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Should Christians be involved in joining organizations such as freemasonry?

Our understanding according to Scripture is that any man-made organization a true Christian might align with or join may have the effect of hindering his Christian growth.  That would include membership in any local Masonic lodge, or other similar secret society. 

We read in Isaiah 8:12 (Young’s Literal Translation), “Ye do not say, A confederacy, to all to whom this people saith, A confederacy, and its fear ye do not fear, nor declare fearful.”  This verse warns us not to band together into denominational religious organizations or other societal groups. 

 It also warns us not to fear the opinions of others, and such fear is often at the center of the desire to join such a group. Proverbs 29:25 (NLT) states, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.”

Some may have thought it prudent to join such groups for the benefit of life insurance available to family members after a Mason’s death.  Providing life insurance can be done without joining a Masonic Lodge.  

Some enjoy the seeming prestige of the titles conferred as various “degrees” are obtained. This would fall under “fear of man.”  Proverbs 16:18 (NASB) warns us, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

There is good done for humanity in the way of charitable donations to the needy by Masonic and other similar organizations.  But a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ whose life is consecrated to God may find there is not enough time to “properly study to show himself approved” (see 2 Timothy 2:15); teach, care for and provide for his family (see 1 Timothy 5:8); gather with fellow Christian brethren to study God’s word and fellowship (see Hebrews 10:25); do good to fellow believers as well as people in general (see Galatians 6:10), if responsibilities of membership in such a group demand much time. 

We have attended Masonic events and have relatives who have been members holding various degrees.  Our own personal observation is that a copious amount of time may be allotted for ceremony such as the marching in of various members, the stating of ranks or degrees of highlighted members, as well as detailing accomplishments and applauding the members.  This all can add to a prideful and selfish spirit in applauded members which the Christian should avoid. 

It also adds so much time to even an event such as a dance for a charitable purpose that it would be more efficient for a Christian just to donate time or money to fellow humans without spending precious time on this lengthy type of event.  Also, time is required to perform the various duties of a group such as accounting, minutes of meetings being written, etc. These types of time demands, while fine for one not called to follow God through Jesus at this time, would take away from the priorities God advises in the Bible for His people.

We all are admonished to pay our taxes and more importantly, to put God first, realizing that He allows positions of power on earth for a limited time (see Mark 12:17, and Psalm 75:6,7).  Some no doubt join lodges wanting to be charitable, which is good, as well as wanting to have some honor among men (fearing men), which can indicate pride, and is not good. While we must follow the laws of the land, even though they are imperfect, we do not have to join an organized earthly group and follow its dictates. We as Christians should recognize no ultimate headship other than God through Christ.  

Colossians 1:18 (Weymouth) states,

“Moreover he is the head of his Body, the Church.  He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, in order that he himself may in all things occupy the foremost place.” Colossians 1:18

All this being said, no Christian can stand in judgement of another Christian’s standing with God.  Each one has to follow his own best spiritual conscience on matters of whether or not to join earthly organizations, which forms of recreation are safe and God-honoring for the him as a Christian, how to organize his time and so many other things.  Each Christian’s family, home, church group, job and other responsibilities should be taken into careful account and prayerfully considered before adding any extra commitments.  There can be situations in which a certain activity would be appropriate for one Christian while absolutely not God’s will for another. 

Sometimes, for example, the needs of another family member would cause one to make a commitment to assist that family member in doing something positive that the Christian may not otherwise find to be a priority.  For example, we have attended and donated to attend a Masonic event with a family member who requested our presence. In order to support that family member in his attempts to be of service and to keep him company and honor his request, we spent time at a charity generating event that we normally would not find to be a necessity. Each one has to seek God’s will through scripture and prayer to make such decisions.   

In summation, should Christians join freemasonry for its good works?  We don’t think it is necessary to join in order to do good works.  Good works first done to aid and comfort the household of faithful Christian believers, and then to the world in general as one has opportunity can be done outside a time consuming earthly organization affiliation.  

Now is the time for the selection of the bride of Christ. (See Matthew 26:11 on caring for Christ, and hence we infer his followers.) The eventually fully ushered in kingdom to come on earth for which we pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 KJV) will be the future time during which all of the rest of the willing of mankind will be taught righteousness and have an opportunity to live forever. 

As Christians, now is the time to love God with all our hearts, have Him work in us to perfect our intentions, and comfort the other followers of Christ before the bride class is complete. If one loves God and Jesus but is not trying to follow Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23 to deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Christ, as a dedicated Christian, being dead to all unnecessary earthly entanglements, one might not look so critically at joining an earthly organization that does some good.  Later will be the time to convert the world and do far more good to them than we have time or capability for now.  Christ and his church will care for, and guide and direct all mankind to God. 

Should Christians avoid freemasonry due to accusations of the occult? If we suspect for good reason that an organization has ties to the occult, we of course would not want to align ourselves with it.  We do live in the world and have to operate among all mankind the best we can following godly principles even though we are in contact with many who may not.  

Our understanding is that we would not want to waste valuable consecrated time on anything but those things that will reap the best harvest in righteousness for our characters and will honor God best according to our conscience.  The most productive way to cooperate with God in His divine plan is for a consecrated Christian to study, learn from his daily experiences and trials and allow God to work out the peaceable fruits of righteousness in His character through applying the lessons of His Word to his own real life, and through prayer. So we do not think joining such an organization would be the best use of a Christian’s time even though charity is one of the positives.  

We realize that some of our thoughts may come across as harsh, but please understand we hold in high regard close family members and friends who have seen fit to become members.  These are good and decent people trying to do good in the world and actually doing some through Masonry and many other types of volunteering and donating avenues.  We respect such choices.  

Some parts of these activities will benefit the characters of those involved, helping them to be ready to learn real righteousness, love God with all their heart, and live forever if they are willing to  in the kingdom. But the true Christian is held to a much higher standard, we believe.  Some things that are good for many people are to be overlooked by Christ followers in favor of following God’s Scriptural instructions as precisely as possible.  We must aim high, although we will fall short.  God looks at our intention, not our perfection in performance. Each Christian must ultimately make these decisions prayerfully and individually.

Thank you for your thoughtful question.  We hope we have given you some scriptural insight on the topic and pointed out verses that will help in your own further studies and thinking on what the Lord requires of us as Christians. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV).  

To learn more about how to make decisions about where we spend our time listen to, “Can Good Things Ever Be Bad?”

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