Fast Facts on the Masonic Lodge

Fast Facts on the Masonic Lodge

Ankerberg & Weldon.

Surprisingly good.  You never can tell with pop apologetics tracks.  It doesn’t get into the hermetic issues of Freemasonry.  It focuses on the “Blue Lodge,” as most Masons are there.  It mainly stays with standard Masonic texts and is fair. Instead of quoting the actual text, I am going to quote from the Masonic manuals from which they quote.

They argue that Masonry is a religion because a) some of its key texts say it is; b) it requires specific religious beliefs (immortality of the soul; belief in a supreme being), and c) promises an eternal reward.  And koinonia.  This is exactly what the church offers (Henry Wilson Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia 1961:512).  And since they require belief in these, that fits the definition of a Creed.

Since this religion disagrees with Christianity in key aspects, Christians can’t be Masons. We will focus on some of these aspects:

  1. Jahbulon.  This name of God is a combination of Jehovah, Baal, and Osiris.  By definition this isn’t the God that Christians worship.  We worship the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  2.   Freemasonry teaches that a man is in darkness prior to becoming a freemason (Albert Mackey, Manual of the Lodge, 520).  The Bible, on the other hand, says that before Christ we were in darkness (Galatians 1:4).
  3. Freemasonry openly mocks the biblical God, calling him “a partisan tribal god” (Coil 516-517).  And they aren’t nearly as apophatic as they claim.  They make a number of positive assertions about God: he is unitarian, deistic (Martin Wagner, Freemasonry: An Interpretation, 284).  Even on Masonic principles there is no way they can reconcile these disparate claims (and that’s not even mentioning Islamic theology or Judaism).  We don’t have the same view of God, as both Pike and Coil admit.

This is a good primer. I read it in under an hour.  It doesn’t get into the occultic darkness aspects, which is just as well. It ends with an evangelistic appeal to those Christians who are caught in Freemasonry.

Review: Boa, Cults and World Religions

This is a handy reference for anyone who needs a quick response to the myriad of cultic and occultic movements today. It is persuasively argued, well-written, and very concise.

Eastern Religions

Boa gives a basic summary of the major Eastern religions, including historical overviews and their internal contradictions. It’s rather short but that’s probably the purpose. The reader will be aware of the basic tenets but should supplement his reading with more substantial works. Of interest, however, and Boa only hints this in passing, is that Eastern religion really can’t make sense of the dialectic between monism and dualism.

Pseudo-Christian Groups

The meat of the book, seen in substantially longer chapters, deals with pseudo-Christian groups (Mormons, JWs, Seventh Dayers, etc). The reason is obvious: you are more likely to run across a Mormon than a Shinto or Jainist. And these chapters are outstanding. One problem in Boa’s approach, though: he claims that one cannot divide the moral law from the ceremonial law (121), but says Christians are under the law of Christ (which includes 9 out of 10 commandments). I understand why he is saying this in response to SDA, but it is a dangerous, if not faulty approach.

It is interesting to note that many of these bizarre groups got off the ground in the mid 19th century to early 20th century. Uniting them seems to be a bastardized, primitive version of Hegelianism mixed with revival fervor. Think of Absolute Idealism as imagined by a high school sophomore.

Criticism

The most brilliant part of the book was its dealing with the occult. It was far more substantial in terms of argumentation than the other sections. My problem is that Boa did not connect the dots between the various occultic systems. They are not accidentally related. The larger connection or network is hermeticism. Boa alludes to hermeticism quite frequently, but he seems to see it as a generic synonym for any one teaching.

Hermeticism, by contrast, is very consistent and specific where it matters (granted, much New Agey occultism practiced by Hollywood is generic nonsense, but that’s another story). Hermeticism has roots in ancient Egypt and Babylon. It is built on specific numerologies, which often manifest themselves in the aforementioned systems.

In fact, we can take the argument a step further. The godly emperor St Justinian the Great smashed hermeticism in the mouth when he shut down several neo-platonic and Pythagorean Academies. It is no great supposition to believe that these hermetic movements went underground.  After they were eradicated we can see (or suppose) hermeticism to have gone underground again only to arise with either the Freemasons or the Illuminati (I speak of the Bavarian Illuminati established by Adam Weisshaupt and not the Sex Cult of Hollywood Rappers Today).

I am not ready to say who was the primary influence–Freemasons or Illuminati. I suppose it really doesn’t matter for practical purposes. What we can say of these two movements (and I leave aside guys like the MI-6 agent Alastair Crowley for the moment) is that they gave Hermeticism a quasi-institutional vehicle in which to move forward.

Of course, I really didn’t expect Boa to go into all of that when each chapter is only a few pages long.

Other criticisms

The section on Madame Blavatsky probably should have been placed in the Occult section instead of the Pseudo-Christian cults. Blavatsky claimed to have received messages from “Serapis,” (no doubt she did, though Serapis is likely a demon). Further, Boa just gave surface-level responses when Blavatsky’s Gnosticism is easy prey to a full-orbed Patristic attack.