“I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!” (FIFTH IN A SERIES) Pastors Answer Frequently-Asked Questions
Why Can’t CLC Members Join the Lodge?
The constitutions of congregations within the Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) include a statement declaring that in order to hold communicant membership, an individual must be “. . . free from all unchristian associations and lodges.”
When reference is made to “the Lodge,” it is most frequently referring to the Masonic Lodge—Freemasonry. Freemasonry and Christianity are completely opposed to one another. For that reason, it is impossible for a Christian to faithfully serve the Lord and at the same time engage in the false worship and beliefs of the Masons.
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24).
Masonry does not uphold the Bible as God’s inspired Word. “Masonry has nothing to do with the Bible; it is not founded on the Bible. If it was, it would not be Masonry, it would be something else.”1 The Bible, the book of Mormon, the Koran, and any other so-called “Book of the Law” are all viewed as being on the same level, and are considered equal by Masons.
Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth” (John 17:17).
Masonry confesses only one God, but it is not the God of Scripture. “It is anti-Masonic to require any religious test other than to believe in a God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe.”2 The Masonic god is distinctly Christ-less. Their god is, therefore, a false god.
God says, “…all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23).
Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life . . . whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
Masonry teaches a salvation by works and promises a life after death in the “Grand Lodge Above.”
God says, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Fundamentally, Masonry with its nameless, Christ-less god and its work righteousness is opposed to the one true God and His Gospel. It regards the Bible as only partly true and Jesus Christ as just one teacher among many with good things to say. In addition to this, the various rites, rituals, and secret activities of the Masons are equally an affront to the Lord and to His Word.
There are other lodges that, though similar to the Masonic Lodge in some ways, may differ substantially from it in other ways. In addition to the lodges, there are other associations and organizations that a Christian might consider joining. Any time a child of God is considering becoming part of an organization, it is needful first to engage in careful and prayerful consideration of what joining the organization will mean to one’s
A number of years ago, the General Pastoral Conference of the CLC studied how to approach involvement with organizations of the world. Part of the resultant work
was a series of questions to ask before becoming involved with an organization:
What does membership in this organization mean (I Thessalonians 5:21-22)? Would my membership in this organization hinder the proclamation of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:27)? Would it serve to glorify my God (I Corinthians 10:31)? Would it be walking in darkness or walking in light (compare I John 1:5-7)? Would it obscure my Christian witness
(II Corinthians 14:8-9)? Would it be an offense to a weak Christian brother (I Corinthians 10:32-33)?
There is an ongoing need to apply biblical principles and direction to organizations of this world and our association with them. May God enable each of us to sound clear trumpets and be a light-giving witness of Christ to those around us.
If you have further questions on this topic, or to discuss these matters more fully, please talk to your pastor. He’s called as your spiritual shepherd and will be happy to study and apply Scripture with you in these matters.
Wayne Eichstadt is associate pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota.