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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
Could you please explain the Masons and the Masonic Lodge? It sounds like a cult to me. Is there a group of them that is OK?
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I believe the Masons are a cult. They are certainly a religious organization, and their doctrine is contradictory to the Bible, so I believe they fit the definition of a cult. I would hasten to say that many of its members have no idea about its religious nature. I heard a Bible college graduate say once, "It's just a boys club for old men." He was wrong, but I think that his opinion is probably the majority view, even among Christians. Their teachings are universal, so there is no group that is "better" than another.
I have reproduced an outline below that I have used in teaching on Freemasonry in a Cults class. The formatting may be difficult to follow, but the information is there. I believe that all the quotations are from Masonic sources, so you are reading their own writings, not other's opinions of them.
- I. Masonry is a religion.
- A. "The order of Freemasonry appears to have been instituted as a vehicle to preserve and transmit an account of the miraculous dealings of the Most High with His people in the infancy of the world, for at that early period, Freemasonry may be identified with religion."
- B. "Freemasonry dates anterior to the Deluge, and there is a strong possibility of its Divine origin."
- C. "The system of Masonry, as in its original inception, still claims to be a system of religion in which all men can unite."
- D. "If, however, it can be shown that certain individuals have worked out the problem of the higher evolution in their own natures by actual experience and demonstration, thus going far beyond the "average individual" already referred to - and have demonstrated the continuity of life beyond the change called death, and how and why the life lived here determines the conditions beyond this physical, earthly plane - they would be in condition to deduce and formulate the principles of life and rules of conduct that determine the progressive and higher evolution of man. Far more complete individual evolution would give them the materials, the principles, and the experience necessary to a more complete Philosophy of Life. Such men would not only be Philosophers in a broader and deeper sense than others, but might be said to be Masters of Life and Experience. The Blue Lodge degrees, with the ritual, tradition, and ceremonies of initiation, are - from beginning to end - a Symbol of just this Mastership."
- II. What type of religion is it?
- A. Is it Christianity?
- 1. "The religion of Masonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his particular faith. It is not Judaism, although there is nothing to offend the Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a Christian."
- 2. "Hutchinson and Oliver, I am constrained to believe, have fallen into great error in calling the Master Mason’s degree a Christian Institution."
- B. It is a universal religion.
- 1. "Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation - handed down to us from some ancient and patriarchal priesthood - in which all men may agree and none may differ."
- 2. "If Masonry were simply a Christian institution, the Brahman, the Muslim, and the Buddhist could not conscientiously partake in its illumination, but its universality is its boast; in its language, citizens of every nation may converse; at its altars all religions may kneel, and to its creed every faith may subscribe."
- 3. "Freemasonry is a system based upon the knowledge and acknowledgment of God...the vehicle which has brought down from the antediluvian world the primitive religion of man...it embraces that universal system in which all men agree, while the infidel and atheist are excluded because they prefer the dangerous alternative of disbelieving the Divine existence."
- C. Many of its roots are found in Eastern religions and philosophies.
- 1. Symbols
- a. Cable tow - a cord wrapped around the initiate. This is based upon the mysteries of India, and is designed to keep the wearer from personal danger.
- b. Circumambulation - walking around the lodge following the course of the sun. This was practiced by Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and Druids.
- c. The staff - This was rooted in Egypt, and showed the power of the god Osiris. It was also used with relation to Jupiter, Neptune, Bacchus, Hercules, Mercury, and Thor. It is also seen with Hindu and Persian gods.
- d. The white apron - used by Greeks, Persians, Hindus, Japanese, Romans and Druids
- 2. Statements
- a. "What induced you to become a Mason? Are you now, as you were then, in search of ‘more light’? Would it be of interest to you to know something of the ‘Great Parent School’ from which the present day Ancient, Free and Accepted Masonry is a descendant? Further, would it be of interest to you to learn that both of the Saints John, Christ, Buddha, Confucius, and many others of the Great Philosophers were members of this ‘Great School’, and taught its philosophies?"
- b. Shriners are followers of Islam, and refer to God as Allah.
- c. "While Roman Catholicism is the immediate offspring of Egyptian Paganism, Freemasonry received its credentials as a ‘Progressive School of Moral Science’ from the Parent School of India. In the ancestral records are contained all there is of allegory, symbolism, mysticism, and ethics in Modern Freemasonry. Even our Blue Lodge Ritual of today is but a modern English adaptation of the ancient ceremonial of initiation into the ‘Temple of Sacred Mysteries’"
- 3. Sun
"It is evident that the sun, either as an object of worship or of symbolization, has always formed an important part of both the mysteries and the system of Freemasonry."
- D. Does Masonry still hold to these principles?
"...which is a collateral proof of the fact that Masonry was originally incorporated with the various systems of divine worship used by every people in the ancient world. Masonry retains the symbol or shadow, it can not have renounced the reality or substance."
- E. When Freemasonry does reference the Bible, it sometimes chooses sinful people.
- A. The Bible.
- 1. They claim that the Hebrew Scriptures were based upon Egyptian mysteries.
- 2. The ethical teachings of the Master, in so far as they have been accurately stated in the Gospels..."
- 3. The Bible is the same as any other religious work.
- a. "The Bible is used among Masons as the symbol of the will of God, however it may be expressed, and therefore, whatever, to any people, expresses that will may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a Masonic lodge. Thus, in a lodge consisting of Jews, the Old Testament alone may be used upon the altar, while Turkish Masons may use the Koran. Whether it be the Gospels to the Christian, the Pentateuch to the Israelites, the Vedas to the Brahman, it everywhere conveys the same idea, that of the symbolism of the Divine Will revealed to men."
