It is bestowed on each member in an impressive ceremony with the following significant declaration: ?The lamb has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the lambskin, or white leather apron, as the badge of a Mason, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides? (ibid: pg. 15, under "Section Second, The Lambskin"; see also the Masonic Codebook, King Solomon and His Followers [Illinois], rev. ed., 1954, pg. 34, Allen Publishing Co., New York).
In his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Dr. Albert G. Mackey, noted Masonic writer, under the title ?Apron,? has this to say: ?As to its material, a Mason?s apron must be made of lambskin. No other substance, such as linen, silk, or satin could be substituted without entirely destroying the emblematic character of the apron, for the material of the Mason?s apron constitutes one of the most important symbols of the profession. The lamb has always been considered as an appropriate emblem of innocence. And hence we are taught in the ritual of the first degree, that, ?by the lambskin, the Mason is reminded of that purity of life and rectitude of conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe forever presides.?? (1904 ed.).
Here, then, is the real issue between Freemasonry and Christianity. Christianity teaches that no one can gain admission into heaven by his own good deeds, but solely and alone by the merits and deeds of Jesus Christ. Anyone who teaches that man can gain salvation by his good conduct denies Jesus Christ and is severed from Him, as St. Paul warns when he says: ?You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace? (Gal. 5:4). The symbol of the lamb, or of the lambskin, ought to stand only for Jesus Christ, the innocent ?Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world? (John 1:29); but when it is used, as in Freemasonry, to teach the very opposite of what Christ teaches, then every man who accepts the Masonic white leather apron and joins in what it stands for is guilty of placing himself in opposition to Jesus Christ. As Christians we cannot do that. We have no alternative but to take our stand with Jesus, the only Savior.
Adapted from an article by Rev. Dr. Theodore Nickel in the March, 1957 Lutheran Witness.
Scripture References are from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.
Drawing above is from Chick Publications (www.chick.com), tract #22, "Good Ol' Boys".
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