Why would a Pastor Condone, or Defend Freemasonry?
At the present time, the issue of Freemasonry is being considered in a growing number of churches throughout the United States. Many people who have never been involved in Freemasonry know very little about it. Since we were at one time members of the Masonic Lodge, we are able to shed light on the situation and help with an understanding of the issues.
In almost all cases, when churches consider the issue of Freemasonry, a strong stand against the institution is the result. In some churches, those in positions of authority have determined that considering the Masonic issue is not appropriate. Why? Before we address the specific issues with Freemasonry, it is helpful to have a Scriptural background of the underlying issues.
Paul, in his farewell address to the elders at Ephesus warned them to be on guard because savage wolves would attach the flock:
Paul knew that the church would not only be attacked, but also infiltrated. He wrote to Timothy, urging him to not simply preach the Gospel, but to always be prepared to correct errors and to rebuke those who embraced them. His advice for the pastor was as follows:
Jude knew, even in the first century, the church had been infiltrated. Secrecy was a tactic used by godless men. Jude sounded the alarm and urged believers to earnestly contend for the faith.
Paul warned the Colossians to be on guard, that they might not be taken captive by those who have abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
In these days, the words of Paul, Jude and other apostles who warned believers to stand firm, reverberate loudly. The church is under attach from without, from within, and sometimes even from the pulpit. Many congregations have been infiltrated and compromised. The most cohesive group of infiltrators the church has ever seen are the Freemasons. They work behind the scenes to subvert the Gospel, and in fact, meet in secret to teach salvation on the basis of another savior. We know this to be the fact, because we were members of the organization. We were Freemasons.
Masons are sworn to secrecy, not once, but three times, before they participate in the ritual in which Hiram Abiff willingly dies, is buried and then raised from the grave. At the conclusion of the ritual, those in lodge are told to imitate Hiram Abiff so that they can get into heaven. When the fact that all of the men who participate in the ritual do not claim to be Christians is considered, this is seen not only to be a mockery of the death, the burial and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, but a clear statement that faith in Jesus Christ is not required to get into heaven. We are deeply grieved that we have participated in this falsehood and were taken captive by such heresy. God, in His mercy saw fit to lead us out of Freemasonry and following our repentance, He has cleansed us from unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9) He has released us from the ungodly oaths we took in the lodge. (Lev. 5) We are not the only ones to leave the lodge; others men continue to renounce Freemasonry. Some of them are bold enough to speak truth about the lodge, while others are so spiritually wounded from the experience that they remain dysfunctional for some time. A few former Masons continue to defend the lodge, due to fear and spiritual bondage.
Many of those who are currently involved in the heresy of Freemasonry claim to be Christians. A significant number became Freemasons before they became church members. Some of those men have infiltrated the church and by claiming that Freemasonry is not a religion, have taken many captive by a hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on the teachings of a corrupt world system, rather than on faith in Jesus Christ.
Since Freemasonry teaches salvation on the basis of imitating Hiram Abiff, rather than faith in Jesus Christ, it seems absurd that a pastor would condone Freemasonry, let alone defend it, or actually embrace it. Yet that is what has happened in these last days in more congregations than we can count. Apostasy is widespread today.
Why would a pastor condone or defend Freemasonry?
If we assume that a pastor understands the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there are only two possibilities. Either he is ignorant of the facts concerning Freemasonry, or he knows the facts and has decided that the cost of opposing Freemasonry is too high.
It is possible that the pastor has not investigated the matter for himself. He may have asked one or more Masons in the congregation a few questions about the lodge and accepted the answers he was given. It is not uncommon for Masons to hold positions such as Sunday School Teacher, Elder, or Deacon within many congregations. Often pastors have developed trust in such men. However, if the pastor believes he will get honest answers to significant questions from a practicing Mason, it is painfully obvious to us that he knows precious little about Freemasonry.
Masons are highly motivated not to divulge the truth about Freemasonry for two major reasons. First, they have taken oaths to keep such information confidential. The first of the oaths, taken while a man is blindfolded, with a rope around his neck contains the following words:
Masons do not take these oaths, which they prefer to call "obligations," lightly.
