OPPOSITION TO FREEMASONRY WITHIN CHRISTIANITY

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Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity


While many Christian denominations take no stance on Freemasonry, there are a several that are outwardly opposed to it, and either discourage or outright prohibit their members from joining the fraternity. The largest of these are the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy[1] and the Southern Baptist Convention.


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Catholic Church


The Roman Catholic Church has been among the most persistent critics of Freemasonry. The Church has prohibited its members from being Freemasons since In Eminenti Apostolatus in 1738. Since then, the Vatican has issued several papal bulls banning membership of Catholics from Freemasonry under threat of excommunication. Currently, as reiterated in 1983, Catholics who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion;[2] the penalty of excommunication is not declared in the current code of canon law, but membership remains forbidden.[3]

The Catholic Church argues that the philosophy of French Freemasonry (the Grand Orient, not the dominant variety of Freemasonry or the branch that is active in the English-speaking world) is antithetical to Christian doctrine and that it is at many times and places anti-clerical in intent.[4] The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia argued that some of the ceremonial in the Scottish Rite is anti-Catholic.[5] However this claim does not appear in subsequent editions.[6]

The Masonic use of Biblical imagery was seen in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia as being done in such a way as to deny the revelation of Christianity.[7] However this complaint was not included in subsequent editions.[6]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Catholic ban on Freemasonry since the Second Vatican Council

In 1974 Cardinal [14]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Allegations of Deism

One of the persistent Catholic criticisms of Freemasonry is that it advocates a deist or naturalist view of creation. Freemasonry in fact requires of its members no specific view of a supreme being, as Deism would do, but rather a simple belief in a supreme being.[improper synthesis?]

Whilst it is recognized that Masonry is not atheistic (UGLE aligned Masons are asked if they believe in God before joining),[15] its use of the expression, "Supreme Architect of the Universe"—a term attributed to the Protestant theologian John Calvin—is seen by some Christian critics as indicating Deism, (although Calvin was not a Deist) the belief that God created the Universe but did not intervene in the world after this.[16] This was a not uncommon belief, which Catholics viewed as heresy, that arose in the Enlightenment.[17]

A specific charge made in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia[18] against Freemasonry is that the introduction of speculative Masonry in the early eighteenth century specifically aimed at "dechristianising" the old operative masonry lodges. However, this charge was dropped from subsequent editions.

Whereas the constitutions of previous lodges of operative Masonry stated that "The first charge is this that you be true to God and Holy Church and use no error or heresy"[19] in 1723 the constitution of the Grand Lodge of England:[20]

A Mason is obliged by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But although in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Centre of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remained at a perpetual Distance.

This change is construed by the Catholic Church as moving towards a Deistic view.[16]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Separation of church and state

American Freemasons are consistent advocates of the Freedom of Religion, as found in the First Amendment[21] of the US Constitution.[22] The idea that the establishment clause means a strict separation of church and state is interpreted by the Catholic Church as a veiled attack on its place in public life.[23] Well into the Nineteenth Century, the Papacy continued to assert a divinely-ordained right to appoint civil rulers and depose them. It called opposition to this principle "Religious Indifferentism" by which no religion was acknowledged as true or revealed. And it rightly saw Freemasonry as a leader in the cause of popular sovereignty.[24] This reference is not present, however, in later versions of the encyclopedia. Some specific areas which Freemasons were accused of aiming for an improper separation of church and state were:

  • Compulsory state supported secular education in Italy in 1882 which entailed a prohibition on religious education and also the fact that "religious houses [were] suppressed, the goods of the Church confiscated, marriages contracted in despite of the laws and without the rites of the Church" [25]
  • The introduction of civil marriage in Mexico in 1857[26]

Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Religious indifference

Catholic critics of Freemasonry observe that it refuses to promote one faith as being superior to any others, while at the same time it also uses religious-type rituals. That combination is seen as inculcating an indifference to religion.[27][28]

The Masonic author Mackey called Freemasonry "a science which is engaged in the search after the divine truth".[29]

Anderson's Ancient Charges of a Freemason, 1723, says of Freemasons, that it is "expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves".[20] Freemasons reply that not obliging a member to profess a certain religious viewpoint as a condition of membership is not the equivalent of asserting that no religion can be superior to any other. Personal theological beliefs are not to be discussed in the lodge, thus avoiding arguments with those holding different beliefs.[30] It has been suggested that this ban on religious discussion was especially important in Eighteenth Century England[31] where a civil war, in part caused by religious conflict, had only recently ended.


