I’m a 32° degree Scottish Rite, Blue Lodge Freemason who has also been a member of the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF) and the York Rite.
To answer this question correctly, let’s look at what a religion is. A religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or Gods.
Does Freemasonry believe in a superhuman controlling power?
Freemasonry simply defines God or a Supreme Being as “The Great Architect of the Universe” but you’re open to defining God or a Supreme Being any way you want in Freemasonry. I personally prefer a more scientific approach and that’s fine.
Freemasonry defines that something created the universe but what it is or how it did this it is up to your own interpretation.
Does Freemasonry worship a God?
Freemasonry has no worship and nothing is worshiped.
Freemasonry is not a religion or even a substitute for a religion. It is more of a mystery school and group keeping moral values, ancient and medieval traditions alive in a rapidly changing material world.
The general idea is a man builds a strong foundation of moral values and character and then helps another man to build their foundation. This sounds amazing but in Freemasonry today it’s more of a utopian concept and not realistic in most masonic lodges, but this general idea does have a foundation in Freemasonry and can still be found.
I thought it would be interesting to see what some of the attacks on Freemasonry being a religion are saying and logically and intelligently respond to them.
Let’s start with, “The Religion of the Masonic Lodge by David Padfield”
“Masonry will steal the heart of a Christian. The Masonic temple is the temple of Baal, and at its altar unsuspecting men solemnly vow their lives to a pagan god.”
Baal is from a 17th century goetic occult writing and is presented as one of the seven princes of Hell.
How a Masonic temple became a temple to a mythical demon from hell is beyond logic and reason but obviously Mr. Padfield has an imagination.
It is true that you could take your vows to a pagan God but since you define what God, a Supreme Being or Creator is before you take your vows that is up to you.
I took my vows to a Creator on the side of science not a pagan god.
“Can a man worship the God of Masonry and the God of the Bible at the same time? In Matthew 12:30 Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
Most Christians believe that every god but the one the bible defines and they believe in is an antichrist, the devil, a demon or a bad god. Since Christianity is the new religion on the block compared to many much older ancient religions, this makes little sense.
Indiana Monitor says, “Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational, and religious society.” The Kentucky Monitor goes even further when it states, “…as Masons we are taught that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity. This is because Masonry is a religious institution…” Albert Pike (a 33rd Degree Mason), one of the most celebrated Masonic scholars, claims that “every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion.” (Morals and Dogma, p. 213)
If the Indiana Monitor and the Kentucky Monitor say Freemasonry is a religion then I guess it is true, right? Someone can say whatever they want and it can get published but that doesn’t mean it’s true or based upon facts.
Albert Pike is a man thought of very highly in Freemasonry so let’s check out the quote.
“Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion. For here are inculcated disinterestedness, affection, toleration, devotedness, patriotism, truth, a generous sympathy with those who suffer and mourn, pity for the fallen, mercy for the erring, relief for those in want, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Here we meet as brethren, to learn to know and love each other. Here we greet each other gladly, are lenient to each other’s faults, regardful of each other’s feelings, ready to relieve each other’s wants. This is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries, and which it will continue to teach as long as time endures. If unworthy passions, or selfish, bitter, or revengeful feelings, contempt, dislike, hatred, enter here, they are intruders and not welcome, strangers uninvited, and not guests.” ~ Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
It seems the Bro. Albert Pike’s quote is taken out of context. He defines religion not as a worship and belief of a central deity but as a set of moral and ethical characteristics.
“The Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist church has issued a report urging men not to join the Masonic Lodge since it is a “competitor of Christianity.” The report also states, “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.” (Evansville Courier, June 13, 1985). If the Methodist church can understand this, why can’t some of my brethren? Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”
Masonry is a competitor of Christianity? I don’t view Freemasonry as a competitor of Christianity, unless a brother’s Christian church wants to kick him out of the church for being a Freemason, which does happen. It’s Christianity that sets itself up as a competitor of Freemasonry when it condemns Freemasonry and makes a man choose between the two, his church or Freemasonry.
Freemasons believe in a God, Supreme Being or Creator so they are not unbelievers, they just have the freedom to believe in this God, Supreme Being or Creator in their own way.
“When a candidate bows before the Masonic altar he kisses the “Volume of Sacred Law.” This volume can be any book he deems to be religious.”
I skipped some of the really illogical stuff but you can use any spiritual book to take your vows on and it doesn’t have to be a religious book.
“While blindfolded, half naked and kneeling at the altar, the candidate takes an oath swearing he will never reveal the “secrets of the Lodge.”
Today there are no lodge secrets of secrets of Freemasonry. Everything is on the Internet mixed with absurd and ridicules Freemasonry conspiracy propaganda.
“Since Freemasonry has a plan of salvation it is absurd to deny that Freemasonry is a religion. Many Masons deny that Freemasonry is a religion because if they were to admit it, they would not be accepted as Christians and church members. Other Masons are so blinded by Satan that they cannot see the truth.”
Freemasonry doesn’t have a plan for salvation? The rest of this is cultish propaganda and it is illogical and ridicules.
“Freemasonry teaches men to imitate Hiram Abiff, so that they may get into heaven. The Gospel of Jesus Christ requires faith in the person and claims of Jesus Christ as the means of being redeemed from the death of sin and getting into heaven.”
No one is taught to imitate Hiram Abiff, so that they may get into heaven in Freemasonry. Which Gospel of Jesus Christ? There are currently hundreds of interpretations of the bible and a Christianity Statistics article, updated March 2017, states that there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations. So which Gospel of Jesus Christ?
“The Christian Mason is faced with a real dilemma. Can a man have two saviors? Can he have a vital faith in Jesus Christ, as he imitates Hiram Abiff? Can he avoid being found guilty of taking part in the promotion of a false plan of salvation?”
Then this false propaganda is put together as some kind of Christian guilt trip.
I think I’ve done a good job of explaining why Freemasonry is not a religion and showed how some Christians and Christian organizations use false, misleading and biased propaganda to make the illogical clam that Freemasonry is a religion.
Check out my other article if you haven’t