Belief in God

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by TrevorMH, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. TrevorMH

    TrevorMH Registered User

    8
    15
    3
    I need some advice. I am very interested in Freemasonry, and am getting ready to visit the local lodge with my friend on Monday. I have concerns about the necessity to believe in God.

    If someone was to ask me directly if I believe in God, I cannot offer a simple "yes" or "no", I have to explain.

    I was raised without religion - my first instinct is to identify as irreligious. I went to different churches on my own and had a strong belief when I was a teenager. That was an experience that left me with some issues with religion I'm trying to get over. I found Humanism, and Humanist philosophy, which is not necessarily atheistic but more like non theistic.

    The "God" character of Christianity, Judaism and Islam doesn't really fit into the way I see the world and understand my relationship with others. However, I believe in a consciousness that connects humanity. This is to be conscious of the suffering of others, and of how our own actions influence those around us. This is important for me. I believe in a conscious force that not only unites all people, but which inspires people to goodness and drives humanity in the way of progress. When it comes to life after death - I do not know, and it doesn't figure into my spirituality. I enjoy attending meetings of a Buddhist meditation group at the local Center for Inner Peace, with whom I explore consciousness and other related concepts.

    Also - I believe in prayer. I believe in the power of vocalizing ones needs or goals, and asking the universe to "make it work" (my own prayer). This may help - it also may not. I'm not concerned about that, only with the action itself.

    I like to refer to this conscious force as "God". So, if I may define God in my own terms, then yes, I do believe in God.

    Is this understanding satisfactory for the Colorado Masons? Or do the Freemasons require belief in the Judeo-Christian God?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    88DAM88 likes this.
  2. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

    689
    519
    93
    Freemasonry in general requier a belif in a supreme being but dont just narrow it down to to the judeo-Christian God but rather just any God.
     
    ArmanDior likes this.
  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    3,181
    2,010
    183
    Grand Lodge of CO asks for a belief in a Supreme Being. Yes or no. They don't require any explanation beyond that.
    I enjoy the fact that I don't always know a Brother's faith. It reminds me that it doesn't matter.
     
  4. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    2,066
    2,049
    133
    If you understand God as YOU understand God, and that is the God of YOUR understanding, there is no need to explain. You believe and that is all that is required.

    BTW - This applies no differently to everyone who believes in God. God will always be what the believer understands, unless the believer doesn't understand at all and merely choses to believe regardless of evidence for or against; that's called "faith".
     
    MRichard, MarkR, ArmanDior and 2 others like this.
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,387
    133
    A friend asked me about petitioning but stated he did not believe in religion. It triggered a year of lunch time discussions. Turned out he did not believe in the human institutions that churches had become. So after a year of discussion we had cycled back to the fact that the question on the petition is "Do you believe in the existence of a supreme being?" and the answer was yes. So he petitioned.

    No need for any particular family of religions.
     
    MarkR and ArmanDior like this.
  6. TrevorMH

    TrevorMH Registered User

    8
    15
    3
    Thanks, all. This has been very helpful. So it sounds like I won't be interrogated about my religious beliefs, only asked whether I believe. I expected a sort of Spanish inquisition.

    [​IMG]
     
    88DAM88 likes this.
  7. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,269
    3,008
    133
    I was almost one of the first to reply to this thread but got myself into trouble trying to define a Belief in a Supreme Being.... no surprise there I guess...lol.... but I also did not want to coach you on your response.... and by the time I came back the question had been answered.

    In my view, you either meet a very broad requirement or you don't, and if you don't, then Freemasonry is not for you, just as much as your not right for us... but I strongly support the particular landmark of belief in a Supreme Being but also realize it could be used to discriminate so I try to be very open minded... Coach and others are right; "God" is a personal thing.

    However if you apply "God" or GAOTU or Supreme Being to an intellectual rationalization of your own contained and independent earthly philosophical sense of self without reference to at least the spiritual, if not indeed the supernatural, and in doing so come up with an answer which others might define as a rationalization or sense of self rather than "God", then I'm not sure you'd satisfactorily gained my support that you believe in a GAOTU.

    Just as all Freemasons should - you can only be honest and act in good conscience..
     
    SimonM and ArmanDior like this.
  8. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

    1,589
    1,499
    113
    I will say this, Oklahoma GL petition does say, "Do you firmly believe in the one true and living God..." I had a GL level officer and PM tell me that their interpretation of that is the 'big 3' (Judaic, Christian and Islam) and that outside of the "one true and living God", especially in alignment with a specific VSL, marking 'yes' to that question but you're a Wiccan, Buddhist or whatever, you'd be inaccurate as some religions have multiple Gods etc. My only argument was that Christianity has the Holy Trinity and their is sort of more than one 'true and living God'. It's up for interpretation. I think the main thing is are you willing to solemnly swear upon a VSL, even if you don't agree with it? Let's say you practice Thelema, but the only VSL available is a Christian Bible. Are you willing to take the obligation and swear upon that Bible with the same sincerity you would a Thelemic VSL if one was not available? As other's have said, nobody is going to question you on that outside of your petition.
     