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Protestant churches


Although many Protestant denominations do not prohibit or discourage their members from joining Masonic lodges and have not issued any position papers condemning Freemasonry, other churches have formally opposed Masonry and spoken of the problems they see with Christians belonging to Masonic lodges.

In some instances, these are relatively small church bodies which broke from the mainline Protestant denominations in recent decades, citing as their reason their opposition to theological liberalism or diversity. The largest by far of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist church bodies in the US have not taken a stand against Freemasonry, and many Masons are active members of them. The largest of the Anglican churches in the US, The Episcopal Church, has taken no stance against Masonry, nor have the various smaller Continuing Anglican and independent Anglican church bodies.

There is a range of intensity among those Protestant denominations which discourage their congregants from joining Masonic lodges. Denominations that, in some form or other, discourage membership of Freemasons include the small Evangelical Lutheran Synod,[32] to larger Protestant church bodies. Among Protestants opposed to Freemasonry are the Church of the Nazarene, Mennonites, The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention,[33][34] Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod,[35] Christian Reformed Church in North America,[36] Church of the Brethren,[37] Assemblies of God,[38] Society of Friends (Quakers),[39] Free Methodist church,[40] Seventh-day Adventist Church,[41] Orthodox Presbyterian Church,[42] Free Church of Scotland,[43] Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland,[44] Presbyterian Church in America,[45] Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland.[46] Most of these condemnations resulted from the work of church committees appointed only in recent decades. Many of these Protestant condemnations have never been enforced.

The Church of Scotland does not ban congregants from becoming Freemasons, but in 1989 the general assembly said there were "very real theological difficulties" with Church of Scotland members being Freemasons.[47]

The 1985 Methodist Conference in England said that Freemasonry competed with Christian beliefs,[48] asking that Methodist Freemasons reconsider their membership and that Masonic meetings be banned from Methodist premises. It did not, however, call for a ban on membership, and some Masonic meetings have continued to take place on Methodist premises.[49]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Eastern Orthodoxy


According to the website of the Orthodox Church in America, "It is forbidden for an Orthodox Christian to be a member of the Masonic Fraternity because many of its teachings stand in direct conflict with those of Orthodox Christianity." [1]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church) has a longstanding policy of maintaining no official position on Freemasonry. However, some people see links between the two movements in practice, structure, and symbolism, which go back to the church's origins.

It can be said the early Latter Day Saint movement and Freemasonry had an amicable relationship. While the impact of Freemasonry in church doctrine is the subject of intense debate, it is known that the family of the church's founder and first president, Joseph Smith, Jr., was active in Freemasonry as early as 1816. When the church was headquartered in Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith and several of his followers – including his first four successors as church president – became Freemasons. Many features of the church's temple endowment ceremony as established by Smith in Nauvoo parallel rituals and ceremonies practiced in Freemasonry. When the church relocated to Utah in the 1840s after Smith's death, there was even talk of forming a "Mormon Grand Lodge." However, this notion was ultimately rejected by church President Brigham Young.

However, many non-Mormon Freemasons harbored strong Grand Lodge of Utah was formed as an openly anti-Mormon organization. Over time the hostility increased, ultimately leading to the Grand Lodge of Utah banning Mormons from joining its constituent Lodges altogether. While the church never banned Freemasons from its ranks, it did at one time prohibit Freemasons from holding leadership positions in the church priesthood.

