Thomas Sargant - The Freemason's Manual
Last of the first paragraph of Page 30 THE FREEMASON'S MANUAL
Hence the great, the primary object of the first degree, is to symbolize that birth of intellectual light into the mind
; and the Entered Apprentice is the type of unregenerate man
, (Christians are not unregenerate men)
groping in moral and mental darkness, (the Bible says that born again men have been moved from darkness into the Kingdom of Light)
and seeking for that light which is to guide his steps and point him to the path which leads to duty and to Him (G.A.O.T.U.???) who gives to duty its reward. Again, Almighty God has never taken the name of G.A.O.T.U. so it is just a man made name for a god who is not Almighty God, Yaweh, Jehovah. In fact, as a mason "progresses" he learns a name of G.A.O.T.U which is actually a mixture of the word Jehovah, Baal, and one other pagan deity.
Yes, it is works oriented religious organization, through the principles of Freemasonry. It is there in black and white. A Mason prays, worships and studies principles (in place of the Bible) these principles have no dependence on the Spirit of Jesus Christ, which is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches. Freemason practices prayer, worship and studying material to make a person "better" is in essence what religion is, false religion but still a religion.