Excerpt taken from "Should a Christian be a Mason?", pages 38-41
Copyright © 2011 by David W. Daniels. Reproduced by permission.
MASONRY’S POSITION ON THE BIBLE
Is the Bible Their Source and Guide?
In the last chapter you saw how Joseph Fort Newton was one of the few writers deemed worthy to write on “The Bible in Masonry,” as I found in my friend’s Masonic King James Bible. The publishers must have believed it to be very important.
You can find his works in various Masonic Grand Lodges, and at least one of his books is listed as recommended reading on many Grand Lodge websites.
One of his books, called Brothers and Builders: the Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry, has a very similar quote to the one in “The Bible in Masonry.” But this quote tells much more than in the Masonic Bible, and it’s much clearer, too. See for yourself below.
The following lengthy quote42 contains so many important points. Let’s read it a couple sentences at a time, so we may see clearly what this Masonic author claims is a basic belief of Masons:
The fact that the Bible lies open upon its Altar means that man must have some Divine revelation —must seek for a light higher than human to guide and govern him. But Masonry lays down no hard and fast dogma on the subject of revelation. It attempts no detailed interpretation of the Bible.
Here Newton stated that man must have some kind of revelation from some kind of divinity, but what or who that is, is anyone’s guess. And he says that Masonry doesn’t try to interpret the Bible in detail. (So what does Masonry interpret about the Bible? We’ll have to see.) Let’s look at the next sentence:
The great Book lies open upon its Altar, and is open for all to read, open for each to interpret for himself.
Isn’t it funny that Newton says the “great Book” (the Bible) lies open for all to read? It’s covered with those big compasses and square. If you’re a Mason reading this, try to read a Bible with the big compasses and square sitting on it. I guarantee you, you can’t read the Bible until you take off the stuff that’s covering it.
The tie by which our Craft is united is strong, but it allows the utmost liberty of faith and thought. It unites men, not upon a creed bristling with debated issues, but upon the broad, simple truth which underlies all creeds and over-arches all sects —faith in God, the wise Master Builder, for whom and with whom man must work.
So the Masons’ Craft unites all creeds and all sects with the simple truth that they should have faith in God? The God of the Bible doesn’t unite the devilish religions of the world. What god do you think they are talking about?
Like everything else in Masonry, the Bible, so rich in symbolism, is itself a symbol —that is, a part taken for the whole. It is a symbol of the Book of Truth, the Scroll of Faith, the Record of the Will of God as man has learned it in the midst of the years— the per petual revelation of Himself which God has made, and is making, to mankind in every age and land.
Let’s pay attention to this “Great Masonic Divine’s” words. Joseph Fort Newton just said that in Masonry, the Bible is not “the truth.” The Bible is not “the Book of Truth,” either. It is merely “a symbol of the Book of Truth.” To them it is a symbol of a nonexistent book that miraculously contains the combined wisdom of “every age and land” that can claim one of the gods somewhere as their own.
How can a Christian who believes the Bible also believe this lie that drops their Holy Bible down to the level of a second-rate symbol?
Does it really sound like the Bible is the “Great Light” of Masonry? It seems a lot more like the old bait-and switch con. “Here, we’ll take that old trusty Bible of yours and exchange it for a book that does not exist, that unites all theistic religions into one happy family!”
That does not sound very biblical.
The Bible to a Christian
God is perfectly clear about how His words are to be treated. Ironically, I can read it for myself in any King James Version Masonic Bible. In fact, I have a couple in front of me right now. The one I’m looking at is from the Lakewood [Ohio] Lodge No. 601, F&AM (Free and Accepted Masons) and is an exact duplicate of my friend’s. Let’s see what God says in this Masonic Bible.
First God spoke through Moses:
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.43 If we add to or take away from God’s words, we will never know which words are God's and which word are man's.
42) From Brothers and Builders: the Basis and Spirit of Freemasonry (1924), Chapter 2, “The Holy Bible.” (All emphasis mine.)
43) Deuteronomy 4:2. See also Deuteronomy 12:32.