Freemasonry - Fraternity or Cult

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by Puritan Sailor, Feb 14, 2004.

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  1. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Does being a mason necessarily mean you are not a Christian? I don't know much about them but I had heard that mason members are only required to submit to their heretical religious views once they entered the upper eschelons of the organization. For the rest of the lower guys it's just a social club. Anyone know anything about this aspect? How high was George Washington in the masons?
     
  2. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    freemasonry is a cult they indirectly influenced joseph smith to start his religion.
     
  3. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

  4. MICWARFIELD

    MICWARFIELD Puritan Board Freshman

    Freemasonry is not a cult. It's not even a religion or a church or a denomination.

    Mike
     
  5. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Actually I got hold of one of their books years ago in a box of used books. It went up to the 32nd degree.(there are 33). Their teaching appeared (on a cursory reading) to resemble Rosicrucianism. However I have known some professing Christians who were Masons. I don't thinks it's a good idea, though.:wr50:

    Oops, forgot to mention; the book was Scottish Rite.

    [Edited on 2-14-2004 by turmeric]
     
  6. MICWARFIELD

    MICWARFIELD Puritan Board Freshman

    Freemasonry is a fraternal society. The two requirements to become a mason are, you must believe in God and a hereafter. They accept Jew's and Muslims as well as Christians in their fraternity. If they were a church this would obviously be heresy. They are not a church or religion nor do they want to be. They are a club whose purpose is in large part the coming together of men of all creeds, to meet, mix, and work together on projects that will benefit the whole community(helping orphans, crippled children etc.).

    And no, they dont teach salvation through all these good works. Masons are told of no masonic pathway to salvation, because there is none. They teach no religious dogma. Freemasonry doesnt teach a man to believe in God, or in moral conduct, or acts of charity." He must bring these beliefs with him into the brotherhood where he will find them encouraged and re-inforced." (see A Pilgrims Path by John Robinson)

    Can someone please tell me what is wrong with joining a club or fraternity that accepts people of all faiths whose purpose is to be charitable to their fellow man among many other good things? You are not asked to abandon your christian beliefs or even compromise them. Even though muslims and jews are permitted, you are never taught or expected to agree whith their theology or religion.

    I remember visiting a church here in San Diego in the early 90's and becoming angry at a flyer I saw. It was for a charity event benefitting poor chidren. At the bottom of the page were listed all the churches and orginizations that were taking part in the charity. I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw the name of this Theologicaly sound church listed right next to a gay and lesbian orginization. I thought that church had compromised their faith and was bringing great shame to the Lord for taking part in a benefit that also had that gay orginization participating. Later, I felt ashamed for passing judgment on that group of believers. They were doing exactly what the church should be doing and they compromised none of the biblical teachings on homosexuality. It's good to see a church taking care of the poor and sick simply because it's the right thing to do. I think that it was a great witness to those homosexuals and they werent just doing it for the opportunity to shove a tract of the four spiritual laws in everyones face. Now I've gotten off track.

    Back to the Masonic lodge. Albert Pike is often brought up by anti-masons in order to prove they're occultic. Pike's works were written only for the southern jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Masonry which was the limit of Pike's Masonic authority. That covers about 20% of the total masonic membership in the United States. 80% of American masons have little or no knowledge of the work of Pike. Many critics of masonry quote from Pike's large volume "Morals and Dogma" which actually contains writings that many masons would not agree with. The preface of the book which was not written by Pike himself but is an official statement of the Supreme council states in part "everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound."

    Craig, freemasons don't believe they're gods. Where are you getting your information from?

    Mike
     
  7. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    Masons deny the doctrine of original sin and total depravity. If you have ever seen a Masonic funeral ritual you will notice the white apron they wear. It represents the absense of original sin in their understanding of our guilt before God. It is not only a fraternal. It is a religious organization which claims even that "Masonry is a divinely appointed institution...."

