Those who oppose Freemasonry will claim that Masons worship a 'false God' whom they claim is GAOTU - the "Grand Architect of the Universe" (in some jurisdictions referred to as the "Great Architect of the Universe").
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Let us be quite clear: Freemasonry does NOT have a "god" of any kind. Freemasons however do profess a belief in a Supreme Being.
Perhaps we should repeat:
The organization - FREEMASONRY - has no "god", no religion, no theology, no dogma, no creed....
Freemasonry's members - FREEMASONS - upon petitioning for membership are required to profess a belief in a Supreme Being. They are not required or requested to elaborate any further on their beliefs except to make a positive affirmation that they have such a belief.
The term "Great Architect of the Universe" (or "Grand Architect of the Universe") is used to permit a more generic worship to the Supreme Being of all present. All Masons understand this concept and when prayers are offered in their lodge, they understand that regardless of the person speaking the words or the manner of prayer of others present, the prayer is addressed to their Supreme Being.
To argue that Masons have a 'god' with the name GAOTU would be similar to arguing that a church where a prayer is addressed to "Most Holy and Glorious Lord God" had a false God with the name MHAGLG or when a prayer is offered in the name of 'Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ' that those worshipping there were praying to OLSJC.... It's bizarre in the extreme.
The question is often raised: to whom do Masons pray?
The answer is, quite simply, "To God".
Argumentatively, some will then respond, "Which God?" at which point we must wonder how many Gods THEY believe there are. From the perspective of Masons, there is one Supreme Being and that is to whom we pray.
It really is SO simple....
The term first appeared in Masonic usage in 1723 in a book called Anderson's Constitutions which was, ostensibly, a listing of the rules by which the Grand Lodge of England were governed. It seems that the phrase was probably taken from John Calvin whose teachings formed the basis for Presbyterian and Reformed theology as Anderson was a Presbyterian Minister.
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