Do Masons Teach Salvation Depends On Their Good Works?

Do Masons Teach Salvation Depends On Their Good Works?

Is Freemasonry A-Religion

Asks Dr. Charles W. Sander

Third in a Series

Isn't Freemasonry a separate RELIGION?

How many times have you heard that question? Why would anyone believe
Freemasonry is a separate religion?

Many will tell you, "I heard that statement on an evangelist's radio
program," or "I have read it in the antiMasonic books in the library."

That question has been answered again and again by competent people
who know:

NO .... Masonry is not a separate religion!

It has been suggested that some non-Masonic persons may be confused
as many times respected Masonic writers say that Freemasons are 'religious'.
That is a true statement, but being religious is in no way to be considered
as belonging to a separate religion.

My parents are very religious, but I don't believe that they have a
separate religion. Any minister of the Gospel will fully agree that
he is religious, while every one will quickly deny that he or she considers
their teaching to be that of a separate religion. 

How many times have you heard, "Masons have their own pathway to salvation
which is through the performance of good works."?

In doing the research for this series of articles, and over the past
quarter century in the journalism profession, I have visited and talked
with hundreds of men who were Masons, and visited numerous Masonic
Lodges. (As I am not a member of that fraternity, I have never attended
any of their meetings where only members are permitted.) I have had
the opportunity to visit with these men in all sections of the United
States.

During this period I have never met a Mason who believed they have
a separate path to salvation based on good works.

It is true that you will find the Freemasons; path well known for their
work. Example: How do you explain the free hospitals for children?,
or their language disorder clinics for children? or their eye care
programs?, or their homes for the elderly? or all the other Masonic
charities?

The Masonic Lodge does not teach that member's personal salvation is
earned by their good works. Masonry leaves it up to the individual
Mason to choose his own path to salvation as he selects his own religious
denomination .

Each member of Freemasonry is expected spiritual guidance from his
own denomination, which he is encouraged to support with both his energy
and his personal finances.

As the members attend various Masonic lectures, the Masons are told
never to put their duties and responsibilities to the Masonic fraternity
ahead of their duties and responsibilities to church, family, or country.

Yes, Masonry has many successful charities. Some are organized by the
local Masonic Lodge, and others are individual acts of kindness as
aid to a destitute brother, or to his. widow, and/or their children.
A Mason is taught to make no gift that will adversely affect his duty
to care for his own family.

Again I quote from John J. Robinson, one of the Nation's outstanding
Masonic authors: "In the ceremonies and lectures that lead to a man
being raised to the status of Master Mason, he hears no religious dogma.
He hears no mention of Satan. He is told of no (Masonic) pathway to
salvation for the simple reason there is none."

"But don't the Masons have their own Bible?" asked one lady.

How many times have you heard that question regarding the Masons? The
only religious book in the Masonic Lodge is the holy book of the initiate's
own faith. Since most Masons are Protestant Christians, that book is
usually the King James version of the Bible.

"I have a friend who told me he was given a Masonic Bible."

What is a Masonic Bible?

It is usually a King James Version of the Bible, and contains a brief
history of Masonry, or a concordance to relate certain Masonic ritual
to scriptural passages. This "Masonic" Bible is usually given to new
members of the Lodge.

Let me repeat what I wrote in the first article in this series: When
a man decides he wants to become a Mason, he files an application of
'petition' with a local Masonic Lodge. In signing the application he
asserts that he believes in God, the Supreme Being, and in the immortality
of the soul. In the initiation rites of the first degree, called Entered
Apprentice, he is told that how he chooses to worship God is up to
his own conscience.

The only religious experience of the Masonic Lodge is prayer. Every
meeting of Masons opens and closes with prayer. Every meal begins with
prayer.

As it does so often (by the Federal Government for example - with 'In
God we trust') all prayer is addressed (or should be) to God so that
a mixed audience of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists, for instance,
can relates that prayer to their own worship.

Masons also offer prayers for charitable endeavors, for bereaved Masons
and their families, or for a departed brother.

"If you really look at the Masonic Lodge with an open mind, you will
clearly see that Freemasonry is not a religion," stated Bishop Robert
McKewin of Marble Falls, Texas. (Bishop McKewin has been an active
Mason for over 30 years). "It promises no heaven or hell, and provides
no means of receiving salvation. There is no 'witnessing' or arguing
over religious beliefs in the Lodge. There is no religious dogma."

