What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry (or simply, Masonry) is an esoteric fraternal society which apparently arose in the 17th century from a guild of masons (stone-workers). Today, very few Freemasons are actual stone-workers. Instead, they come from all walks of life, from politicians, to judges, to policemen, to pastors. Some of the more famous Freemasons are George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Norman Vincent Peale. Charles G. Finney was also a Mason before his apparent conversion to Christianity. Masonry claims as its basic tenets brotherly love (hence fellow masons are called brothers), philanthropy and "truth"; and uses the procedures and tools of medieval masonry as symbols to teach these values. Thus, the gavel, the rule, the compass, the square, the level, etc., are all symbols of Freemasonry.
Within the fraternity, there are different levels or degrees of membership. Proper or symbolic Masonry (or Blue Lodge Masonry) has only three main degrees: Entered Apprentice (first degree), Fellowcraft (second degree), and Master Mason (third degree). Promotion generally requires the mastery of a small body of memorised material. Other appendant bodies confer additional degrees. The Yoke Rite confers up to 9 additional degrees while the Scottish Rite up to the 33rd. The 33rd degree is an honorary degree which is conferred on Masons who are deemed to have made outstanding contributions to Masonry, to the community as a whole, and to mankind. It is very rarely awarded.
Throughout the initiation rituals of the Blue Lodges and through all 33 degrees of the Scottish Rites, the candidates are sworn to secrecy by bloody oaths. Such is the oath swore by the Entered Apprentice: "... binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark." The Master Mason swears, "... under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in two, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven..." (Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry by Malcom Duncan).
Masons meet monthly in specially designed buildings known as Lodges or Temples. Local Masonic Lodges are organised under Grand Lodges. In the United States, each state has its own Grand Lodge. Masonic Lodges can be found in many cities, of all sizes, around the world. There are 11 Masonic Lodges in Singapore, one of them is located along Armenian Street, near Bible House. There are presently approximately 5 million Masons in the world, half of which are in the United States.
Freemasons claim to be non-religious, though every member must believe in the existence of God—in whatever form he may choose. Each Masonic meeting is opened and closed with prayer—to God—whom they consider to be the Divine Architect. Who is this "God"? The fact that the Masons use the King James Version (with a concordance, giving the biblical citations on which Masonic Rituals are based), may suggest that they are Christians. But they are not. Albert Pike, a 33rd degree Mason, writes: "Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius andZoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion." Pike further declares: "Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonai [here he is referring to the God revealed in the Old Testament] is also God. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two Gods: darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil… the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonai; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonai, the God of Darkness and Evil." Masonry, in addition, is known to use theKabalah, a book of ancient Jewish mysticism and magic.
It is clear than, that Freemasonry is not Christian. It not only blurs the distinction between truth and error, but blasphemously attacks the very core of Christianity. The First Commandment clearly forbids the worship of any other gods, and the Second Commandment forbids us to worship the only Living and True God in any other way than that prescribed in the Scriptures. It is blasphemous to say that the Muslims, the Hindus or any other religion, worship the same God as the God of the Bible. Christ says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6). It is an abomination to God and gross rebellion against Him to participate in any activity which promotes a contrary doctrine. No true Christian may knowingly remain a Mason or become a Mason. The Apostle Paul’s injunction applies to any professing Christian who is also a Mason:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial?
or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you
(2 Cor 6:14-17).