In 1984 the Grand Lodge of Utah and church leadership under President Spencer W. Kimball mutually agreed to drop their antagonistic positions against each another. While some suspicion remains on both sides, today there is no formal barrier preventing a male Mormon from becoming a Freemason or vice versa.[50][51]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity New religion


Freemasonry unambiguously states that it is not a religion, nor a substitute for religion.[52] There is no separate "Masonic" God.[53] Nor is there a separate proper name for a deity in any branch of Freemasonry.[54] In keeping with the geometrical and architectural theme of Freemasonry, the Supreme Being is referred to in Masonic ritual by the attributes of Great Architect of the Universe (sometimes abbreviated as G.A.O.T.U.), Grand Geometer or something similar. Freemasons use these varied forms of address to make clear that the reference is generic, not about any one religion's particular identification of God.

Nevertheless, the same Freemasonry that is criticised as Deistic is also criticised for allegedly being a substitute for Christian belief. For example, the New Catholic Encyclopedia states the opinion that "Freemasonry displays all the elements of religion, and as such it becomes a rival to the religion of the Gospel. It includes temples and altars, prayers, a moral code, worship, vestments, feast days, the promise of reward or punishment in the afterlife, a hierarchy, and initiation and burial rites."[55]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Links to Esotericism


Certain types of Freemasonry, most notably the Swedish Rite are said to be connected to Esoteric Christianity,[56] which holds that orthodox Christian doctrine is for the duller masses and that "real" Christianity holds the secret knowledge concerning the sacrifice of Christ on Golgotha.[57]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Pre-Christian pagan influences

The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the Masonic authors Clavel, Ragnon, Pike and Mackey claim Masonic symbolism is rooted in the solar and phallic worship of pre-Christian mystery religion, particularly Egyptian religion.[58]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Rosicrucian influences

Some scholars[who?] believe that Freemasonry has links to the Rosicrucian movement. The Rosicrucian symbol of the Rose Cross is also found in certain rituals of appendant bodies to Freemasonry which require candidates to be Master Masons.[59]

Many Anti-Masonic Christian authors have stated that Rosicrucian Robert Vanloo states that earlier 17th century Rosicrucianism had a considerable influence on "Anglo-Saxon" Masonry.

A list of groups linked to both Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, which requires for membership admission to be Christian and Master Mason (see websites), includes:

Manly Palmer Hall, a noted occultist and author on Masonic topics, wrote a book called Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins in 1929 (long before he ever became a Mason)[60] and the Rosicrucian author Max Heindel wrote a book in the 1910s,[61] both of which portray Catholicism and Freemasonry as being two distinct streams in the development of Christianity.


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Claims of Satan worship


Some Christian critics of Freemasonry, often evangelical Christians, claim that Freemasonry involves the worship of Satan.[62] Such claims are often supported by quoting, misquoting, or quoting out of context various individuals, both Masonic and non-Masonic, but not Masonic ritual itself.

Below are some of the more common quotations used on the internet in the attempt to establish the claim that Masons worship Satan, with some notes about them:


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Waite

First Conjuration Addressed to Emperor Lucifer. Emperor Lucifer, Master and Prince of Rebellious Spirits, I adjure thee to leave thine abode, in what-ever quarter of the world it may be situated and come hither to communicate with me. I command and I conjure thee in the Name of the Mighty Living God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to appear without noise and without ....[63]

This quote is often attributed to "Arthur Edward Waite, 33°" on Christian Anti-Masonic websites, as if it were an authoritative statement from a "high level" Mason, but Waite is not identified as a 33rd degree Mason anywhere in the book the quote is taken from.[64] He is described simply as an individual with an interest in the occult. Waite was not a Mason when he wrote this book (the book was written and published in 1898; Waite became a Mason in 1902). Additionally, according to the Masonic research document "The Lie of Luciferianism"[65] Waite was never a 33rd degree Mason; he never joined the Scottish Rite. He was, however, a "high level" member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a magical order based on an initiated lodge model similar to Freemasonry.[66] Further, the book is discussing Black Magic, not Freemasonry. There is no link whatsoever between this material and Freemasonry, other than that a future Mason wrote it.


