What Does Masonry Teach About
Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon
The great thrust of Masonry does not establish the
Kingdom of Christ; it is in fact hostile to Christ.1
Masonry claims it is compatible with Christian faith.
But, as we will show, Masons themselves admit that
Masonry is not Christian. In fact, as we will show,
Masonry is anti-Christian.
In Albert Mackey’s The Symbolism of Freemasonry,
it is acknowledged that the "Christianization of
Freemasonry (the interpretation of its symbols from a
Christian point of view)"2
is wrong. "This is an error into which [some] have
fallen. It is impossible to derive Freemasonry from
Christianity.... [Freemasonry’s] religion was derived
from the ancient priesthood."3
Joseph Fort Newton, perhaps the most popular Masonic
writer of all time, acknowledges that, "The pilgrims and
the Puritans were not of our Craft, and if we may judge
from their real interests we may be sure that they did
not care anything about it."4
He also observes that Masonry did "finally emancipate
itself from any sectarian and dogmatic interpretation of
In his The Great Teachings of Masonry, H. L.
Haywood argues that Christians who think that Masonry is
Christian are simply wrong:
Many brethren, misled by the predominantly
Scriptural cast of the Work, and misunderstanding a
few scattered references here and there, assume that
in some sense Freemasonry is specifically a Christian
institution.... These brethren should be made to
understand the facts in the case.... The ritual [of
Masonry] is not built on the text of the Bible, for
the great major incidents in the ritual—and this
applies to all the grades—are not found in the Book at
He acknowledges that the main reason, historically,
why Christians joined Masonry was because of the
"serious and religious nature of the ritual" as well as
the citations from the Bible.7
In other words, Christians joined Masonry because it
appeared devout and biblical, even though this was not
its intent or its true nature.
On this subject almost everyone agrees—Masonic,
secular and Christian authorities alike—Masonry is not
The standard work on Masonic history freely admits that
in the Constitutions of 1723, "Christianity was
It seems, therefore, that only Christian Masons
believe that Masonry is Christian. Other fellow Masons
do not believe this, nor do former Masons who are now
Christians, nor do secular researchers on the subject.
Even Stephen Knight, who defines himself "as a neutral
investigator holding no brief for Christianity"10
One does not have to be a theologian—nor even a
Freemason or a Christian—to recognize that Christians
and Freemasons would have to worship the same God for
the two to be compatible.... [But] Masonry and
Christianity are mutually exclusive.... [There is]
overwhelming evidence of Masonry’s incompatibility
One of the clearest statements documenting the true
goal of Masonry comes from the 28th
and 30th degrees. Masonry had earlier promised the
candidate that it would not hinder him from following
his own religious beliefs. But Masonry shows that this
was only a ruse in order to get a person started in
Masonry, for the goal was that the Lodge would
eventually change a person’s original beliefs. And
notice that in the following block quote, one’s original
religious beliefs are called "superstition." This ritual
teaches that all men are lost, in spiritual darkness,
and not true Masons until they accept this.
This statement also reveals that the true goal of the
Masonic Lodge is to have its initiates finally drop and
repudiate their previous religious beliefs—their
"superstitions and prejudices"—and to accept the final
and only truth of Masonry. Thus, the 28th degree teaches
that "the first degree represents man, when he had
sunken from his original lofty estate.... He is
emphatically profane, enveloped in darkness, poor and
destitute of spiritual knowledge, and emblematically
naked. The material darkness which is produced by the
bandage over his eyes, is an emblem of the darkness of
In the 30th degree it is revealed to the initiate that
his earlier religious beliefs are "superstition" and
that the claim of religious compatibility was only a
ruse to get him started in Masonry:
In all the preceding degrees you must have observed
that the object of Scotch Masonry is to overthrow
all kinds of superstition, and that by admitting
in her bosom on the terms of the strictest equality,
the members of all religions, of all creeds and of all
countries, without any distinction whatever, she has,
and indeed can have, but one single object and
that is to restore to the Grand architect of the
Universe; to the common father of the human race those
who are lost in the maze of impostures, invented for
the sole purpose of enslaving them. The Knights
Kadosh recognize no particular religion, and for that
reason we demand of you nothing more than to worship
God. And whatever may be the religious forms
imposed upon you by superstition at a period of
your life when you were incapable of discerning truth
from falsehood, we do not even require you to
relinquish them. Time and study alone can enlighten
you. But remember that you will never be a true mason
unless you repudiate forever all superstitions and
From this it can be seen that Masonry teaches that of
all the faiths in the world it alone is the true faith
and that ultimately all other religions are false
superstition. With such a belief, Masonry can hardly
claim that it seeks to unite all religions into a common
brotherhood. The only way Masonry unites all men is if
they abandon their former beliefs. As Joseph Fort Newton
states, "Masonry seeks to free men from a limiting
conception of religion, and thus to remove one of the
chief causes of sectarianism." Newton hopes that as
Masonry expands around the world, all religious creeds
and dogmas will "cease to be," and that what remains
will be "The one eternal religion—the Fatherhood of God,
the brotherhood of man, the moral law, the golden rule,
and the hope of a life everlasting."14
Do these sentiments of Masonic authorities sound
"tolerant" toward the Christian faith—or any faith?
1 Everette C.
DeVelde, Jr., "A Reformed View of Freemasonry" in
James B. Jordan, ed., Christianity and Civilization,
Vol. 1: The Failure of American Baptist Culture
(Tyler, TX: Geneva Divinity School Press, 1982), p.
2 Albert G.
Mackey, The Symbolism of Freemasonry: Illustrating
and Explaining Its Science and Philosophy, Its Legends
Myths, and Symbols (Chicago, IL: Charles T. Powner
Co., 1975), p. 326.
3 Ibid., p. 327.
Authors, Little Masonic Library, Vol. II
(Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply,
1977), p. 143.
5 Ibid., p. 92.
6 H. L. Haywood,
The Great Teachings of Masonry (Richmond, VA:
Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1971), pp. 97-98.
7 Ibid., pp.
8 See extensive
footnotes in John Ankerberg, John Weldon,
Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions (Eugene,
OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), p. 269
9 Henry Wilson
Coil, Freemasonry Through Six Centuries, Vol. 1
(Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply,
1967), p. 174.
Knight, The Brotherhood: The Explosive Exposé of
the Secret Word of the Freemasons (London: Grenada
Publishing, Ltd./ Panther Books, 1983), p. 230.
11 Ibid., pp.
230, 231, 234, 240.
12 J. Blanchard,
Scottish Rite Masonry Illustrated: The Complete
Ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
Vol., 1 (Chicago, IL: Charles T. Powner Co., 1979);
Rongstad, How to Respond to the Lodge, pp. 221-222.
Scottish Rite Illustrated, Vol., II, pp. 263-264,
14 Joseph Fort
Newton, The Builders: A Story and Study of
Freemasonry (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and
Masonic Supply, 1951), pp. 243, 246, 247.
Copyright 2006, Ankerberg Theological Research Institute