Freemasonry and the Altar of Pluralism

by Cris Putnam

My wife and I visited our nation’s capital last week.  Along with perusing Smithsonian museums, the Capital building and various monuments we did something off the beaten path and visited The Hall of the Temple which is the headquarters of Scottish Rite freemasonry. Mammoth sphinxes guard the massive building styled after classical Greek temples. This YouTube clip will give you an idea of the size of the building. Completed in 1915, it was designed by John Russell Pope, architect of other notable Washington buildings, including the National Gallery of Art and the Jefferson Memorial. Many of our nation’s leaders like George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Gerald Ford and 13 other presidents as well as Senators Charles Schumer and Robert Dole; Chief Justice Earl Warren and other Supreme Court justices have been and are Masons and Masonry is a major influence American policy. The Scottish Rite is for those who progress beyond the initial degrees of the blue lodge to more advanced involvement.

We happened to arrive at a time when there were no other tourists so we were able to get a private tour. Our tour guide was an American University intern who said he was not a Mason although I got the distinct impression that it was his ambition to become one.  Once inside, Egyptian hieroglyphics and numerous esoteric symbols adorn a vast atrium. As you ascend the central staircase you discover the building’s nine-foot-thick walls hold the remains of Albert Pike and John Henry Cowles.

In a second-floor inner sanctum called the Temple Room, coiling snakes of bronze flank a large wooden throne, canopied in purple velvet, referred to as the seat of the sovereign grand commander. Our tour guide generously offered that we take a seat. The room is impressive and has all of the trappings one would expect of a mystical ritual room. What I found most interesting was the central altar which featured religious texts from Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Our guide was quick to inform us that one can be a monotheist or a polytheist, as along as one believes in a creator god, one can be a mason. He also said, “…any religion other than Satanism is acceptable for obvious reasons.”

Accordingly, the details of a Mason’s religious faith are irrelevant as it pertains to membership in the Lodge. It is only necessary that he affirm a deity. So the Lodge includes Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and followers of other religions. The problem with this is obvious because most all of those religions make exclusive truth claims. It seems to me that if you are a consistent follower of any of those religions (except Hinduism) that you cannot embrace the pluralism of Masonry.  As we moved through the building, we entered another smaller meeting room and it also featured a central altar with the holy books of Islam, Judaism and Christianity (see smaller altar pictured below). Is this compatible with Christianity?

Most denominations say no but the Southern Baptist Convention offered a statement concluding that membership in the Lodge is “a matter of individual conscience.”[i] This anemic evaluation by the SBC has effectively served as an endorsement of the Lodge in the eyes of Masons. In The Scottish Rite Journal one Mason has concluded:

Because of your support, the vote of the Southern Baptist Convention is a historic and positive turning point for Freemasonry. Basically, it is a vitalization of our Fraternity by America’s largest Protestant denomination after nearly a year of thorough, scholarly study. At the same time, it is a call to renewed effort on the part of all Freemasons today to re-energize our Fraternity and move forward to fulfilling its mission as the world’s foremost proponent of the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.[ii]

I think the SBC has made a grave error with such a weak statement. An overwhelming majority of denominations denounce Freemasonry as incompatible with Christianity and sources have reported that 1993 convention was overrun with masons.  As a Bible believing Christian, I want to offer and argument as to why the Masonic view of the God of the Bible is inconsistent with the Bible’s claims.

The central altar contains many divergent holy books

The Masonic view is that although the Bible is an important book it is not the exclusive Word of God. It is a good guide for morality and works righteousness. In Masonry, the Bible is one of many divine revelations of the Great Architect of the Universe to mankind, it is only one among many.  The Scottish Rite’s principle text, Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike, illustrates the position that other texts (even secular philosophy) are as inspired as the Bible:

The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and Philo, also, were inspired.[iii]

In this paragraph, Pike is speaking of the book of Revelation (Apocalypse) and offers some disturbingly vague thoughts about Lucifer (from the Vulgate rendering of Isaiah 14). Many argue this is a cryptic endorsement of Luciferianism. Although it seems to be in the form of rhetorical question, the words “Doubt it not!” are not too ambiguous. Even so, what is not at all cryptic is the view that all traditions are divine revelations. Thus, we see that pluralism is inherent in and foundational to masonic philosophy.  At a minimum, Freemasonry is Universalist and deistic at its core.

