This is the second in a series of articles exposing the evils of Freemasonry (in which membership is forbidden for Catholics) and its war against the Catholic Church and Christianity in general.
In a constant effort to increase its acceptability to every segment of society, Freemasonry uses symbols, objects and beliefs which are both familiar to and held sacred by those it seeks to lure into its movement.
Fundamentally opposed both to the Jewish religion and to Christianity, Freemasonry seeks to lure Jews and Christians through pretended tolerance and by using whatever it can of these religions in its ceremonies and teachings. For example, the Torah, the Temple in Jerusalem and various symbols of Judaism are used to lure Jews. For Christians, the Holy Bible, the feast days of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist are used.
Before going into the way elements of Christianity are used by Freemasonry, the fundamental difference between Freemasonry on the one hand, and both Judaism and Christianity on the other must be delineated.
That fundamental difference can be expressed in one word—monotheism.
Monotheism is the truth that there is but one God. All other “gods” are the inventions of man, and ultimately, of Satan. Freemasonry seeks to overthrow this truth by reviving the ancient mysteries of the pagan religions of Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome (1).
Since Freemasonry considers itself superior to all religions, it has no compunction about using Christian elements for its own ends.
For Masonry is no religion, nor does it presume to take the place of any religion, but only to inculcate those principles of pure morality which Reason reads on the pages of the great Book of Nature, and to teach those great primary truths on which all religions repose. What edifice of faith and creed each brother builds upon that foundation we have no right to inquire, and therefore do not seek to inquire (2).
How is the Bible used? A Christian entering Freemasonry is strongly encouraged to swear the Masonic oaths he takes on the Bible. (Jews swear on the Torah, Muslims on the Koran.)
The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. … 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 … (3).
Quotations from the Bible are used extensively at times in books explaining Masonic teachings and rituals, but the context in which these Scripture passages are used makes it clear that Christ’s teachings are subservient to the teachings of Freemasonry (4).
The feasts of St. John the Baptist (June 24) and St. John the Evangelist (December 27) are important to Freemasonry because they mark the summer and winter solstices, which were important to the ancient pagan religions (5). Also, both Saints were adopted by Freemasonry as a means of concealing their gnostic doctrines. Albert Pike in his work, Morals and Dogma, quoting an unnamed opponent of Freemasonry, puts it this way:
The Templars, like all other Secret Orders and Associations, had two doctrines, one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic. Thus they deceived the adversaries whom they sought to supplant. Hence Freemasonry … adopted Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, and associating with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of Rome, Saint John the Baptist … (6).
It would, therefore, be most fitting to invoke the intercession of these two Saints when trying to gain the conversion of anyone ensnared in Freemasonry!
The perversion of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist is another means of supplanting Christianity with Freemasonry.
Masonic baptism is practiced primarily in Europe, but the ceremonial is included in its book of rites for the northern jurisdiction of the U.S. According to the ceremonial,
Masonic baptism was instituted far more for the parents than for the children, while it affords each father an occasion for renewing his own obligations. He, also, by concurring in an act which impresses upon his child of his own sex, in advance, the character of Mason, and which gives it, of either sex, a right to the protection and careful guardianship of the Lodge, obliges himself of necessity to rear it in the principles of Freemasonry. … In our ceremony of Baptism we neither imitate nor have it in view to supply the place of any religious rite of any church. For baptism is not the exclusive property of religion. As the natural symbol of purification of the soul, it was used in the ancient mysteries and solemnities of India, Egypt, and Greece. … It was not imagined that the ceremony itself (Masonic baptism) had any healing virtue, or conferred holiness upon the recipient (7).
It is well to recall here that although Freemasonry claims it is not a religion and does not desire to replace any religion, yet by clearly declaring itself the foundation on which all members are to build their own personal creeds, Freemasonry in effect claims to be superior to all religions—the true super-religion governing all the others. (See footnote 2 above.)
