Saturday, October 3, 2009

Freemasonry Controversy

I've blogged about it numerous times (see for instance here). It's true that during the Founding era and perhaps even today vast numbers of Freemasons also happened to be orthodox Trinitarian Christians. Yet it required and requires only simple belief in God. Freemasonry exemplified the zeitgeist of America's Founding "public" theology. And that was monotheism based on natural religion. As one very orthodox figure from the Founding era, Rev. Samuel Miller, noted about Freemasony:

Masonry, as such, and according to its original plan, appears to be founded on natural religion. Hence the institution is found among all nations, who believe in one God, and the accountableness of man to him, as a moral Agent, and an immortal being.

-– quoted from Peter Lillback's "George Washington’s Sacred Fire," p. 505.

However, that said, it doesn't necessarily mean all is well between Freemasonry on the one hand and orthodox Christianity on the other. As one orthodox source notes:

Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity because it promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God which, but for the truth of His existence, are unexplainable. Such a view makes all truths relative and holds that God can be equally pleased with truth and error. Because Christians believe that God has definitively revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and desires that all men come to the knowledge of this truth, indifferentism is incompatible with Christian faith. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).

Freemasonry's teachings and practices also result in syncretism which is the blending of different religious beliefs into a unified whole. This is evidenced most especially by Masonry's religious rituals which gather men of all faiths around a common altar, and place all religious writings along side the Bible on the Masonic altar. This is also demonstrated by the Lodge's prayers and its unique names and symbols for God and heaven. Syncretism is the logical consequence of indifferentism.

The Lodge's practice of requiring its members to swear immoral oaths is also incompatible with Christianity. These oaths require a Christian to swear on the Holy Bible that he will uphold a code of moral conduct that prefers Masons over non-Masons, and to preserve secret passwords and handshakes. Such oaths are gravely immoral because their subject matter is trivial or does not give rise to the necessity of an oath. These oaths are also sworn under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties of physical torture and death called self-curses (e.g., having my throat cut across, and my tongue torn out by its roots). These penalties show a lack of respect for God and amount to blasphemy which is a serious sin.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

So do the Boy Scouts, and they have more members.

Anonymous said...

So... promising, before one's God, to respect and honor those brethren who have made a similar promise, before their God, is "immoral"? Man, that is some severely twisted logic. Does it hurt when you do that?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that when ever someone has something negative to say about Freemasonry they parrot what others have said and seem to have no original thought of their own. I suppose that is why they will never be Freemasons. Freemasonry does not suffer fools, religious or otherwise.
The concept of equality seems to be beyond the grasp of the run of the mill religious intolerant.

David Johnston said...

Well this certainly is a bigoted post. Which is why "orthodox" Christians will never be as great, as moral, or achieve as much as America's founders. Because they are petty little sophomoric bigots. Oh, and ignorant dolts as well.

Tom Van Dyke said...

What was that all about?

Theological disagreements are not bigotry.

Magpie Mason said...

Yawn.

The usual strawman complaints about an ecumenical private society.

What goes on inside the minds of those who think it dangerous for people of different faiths to come together? Jesus Christ is the ONLY way? Could so many billions of human beings be so wrong?

Jonathan, what really was your point here?

- Jay

Jonathan Rowe said...

Jay,

The point was NOT to make any kind of judgment, but rather an observation. This IS the way many orthodox Christians view the non-sectarianism of Freemasonry.

Believe me -- well you don't need to because I'm sure you've heard it -- orthodox Christians have said far worse about Freemasonry than what I reproduced above.

Daniel said...

I think the objection of many orthodox Christians is to a combination of factors, including 'strange' rituals, oaths, secrecy, with the non-sectarianism being a much lesser factor. If the same people who attack the Masons go after the Boy Scouts, I will reassess that thought.

I belong to a denomination (Free Methodist) that disapproves of secret societies, including the Masons. The objection is more rooted in 19th century egalitarian and democratic concerns than in any theological issues.

Tom Van Dyke said...

What I've gathered here & there is that the Masonry of the 1800s and early 1900s was different than the Founding era's.

There was even the

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Masonic_Party

which was spurred by opposition to Andrew Jackson, an unapologetic Mason.

Also from what I gather, Masonry was perceived as opposed to the Catholic Church, which is at the heart of the church's historical opposition to Masonry.

http://www.io.com/~janebm/churchlaw.html

The Church objected to the secret society aspect as well. [Altho I don't know where that leaves Opus Dei...]

It should also be noted that Masonry on the European continent was a lot more secretive and political than its Anglo-American counterpart and the two were not in harmony.

I did just read that an Italian Mason lodge appointed a Catholic priest as chaplain in 2005 to try to chill things out.

None of what I just wrote is definitive or the result of definitive study, just stuff I happened upon in the past few days of googling. Corrections welcome.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Let me also echo what Daniel said. Note, I have no problem with Freemasons; but I am not an orthodox Christian.

I've oft-enjoyed how very extreme evangelicals play up the "Masonic conspiracy" angle, i.e., the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bildebergers and now the Bohemian Grove being led by the Devil to usher in a "New World Order" of one world government.

That's more where the conservative Christian objection to FM comes.

I'd often joke with my Dad about this and he'd note, yeah these guys call CSPAN all the time and they are nuts. The Freemasons are just an old boys club where guys get together and drink and fart.

J said...

Fundamentalists are not the only people who object to Freemasons; they are detested by right and left. The nazis put a few thousand Lodgemen in concentration camps, and sent most of them to Illuminati-land.

Anonymous said...

Freemason secret
http://freemasonrywatch.org

Anonymous said...

It truly is a fraternity and teaches lessons of morality and virtue. Religion and politics are forbidden to be discussed in lodge. Making good men better! If they are trying to control the world, then they are not very good in doing that. They meet and have good food and fellowship and then close the door doing their thing. Funny, how so many non-Masons know so much about Masons. News flash...they don't care what anybody thinks about them anyway. Also they don't ask people to join, A man decides on his own and asked them if he can join. So Mote It Be... I also heard a very impressive Bible presentation about Jesus that was wonderful and the best I have heard. Chill out. Freemasons are the most patriotic Americans than any group I have ever seen. Do not believe 99.9% of the internet, really...people!

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