The Non-Christian Mason

Ferris Thompson was sitting on a bench outside of the lodge building, enjoying a pipe full of Marlin Flake. One of the younger, more progressive members of the lodge, Sean, came out of the building and sat by him.

“I hear that Brian dimitted from the lodge,” he said, “he gave some reasons including the fact that he determined that since Masonry wasn’t solely Christian in nature, he didn’t feel he could belong.”

“Is that so?” asked Ferris. “Well, if that’s what he has decided then it is what is best for him.”

“Yup. I just don’t get guys like that. Christians—especially church goers—are just so ignorant. Don’t they know that the Jesus story has been told a million times before? Or that the origins of their religion are just as pagan as the origins of any other? I think that any Mason that still considers himself a devout Christian has no place in the organization.”

Ferris puffed on his pipe for a couple of moments, composing his thoughts.

“So who convinced you to come to that conclusion?”

“Well, I did. I studied Christianity and spirituality a lot and it didn’t take long for me to realize it was worthless.”

“Hmmm…that is interesting indeed. But did you ever consider the early Christians that closely examined their religion like Paul and John? What about Martin Luther or John Calvin? There certainly have been men that studied Christianity much more thoroughly than you have, so thoroughly that it consumed their entire lives and yet they still subscribed to the Christian religion. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a computer programmer.”

“So would you say you have devoted the majority of your life to the study of Christianity?”


“So who are you to tell these men that they are wrong? Who are you to tell any man who has devoted the same amount of time that you have to such study that they have come to the wrong conclusion?”

Sean became defensive, “Well, do you believe that Christian stuff?”

“Some of it, yes. Some of it, no. But it is my decision and my faith. In a Masonic lodge, no dogma is greater than any other. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or even personal, independent worship are perfectly equal in the lodge. Our symbolism is applicable to every religion and no religion at the same time. No one can look at the faith of his Brother and say ‘Mine is better.’”

Sean thought for a second and then said, “You can if they have developed an incorrect image of God.” He had a smirk on his face, he thought he had fooled his senior Brother.

“Have you ever met God?”

The smirk left Sean’s face. Ferris emptied the contents of his pipe bowl.

“My Brother, you have taken great steps to find the destination of your personal spiritual journey and I commend you for that. But you cannot degrade those that have taken another path. Are they not still traveling toward the same destination? A Mason must be tolerant, he must accept that others may disagree with him. Do Christian Masons have the right to tell you that you are wrong and that Masonry is a Christian organization?”

Sean swallowed, as though he was digesting his pride. “No they don’t…I suppose I have been a little hard headed about this, huh?”

“Sure you have, but now you’ve learned. Now suppose you give me your interpretation of the symbolism of the Third Degree based on your religious views and later we can discuss it from my perspective.”

Posted in The Euphrates and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Thomas Paine said that we need to demand more than just tolerance, which is little removed from intolerance, since both assume superiority of your own position, but that we must demand absolute freedom of conscience. Equality.

  2. Found this post via twitter. (@craftymason if ya wanna follow me). Great little story. Hope to see more of this in future. I’m subscribing to the RSS feed.

  3. I am a professed Christian who believes that my eternal salvation is sealed through my belief in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. While many Freemasons may not share my belief, the fact remains that Freemasonry has enriched and deepened my faith in Christianity, particularly after going through the York Rite, and it daily continues to grow my reliance on God.

    What I find so refreshing about Freemasonry is that regardless of your faith, Freemasonry can provide deep and spiritual insights that can help you better define your personal spiritual path. Freemasonry doesn’t really come out and say, “You need to believe this”, or “This is what a Freemason believes.” On the contrary, it gives us historical, mythological, and symbolic insights, by which each of us can develop our own spiritual understanding and path. And I personally believe that what conclusions you come to through Freemasonry will be ultimately colored by your personal religious beliefs.

