The quote often presented to allegedly prove that Russell was a member of the Free Masons Society, has to be taken out of context. The quote is from his sermon entitled "The Temple of God", delivered in California in 1913. This entire sermon is online at: http://ctr.reslight.net/?p=233.
Yes, Russell said: "I am a free and accepted Mason." Was he saying that he was a member of the Free Masons Society? Absolutely not! The context shows that he was referring to "Bible masonry", not the human organization that goes by the name of 'Free Masons". He was using Free Masonry terminology to illustrate the Biblical building being done by God through His church. -- See: Luke 6:47,48; Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 3:9,10,12; 14:12,26; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Revelation 3:12.
In that same sermon, Russell, in referring to the human organization called "Masons," said, "I have never been a Mason."
According to one site, Russell's sermon contains "Russell’s duplicitous confession that he is part of the cult of Masonry." It is further claimed that "Masons always use duplicitous contradictory verbiage to conceal and reveal publicly their allegiance, by never being clear about what they really believe and adhere to in contradictory statements." This unsubstantiated claim presented as though fact is then regarded as the reason Russell later stated, "I have never been a Mason." It is claimed that Russell drew parallels between Masonry and the Bible with the hopes of "drawing more men into asking how to become a Mason." This ignores that in this sermon, as well as elsewhere, Russell discouraged Christian participation in any of men's secret societies. I will add that Russell apparently confused the Freemasons and the Knights Templar as being one and the same; as a result his writings seem to reflect his assumed notion that all members of the Freemasons organization profess to be Christian. At any rate, since the Knights Templar do believe in the basics of "orthodox" Christianity, in refuting the false teachings of the so-called orthodox human leaders, Russell did, in effect, refute also the teachings of the Knight Templar. The author appears to connect Russell with the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses regarding salvation, although, in reality, Russell was never a member of the JW organization, and what Russell taught about salvation was almost the very opposite of what the JW organization teaches.
CLICK HERE to read the entire sermon, "The Temple of God."
Documented Proof? Russell – Freemason, Founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Russell's Alleged Connection With Freemasonry
Some Inaccuracies Regarding Russell
Era Charles Taze Russell un masón? -- A response in English.
Originally published May 28, 2010; Edited and Republished August 5, 2015