Thus, while claiming not to be a religion, Freemasonry uses prayers, excerpts from the Scriptures and symbols identical to those used in Christian Baptism: water, oil, salt, a white garment and sponsors called godparents who make premises on behalf of the infant.
Water is used by the Worshipful Master to wash the infant’s left hand as a cleansing symbol of innocence and purity of heart, mimicking the use of baptismal water in Christian Baptism.
Oil is used in Masonic baptism to anoint the child with the Delta symbol, which symbolizes three names of the Supreme Deity among the Syrians, the Phoenicians and the Hebrews (Self Existence, the Nature-God or Soul of the Universe, Supreme Power) in imitation of the anointing in the name of the Blessed Trinity in Christian Baptism.
Salt is placed on the tongue of the godfather and the infant in Masonic baptism as a symbol of the vow taken to watch over the infant. (In the traditional rite of Catholic Baptism, salt is blessed and used as a prayer for and symbol of the wisdom that preserves the baptized from the corruption of sin, and as a protection against demonic influences in the exorcism portion of the rite).
In Masonic baptism the infant is clothed in a white apron as an emblem signifying that every Mason is destined for an active and laborious life. The white garment in Christian Baptism signifies the Christian dignity and state of grace of the newly baptized child as a redeemed and sanctified child of God. He is told that he must bring this garment of innocence and grace unstained into everlasting life.
Masonic godparents are the special instruments through which the Lodge watches over and protects—until they are adults (especially if they are orphaned)—the children of Freemasons. In the traditional Catholic rite of Baptism, Christian godparents, on behalf of the child, and speaking for it, renounce Satan and all his works, profess the Faith and vow to live the life of a good Christian. (This is done by the parents in the new rite.)
It is obvious that the use of so many elements of Catholic Baptism by Freemasonry is no innocent coincidence (8)!
Just as Freemasonry uses the symbols of the Sacrament of Baptism to its own ends, so also it mimics the Holy Eucharist. Its ceremonies for Holy Thursday are a kind of memorial of the Last Supper, commemorating the loss to death of a “Most Wise and Perfect Master”—a Christ stripped of His divinity. Former 33rd-Degree Scottish Rite Mason Rev. Jim Shaw, in his book, The Deadly Deception, describes the ceremony:
On Thursday evening we gathered at our home Temple and dressed for the ceremony. It was always a most solemn occasion and seemed a little awesome, even to those who had done it many times.
Dressed in long, black, hooded robes we marched in, single file, with only our faces partly showing and took our seats.
There was something very tomb-like about the setting. … After the opening prayer (from which the name of Jesus Christ was conspicuously excluded), I stood and opened the service. As I had done so many times before, I said, “We meet this day, to commemorate the death of our ‘Most Wise and Perfect Master,’ not as inspired or divine, for this is not for us to decide, but as at least the greatest of the apostles of mankind…” (9).
Rev. Shaw then goes on to describe the Masonic communion service, during which bread and wine are distributed to the participants in a setting he describes as one of heavy gloom, with its Christless prayers and hymns. He calls it a Black Communion, a strange Black Mass. The service closes with the snuffing out of candles, the last one representing the life of Jesus: “We had dramatized and commemorated the snuffing out of the life of Jesus, without once mentioning his name, and the scene ended with the room in deep silent darkness” (10).
These are just a few examples of elements taken from Christianity, twisted around to fit Freemasonry’s purposes, which, because of their surface similarity to Christianity, can lure the poorly instructed or nominal Christian into the world of Freemasonry. Once in, he can be led, step-by-step, away from Christ, the God-man and Redeemer, into a world view where God and His teachings are systematically blasphemed.
A Religion of Blasphemy
Freemasonry lays great store in the importance of reason in its belief system. In such a system, therefore, one would expect to find consistency as an integral feature. However, inconsistency is the hallmark of Freemasonry, for contradictions in it abound. Among the most notable is its claim both that it is and is not
Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion (11).
It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long-lived that was not built on this foundation (12).
Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it (13).