If a Freemason Died Today: Responding to Critics

Saturday night, I published an article entitled “If a Freemason Died Today…”.  The article has been shared many times in social media and has received numerous responses from supporters and detractors like.  I had not planned on writing a follow-up article this soon, however, a Freemason named Glen wrote to me to challenge the assertions of my article.  I have publicly responded to Glenn’s challenges below in the hopes of not only reaching Glenn but helping the numerous people who shared the article defend the Christian faith against the proponents of Freemasonry.

Glenn: Obviously you have not done much research into the history and the rituals of the Masonic Lodge.

Seth: That’s not at all obvious. The article in question specifically related to the funerary practices of Freemasonry. My article cited three Masonic sources related to funerary practices, which were linked for reader verification.  

Glenn: Freemason does not judge anyone by their religion but only asked if you believe in a Supreme Being.  

Seth: This is exactly what I stated in the article, with a link to the website of Cartersville Lodge #63 F&M for support.  This is my objection.  Master Masons are entitled to a funeral service which says they have a hope in Heaven, even though Master Masons don’t have to be Christians.

Glenn: Masonry is not a religion or a secret society but Freemasonry is an open organization that has secret rituals.  

Seth: Within the past 3 months, I have asked a “Christian” Mason for clarifications about certain tenets of Freemasonry and he told me outright that there were certain things he could not answer because it was “secret”. To claim that Freemasonry is not a secret society because it’s open to join doesn’t mean that it’s not actually a secret society. Initiates swear to keep the secrets of Freemasonry. Masons swear (symbolically or otherwise) on their cut throats or their pierced hearts not to reveal the secrets they learn. This type of oath-swearing itself is contrary to biblical standards.  (Matthew 5:34-37, James 5:12)

Glenn: The goal of the Masonic Lodge is to take good men and make them better: it is a fraternity not a religion.  

Seth: According to the Bible, there is no such thing as a “good” man. Furthermore, the sanctification of the believer is the role of the Holy Spirit. A church-going Christian does not an outside fraternity to make him a better man nor can he hope to lead another man into being good outside of Christ’s church. (Mark 10:18Romans 3:10-12)

Glenn: Freemasonry is not a religion nor should it be substituted for any church or religious activity.  

Seth: Masonic lodges elect a chaplain and a “worshipful master.” Their prayers and supplications to “the Great Architect of the Universe” are fairly considered religious activity.

Glenn: Belonging to the military is a lifelong affiliation which has or offers military funerals; does that make serving your country a sin?  

Seth: United States military funerals do not include unbiblical promises of eternal life to non-Christians. So, this isn’t an analogous comparison to Masonic funerals.  

Glenn: While in the military I was taught numerous things that I cannot talk about, so I hold these secrets in my heart and mind in regards to the United States military, our government, and other governments which I cannot communicate to you nor anybody else; so my question would be “does that make it a ‘religion’ to me and mean that I cannot be a Christian and a service member at the same time?”  

Seth: Do any of these things contradict scripture or conflict with your loyalty to your church? If not, then you can be a Christian and a service member. The United States Armed forces serves, is funded by, and accountable to the citizens of the USA. The Masons are accountable to themselves.

Glenn: Have you researched the Knights of Columbus that is open to Catholics?

Seth: No. I’ve asked a member of the Knights if the organization is akin to Freemasonry. He told me no. In any case the Roman Catholic Church is a gospel-denying apostate church. So, whether a Roman Catholic is in the Knights of Columbus or not is of no particular concern.

Glenn: Does belonging to the Knights of Columbus make you lost and in need of repentance? What Catholics who are baptized at Birth and have no conversion experience, no point in their life when they said “I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal savior”?

Seth: Believing in Roman Catholic doctrine, whether or not one is a Knight of Columbus, indicates that someone is lost.

Glenn: What about Mormons who believe that God was once man and that they can perfect themselves to become a God in their own “new” universe?

Seth: Mormons are not Christians. They are lost. They believe in a false gospel and a false Jesus.  See the resource at this link.

Glenn: What about the Jews that live in America, are they condemned to hell because they do not believe in Jesus Christ at all?