    [quote:c06debb249]The Masonic Lodge (Freemasonry)
    By Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon

    (from Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions, Harvest House, 1999)

    INFO AT A GLANCE

    Name: The Masonic Lodge (Masonry, Freemasonry, or sometimes "Speculative" or "Symbolic" Masonry)

    Purpose: The uniting of men in fellowship under the principal themes of the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the immortality of the soul. For many Masons Masonry is a religious quest for spiritual enlightenment; however, ultimately, in the higher degrees
    the purpose is to conform the world to Masonic beliefs.

    Founder: No single individual. Masonry gradually evolved into its present form, known as "speculative" Masonry. This distinguishes it from the "operative" or "working" Masonry of the medieval stone masons. Operative Masonry slowly assimilated the mysticism and
    occultism of numerous religions and philosophies of the Middle Ages to become what is known as modern speculative Masonry. Most scholars trace modern Masonry to the time
    when four lodges merged in London in 1717 to form the first Grand Lodge.

    Theology: Polytheistic, syncretistic.

    Practice: Secret ritual, individual spiritual quest.

    Historic antecedents: Ancient pagan mystery religion, medieval trade unions and occult practices.

    Spheres of influence: Church, education, business, politics, charitable agency.

    Ethics: Subjective, relative, amoral.

    Levels of initiation: Social, religious, mystical.

    Worldview: Humanistic, eclectic, mystical.

    Source of authority: Masonic ritual, "landmarks" (principles or doctrines), Grand Lodges
    and prominent Masonic authorities and writers.

    Revealed teachings: Technically, yes, even though Masonry has deistic tendencies. The ritual of the Scottish Rite teaches, "Masonry is of divine origin."1 The Iowa Quarterly Bulletin teaches, "Masonry is a divinely appointed institution...."2 The charge to the candidate for the second degree (Fellowcraft) tells him, "Masonry [is] of a divine and moral nature...."3

    Attitude to other religions: Condescending.

    Key literature: Masonic Monitors (texts of ritual) and writings of prominent Masons such as Mackey, Coil and Pike.

    Occult dynamics: Masonry has a number of similarities to ancient pagan mystery religion. In addition, for many, Masonry provides an introduction to mysticism, paganism and the occult, which may culminate with involvement in occult philosophy and practices.

    False claims: Masonry is not a religion or a substitute for religion. The following is either implied or stated in Masonic literature:
    • Masonry is not occultic.
    • Masonry does not offer a system of salvation.
    • To be merely a fraternal brotherhood.
    • To constitute the one true religion.
    • To support the church. 2
    • To be tolerant of all religions; further, to unite all religions.
    • To honor the Bible and all Scriptures.
    • To not interfere with one's religion or politics.

    Quote: "Hear us with indulgence, O infinite Deity.... Help us to perform all our Masonic duties, to ourselves, to other men, and to Thee. Let the great flood of Masonic light flow in a perpetual
    current over the whole world and make Masonry the creed of all mankind."4
    -J. Blanchard, Scottish Rite Masonry illustrated

    DOCTRINAL SUMMARY

    God: Unitarian, deistic, pantheistic; The Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU); variously defined and incorporated with pagan elements.

    Jesus Christ: A supremely good man who understood divine [Masonic] truth.

    Salvation: By personal character: good works and individual merit.

    Sin: Character flaws, ignorance of spiritual [Masonic] reality, i.e., a flaw in human nature which men are able to correct through Masonic enlightenment.

    Man: Flawed but not sinful in a biblical sense; potentially divine, however all non-Masons exist in spiritual darkness.

    The Bible: A symbol of the divine will, not to be taken literally.

    Afterlife: Universalistic.

    Notes:
    1. J. Blanchard, Scottish Rite Masonry Illustrated: The Complete Ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Vol. I (Chicago, IL: Charles T. Powner, Co., 1979), p. 455.
    2 . Iowa Quarterly Bulletin, April 1917, p. 54.
    3. Grand Lodge of Texas, A .F. and A. M., Monitor of the Lodge: Monitorial Instructions in the Three Degrees of Symbolic Masonry (Grand Lodge of Texas, 1982), p. 63.
    4. Blanchard, Scottish Rite Masonry Illustrated, Vol. II, p. 320.

    http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFArchives/apologetics/AP4W0301.pdf
    [/quote:c06debb249]

    Not a cult? :rolleyes:

    Phillip
     
  8. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't remember starting this thread :shocked2:
     
  9. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    You didn't! I did!