The second major reason why Masons do not reveal the teachings of Freemasonry to outsiders, especially those in the church, is that Freemasonry would not be tolerated in the church if the facts were widely known. Lodge members simply cannot afford to tell a Godly pastor who is asking questions about Freemasonry the truth, unless they are repenting. They must posture themselves as sincere Christians who are supporters of Gods work. One convincing ploy which has been utilized to favorably influence pastors, is the practice of some of the appendant bodies of Free-masonry to send pastors on expense paid tours of the Holy Land. Such an investment can pay significant dividends for the lodge.
The secrecy which surrounds the organization enables Masons to use doubt as a defense when dealing with laymen and pastors who know only a little about the Masonic Lodge and yet are suspicious of the character of Freemasonry. When a non-Mason makes a claim that the teaching in Masonic ritual is contrary to the Gospel, a Mason may respond with a statement similar to the following: "You have never been a Mason, how could you possibly understand the meaning of ritual? There is far more to Masonic ritual than simply the words. You have to see the gestures, the facial expressions and consider the context to understand it." If someone asks for an explanation, a Mason may dissuade the conversation by saying something like, "I am simply not able to reveal that to you. We take an obligation to do our good works in secret, etc."
The truth of the matter is that explanations for the major portions of Masonic ritual are written in plain English and issued to Masons at the direction of the Grand Lodges. If a non-Mason were to obtain one of these Grand Lodge documents, and had a working grasp of the English language, he could understand the explanations in sufficient detail to accurately evaluate the character of Free- masonry. However, most non-Masons do not have access to Grand Lodge documents.
If there is opposition to Freemasonry from someone in the congregation, Masons must posture themselves as Christians who are being persecuted for being involved in an organization which does good works. "Freemasonry has always had enemies," they claim. They may add, "Usually, they are people who were rejected for membership, or former Masons who were expelled for misconduct of some type." It can be difficult for a Pastor to immediately know who is telling the truth in such matters. Yet, if he wants to know the truth, authentic Masonic documents will establish the facts beyond question. If ignorance is the issue, we can help you obtain materials which you may share with your pastor so that he will be well informed. If ignorance (a lack of specific knowledge) really is the issue, a Godly pastor will have no reason not to want to know the truth. Sometimes a pastor will proclaim that he does not know much about Freemasonry and resists learning more, when in reality he has heard enough that he has to be classified in the second category.
There are several factors which could motivate a pastor who falls into the second category to condone or defend Freemasonry, even though he knows that Freemasonry has a false plan of salvation. We will first consider the pastor who is not a Mason, yet knows the facts.
The pastor may have overestimated the strength of Masonic influence within the congregation and he may not feel that Christians in the congregation will support a stand for truth in the midst of the clamor which may well result when the truth concerning Freemasonry is clearly proclaimed. Of course, he may correctly understand the level of Masonic influence. In some Masonically infiltrated congregations most, or all, of the elders and deacons are Masons. Many times Masons attempt to recruit pastors. Satan wants the pastor to believe that he cannot possibly win a Masonic battle. Satan will use fear in an attempt to cause the pastor to fall into the roll of a teacher who will say only what itching ears want to hear. The pastor may not realize that the apparent might of the opposition is not that important when you are on Gods team. One plus God is a majority. If there are a significant number of men in the congregation who are meeting in secret to teach salvation on the basis of imitating Hiram Abiff, there is a significant number of Masonic church members who are in line to receive condemnation on judgment day. The larger the number of Masons, the more imperative it is for the pastor to speak the whole counsel of God.
Unity within the church is vital
Just before Jesus was arrested, he prayed for unity among believers.
Some pastors are concerned that dealing with the Masonic issue will cause division and destroy the unity of the church. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. When Masons are present, the church is already divided. Masons meet in secret to teach salvation on the basis of imitating Hiram Abiff, while Christians in the congregation openly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How can there be unity in the church if some secretly raise up another savior? It simply is not possible. Unity in a Masonically infiltrated church is only an illusion. The only way unity has a chance is when there is total separation between church and lodge. Those Masons who claim to be Christians should be given a choice: "The church, or the lodge, which will it be?" If they choose the lodge, the sooner they leave the church, the better. Christians can never reach unity with those who teach salvation on the basis of another savior. The fact that they do so only in secret makes no difference. Any belief that addressing the Masonic issue will destroy unity can only be attributed to ignorance, spiritual immaturity or demonic bondage.
