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Our Founder's Testimony

My name is Michael C. Gentry. I was raised from a dead level to a living perpendicular on the Square to the 3 Degree (Master Mason) at Savannah Lodge #407 F&AM, Prince Hall Affiliation, in Fayetteville, NC on April 17th, 1982. Later, I was elected Lodge Secretary for one term, prior to transferring on an overseas, military assignment to Germany. While in Germany, I was elevated to the 32 Degree (Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret) and became a member of Prince Hall Military Consistory #304, Valley of Frankfurt, and Orient of West Germany. Subsequently, I was created a Noble of the Mystic Shrine and became a member of Aswan Temple #115 (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.), Oasis of Frankfurt, Desert of Western Europe.

Although I became a Christian less than three years before becoming a Mason, having accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior after a few traumatic turn of events during my college years in the fall of 1979, I had never really read much of the Bible until after becoming a Mason. As I went to Germany, my "zeal" for Masonry was so strong, and my desire to advance through the Order and become a Worshipful Master was so great, I didn't start to deeply get into the "Great Light" until after becoming a Shriner and returned to the US two years later.

I truly believed that if I wanted to be the best Mason I could, it was imperative for me to adhere to what I was taught in the Lodge. With that goal in mind at that time, the primary thing I felt I had to obey was the fact that, if the Holy Bible is indeed the "Great Light" of Freemasonry and therefore, my "rule and guide for my faith and practice," then I had better obey the command found in the 1 degree of the ritual, where it says we should "faithfully direct our steps through life by the Light we there shall find."

So, as I began to diligently study the Bible the Light I found therein was the Light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which reinforced my Christian faith. Initially, I found this to be refreshing, in fact, it also made me feel even more proud to be a Mason, since they had urged me to read and apply what I learned from the Bible into my everyday life.

However, as I studied the Bible more, the more I began to realize that what we were being taught by Freemasonry contradicted the truth I found in Scripture. In fact what I discovered, as I compared the principles taught in my Masonic ritual to the principles taught in Holy Scripture, was that certain principles of Freemasonry actually violate, assault and even undermine biblical Christianity.

This disturbed me greatly, to a point where, even after sharing my concerns with several "knowledgeable" Masonic brethren, I had to ask myself this question; if God's Word is true, then what am I going to follow, the teachings of the Lodge, or the teachings of God? So as it turned out, rather than Freemasonry leading me to know God better as I initially thought, it was God leading me out of the lodge and into a right relationship with Him.

This was a challenge for me, because I really enjoyed many aspects of being a Mason. From the regalia worn, to the camaraderie I shared with my "frat" brothers, the social functions, and the participation in initiation ceremonies, its universality, and its antiquity. Not to mention how good I felt about its philanthropy, and how cool it was to know that no matter where I traveled, the same modes of recognition (due guards, signs, and tokens) were found in every lodge I visited, and from every Mason I met. It was all very interesting and incredibly fun!

As a matter of fact, as I started to uncover more and more of how Masonry clashed with my Christian faith, I remember wishing; if we could only remove the Bible, and any other religious aspects out of Masonry it would be so wonderful! Then it would no longer interfere with my relationship with Jesus Christ. I could comfortably be a Mason, and a Christian. In other words, let the fraternity be just that – a fraternity. I had my religion, and did not need or want another one.

The problem with this wishful thinking was that it could never happen. You can not take the religious aspects of Freemasonry out of the Lodge and still call it Masonry. Why, because they are part of the 25 Landmarks of the Order. God or religion is referred to in Landmarks 19, 20, and 21, which state that:

  1. Every Mason must believe in the existence of God as the Great Architect of the Universe.

  1. Every Mason must believe in the resurrection to a future life.

  1. A book of the law of God must constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge.

What welds these religious aspects into Freemasonry is the fact that, the 25th Landmark states that the Landmarks of Masonry can never be changed, "in which it is not the power of any man, or body of men, to make the least innovation." In other words, to remove any Landmark of Freemasonry from Masonry would constitute something other than Freemasonry. As a result, these three Masonic landmarks effectively make Freemasonry a religion, which Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines as, "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices."

Yet, from the surface, these three Landmarks seem quite harmless even from a Christian perspective. It's not until you take a closer look at what they really mean from Freemasonry's point of view do you find the heresy of what is being taught about them in the Masonic Lodge.

