A Pastor and Freemasonry: What's a Pastor to Do?
Harmon R. Taylor
International Director HRT Ministries, Box 12, Newtonville NY 12128
I write this article as a pastor and as a former Mason. I served as head of Welcome Lodge in Amsterdam, New York in 1980, and as Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York from 1983. Then a Christian brother's witness caused me to flee and to study the roots of Freemasonry. The more I have studied since November 25, 1984 when I renounced Freemasonry, the more embarrassed I have become that I was ever a member, much less spiritual supervisor of 150,00 Masons in New York State.
Pastors need to consider the relationship of their church, their ministry and their flock relative to Freemasonry. Masons are in the pulpits, in other positions of leadership in the church and in the pews. In every case they are either grossly deceived as I was for eleven years, or they are not truly Christians.
Charles G. Finney, the greatest of the 19th Century evangelists, left Freemasonry when he acknowledged Christ as Savior and Lord of his life. He wrote a book on the subject of Freemasonry. It has been reissued by Crown Publication, Burlington, Ontario, Canada under the title, The Antichrist of the Masonic Society. On page 139 he states correctly:
"God hold the church and every branch of it, responsible for its opinions and actions in accordance with the best light, which, in His providence, is afforded them.
"While Masonry was a secret, the church had no light, and no responsibility respecting it … Hence God did not require the church to bear any testimony on the subject as long as Masonry was secret. Freemasonry is now revealed. It is no longer a secret from any who wish to be informed.
"Since these revelations (the rituals) have been made, and both the church and the world can know what Masonry really is, God demands, and the world has a right to expect, that the church will take due action and bear a truthful testimony in respect to this institution. She cannot now innocently hold her peace. The light has come. Fidelity to God, and to the souls of men, require that the church, which is the light of the world, should speak out, and should take such actions as will plainly reveal her views of the compatibility or incompatibility of Freemasonry with the Christian religion.
"…How can we fail to pronounce Freemasonry an anti-Christian institution? … Its morality is unchristian, … its oath-bound secrecy is unchristian, … taking of its oaths are unchristian, … Masonic oaths pledge its members to commit most unlawful and unchristian acts, deliver each other from difficulty whether right or wrong, favor Masonry in political action and business transactions, sworn to retaliated, to persecute unto death the violators of Masonic obligations, …its oaths are profane, the taking of the name of God in vain, …the penalties of these oaths are barbarous and even savage, …its teachings are false and profane, …its design is partial and selfish, …it is an enormous falsehood.
"Every local branch of the Church of Christ is bound to examine this subject, and pronounce upon this institution, according to the best light they can get. God does not allow individuals, or churches, (or pastors), to withhold action, and the expression of the opinion, until other churches are as enlightened as themselves.
"If churches who are known to have examined the subject withhold their testimony; if they continue to receive persistent and intelligent Freemasons; if they leave the public to infer that they see nothing in Freemasonry inconsistent with a creditable profession of the Christian religion, it will be justly inferred by other branches of the church, and by the world, that there is nothing in it so bad, so dangerous and unchristian as to call for their examination, action, and testimony.
"It is almost universally conceded that persistent Freemasons, who continued to adhere and cooperate with them, ought not to be admitted to Christian churches."
WHAT CAN A PASTOR DO?
What shall we as pastors say to our flocks that contain perhaps a great number of professed Christians who are Freemasons? Again we look to Brother Finney:
"Let them (Freemasons) have no more to do with it. Let Christian men labor with them, plead with them, and endeavor to make them see that their duty is to abandon it."
To these words of Brother Finney I can lend an "AMEN!" What can pastors do? They can receive this article into their hands, perhaps from one of their lambs, and prayerfully consider it. They can study at their library. Albert Pike, Albert Mackey, 33rd degree, Henry Wilson Coil, 33rd degree, and Arthur Edward Waite are all recognized authorities by State Grand Lodges. They may contact me or this ministry for further information. They can read an excellent sermon, "Freemasonry and Christianity" by Dr. Alva J. McClain, founder and first president of of Grace Theological Seminary.
You will find and excellent resource in a six-part series on Freemasonry which aired across the country in April and May of 1986. The series is entitled, The Masonic Lodge: Behind Closed Doors. It is available through The John Ankerberg Show, Box 8977, Chattanooga, TN 37411 in audio or VHS cassettes as well as in written transcript form.
THE ONE THING THAT PASTORS CAN'T DO, IS NOTHING!
A pastor is accountable to God Almighty for Christ's sheep in their flock. I would never become involved in Freemasonry if a pastor had preached even the poorest of sermons against Freemasonry in my youth. If he even whispered in my ear! I spent eleven years in Masonry. I defended it to my family, my church, my colleagues. God forgive me!
