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Lutherans and Freemasonry

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by guitarplayer_101, Feb 9, 2005.

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  1. guitarplayer_101

    guitarplayer_101 Regular Member

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    I have a question. What are the issues that lutherans have with freemasonry, lodges, ect... My girlfriends father is a mason and I remember in confirmation we briefly talked about freemasonry and why our church is against it. This was several years ago and I don't really remember the discussion too well. I've researched it and I've tried researching it and get diferent answers from different sources. Just wondering if anyone could help me shed some light on this subject. I'm LCMS if that helps, but other views would be appreciated.

    God Bless,
    B.J.
     
  2. ByzantineDixie

    ByzantineDixie Handmaid of God, Mary

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    Welcome B.J. :wave: Glad you found our little Lutheran corner of CF.

    Here is a paragraph on freemasonry from the LCMS website that may begin to answer your questions.

    Bylaw 3.925 of the Synod's Handbook summarizes the rationale for the Synod's longstanding position on the lodges: "Pastors and laypeople must avoid membership or participation in any organization that in its objectives, ceremonies, or practices is inimical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the faith and life of the Christian church." It is because tenets and practices of Freemasonry conflict with the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ that our church from its very beginning has held that membership in this organization conflicts with a faithful confession of this Gospel.
    Many examples from the official rites and ceremonies of Freemasonry could be cited to illustrate the reasons for the Synod's position, but the following is one example. The second section of the Entered Apprentice degree reviews what has taken place in the initiation rite and closes with this definition of the Lambskin of White Leathern Apron given to the candidate: "The Lamb has, in all ages, been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the Lambskin as the badge of a Freemason, is constantly reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." This statement holds out the promise that "purity of life and conduct" is "essentially necessary" for entry into life hereafter with the divine being called the "Supreme Architect." Such an assertion stands in direct conflict with the apostolic Gospel, and therefore endangers faith. St. Paul affirms in his epistle to the Galatians that "by works of the law shall no one be justified...for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose" (Gal. 2:16,21).

    Peace

    Rose
     
  3. guitarplayer_101

    guitarplayer_101 Regular Member

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    I appreciate the quick response. Thanks!:)
     
  4. ctobola

    ctobola Member

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    As an LCMS member, you've likely heard a lot of the negatives about Masons.

    As a Lutheran and a Mason, I can tell you that the majority of it is distorted and blown out of proportion.

    The Masons is a club, just like the Elks, the Boys Scouts and the local book club. It uses some quasi-religious symbols, but I have NEVER been asked to do, say or agree to anything in the Masons that violates my Lutheran beliefs.

    A few of the criticisms leveled at the Lodge, along with my responses:

    The Lodge is a substitute for membership in a congregation.
    That is absolutely true. Many people make Lodge membership a priority over attending worship. People do the same with sports, sleep (hard to get up on Sunday morning), drinking, TV, etc., etc. Avoiding this is a matter of balance.

    The Lodge presents a generic or pagan image of God.
    The Lodge acknowledges the importance of the Creator, but does not say that the Creator is Jehovah, Allah, Buddah or Zarquon the Space God.

    Similar approaches are taken by the Boy Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, and even our government -- our money says "In God We Trust," but that means different things to different people.

    The Lodge does not promote Christianity.
    That is correct. It does require a person to believe in God, but does not require that person to adhere to a particular religion or fellowship. The Boy Scouts does the same thing -- Scouts are required to acknowledge God, and that organization promotes awards for Scouts who meet certain requirements within their worship community. Those awards are given for service to Christian fellowships, Mormon, Islamic and a vareity of other religions.

    The Masonic Lodge is a religion.
    It does use some forms of religion, but all of our venerated social institutions use some ceremonial forms -- courts, governmental bodies, clubs, families, etc.

    -Cloy
     
  5. ctobola

    ctobola Member

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    You are correct that this statement from the Masons would be inappropriate in a religious setting -- but remember that within the social setting, there is an implied social contract to obey rules and laws of soceity.

    In the Boy Scout Oath, I agree to keep myself "mentally awake, and morally straight." Can a person do this on their own? As Lutherans we believe that we cannot -- only God can remake us. Should we then refuse any moral or social obligation because we cannot live up to it?

    All social organizations have an expectation of fulfillment and social redemption via moral codes -- and that's perfectly appropriate in a civic setting. It's simply not what we as Lutherans believe. (Keep in mind that MANY other Christian groups have no objection to morality as a means and indication of salvation.)

