Church of England raises concerns over Christians becoming Freemasons

The Church of England has raised concerns about Christians joining the Freemasons after the Bishop of Coventry brought up a 1987 report which pointed out several reasons to doubt the compatibility between the Christian faith and Freemasonry.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Eluveitie)Freemasons' Hall, headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, located in Great Queen Street. 15 April 2012.

At the Church of England's recent General Synod, Bishop Christopher Cocksworth addressed a question about the services held last year for the 300th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) in several of the Church's cathedrals. He answered that although no data had been collected regarding that, it was imperative that the services did not clash with the Church's doctrine, The Guardian relayed.

UGLE director of communications Michael Baker said the services held had followed the prayer book of the Anglican church. He added that the synod had never concluded that Freemasonry was not compatible with Christianity.

"The Anglican synod has never come to a conclusion on the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity," said Baker. "The 1987 report raised what [it] termed 'serious questions' and the synod recommended that they be discussed throughout the church. As far as we are aware those discussions have never taken place."

The 1987 report in question claimed that some Christians were clearly disturbed by the Masonic rituals and some viewed them as "positively evil." The document also said there were believers who had detached themselves from Masonic lodges because of these views.

In a question-and-answer column published on Crosswalk, former Casas Church pastor Dr. Roger Barrier shared the several things that bothered him when he had researched about Masonry and Christianity. He explained that masons acknowledged that all religions worship the same god but use different names to refer to him.

In addition, Dr. Barrier said Christians consider the Bible as the ultimate source of truth, but Masons believe it is just one of the many books that present the truth. He also pointed out that Jesus Christ is only considered one of the "many equally revered prophets."

"Masonry is not a Christian organization," Dr. Barrier said, while acknowledging that a number of Christian Masons do not fully understand the meaning of the vows and beliefs of the group.