    This was from the George Washington thread....we got off topic talking about the Masons and I thought it would make a valuable thread of its own, and your post in the thread seemed a good place to make a break...so I split the thread and took the bulk of the Masonic Lodge stuff and started a new thread here.

    Phillip :spin:
     
  10. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    It is not a cult; it is occult.

    This is coming from a man with Masonic roots running back for many generations.

    The oath taking alone is enough for anyone with eyes to see that something is amiss. Both Scotch and York rite are occultic. I, for one, would not want to stand before God on judgment as a professing Christian hand I been yoked to the Lodge.
     
  11. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    I would have to say both-- This is a false dichotomy... freemasonry has the best of both worlds, the cultic and fraternal bonds, and is thus a cultic fraternity.

    :2cents:
     
  12. king of fools

    king of fools Puritan Board Freshman

    The masons are sort of like the Boy Scouts. (I was a Boy Scout, but my son will not be). They organize and get together without basis of religion or creed, even though they require that you must believe in some form of "god". However, they then try to build up their own view of morality that is essentially universalism. I would actually like these groups much better if they made no requirement to believe in a "higher power".

    It doesn't make any difference if someone is a good citizen and does good works in the community if they do them for the wrong reason. They're still unsaved sinners without Christ.

    In a meeting of either the Masons or the Boy Scouts (or an AA meeting for that matter) if you were to proclaim that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and apart from Him all people will be judged by God's inexhaustable wrath.... you will be asked to leave.

    [Edited on 29-12-2004 by king of fools]
     
  13. Irishcat922

    Irishcat922 Puritan Board Sophomore

    One of my best friends was a Mason, he was very influential in my life, helping me to understand the reformed faith. He told me once that for one to advance very far in free masonry, would mean a compromise in Christian convictions. He chose to remain in the lower levels of freemasonry.
     
  14. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    III. CONCLUSION

    The committee finds that the evidence presented concerning the religion of Masonry permits but one conclusion. Although a number of the objections commonly brought against Masonry seem to the committee not to be weighty, yet it is driven to the conclusion that Masonry is a religious institution and as such is definitely anti-Christian.

    Far be it from the committee to assert that there are no Christians among the members of the Masonic fraternity. Just as a great many who trust for eternal life solely in the merits of Christ continue as members of churches that have denied the faith, so undoubtedly many sincere Christians, uninformed, or even misinformed, concerning the true character of Freemasonry, hold membership in it without compunction of conscience. But that in no way alters the fact that membership in the Masonic fraternity is inconsistent with Christianity.

    Christ or the Lodge? A Report on Freemasonry by the OPC
     
  15. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't know how anyone can read what Pastor Way posted and still not see them as a Cult.
     
  16. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Masonry is both occultic and cultish. It is most definitely inconsistent with Christianity, though the OPC report is wise to avoid saying that one can't be a Christian and yet be a member of a Masonic lodge, much like there may be true Christian found in apostate churches, but this is no warrant to run out and join the Masons. The church should testify faithfully against all religious secret societies.
     
  17. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    but once you are made aware, you should leave right?
     
  18. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Many do...in some arminianist churches you cannot be a member of the church and a member of any form of secret society.
     
  19. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I happen to agree with them on that issue. I have a personal reason as to why I may post if need be.
     
  20. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Absolutely!

    P.S. The RPCNA prohibits its members from joining secret societies.
     
  21. Scot

    Scot Puritan Board Sophomore

    We had a couple come to church a few times awhile back and the man was a mason. I don't know the whole situation or all the details but the pastor told him if he wanted to become a member, he had to stop being a mason. The man never came back.
     
  22. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    The church I grew up in had a pastor for YEARS who was a Mason and demanded that there was nothing wrong with it.
     
  23. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Free Masons

    As to the technical cult/occult/false religion definition I would have to say false fallen religion, although it masks itself as "œnon-religious". But what would you call a group that though denies the label "œreligious" for "œfraternity" and yet teaches men who are leaders of their homes that the way to heaven is to do good deeds and earn it?