- b. "Read the Bibles or Sacred Books of any people or any age, and this ‘Great Light’ is revealed"
- c. "Thus, by the very honor which Masonry pays to the Bible, it teaches us to revere every book of faith in which men find help for today and hope for tomorrow, joining hands with the man of Islam as he takes oath on the Koran, and the Hindu as he makes covenant with God upon the book he loves best."
- d. "All the truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it. Everything grand and scientific...is borrowed from the Kabalah: all the Masonic Associations owe to it their secrets and symbols."
- 4. The writings of Masonry are higher than the Bible.
"No institution was ever raised on a better principle or more solid foundation, nor were ever more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down, than are inculcated in the several Masonic lectures."
- 5. The Bible is symbolic.
"The Bible, so rich in symbolism, is itself a symbol...It is a sovereign symbol of the book of faith..."
- B. Jesus Christ.
- 1. Jesus attended the Great School to receive instruction between the ages of 12 and 30.
- 2. He suffered an "untimely death"
- 3. Christ’s silence before his accusers was because He was a mason.
- 4. He is not unique.
"Not a Master can be found in any age or among any people, kindred or tongue, who did not hold aloft this Great Light, or who had not through it developed to higher planes; and in holding it aloft, he became the ‘Light of the ‘World, the Illuminati."
- 5. Jesus is not God.
- a. "In deifying Jesus, the whole humanity is bereft of Christos as an eternal potency within every human soul, a latent (embryonic) Christ in every man. In thus defying one man, they have ‘orphaned the whole of humanity’."
- b. "In the early church, as in the secret doctrine, there was not one Christ for the world, but a potential Christ in every man. Theologians first made a fetish of the Impersonal Omnipresent Divinity, and then tore the Christos from the hearts of all humanity in order to deify Jesus; that they might have a god-man particularly their own."
- c. "If you want to worship Jesus Christ, go to your church; we worship the Supreme Architect of the Universe here."
- C. Salvation
- 1. It is not through Christ.
2. It can be found in your own beliefs.
- a. "Salvation by faith and the vicarious atonement were not taught as now interpreted by Jesus, not are these doctrines taught in the Scriptures. They are ignorant perversions of the original doctrines"
- b. "Did Jesus himself conceive of himself as a propitiatory sacrifice, and of his work as an expiation? The only answer possible is, clearly he did not...he does not call himself the world’s priest or the world’s victim."
- a. "To the Jewish brother (Masonry) says: Take the father of the faithful and realize what being gathered to his bosom means. To the Christian brother, it points to him upon whose breast lay the beloved disciple. To the Hindu brother, it points to Krishna. To the Buddhist, it points to the Martreya of universal compassion. And to the Muslim, it points to his Prophet, and the significance of being clothed in his mantle."
- b. "Bacchus died and rose again, on a golden Syrian Plain. Osiris rose out of his grave and thereby mankind did save; Adonis likewise did shed his blood, by the yellow Syrian flood; Zoroaster brought to birth Mirthra from his cave of earth. And we today in Christian lands, we with them, can join hands."
- 3. In truth, you get to Heaven by education, good works, and being a good Mason.
- a. "We are reminded of the state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education (in Masonry), our own endeavors, and the blessing of God."
- b. "...and in Thy favor, may we be received into Thine everlasting kingdom, to enjoy in union with the souls of our departed friends, the just reward of a pious and virtuous life."
- c. "By the lambskin (an apron worn by Masons) the Mason is reminded of that purity of life and rectitude of conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe forever presides."
- d. A statement concerning a Mason about to be initiated: "There he stands without our portals, on the threshold of his new Masonic life, in darkness, helplessness and ignorance. Having been wandering amid errors and covered over with the pollutions of the outer and profane world, he comes inquiringly to our door, seeking the new birth, and asking a withdrawal of the veil which conceals divine truth from his uninitiated sight."
- e. From a Masonic funeral service: "This apron we deposit in the grave of our brother as a reminder of our unity in service, of the common destiny that beckons us hence, and of the Masonic spirit of universality...born as we are into one great brotherhood, no circumstance of chance or achievement shall serve to separate us in eternity."
- D. Reincarnation
From a Masonic advertisement: "And further, would you be interested in knowing the real meaning of, ‘That I might travel in foreign countries, work and receive a Master’s wages’? And what if you were informed that ‘foreign countries’ does not mean Europe, but refers to life beyond the grave? And what if we were to add that it is entirely possible for one who receives proper instruction and ‘Lives the "Life’ to travel to that ‘foreign country’ and return at will? As startling as these facts may seem to you, they are nevertheless True. And the whole Masonic teachings are based upon these facts, if you but knew where to find them"
- E. Masonry’s Mission
"If we can imagine a society composed of men of every country, of every rank and condition of life...who no exactly when patriotism and national pride cease to be virtues..men who yield not to the prejudices of their ancestral religion..who, bound together by indissoluble ties, and strengthened by the power of their union, can make it a part of their vocation to reunite again as closely as possible those separations...which have made men so distrustful of one another - would not such a society indeed be a noble, a beneficial, a godlike one? Such a society, however, does exist, and such is the true aim, the object, the mission of Freemasonry...Masonry can and will educate her children to that higher morality of citizens of the world...She can and will educate the pious man to that higher religion - ‘that religion in which all men can agree’...and this is one of the most beautiful and valuable features of Masonry, contemplating as it does, a universal brotherhood, meeting and uniting on a plane of action far above petty and changing creeds which enter into the religious and political world. Such is the mission of Masonry."
Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209