Masonry taught me that it does not matter who, or what I believe, just as long as I believe in the existence of "a" Supreme Being. I've often wondered, does this mean that even if a man believes that Satan is God; can he still become a Mason? Apparently this is true based upon the testimony of an Ex-Mason for Jesus, who turned his life over to the Lord after worshipping Satan as God during the time he was an active Mason. And, there are other examples of this as well.

Masonry makes no distinction as to the theological preferences of its members. They make it convenient for all Masons by telling them that regardless of ones concept of God, they are all one in the same, which Freemasonry calls the Great Architect of the Universe (G.A.O.T.U.). I am now positive that the greatest trick Satan has ever pulled on the world, besides convincing it that he doesn't exist, is the establishment of Freemasonry under the guise of religious pluralism.

However, God taught me, through the Bible that, Jesus is the Great Architect of the Universe, as it says in Colossians 1:15-17: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things and, in him, all things hold together."

Masonry taught me that, as a Mason I must believe in the resurrection to a future life, and that I get there (the Celestial Lodge above) through good works and conduct through practicing Freemasonry.

However, Jesus tells us Himself in John 11:25-26 when speaking to Martha, sister of Lazarus whom Christ raised from the dead, "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die...' " And, at the end of verse 26 He asked Martha a question that all of us need to answer, which is, "Do you believe this?" Likewise, to get to heaven in Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, "For it is by grace you are saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast."

As for "a book of the Law of God;" Masonry taught me that, since a Mason can believe in any god he chooses since they're all one in the same then a book of god's law could be any book from virtually any religion in the world, because as far as Freemasonry is concerned they all contain the revealed will of God. Since most Lodges in the US are made up of 'Christians', you usually find the Holy Bible as that "indispensable part of the furniture" in most Lodges here in America.

However, God says in Joshua 1:8, referring to the Bible that, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Moreover, in John 1, God refers to Jesus saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning...and the Word became Flesh and dwelled among us." And, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 the Bible says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." So then, we can conclude from these passages that, the Bible teaches that Scripture is the written Word of God, and that Jesus is the Living Word of God.

Finally, through my studying of the Bible, God reminded me of the awesome price He paid for me through the death of His Son. He reminded me of what it truly meant when I accepted Him during those trying times in my life back in the fall of 1979. At that time, God worked through the circumstances of my life bringing me to the end of myself in order for me to realize I was a sinner in desperate need of a savior. He provided exactly what I needed – salvation – through faith in the finished work at Calvary by my Lord Jesus Christ!

Later in May of 1990, the Lord impressed upon my heart to begin a ministry targeted toward the hidden mission field of Freemasonry. I asked the Lord in prayer, that if He would enable me to begin memorizing and applying Scripture as well as I had memorized my Masonic ritual, then I would share the truth of His Great Light with men and Masons.

As a result, He led me to establish the Order of Former Freemasons (O.F.F.), an evangelical crusade of Christian men who once practiced the art of Freemasonry and have, likewise, come to the realization that participation in Freemasonry interferes with a close relationship with Jesus Christ. These men have chosen to dedicate themselves to sharing the truth with the Body of Christ (His Church) and with other Masons who too have been deceived by Masonic principles. We have chosen to say when asked, "Will you be off or from?" to answer, "I'll be O.F.F."

Just as the Apostle Paul talked about the Ministry of Reconciliation, we too are on a similar mission; to beseech Masons to be reconciled to God through correct biblical understanding and a proper relationship with His son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Since we (Ex-Masons for Jesus) understand more of what it means to fear the Lord, we try to persuade Masons and convince interested Christians to have nothing to do with the lodge. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to those who read this testimony. We are not trying to condemn Masons, for only God can do that, but instead we are trying to give them an opportunity to know the truth, in order that it may set them free from the error of their thinking concerning Freemasonry (John 8:31b-32).

Our hope is that such freedom; will lead them out of the lodge and onto this hidden mission field for Christ by joining our crusade, so that they too can help reach deceived Masons. If any assembly of the Craft thinks we are out of our minds, it is for the sake of Christ; and if we are in our right mind, it is for the Craft. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that He died for all (including Masons), so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, or the Lodge, but for Him who died for them and was raised again (2 Corinthians 5:11-15).

My prayer is that all Masons we come in contact with would come to know Jesus for who He really is. And that these men may enjoy the full riches of a complete understanding of Him, in order that they may know the greatest mystery of all, namely – "Christ in you, the only hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27), and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom, knowledge, and truth.

Sincerely in Christ,

Michael C. Gentry
Founder of the Order of Former Freemasons

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