Some critics of Masonry have charged the Masons have their own God
.... whose name is "Great Architect of the Universe." That Masonic
term is not a name. It is a designation or reference, as are all terms
beginning with the word ..... "The". Examples - The Almighty, The Creator,
The Most High. If it starts with "The" it isn't a name. Masonry, as
its name implies centers symbolically around the ancient builders of
temples and cathedrals. It is natural for groups to fashion a description
of God that relates to their interest.

"In the military, I attended an outdoor church service conducted by
a visiting Chaplain, an ordained minister. He referred to God as 'Our
Supreme Commander in Chief in Heaven,'" remarked John J. Robinson .

Some people believe that in the third degree ritual that is part of
the process of becoming a Master Mason, that Masonry teaches a Masonic
resurrection. That simply is not true! In addition, I feel the individuals
making that allegation know it isn't true.

"But since Freemasonry has a funeral service (for its members), isn't
it a religion?" asked a young man.

Yes, the Masons do have a funeral service in addition to the religious
service. Not in place of it.

Have you attended a grave side service for a Marine? The Marines are
usually in full dress uniform, they fire a volley of rifle fire into
the air above the open grave. The coffin is covered with the American
flag. A Marine officer or a personal friend may deliver a prayer and
eulogy for the deceased brother, and commit his soul to a loving God.

Does this mean the U.S. Marines is a separate religion? The answer
is, of course, a loud...NO! It does mean a departed brother is honored
by a group of brothers-in-arms.

"Did you know," commented one lady, "that the Masons take an oath of
loyalty to the Lodge? They also place their Masonic symbols of the
square and compass on top of the Bible. Isn't this a form of placing
Freemasonry above God?"

The part of the Masonic program is similar to placing your hand on
the Bible in court when you take an oath you are telling the truth.
Does the higher position of your hand on the Bible mean that you are
putting yourself above God?

Some people seem to feel Masons must be Anti-Christ because there are
no symbols of Jesus in the Lodge room. Nor are there symbols there
of any other religion. They would not be appropriate in a fraternal
society.

Another Anti-Masonic allegation is based on the fact the masons teach
lessons of morality which are illustrated with the tools of masonry
the square, the compass, the setting maul, the level, the ruler, and
the plumb line. These lessons relating to self-improvement are objectionable
to some religious leaders because morality is being taught without
specific reference to Jesus.

The Masons find no way to answer that complaint because it is based
on the concept that without Jesus there is no such thing as moral teaching.
Since most of the world's population is not Christian, Masons can only
hope that position is wrong.

As you look at the state of anxiety we live in today, it seems wise
to endorse the teaching of moral behavior by any means whatever.

I submit extracts from the following three letters which were written
by qualified members of the Masonic Fraternity. Each of these men has
passed through the three degrees of a Local Lodge. In addition they
have all passed through the highest degrees of either the Scottish
or York Rites:

"Freemasonry is not a religion, though in my experience, Masons have
predominantly been religious men and for the most part, of the Christian
faith.

"Freemasonry has no dogma or theology. It offers no sacraments. It
teaches that it is important for every man to have a religion of his
own choice and to be faithful to it in tongue and action. As a result,
men of different religions meet in fellowship and brotherhood under
the fatherhood of God. I think that a good Mason is made even more
faithful to the tenets of his faith by membership in the Lodge."

The Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, 33rd Degree, 1025 5th Ave ., New
York

"Masonry is not a substitute for religion, or is it a religion. I am
proud to be a Mason who believes in the dignity of God's children and
opposes hatred and bigotry, and stands for truth, justice, kindness,
integrity, and righteousness for all.

Rabbi Seymour Atlas, 32nd Degree, Beth Kudah Synagogue, Wildwood, New
Jersey.

"It is no secret that the Bible holds the central position as the great
light of Masonry, It is no secret that Masons love and revere the Bible,
nor is it a secret that Masonry helped to preserve it in the darkest
age of the church when infidelity sought to destroy it.

"It is no secret that high above Masonry's steeple is the ever watchful
and allseeing eye of Almighty God.

"Masonry respects every man's right to the religion of his choice.
not a substitute for it."

Dr. James P. Wesberry Exec. Director & Editor, SUNDAY Georgia Baptist
Center Atlanta, Georgia.

"Is Freemasonry a separate religion? I feel that material submitted
in these first two articles in the series has provided the reader with
adequate information to able him to THINK FOR HIMSELF!"

As you read and study the material already presented, and to be published
in succeeding issues, you will be able to have a foundation of material
to arrive at your own answer about the Masonic Fraternity.