Sometimes, a pastor will recognize that Freemasonry is anti-Christ in nature, yet not oppose it due to spiritual bondage which is brought to bare through family involvement in Freemasonry. Pastors who have fathers, uncles, brothers or others they love, who are involved in Freemasonry are reluctant to take a position which would condemn their own family members as well. Yet the fact of the matter is that remaining silent will not alter the eternal consequences for those family members who are already gone on, and it does not well serve family members who are yet alive. Freemasonry is a family curse. If members of the family have been involved in Freemasony, the younger generation is much more likely to become Masons. If the pastor says nothing, some in his own family will likely conclude that since he is not opposing Freemasonry, it must be a good thing. Holding back when dealing with the Masonic issue, because it will be painful for family members, is equivalent to not spreading the Gospel simply because it condemns all family members who have not accepted Jesus. Teaching salvation on the basis of imitating Hiram Abiff constitutes rejection of Jesus Christ. Will Jesus see it differently?
Another factor which can motivate compromise is ambition. Many pastors have ambition to build a large church. They have been seduced into believing that they can better serve God by getting as many souls as possible to join the church, concentrating simply on evangelism, rather than defense of the Gospel, or discipleship training. The legacy of such leadership is immature Christians and others who believe they are Christians, yet have only an intellectual knowledge of the Gospel. Many within such congregations have never been challenged to be on the alert for false doctrine and are not equipped to defend the faith when the need arises. Some fall victim to the snare of Freemasonry and other cults.
What would the pastor gain for building such an organization? Power, a substantial salary, an elevated position within the community or the denomination, the respect and admiration of other pastors and any number of other things which accrue to leaders of large organizations. From the outside, these churches appear to be thriving. But listen to the sermons carefully in congregations in which you find contented Masons and you will realize that the pastor has compromised in many areas. They are careful not to speak against those issues which will prick a mans conscience. They often will not stress those teachings from Scripture which directly take issue with the practice of Freemasonry, such as being yoked with unbelievers, the fact that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation, the fact that salvation is by grace and not of works, the fact that all pagan religions worship demons rather than the God of the Bible, as well as the requirement of repentance from sin as a condition for salvation. The presence of contented Masons in a congregation is an indictment of the type of sermons they have been hearing from the pulpit. Pastors who will serve in such a capacity are motivated by nickels and noses, rather than a desire to win souls and lead men into a close relationship with Jesus Christ. They are corporate executives who are concerned with statistics.
While some pastors have large congregations and enjoy a healthy salary, others are willing to settle for much less. They fear the Masons within the congregation more than they fear God. They care more for their own salary which provides for the physical well being of their family, than they care for the souls of men. In these situations, just a few Masons can effectively control the church.
We are very concerned about pastors who know the truth, yet condone Freemasonry, because souls are on the line. It was our souls, and it is those of our Masonic fathers, uncles and brothers, which such pastors consciously decide to allow to go to hell without a word of warning from their pulpits. We know that Freemasonry is a significant issue, because as Masons we were directly involved in the teaching of a false gospel. Galatians 1:8-9 makes it clear that the penalty for teaching a false gospel is condemnation.
When Masons are present in a congregation, their souls are not the only ones at risk. If the Masons in the congregation choose to begin a dialog with your son, or grandson, who will warn them of the dangers? Some pastors feel as long as Masons are not recruiting, they will do no harm. If Masons truly do not recruit, how can we explain the significant number of Masons in the church? A simple question by a young boy can plant the seed which turns into a snare in later years. He might ask his Sunday School teacher about his ring, or tie tack. Often, Masons begin the dialog with potential members. The approach used is often similar to the following: "Have you ever considered becoming a Mason? I believe you might really enjoy it." If a favorable conversation ensues, they might say something like, "I cant ask you to join. No one has been ever asked to join the lodge. But, if you want to get in, I would be wiling to help you." Who will watch over the souls of your son and grandson if there is no genuine spiritual leadership to oppose those who would ensnare them? Who will counsel your daughter not to marry into a Masonic family? Freemasonry has appendent orders which are specifically designed for women and children. How many daughters and grandchildren will become ensnared because a pastor who understands the dangers chooses not to speak the whole counsel of God?
