In the past, I’ve basically stuck to the format of music as far as the expression of my own opinions, and so far, I’ve never veered off of that course, but for once, I’m going to do so. And the topic of this side-step is something most people know of, but have not looked at in depth unless they belong to one of two camps: anti or pro; And the topic is Freemasonry.
At the time I write this (12/12/2006), I have belonged to the fraternity for just slightly over one year, but during that time (by my own admission :-)) have completed enough research on the subject to qualify myself, at the very least, as an expert on the subject of anti-masonry. I will not point out names of those I feel to be at fault for perpetuating false allegations, but will leave it up to you, the reader, to form your own opinion once you have read my case.
I, Isaac Walter Engelhorn, am a CHRISTian. I bow down and worship at the feet of he whose footsteps were heard by Adam and Eve, he who was seen as a burning bush by Moses, he who came to Earth to suffer, die, and be resurrected for the atonement of our sins and the salvation of all those who believe in him, but there are those who would deny that I believe this simply by the fact that I cheerfully belong to the aforementioned fraternity. There are those who would quote Saint Matthew’s words of Jesus (Verse 6:24) “No man can serve two masters,” alluding to the individual Mason’s duty to the Worshipful Master of his lodge, who is not the Mason’s actual master, but simply the annually elected official of every individual Lodge, without completing a quote of the entire verse: “No one can serve two masters, Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”. Though I find that this verse makes it very clear that the chief false God of mankind is that which grants us possessions here on earth, the almighty dollar, there are those who would insist that it could possibly apply to this “Worshipful” individual who is entitled to all of the complaints and scorn as that the President of the United States is. And while the position has yet to garner that much attention, as far as complaints are concerned, I assure you with all of the honestly that can be mustered of a Christian, that I have seen this scorn and complaint in action in just the short space of the year that I have been a Brother.
It is true that Freemasonry, as I have experienced it, has expressed universality to those of monotheistic faiths, but I have yet to encounter those that dispute any monotheistic faiths to the brethren attending lodge as a whole. This, of course, stems from our devotion to the principle that we will not dispute religion in any open lodge, but I assure you that this would not affect my religious stance in any way if we were to do so. As a matter of fact, you should know that at least two Masons have heard me tell them that I would never attend the initiation of a brother upon any other book than the Holy Scriptures (which are and can only be the Holy Bible of our Lord Jesus Christ).
If it cannot be made more plainly in the English language, allow me to assure the following facts of at least Ohio, United States Freemasonry that cannot be disputed with any of the official rituals of the Ohio bodies of Masonry:
1. “Jabulon” is not a name or any other such distinction for God, though a similar word is used as a “cover word” or explanatory device for the actual Master Mason’s word as revealed in the Royal Arch degree, which is in fact, a simple interpretation of the Tetragrammaton, which many modern, non-Masonic Christians use in their daily lives.
2. Albert Pike, as referenced by so many anti-Masons as having used the following quote…
If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay whose deeds prove his cruelty, perdify and hatred of man, barbarism and repulsion for science, would Adonay and his priests, calumniate him? Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. for the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods; darkness being necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive.
Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy; and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."
… Never actually said or wrote any of it! The quote is actually the invention of the French con man Leo Taxil, who personally debunked himself as a liar over one-hundred years ago! So if any man makes the claim that Albert Pike said these things and quotes anything similar, you may rest assured that he is either blissfully ignorant of the truth, or an outright liar! Pike did in fact write the following quote: "Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not!" Which it has been documented, is in reference to the fact that the term “Lucifer” in the King James Version of the Bible is in fact, a mistranslated Latin word referring to a Babylonian King placing specific attention to the way he is dressed since the word “Lucifer” literally means “light bearer.” Pike was actually making the simple argument that “Lucifer,” as it is interpreted in the modern day as being a name for the devil, should not be taken as such, since Jesus or the early Jews of the Old Testament did not really use it thus. You should also take note of the fact that Pike warned all of those who read his Masonic writings to disregard all that he wrote that seemed to them “Untrue or Unsound”! (If you wish to learn more about Albert Pike, research the book “Morals and Dogma,” available to you in just about any public Library. Though I would especially like you to condisider your local Masonic Temple!)
3. The altar of Freemasonry is not an actual altar, but is a place representative of religion for men to stand in front of other men to declare their own personal belief in God and to let them know that they are true and honest bretheren who will keep their personal secrets (with the obvious exception of Murder, Treason, and Felonies)!
4. “Bloody oaths” are not sworn as literal penalties by any Mason whatsoever, but are emblematical of what an honest man should feel in his own conscience should he betray any trust. No throat is cut, or breast torn open, nor body cut in half. Nor does any Mason actually think that it would happen. It is explained to a candidate fully before any initiation ceremony that all references to physical penalties are symbolic in nature and are not practiced by modern Freemasonry. The fact that they are not taken literally though does not mean that the obligations are frivolous in any way, shape, or form. The initiation into any lodge reveals that the obligations and their penalties are indeed serious and solemn.
5. Prayers offered in Lodges, offered to the “Great Architect of the Universe” are meant so with the utmost sincerity. If any man believes that Jesus is not such a being, then I hardly doubt that he even truly considers himself a Christian, and I should inform all who may be doubtful, that I always say “Jesus” to myself when I hear these prayers. To myself as a Christian, Jesus is more than a “Great Architect,” he is absolute and the son of God and is God himself.
6. In Commandery, the ultimate and obvious conclusion to the “York Rite,” one of the two main branches of Masonry, Jesus is, in fact, given as the name for the son of God and revered in all his glory. Commandery is seen as an official Masonic body, and as such, speaks for the Masons who are a part of it, so I therefore would like to let all those who read or know that what I am writing here reveals that Freemasonry does in fact, see Jesus Christ as Lord for members of the Fraternity who are willing to seek him. And the fraternity does so without ever being or needing to claim to be a religion.
7. Anti-masons often bring up the fact that those who enter the fraternity are "brought from darkness to light," and then reference the fact that Jesus said that he is the "light of the world," meaning that masonry is substituting its own light for God's. Even though its obvious to all who actually enter, the former quote simply means that they are moving from ignorance of the fraternity to knowledge of the fraternity, while the latter quote is a bold statement by Jesus himself proclaiming that he brings salvation to the world. Anyone who references the masonic word light to "bridge the gap" in such a manner is not only playing a game of semantics, they're insulting their reader/listener's intelligence. "Light" has more than one or even two definitions.
I would ask that if you doubt any of the words that I’ve written here, please research them as I have. I seem to find that when I research things which claim to be religions that don’t seem to be Christian, I am never convinced that they are: Mormonism believes in polytheism, Jews, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is actually the son of God, and other religions seem quite ludicrous to me personally, but Masonry makes absolutely no claim to be a religion of any type, and I have seen and heard myself that it is true; Masonry is not a religion of any kind.
Masons are not asked to do whatever the fraternity says, but are offered moral lessons, presented in a most dramatic fashion, to improve themselves as men and to work toward better goals in their communities, states, and countries, all with a declaration of belief in whatever God they choose; and though I do not personally believe in any God other than Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as revealed in the Old and New Testaments, I respect other’s beliefs enough not to challenge them in an official Lodge of Freemasonry. I am respectful enough, though, to remind them of the one, true, and living God whom I worship and adore so dearly, Jesus Christ, and if what you’ve read or heard from me thus far is not proof enough, know my declaration of belief and my prayer, which come from Christianity and Jesus Christ Himself:
And if anyone wishes to send me an email, I would love to discuss this topic with you. Just send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org