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Should Christians Be Involved In Freemasonry? - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2023 12:00 pm

Should Christians Be Involved In Freemasonry? - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas

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December 30, 2023 12:00 pm

This week we discuss the teachings of Freemasonry that oppose biblical Christianity, examine some of its roots, answer the question "is in fact a religion", The Lodge’s emphasis on rituals, symbols, and good works, and we contrast its beliefs and practices with a discerning Biblical worldview. 


We welcome Pastor John Pennell of Calvary Chapel of Lake Villa in Illinois to share his expertise on Freemasonry.

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Blessings to Israel presents Discerning the Times, a program committed to encouraging you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please join us for today's program.

Amen. Hey, as you can see, we are in a brand new study. It's called what? Free Masonry. Now, if I were to give the title for this study, I would do it something like this.

Free Masonry is not for Christians. Hello. And I wanted to deal with this. It's kind of a shot across the bow a little bit, but I thought, you know what? If ever this is the only study you could ever watch, and if this is the only one for an online community ever watch, who knows if it's going to ever make it to YouTube, whatever.

But you would just at least with this one study, it would be loud and clear demonstrated to you. Do not get involved in this. This is not Christian. This is straight from the pits of hell.

And you're going to see that tonight. Free Masonry is not for Christians, not to mess with, not to flirt with, not to be a part of. Welcome to Discerning the Times.

My name is Brian Thomas. So great to be with you as always. And today we're going to continue a series that we began earlier this year in which we were looking at secret societies. We took a look at sororities and fraternities. Should Christians be involved in them? And so today we're going to look at free Masonry. So I am very delighted and honored to have Pastor John Pannell here with me today to discuss this very vital topic. He and his wife, Lily, have been in ministry at Calvary Chapel of Lake Villa since 1994. In July of 1999, he was called to be the senior pastor of the church and has served in that capacity since that time. John and Lily have been married for 45 years. They have two children, five grandchildren, and John is a graduate of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa's School of Ministry. He also spent 20 years as a brick Mason. And so again, he is here to discuss free Masonry. And we've already heard from the opening clip, our position as Christians, that was actually Billy Crone of Sunrise Bible Church in Las Vegas, Nevada. And so pastor John, I want to thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to come on to speak with us today.

Well, it's my pleasure to be with you. So again, we're here to have you talk to us about free Masonry, your background with it. Um, and your exposure to it.

But before we get to that, I want to share one more clip to get us going. That actually speaks to the secrecy within the free Masonry society. It's the world's most well-known secret society, rich with symbols and ritual. It's a source of legends, parodies, and conspiracy theories. Because so much organized crime uses the Masonic secret system and the good old boy network to be able to get away with murder.

And I mean, murder. Welcome to the world of freemasonry freemasons laid the cornerstone of America. Well, at least some of its most iconic structures. So what is freemasonry? Simply put it's the world's oldest and largest fraternity. If you want to be a Mason, you can petition a local lodge for membership. You'll need to demonstrate good character and belief in some sort of Supreme being.

Oh, and in almost all lodges, it's men only next you're up for a vote explains former New York state grandmaster James Sullivan. The lodge votes to accept you. And then you have the three degrees that you go through. Once you earn the third degree and yes, that's where the phrase comes from. You can join any number of Masonic offshoots.

Take Brent Morris. He's a 33rd degree Mason and a historian at the house of the temple for the Supreme council of the Scottish right of the Southern jurisdiction. You know, it's that big building in Washington, DC. This isn't like the Masonic Vatican, but it's a, it's an important building. It's an important building.

Absolutely right. It's one branch of freemasonry in the United States. And that's our headquarters building inside the temple.

Lodge room is a stunner. And downstairs there's this, this is the flag that both Aldrin took to the moon with him. This flag Supreme council, 33 Southern jurisdiction that went to the moon. Wow.

All right. So pastor John, talk to us, if you will, about your childhood and your exposure to the Mason Masonic lodge. Yeah, I grew up around the Masonic lodge. My dad, although he became a pastor he was not a believer in Jesus Christ when he was in his early twenties.

At some point he became a believer when he was 28. So the lodge for him happened in his early twenties. And for me, I grew up around the Masonic lodge. It was the oldest lodge in the state of Illinois in Waukegan, Illinois, lodge number 78.

