GOD, GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE
Being true to the principles of regular freemasonry implies that we recognize God, the Supreme Being whom the freemason calls the Great Architect of the Universe.
The regular Grand Lodges follow the logic of their initiatic aims, when they demand of their members, via the belief in the Supreme Being, a spiritual option which is neither defined nor explained : anyone can give the Great Architect of the Universe, in other words God, a personal shape or accept the image of Him offered by a religion.
This basic notion of freemasonry is hard to accept for materialists or those who refuse an approach to the sacral element. For that matter, they mostly confuse this basic idea with dogmatism, theology or with whatever sects and churches adhere to.
Naturally, if you choose for a materialistic disposition and see man and his role in universe from such a viewpoint, it would of course be wrong to opt for traditional freemasonry, because it gives a central place to the spiritual realization via the initiation. It is also obvious that authentic freemasonry cannot be anti-religious. On the contrary, its members enjoy a total intellectual freedom, as it does not impose any definition of the conception of God. Every member can thus determine for himself what the Great Architect of the Universe is. This is quite elementary wisdom : words or notions such as God, Supreme Being, Great Architect of the Universe may indeed create the most divergent ideas or images as to the nature of the Divinity. Thus, for example, the individual conceptions which are sometimes wholly intuitive and can hardly be formulated. Others, on the contrary, are based on a very precise, engaged and truly practiced faith.
All people of goodwill can feel at home in regular freemasonry, provided they have a spiritual conviction, whatever it may be. There may be some who regret that traditional freemasonry in this way rejects a large number of honorable men who are bona fide and advocate very respectable ideals. Here, however, we should keep in mind that these men have chosen another way of thinking, which fits in a different kind of freemasonry corresponding better with their ideas : a freemasonry more open to the outside world, which does not always resist the temptation of involvement, also a freemasonry which next to spiritualists also accepts materialists. Such a striving can be understood and appreciated, but it has nothing to do with real freemasonry. The notion of freemasonry today covers organisms the objectives of which are mutually different. Authentic freemasonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for it. It has no creed, does not announce revelations, is not dogmatic and has no spiritual leaders. Neither is it the intention to offer a mysticism. On the other hand it does not want to replace religions or churches. It is the ideal of freemasonry to offer all initiates a more intensive awareness of their religious or spiritual search.