As a first point, it must be understood that Freemasons do not believe Freemasonry is a religion; rather, it is seen as a philosophy. Therefore, they accept people of all religions into their lodges. This means Freemasonry is not exclusively a Christian group of men. Second, at no time am I saying that your loved ones who are Christians and have been involved in Freemasonry are not Christian. I would say that you cannot be a Christian if you are a Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim, since these are religions. But it is possible to be a Christian Freemason. However, what will be demonstrated in this paper is that Freemasonry is not Christian, and the founders and writings of Freemasonry deny biblical Christian theology and do not see Freemasonry as Christian.
Originally, Freemasons were stone workers in the medieval period who were free to cross all borders among nations in Europe in order to build cathedrals. They took oaths to not share their skills in masonry.
In the 1700s AD, they became an official guild to protect themselves from the kings of Europe who would misuse them. The guilds were run by the more politically minded Rosicrucians. Eventually, the operative masons were replaced by speculative.
The first Grande Lodge was built in 1717 AD in London, England. And in 1733 AD, the Saint John Lodge in Boston, Massachusetts, was the first duly constituted lodge in America.
Freemasonry grew rapidly among the governmental leaders of Europe and then in the Americas and began to direct the western world toward the fulfillment of the objectives of Rosicrucianism, which they called the New World Order. This entailed a government that was led by worthy Hermetic philosophers rather than by monarchies based on genealogies.
James Anderson (1679–1739 AD) clarified the rules of the lodge and published The Constitutions of the Free-Masons in 1723 AD. He believed that freemasonry could trace its roots back to Hiram Abiff, who built Solomon’s temple. James Anderson claimed that Hiram Abiff, using his masonry skills, hid the esoteric key to enlightenment within the structure of the temple. Three ruffians ended up killing him in his refusal to reveal the secrets of the temple. Yet through his knowledge he was able to transmutate his life into a divine being.
The esoteric meaning of the temple is that the house of God is the body of man. The Holy of Holies, where the presence of God dwelt, is the mind of man. When man’s seventh chakra in the mind opens, then one realizes, as their third eye (Horus) opens, that they are God in the Holy of Holies.
Albert Pike (1809–91 AD) was a Confederate soldier, attorney, and writer. In 1859 AD, he was elected the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite’s Southern Jurisdiction. He rewrote and defined rituals of the Freemason lodge. His writings became the foundation of the rituals and beliefs of Freemasonry that are embraced in the lodges to this day.
In 1826 AD, William Morgan, a Freemason, threatened to expose the secrets of Freemasonry. As a result, he was arrested on trumped-up charges and eventually disappeared. This caused some to claim that he had been murdered and created a huge scandal.
This sparked a series of protests against Freemasons throughout the United States, especially in New York and neighboring states, and led to many masons leaving the craft. This also led to the formation of the Anti-Masonic Party.
American Freemasonry declined sharply but later rebounded as the force of the Anti-Masonic movement died out in the 1830s AD. By the late 1850s, masonry in America was the subject of renewed popular interest and lodge membership, as membership doubled again and again, especially during the Civil War.
To this day many of the government leaders in Europe and America are Freemasons.
The Kabbalist writings like the Zohar
Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey
Though the Bible may be respected in some Christian lodges, it is not seen as unique nor authoritative in Freemasonry.
“The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of the Christian lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew lodge, the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the altar. And one of the these and the square and the compass properly understood are the great lights by which a Mason must walk and work. The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding, and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed.” (Albert Pike. Morals and Dogma, p. 11)
“The Second Landmark is the Volume of Sacred Law, open in the Lodge. But the Bible is not, in freemasonry, more than one of the Great Lights, and never has been, for the reason that Masons are not required to believe its teachings….The stern fact is that we are constantly admitting Hindus, Chinese, Mohammedans, Parsees and Jews, not one of whom believes in the Bible, and this forces the conclusion that Masonry regards the Bible only as a symbol.” (Masonic Record, June 1926, in “What Are Our Landmarks?”)
