First, this is not that type of post advocating for one type of car manufacturer or another and then trying to put some spiritual twist on it. Wrong blog if that is what you are looking for. This is about my morning drive to church for a staff meeting while noticing the variety of license plates in our community. I live and minister among the Military so understanding the sub-culture we are reaching is important. The variety of plates on a ten-mile stretch this particular morning included two Gold Star families, one Bronze Star recipient, one Disabled Veteran, and one Woman Veteran. As a Retired Veteran, I instantly recognize each of these plates and what they say about the owner of the vehicle.
But, it was not the variety of Military or out-of-state license plates that generated this post. It was the abundance of Masonic window decals and car emblems that were also present during the morning commute and not on the same vehicles. The decals and emblems ranged from Master Mason, Eastern Star, Scottish Rite, and to the York Rite. All of these symbols represent an association and level of a degree completed by the owner of the vehicle. I recognize these emblems as I was once a 3rd Degree Master Mason until I requested to be removed, or demit from the organization. I see these car decals and emblems all the time, and probably so do you. But during this morning drive, as I was observing the various Military plates, I couldn’t help but to think about the letter “G” used in the Masonic symbol and what it represents. Not only what it represents, but what it also speaks about the beliefs of the owner.
Most Masons would say that the “G” means Geometry, God, or the Grand Architect based on how well one was trained and immersed into masonry. Any quick internet search will reveal that it means “Geometry under the Great Architect of the Universe,” which is true. And by now you may be wondering why I posted this, but I ask that you bear with me a little longer as I want to stress how this does matter theologically. Because within the teachings of Masonry there are verbal gymnastics occurring in an attempt connect the god (Grand Architect) of Masonry to the God of Holy Scripture. But, it fails and the reason why I demitted.
You may be thinking that I am way off base here because you know many members of your church and they all tell you that their Masonic Lodge will have an open Bible and prayer every time they meet. True. They even have Chaplains and their ceremonies and teachings often uses Scripture. But, that does not make it Christian. Let me explain. All Christians recognize that Holy Scripture is God’s self-revelation to man, or Special Revelation. For within Holy Scripture God reveals Himself and His redemptive work. From the moment of creation and the fall (Genesis 1-3) God was providentially working all things out to bring His Son to the cross (Acts 2:23). And from the cross to the consummation God continues His redemptive work to restore all things back unto Himself (Revelation 21:1-8). This is redemptive history. God’s salvific plan being worked out is also seen through the covenants from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and to David. Yet, God also promised a new and eternal covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:40) that was instituted by and through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross (Luke 22:20). In sending His Son in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7), God the Father spoke directly to man by His Son (Hebrews 1:2). This is important my friend and the very problem Masonry faces. If God spoke to us by His Son, Jesus Christ, of whom the Father was well pleased to send (Matthew 3:17; 17:5), and the fullest revelation of Holy Scripture, as all of Scripture points to Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27), then of whom does a Muslim Master Mason understand the Grand Architect of their organization to be?
And yes, there are Muslims who are Masons. While Islam does recognize Jesus [Isa; Surah 4:157-159] it will not recognize the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, being one with the Father as Jesus Himself proclaimed (John 10:22-33). Simple fact. Yet, the international organization of Freemasonry speaks about how compatible Masonry is with Islam. Isn’t that an interesting point. Masonry is compatible with both major religions. But let us continue and also acknowledge the fact that Islam does not recognize the authority of Holy Scripture, but that of their holy book the Quran. The Quran does speak of the Torah and the Gospels (Tawrat and Injeel; Surah 3:3-4); however, it also teaches that those who follow the Torah and Gospels (Jews and Christians) are doing it wrongly (Surah 3:7). Thus the Muslim call to proselytize and convert others to follow the teachings of Muhammad in the Quran. Therefore, the Grand Architect for a Muslim Master Mason is none other than the Muslim god Allah. And any comparative religious study will quickly outline the theological divide between Islam and Christianity (see my 2016 book reading list for the book written by Muhammad Al Ghazoli if you are interested in reading about these difference from a former Muslims perspective). No matter what the pew sitting Master Mason tries to claim about compatibility they cannot verbal jiu-jitsu this discussion into a “it’s really a Christian organization” tap out. I know. I’ve tried.
Masonry opens the door to religious pluralism. Let me repeat that to let it sink in. Masonry opens the door to religious pluralism within a congregation. Which, religious pluralism is simply a belief that Jesus Christ is not the only way to salvation. You may be a Mason, or know someone who is, and thinking this is not what they believe and I am way off base here, but I ask you to continue reading. Masonry may seem mild or innocent but its incipient pluralistic teaching is very dangerous as it destroys the exclusive claims of Holy Scripture. Jesus Christ Himself proclaimed that He is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me [Jesus]” (John 14:6, ESV). And for Masonry to be compatible with Christianity and Islam it has to embrace a pluralistic salvific position because it must also embrace their teachings about their Grand Architects. This is not syncretism, a blending of religious beliefs, but religious pluralism that all religions are equal.
But, let us take a slight detour to solidify this argument before I wrap this up. In the book of Hebrews we read about Jesus that, “after making purification for sins, he [Jesus] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he [Jesus] has inherited is more excellent than theirs” (Hebrews 1:3b-4, ESV). Did you catch that about Jesus and angels? Jesus is superior to angels! And who did the prophet Muhammad receive his supposed revelation from? But not to digress, also notice how God the Father spoke to man by His Son, who is appointed Heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2a) as all things were created through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2b)! The Quran and Holy Scripture do not and will not align theologically! The god of Islam is not the God of Holy Scripture! Period! Masons, either wittingly or unwittingly, have to surrender the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ to embrace their organizations pluralistic acceptance of other religions Grand Architect beliefs. Even if the other religions will not acknowledge the reality of Jesus Christ who is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he [Jesus] uphold the universe by the word of his [Jesus] power” (Hebrews 1:3a, ESV). This is High Christology and no Muslim will acknowledge these realities about Jesus Christ. If they did they would leave Islam and embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ! Masonry blurs this reality.
With the Masonic organization acknowledging and accepting that both major religions are compatible to their teachings, they must minimize the teachings of both. Simple truth. The Grand Architect of Masonry has to become a generic god of any religion! Religious pluralism attempts to usurp the authority of Holy Scripture for the sake of inclusion thereby removing any Good News in Jesus Christ. And many unsuspecting men who enter Freemasonry, like myself, do not even realize it. And when they do there are attempts by others to justify Masonry and its compatibility with Christianity. When this stuff creeps in, and it has, the Church must be prepared to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3b, ESV). The Gospel is too important! Theology does matter!
Your Masonic decals and emblems say a lot more than just being a member of an organization.