Recently, I interviewed theologian and former Freemason William Guilkey. William’s story provides a sobering reminder of how deeply Freemasonry has infiltrated the visible church. As a former Masonic insider, William provides confirmation that Freemasonry’s many Christian detractors have been wise to sound the alarm about the unbliblical nature of the Craft. William is clear: Freemasonry is not compatible with Christianity. Please find the interview below:
How long have you been a Christian?
My eyes were opened to the truths of the Gospel in the Summer of 2004 (after many years of habitual sin). While I cannot pinpoint the moment in time when the Gospel began to make sense to me, I can say that it seemed to start that Summer. I began to come under heavy conviction of my sin and in time found the hope of the Gospel. Nearly 13 years later there is much evidence of repentance and belief in my life, I hate the sins I once embraced, am at war with sin on a daily basis, continually repent when I fail and I’m continuing in Christ. There were some really rocky times in the first several years due to deeply, ingrained patterns of sin but God has faithfully given me ever increasing victory over them. There is much evidence of a change in me thanks to the Lord and it all began in the Summer of 2004.
Are you currently an active member of a New Testament Church?
Yes, my wife and I are members of Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Janesville, WI.
Do you have any level of formal theological education?
Yes. I grew up in the Assemblies of God. I was a “false convert” who never truly understood the Gospel as well as a legalist with an air of works righteousness. I have a B.A. in Bible from Central Bible College (1989)
How long were you involved in Freemasonry?
Approximately 6 or so years (with varying degrees of activeness).
What was the name of your lodge?
Bee Hive Lodge #393 in Lawson, MO
In what degrees of Masonry were you proficient?
I received the 3 degrees of the Blue Lodge as well as the degrees in the Scottish Rite (up to degree #32). Giving one’s proficiency in the degrees (orally) was no longer required but as a tribute to my grandfather for his 50th year in the Lodge, I orally repeated the 1st degree and was deemed proficient.
Did you hold any leadership positions in Freemasonry?
Yes, I was the Junior Warden one year and the Senior Warden the next year.
Were there any professed Christians in your lodge?
There were several (including at least one Pastor). Most were from the older, liberal, mainline denominations (United Methodist, Presbyterian USA and The Disciples of Christ, which in our small town was merged with the PCUSA Church). There were also a few Southern Baptists.
Were there any non-Christians in your lodge?
Yes, including some with the veneer of “Christian” and some outright secular men.
In what degrees of Masonry were you proficient?
In Missouri, they no longer require oral proficiency of the degrees but I did an oral proficiency of the 1st degree in honor of my grandfather’s 50th anniversary in the Lodge.
Why did you leave Freemasonry?
I began to be convicted by the Holy Spirit that Freemasonry was incompatible with Christianity over time. It promotes a universal “gospel” of “salvation by works/Freemasonry” and it requires unbiblical oaths to enter.
Do you believe the blood oaths required to enter Blue Lodge Freemasonry are antithetical to Christian practice?
Yes, per Matthew 5:34-35 for example.
What would you say to someone who said the oaths were merely symbolic and do not violate Christ’s commands regarding oath-swearing?
While the oaths are almost certainly symbolic in our day (since violating them comes with the penalty of death), there is a sense in which they are serious and that has to do more with the “brotherhood of the Lodge” and the secrets contained within its walls. What one is giving oath to essentially is their silence/secrecy and this is expected to be adhered to by the one making the oaths.
What can you tell us about the story of Hiram Abiff and the ritual related to him?
Hiram Abiff is loosely based on a character in the verse 2 Chronicles 2:13 (which is not really clear). In Freemasonry, he is known as the “Grand Master Mason” of King Solomon’s Temple, who outlines the work duties for the other Masons. The candidate for the 3rd Degree plays the character of Hiram Abiff and is escorted around the Lodge and put through various scenarios as the character Hiram Abiff. Hiram Abiff supposedly has the “Master’s word” and the deeper secrets of Freemasonry. Hiram is confronted by some ruffians (Fellowcrafts) who are impatient to receive the word and the secrets of the Master Mason and after refusing to comply with their demands, Hiram is killed with a mallet to the head (which happens to the candidate who is left in the temple under some rubble then later carried to Mount Moriah and laid on the ground as though buried). Later when it is discovered that Hiram Abiff is missing, a panic ensues. Eventually some other Fellowcrafts come to King Solomon and admit that they knew of a plot to kill Hiram (but did not participate). King Solomon orders them to find the ruffians (three were missing when he had a roll call of the Fellowcrafts) under penalty of death if they fail to do so. They found the ruffians when they stopped to rest and one of the searchers grabbed an acacia branch which easily gave way to him (it marked the shallow grave of Hiram Abiff). At that point, they heard the three ruffians mourning about their role in the death and indicting themselves under the penalty of their obligations. They were seized, taken to Solomon and executed according to those penalties (outside the city gate). King Solomon and all of his followers then go to the shallow grave (where Hiram has laid for 15 days according to the story). He asks both an Entered Apprentice (1st degree) and a Fellowcraft (2nd degree) to raise him by their grips but the rotting flesh slips from their hands. King Solomon then proceeds to raise the body by the strong grip of the Master Mason (complete with a certain posture and a word). This works and the candidate is raised to the “sublime degree of Master Mason” (their description). In my case, my Grandfather was inserted for King Solomon and performed my “raising” (of which I am now very ashamed of as I type). There is no question that the Hiram Abiff character is a blasphemous characterization of the resurrection (at the very least in symbolism).
