Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. – Ephesians 5:11
Is it possible to be both a Freemason and a Christian? The question is really if it’s possible to be a member of two juxtaposed, contradictory and competing religions at the same time.
And the answer is no.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…”
The notion that one can be a member or take part in two religions simultaneously is the error of syncretism, which is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as the “combination of different forms of belief or practice.” More precisely defined by Theopedia, syncretism is “the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought.” The Holy Bible explicitly prohibits the practice of syncretism among His people in both the First and Second Commandments, and elsewhere throughout Scripture:
“You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. “You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth” – Deuteronomy 6:13-15
This should be understood by all Christians, but what may not be understood is that Freemasonry is, in itself, a religion. And not only is it a religion, but it is a religion starkly opposed the religion of Yahweh and His Christ.
Numerous Christian denominations have studied the oaths and teaching of Freemasonry and all (so far as I can tell) have rejected its compatibility to Christianity. Consider these excerpts…
The Committee’s opinion is that Masons need to be told that they cannot be at once members of the Lodge (which ignores Christ) and members of the Church (which confesses Him as Lord). At the same time, our responsibility is to do everything we can to win Masons to an undivided commitment to Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church. – 2009 Committee Report on Secret Societies, Christian Missionary Alliance.
“Many tenets and teachings of Freemasonry are not compatible with Christianity or Southern Baptist doctrine…” – a statement made in an evaluation of the “8 Incompatibilities” of Freemasonry with Christianity as given by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention
“There is an irreconcilable conflict between the teachings and practices of the lodge and those of biblical Christianity; therefore simultaneous membership in the lodge and in the church of Jesus Christ is incompatible with and contrary to Scripture.” – A statement by the Christian Reformed Church.
“A response to the religious teachings of lodge organizations has been implied as the above concerns have been described… the view of this evaluation, it is a compromise of the Christian confession to take part in ritual, religious acts, in the name of a generic deity, that intentionally delete the Name of the true God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent to be the only Savior of the world.” – A statement by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
“Is Masonry a religion? On this score the evidence is overwhelming. There is no room for any reasonable doubt as to Masonry’s being a religion. Not only do the symbols, rites and temples of this order point unmistakably to it as a religion, but a great many Masonic authors of note emphatically declare it to be just that.t is no exaggeration to assert that Masonry does most serious violence to the inscripturated Word of God and does the gravest despite to Jesus Christ, the personal Word.” – A statement by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
“The committee finds that the evidence presented concerning the religion of Masonry permits but one conclusion. Although a number of the objections commonly brought against Masonry seem to the committee not to be weighty, yet it is driven to the conclusion that Masonry is a religious institution and as such is definitely anti-Christian.” – A statement by the Presbyterian Church of America
The above hyperlinks will take you to all the available findings of the various denominations, and the most helpful (in breadth and depth of content regarding the incompatibility of Freemasonry and the Bible) seem to me to be both the statements by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church of America. Both go into great detail explain precisely why Freemasonry is inconsistent with Christianity.
All of the statements, however, essentially acknowledge two facts in varying degrees of clarity: (1) Freemasonry is a religion and (2) Freemasonry is a different religion than Christianity. Also similar among all of the denominational statements on Freemasonry is an explicit repudiation of Freemasons as members of the respective churches, except for the statement by the North American Mission Board (SBC), which schizophrenically concludes…
While it is clear that some Christians, moral persons, and outstanding government leaders have been and are members of the Freemasonic movement, several points of the lodge’s teachings are non-biblical and non-Christian. While Freemasonry encourages and supports charitable activities, it contains both multireligious and inclusivistic teachings that are not Christian.
The other denominations seem to strongly reject the idea of a Christian being a Mason at all, while the SBC has the softest stance, seemingly saying that a Christian can be a Mason, but they would be in error.
These denominational statements do not stand alone, however, as even the Assemblies of God explicitly reject the religion of Freemasonry (as well as membership in other secret societies) in their denominational documents.
Why do Southern Baptists seemingly take a softer stance on the syncretism of Freemasonry? There is a strong history of Freemasonry in the Southern Baptist Convention. A 1991 survey of the SBC determined that 14% of SBC pastors and 18% of SBC deacons. Furthermore, it is estimated (as of that date) that 37% of Freemasons also affiliate with the Southern Baptist Convention (note, I have found this statistic in both printed books and websites, but am unable to find the primary source).
[Editor’s Note: The primary source seems to be validated as a 1991 poll conducted by the then-Home Mission Board as a VIEWpoll, conducted by the Corporate Market Research Department of the Sunday School Board (now, Lifeway) of 1,433 Southern Baptists. The same poll also concluded that 400-500k Southern Baptists were Freemasons.]
Prominent Southern Baptist masons included both B.H. Carrol (the first President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and George W. Truett (Pastor of FBC Dallas, SBC President, President of the Baptist World Alliance, and trustee at both Baylor and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), and more (source link).
It is hard to countenance any member of Freemasonry as a Christian, and especially not as a member of good standing in a Biblical, New Testament Church. In fact, it is next to impossible.
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