What is Freemasonry?


“Surely there’s no harm in Freemasonry, it’s simply a benevolent society.”  “Most of the accusations against them are false.”  “Besides Freemasonry and Evangelical Christianity are compatible.” These sorts of statements are made whenever the question of Freemasonry and Evangelical Christianity is raised.

So what is the truth?  Is Freemasonry a religion?  Is it impossible to be both an Evangelical Christian and a Freemason?

We hope this leaflet will help you start to answer these questions.


The answer to this question has changed over the years.

In 1985 the Grand Lodge issued a leaflet ‘Freemasonry and Religion’ which clearly stated that Freemasonry was not a religion.  Each mason could believe in and worship his own god called ‘The Great Architect’. But the following quotes show that this hasn’t always been the case.

“Masonry is not a religion, but it is Religion…”. J F Newton, ‘The Builders’, 1914.

“I boldly aver that Freemasonry is a religion.” J S M Ward, ‘Freemasonry, Its Aims and ideals’, 1923.

“I firmly believe that it is [a religion].  The tests of any religion lie (1) in its belief in Almighty God… (2) on the performance of duties to God and Man… (3) a system of faith and worship. Freemasonry conforms to all of these…”  Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge. ‘Freemasons’ Chronicle, 1954.

Whether Freemasonry is presented as a religion by Masons depends on the social climate at the time.  An absolute requirement of Evangelical Christianity is the worship of only the One Living God, Jehovah.  This is clearly stated in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-5) and again by Jesus himself (Matthew 22:34-40).

Recently the Masons made a statement that the composite name for their god, Jah-Bul-On, would no longer be used in their ceremonies.  (Jah is the name of the true God Jehovah; Bul is the Babylonian god, Baal: On is the Egyptian sun god.)  However, whether the name is used or not, Masonic tradition clearly shows that worship is still directed to this false god.


Sometime during the 18th century, the blood curdling oaths were introduced which each new member had to recite, binding them to secrecy.  In recent years changes have been made to the way the oaths are taken.  Firstly in the early sixties the Grand Lodge changed the wording so that the candidate was under a ‘traditional penalty’.  Then in 1986 the ceremony was altered so the candidate no longer says the oaths himself; instead, the Lodge Master recites them in a different part of the ceremony.  Despite these changes, the outcome is the same; the new Freemason is bound to secrecy by fear.

At the time of initiation, the candidate does not know the details of the secrets he is agreeing on oath to keep.  Furthermore, unless he progresses to one of the higher degrees, he will never know much about the beliefs, philosophy and practices of Freemasonry which he is committing himself to at his initiation.

Although the oaths refer to Masonic rites and rituals, in practice they extend beyond them and have produced a climate of secrecy which is a significant feature of Freemasonry.  If Freemasonry is as good and wholesome as many Masons claim, why is there this need for secrecy?  In Evangelical Christianity there is no secrecy: God revealed himself in Jesus Christ to all men, women and children of all races, in all circumstances.  The good news of Jesus providing the way of hope, meaning and security for now and eternity is to be shared with any who will become disciples.  What a contrast to the secrecy and selectiveness within Freemasonry.


Being an Evangelical Christian is not a matter of being British, doing good and being respectable.  If this all that is meant by being an Evangelical Christian then it is not incompatible with being a Freemason.  However, this definition of an Evangelical Christian is certainly not found in the Bible.  An Evangelical Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ who puts God above all else in his or her life.  If there is a conflict between what the Bible teaches and some other authority, the Evangelical Christian must follow the Bible.  Being an Evangelical Christian is being accepted by God although not deserving it-not trying to earn acceptance from God by doing good.

For some families and charities it may be that the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry is the way in this life, but it can never lead to eternal life because it denies the name of Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14:6)

Freemasonry is serving the goods of this world instead of God-this will never lead to the ‘Grand Lodge Above’.

The English Constitution of the Freemasons seeks to link Freemasonry with the building of Solomon’s Temple.  More modern writings establish a link with the stone masons who built the great cathedrals of England; but in reality the Lodges of today bear resemblance only in name.  In fact most cathedrals were long finished before the Grand Lodge of England was formed in 1717.

Whatever the history, there are today some 7,500 Lodges in Britain with an active membership of over 3000,000.

Is it acceptable to be both an Evangelical Christian and a Freemason?


The emphasis of Freemasonry is the glorification of man by his own efforts, inside and outside the craft, supported by a worldwide Brotherhood of Masons.  The emphasis of Evangelical Christianity is the glorification of God through penitence and believing faith in Jesus Christ, resulting in holy living supported by a world-wide fellowship of believers.