    Excelsior! -Cloy
     
  6. guitarplayer_101

    guitarplayer_101 Regular Member

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    Thanks so much for the replies, Yes I had heard a lot about the negatives but through the research I did and talking with my girlfriends father I learned a lot of the more positive aspects of it too. The reason for posting this was to learn what LCMS's issues with it were. That was the one thing I couldn't find. I've searched LCMS's site and never found that. But I was just curious about the issues. Personally, I have found no issues between what freemasons teach and my christian faith(This is because I realize the difference between the social and religious aspects). But I really have no inclination to join. I really appreciate all of the replies!
    Thank You Very Much,
    B.J.:)
     
  7. SPALATIN

    SPALATIN Lifetime friend of Dr. Luther

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    In its earlier day, the LCMS was against membership in the Boy Scouts as well. The part of the oath that you quote is a stress on obedience. Not that Christians shouldn't be obedient, but where does the power to be obedient come from? It comes from Christ. The Boy Scouts only encourage one to exercise one's faith, but they don't prescribe what that faith should be.

    Freemasonry hold to an even deeper meaning in its ceremonies. I find it to be conflicting with the Gospel. I would discourage people from becoming members. Also the Masonic Funerals are not a Christian Funeral.
     
  8. revjpw

    revjpw "Here I Stand, I Can Do No Other"

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    Blown out of proportion??:confused: :eek:

    They promote works righteousness, which directly contradicts Scripture, the confessions, and all that we as Lutherans hold, teach, and confess. That's not "blown out of proportion," that's reality!


    DaRev
     
  9. Zoomer

    Zoomer Well-Known Member

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    If I were male, that would be enought for me to stay away.





    "You have learned that Freemasonry calls God, 'The Great Architect of the Universe" (G.A.O.T.U.). This is the Freemason's special name for God, because he is universal. He belongs to all men regardless of their religious persuasion. All wise men acknowledge His authority. In his private devotions a Mason will pray to Jehovah, Mohammed, Allah, Jesus or the Deity of his choice. In a Masonic Lodge, however, the Mason will find the name of his Deity within the G.A.O.T.U."
    - Page 6, The Craft and Its Symbols by Allen E. Roberts










    That official stance of Freemansonry is directly contrary to Scriptures. The god of masonry is a generic god, he can be anything to anyone. He's all encompassing of every belief. However, the God of Scripture is very clear that "the Lord our God is one Lord" and "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." God makes it pretty clear that He isn't on a level playing field and to be grouped with other gods. "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me." In recognizing the G.A.O.T.U., a Christian is confessing that they believe in a generic, mish mash god, who is personally represented as the God of Christianity. If it is merely a social club I would be fine. But there is prayer to the G.A.O.T.U. and Sacred Law. Christians would normally not worship with those who have contrasting beliefs so why is it alright in the name of socializing.
     
  10. pastel

    pastel Lex orandi lexest credendi

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    A previous Pastor was giving sermons against Freemasonry, only many of the congregants belonged to it, and some kept trying to get the Pastor to stop speaking against the Freemasons because those same members donated a lot to the church, so this meant getting them angry, and maybe quitting the church (taking their valuable donations with them). Our church was also holding Boy Scout/Cub Scout meetings at this time.

    I don't know if it was proper for them to do this, or not, but I was miffed they tried to stifle what the Pastor genuinely believed. It would depend on how much in depth the members of the Freemasons believe their organization over the church's teachings. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts try to please everyone. Neither is anything more than a club.
     
  11. Jim47

    Jim47 Heaven Bound Supporter

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    I know this is a very touchy subject and should always be handled with care, but if people realized how dangerous some of these organizations are to people who have a weak faith or understanding.

    I appluad your Pastor for his stance.

    Hey Charlene! What is this little guy all about [​IMG] Why would you be sad. You must have a zillion friends. :wave:
     
  12. revjpw

    revjpw "Here I Stand, I Can Do No Other"

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    The Scouts allow (and even encourages) one to practice their faith, but does not promote any kind of spirituality of their own. There is no "religious" aspect to their activities or rituals. Freemasonry on the other hand is a quasi-religious group which contains several "religious" aspects to their organization. These "religious" aspects do indeed contradict what Scripture clearly teaches and with what the Lutheran Confessions hold, teach, and confess. To call them 'nothing more than a club' is a terrible understatement.