The Christian faith requires its adherents to give exclusive deference to the Bible. It follows necessarily that to deny the Bible’s exclusive authority is to deny its purpose to declare that Jesus Christ alone has provided the means of salvation through his sacrificial substitutionary atonement for the sins of the world.  Christians regard the Bible as the exclusive and authoritative Word of God and Jesus affirmed:

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”(Lk 24:44)

The Bible claims inspiration of the Old Testament (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19-21) and the New Testament (1 Thes 2:13; 1 Cor 2:13; 2 Pet 3:16) and it claims that salvation is exclusively through Christ (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12). The Bible claims that this is for all people everywhere (Jn 3:16) and pertains to the whole world (Gen 17:5-9; Acts 2:39. 3:25). Because the Bible’s message is universal in scope and exclusive in efficacy, it cannot possibly be just one inspired book among many and no other religion can be correct if it is true. It’s either exclusively true or its false, the law of excluded middle applies. Thus, Freemasonry’s view of the Bible is contradictory and the altar of pluralism is an affront to its claims.

More of our personal photos available here:

[i] A Report on Freemasonry (Atlanta: Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1993), 6.

[ii] The Scottish Rite Journal (August 1993), cited by John Weldon, “The Masonic Lodge and the Christian Conscience,” Christian Research Journal 16/3 (Winter 1994):21.

[iii] Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, page 321.

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.


  1. Cheryl says:

    The first impression, based upon your images, is one of status and luxury. From a worldly perspective, beckoning the individual to desire to belong to such an exclusive, impressive, and powerful group. It would seem that this group has well developed their agenda to appeal to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Fully espousing the trifold plan of our enemy into their organization (read: religion).

    Praise Jesus we know the Truth. In knowing the truth, we really need to humbly beseech our Lord and Savior to send His Holy Spirit to open the eyes of those who would be, and those who are, blinded by the appeal of this organization dedicated to the opposite of what we know as Divine Truth and Salvation through Jesus, alone. Those in power within this organization, both spiritual and physical, whisper the same seducing words as the serpent in the garden whispered to Eve. Again, we need to pray against the power of these lies being made to those who might be deceived.

    Thank you for your ministry and blessings in Christ Jesus.

  2. Alf says:


    I’m about done reading Windswept House and, while I have reservations about the ratio of fiction to “faction” in Fr. M Martin’s book, I did find the following links interesting.

    I imagine that Fr John O’Connor “figured” somewhere in Fr Martin’s book. You can read about him here (if you haven’t already)

    Note the character Father Donald Goergen who hounded O’Connor down. You can check him out @

    His bio reads like one of the characters out of Martin’s book. Interesting.

  3. Sandra McGuire says:

    Ephesians 4:5-6

    One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

    God is above, through and in ALL men, therefore Christ is in all also. What the key is, we must Love God with all our Hearts and our Neighbor as ourselves. It matters not what label you put on your religious beliefs, what matters is our Loving God first and foremost.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Sandra, What do you mean by that? Paul wrote Ephesians exclusively to Christians. He also said that the gods of other religions were idols and demons. “Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.(1 Co 10:20)

  4. Kate says:

    People who join masonic lodges are tempted by “Carnal and Fleshly” gain. Whether the individual gains lifelong customers for their businesses, gifts or loans of interest free money, or promises of having loyal friends for life for those seeking a sense of “fellowship and belonging” with other males. This temptation was 1st utilized by satan in the garden towards Eve. Of course satan tried to tempt the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ , but was a miserable failure to be sure. We need to pray for ALL of our brothers/sisters who ARE part of the body that is Not built by human hands, but IS being built in Spirit and in Truth by the ONE and Always Faithful Shepard Jesus Christ. We must also pray that the Lord GOD Almighty decides to lift the veil from their blind eyes from those He chooses to do so. I live in this world, but am NOT of the world. Praise the Lord Jesus who IS our Salvation!

