Scriptures, Belief in The
The Grand Lodge of Ohio resolved in 1820, that "in the first degrees of Masonry religious tests shall not be a barrier to the admission or advancement of applicants, provided they profess a belief in God and His Holy Word"; and in 1854 the same Body adopted a resolution declaring that "Masonry, as we have received it from our fathers, teaches the Divine Authenticity of the Holy Scriptures." In 1845, the Grand Lodge of Illinois declared a belief in the authenticity of the Scriptures a necessary qualification for initiation. Although in Christendom very few Freemasons deny the Divine authority of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, yet to require, as a preliminary to initiation, the declaration of such a belief, Doctor Mackey was of opinion, is directly in opposition to the express regulations of the Order, which demand a belief in God and, by implication, in the immortality of the soul as the only religious tests (see Bible).
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