"I worship God through my membership in my organization" is a common statement heard from members of Greek/Freemason organizations when told their organization is one of Satan's evil attempts to deceive people. Is it true? Can a Christian claim they are worshiping the true God, Jehovah by the activities they partake in through their fraternity/sorority? What does the word of God say? What does it mean to "worship? These questions will addressed in the next points in this post series and those who have an ear to hear will hear from God the truth. Because this is a complex topic, this post will be broken down into four posts.
**This info sets the stage for each post:
First, what does it mean to worship in practical terms. Merriam defines worship as "to honor or reverence as divine being or supernatural power" or "two regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion".
John Piper (2016) gives this statement about worship of God, " The inner essence of worship is to know God truly and then respond from the heart to that knowledge by valuing God, treasuring God, praising God, enjoying God, being satisfied with God above all earthly things. And then that deep, restful, joyful satisfaction in God overflows in demonstrable acts of praise from the lips and demonstrable acts of love in serving others for the sake of Christ." (emphasis added)
Delesslyn Kennebrew (2012) wrote, "Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission(Webster's Dictionary,1828). True worship, in other words, is defined by the priority we place on who God is in our lives and where God is on our list of priorities. True worship is a matter of the heart expressed through a lifestyle of holiness." (emphasis added).
Giving sacrifices is a form of worship. In the Bible worship is defined in these scriptures:
Hebrews 13:15 "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."
Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Many who profess to be Christians and defend staying a member of their Greek/Masonic organization claim they are not idol worshiping, but again, we have look at what it means to 'worship'.
**This info sets the stage for each post
Point 4. Membership
How does one become a follower of Christ? Who is welcome to become a Christian? "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent," Acts 17:30. (emphasis added).
To become a member of a Greek/Freemason organization you have to be selected by the members.
Is a Christian selected by God based on what they do or who they are? "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
To become a member of a Greek/Freemason organization you must meet their selective criteria to look a certain way, be a certain skin color, be financially secure, have done community service, make good grades in school, and have a "good" reputation. If a person does not meet all these qualifications their petition to become a member will be denied; and, membership dues cost thousands of dollars, and to continue to remain a member, members will continue to spend thousands of dollars on yearly assessments, dues, paraphernalia, and other activities to promote the fraternity/sorority/lodge.
What is the process for becoming a Christian? Is it done in secret, in the dark with candles, kneeling at an altar, saying pledges and oaths to the church that the person is a part of? To become a Christian there is no ceremonial type activities at all (aside from public water baptism), but to become a Greek/Freemason a person will have to go through a ceremony, make oaths and pledges to give their heart and loyalty TO THE ORGANIZATION!
Jesus warns for His people to NOT make oaths in Matthew 5:33-37 "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely but shall perform your oaths to the LORD.' "But I say to you, do not swear at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,'No,' for WHATEVER IS MORE THAN THESE IS FROM THE EVIL ONE." (emphasis added).
Many try to deflect the issue about taking oaths saying things like, "You make oaths when you say the pledge of allegiance" or " You make pledges on your job" so there's nothing wrong with making pledges to their organization. Saying the pledge of allegiance or making a pledge at work are vastly different things than pledging your heart, mind, soul, and strength to an organization. I don't go around singing, "Oh, XYZ company, I love thee Oh, XYZ Company." People don't know what company I work for unless I wear some company t-shirt. And I don't pledge my heart, soul, strength to my job. God does not prohibit jobs, actually He expects able bodied people to work. Employers have expectations and as an employee me pledging to abide by that employers expectations is not idol worship; (now it is possible to turn a job into an idol but that is not the point of this post) and saying a pledge of allegiance to uphold the laws of the country I live in is still not the same as pledging my heart, mind, soul, strength.
Point 5. Identity
Another form or worship is good works, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16.
Does God look on the outside of a person, does He judge a person based on their clothing, skin color, bank account, prestige, education? No, God is no respector or persons. To be a part of these organizations you have to be deemed worthy by them, which is seeking acceptance by people, this is in direct opposition to the fact that God has already called His true followers worthy, we do not need to be accepted by man.
How should the public/non-believers identify a follower of Christ? According to Jesus, a true follower of His will be know by the 'love' that they show one another and genuine good works. Jesus makes it clear that just because a person does what is considered good works in the world does not mean those works meet God's standards, in fact Jesus calls them "works of lawlessness" (Matthew 7:23). Also, the love Jesus is talking about is agape, self-less, self-sacrificing love. If a person sees another person wearing a shirt, jacket, hat or anything else with that organizations emblems, what or who is that person going to acknowledge and identify first? If you see a guy wearing a shirt with Alpha Phi Alpha on it, you will assume this guy is member of this organization. Why do members wear paraphernalia? Is it to bring glory to God? Or is it to bring glory to themselves and their organization?
When new members are initiated into one of these organizations a common thing is for them to be given 'new names' called line name, another contrast is God gives His people new names like He changed Saul to Paul, and Abram to Abraham. Do these new line names represent newness in Christ or not? NO!!!
Point 6. Collusion
"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you now know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4. Many will profess they see the evil fruits of their organization (pride, lust, revelry, fornication, witchcraft, anger/rage, selfishness, covetousness, hazing) but they believe God wants them to stay to be a witness to their fellow members and they try to use scripture to justify this like the story of Daniel who was a slave in Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. They miss the point that Daniel was not there by choice, he was a slave. People join Greek/Masonic organizations of their own freewill.
Christians are called to a life of complete obedience to the Kingdom of God, to be holy, separate, to expose the works of evil but not make friends with it. The bible warns about colluding with the world, worshiping the things of this world and people, and participating in the sins of those who don't know God. Christians who are walking in the light are to not even eat with another believer who deliberately continues to live in sin, "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-not even eat with such a person." 1 Corinthians 5:11 and " 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. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?" 1 Corinthians 10:20-22.
These are points 4 thru 6 of 10.
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There is going to be a Day of Judgment, and God will judge everyone who has ever lived, His wrath is going to poured out on all the wicked and ungodly. The eyes of the unrepentant wicked need to be opened and the ears unplugged so they can see and hear the truth. In order for the children of Satan to become children of God they must believe The Good News , Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, born of a virgin; Jesus lived and died but He rose from Dead, and now offers anyone who will believe in Him Salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God, anyone who will believes in the shed blood of the risen Savior, Jesus, will know and have a real relationship with the true God. You can't work for it or buy because the price has already been paid with the Blood of Jesus Christ and Believing in Jesus gets us into the Kingdom of God and saves us from the righteous wrath of God. But that is not all, He gives us a new heart and mind NOW, and we receive some of His blessing from heaven NOW and are equipped to be able to live a life that is holy and acceptable to Him NOW. (Romans 6:9; 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:8, Isaiah 7:14, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
1. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is real, He lived and died and rose from the grave. (Romans 10:9-10)
2. Believe that you are a sinner, repent-turn from your sins and realize and accept you need Jesus. (Mark 1:15, Matthew 4:17, Acts 3:19)
3. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and God. (Romans 10:9)
4. Find a local Bible preaching church that does obey the commandment for water baptism for the remission of your sins and to identify yourself with Christ. (Acts 16:31)
This is just the first step to a lifelong journey of growing in truth and love with the God who created this earth and everything in it, including every human being that has ever lived.
Bible verses related to this post: Proverbs 4:23; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 105:1; Psalm 16:2; Psalm 95:6; Matthew 5:15-16; Isaiah 12:4; Psalm 73:25; Psalm 9:2; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 103: 1-4; Psalm 63: 3-4, 7-8; Psalm 100; Acts 17:30; Ephesians 2:8-9; Psalm 47:6-7: 2 Corinthians 9:7; Matthew 22:37; Matthew 5:37; Matthew 5:33-37; Matthew 5:16; Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 6:21; James 4:4; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 10:20-22; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Galatians 3:28; Matthew 20:25-28; Romans Chapter 1; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; Matthew 7:21-23; John 8:12; Deuteronomy 18:10-12
References: https://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/worship; https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-is-worship; https://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/bible-answers/spirituallife/what-is-true-worship.html; http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/g/greekindex.html
Erica Harris is a God Gifted Christian Coach, Counselor, providing insights and truths from the Word of God, The Bible.