Are non-Christian Freemasons led to believe that they can reach Heaven outside of professing faith in Jesus Christ?
Without question. In the long speech in the second degree, a Fellowcraft is explicitly told that they will be happy at death if “the setting splendors of a virtuous life gild his departing moments with the gentle tints of hope.” Often Freemasonry is described as an organization that exists to “make good men better.” It presupposes the basic goodness of man (at least of those who pass the initial screening of their candidacy).
If the Great Architect of the Universe the same God as the God of the Holy Bible?
It cannot be by definition since Freemasonry only requires a belief in a Supreme Being/God/god and leaves that up to the candidate to determine who/Who/what that is for them. In rural Missouri, people were basically “Christian” in their mindset (not born again mind you but simply meaning that they took their oaths on the Bible but one could have taken it on any “holy book”). The only requirement is that you cannot be a professing atheist. That kind of pluralistic approach cannot be the God of the Holy Bible.
Is there any truth to the notion that Freemasonry teaches belief in Osiris, Hours, or other Egyptian deities?
I do not recall these names in either the Blue Lodge or the Scottish Rite (however, the Scottish Rite was a weekend “marathon” in which degrees 4-32 were given and it was done “theater style” with us watching the proceedings so I have very little recollection of it)
Is the “All Seeing Eye” a representation of God?
Yes, because we are reminded that even if our actions evade the eyes of men, that all of them are seen by the “All-Seeing Eye” who will reward us according to “our merits” (yet another false doctrine, unless by “reward” they mean “judgment”).
In your degrees of Freemasonry did you ever receive teaching about Jabulon, Lucifer, or any other such spirit being?
I do not recall these names in either the Blue Lodge or the Scottish Rite (however, the Scottish Rite was a weekend “marathon” in which degrees 4-32 were given and it was done “theater style” with us watching the proceedings so I have very little recollection of it). Having grown up in the church (even if I was not genuinely converted at the time), I am pretty sure I would have been disturbed if I heard the name of “Lucifer” in any positive context.
Does Scottish Rite (or any other form of Freemasonry) confer a Melchizedek priesthood on adherents?
I was hardly active in the Scottish Rite and the weekend “marathon” of degrees only allows them to confer so many through the ritual. I do not know if this one was acted out for us or not but I have read that it is in the 19th degree. I did not know this before researching for this question so I am not a good source on this answer.
Does Freemasonry contradict the doctrine of Original Sin?
Yes, by stating that Freemasonry serves to “make good men better.” One of the things all Masons say in repeating the ritual is “to improve myself in Freemasonry” and in another place, they ask for “Further light” (implying that they may have some light).
Does Freemasonry teach that salvation can be obtained by performing good works?
Yes, in the lecture portion of the 2nd and 3rd degrees (as outlined in previous questions)
Do Freemasons believe that they possess wisdom or light that cannot be obtained from the Bible or a relationship with Jesus Christ?
In my small town, they would always say “it’s all based on the Bible” but when one hears of the various study clubs and meetings for the more advanced degrees, you hear implications of “deeper” or “esoteric” knowledge. To me, it all sounded like pretentious “gobbled-y gook” to be honest. I never really “got” that part of it all.
How were you treated by other Freemasons after leaving the lodge?
I live in a different state and do not encounter any of the men for the most part but no one has sought me out to discuss it etc. When I resigned, I resigned in writing, with a letter containing the Gospel. They clearly know where I stood and where I stand on the matter. I am however, always open to talk with any of them about the Gospel should a door be opened to me.
Is there anything you would like to say to the “Christian” Masons who are reading this interview?
I would say first of all that I think many, many people go into Freemasonry innocently enough. By that I mean that there are some appealing features to some of the “perks” (for example, where I am from, there were certain jobs that were more attainable for someone who was a member of the Lodge). I know also that many men put almost no effort into learning or practicing anything related to Freemasonry and see it as an opportunity to get together with some guys a few times a month to eat, smoke, drink coffee and tell tall tales. As far as some of the deeper conspiracies that people allege are concerned, I never saw any of that in my small town. If we were somehow trying to overtake the world, we were definitely way behind in our efforts! Our Lodge did some nice public service things (i.e. scholarships, Child Identification Programs to help police in the event of an abduction and chili/ham & bean suppers). That is how most of the “brothers” approached Freemasonry. That being said, it really is a “False Gospel,” with a “False, Pluralistic god” and it gives false assurance to many people. It is the antithesis of the Bible’s teaching about the true nature of man and his need before the Thrice Holy God. Because of that, whether done in “innocence” or “ignorance,” it is a system of idolatry and must be avoided. It violates the First, Second and Third commandments and that alone is enough to flee from this false, religious system. I would encourage you to read the Bible for yourself and to ask the LORD to open your eyes to His holiness and His requirements. If/when He does this, you will likely begin feeling the heavy weight of conviction of sin (because you will then see how much you have offended God). When that happens, cry out to Him for mercy, turn from your sin (including the sin of aligning with the Masonic Lodge) and believe that if you come to Him, He will “in no wise cast you out” (John 6:37) for “Whosoever calleth on the Name of the Lord, shall be saved!” (Romans 10:13)
Please share this with friends and family, especially those with Masonic connections. Freemasonry is a very serious gospel issue and a very present sin in many churches.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.