Many organizations claim to follow general spiritual principles and believe in a higher power, including fraternal groups like the Masons. Is it okay for a Christian to become a member of groups like this?
I would say two things about these kinds of organizations. First, with regard to the Freemasons, I’ve heard people say, “Well, they’re all about doing good—acts of charity and service—and they even believe in a higher power.” So, in that sense, aren’t they good? It might seem like it fits right in line with Christianity.
But we should be wary when an organizations advocates a nebulous spirituality, even if they’re doing good. They might say, “Let’s get some basic principles from the Bible, and then all of us can worship the same God in different ways.” But that relativizes the truth. Christianity isn’t just about morality and doing good and believing in a higher power. It’s about the God who has broke into human history to redeem his people in a very specific way—by sending his Son into the world to die for our sins so that we might have eternal life.
Apart from that message, the message of the gospel, we’re lost. So we should be very careful about any organization that relativizes that message or says that it’s not the most important thing. Are we focused, as Christians, on the truth of God’s word and the gospel? Are we receiving God’s words as it’s meant to be received, as God’s authoritative revelation for us? That should direct our steps and guide our lives.
So that’s the first concern that I have with organizations like the Masons. The other is that, first and foremost, God has called us to love our families. And we’re called to love the local church, the body of Christ, to which we’re united through holy baptism. For some people, associations and societies like the Masons takes precedence over their Christian faith. This is related to the first concern about relativizing or minimizing the truth of Scripture. The centrality of the gospel in our lives should make the local church central in our lives.
So those are the key questions I would ask. What is your focus? Do you see your membership in the body of Christ as your main identity?
But there’s also some mystery and secrecy associated with some of these groups. There are certain things about them that we don’t know. So, I would avoid them. We need to stay rooted in the Scriptures and make the gospel and the local church our priorities.