    Regardless of specific religion, Freemasonry teaches great respect of and dependence upon God in all you do. It cannot be denied that the Blue Lodge is grounded in the teachings and stories of the Old Testament–the heritage of both Jews and Christians. Whether you believe then to be true or allegorical is your decision. I have made mine.

  4. The unusual. I am not Christian, I have gone through Knights Templar. My Faith takes the Jewish and Christian Faith as Holy Work, Work from God [preface to MY Faith].
    I found the Third Degree to enhance and deepen my knowledge of :
    1) History
    2) Jewish Works/Writings….
    3) Christian Works/Writings….

    IE it deepened MY Faith through its self. I am often informed that Masons should be Christian and Christian only …
    But you asked.

    ~My 2 Cents.

  5. A question for Christian Masons.

    A Christian must believe that the only way to salvation is through the personal acceptence of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Anything else is simply a one way ticket to Hell. This is the absolute core of Christianity.

    That being noted how can a Christian possibly be a Christian and be tolerant
    of all other faiths, as is at the core of Masonic teachings?

  6. You know, when I wrote these stories, there were several folks that I had met on the internet that I had in mind. For the the first story, “The Christian Mason,” I thought about all the people that have said that Masonry is a Christian organization. When I wrote the second article, “The Non Christian Mason,” I thought about some of the instances where I’ve seen those who reject Christianity mock those who follow that religion.

    You were one of the people on my mind, Brad.

    You proved my point by using this opportunity to say “Gotcha!” to all of the Christian Masons out there. I often see those of us who have strayed from mainstream Christianity in search for more enlightenment become intolerant of those who look for enlightenment in the confines of that religion. They are on the same journey that we are, but they are on a different path.

  7. Is it too much to ask for you to answer the question? You can stray from “mainstream” Christianity all you want. That being said the core of Christianity is that salvation is only avalible to those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and saviour.

    There it is. Don’t blame me, that is not my criteria.

    Now, one more time. How does a Freemason, who’s core beliefs should focus around tolerance, freethought and egalitarianism reconcile this when their religion is opposed to all of those things.

    This isn’t a “gotcha” at all. Please don’t accuse me of motives that simply aren’t there.

    Love and Light,

  8. Raum,
    I believe it is upto the individual Christian Mason to decide that the core values of Freemasonary fits with the Core values of Christianity.
    I know Christians who recite from the Bible that the Jewish Faith is the favored of God, and can’t explain how that can be and still follow the ‘accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.’, there is a paradigm shift in that regard. Some Christian Masons have expressed to me that since I believe as they do concerning their Faith, even though my Faith differs quite dramatically before and after the Christian Faith [by historical date], that I am a Christian/have been saved/am saved. Same with the Muslim Faith’s belief toward Christianity, same rational. But I have not had the conversation with Christian’s concerning Buddhists/Hindi, as I stated I don’t believe it is upto the Freemason Organization/Brotherhood to decide how they conflict or coincide, but the fact that the Brothers DO accept and DO conform with the Freemason message of tolerance allow Peace & Harmony prevail is the important point and a shining example.

    ~My Two Cents


  9. So glad i am a Buddhist, who believes in what the Real Jesus taught as opposed to what Christianity has to say about him and what he taught.
    Paramhansa Yogananda has the best take on just what Jesus was about.
    I have always been extremely uncomfortable with xtians masons working as hard as they can to make sure there are Saved Masons vs ‘unsaved’; especially as i am in a lodge in which it is about York rite saved xtians get respect and Scottish Rite, well, who needs them anyway? Since i am the lone SR, i stand against the current. The problem gutted our lodge which was The most active big and appreciated lodge in the state just about.
    I prefer Masonry to chirstianity anyday.

