Is A Masonic Oath Binding?

Only if you allow it to be.

Before a candidate is given the obligation of the Entered Apprentice degree, he hears these words from the Worshipful Master:

"Mr. _______, before you can proceed further in Freemasonry, it will be necessary for you to take an Obligation appertaining to this degree. It becomes my duty as well as pleasure to inform you that there is nothing contained in the Obligation that conflicts with the duties you owe to God, your country, your neighbor, your family, or yourself. With this assurance on my part, are you willing to take the Obligation?" (Nevada ritual, circa 1984)

This same question is asked of the candidate before he proceeds with the obligation of the Fellow Craft degree, and likewise with the Master Mason degree. But how honest is this statement? According to the Written Word of God, it isn’t honest at all, particularly when it comes to a conflict of duties owed to God.

Again you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let you statement be ‘Yes, yes’, or ‘No, no’: and anything beyond these is of evil.;   (Matthew 5:33-37)

But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.                        (James 5:12)

According to these New Testament passages, we are to swear no oaths at all. But let me point out in particular, one statement from the book of Matthew:

Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.    (Matthew 5:36)

Consider the penalties of the obligations (Nevada ritual, circa 1984):

"To all of which I do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind in me whatsoever; binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having….

Entered Apprentice Degree: " throat cut across, my tongue torn out, and with my body buried in the sands of the sea at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate this, my solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice."

Fellow Craft Degree: " left breast torn open, my heart and vitals taken thence, and with my body given as a prey to the vultures of the air, should I ever knowingly, or willfully, violate this, my solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft.";

Master Mason Degree: " body severed in twain, my bowels taken thence, and with my body burned to ashes, and the ashes thereof scattered to the four winds of Heaven, that there might remain neither track, trace nor remembrance among man or Masons of so vile and perjured a wretch as I should be, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate this, my solemn Obligation of a Master Mason."

And the ending for each of these obligations is:

"So help me, God, and make me steadfast to keep and perform the same."

Now, the first thing that should be considered about these oaths is this: The god of the lodge, which is commonly referred to as the Great Architect Of The Universe (GAOTU), is NOT, the True and Living God, who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Understand full well that the GAOTU is a god that Hindus, Buddhists, and Moslems presumably have no problem at all in praying to. There is no way this could possibly be the True and Living God of the Christian faith, because at absolute best, Jesus is considered as being no more than a prophet by any of these religions I have named. Bogus god, bogus oaths.

Further, it is explained, to anyone who asks, that the penalties of the obligations are never intended to be carried out. It is said that they are only there for the express purpose of impressing upon the initiate how important it is that he keep the secrets of the lodge that are imparted to him. This classifies the penalties as being frivolous at best.

However, the challenge that is put before professing Christian members of the lodge is that the god they were swearing the oaths to is the god that is in their hearts. All right, let’s give the lodge one point on this one, but only for the sake of argument, forgetting for the moment that the candidate was lied to by the Worshipful Master to begin with.

For the professing Christian who is a member of the Order, I would like to offer an answer to that challenge, based on the Written Word of God, in order to show those Masons who claim to be Christians that they are indeed living in sin by even remaining in the lodge, because of the oaths they have taken, if for no other reason.

Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these.                                                    

So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned.

He shall also bring his guilt offering to the Lord for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin. (Leviticus 5:4-6)

This is one of three examples of sins requiring a sin offering, under the Law, pertaining to a person’s given testimony. This, the third example, which is given in Leviticus 5:4 pertains to being unable to fulfill a rash vow and to speaking "..thoughtlessly with an oath..".

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the admittedly frivolous penalties of the obligations are rash, whether taken literally or figuratively

So, God’s Written Word, in Leviticus, establishes a prohibition against false swearing and frivolous use of God’s name. After all, aren’t oaths such as these, additionally, but one more way of using the Lord’s name in vain? It is frivolous indeed, to swear to place yourself under a penalty that the lodge readily asserts is totally without substance.

I think any reasonable "Christian" member of the lodge would have to admit that having his throat cut across, or having his left breast torn open, or having his body cut in half, would certainly constitute being at least the equivalent of changing the color of a single hair on his head. But since it has already been explained that the intent of the penalties of the obligations is strictly for the purpose of making a point, the vow is a false one, strictly forbidden by Matthew 5:33.

A Christian who takes such oaths is clearly under conviction, both in Leviticus Chapter 5 and Matthew Chapter 5.

But at the same time, the Written Word of God shows us that there is indeed a way out of that sin, and that way is Jesus Christ.

Let’s concentrate, first of all, on Leviticus 5:4:

Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, in whatever matter a man may speak thoughtlessly with an oath, and it is hidden from him, and then he comes to know it, he will be guilty in one of these.

Clearly, the first step for a Christian to rid himself of the shackles of such blood oaths is to recognize them for being the frivolous or thoughtless oaths that they are, and to admit that he has indeed sworn an oath to keep certain matters secret that thus far are still not revealed to him. This has been well established, so now we move on to step #2:

Leviticus 5:5:

So it shall be when he becomes guilty in one of these, that he shall confess that in which he has sinned.

The professing Christian who is a member of the lodge must repent by confessing that he has indeed sinned in the assuming of such blood oaths..

And then, Leviticus 5:6 tells us how, under the Law, we are to offer up a sin offering in order that the priest may be able to make atonement on his behalf for his sin.

The same holds true today, but under the New Covenant, this sin offering is handled differently, and this brings us to the very heart of the Gospel:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,…                                                (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Our sinless Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has already taken our sins upon Himself that we might have redemption, through Him.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.                                       (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Careful and thoughtful examination of Leviticus 5:4-6 makes it seem as though it was Freemasonry that God specifically had in mind, doesn’t it? You see the sin of the blood oaths you have taken, and you are given the steps to follow to erase the sin. Confess to the sin, pray for forgiveness of the sin, in the name of Jesus Christ, and for His sake.

As stated in the beginning, a Masonic oath is binding, only if you allow it to be. That is your choice. Many members of the Order will tell you how awful it would be for you to betray the oaths you have taken. The Written Word of God tells you how sinful it is that they were ever taken in the first place. Now you have to ask yourself, who is right - the members of the lodge who are trying to lay a guilt trip on you, or God, who only wants you to confess your sin so that Jesus Christ may truly become your Lord and Savior?

Members of the Order, stumbling in the darkness of the lodge want you to remain loyal and subservient to the GAOTU. God wants you to follow Him. You cannot serve two masters.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

"Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.

"And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me." Says the Lord Almighty.  

(2 Corinthians 6:14-17)


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