Masonry and Deity

Monotheism is the sole dogma of Freemasonry. Belief in one God is required of every initiate, but his conception of the Supreme Being is left to his own interpretation. Freemasonry is not concerned with theological distinctions. This is the basis of our universality.

In lodge, a Mason may offer his devotions to the Deity he reveres using the title Great Architect of the Universe, no matter what name he may use in his private religious worship. Thus, Freemasons worship the Great Architect of the Universe – a symbol of Deity as named and worshiped in all lodges.

Freemasonry calls God, ‘The Great Architect of the Universe” (G.A.O.T.U.). This is the Freemason’s special name for God, because he is universal. He belongs to all men regardless of their religious persuasion. All wise men acknowledge His authority. In his private devotions a Mason will pray to Jehovah, Mohammed, Allah, Jesus or the Deity of his choice. In a Masonic Lodge, however, the Mason will find the name of his Deity within the G.A.O.T.U.”

Freemasonry has no formal clergy, yet “its ministers are the Masons who comprehend it,” and it is not bonded to any one canon, but will freely accept any “Volume of Sacred Law” (not necessarily the Holy Bible) as “indispensable furniture of every lodge.” Freemasonry claims it has no doctrine, yet its religious dogma is an integral part of its very being, “secured to it by its ancient Landmarks.” Yet, like the genius of American Civil Religion is not being vested in an institution, it is the genius of Freemasonry that it is not vested in any particular world religion. When the need arises to defend the legitimacy of the Craft and its unbiblical worldview, Freemasonry leverages the fact that its philosophy is in line with the ideals of the pluralistic society in which we live. “Freemasonry has tenets peculiar to itself. They serve as testimonials of character and qualifications, which are only conferred after due course of instruction and examination.

Freemasonry can ease the conscious of the Christian Mason by summonsing, at a moment’s notice, an example of a prominent Mason that is also a member of, or even a clergyman within virtually any denomination from which the Christian Mason may be affiliated. If he’s not a Christian, Freemasonry will always satisfy any other deistic choice, or provide an example of some new-age personality. Freemasonry is forever ready to become whatever she needs to be to maintain her function as a socially-unifying model of the “American Civil Congregation” within American Civil Religion. So that, once more, the Masonic Temple can be viewed in this context as, an “American Civil Church,” a presumed least-common-denominator or place for our national religious discourse.

“Every Mason must believe in God and in the immortality of the soul. The Volume of Sacred Law must be open on every Lodge Altar. A candidate takes his Obligations upon his knees. Before engaging in any important undertaking, a Mason seeks aid and guidance through prayer from the Sovereign Grand Architect of the Universe. This is religion, but it is not a religion. It is faith, but it is not a faith confined to any one creed. It is worship, but it is not a worship chained to any one Altar. In the great words of the First Book of Constitutions it is the religion in which all good men agree. It is the ground which underlies all religions, all churches, all creeds…”

In the same way, Freemasonry will always ask of its initiates, before the great undertaking of becoming a Mason and without specificity, “In whom do you put your trust?” Naturally, being programmed by the ideology of American Civil Religion, the candidate responds likewise without being specific, “in God” to which he is told, “your trust being in God, your faith is well founded, rise follow your conductor and fear no danger.”

The founding fathers of these United States of America, some of whom were Masons, established this country on Christian principles. By the same token, Freemasonry began in this country with a rather Christian facade. Yet, as America has become more culturally diverse, more pluralistic, Freemasonry has too become increasingly polytheistic.