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Hall

I hereby promise the Great Spirit Lucifer, Prince of Demons, that each year I will bring unto him a human soul to do with as it may please him, and in return Lucifer promises to bestow upon me the treasures of the earth and fulfil my every desire for the length of my natural life. If I fail to bring him each year the offering specified above, then my own soul shall be forfeit to him. Signed..... {Invocant signs pact with his own blood}[67]

This passage is from Manly Palmer Hall's The Secret Teachings of All Ages (specifically, the chapter "Ceremonial Magic and Sorcery."). As with Waite, Christian Anti-masons use this quotation as if it were an "authoritative" statement from a "high level" Mason. However, as with Waite, Hall is not identified as a 33° Mason anywhere in the book, nor is there a record of his reception of the 33° cited in any readily available source that does not include the above quotation. According to the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, Hall was initiated into Freemasonry, but not until 1954,[68] when he was 53 years old. The secret Teachings of All Ages was published in 1928,[69] when he was only 27. More importantly, the quotation is taken out of context. Hall is not discussing Freemasonry at all, but rather summarizing how a magician would invoke a spirit and giving an example of how a demonic pact might read. Hall was an occultist, and according to one source,[70] was a well-established lecturer on the occult and other esoterica by the age of 20, before he was even eligible to become a Mason.

When The Mason learns that the Key to the warrior on the block is the proper application of the dynamo of living power, he has learned the Mystery of his Craft. The seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands and before he may step onward and upward, he must prove his ability to properly apply this energy.[71]

This quotation appears in Hall's The Lost Keys Of Freemasonry. It appears in Chapter 4 (titled "The Fellowcraft") which has nothing to do with the actual Fellowcraft degree.[72] The passage is again taken out of context, and its meaning changes when it is put back into the context of the chapter it comes from: it is part of a larger philosophical discussion which can also be read to imply that the improper use of "energies" can make the Mason a tool of Satan. Furthermore, even taken out of context, this passage does not refer to worshipping Satan per se. As with the previous quotation from Secret Teachings of All Ages, the book was written well before Hall became a Mason. In his Introduction to the book Hall clearly states: "At the time I wrote this slender volume, I had just passed my twenty-first birthday, and my only contact with Freemasonry was through a few books commonly available to the public".[65]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Blavatsky

"Satan, or Lucifer, represents the active, or, as M. Jules Baissac calls it, the 'Centrifugal Energy of the Universe' in a cosmic sense. He is Fire, Light, Life, Struggle, Effort, Thought, Consciousness, Progress, Civilization, Liberty, Independence. At the same time he is pain, which is the Re-action of the pleasure of action, and death — which is the revolution of life — Satan, burning in his own hell, produced by the fury of his own momentum — the expansive disintegration of the nebulæ which is to concentrate into new worlds"[73]

This quotation is taken from Helena Blavatsky's magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine, and is often presented by Anti-Masons as evidence of Satanism on the part of Freemasonry.[74] This passage is quite regularly taken out of its context as Blavatsky makes extensive use of symbols and types in communicating occult doctrine. Furthermore, Blavatsky was not associated with Freemasonry and nor did she ever claim to be.


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Pike and Taxil

Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay 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 to light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive.[75]

Albert Pike is frequently quoted by Christian Anti-Masons, often with the quotation taken out of context. However, in this case the statement was not even written by Pike. It was included in a letter which con artist Leo Taxil claimed was from Pike, and was later demonstrated to be a forgery. See: Taxil hoax.


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Crowley

The occultist Aleister Crowley, who called himself "The Great Beast 666" claimed to be a Freemason, and his association with Freemasonry is one major reason why some conservative Christians see it as an occult organization. However, all of the lodges and organizations Crowley joined and founded were considered irregular.[76]


Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity See also



Opposition to Freemasonry within Christianity Notes and references


  1. ^ a b "Masonic Fraternity". 
  2. ^ Declaration on Masonic Associations at www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
  3. ^ Catholic Library: Declaration on Masonic Associations at newadvent.org. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
  4. ^ "French Masonry and above all the Grand Orient of France has displayed the most systematic activity as the dominating political element in the French "Kulturkampf" since 1877." From Masonry (Freemasonry) from the Catholic Encyclopedia
  5. ^ "The Kadosh (thirtieth degree), trampling on the papal tiara and the royal crown, is destined to wreak a just vengeance on these "high criminals" for the murder of Molay [128] and "as the apostle of truth and the rights of man" [129] to deliver mankind "from the bondage of Despotism and the thraldom of spiritual Tyranny"." From the article Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  6. ^ a b New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 ed, Volume 6, pp 132–139, McGraw-Hill, New York. The most recent edition (2002) does not contain any article on Freemasonry.
  7. ^ "In the text of 1738 particular stress is laid on "freedom of conscience," and the universal, non-Christian character of Masonry is emphasized. The Mason is called a "true Noahida", i.e. an adherent of the pre-Christian and pre-Mosaic system of undivided mankind." From Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  8. ^ a b Clarification concerning status of Catholics becoming Freemasons at EWTN.com. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  9. ^ Cardinal Franjo Seper, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent a letter dated July 19, 1974, to John Cardinal Krol which concluded that "Canon 2335 regards only those Catholics who join associations which plot against the Church." from The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership 1985 by William J Whalen, distributed by the American Bishop's Conference
  10. ^ "Since many bishops stated in their reply to an earlier survey that confusion had been generated by a perceived change of approach by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" From Introduction to Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry
  11. ^ "In good faith many of these men had asked their pastors and/or bishops for permission to join the Lodge. Some converts were received into the Church during these years and were not asked to relinquish their Masonic affiliation." The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership, William Whalen, 1986.
  12. ^ "As can be seen, no longer does the Canon impose excommunication on Catholic Masons, or even mention Masons directly.", the attitude of the church has been to regard Freemasonry as an acceptable sphere for fraternal interaction." From Roman Catholic Church Law Regarding Freemasonry by Reid McInvale, Texas Lodge of Research.
  13. ^ "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger then issued the November 26, 1983 document, which reaffirmed the historic position against Freemasonry. This statement had also been specifically approved by John Paul II." The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership
  14. ^ Catholic Church and Freemasonry - Anslow, Paul M. Bessel's website.
  15. ^ "We do ask a man if he believes in God and that is the only religious test." Freemasonry and religion, from the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
  16. ^ a b "The nature of the Masonic God is best seen in their favorite title for him: the Supreme Architect. The Masonic God is first of all a deistic God, who is found at the top of the ladder of Masonic wisdom", Jolicoeur and Knowles, pp. 14-15 cited in "The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership", sent out as a part of the Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry by Cardinal Bernard Law
  17. ^ Deism, in the European Enlightenment Glossary
  18. ^ Masonry (Freemasonry)
  19. ^ Quote from The Builders by Joseph Fort Newton, 1914
  20. ^ a b Article I of The Ancient Charges of a Freemason, James Anderson, 1723
  21. ^ "Amendment I - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.From the Constitution of the United States
  22. ^ Masonic Compact hosted at www.albanymasons.org
  23. ^ Pope Leo XIII Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy), Item 2
  24. ^ "If the Bloc has been established, this is owing to Freemasonry and to the discipline learned in the lodges. The measures we have now to urge are the separation of Church and State and a law concerning instruction. Let us put our trust in the word of our Bro. Combes" from quoted as footnote 158 in the article Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  25. ^ "the position of the religious authorities as to the education of the young utterly ignored" Pope Leo XIII Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy), Item 2
