A gracEmail subscriber writes, “The Masonic Lodge has as its goal ‘to make a good man better.’ The Masons I know live Christian lives and insist that the lodge is neither a religion nor a substitute for church. Do you know much about this organization, and if so, what is your opinion of it?”
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Freemasonry is a world-wide brotherhood which exists for the mutual help and fraternal association of its members, but whose secret character, quasi-religious teaching, blood oaths and mysterious rituals have since the 1700s earned the official condemnation of the Roman Catholic Church and the later disapproval of many Protestant Christians as well. Freemasons claim that their roots extend back nearly 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre who helped him build the Temple. The modern order began in 1717 with the founding of the Grand Lodge of England.
Christians who denounce the Lodge cite the objectionable aspects mentioned above. Some others defend Masonic membership, insisting that its ritual is harmless fun, its theology compatible with Christian teaching, and its fruit a multitude of benevolent programs and charitable works.
I find it difficult to deny the religious character of Freemasonry, given its funeral ritual which assures members of happiness in the afterlife regardless of their attitude toward Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Whether taken seriously or not, its secret ceremonies seem to violate Jesus’ teaching against oath-taking (Matt. 5:33-37). And I think it is far better for those who follow Christ to perform their good works to his glory rather than to the credit of a secret society founded at best on humanistic principles of morality and immortality.