We have a couple of Mason's at our congregation. One of these men has had their name mentioned in being considered as an elder. I don't know much about Mason's and any information that I find he quickly refutes as being false. Can one be a Mason and be a Christian? Can one who is a Mason be appointed as an elder? Thank you for your time and the efforts that you make through this web site. You are in my prayers.
One of the difficulties in discussing Masonry is that they prefer to wrap their many beliefs in secrets and mystery. I'm going to rely on quotes from various documents which Mason's have said are favorable to their beliefs.
First, we need to define what are the Masons:
"Freemasonry refers to the principles, institutions, and practices of the fraternal order of Free and Accepted Masons. The largest worldwide society, Freemasonry is an organization of men based on the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, using builders' tools as symbols to teach basic moral truths generally accepted by men of good will. It is religious in that a belief in God is the prime requirement for membership, but it is nonsectarian in that no religious test is used." [American Academic Encyclopedia].
Thus we first learn that it is a religious institution but does not promote a particular religion but instead teaches that all religions are equivalent. To society, the Masonic lodges claim not to be a religion. "Though religious in character, Masonry is not a religion, not a substitute for one." [Freemasonry, A Way of Life, Grand Lodge of Indiana]. "Freemasonry is not a religion. It has a philosophy of its own, which is in harmony with the church, the school, and all other worthy organizations." [On the Threshold, Grand Lodge of Indiana].
However, that claim is not consistent. To its members it claims something else. "Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hereticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. ... So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters away." [Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike, p. 105]. This book is published by the approval of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree of the Scottish Rite. Not only is it disturbing that this institution calls itself a religion, but its admittance that it purposely lies to outsiders to preserve its secrets is a clue that it is not of God (Revelation 21:8).
"As Masons we are taught that no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity. This is because Masonry is a religious institution." [Kentucky Monitor, p. 28]. "Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instructions in religion." [Morals and Dogma, p. 213]. While religious, it follows its own brand of religious teachings. "Masonry propagates no creed except its own most simple and Sublime One; that universal religion, taught by Nature and by Reason. Its Lodges are neither Jewish, Moslem, nor Christian Temples ... it extracts the good and not the evil, the truth and not the error, from all creeds." [Morals and Dogma, p. 718]. Thus the Masonic organization puts itself in the role of determining what is truth or good and what is evil. The implication is that no one world religion has the truth, but a blend of good and evil, which the Masonic organization sorts through. "The Religious Doctrines of Masonry are very simple and self-evident; they are designated by no perplexities of sectarian theology, but stand out in the broad light, intelligible and acceptable by all minds having a belief in God, and in the Immortality of the Soul. He who denies these tenets can be no Mason, for the religious doctrines of the Institution significantly embrace them in every part of its ritual ... The Old Charges prescribe that a Mason, while left to his particular opinions, must be of that 'religion in which all men agree, that is to say, the religion which teaches the existence of God and an eternal life.'" [Lightfoot's Manual of the Lodge, p. 205].
The Masons take the Hiram mentioned in I Kings 7:13-14 and make him into their savior. "All believe in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a Mediator or Redeemer by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome and Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and have a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kiontse, the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, love, the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; Masons, Hiram." [Kentucky Monitor, pp. 14-15]. Thus they claim that there are multiple leaders to salvation. This is contrary to what the apostles taught concerning Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
They have their own baptism. "Qu: What are the symbols of purification necessary to make us perfect Masons? Ans: Lavation with pure water, or baptism; because to cleanse the body is emblematical of purifying the soul." [Morals and Dogma, p. 538]. This contradicts Paul's assertion that there is just one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).
They also borrow and warp the Lord's Supper from Christianity. "Qu: What is to us the chief symbol of man's ultimate redemption and regeneration? Ans: The fraternal supper, of bread which nourishes, and of wine which refreshes and exhilarates, symbolical of the time which is to come ... And thus, in the bread we eat, and in the wine we drink tonight may enter into and form part of us identical particles of matter that once formed parts of the material bodies called Moses, Confucius, Plato, Socrates, or Jesus of Nazareth." [Morals and Dogma, p. 539].
They also offer up prayers. "Freemasonry is a religious institution, and hence its regulations inculcate the use of prayer" [Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 577].
"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). No, a Christian cannot serve the one true God and be a Mason.