Ailing Irish Masonic Order Attempts Another PR Offensive
An article in the Belfast Newsletter (Northern Ireland) on Irish Freemasonry (18/08/12) might lead one to believe that the organization is experiencing something of a renaissance. However, the opinion expounded by David Booth (Provincial Senior Grand Deacon of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim) contrasts with that of various informed observers of Irish Masonry. Many have actually noted a marked decline in the size and influence of the Lodge over recent years. In keeping with global Masonry, Irish Freemasonry is actually in free-fall.
Whilst Freemasonry is outwardly trying to portray an image of strength, internally it recognises it is in crisis. Former Grand Master Eric Waller recently bemoaned the sorry state of Irish Freemasonry, admitting it is suffering from a dismal public reputation. He concedes, “It is almost entirely our own fault that the public see us as sinister, secretive, sectarian and self-interested.”
In an attempt to counteract the fall-off in members, the Lodge has engaged in a PR offensive to portray a less mysterious and more open and benevolent image. The opening of its halls to the public and the highlighting of its charitable activities to the media have been a major feature of its campaign.
Mr Booth claims that the only secrets they possess are “the signs of mutual recognition.” Why then are outsiders still not allowed to observe Masonry’s teaching and rituals?
Former Grand Master Mr Waller acknowledged a few years ago that both the Church and the media “are highly suspicious and even antagonistic” towards Freemasonry.
Why would Christians not be distrustful of the Lodge when there is a thick wall of secrecy constructed around its lectures and practices? Jesus said, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad” (Mark 4:22).
Mr Booth amazingly claims: “There is no mention of religion or politics in the lodge.” But the Masonic candidate is taught in the Royal Arch degree, “Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion and its teaching are instruction in religion.” The Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason degree teaches, “It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion.”
Booth himself carries a religious title of Provincial Senior Grand Deacon. Deacon is a religious office in the Bible. The Lodge owns many other overweening religious appellations from Most Excellent Grand High Priest to Illustrious Potentate. Lodge degrees promise to take Masons from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. Their ceremonies are centred on the fabled life, death and resurrection of its religious hero Hiram Abiff. This clearly usurps the place of Christ.
Freemasonry also has its own distinct prayers and hymns that omit the name of Jesus Christ. It has its own unique extra-biblical name for God. It serves communion, baptises its initiates and anoints its candidates with oil. Masons meet in Masonic temples.
Booth boasts: “I am a member of several lodges and we have Muslim, Protestant and Catholic members … To be a mason you must believe in a higher being, but it can be Buddha, Allah, Jesus or whatever. The only people who are barred are atheists or agnostics … The guys who take their masonic obligations can take them on the Bible or the Koran – it does not matter … You can see the Koran and Bible both open in the lodge.”
Christians strongly object to this philosophy on biblical grounds, believing that it is only through Christ we can encounter God. Jesus taught in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Freemasonry has its own inoffensive, politically correct god who is known as “the great architect of the universe” or “the supreme being.” Masonry boasts that every Mason can approach this god, regardless of his religion, in the “neutral” atmosphere of the Lodge-room. In doing so, the divergent brethren unite together in common worship by prayers, salutations and hymns to this innocuous being. Masonry argues that this peculiar state of inter-faith harmony reveals the unique non-sectarian brotherly nature of the Lodge.
The Lodge bundles the true God of the Bible – Jehovah – together with false gods into a grand all-embracing figure who can be accepted by all. This theology is known as SYNCRENISM, i.e. “all roads lead to God.”
The Bible says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
Anywhere the people of God are found meddling with false religion, God meets out judgement. There is a solemn warning, in Psalm 106:28-36, for those who partake and/or condone such awful secret abominations (like Masonry). God says, “They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.”
Scripture therefore expressly instructs Christians to shun and oppose the encroachments of inter-faith worship unto a neutral undefined mongrel god. Isaiah 45:21-22 says, “there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
Masonry has always considered Christ as a divisive influence within religion and therefore excludes Him from its ceremonies, teaching and prayers. Any religion that rejects Christ should surely be rejected by Christians.
The Bible makes clear that God can only be approached through Jesus Christ. No one else. There is no Plan B. Muslim don’t see Him or the cross as their means of salvation. They think they are good enough to earn their way there. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
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