The obligation of a first degree Freemason (Entered Apprentice degree):
“Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and buried in the rough sands of the sea at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty four hours, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn oath and obligation as an Entered Apprentice Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”
The obligation of a second degree Freemason (Fellowcraft degree):
“Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out, and given as a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the fowls of the air as a prey.”
The obligation of a third degree Freemason (Master Mason degree):
“Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in two, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that no more trace or remembrance may be had of so vile and perjured a wretch as I, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn obligation as a Master Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”
No Christian has the right to bind himself to such wickedness. He is the Lord’s unique possession and his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The believer is under Divine ownership, being the peculiar possession of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has therefore no right to subject himself to such mutilating curses. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
Like every other word of instruction and every aspect of ceremony within Freemasonry, the penalties are designed to instil great fear within the candidate, so binding his conscience to the Order. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (I John 4:18).
Professing believers within Freemasonry must repent of this bondage and separate themselves from such sin, renouncing any fear or anxiety that may develop from addressing such a crucial decision. The Bible states, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:14-15).
English Freemasonry has been so embarrassed, over recent years, with the public exposure of its wicked curses that it has now omitted these penalties from its Order. The debate started in 1979 when the head of English Masonry, the Duke of Kent, confessed his own “definite sensation of repugnance” over the penalties, and “the distasteful aspect of calling upon God to witness an Oath which is scarcely practical and certainly barbarous.” In May 1986 the Masonic Grand Lodge of England reluctantly dropped these penalties, stating they gave “ready material for attack by our enemies and detractors” (‘Inside the Brotherhood’ p. 64).
This decision seemed enforced and was certainly not repeated throughout the Masonic world.
These are crude but real curses upon the membership that unite them in a dark common blood bond. Believers must surely see that for a child of God to submit himself to such profane bondage is sin, and sin clearly dishonours Christ. The Bible admonishes the Christian: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).
The debased language in these vows clearly violates the teaching of Scripture. Ephesians 4:29-30 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
The revival preacher Charles G. Finney in his book ‘Character and Claims of Freemasonry’ alludes to such curses, stating: “The penalty for violating this oath is monstrous, barbarous, savage, and is utterly repugnant to all laws of morality, religion or decency” (p. 35). He then pointedly addresses those involved in such sin: “If they can see no sin in taking and administering such oaths under such penalties, they have succeeded, whether intentionally or not, in rendering themselves utterly blind, as regard the moral character of their conduct…they have put out their own eyes” (p. 59).
No lecturer or administrator involved in this ceremony can shirk his responsibility in imposing these awful curses. He can never argue that they are just mere words. Such barbarous, bloodthirsty language is an anathema to holy living and an offence to a thrice-holy God.
Jesus said “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
Those men who are charged with conferring these penalties are responsible, before God, for placing curses upon many individual lives. James 3:8-10 declares, “The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
Those within the Order who confer such curses must carefully analyse the damage they are inflicting upon others. For those who profess the Name of Christ they must reflect upon the obvious spiritual injury they are causing themselves. Separated believers must ask if it is right to have fellowship with such people, since Scripture gives the clear instruction: “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
The true child of God can have nothing to do with such profane behaviour. I Peter 1:15-16 says, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.”