My Masonic Testimony by Marshall Almarode
My Masonic History
I was raised in a Masonic family in Kennewick, Washington. My Dad was a 32-degree Mason and completed both the York Rite and the Scottish Rite. My Mother was in Eastern Star, and both my parents were in Amaranth. My parents also made sure that my brother and sister and I went to a Christian church almost every Sunday. In the summer of my sixth-grade year, at church camp, I became a “born-again” Christian. I joined DeMoley, the Masonic boys’ organization, in about the 9th or 10th grade. I was extremely dedicated and helped 15 other boys to join within two years. Three months after my 21st birthday, wanting to follow in my father’s footsteps, I joined the Kennewick Masonic Lodge.
What Was I Taught (As a Kid)?
I was raised to believe in honesty, justice, love, fidelity, respect, and brotherhood, among other virtues. I was taught that people should be decent human beings and respect their elders. I was taught that God would not send good, virtuous people to hell, and that anyone who is basically a good person will go to heaven. I was also taught that Masonry was not a religion, but a fraternal group helping good men get better.
Why Did I Join?
I knew that my father had gone through all the Masonic ceremonies up through the 32nd degree, and I was proud of my Masonic family heritage. With my parents’ encouragement and my DeMoley preparation, I felt confident I was doing the right thing by joining.
How Was I Admitted?
For my initiation into the Masonic Temple, I had to dress in funny clothes. I had only one shoe on, and a rope called a cable tow, which looked like a hangman’s noose, around my neck. I was blindfolded, then lead by the rope around the inner lodge room to different “stations.” I finally ended up kneeling at the altar in the center of the room. When my blindfold was removed, I was asked to repeat an oath which all Masons are required to take. I politely started following instructions and began repeating the oath of an Entered Apprentice Mason. Although it started out fairly innocently: “I, Marshall Almarode, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and this worshipful lodge … do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will always … conceal and never reveal any of the secrets, arts, parts, or points of the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry … to any person or persons whomsoever … except it be to a … brother Mason or in a lodge of Masons.” It ended with “Binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots, my body buried in the sands of the sea at low water mark where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever willingly or knowingly violate this my solemn oath of an Entered Apprentice Mason, so help me God and keep me steadfast.”
So What’s The Problem?
DeMoley had an oath of secrecy that we kept on our honor. However, as you can see, the Masonic oath contains a solemn promise of secrecy with a penalty of death. Initially, I wanted to become a Mason very strongly, so I tried to memorize this first oath of death. We were required to memorize it, and had to recite it, word perfect, in order to advance to the second degree. I never got that far; the more I memorized the words, the more they bothered me. I slowly became more convicted that there was something very wrong with this oath. I could not picture myself offering “my life to be taken if I revealed any of the secrets I learned” in the Masonic Temple that day. I kept remembering tidbits from my Christian training in the Bible: “Swear neither by Heaven nor by earth … but let your word be your deed.” At age 21, I didn’t know what to do. I just quit going. Eventually, I repented of the sin of swearing an oath of death. I remembered that Jesus came to give life and to save lives. I realized that this oath was against life (what Jesus stands for). I never told my dad the real reason why I quit going, I just told him I was too busy right now. I didn’t have the courage to tell my dad about my objection to the oath of death. Eight years later, my dad died of a heart attack. He was given a Masonic funeral and was buried in his Masonic apron. Four years after my dad’s funeral, I began collecting old Masonic books to learn more about Freemasonry.
I discovered that Masons have been violating their own oaths of death since the 1800s, by printing their complete ceremonies in books called rituals or monitors. I have now collected three bookshelves of Masonic books. One of the books is a First Edition Scottish Rite ritual printed in 1887. It contains the secret ceremonies and oaths of death performed on each candidate who takes any of the 17th through the 33rd degrees. Another book on my shelf is called Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor. It is readily available to the public in any B Dalton bookstore, and has been proclaiming the supposed secrets of Masonry to the public for many decades. It is the York Rite ritual and contains the ceremonies and oaths of death of an Entered Apprentice (1st degree) to the Royal Arch (7th degree). Finding and reading these and other books on my bookshelf lead me to discover that I had been lied to by members of the Kennewick Masonic Lodge when they told me that these degrees were secret. I was also lied to about the religious compatibility of Freemasonry and Biblical Christianity.