  26. ^ Oscar J. Salinas Mexican Masonry- Politics & Religion
  27. ^ "The March 11, 1985, issue of L'Osservatore Romano carried an article titled "Irreconcilability Between Christian Faith and Freemasonry" as a comment on the Nov. 26, 1983, declaration. In part the Vatican newspaper said a Christian "cannot cultivate relations of two types with God nor express his relation with the Creator through symbolic forms of two types." Quoted in the "The Pastoral Problem of Masonic Membership" in the Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry by Cardinal Bernard Law
  28. ^ "The truth of the matter is, Freemasonry espouses universalism, embraces religious pluralism and has effectively created a unique syncretistic religion." Order of Former Freemasons
  29. ^ Mackey, Symbolism of Freemasonry, 1869, 303, Cited in the article Masonry (Freemasonry) from the Catholic Encyclopedia
  30. ^ S. Brent Morris, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Alpha/Penguin Books, ISBN 1-59257-490-4, p. 202-203
  31. ^ S. Brent Morris, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Alpha/Penguin Books, ISBN 1-59257-490-4, p. 203
  32. ^ "A Concise Doctrinal Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod". Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School. Retrieved 7 August 2010. "We also reject participation or membership in religious organizations which have features that are in conflict with the Christian faith, such as the Masonic Lodge and similar organizations" 
  33. ^ For the first time in the history of the SBC, however, the Convention concluded, “many tenets and teachings of Freemasonry are not compatible with Christianity or Southern Baptist doctrine.” A Closer Look at Freemasonry (PDF), North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention quoting Annual of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1993, Nashville: Executive Committee, Southern Baptist Convention, 1993, p. 225
  34. ^ The "Closer Look" concludes by noting that while many Christians and leaders have been and are Masons, "several points of the lodge's teachings are non-biblical and non-Christian." It also states that "while Freemasonry encourages and supports charitable activities, it contains both multireligious and inclusivistic teachings that are not Christian in its religious instruction." New publication on Freemasonry available from SBC's North American Mission Board, June 9, 2000, James Dotson, Baptist Press
  35. ^ Q. Could someone please explain briefly why Masons are not allowed in the Lutheran Church?
  36. ^ Chris Meehan, CRC Communications. "CRC Scholar Discusses 19th Century Controversy over Freemasonry". Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  37. ^ "The Brethren objected to the oaths required of the mason, and even more to the evidence of heathen beliefs about Jesus Christ incorporated in the higher levels of this secret society. Joining such was forbidden" from Brethren Life
  38. ^ "Why should Christians avoid membership in secret societies such as the Masons?". General Council of the Assemblies of God. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery... The official delineation of this position is found in the Assemblies of God Bylaws, Article IX, Part B, Section 4 "Membership in Secret Orders".
  39. ^ "The Quakers will not join secret societies, such as Freemasonry, which specialize in oaths." The Quakers, or Our Neighbors, The Friends by William J. Whalen, 4:Practices
  40. ^ "They found the main body of the church disinterested in their reforms and broke away to form the Free Methodist Church, which survives to this day as a small group which does not permit its members to join any lodge." FOUR FACETS of FRIENDSHIP THE SHORT TALK BULLETIN Short Talk Bulletin - April 1972, by George Helmer, hosted on the Masonic Leadership Center - NOTE THIS LINK MAY HAVE MOVED...
  41. ^ "She talked of Free Masonry and the impossibility of a man's being a Free Mason and a Seventh-day Adventist at the same time.", Ellen White, a co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, quoted in Chapter Eight, God Revealed Secrets Through Ellen G. White
  42. ^ "membership in the Masonic fraternity is inconsistent with Christianity", Christ or the Lodge? A Report on Freemasonry, Committee on Secret Societies, ninth General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, June 2–5, 1942
  43. ^ "... in the minds of the committee, according to their interpretations of the Scriptures, membership of Freemasonry... is inconsistent with a profession of the Christian faith." Unnamed report, quoted in Freemasonry: What Do Christian Churches Really Think about The Lodge?, hosted by Jubilee Resources International
