Definiton of Freemasonry: A fraternal order revived in the early 18th century in England, loosely based on associations or guilds of stone cutters (“operative” masons). Freemasonry (“speculative” masons) sought to give philosophical, moral, or spiritual meaning to the lodge, tools, and oaths of the stone cutters. Branches of Freemasonry include the Blue Lodge, York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Shriners. Affiliated organizations include the Order of the Eastern Star (for women), the Order of DeMolay (for boys), and the Order of Rainbow (for girls). Most modern adherents maintain that the organization is not a religion but a club or fraternity promoting high moral values and good works. They believe, therefore, that Freemasonry is compatible with and supplements Christianity and other religions. Critics counter that Freemasonry involves secret blood oaths or curses, and that the writings of respected early leaders (Albert Mackey, Albert Pike, etc.) are replete with occult philosophy and religious doctrine contrary to Christianity. Despite Freemasonry’s promotion and funding of a number of worthwhile, philanthropic endeavors (free Shriner children hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), many Christian individuals and churches have condemned Freemasonry or warned of elements that they believe are contrary to Christianity. These churches include the Presbyterian Church of America, Southern Baptist Convention, Episcopal Church, Christian Reformed Church, Church of the Nazarene, and Lutheran Church (Missouri and Wisconsin Synods).