Unlike the two previously mentioned cults, Freemasons approach Christianity from a different framework. Often one will find professing Christians in the assemblies of the Masonic Lodge. Many Christian denominations have renounced the Freemasons. There are some distinct differences separating the Masons from other cults. The reason for identifying them as a cult is grounded in how Masons regard Scripture. As Henry Wilson Coil in Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia notes, “The prevailing Masonic opinion is that the Bible is only a symbol of Divine Will, Law, or Revelation, and not that its contents are Divine Law, inspired, or revealed. So far, no responsible authority has held that Freemason must believe the Bible or any part of it.” Despite Coil being classified as an authority on Masonry, many in the Lodge do not feel this position can be binding because nearly all Masons pledged to the Fraternity with their hand on the Bible. Notice that Coil also says, “The Prevailing Masonic opinion . . .” This means that this “opinion” is not a litmus test for members, nor is it the required position of members. In other words, it would not be uncommon for one to meet a member of a Masonic lodge who disagrees with Coil’s statement.
There are two things to note when striving to understand the Masonic approach to Scripture. First, in the view of this researcher, Masonry becomes a religion when an individual submits to the Lodge as an authority above Scripture. The consistent Christian approach to Scripture is that it is “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). There is no higher authority for Scripture to appeal to than itself, so when the Lodge dictates how a Christian or any person should regard Scripture, the Lodge becomes the ultimate authority. Second, Masonry attempts to prop Scripture up. Mason’s literature speaks highly of the Bible, but it seems to reject the notion that the Bible is “God breathed.” When the Lodge fails to view Scripture in a manner that is consistent with the view Christ held of Scripture, then it fails as an organization in which a believer should be a member.
Masonic literature, like the literature of other cults, offers a false adherence to the Bible, but this is a far cry from the position articulated by Christ when he says in Matthew 19:4 “Have you not read.” Yet, the Masons will state things like “The Bible, so rich in symbolism, is itself a symbol.” Statements like this might cause some to get the idea that Masonry holds Scripture in high regard, but Peter did not believe that Scripture was “a symbol” when he wrote, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21). It is obvious that Peter did not think Scripture was only “rich in symbolism” in this quotation from his epistle. Peter believed the writings of the Old Testament were historical events not just symbolic narratives when he preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-36).
While attempting show partial respect to the Bible, Masonry actually delivers the ultimate insult. As with Mormonism, the Masons set the Bible beside other religious texts, thereby devaluing the Bible. Masonic authority Joseph Newton writes about the Bible:
It is sovereign symbol of the Book of Faith, the Will of God as man has learned it in the midst of the years. . . . Thus, by the very honor which Masonry pays to the Bible, it teaches us to revere every book of faith . . . joining hand with the man of Islam as he takes oath on the Koran, and with the Hindu as he makes covenant wwith God upon the book that he loves best.
In this quotation the disrespect for
the Bible is demonstrated, and the Lodge employs the deceptive method, this
author labels, the false adherence tactic.
In the false adherence method of
deception, the Lodge speaks highly of Scripture without recognizing the
authority granted to Scripture by Christ, the apostles, the early church, or
Protestant denominations. A Christian cannot reconcile this position, but it is
easy to see how so many are deceived into accepting this ruse.
John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge: A Christina Perspective (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1990), p. 46.
Ibid., pp. 269-271.
House, Charts of Cults, Sects, and Religious Movements, p. 141, citing Henry Wilson Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 520.
Grudem, p. 78.
This is the reason I could never be a Mason, and this is why I discourage others from joining the a Masonic Lodge.
Joseph Fort Newton, Short Talks On Masonry (Kingsport, TN: Southern Publishers, 1942), p. 22.