Saturday, January 14, 2006

Christianity & Freemasonry

Some time ago, I think I hinted I might make a post about freemasonry... but I never got around to it. In truth, I'd been putting it off because I know that what I have to say will sound controversial and I know I could cop for a lot of flak. However I'd be a hypocrite to run away forever, because as I said many months ago... we don't fight battles because they are convenient... nor because they are easy to win... but because they are righteous.

I figured now was the right time because things keep cropping up. Firstly, freemasonry keeps coming up in conversation. Secondly somebody I work alongside is a Freemason... and finally Inspector Morse was on this afternoon and it featured freemasonry in the plot. So here I am!

Like Morse, I disagree with freemasonry both socially and theologically. I think the suggestion that anyone getting a leg up on the ladder purely because they belong to a certain group, unjust. My social disagreements do not nearly match my theological distaste however. I find the practice of freemasonry to be at odds with Christian teaching. Many are attracted to it simply because of the brotherly social aspect, or the charity work. However what lies beneath is far more sinister. When a mason is sworn in, they do so with a noose around their neck and a sword pointed at their chest. This is to point out that if they try and withdraw from the masons or advance too swiftly, they seal their fate (by tightening the noose if they walk backwards or piercing themselves if they walk forwards). The Freemasons insist this is purely symbolic and nobody ever gets killed (although there are certain stories around that make this statement a little untrustworthy), but symbolism or not an oath is an oath. This in itself is dodgy because by the time of Jesus, the Bible teaches that you shouldn't make oaths on anything (Matthew 5:33-37), ironic don't you think that courts of law expect us to swear on the Bible ( a subject for another time)?

Something that Freemasons dispute is the meaning behind the name they attribute to God - Jabulon. I've heard Christian scholars argue that this is a composition of three deities rolled into one. Jehovah, Ba'al and Osiris. If that's true, we have yet another "no no", for the Bible teaches us pretty much all the way through from Genesis to Revelation that we are not to have any other gods before or besides Him. So you can imagine how wazzed off God would be if people were worshipping His name together with other gods - especially those attributed to detestable practices among the Canaanites (including infanticide as a form of sacrifice).

When Rome conquered Israel, the Israelites were asked what image they would like put in the Pantheon to recognise their god by. The Israelites refused, responding that firstly they were commanded not to worship God alongside other false gods... and that they didn't know what he looked like anyway and they were not allowed to have effigies or idols.

That attitude should be no different for us. It's true that we have have art that represents imagery of God... but we do not worship the art as an idol... we merely appreciate gestures behind it that emphasise the nature and character of God.

I've heard another "sacred" word associated with freemasonry is "Abaddon". This is a definite bad call - Abaddon is the Hebrew name for the biblical destroyer. You can find him in the book of Revelation. He has another name in Greek - Apollyon. He is most closely associated with the Greek god of the Sun - Apollo. Curiously one of the local masonic lodges by me is called the Apollo Lodge (and indeed it is a popular name for masonic lodges in general). So I can certainly believe this.

My other main contention with Freemasonry though, is the fact that at it's heart it is interlinked with heresies like gnosticism. You only have to look at masonic history to know this. Although the masons claim the origins of their beliefs date back to the building of Solomon's Temple, modern freemasonry starts during the middle ages. At that time, knights were assigned the task of protecting pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem. During the time they spent there, some orders of knights became acquainted with gnostic teachings. Gnosticism as I have mentioned before is all about "special knowledge". It preaches that all physical things are evil and that the resurrection (including Christ) is only a spiritual one. It preaches that the way to attain salvation is through special knowledge and not divine grace. The Bible teaches us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If we truly think we can evolve a better human by our own efforts, we are no better than Buzz Lightyear... we might convince ourselves we are flying - but in reality we are falling with style.

A lot of the New Testament is aimed at stamping out the gnostic heresies - especially John, who was the Gospel writer who was closest to Jesus. We know however that the Templar Knights (coincidentally also a masonic rank), followed gnosticism... if you live in a town or village with the prefix "Temple", then chances are it used to be a Templar Knight stronghold. Their order was excommunicated by the Church and persecuted (for various reasons: heresy (including gnosticism), worship of the "severed head" of "Christ", and as a cash and land-grabbing incentive by the Pope). Despite this, some gnostic gospels have survived today... and have fuelled some of the more outlandish claims in modern fiction (despite not having reliable evidence of authorship themselves).

Perversely, the modern Church has been infiltrated by many Freemasons (sadly many of them - especially the lower ranks do not see anything wrong with this). Masonic services are held in Christian Churches, some clergy are Freemasons. Certainly many civil authority figures are. My hometown is riddled with Freemasons and it lives under a cloud of spiritual oppression. I don't believe these two facts are entirely isolated from one another.

I truly believe that the day will come when this is overturned, but it grieves me that such people hold power today - both secular and nominal.

I strongly urge people with masonic connections to come out of them and be clean.

Finally I just want to say one thing in general:

Religion is man's quest to find God. Jesus Christ however, is the fulfillment of God's quest to redeem man!

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