  5. Eric says:

    I am getting so tired of people not researching history or fact about Freemasonry. Blue lodge First, Then and only then can you walk other steps. One path is Scottish Rite, the other is York Rite. York Rite, you have to believe and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus, Bless these fools and then smack them up side the head ( any side ok with me ) with enlightenment.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Eric, This post was obviously about Scottish rite. But all of that is academic because even the most basic levels of blue lodge are inconsistent with Biblical Christianity. The oaths and secrecy alone are opposed to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

  6. - says:

    Spurious SBC endorsements caused dissenting congregations to become nondenominational.

  7. Janet R says:

    I was in Job’s Daughters when I was 16. To be in Job’s Daughters your father or grandfather must be a Mason. I rose to the position of chaplain. I told God I wanted to lead the others in worship of Him, the Great God Almighty. He replied to me (silently and with great love), “Oh, really.” I walked the rectangle squaring my corners perfectly and bowed before the altar to recite the memorized prayers. Suddenly it was like the Lord moved a spiritual curtain and I could see through the top of my head. Crouched on the top of that altar was a demon dog that hated me with more hate than I had ever dreamed was possible. It wanted to destroy me, but feared discovery by the others more than it hated me. I stammered something and fled to my seat. I only returned once several months later because I doubted myself and my experience. It was still there. I am sure it is still there today. I tell the truth and not a lie because I love the Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and His Son, Yeshua, the true Messiah of the Living God. I seek only to glorify Him through revealing to others what He had the mercy to reveal to me. Many will doubt what I have to say, but I am telling the truth. I believe that He revealed to me what was really on that altar because I truly was worshiping God Almighty and truly wanted to glorify Him with my actions. I was there in ignorance thinking I was doing something that honored my family since my grandfather was a Mason, a Shriner, and a member of the Scottish Rite. Well believe me or not, I will still proclaim the truth, hoping that some will listen and turn away from this deception: God Almighty, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not who they are worshiping.
    From what I read and understand through my additional studies, the Blue Lodge is a filter where anyone who will not willingly proceed through the mysteries of the “great architect” is parked. Many men at this level believe they are following the God of the Bible. They are probably strong moral people, but that is why they will “rise” no further in the ranks. They have taken blind oaths that bind them to the organization and its principles. Those who are “deemed worthy” are taught the greater mysteries and might proceed on to “higher levels” eventually leading possibly into the 33rd degree where they learn who they are worshiping (clue – If not God then???). By this time they are so bound up in the teachings that it all makes sense to them, after all they have great worldly power, and so everything must be alright, right? Not!!!! Yeshua said, (John 14:6) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me.” That doesn’t sound very multipathed to me, just plain old, sometimes hard to stomach truth. Amen. I had to forsake the way of my forefather, but I found the way of the Living God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now they are my spiritual forefathers. Thanks be to God!!! He is mighty to save! Amen and amen.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Janet, Thank you for sharing your testimony! I believe you and I think what you are saying is true about those in the lower levels, it is sad that many are drawn into the organization as a civic or charity group. However, I think the requirements of secrecy and oaths should throw up red flags to all (Matt 5:37; James 5:12). Thanks for having the courage to share your story, I hope it helps to steer people toward the truth.

  8. I’m really wondering these days as I see that Freemasonry is being discussed more openly, especially on TV shows like America Unearthed, if the cult is planning a more open stance with the public than it has had in the past. I’m also wondering if this is a lead up to an overall more visible presence than before. I’m sure that greater visibility will add to Freemasonry’s New World Order plans and may be a major component. With America Unearthed’s host Scott Wolter’s frequent comments and revelations on the role of Freemasonry in the subjects he explores on the show especially in the founding of America and Freemasonry’s overwhelming influence on the Founding Fathers. I think that the public is being prepared for a much more visible and prominent presence of Freemasonry in the nation’s affairs. I’m also wondering about the extent of what this could portend. What do you think? I’m also quite convinced that this really is a cult, a false pagan and occult religion no matter what their protestations to the contrary are. Is this the MOST dangerous organization in the country? In the world? I think there are some pretty obvious reasons for wondering and fearing this organization. With so many of our neighbors and associates being Masons, this may be the largest and perhaps the main driving force in the world today for Luciferian one-world government.


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