Not only are we concerned for the souls of Masons and those they would ensnare, but we are concerned for these pastors as well. They will most certainly stand before God with blood on their hands. Scripture makes it clear:
It is much easier to keep a man from joining the lodge than it is to get him out once he has been spiritually ensnared. Pastors who knowingly tolerate Masons to be members of the congregation without issuing a clear warning from the pulpit simply have a job, rather than a calling. John explained that those who welcome them in will share in their evil deeds:
In John, Chapter 10, Jesus speaks of pastors who care for the flock. The good shepherd will lay down his life for the flock when it comes under attack. Jesus explained that some who appear to be shepherds run when wolves appear. They are not shepherds, but rather hirelings. In these days, we see another type of pastor standing in pulpits across the country. They claim to be shepherds who defend the flock, yet they have actually joined the Masonic Lodge. They do not run away when the wolf comes. They run with the wolves, offering a defense of Freemasonry and leading others into the lodge. Masons will vigorously defend a Masonic Pastor and run interference for him, so that he does not have to do all of the "dirty work." If a church member who is a Mason begins to
question the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity, as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit, other Masons and the pastor attempt to assure him that there is no problem with the lodge. "If there were a problem with Freemasonry, our pastor would not be a lodge member," they might say. As we have been taught to be in submission to our spirtual leaders, many are reluctant to belive that there could actually something wrong with the lodge, if the pastor does not see it. Some of us were confused for a time by a Masonic pastor, a Masonic elder, or other church member who was not following Jesus. However, in time, the Holy Spirit won out.
Of course, when Masons are in church leadership, they must oppose any layman in the congregation who would speak the truth concerning Freemasonry; he would be a threat to Masonic control of the congregation. Masonic pastors cannot be classified as shepherds, and they really cannot be classified as hirelings. They are wolves in shepherds clothing. Jesus does not want you to be confused, injured, or led astray by them.
A Masonic Sermon
To understand the impossibility of a legitimate Christian pastor standing in agreement with Masonic teaching, consider what would happen if a Masonic pastor were to deliver a sermon from the pulpit which contained the same teachings as heard in the Master Mason Degree. There would be a lecture and a ritual drama in the sermon. The pastor could deliver the lecture, but would need assistance -- a few men from the lodge -- for the ritual drama portion of his sermon. The setting for the drama is the building of Solomons Temple. One of his assistants would portray Hiram Abiff, the Grand Master at the temple project. Hiram would be accosted three times. Each time, he would be given the choice of revealing the secrets of a Master Mason, or of losing his life. Each time he is accosted, he would refuse saying, "My life, but not the secrets." The first two times he is accosted, he would only be wounded by his assailant. However, the third time, he would willingly die rather than reveal the secrets of a Master Mason.
In the ritual portion of the sermon, after Hiram Abiff is killed, the three men who accosted him would realize that they had not received the secret which they sought and must dispose of the body, so that their deed might not be known. The body of Hiram Abiff would be buried on a hill. The next day, when Hiram is nowhere to be found, King Solomon, possibly played by the pastor, would send out a search party to look for him. After the fresh grave is found, Hiram would be raised be from the grave.
What you would have just seen is a ritual in which Hiram Abiff willingly died, was buried and then raised from the grave.
At the end of his sermon, the pastor would conclude with the following words, summarizing the teaching of the ritual drama with these words from the Master Mason Degree ritual:
Were you to ponder the words from the pastors sermon, you would realize that he had instructed you to imitate Hiram Abiff so that you could get into heaven. It would be a false Gospel, one based on imitation of Hiram Abiff, rather than faith in Jesus Christ.
If a pastor were to deliver such a sermon, would you believe that he was a sincere Christian who is depending on his faith in Jesus Christ for salvation? Would you believe that he was a spiritual leader in Christs church, who watches over souls as a man who must give account?
(See Hebrews 13:17)
The reason for Masonic secrecy is obvious. If it were not a secret, how would the Masonic pastor and other Masons be able to deceive the flock?
If the ritual sermon would be a false Gospel when delivered from a pulpit, how can it not be a false Gospel when the same content is taught in the lodge? If it is not acceptable for a pastor to preach a sermon which recommends imitating Hiram Abiff as a means of gaining access to heaven in the church, why is it acceptable for church members to stand in agreement when it is taught in lodge? Does Jesus see a difference?