Is Masonry a Religion?
Freemasonry claims not to be a religion, yet it does claim to be religious in that each Mason must believe in a supreme being and in the immortality of the soul.
I was told that, to join, I must believe that there is only one God, a supreme being who is the Grand Architect of the universe. Masons meet in a temple with an altar that usually has a large open Bible, candles and a kneeling board on it. They open and close the meetings with prayer to a generic god. Atheists are not allowed to join.
The God of Freemasonry
I discovered that the God of Freemasonry was not the God of the Bible. In order to bring differing religions together as brothers, Masonry has compromised the definition of God so that he can fit all monotheistic religions. The God of Freemasonry cannot be limited to the specific god of any one faith. To satisfy most of the requirements of most of the faiths, Freemasonry must teach a generic god. If they were to limit their God to only the specifics of the Bible, they would, for example, be denying Allah of the Koran. The God of Freemasonry is a consolidated god whose attributes are unified from parts of many monotheistic religions.
Masonry tries to join all the monotheistic religions together as one under the umbrella of Freemasonry. In Masonry, all members are sworn to protect and uphold their “Brother Masons.” Each religion must give up the specific tenets of their faith that don’t agree with the next person’s faith to be able to agree with their “brothers.” Open intolerance and at times hostility is displayed toward anyone who will not conform. Though Masonry teaches its beliefs as absolutes, to accommodate the beliefs of differing faiths, it allows its members to ascribe to higher or optional teachings as the individual desires. However, these are not allowed to be displayed in the lodge for fear of offending the brothers of other faiths. Thus, the use of the name of Jesus is highly discouraged in the Lodge.
Freemasonry’s Method of Salvation
Freemasonry claims to be the repository for the Keys necessary to enter into that Grand Lodge Above, where God dwells. To be admitted, you must join the Brotherhood, learn the secrets of Freemasonry (the secret handshakes, secret tokens, and secret words), and become more and more virtuous. These qualifications have to do with a person becoming worthy of heaven by virtue of his own efforts. I discovered that salvation in Freemasonry was dependent upon being a nice person outwardly. This is in agreement with most monotheistic religions. However, it is absolutely opposed to the Bible-believing Christian method.
Masonry assumes there are two types of people: the good people and the bad ones. They seek to only have the “good” ones join them. Bad men will be “black-balled” and not allowed to join. Masonry neglects to deal with the problem of sin. They reject the Biblical teaching that “all men are sinners” and therefore, before a perfect God, all men are bad.
The Bible says that man is sinful and cannot make it to Heaven by his own efforts. The Bible says that Jesus has to save us or we can’t be saved at all. Jesus gives all His followers eternal life for free. This is in direct contradiction with the method of Freemasonry. In the 28th degree, members are told that “the true Mason … raises himself by degrees until he reaches heaven.” In Biblical Christianity, no one can make it without Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one goes to the Father but by Me.” Christianity is very exclusive in that there is no other way to be saved, other than by the shed blood of Jesus the promised Messiah.
The church I was raised in was a weak church. They were more interested in not offending people than in courageously telling the hard truth, which might offend. I was a weak, uncourageous Christian when I joined the Masonic Lodge, yet I recognized some error in it. I lacked the courage to tell my dad the truth about the death oaths, because I was afraid of offending him. I now have the courage to proclaim that Freemasonry is not compatible with Christianity. Belief in the false god of Freemasonry and participation in its “secret” ceremonies causes most Masons to reject or be hostile toward those who preach the real Jesus of the Bible and His free gift of salvation. By their actions, they have “black-balled” Jesus from the Masonic lodge.
The Danger of Freemasonry
I believe that Masonry has many nice people who believe that they are going to Heaven because they have learned the Keys of Freemasonry and haven’t done anything major wrong. They have good morals, high virtues, and believe in family values. They have been taught by Masonry that they will go to the same place as their Christian “Brothers.” Masonry misleads well-meaning people into the mistaken belief that anyone can make it to Heaven without Jesus Christ.