Many Protestant and Evangelical churches and Christians view Freemasonry as incompatible with Christianity and teach that a Christian should not be a member of the group. What is the basis, biblical or otherwise, for this position?
I want to preface this by saying that I have never been a Freemason, and this answer, necessarily will include items that are likely to be disputed by those within Freemasonry. This can't be avoided if I'm to answer the actual question. The question is "Why do Evangelicals consider it to be incompatible". It's not asking if it really is, just why they think it is.
In order to answer that, I need to post the things that those who oppose Freemasonry believe. I have absolutely no idea if those things are true or not, and I'm not here to claim they are or aren't. I'm just repeating what's in the literature and what's believed of Freemasonry by Christians.
I'm going to use, as my primary resource, a site that's been put up by someone claiming to be an ex-Mason. It contains much of the same in formation that can be found in other literature. I've read several books on "cults" and Freemasonry is listed in several of them. For example, while it's not listed as a cult in this book, the book What's the Difference lists Freemasonry in a section called "Nothing New Under the Sun... Eleven more viewpoints that undermine, challenge, or attack Biblical Christianity". At any rate, the claims on this site are compatible with most of what I've said.
With all of that out of the way, here are several points about Freemasonry that are incompatible with Christianity:
- Freemasonry requires each Mason to believe that there is only one God and teaches that all men worship that one God, simply using a variety of different names. In the case of the Wiccan, he satisfies the requirement for belief in A Supreme Being by believing in the Horned god of Witchcraft. The Hindu may satisfy the requirement with faith in Vishnu.
- From a Christian perspective, this is utter nonsense. This is also, just about the only point you'd need to show that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity. Any attempt to say that the God of the Bible is the same as (or even functionally equivalent to for some people) the pagan gods, Allah, or any other is blasphemy, pure and simple, from a Christian perspective.
- Freemasonry has a plan of salvation, which is not based on Christ at all.
- There is some concern about the oaths made in Freemasonry.
- Follow this link and you'll find an extensive treatment on several issues that show Freemasonry to be incompatible with Christianity
Another site lists other reasons, again, which I've heard before, but can't personally verify. Again, I'm just answering why some Christians are opposed to Freemasonry.
- In Freemasonry the god of the secret societies is covertly substituted for the One True God. This false god is identified in the Masonic lodges as "the Great Architect."
- Masons think that through masonry one can chisel away layers of oneself, similar to how one creates a beautiful statue out of rough stone. And they think the end result will be no need for God; because they think the perfect Mason is like God. Pages 50-51 of the Mason handbook makes this quite clear - but not to the initiate. Masons are lied to about everything in the 1st three degrees.
- Masons repeatedly are directed to the "Mystery Religion" and the time man found God in nature. Almost none of Masonry's teachings come from Christianity. This 'mystery religion' Masons have joined originated from pagans in ancient Egypt, Chaldea, and in China. The Mystery Religion, Freemasonry and all 'ancient' secret societies have one thing in common. They string you along, just to finally tell you that there is no God; and you are a god, because you follow their teachings, which are:
In the Masonic Lodge everything is symbolic of something else. The name "Lucifer" means "Light Bearer" or "Light Bringer". Masons point out that the MORNING STAR is Lucifer. When Masons speak of the "light of Masonry", they actually refer to Lucifer bringing forth the light. During the lecture for the 32nd degree, Masons are told that the triliteral name for god is composed of three Hindu gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Siva is a synonym for Satan! Lucifer is honored and revered by Masons as the TRUE GOD!
Freemasonry is a fraternity that does not refuse people due to their specific religious preferences. But there are some exceptions. For an example, an atheist is strictly and universally (under the grand lodge of England) not permitted to join. Because we allow multiple faiths, some people take issue with the fraternity. Such as Christians are taught to not to yoke with unbelievers
2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Because Freemasonry does not support a single specific religion but requests that it members subscribe to a religion and as mentioned "yoking", some people such as the Sovereign Pontiff. Maximillian Kolbe believe that implies that they are against Christianity.
This mortal hatred of the Church, of Christ, and of His Vicar on earth is not just an outburst of misguided individuals, but rather a systematic action that proceeds from the principle of Freemasonry: the destruction of all religion, but especially the Catholic religion. [Pisma Ojca Maksymiliana Marii Kolbego franciszkanina, Niepokalanow, maszynopsis, 1970; English tr. from The Immaculata Our Ideal, by Fr. Karl Stehlin (Warsaw, 2005), p.39]….
Christians who do not believe you should be friends with non-Christians would have a problem with the fraternity.
Freemason takes obligations or makes promises which some Christians dislike. So for example, I promise to not allow an atheist to join. Some Christians feel that you should not make promises like that to yourself or in front of God.