Beliefs About God
God is an unknowable and impersonal being.
He is seen as the Great Architect of the universe but is not involved in the history of humanity.
Overall, God is whatever the individual sees him to be. God is portrayed as all the images of the different gods of the world. No matter what name you call him, they are all the same God.
This is seen in the symbolic and esoteric name Jehbulon, used of God by the high-degree masons. This name is a combination of the names Jehovah, Ba’al, and Osiris.
“In this compound name an attempt is made to show by a co-ordination of divine names… the unity, identity and harmony of the Hebrew, Assyrian and Egyptian god-ideas, and the harmony of the Royal Arch religion with these ancient religions. This Masonic ‘unity of God’ is peculiar. It is the doctrine that the different names of gods as Brahma, Jehovah, Baal, Bel, Om, On, etc., all denote the generative principle, and that all religions are essentially the same in their ideas of the divine.” (Coil’s Masonic Encyclopaedia, p. 95:516 and Masonic Ritual and Monitor, p. 58:226.)
“Men have to decide whether they want a God like the ancient Hebrew Yahweh, a partisan tribal god, with whom they can talk and argue and from whom they can hide if necessary, or a boundless, eternal, universal, undenominational, and international Divine Spirit so vastly removed from the speck called man, that he cannot be known, named or approached. So soon as man begins to laud his God and endow him with the most perfect human attributes such as justice, mercy, beneficence, etc. the Divine Essence is depreciated and despoiled…. The Masonic test is a Supreme Being, and any qualification added is an innovation and distortion.... Monotheism violates Masonic principles, for it requires belief in a specific kind of Supreme Deity.” (Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 95:516–17.)
“The religion of Freemasonry 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...it is not Christianity. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental truth.... At its altar, men of all religions may kneel; to its creed, disciples of every faith may subscribe.” (Albert G. Mackey. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 641.)
Beliefs About the Material Realm
The Great Architect created everything, but how he accomplished it is not important.
The universe is rational and orderly and is built on absolute principles rooted in three wisdoms of Hermeticism.
Beliefs About Humanity
Humans are physical and spiritual beings.
Humans are flawed but have unlimited potential for good and greatness.
Humans are capable of evolving into godhood.
“Man is God in the making” (Manley P. Hall. Lost Keys of Freemasonry, p. 92.)
“Be still - and know - that I am God. ‘THAT I AM GOD’ - the final recognition of the All in All, the unity of self with the Cosmos - the cognition of the Divinity OF THE SELF!” (George H. Steinmetz. The Lost Word: Its Hidden Meaning, pp. 241–42.)
Beliefs About the Problem with the World and Humanity
Humans are born into and trapped in ignorance of their true being, nature, and potential.
Humans believe that they are imperfect beings and thus do evil.
Beliefs About the Solution to the Problem
Secret esoteric knowledge of the Hermetic order is what leads to enlightenment.
One makes himself a better person through works by obedience to objectives of the lodge.
This leads to achieving higher degrees within the lodge and thus gaining access to more esoteric knowledge. One then gains more and more of the light of Lucifer and evolves more into godhood.
This is portrayed as climbing Jacob’s ladder, which is becoming the glory of God in Solomon’s temple.
“…the true Mason raises himself by degrees until he reaches heaven.” (Extract from the 28th degree lecture.)
“Endue him with the competency of thy divine wisdom, that by the secrets of our art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of holiness of thy holy name.” (Ritual – 1st degree)
“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. He must follow in the footsteps of his father, Tubal-Cain, who with the mighty strength of the war god hammered his sword into a plowshare.” (Manly P. Hall. The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, p. 48.)
The afterlife is based on the individual mason. Masonic books emphasize reincarnation and the eventual reabsorption into the Great Architect.
