Regular Methoblogospheric commentor Keith Taylor has requested this Question of the Day:
Is Freemasonry compatible with Christian teaching? Is it proper for Christians to be Freemasons?
I ask this very seriously. I am not a mason, but my own grandfather was a 33rd degree mason. I used to think of such esoteric or secretive organizations such as the Shrine, or the Masons, or other secret organizations as harmless, social clubs. I know they do many good works. But as I have become more serious in my Christian walk, I have begun to wonder about this. There was a time when I would have wanted to be a mason, but since I have become older and much more serious in the Christian faith, I have completely lost that desire.
I know that there are many Freemasons and Order of the Easter Star members in United Methodist Churches all across the nation. I know that many are sincere in their Christian faith. As I think back in my life, some of the men who where Christian role models to me, wore Masonic rings. But are we not admonished by the Bible to remain open, non-secretive, to walk in the light, not in secretive societies and organizations? Do masons not take secret oaths and swear allegiance to their lodges to the point of death if they betray their oaths and secrets? They hold their meetings in secret. They meet in windowless buildings or chapter rooms. They refer to ancient pagan gods and goddess rituals in their secrete rites and ceremonies. They exclude membership based on things such as faith, economic status, ethnic background, and/or gender. How can such be compatible with the Christian faith? And if that is the case, then are Greek esoteric or secretive organizations compatible with Christian teaching as well?
So, while I know there are many members of such organizations in the Christian Church and the UMC specifically, are their membership oaths, their secretive meetings and actions, their extra biblical beliefs and rituals, contrary to Christian faith and behavior?