    DaRev
     
  13. cenimo

    cenimo Jesus Had A 12 Man A-Team

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    Every Masonic Lodge has a VSL, Volume of Sacred Literature. It is usually the holy book of the host country.

    When prayers are said, the name of Jesus is not allowed, so as not to offend any non-Christians present.

    That's tells me all I need to know.

    There is plenty of literature available exposing this organization. The end goal is Luciferian worship but most Masons do not find that out until they have to much time and money "invested" in it.

    For some interesting searches Google Freemasons + Ed Decker, and the book
    Free from Freemasonry.

    There was also a program all about this on KFUO a couple of years ago.
     
  14. guitarplayer_101

    guitarplayer_101 Regular Member

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    This is just my opinion on how to find facts about groups such as freemasonry. Read literature on it from all viewpoints( pro, anti, and a moderate view) If not then actually talk to a mason. I'm not really interested in joining but I don't think that they are satanic or evil in any way. I feel the mason that I talked to(my girlfriend's father) was honest with me, I feel what he tells me is credible since he's a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason and yes I know there are secrets but if these secrets are so horrible then why don't the "christian" masons quit after they find out. If I found out that I was following satan or an occult theology, I would leave, regardless of how much time/money I had put into it.
     
  15. SPALATIN

    SPALATIN Lifetime friend of Dr. Luther

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    They probably don't quit because they do enjoy the fraternity they share with the others and they have already in some way justified belonging more than what their faith calls for them to do.

    "This isn't bad. I don't understand why our church is against this group. They are a swell bunch of guys and they like to help people too."

    the problem is that they are weak in their faith to begin with and they are also probably not too involved in the church they have belonged to for many years.
    They also have not been properly catechized about the issue.
     
  16. ByzantineDixie

    ByzantineDixie Handmaid of God, Mary

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    Oh Scott...you have really hit on something that has practically become my personal Lenten theme. How we sinful human beings can take something and justify it to suit our desires. I have just about become convinced I will never know my true motives in doing anything because I am so good at coaxing myself into getting what I want and justifying away sin. This is such a good point...our flesh is great at rationalizing.

    GP101...my personal recommendation here is to yield to the teachings of the church first and then study to understand why the church recommends the things she does. If after learning the reasons behind the church's stance you still do not agree...well, come back here and we'll talk about it some more. ;)

    Your studies should go far deeper than this thread or even all of CF, and deeper than your girlfriend's father, however. Lots of great resources out there to digest. Ask your pastor for some information, too.

    Peace

    Rose
     
  17. ctobola

    ctobola Member

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    I bet you have a difficult time living in the U.S. You money says "IN GOD WE TRUST," but doesn't specify which God; the Pledge of Allegiance requires you to declare loyalty to "ONE NATION UNDER GOD."

    As I've said, the minute the Masons are mentioned, people begin to over-react -- holding them to standards we don't apply to any other organization.

    -Cloy
     
  18. ctobola

    ctobola Member

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    I think that's more of a comment on the nature of the LCMS than the Boy Scouts.


    Neither do the Masons... and as a result they are criticized for being too "generic" in their view of God.


    Which ceremony do you think has the deepest meaning?


    Frankly, a lot of stuff that we make part of our day-to-day lives conflicts with the Gospel. As you've already noted, the LCMS is rather hyper-sensitive in these areas. Mention the Masons and they immediately create standards that would never be required of social organizations.


    Guess what, Masonic hamburgers aren't Christian hamburgers either! When my dad died, we had the traditional Lutheran funeral and then after everyone left the Masons said goodbye to him in their own manner. They didn't interfere with the service held by the congregation.

    -Cloy
     
  19. ctobola

    ctobola Member

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    The Masonic view of God is generic, but so is the Boys Scouts', the American Legion's and the one mentioned on our money as "IN GOD WE TRUST."

    The Masonic view of God is different from the Lutheran view, but so is the Methodist view, the Presbyterian view, the Moravian view, etc., etc. Could I go to a prayer breakfast with folks from those traditions and pray? You bet! If you think that the conservative Lutheran view of God (or any human perspective) is adequate to define God, then I'd say that you probably worship a God who fits neatly into a shoebox under the bed.

    The Church has basic standards for determining false teachings -- the Creeds. I find nothing that contradicts the Creeds in the Masonic tradition.

    Excelsior! -Cloy
     
  20. cenimo

    cenimo Jesus Had A 12 Man A-Team

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    General Albert Pike
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