“Thus, Masonry is a great fellowship of men of all countries and ages who are capable of discovering in the religious teachings of all humanity, some of them crude indeed, the fundamental truth common to them all. That God is the Father of all Mankind and all men are brethren. That this principle is worth dying for and that he who remains steadfast in the service of this ideal may well hope for and expect immortal life.” (The Grand Lodge of the state of Maryland)
Beliefs About Jesus
Jesus is a great spiritual teacher who achieved enlightenment through esoteric knowledge and his works.
If you are a Christian Freemason, you may believe that he is necessary for salvation as it pertains to the Christian faith and not all other faiths that do not embrace him.
“The religion of Freemasonry is not Christian.” (Albert Mackey. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 618.)
“The true Mason is not creed bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge, that as a Mason his religion must be Universal. Christ, Buddha or Mohammed. The name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque, pagoda or cathedral, and realizes with his true understanding the oneness of all spiritual truths. No true Mason can be narrow for his lodge is the divine expression of all broadness.” (Manley P. Hall. Lost Keys of Freemasonry, p. 64.)
The guiding principle to which Freemasons look is all manifestations of Lucifer and Hiram Abiff, who through his own willingness to sacrifice himself gained godhood.
The Lodge and Its Rituals
Freemasonry is a highly ritual fraternity based on deep esoteric symbology.
The lodge is the name of the gathering place of all Freemasons and every lodge has the same physical layout of their furniture, which symbolically represents Solomon’s temple.
The head chair is situated in east, facing westward, and represents the holy of holies in the temple. This chair is where the Worshipful Master (the head Freemason) sits. The Worshipful Master wears a hat, usually a bowler hat, which is an indication of his position. It shows that respect belongs to him alone.
Above the head chair is the letter G, which stands for the God principle, geometry, and the generative. Also is an image of the sun, moon, and stars, which represent God, whom they obey. These two images represent the Freemason ability to rise as the morning star to godhood.
The floor of the lodge is tiled with a black and white checkerboard pattern, which represents the duality of the God principle (Monad): light/dark, male/female, spiritual/material, etc.
In the center of the lodge is an altar with the square and compass or whatever spiritual book that lodge wishes to have. These are the three greater lights. Around the altar are three candle stands, arranged as a triangle, which represent the sun, moon, and Worshipful Master. These are the three lesser lights.
Every Freemason is required to wear a white lambskin apron while in the lodge. This represents the purity of their conduct through their own sacrifices and works, which allows for the generative process. They are even required to be buried in it, for it represents their eternal hope.
“By the Lambskin the Mason is reminded of the purity of life and rectitude of conduct which are so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above [heaven] where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.” (Albert Mackey. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 72–74.)
The Scottish Rite
There are 33 degrees (levels) through which one must pass in order to prove himself worthy of enlightenment. This structure of 33 degrees is known as the Scottish Rite.
The first three degrees is known as the blue lodge and is where the new initiate proves his interest and worthiness to become a Freemason.
Once he passes through the blue lodge, he enters the Scottish Rite until he achieves the 33 degree and becomes known as Shriners, those who have the energies of Lucifer in them.
“The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Parts of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry.” (Albert Pike. Morals and Dogma, p. 819.)
“Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled.” (Albert Pike. Morals and Dogma, pp. 104–05.)
When a new initiative enters into Freemasonry, he goes through a ritual that symbolically represents his commitment and worthiness to become a part of the Scottish Rite.
He steps in through the two pillars of Solomon’s Temple, which represent male/female, sun/moon, and gateway into the celestial lodge (heaven).
The initiate bears his left breast (heart) and pulls up his right pant leg, representing duality. He is also blindfolded, meaning he is in darkness, with a noose (cable tow) around his neck, symbolizing his sacrificial death necessary to gain esoteric knowledge. A sword is placed at his heart, and he swears upon his life to the keep secrets of Freemasonry.
“There he stands without our portals, on the threshold of his new Masonic life. In the darkness, helpless and ignorance, having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollution 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 eyes.” (Albert Mackey. Manual of the Lodge, p. 20.)
