Question: In your October 1993 Berean Call I believe you may have misrepresented the decision Southern Baptists made about Freemasonry at the 1993 Southern Baptist Convention. [They] did not vote on whether or not Freemasonry was compatible with Christianity…[but] on whether or not to receive the report on Freemasonry….
Response: I was aware of exactly what transpired at the 1993 Convention of the Southern Baptists and deliberately stated what I did as an interpretation of what took place, not as a statement of the official vote. I appreciate what you say about the vote not being whether or not Freemasonry was compatible with Christianity, but simply to receive the report on Freemasonry. I agree.
However, is accepting the recommendation of the Interfaith Witness Department that “membership in a Masonic order be a matter of personal conscience” not tantamount to saying that Masonry is compatible with Christianity? Would it not be an insult to the Southern Baptist Convention to suggest that it would approve for its members any act that was incompatible with Christianity?
So, although the report recognized that there are many “tenets and teachings of Freemasonry [which] are not compatible with Christianity and Southern Baptist Doctrine,” it did not say that being a Mason was incompatible. Indeed, the fact that membership was left to individual conscience must, by implication, indicate that “being a Mason” (which is what I said) must be compatible with Christianity. Otherwise it would be incongruous to leave that question to individual conscience.
I hope this clarifies the reason for my wording, which was intended to shock Southern Baptists into recognizing the full implications of their vote.