It was a huge four story brick and stone building with brand rooms, sitting rooms, formal sitting rooms, auditoriums, ballrooms, dining hall. And then they had their secret rooms to the Masonic order. So I kind of grew up around it, but not participating at all. I remember going to maybe lodge meeting nights and just kind of running around the big building with my friends while dad and mom were off doing their thing somewhere else. And so, you know, for me, it was more about when they had meals together when they maybe had picnics or at Easter or Christmas, they always did something special for the kids and kind of just grew up around it, very familiar with it in that sense, but never participated in the lodge activities themselves. And what was your dad's rank? And oftentimes we know as children, especially sons, they like to emulate and idolize their dad sort of following their footsteps.

So what was your dad's ranking? And did you also ever have a desire or an interest to also follow his path in getting into the Freemasons? Yeah, he was, the video clip that you just played talked about the third degree. There's actually in the Scottish Rite, and that's what it's referring to. There's 33 degrees in the Scottish Rite. My dad was a 32nd degree Mason. So he made it to the top of the degrees that you can work toward. The 33rd degree is something you have to be invited into.

And so you can't earn it by reading books or doing whatever their process might be. That's something where you're, it's an honorary degree that's given to you. And it's like the highest level of achievement for the Freemasons.

But underneath that is the 32nd degree. And I said of the Scottish Rite because there is also a York Rite division of the Freemasons, and they have a whole different structure than that of the Scottish Rite. So dad not only was a 32nd degree Mason, he was also the grandmaster of his lodge at one point.

And as far as emulating him, yes, as far as being a preacher, but no desire for the lodge. And he asked me, he invited me to be part of it. He wanted to sponsor me in it. And I asked him why I should want to join the lodge. Now I grew up around it. And the lodge itself would talk about its fraternity, its good works that they do. And this is going to be the fifth show that I've recorded on the Masonic Lodge.

And I began to think more and more about it because I'm getting more questions about it. I don't remember any good works. My dad's lodge ever did. I don't remember them being in the community in that sense.

I remember picnics, but it was always internal. You know, they maybe invite friends who they wanted to become lodge members, but it wasn't like an outreach to the community. But I asked him why I should want to be part of the lodge. And everything he explained to me, I responded to him. I said, all that you explained to me is what the church is supposed to be doing.

So if the church is failing, then the church has a problem. So no, I never went any further than that conversation with my dad. It just kind of turned him down. And maybe it meant a lot to him.

I don't know. I was in my young 20s at the time. And so maybe I just didn't care how I responded to that. I knew the lodge meant something to him, but it had no appeal to me. And so what happened between my dad becoming a believer and then a pastor is that he raised me up to know the word of God. And I knew that there was conflict within the Masonic Lodge. So that kept me back. So he did a good job in one sense of teaching the word of God, that I knew that there was conflict there. So I wanted to stay away from it.

All right. So your dad was definitely a high ranking member. And I want to now play a clip which speaks to the very thing that you were talking about as far as the different degrees of Masonry. Freemasonry defines itself as being a system of morality. The basis of Freemasonry, which all masons go through is the blue lodge, the blue lodge being the first three degrees or levels of Freemasonry, entered apprentice, the first degree fellow craft, the second degree and master Mason, the third degree. Most masons never go beyond third degree.

Although if one chooses to go beyond the blue lodge, there are two routes that can be taken. One is the York right and one is the Scottish right. Most masons who decide to go past the blue lodge enter the Scottish right of Freemasonry.

The Scottish right has 32 degrees. The 32nd can lead one into the Shriners. If one so chooses the 33rd degree, which does exist is largely honorary. Many masons go through the first three degrees, become a master Mason, and they just quit there thinking that this is just a nice fraternal organization. And they do not realize that their own leaders have consciously lied and deceived to them because they do not want them to know the true teachings of Masonry. I went in there with all good intentions thinking I was entering into a fraternity that was really interested in helping people.

But now I realize that in the lower echelons, in the lower degrees, you don't realize what's happening. Well, the meaning of the lodge and what it was about to me was a group of people who were out to help other people. And there were different things that you could see in the lodge. The people were close together.

They were bound by something. And I thought it was a Christian organization. What made one think that the lodge was a Christian place was the fact that I found people who were members of the same church to which I belong, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, were members of the lodge, members in prominent positions in the lodge. And the fact that these members in their rituals used quotations from scripture sort of doubly made one think that it was okay. They think that they are actually being initiated into a Christian organization. And it's because the three degrees in the Blue Lodge are veiled in a veneer of Christianity. So John, I think it's interesting that things are presented in a way in which there are a lot of people that seem to think they're getting involved into a Christian organization.

