Are Masons a Cult?
One of the most commonly asked questions by Christians is: Are Masons a Cult? The answer is NO, Freemasonry is a fraternity. It is neither a cult nor a religion. However it does require a belief in a supreme being in the same sense that an American says the pledge of allegiance to “one nation under God.”
The tradition of Freemasonry has historically been Christian in nature, and more often than not Protestants have made up the majority of it’s members. However, Freemasonry is open to any man who professes a belief in a Supreme Being. That means that Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Jew, and Muslims are all natural fits for Freemasonry. However in it’s most liberal terms, even religions like Hinduism with their creator god Brahman, qualify. All men who are inclined to believe in god, even if they are not sure what form he is in, and my describe themselves as deists or agnostics, are welcome. Because of this no great scrutiny is placed on a man’s beliefs when he is vetted for membership; generally only that he is not a strict atheist. The rest does not matter. In fact as a prelude to the initiation of a new member a candidate is assured that Freemasonry will NOT conflict with his obligation to his God, his country, his neighbor nor himself.
While the Order of the Knights Templar (the highest order of York Rite Freemasonry) does demand that it’s members be Christian, there are no such requirements on the other branches.
Myths and roomers of devil worship were initially spread because of the Catholic inquisition against the Knights Templar in the 1300s. While the charges were false, and they were exonerated 3 years later, the Myths stuck with both them, and in association with Freemasonry. Also because of books accusing Freemasonry of an association with the Illuminati there were antic Masonic movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, generally lead by evangelical traditions, with little research or backing. In fact in the United States the most common denominational affiliation of Freemasons were Baptists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians.
For more information of how Freemasonry became falsely associated with occult organizations, this is a a great article of the association with Baphomet (not a Masonic character).