“Man is never closer to God than when he kneels, spiritually naked, at the altar of Freemasonry.” (Masonic Services Association series, vol. 19 p. 14.)
“You have entered a new world symbolically and spiritually you have been reborn. This started the moment you were prepared to become a Freemason. As you progress in Masonic Knowledge your vision will broaden. You will become more vitally alive than ever before. You will become more aware of your fellow man, your family, your church, and your country. Your whole philosophy of life will become richer. This will take place, but only if you become Masonically educated.” (Allen Roberts. The Craft and Its Symbols.)
The Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star was created by Rob Morris in 1850. In 1866, Rob Morris started working with Robert Macoy and handed the Order over to him.
The Order is technically the female version of Freemasonry since females are not allowed to participate in the rituals of the male lodges. A male master mason must preside over female lodges. The men who participate in the order must be Master Masons, and the women must have specific relationships with Masons.
They claim that the name Eastern Star comes from the “star in the east that led the magi to Bethlehem” (Matt. 2:2) or the name Esther (“star”) from the book of Esther. According to Albert Pike, however, it refers to Horus.
“To find in the BLAZING STAR of five points an allusion to Divine Providence is fanciful; and to make it commemorative of the Star that is said to have guided the Magi, is to give it a meaning comparatively modern. Originally, it represented Sirius, or the Dog-star, the forerunner of the inundation of the Nile…” (Albert Pike. Morals and Dogma, p. 15.)
The square and compass are architect’s tools and are used in Masonic ritual as emblems to teach symbolic lessons. They are the tools of geometry that God used to build the universe and represent the Freemason’s works to craft himself into godhood.
“The square, to square our actions; The compasses, to circumscribe and keep us within bounds with all mankind.” (Malcolm C. Duncan. Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor. 1866.)
They also form the outline for the hexagram, which represents the material realm mirroring the spiritual realm, which esoteric knowledge brings together in unity of understanding.
The ashlar stone represents the Freemason crafting himself in a perfectly hewn stone through his own knowledge and works.
“By the rough ashlar we are reminded of our rude and imperfect state by nature; by the perfect ashlar of that state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education, our own endeavors, and the blessing of God.” (Masonic Monitor.)
Witnessing often seems scary, but try to remember you are just sharing who Jesus is to you in your life. It is important to remember that it is not your job to answer all their questions and convert them. It is your job to share who God and Jesus Christ are as you know them now at this point in your life and how they have been involved in your life.
Witnessing to Other People in General
First, pray for wisdom, pray for them, and pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even if you just met them, you can still ask for God’s leading in a brief prayer.
Don’t be afraid of them or make it awkward. Remember that they are people with many of the same fears and desires that you have. They may look culturally different and sound different as they express their worldview, but at the core of their being, they are a person who wants to be loved, feel safe, and have meaning in their life. They have come to believe that the worldview they have will fulfill those needs. That is really the only thing that makes them different from you.
Second, the most important part is to love them and listen to them. Many non-Christians complain that Christians immediately share the gospel without really getting to know them. Most people do not feel like people really listen to them and get to know who they are. It is important to realize that most witnessing is the result of building a relationship with people and being involved in their life. Take the time to really listen to their desires and fear and draw them out with questions. Sometimes you will find that their beliefs are based more on childhood experiences or being hurt by other Christians than the evidence or benefits of their religion. Understand that you may be in for the long haul, and it may take many conversations and years to lead them to Christ. You may not even see them become a Christian, but God will use you as well as many others to lead them to Christ, which may happen at the influence of another Christian long after they are out of your life.
Even if you know a lot about their religion or have met a lot of people from their religion, do not assume you know what they believe. Not everyone of the same religion necessarily has the same beliefs. Ask them what they believe and why they believe what they do. Pay attention to what they emphasize or what they spend the most time talking about because that usually is the most important thing to them. That will be the most rooted belief that will be the hardest for them to shift their perspective on. Remember not everything they believe is wrong or bad. Compare it to the basic affirmations of the Christian faith, not your personal belief preferences.