For further reading we recommend:

Christ, The Christian & Freemasonry –  W J McK McCormick

The Craft and the Cross – Ian Gordon

The Diary of a Freed Mason -David W M Vaughan

And for an in-depth look at Freemasonry

The Brotherhood-Stephen Knight

Inside The Brotherhood-Martin Short

If you need further help in being free form Freemasonry and coming to know Jesus Christ you can contact:

For further help and advice please write to:


24 Ormond Road Richmond Surrey TW10 6TH

Phone 0870 770 3258 Fax 0870 770 3259

Email: rt@reachouttrust.org


(Published here with permission from Reachout Trust.)


2 Responses to “What is Freemasonry?”

  1. Tin Machine Says:

    Anti-Masons often try to “prove” that Freemasonry is a religion – and then, on that basis, condemn it as being a ‘false religion’. Masons know full well that Freemasonry is no more a religion than is golf, Scouting, or the U. S. Navy League. The arguments raised, though, may leave those unfamiliar with Masonry questioning.

    Here are the facts:

    When one examines the commonalities and differences in religions, there is a short list of traits all share but which are unique to none thereby achieving a WORKING model of what religion is. It is important to remember that this involves RELIGION not SPIRITUALITY, which for the most part, is a trait of being human.

    >A group of people who by means of culture, propinquity and common beliefs come together in a recognized group.

    >A profession of belief in a higher existence and/or being.

    >Group action which encases their belief system in symbolism and ritual.

    >Through the self-definitions of the above, the group proceeds in a “we-they” quasi political (encased in mysticism and/or spirituality) manner to promote and maintain their organization.

    It can reasonably be argued that all of these are true of Masonry. Similarly, however, they are also true of organizations like Scouting, Campfire, Alcoholics Anonymous and The U. S. Navy League – to name but a few.

    So on the basis of this non-partisan, sociological model, Freemasonry more than fits and for these reasons, some could find it hard to see why Masonry is, in fact, NOT a religion.

    However, when we look at what religion does, there is an entirely different picture.

    Religions do the following (though details vary from one to the next):

    >Practice sacerdotal functions – Masonry does NOT!
    >Teach Theology – Masonry does NOT!
    >Ordain Clergy – Masonry does NOT!
    >Define sin and salvation – Masonry does NOT!
    >Perform sacraments – Masonry does NOT!
    >Publish or specify a Holy Book – Masonry does NOT!
    >Describe or define the Deity – Masonry does NOT!

    Freemasonry does NONE of these things – but religions DO!

    Sometimes a Mason will – for whatever reason – find his religious affiliation unsatisfying. In these times, it is particularly easy to find a substitute. For some, it may be golf, bowling, computers, or other activity. It may be politics or the constant involvement in public affairs. For some though, it could become Freemasonry wherein the member has an opportunity to reflect on the great works of the Creator and which encourages his thoughtful circumspection. Small wonder, then, that there are those Freemasons whose attachment to the Fraternity is somewhat akin to that normally found in an attachment to a set of religious beliefs. This human activity, though, in no way makes Freemasonry itself something it is not – a religion!

    Nothing that anti-Masons can say or write to the contrary and no behavior by a handful of individual Masons will change that simple fact!
    Please get informed about this subject and not just what the author of this blog as given reference to. All of these authors claims have been debunked or explained here: http://www.masonicinfo.com.

  2. anothermouse Says:

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for your comment.

    What is at issue here?

    The question; “Can a Christian be a Freemason?”

    That is the issue.

    This blog argues NO, a Christian CAN NOT be a Freemason!

    Whether Freemasonry is a religion or not is a moot point.

    Some Freemasons admit it is, some don’t and hold that it is not.

    Some Non-Masons say it is, some say it is not.

    Whether Freemasonry is a religion or not is not, may make for an interesting debate, but, it is not the issue here.

    Whether Freemasonry is a religion or not does not make it right OR wrong.

    Is murder a religion?

    To some it is. Does that make it right?

    Even if you can prove competently that Freemasonry is not a religion, does THAT make it right? See the logic?

    What makes Freemasonry wrong FOR A CHRISTIAN is when one compares what Freemasonry teaches compared to what the Bible teaches.

    Many Christians fail to make that comparison.

    Almost all Freemasons fail to do the same.

    All this blog asks is; HAVE YOU?

    It is important to get the RIGHT answer and do the right thing.

    Getting it wrong has eternal consequences.



    PS : About getting informed – that is VERY important I agree! I suggest you do the same. Study God’s word very carefully and then compare it to what Masonry teaches and you will get all the answers you need!

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