The Puzzle of Anti-Masonry
Warren C. Hultgren, 33d Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Southern Baptist minister with extensive theological training is puzzled by anti-Masons who claim Freemasonry is a pagan cult.
Every experience I have had in Masonry has been morally enriching and spiritually encouraging. Masonry has never claimed to be a religion and is not. It does not take the place of church, chapel, or synagogue. It is nonpolitical. It does not endorse candidates for public office. Masons can choose to affiliate with political parties and denominations. It encourages religious life and political activity in the light of one's own conscience.
The ongoing episodic growth of anti-Masonic literature troubles and puzzles me. Nothing heard or seen by me has led me to associate it with a pagan ancient rite, ritual, or cult. Personal experience and observation have failed to indicate any evil conspiracy within any branch of Freemasonry.
Masons of highest ideals and morality have been men of Christian faith and spiritual convictions. They have personified the virtues of love, charity, and truth. Masonry has provided an avenue to stretch hands to the poor, the crippled, the widowed, the orphaned, and the lonely. There is nothing "secret" about Masonry. Public libraries and bookstores record with some accuracy the so-called secrets of Masonry. Not all that is written or spoken is accurate. Many of the conclusions drawn are deceptive.
All of my life I have been a committed Christian and church person. Masonry has always indicated to me that an individual must find and follow his own faith. Freemasonry does, however, provide a way to feed the hungry and to raise millions of dollars for the disadvantaged. Today people walk better, read better, eat better, and live better because of Masons who seek to make the world a better place through sacrifice and service. As a Christian my faith has not been threatened or compromised by Masonr ite of the anti-Masonic interpretations and explanations of those who could find better causes toward which to devote their time and talent. Masonry does not make a person a good man, but a good Mason is a very good man.