But you said from the beginning, when it was presented to you by your dad to be in it, you knew there was a conflict of interest there. Yeah, partly because the more I've learned about the lodge itself is that it is deemed as a Christian organization here in the United States, mostly because the United States was a Judeo-Christian country at the time. But if you were part of the Jewish lodge, then it wouldn't be the Bible that we're accustomed to on the altar. It would be the Old Testament that the book that the Jews would study. If you were of Islam and part of being part of the lodge, then it would be the Quran that would be on the altar. And so it's not the biblical, I would say the Bible or the Quran that is important to the Masons. The important thing is the belief in that there is the architect of the universe and the belief in God itself.

And the means by which you believe in God really doesn't matter to them. So there is other gospels being presented in that itself. And also they have the Bible. It's always on the altar. They would say that one of my dad's lodge members, I talked with him about this specifically, and he told me that the Bible is always on the altar, but often when they use God's word, if it would have the name of Jesus, they will conveniently remove the name of Jesus from that passage of scripture. And so take away from the word of God, which we know is a very dangerous thing as well.

Yeah, absolutely. And as interesting as I mentioned earlier, we've done a series on sororities, Greek sororities and fraternities. And I've heard the same accounts there with them and their ritual books in taking scriptures and altering them to make it sound like Christianity, but it's actually presenting something different. So if you will, John, also talk to us about the origin, because a lot of people hear the term and the name Freemasonry, but really I don't think know what it comes from. So what is the origin of the organization?

Yeah, it goes back to England. Well, if you talk to a Mason, they take it all the way back to Solomon's temple. But if you historically look at the lodge itself, it goes back to the Masons of Europe when they were building castles and cathedrals. And it was actually a trade guild that they had formed to take care of the Masons and their laborers. The first Grand Lodge was actually formed to take care of widows and orphans of the Masons who had died on the job. And so to me, I mean, I was a real brick and stone Mason. So to me, it's like a union that's gone wild that they formed this with a good intent.

But what happened over in Europe is eventually the castle, the cathedrals ended. And soon you had Masons and laborers who are basically out of work and they have these lodges that they were meeting at and no new Masons coming on the scene. So they began to introduce other people for membership. So operative Mason would be someone who actually knew how to lay brick and stone.

And then the speculative or septed Mason were men who would join the lodge without having any of these trade skills. And it was there formed in 1717, the first Grand Lodge in England. It's actually three smaller lodges that joined together. And while many countries and their lodges all over the world, while many of the countries only have one Grand Lodge, each state in the United States has a Grand Lodge.

And then they have the national lodge there in Washington, which was spoken of in one of the earlier clips that we listened to. Hmm. Interesting. That, that is very interesting because I've, I've wondered myself as to how it actually got started as, as truly like a, from a profession of, of brick Masons, but how it then went into a secret society. And as you said, something that started with good intentions, but we, we know the devil he's deceptive.

He would try and twist things as much as he can in order to, to get it to go in a negative direction. So that's very interesting. And I've actually heard that there was a time when Catholics began to come up with the payment of indulgences is what it was called to pay Masons. And from my understanding for one example, for a payment indulgence was $2 and 15 cents for someone having had sex with a prostitute. So meaning you went out and you had sex with a prostitute, you know, it's wrong. You're remorseful, you know, you sin. So you go to the Catholic priest, you pay this money supposedly to forgive your sins. And we know as Christians, that's, that's not going to take care of your sins, but that money was used to pay Masons.

Honey, you should mention that. I meant to look it up, but just last month, the current Pope made an announcement to all the Catholics in the world that no Catholic should be part of Freemasonry. So he took a pretty strong stance that will probably get them in trouble. But anyways, I meant to look up that quote, but I had heard it and I just found it interesting. My ears are open, just like you know, we have all these social media stuff. You're looking through your social media. And I saw someone connected to Epstein that was found dead. And the title or the headline of the social media thing said that she was found hanging from a doorknob in a Masonic style killing. And it's like, what? So I hear all these things and my ears are just kind of open to them.

And I was trying to look up the Masonic style doorknob hanging, but it's kind of hard to find information on that, but these things are making headlines. So yeah, it began in innocence. And in the sense, I think that's what Satan does, right?

He takes something that he can get his foothold in. And I think the secrecy of the lodge itself, this goes back to the origins itself. And it was even the same when I became a brick mason. I couldn't just go to the union and say, I want to be a brick mason. I had to have two other masons willing to sign for me and say that this man can be a brick mason. You know, they had to put their name behind me to become a mason. And that's how the lodge was originally is you had to have a mason kind of put his name on the line saying, yes, this guy can be a laborer.