Masonic Pastors should be confronted by laymen, or other pastors. They should be warned that they are participating in the teaching of a false Gospel. Do not expect a Masonic pastor to see the truth, or understand the problem unless you have bathed the issue in prayer. They have been confronted with the truth each and every time they have watched the third degree ritual. Satan has blinded them. Possibly, they were never Christians to begin with.
Fortunately, all pastors are not hirelings or wolves. We praise God for shepherds who are willing to stand firm and speak against Freemasonry from the pulpit, particularly when they face substantial opposition. Often such pastors appear to suffer a great loss. Many are voted out of the pulpit following such a stand, at a meeting which has been stacked by Masons who are members of the congregation. Often, such meetings are characterized by the sudden appearance of members who have not been in the church for months, or even years. They respond to the telephone calls of their Masonic brethren quite faithfully and outnumber Christian members of the congregation, who are many times caught off guard by such swift action. Laymen usually underestimate the need to support a Godly pastor when he takes a stand against heresy. Laymen underestimate the significance of business meetings, whether they are scheduled, or "called." Sincere Christians often assume that the response to a sermon against heresy will be repentance, rather than defiance. They assume that other people are just as sincere in their relationship with Jesus Christ, as they are. While we ought not to think more highly of ourselves than we should, we should not underestimate the grip which Satan can have on others. He looks for those he can devour. Most do not understand the spiritual nature of Freemasonry. Not many in the church have seen Masons in action, because in the past decades few pastors have made a decision to stand against Freemasonry.
Pastors who consider the issue of Freemasonry must realize that God is responsible for their safety and for taking care of their physical needs, as well as the needs of their families. If they can trust Him for their eternal salvation, they can trust Him now as they deliver a non-compromising message to Masons and others who would subvert the Gospel. If they dont believe that they can trust Him now, do they really believe that they can trust Him later? Pastors who decide to stand realize that the sacrifices which they may be required to make are nothing compared with having nails driven into the hands and feet. In the short term, at least, there will be some trauma from a stand against Freemasonry. The trauma may last an hour, a week, or much longer. Sometimes, the congregation is blessed far beyond their understanding in the short term, as repentance and revival results. Long term, even those pastors who seem to have paid the highest price for a firm stand against Freemasonry have been richly blessed. We know of none who have been put to death, or have even gone hungry.
As men who have left the Masonic Lodge, we understand sacrifice and understand the cost of bearing the cross. It was hard for many of us to leave the lodge. Some of us have been estranged from our Masonic families. We have lost social affiliations which we assumed were friendships. Often, it turned out that our Masonic friends were not really friends at all, but rather simply Masons who stuck with us as long as we too were Masons. We still care for them, even though they reject us - simply because we have unconditionally rejected Free-masonry. After being in the lodge for twenty years or more, some of us had no friends who were not affiliated with Freemasonry. Some of us were devastated, yet we knew we had no choice but to leave the lodge. Some of us have lost jobs, some have lost businesses, some have been separated from brothers, or elderly fathers who remain in the lodge. However, when we consider what Jesus suffered through, we cannot fathom standing before Him and telling Him that it would have been too painful to leave the lodge; it would have cost too much.
Compared to the price that Jesus paid for our souls, our sacrifices are nothing. We have been richly blessed as a result of leaving Freemasonry. Spiritual bondage has been broken as a result of confession and repentance and our relationship with Jesus has been strengthened beyond what we could have ever imagined while we were Masons.
If you are a member of a congregation which accepts Masons for membership, we can help you obtain materials which will allow you to know the truth about Free-masonry, so that you might urge repentance in the lives of the lodge members, or a pastor who is condoning Freemasonry. Video tapes of reenactments of Masonic ritual are available as well as video tape of the testimonies of Ex-Masons who have chosen Jesus over the lodge. Grand Lodge documents which explain the meanings of ritual and numerous other items which will assist in exposing the heresy of Freemasonry are available from the network of ministries with which we cooperate. Members of Ex-Masons for Jesus are available for testimonies in congregations throughout the United States. No pastor has to stand alone when he defends the Gospel against the heresy of Freemasonry. Church members have a right to hear the whole counsel of God from their pulpits. There is a job description for pastors. It was included in Pauls letter to Timothy. They are to preach the Word and be prepared in season and out of season, to correct, rebuke and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction. Anything less should not be tolerated, or supported. Souls are on the line.