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What is the Order of DeMolay?

Order of DeMolay audio

The Order of DeMolay was founded in 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri, by Frank S. Land, director of the Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Land was very proud of the teachings of his craft and very well known globally for his work in Freemasonry, even becoming Imperial Potentate of the Shrine of North America.

Near the end of World War I, Land met a young man who had lost his father. The two became friends, and Land learned of other young men that had no adult male figures in their lives to guide them. Land instructed his young friend to invite his friends to their meetings, and in a short time there was a small group of young men meeting on a regular basis at the local Masonic lodge. After hearing stories of Jacques DeMolay (as told by Land), the group decided to name itself for this historical figure who was supposedly connected with Masonry.

The philosophy and principles to be embodied in the rituals of the DeMolay were crafted by Frank Land and closely mimicked the rituals of Freemasonry. By 1920 the Order of DeMolay was growing in membership and in standing among the body of Freemasonry.

The Order of DeMolay is for young men aged 12 to 21 for the purpose developing civic awareness, personal responsibility, and leadership skills. Focusing on building a bond between members, the DeMolay has grown to more than 1,000 chapters worldwide. All chapters of the DeMolay are sponsored by a Masonic Lodge or another Masonic group such as the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, or the Shrine. The sponsor provides the chapter a place to meet and adult leadership.

One of the requirements for membership is the belief in a Supreme Being. Members include Christians, Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and others. The Bible, however, warns of memberships that bind us to nonbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14–18).

The initiation into the DeMolay is very much like that of Freemasonry. The candidate is blindfolded to “symbolize lack of knowledge.” Also the candidate is told, “The solemn purpose of all our ceremonies is to impress upon your minds great truths of right living to aid you in deserving the good opinion of all right-thinking men.” This teaching tries to circumvent the teachings of Scripture, which makes it clear that “living right” is impossible without the saving work of Christ on the cross on our behalf (Romans 3:20–24). No amount of “good opinion” will counter the basic nature of man: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6 ).

The DeMolay ritual is seen as a “symbolic journey” wherein the candidate is taught the meaning of many symbols, including (but not limited to) jewels, crown, swords, school books, and the Bible. According to the Order of the DeMolay, the Holy Bible’s only use is symbolic in nature. “The Bible is used as a symbol of the spiritual foundation that all DeMolay members are required to have before they can join. It is not intended to represent an endorsement of the Christian religion over any others. A DeMolay’s belief in a particular religious doctrine is something that is between him and God. It is something that must be arrived at through deep consultation with his family, his pastor or others whose opinion he values, followed by his own deep thought and prayer. Generally, the holy book of the predominant religion of that nation or area is the spiritual guide book used in the local DeMolay Chapter room. However, should a Chapter’s membership include members from more than one religion, more than one holy book may be used in DeMolay ceremonies.”

This teaching is contrary to the very Word of God. The Bible is not a “symbolic tool.” “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” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Even though the DeMolay declares the Bible is a symbolic item, it shamelessly uses it for the purpose of making a candidate believe the oath he is taking is solemn and in some way supported by God.

Here is an excerpt from the DeMolay oath:

“In the presence of God, and with my right hand upon His holy word, on my honor, as one who holds his pledged word sacred, do solemnly promise, that I will keep all the secrets, entrusted to me by this Order. I promise that I will love and serve God as a devout worshiper at the shrine of faith and that I will serve my fellowmen in the spirit of the universal brotherhood. So help me God!” The “shrine of faith” spoken of in the oath is the faith that all religions are praying to the same “Universal Father,” thus creating the “Universal Brotherhood.”

The DeMolay claims they do not teach a religious creed; however, by requiring the candidate to believe in a Supreme Being, taking oaths “in the presence of God,” declaring to “love and serve God,” calling on assistance from God (“so help me God!”) and teaching a “reverence for sacred things,” the DeMolay is teaching a religious creed. The “Seven Cardinal virtues” reveals the religious creed scattered throughout. The Seven Cardinal virtues are as follows; “filial love, reverence for sacred things, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanness and patriotism.” Below are excerpts from the ritual that clearly show they have a religious creed (a statement or system of beliefs or principles):

“As we are all sons of earthly parents, so are we the children of the Universal Father.”

“But we do earnestly enjoin upon you the sacredness of faith, the beauty of a humble reliance on the goodness of God.”

“Let us strive to be true to this universal sonship.”

“The world respects most of all the young man who has strong religious convictions and who has the courage of a high moral standard based on a profound acknowledgment of the fact that from God all earthly blessings flow.”

“…we are called upon every day to be faithful to trusts reposed in us, faithful to ideals we have professed, faithful to our friends, faithful to obligations we have assumed.”

“Let us guard our tongues from taking the name of God in vain, against irreverence of all kinds, against the lesser oaths that lead to blasphemy…”

The Order of DeMolay does not help young Christian men in their walk with Jesus. On the contrary, DeMolay clearly teaches a religious creed that is in direct conflict with the Word of God.

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This page last updated: January 4, 2022