He can be a brick mason. And that continued on when they began to bring in the accepted or speculative masons, those who couldn't actually lay brick or stone. They were either accepted into the lodge or they were not. And so this formed that whole secrecy kind of built on the secrecy that's found with the lodge today itself.

And you know, that's the thing that really contrasts with our Christian faith. As I was speaking with the author of a book earlier this year, when we did our series on fraternities and sororities, he was mentioning the fact that, well, Christianity, the Bible is an open book. There are no secrets. It's open for anyone in the world.

You don't have to go through any particular ritual. Even people who have not received Christ as savior can read the Bible. But when you see the other side, all these secrets, you see that common characteristic.

And I think that should be a red flag for people to, to, with anything. If you say people are trying to keep things in the dark, you should ask yourself the question, why is that? Because Jesus Christ, he is the light. He shines the light on things. He doesn't keep things in secrecy. So, um, so that's, that's just a very interesting characteristic that I have picked up on. How did your dad also feel about the Masonic brotherhood?

Um, we talk about the, the things that they do as a group and as a community and the bond that they have with one another. How did your dad feel about that? I think this is probably where my dad benefited quite a bit in the sense of the promise of the lodge is that of brotherhood, charity, the advancement in employment or public life. And I think, um, the employment side of it, my dad worked at a factory, came from Southern Illinois, moved up to Northern Illinois, which a lot of people did from Illinois to Kentucky to Tennessee to Arkansas. There was a lot of Southern folks that made their way into the area where we live just to work at the factories around Chicago and between Chicago and Milwaukee. And, uh, I even worked where my dad worked for a short time. I couldn't stand it, got out of it pretty quick, but I discovered that, um, my foreman one day, I was in the office talking with him. He wanted to talk with me because of their plans they were making for me that, uh, I noticed that he had a Masonic ring on and, uh, I just said, Oh, my dad's a Mason.

Do you know him? And he happened to be a black man. So he just flat out laughed at me and said, I believe that we belong to different lodges. That was the first time, first time that I, it really dawned on me.

That's right. I had never seen, you know, a black man as part of the lodge that my dad was part of, but the lodge was there. And I believe that a lot of the, uh, foreman's and a lot of the people in my position in that factory were all part of the Masonic lodge.

In fact, my dad had a stroke when he was in his mid thirties and it took six months just being in the hospital before he had the heart surgery. This was all the pioneer days of heart surgery and, uh, they held his job for him. And I believe that they held the job because he was a Mason. And so he may have benefited from the charity of being part of the Masons themselves. But what you were saying before about the secrecy of that, I remember asking my dad about, you know, what goes on in the lodge. And he basically said, join the lodge and you can find out. And I said, well, that's kind of backwards, isn't it? You know, I just keep calling back to Jesus saying, let your yes be yes.

And your no being no, any more than this is of the evil one. And so if it has to be held in secret like that, then there should be cautions and red flags going up. Absolutely.

Absolutely. All right, John. Well, we're going to pause there for this week is we're out of time, but we're not done. So to our listening audience, please come back because pastor John is going to be with us next week. We have a lot more to uncover and dig deeper into this topic, but share with our listeners, if you will, how they can get in contact with you and learn more about Freemasonry and, and to follow your ministry. Well, I think the easiest way to connect with us is through our church's web page at cclv.org. I almost gave you an email address, sorry, cclv.org.

And that stands for Calvary Chapel of Lake Villa. And you can find out information about our church on the website site there. And we have a radio ministry and I have podcasts that play Monday through Friday that's actually connected with the radio ministry. But there's so many ways that you can get God's word out today that we just try to take advantage of whatever the Lord puts before us.

Absolutely. Well, I praise God for you, all the great things that you are doing. And we look forward to having, having you back with us next week. And thank you for coming on to join us this week, pastor John Pinnell of Calvary Chapel of Lake Villa. So we want to thank you, John, for being with us.

Thank you listening audience for tuning in and please come back and join us next week. Cause we will continue discussing Freemasonry as we discern the times by viewing life through the lens of the Bible until then, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel to the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever.

Amen. Thank you for tuning into discerning the times. Please come back and join us next week as we continue to encourage you to view current events through the lens of the Bible until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God. Discerning the times is presented by blessings to Israel.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-30 12:07:26 / 2023-12-30 12:17:15 / 10

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