Seth: Ethnic lineage (Jewish or otherwise) does not contribute to one’s damnation or salvation. Members of every nation are  descended from Adam and thus under the curse of sin. Anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ (not the false Christ of Mormonism, the Watch Tower or other religions) is condemned. (Romans 9:6-13)

Glenn: Are the Jehovah Witnesses lost because they do not believe in the “Trinity” [the Father; the Son; and the Holy Ghost]?

Seth: Yes. They believe that Jesus is a created being named Michael, not God. They also deny the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus.  See the resource at this link.

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Glenn: Ancient Free and Accepted Masons have been around in the western world for more than 500 years; are you saying that now you’re smarter than all the world leaders and church leaders in the last 500 years?

Seth: Freemasonry is a secret society. Many church leaders of former times could have been ignorant of the unbiblical tenets of Freemasonry. The information age has made it possible for Masonic literature to be widely distributed to theologians so that it can be compared to Christianity. Walter Martin, who wrote The Kingdom of the Cults, asserted that Freemasonry was not compatible with Christianity. The same is contended by cult expert Ron Rhodes. Theologians who are informed about the tenets of Freemasonry tend to reject it. Hence, the North American Mission Board’s declaration that Freemasonry is not compatible with Christianity.

Glenn: “U.S. membership in Freemasonry is claimed at about three million, with about five million worldwide… The official magazine of Masonry in the U.S. is titled New Age. Some church denominations are also led by avowed Masons. For example, a 1991 survey by the Southern Baptist Convention Sunday School Board found that 14% of SBC pastors and 18% of SBC deacon board chairs are Masons. It is also estimated that SBC members comprise 37% of total U.S. lodge membership. (A 2000 updated SBC report found that over 1,000 SBC pastors are Masons.)”

Seth: The Bible makes it clear that all people who think they are of Christ are not really of Christ. The telling number there is that most Southern Baptist men are not Freemasons. Many Southern Baptist pastors refuse to become Freemasons themselves and disallow Masonic services on church grounds. There is no denominational authority over individual Southern Baptist churches to proscribe membership in certain organizations. The doctrine of the Presbyterian Church in America is very close to the doctrine of the Southern Baptist Convention. The PCA has authority over individual churches; it bans masonic membership. (Matthew 7:21-23)

Glenn: I pray that you revisit your article and separate fact from interpretation.

Seth: I pray that you will seek help and guidance from a faithful Christian pastor and reject Freemasonry and embrace Christ.

As the reader can see, Glenn seems to harbor univeralist beleifs.  His comments about Roman Catholic, Mormons, and Roman Catholics imply that he views this group saves.  By Google search, I believe that I have identified Glenn as a Freemason from Mississippi. He wrote the following about a Masonic brother after his death:

I especially mourn the loss of a Brother Don “Butch” Martin whose spirit has been summoned to the land where our fathers have gone before us; that house not made with hands. Brother Don guided me through my journey in seeking light, more light, and further light in Masonry. He was there when I was made a Master Mason, an Eastern Star, a Knight’s Templar, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shiner. If one man changed my life more than anyone else, it was Brother Don. He embedded into me to regulate my life by the plumbline of justice, ever squaring my actions by the square of virtue, that when the Grand Warden of Heaven shall call for me, I too may be found ready. Brother Don cultivated assiduously the noble tenets of our profession: Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. I know and am assured that Brother Don has gone from his labors here on earth to eternal refreshment in the paradise of God, where, by the benefit of the pass of a pure and blameless life, and an unshaken confidence in the merits of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he gained admission into the celestial lodge where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides. There, placed at His right hand, God pronounced Donald “Butch” Martin a just and upright man and Masons. Sister Bev our thoughts and prays are with you and know that we are just a phone call away.

While this is a touching tribute to his friend, it is devoid of reference to the Bible or the name “Jesus”  It is full of Masonic language which is very similar to that of Masonic funeral rites.  Outside of a reference to the “lion of Judah” it is completely

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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@gsethdunn

Seth Dunn

Editor at Pulpit & Pen
Host of the Christian Commute Podcast
Member, Evangelical Theological Society
@gsethdunn

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