The relationship of Masonry to Christian faith has been controversial for at least 200 years, and over that period the different sides have attempted to defend their positions to the best of their abilities. Therefore, confusion often befalls the layperson who must carefully wade through the arguments on both sides before he or she can hope to resolve the issue responsibly. While this article cannot relieve such laypeople of the task of discerning the matter, its purpose is to provide them with a strong yet concise presentation of the case against Christian involvement with Masonry. (Further documentation and analysis of the claims and arguments of Masonry can be found in Bowing at Strange Altars [an evaluation of the Southern Baptist Study on Masonry] and The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge: A Christian Appraisal, both of which I coauthored with Dr. John Ankerberg. I urge interested readers to secure these volumes for further study in dealing with this issue. This article is primarily excerpted, with some changes, from Bowing at Strange Altars.)
(Christian Research Institute, The Masonic Lodge and the Christian Conscience DM166 by John Weldon)
http://www.equip.org/articles/the-mason  ... onscience/
MASONRY AND SALVATION
It is my contention that the Masonic ritual (i.e., Masonry's ceremonial rites of initiation that all Masons must pass through) of the First, Second, and Third Degrees teach all Masons exactly what God condemns as a false gospel, namely that a person is saved and goes to heaven as a result of his or her personal character and good works. As all Christians know, the Bible places such a teaching under God's curse. Paul said in Galatians 1:8-9: "But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that we have preached to you, let him be accursed." The Bible clearly teaches how a man is saved: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9. Cf. John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; Rom. 3:28-4:6; 11:6).
(ibid) emphasis mine
I could go on presenting item after item of the contradiction of Scriptue by Freemasonry, but this thread is not a treatise of Freemasonry v Christianity, so let it suffice to present only the disagreement of Freemasonry with the Biblical essential of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
So, William Irvine's first commitment was to a FALSE 'gospel' of human efforts. And that is precisely what is found in the sect that Irvine founded, which SECRETLY has a LONG list of unwritten rules that their 'converts' must meet (to unsettled standards) in order to be considered 'inside the arch' and thereby 'saved.'
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