  10. James Staples, I so sorry you feel this way. I am not Christian, and take the Christian’s actions in and out of Lodge to heart that people are acting in what they believe is the best for our well being once we leave this plane. I believe in the Buddhist writings as well, just for clarification. When I run into resistance in Lodge, I view that as an opportunity for enlightenment to a fellow concerning the meaning of Freemasonry, not as a negative event, and I don’t “who needs them” because I realize they need me.
    To do otherwise seems to me to be a missed chance and would allow those misguided behaviors to continue. And angry opposition and aggression only harms the situation and a non-christian’s ability to be heard, I would feel as if I were walking in my own way under those circumstances … you also commented on York and Scottish Rites, I am Knight Templar, and am KNOWN to not be Christian, there IS a way, and it isn’t difficult. GL.

  11. This post sounds a lot like the Old Tyler Talks published many years ago.

    I happen to be a non-Christian Mason, truth be told, I am a Neo-Pagan Mason… not many of those around in my area, but the small group of us who are, have been met with intolerance from Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims alike. Our wives and children have even been turned a negative eye by Brethren who don’t share or understand our spiritual path. Its unfortunate, truly. Then again, we’re talking of Masons who, to this day, have not let a black man past the tyler’s chair. As Masons, we are taught to be educated individuals, but such blatant discrimination is complete ignorance. I’d like to read your post for Masonic Education next meeting, if you’ll allow it.

  12. This is a response to the comment left by Raum Sariel.

    Personally, the idea that a Christian must believe there is only one way to God and all others are going to hell… i think is just a product of the orthodoxy in power of Christian beliefs. There are and have always been mystical Christians who were not intollerent. Passages like “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes unto the Father but by me” can be thought in different ways. If you take a Jungian Archetypal view – Christ is just an Archetype… no man comes unto the “Father” (God) but by the Archetype of Jesus… that is, his actions, not Him personally… after all, was Jesus the physical body that may or may not have existed 2000 years ago? Or was it the intent He embodies?

    The idea that Christians are inherently intolerant is only due to the black & white thinking of Christian fundamentalists. There are Christians (such as the Unitarian Universalists) who accept other’s of different beliefs (such as Buddhists, Pagans, etc.) I’m not convinced that the Christian has to be intolerant.

    Ultimately the spiritual mind (Either Buddhist, Christian, Pagan, Muslim) looks beyond the letter of the law and finds the truth that binds him/her in peace with all others. At least that’s my opinion.

  13. I have not joined the Masons yet, however I do believe that the fundamentalist Christian view to be opposite of learning and science. I have knowledge of a grand design, that I hold in reverence. I will probally find a liberal minded Masonic lodge to join. Any ideas? Dennis

  14. When examined closely, I think most honest Masons will agree that Masonry is much more Christian than it appears to be on the surface.

  15. I am not a Mason. I found this article after a search for NonChristian lodges operating in the US. I would like to join a lodge but have been told that the fact that I am not a Christian will be an issue in my area. I would love any guidance toward finding a lodge where this would not hinder me from acceptance or participating in the fraternal life. (BTW in reading these comments I’m confused as to how a non Christian can be a Templar or participate in the Scottish Rite.)

  16. I am NOT a Christian.
    In fact, I am a confirmed Deist. My wife is a neo-Pagan. We live quite harmoniously, !even with six children.

    At each Lodge meeting I stand with my Brethren as prayer is given and is forever ended with “In the name of your son, Jesus. Amen!” Does it rankle? Certainly! However I always keep in mind that I am a minority of one in our Lodge. Do I wish that our fraternity would have some consideration of my faith or the faith of other non-Christians? Yes!

    The fact is, though, that we are fighting an up-hill battle here in the deep South.

    One thing stand true: Time is on our side! IF our fraternity is to survive we must go beyond talking the talk and begin walking the walk of the lessons we supposedly hold dear. Not only in the field of Faith, but in the field of Race as well. As time goes on, the hard core holdouts, (if their minds & hearts are not changed otherwise), will die off. Keep (your) faith, learn the lessons, study Freemasonry inside & out. In due course the wonderful Fraternity will grow into the 21st Century. Or soon die.

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