to his own conception of Deity." If the SBC report were a Godly effort, would the Southern Baptist officials who prepared the report have avoided taking issue with this obvious statement that pagan worship is welcome and defended in Masonic Lodges?
When a man joins in prayer to any god who is not defined as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, he engages in idolatry. The GAOTU is defined as Vishnu, Buddha, Allah, and a host of other pagan deities which Freemasonry declares to be the same spirit as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Worship of the GAOTU is idolatry. Idolatry will prevent a man from entering heaven, according to Ephesians 5:5.
The Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention produced a falsely favorable report. The North American Mission Board continues to distribute A Report on Freemasonry, taking the position that it is honest and true, even though falsehood has been identified to them. Do they intend to allow Masons to go to hell without warning about the perils of worshiping a false god?
New Materials by NAMB
The North American Mission Board has published two additional documents, A Closer Look at A Bridge To Light and A Closer Look at Freemasonry, which some believe represent a Godly effort. After examining this new work and other NAMB materials, it appears that the current Masonic strategy being implemented by the NAMB is as follows:
Maintain the dishonest report produced by the Home Mission Board, A Report on Freemasonry, as the foundation of the NAMB "apologetic" with regard to Freemasonry.
- Display the report prominently on the NAMB web site.
- Do not admit that it is a product of intentional dishonesty.
- Allow the report to constrain the issues which are addressed.
Maintain the position that a man can be an outstanding Christian and a Mason at the same time.
Continue to promote the myth of the Christian Blue Lodge.
Maintain a double standard when dealing with Freemasonry and other false religions.
When dealing with other false religions, such as Mormonism:
- Take issue with the key elements of the nature of their false god and their false plan of salvation.
When dealing with Freemasonry, deal with lesser issues.
- Do not address the demonic nature of the GAOTU, the false god which all Freemasons pray to in the Blue Lodge.
- Do not address the Masonic plan of salvation which is based on imitation of Hiram Abif, the Masonic savior.
- Most Masons are only in the Blue Lodge -- focus on the teachings of the York Rite, and/or Scottish Rite.
- When addressing Blue Lodge issues mentioned in the report, attempt to redirect the problem away from the Blue Lodge by focusing on Scottish Rite literature.
- Urge Southern Baptists to avoid embracing false teachings and doctrines such as found in the York and Scottish Rites.
Do not warn the churches that persistent "Christian" Masons are really no different in God’s eyes than "Christian" Buddhists, or "Christian" Hindus.
Continue to send Southern Baptist Masons out as missionaries.
Today, the Southern Baptist Convention is the most effective voice promoting the myth of the "Christian Lodge." When Jesus returns, will Southern Baptists still be standing shoulder to shoulder with men who meet in secret to teach salvation on the basis of another savior? What WILL Jesus do? [See Rev 2:18-29] Individuals and congregations which fund the NAMB are guilty of saying Godspeed in the most effective way possible. [See 2 John 9]
A Report on Freemasonry at ephesians5-11.org
Supporting Masonic documents: ephesians5-11.org