Masonic historians such as William Bissey, Gary Leazer (quoting Coil’s Masonic Encyclopaedia), and S. Brent Morris, assert that “the Masonic abbreviation G.A.O.T.U., meaning the Great Architect of the Universe, continues a long tradition of using an allegorical name for the Deity.” They trace how the name and the abbreviation entered Masonic tradition from the Book of Constitutions written in 1723 by the Reverend James Anderson. They also note that Anderson, a Calvinist minister, probably took the term from Calvin’s usage.
Christopher Haffner’s own explanation of how the Masonic concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, as a placeholder for the Supreme Being of one’s choice, is given in Workman Unashamed:
|“||Now imagine me standing in lodge with my head bowed in prayer between Brother Mohammed Bokhary and Brother Arjun Melwani. To neither of them is the Great Architect of the Universe perceived as the Holy Trinity. To Brother Bokhary He has been revealed as Allah; to Brother Melwani He is probably perceived as Vishnu. Since I believe that there is only one God, I am confronted with three possibilities:|
It is without hesitation that I accept the third possibility..
|— Christopher Haffner, Workman Unashamed: The Testimony of a Christian Freemason, Lewis Masonic, 1989, p.39|
The Swedish Rite, which has the prerequisite of professing to Christian Faith, uses the form “The Threefold Great Architect of the Universe”.
(the source/read more: Wikipedia)