    However, before I became a Christian I was a Free Mason (or Speculative Mason is another term). The Free Mason is what is called the third degree Master Mason and the member of the "Blue Lodge". This 3rd degree is what is recognized as the true Masonic Lodge. Some masons of the blue lodge do not recognize the upper "degrees" (up to 32), other than as a kind of "extra".

    The process: Once a candidate approaches the lodge for membership (one most not be approached but approach by "œtheir own free-will", yea ´free-will´) he goes through questions for candidacy and if accepted then three symbolic rituals including symbolic blood oaths at the end (very bloody in symbolism). The first two degree are really just 'going through the motions´ to reach the third ceremony. The third IS and involves a symbolic acted out "raising from the dead of the candidate" to that of Master Mason by symbolically linking/playing the candidate(s) out as Hiram Abiff (the Masonic savior, more on that in a minute). Once raised as a Master Mason one is a true blue lodge Free or Speculative mason. The "upper degrees" then can be pursued along two track up to the 32nd level. Again the degrees 4 through 31 are mere going through the motions to arrive at 32. Depending upon the track one goes through Scottish Rites or York Rites. Scottish is most popular in America today. The double headed eagle emblem on the back of cars indicates the Scottish 32 degree. I forget the York emblem but the title is Knights Templar. All the degrees have title names.

    Then if one goes one step further one can become a Shriner.

    Masonry is steaped in gnostic religion and is consider a mystery religion. It fits very well with the "œall ways lead to God" approach. Mason's deny any religious aspect but that is far from the truth as they have ceremony, rites, symbolic blood oaths sworn to the Mason god (The Grand Archetic of the Universe) and teaching on how to get to heaven/god. It teaches heavily that man can attain to the "Grand Celestial Lodge" via good deeds/works/fellowship with man, etc... It is inherently religious through and through.

    Let me quote from my old KY Monitor. The Monitor is the "secret" book received by the MM upon becoming one. Each State has one and it varies a bit in some areas but basically is the same.

    "œPage XIV & XV, "All antiquity solved the enigma of the existence of evil by supposing the existence of a Principle of Evil, of demons, fallen angels, an Ahriman, a Typhon, a Siva, a Loki, or a Satan, that, first falling themselves, and plunged into misery and darkness, tempted man to his fall and brought sin into the world. All believed in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome and the Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and suffer a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, Love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; MASONS, HIRAM. It is interesting that the "small hill west of Mount Moriah" has been identifieed as Golgotha, or Mount Calvary. Krishna, the Hindoo Redeemer, was cradled and educated among shepherds. A tyrant, at the time of his birth, ordered all the male children to be slain. He performed miracles, say his legends, even raising the dead. He washed the feet of the Brahmins. It was on a cruciform tree that Krishna was said to have expired, pierced with arrows. He descended into Hell, rose again, ascended to Heaven, charged his diciples to teach his doctrines, and gave them the gift of miracles.

    This belief of primitive man in the fall of mankind form the Kingdom of Light and restoration to bliss through a Redeemer is also inseparably connected with the belief in original creation through the spoken Word of the Supreme Deity. God spoke the Word and the Word created the world and the creatures therein. Only by this all-powerful, omnipotent Word could *** be raised from Death to immortality! This legend of the Master Mason's Word is rooted among the very oldest beliefs of mankind. The pastor of your church will tell you that, viewed historically and critically, the Fourth Gospel of St. John is an entirely different kind of document from those of St. John is an entirely differnt kind of document from those of the first three Gospels. The first three are called the Synoptical Gospels, because of theri many agreements in subject, order, and language, but the fourth Gospel is recognized as clearly a thesis, or sermon, written mainly to prove the writer's view of a contested question. At the time there was in existence a large sect known as the Gnostics, that is, "those who know", whose doctrines and teachings endeavored to explain creation bv some system of "emanations" from the Supreme Deity, particularly concerning this wonder-working Word, spoken "in the beginning", and of the final triumph of the Redeemer, with whom the Word seems to have been identified, over the powers of evil. It is sometimes called the "Logos" dotrine-the Greek word "logos" meaning "word." St. John essayed to prove that Jesus was this Word of the Gnostics in the flesh. He commences his essay, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Of course the Word was lost at the death of the Christians's Redeemer, Jesus, as at the death of Hiram. Etc...."