Thank God my teenagers didn't swallow my line. One went and educated himself and both of them prayed, one for four years, and one for two years, that I might be set free from the abomination of the cult of Freemasonry. The day came when a Christian brother and former Mason, had the courage to risk our friendship. He opened up his Masonic bible and shared the Light as he there had found it in Jesus, the Light of the World. That Light showed the light of Freemasonry to be darkness and deception. Each verse he shared brought out Masonic debris like "Salvation by Works" from the closets of my life. With the living room of my life now cluttered with the false doctrines of Freemasonry, I renounced it that very day! I will never forget the joy in the voices of my children as I told them over the phone! I will never forget the tears on my mother's cheeks as she exclaimed, "Another prayer answered! One more to go before I die!" Yes, and the joyous embrace of my obedient wife!
WE MUST RENOUNCE IT
In the year after I renounced Freemasonry, I personally sat with each Mason in my congregation and shared my testimony. Most defended the Fraternity. Some even began a campaign against their pastor. So be it! "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!" Some left their positions of authority in the church without ever being asked. On October 13, 1985 I delivered a sermon entitled, "Mixing Oil With Water -- Christianity & Freemasonry." That light exposed the darkness of Masonry and unrenouncing Masons still in positions of authority fled in shame. In their place God sent new people literally from across this country to take up the slack. Finances that were threatened by these Masonic families, instead, increased by 40%! The pledging units increased by 25%! Pastor, stand for God and He will bless!
I thank God for Bible-believing pastors. If you are one, know that in love I say to you, "Pastor, you preach the Word with me! Yes, there will be opposition. In the world you will have tribulation, said Jesus, but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world."
Preach boldly as we are instructed in Acts 18:9, Col. 1:28, 2 Tim. 4:2-5, Heb. 2:11. Know that there will be rewards for any persecution that you may face as recorded in James 1:3, 12.
Pastor, did you know that Freemasonry will not permit the Name of Jesus to be used in any regular and well governed Lodge? Did you know that when they use a passage such as 1 Pet. 2:5 or 2 Thes. 3:6, they delete the phrase that includes the name of our blessed and only Saviour, Jesus Christ? That is not just an oversight, as reference to it states (*slight, but necessary modifications have been made). Would you call deleting Jesus Christ a "slight" or "necessary" modification? No! No Christian should! 1 John 2:22-23 says "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also." Read also 1 John 4:2 in relation to this same thought.
Pastor, Hosea 4:6 declares, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children."
LET NONE PERISH
As fellow pastors, we must agree that we do not want to see anyone perish. Certainly, not the lambs in our own flock! Labor with me. As I share with you, 433 men have renounced Masonry and are living more productive Christian lives. They discovered that the "friendships" of the Lodge were based on a Masonic bond and not upon genuine friendship. In every instance they found Christians coming forward who had held back from fellowship with them, not knowing how to confront their Christian brother in his error. Without exception, they have confessed that their present friends are more genuine and more fulfilling to their lives than what they thought they had in the fraternity.
If you have Masons in the membership of Christ's church, you, as pastor, need to become educated and confront them in love. I was delivered from my love of Freemasonry and left with an abiding love for Masons. I pray daily for their release from the cult of Freemasonry. With prayer, preparation, and sharing, they will come out of either Freemasonry or the Church.
DWIGHT L. MOODY SPEAKS OUT
Dwight L. Moody said, "I do not see how any Christian, most of all a Christian minister, can go into these secret lodges with unbelievers. They say they can have more influence for good: but I say they can have more influence for good by staying out of them, and reproving their evil deeds. Abraham had more influence for good in Sodom than Lot had."
For this, D. L. Moody was challenged, "If you talk this way, you will drive all the members of secret societies out of your meetings and out of our churches."
To this the bold pastor proclaimed, "But what if I did? Better men will take their places. Give them the truth anyway, and if they would rather leave their churches than their lodges, the sooner they get out of the churches, the better. I would rather have ten members who are separated from the world than a thousand such members. Better one with God than a thousand without Him."
WHAT'S A PASTOR TO DO REGARDING FREEMASONRY?
- Pray for guidance and direction.
- Study Freemasonry together with your Bible.
- Write down your thoughts.
- Share them with Masons when you're sure enough not to be deceived by their uninformed or misinformed tales.
- Proclaim from your pulpit the dangers of the double walk of a Christian in Freemasonry. Let your flock know again that they cannot serve two masters, nor can they have any other God before them. (Masonry permits any and every god at the altar.)
If you are a pastor, thank you for listening and may God bless you as you serve Him and your flock for the glory of God. If you are a layman, your pastor needs your support and your help. Pray for your Pastor; then share this article. Continue to pray with expectation for your pastor and be ready to assist your pastor in proclaiming the Truth and setting free the oppressed.