Third, it is better to start with asking them questions about what they think about Christianity than telling them what it is and why it is right. You may find that many things they believe are correct. Ask them who they think God and Jesus are. What do they think is wrong with the world and how it should be fixed? Do they think they are a good person, and why? What do they think will happen to them when they die? If you can affirm them in that belief or talk about how you believe that too, then you are starting on common ground with them, which will make you less hostile and help them feel more connected to you and more comfortable to share with you. Then you can lovingly point out the differences between what they believe and what the Bible says. Frame it as Jesus being so much more rather than “this is right” or what you have to believe.
Fourth, get them to think about how their worldview corresponds to reality. Ask them in a curious and loving way, not in a debating way, about the contradictions in their belief systems. Listen for internal contradictions as they explain their beliefs. You must listen to what they are saying and ask questions. Sooner or later you catch on to inconsistencies. Inconsistencies usually arise when discussing the relationship between their beliefs and reality. In a loving way confront them on these inconsistencies in order to show them that their beliefs do not correspond with reality. You are trying to help them step outside their belief system and see it from a different perspective. Ask them to explain how they can embrace these contradictions. Ask them the questions that you have always had about their religion or the things that do not make sense to you.
Do not get distracted by the bizarre or fringe beliefs that other people have. Focus on the majors: who God is, humanity, the problem with humanity and creation, and most importantly the solution to the problem with humanity and creation. The focus should always be on who Jesus is and His work on the cross. Share with them how Jesus provides a better relationship, path, and future.
Finally, share your story with them. They may be able to argue with beliefs, but they cannot argue against your own story. Tell them about your life before Christ, how you came to know Christ, and how He changed your life. And most importantly, tell them how Christ got you through and is getting you through your struggles. Remember, people of other religions do not have a personal relationship with a being that is all powerful and can get them through anything. They are all on their own in dealing with their struggles. Your personal stories are the most powerful tool you have in witnessing to others, for this is where Jesus becomes real in the everyday lives of everyday people.
Witnessing to a Freemason
Do not let a Freemason who is not Christian know that you are trying to witness to them. If you let them know, you might not get the opportunity to witness to them. Freemasons will not usually speak with you if they know that you hold a negative opinion about Freemasonry. The more they think you know, the less likely they are to talk and open up to you. The most common Masonic defense is silence. The best way to witness to a Freemason is to work one-on-one with a man who has not had time to speak with other Masons about the meeting. Never agree to meet with a group of Masons. If you do, they will stick together and team up on you. They will not hear you out when others are there supporting their beliefs.
Know the beliefs and facts about Freemasonry well. They are men who value knowledge as a means of salvation and power, which brings respect. If you are not knowledgeable, then they will not respect you and will not listen to you.
Talking to a Christian Freemason
Do not tell them they are in a cult or a false religion. Do not question their salvation. Start by asking them why they are a Freemason. Are they there for social reasons, community service, or because they truly believe that the doctrine and rituals of Freemasonry will make them a better person? Ask them what their lodge believes and teaches. If they believe that Freemasonry is Christian, then ask them what they think about the other lodges that have people of other religions in them. Show them the statements in this document about what the leading Freemasons say about Freemasonry and Christianity. Encourage them to read for themselves Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey, and the Masonic Record. If they are truly a Christian, then they will not be able to reconcile the two and will leave. But give them time to research and process the information. It is not easy to process the reality that you have been a part of something that you thought was Christian but was not. Pray for them during this time.
Greer, John Michael. The Occult Book: A Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca. New York: Sterling, 2017.
Hall, Manly P. The Secret Teachings of All Ages. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2003.
Horowitz, Mitch. Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped our Nation. New York: Bantam Books, 2009.