  44. ^ "However, the clear conclusion we have reached from our enquiry is that there is an inherent incompatibility between Freemasonry and the Christian faith. Also that commitment within the movement is inconsistent with a Christian's commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord." From Baptists and Freemasonry, date and author unknown, published by the Baptist Union of Scotland and endorsed by the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland
  45. ^ "No one shall be received into membership into a PCA church who is a member of a Masonic organisation. Present members of a church in the PCA who are members of a Masonic organisation will be given a period of one year to read the report of the Committee to Study Freemasonry, pray and consider their membership in the Order in light of the clear statement of incompatibility of Freemasonry with Biblical Christianity. After said year, they will be allowed to resign membership or become the subject of formal church discipline." Unnamed report adopted by the General Assembly of PCA, April 15–16, 1988, quoted in Freemasonry: What Do Christian Churches Really Think about The Lodge?, hosted by Jubilee Resources International
  46. ^ "4. Unchristian Fellowship - True fellowship exists only between those who are united by saving faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. Freemasonry, for example, excludes the mediation of Christ and accepts, as brothers, representatives of many non-Christian religions. Scripture, however, clearly teaches that we can have fellowship with one another only because "our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." From The Church and Secret Societies on the church's home page
  47. ^ Many Kirk members still Masons despite earlier call to 'think again' Saturday 15 Feb 2003
  48. ^ "It is clear that Freemasonry may compete strongly with Christianity. There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing.", Methodist Conference Faith and Order committee, quoted in the Daily Telegraph 17 June 1985, quoted in turn in The Angelus, August 1985
  49. ^ Hamill, John M. (May 1989). "CONTEMPORARY ANTI-FREEMASONRY". Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  50. ^ The Mormon Church and Freemasonry
  51. ^ An Introduction to Mormonism and Freemasonry
  52. ^ For example, this is stated in exactly these words on the web site of the United Grand Lodge of England
  53. ^ Also from United Grand Lodge of England
  54. ^ United Grand Lodge of England
  55. ^ Freemasonry article from the New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1964, Volume 6, pages 132 through 139 inclusive
  56. ^ "In the Swedish system, practised by the German Country Grand Lodge, Christ is said to have taught besides the exoteric Christian doctrine, destined for the people and the duller mass of his disciples, an esoteric doctrine for his chosen disciples, such as St. John, in which He denied that He was God." Findel, "Die Schule der Hierarchie, etc.", 1870, 15 sqq.; Schiffmann, "Die Entstehung der Rittergrade", 1882, 85, 92, 95 sq. Cited in Masonry (Freemasonry), from the Catholic Encyclopedia
  57. ^ Steiner, Rudolf, Exoteric and Esoteric Christianity [Das Sonnenmysterium von Tod und Auferstehung], 1922
  58. ^ footnotes 113 and 114 in Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  59. ^ For example the name of the Scottish Rite degree Knight Rose Croix.Knight Rose Croix
  60. ^ Hall, Manly Palmer, Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins, 1929
  61. ^ Heindel, Max, Freemasonry and Catholicism, 1910s
  62. ^ An example is, Masonry, a Jack Chick tract accusing Masons of Satanism (images, ~561Kb)
  63. ^ Cephas Ministry citing "Arthur Edward Waite 33°" The Book Of Black Magic, page 244
  64. ^ The cover of A E Waite's book, retrieved 11 January 2006
  65. ^ a b The lie of luciferianism, retrieved 11 January 2006
  66. ^ A Short Treatise on the History, Culture and Practices of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, retrieved 10 June 2013.
  67. ^ Choosing Truth Ministries - citing "Manley Palmer Hall 33°", The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Page CIV
  68. ^ Manly Palmer Hall, retrieved 11 January 2006
  69. ^ 'The Secret Teachings of All Ages', by Manly P. Hall, retrieved 11 January 2006
  70. ^ The Secret Teachings of All Ages, retrieved 11 January 2006
  71. ^ Plymouth Brethren citing "Manley Palmer Hall 33°", The Lost Keys Of Freemasonry, Page 48
  72. ^ 'The Lost Keys of Freemasonry', chapter IV, by Manly P. Hall, retrieved 11 January 2006
  73. ^ http://www.phx-ult-lodge.org/SDVolume2.htm
  74. ^ Such as this and this website
  75. ^ Learnthebible.org citing 'Albert Pike 33° Instructions to the 23 Supreme Councils of the world Supposedly issued July 14, 1889; A. C. De La Rive in La Femme et l'Enfant dans la Franc-Maconnerie Universelle (page 588)
  76. ^ "Aleister Crowley: freemason!". 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 


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