Saturday, July 19, 2008

Can a Christian be a Freemason?

I ran into a man today, a perfect stranger, while we were both waiting in line. I had prepared for the wait and had John J. Robinson’s book Born In Blood with me to read. The man asked me about it, and I gave him a brief synopsis of what I’d gathered from the book thus far. He then proceeded to tell me that his “problem” with Freemasonry was that you only have to believe in “a god” to be a member, and if you are a Christian you believe in “the God.” I didn’t tell him I was a fresh initiate into Masonry. I just nodded my head and let him continue: “The very first oath they make you take, you have to deny Christ,” he said. I looked surprised. “Yeah, they lead you in blindfolded and half naked and you have to say you’re a poor candidate and then they ask what you are seeking and you say ‘more light’. But a Christian doesn’t need more light.”

It is said that there are three things that every Freemason contends with: Ignorance, Tyranny, and Fanaticism. This poor fellow was imbued with his fair share of at least one and possibly two of these. I never did tell him I was a “new” Mason. I didn’t tell him how wrong he was in his narrative of what a candidate is asked and swears to. Maybe I should have. But I’ve dealt with people like him many, many times and they are usually much happier if they don’t have to be burdened with the facts.

Can a Christian be a Freemason? The obvious answer to that questions is “yes.” Usually what people who ask it really mean is “Should a Christian be a Freemason?”

I am a Christian. Most people who know enough about Christianity to be able to discern the difference would label me as a “conservative” Christian. If at any point in my journey into Freemasonry I am faced with ritual, doctrine, teaching, or whatever that would cause me to deny Christ or the fundamental tenets of orthodox Christianity, then my “journey” would end right then and there. From what I know of Freemasonry at this stage of my trek, however, I don’t think that will ever happen.

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