This article is intended to deal with topic mentioned
in the article “What is Freemasonry”
It explains the united Grand Lodge of England’s
& the Grand Lodge of Ireland’s view of the relationship
between Freemasonry and Religion.
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor it is a substitute
for religion. It demands of its members a belief in a Supreme
Being but provides no system of faith of its own.
Freemasonry is open to men of all religious faiths. The discussion
of religion at its meetings is forbidden.
The Supreme Being
The names used for the Supreme Being enable men
of different faiths to join in prayer (to God as each sees Him)
without the terms of the prayer causing dissension among them.
There is no separate Masonic God; a Freemason’s
God remains the God of the religion he professes.
Freemason’s meet in common respect for
the Supreme Being, but He remains Supreme in their individual
religions, and it is no part of Freemasonry to attempt to join
religions together. There is therefore no composite Masonic God.
Volumes of the Sacred Law
The Bible, referred by Freemasons as the volume
of the sacred law, is always open at every Masonic meting as well
as Volumes of the sacred law of other religions.
The Obligations of Freemasonry
The Obligations taken by Freemasons are sworn
on or involve the Volume of the Sacred Law, or the book held sacred
by those concerned. They are undertakings to help keep secret
a Freemason’s means of recognition, and to follow the principals
The physical penalties, which are purely symbolic,
do not form part of an Obligation. The commitment to follow the
principals of Freemasonry is, however, deep.
Compared with Religion
Freemasonry lacks the basic
elements of religion.
a) It has no theological
doctrine, and by forbidding religious discussion at its meetings
will not allow Masonic theological doctrine to develop.
b) It offers no sacraments.
c) It does not claim to lead to salvation by works, by secret
knowledge or by any other means. The secrets of Freemasonry are
concerned with modes of recognition and not with salvation.
Freemasonry is far from
indifferent to religion. Without interfering in religious practice
it expects each member to follow his own faith, and to place above
all other duties his duty to God, by whatever name He is known.
Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.
Freemasonry is thus a supporter