    --END QUOTE

    It was a struggle for me to leave when I became a Christian because both of my grandfathers were 32 degree masons, great guys and my parents would have a hard time understanding my leaving. I was being shocked in all my former understanding of the world both near and far to me. My dad never belonged as he had been concerned about them when he was in the Marine Corps. They were listed as a flagged group for security clearances.

    But scriptures like John 14:6 and others were quite clear and lead me to write a letter requesting, not a demit (left with good standing), but a complete removal and repudiation from the lodge explaining my reasons. I had only been a Christian a few months and was a little scared about it.

    Most Masons on the average level NEVER look into what the Lodge doctrine teaches per se. I suspect that most average blue lodge members read no more literature in Masonry than most average Christians do in Christian doctrine, and are grossly unaware of the very passage I quoted above from their own Monitors. However, the works for entrance into the Celestial Lodge is HEAVILY taught and promoted. This is why Masons are involved in a lot of "œgood efforts", including Shriners.

    However, Masonry is still a big issue in the SBC and the SBC leadership should be ashamed and repent from their gross support of it. Because it is the Convention´s recalcitrant complacency with this false and deadly religion within the denomination that sustains it. Just try to unseat a Masonic deacon in a smalltown SBC that is still active. It is not uncommon to find Masons as Deacons in a SBC, even pastors in more rural areas. In 1997, I think, the SB Convention completed a study that concluded that Masonry was "˜incompatible´ with Christianity. A very small and insidious way to put it, incompatible. Yet, in the same report claiming Christian liberty and the believers own conscious to Scripture to be the judge - it was declared to be "œleft up to the individuals conscience" as to whether or not an individual Christian deemed it right or not to remain a member. Just another example of the individualism in the SBC that leaves members hanging out to dry and to figure things out for themselves. Fundamentally, if one affirms a Masonic deacon/pastor then the same could be a Mormon as well.

    This was a big issue for me once personally and pops up from time to time.

    Blessings in Christ Alone,

    Larry
     
  24. Wthompson

    Wthompson Inactive User

    I have alot of pressure to join now. My Father is and my Grandfather was a 32nd Degree Mason. All of our family friends, for the most part, are Masons. My Best friend is a Mason, and there is alot of sentimental tradition tied in with Masonry in my family.

    However, I am going to be one of the first to not join because I cannot, in good conscience be a Christian and a Mason at the same time. The two are incompatible.

    I have tried to speak to my father about the errors in doctrine involved in Masonry...but he is a very stubborn man and will not listen to reason.

    There is not much else I can do.
     
  25. smallbeans

    smallbeans Puritan Board Freshman

    The PCA also has a position paper on Freemasonry. It is published in that book of position papers.
     
  26. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Hiram Abiff is mentioned in the first book of Kings in the Scripture, he was an import from Tyre, I think his mother was Hebrew. He made the gold & bronze work of Solomon's Temple. But he was NOT a redeemer! I once found a Monitor in a box of used books, it was Scottish Rite, and went up to 32nd Degree. It looks like Rosicrucianism. I'm sure it's Gnostic or even Orphic.
     
  27. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    From the Los Angeles congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America's website:

     
  28. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    May my body be severed in twain, those twain burned in ashes and those ashes scatered to the four winds of heaven....


    May my throat be cut from ear to ear and my tongue torn out by it roots....


    May my body be buried in the rough sands of the seas where the tides ebb and flow twice in 24 hours....



    ....Should I knowingly or willingly violate this, my solemn obligation as a Master Mason....




    It is sad that I have trouble memorizing Scripture but can still recite my blood oaths after 10 years...






    Oh yes....I also swore not to defraud another Mason's daughter (I guess all the other ones where fair game?)....
     
  29. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    What source gives you this idea?
     
  30. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I would liken it to Alcoholics Annonymous or NA.
     
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