  9. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    2,066
    2,049
    133
    One thing that far too many members don't consider or realize, or perhaps even accept, is that each member is doing all this symbolically.

    In other words: What God "symbolizes" to you is all that matter. This includes what the words and what the VoSL symbolize to you also. You shall take all of it as seriously as you want to.
     
    dfreybur likes this.
  10. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

    1,589
    1,499
    113
    This is true.
     
  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,249
    3,284
    183
    Same here in Kentucky.
     
  12. 88DAM88

    88DAM88 Registered User

    29
    11
    3
    Your explanation, your definition even of "God" is not required.

    "Supreme Being" can and does, mean many things to many men. I would even say that if you believe in an ordered, interconnected Universe (with it's old meaning of "One Song"), which is at it's highest, supreme level of organization, "one thing," . . . that you are a man fitting to be a welcomed part of the brotherhood . . . many of us modern men have a base level of understanding of our world, our selves, nature and phenomena and the interconnectedness of it all that far exceeds the common man of yore who may have simply stated that he believes in God or Providence or Geometry (with or without any particular delineation) . . .

    I also struggled, at first, to make sure that my "definitions" and concerns etc were communicated to friends of mine who were Brothers, but I was greatly reassured that my definitions were of no matter to them nor consequence to my worthiness for acceptance to the brotherhood . . . that they were my personal, current understandings, and that I would not only gain much through Masonry, but also contribute much to Masonry by my very diversity . . . that my participation would also bring light to others, and allow them to question their self-imposed limitations, learn about others and themselves and, thus, grow and expand and become better men and better Masons as they learn how better to relate to other men, men who may hold different beliefs or knowledge than they themselves currently hold, and that this would only help them to better themselves and become a better fit to the order, and to society and to the Brotherhood of Humanity.

    I can tell that after joining, many things such as "patriotism" and "god" . . . even "society," "humanity" and "government" ALL took on new light, new meaning, new importance and new hope for me.

    There have been discussions among myself and other brothers and in online conversations and forums, that this "belief in God" is more about being a man with a sense of higher purpose, that you believe in being good and becoming better, that one believe the Universe to be an ordered Universe and not chaos, than it is about believing in any entity with/or without a name . . . something like the Tao Te Ching can be a volume of sacred law . . . the will to life found in all nature, the math and measurements and connected correlations of Geometry being of importance . . . as I find Masonry to be much more scientific and Nature based than any one religion (although you will meet other brothers who disagree, as the secrets of Masonry are revealed within each of us specific to our understanding, capability and point in our progress), but again, this is where I am coming from, and how life is being revealed to me, personally.

    Fraternity is of the utmost importance, the personal nature or details of any one man's religion (or take on religion . . . or, for that matter, any singular, personal definitions of God - as if any one man might know the ultimate truth by which all men should be judged) being secondary to order, peace, harmony and brotherhood. It is in fact, this very battle with religious fanaticism that is doing damage to the trust amongst brothers within some lodges constituted of men, a majority of whom may prescribe to a particularly homogenous concept of God or religion, or sect.

    Some quotes you may enjoy are:

    "God, In The View Of Pythagoras, Was ONE, A Single Substance, Whose Continuous Parts Extended Through All The Universe, Without Separation, Difference, Or Inequality, Like The Soul In The Human Body.He denied the doctrine of the spiritualists, who had severed the Divinity from the Universe, making Him exist apart from the Universe, which thus became no more than a material work, on which acted the Abstract Cause, a God, isolated from it. The Ancient Theology did not so separate God from the Universe." (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871).

    "The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work. The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed." (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871).
     
    coachn likes this.
  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,900
    3,331
    183
    I agree the OP would meet the standard in CO.

    However, the statement
    "the personal nature or details of any one man's religion (or take on religion . . . or, for that matter, any singular, personal definitions of God - as if any one man might know the ultimate truth by which all men should be judged) being secondary to order, peace, harmony and brotherhood."

    is dependent upon jurisdiction. We have Christian, monotheistic, acceptance of scripture, and even political belief requirements
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,249
    3,284
    183
    In the USA or other countries?
     
  15. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,900
    3,331
    183
    Texas requires on it's petition for the degrees a belief in the US Constitution. http://grandlodgeoftexas.org/assets/uploads/2015/10/26.pdf

    Kentucky forbids those who believe in the overthrow of the government.http://www.mastermason.com/mckee/newpetition.pdf

    Oklahoma prohibits support of the overthrow of the government and requires that one support the Constitution and agree to defend it. http://www.gloklahoma.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/petition2011.pdf

    Floridaprohibits a belief in the overthrow of the government. http://grandlodgefl.com/docs/GLF_Forms/GL 601 Petition for the Degrees.pdf


    Louisiana "abhors" Communism and will expel Communists: https://la-mason.com/wp-content/themes/mason/documents/PETITION_FOR_DEGREES_3_19_2014.pdf
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  16. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,249
    3,284
    183
    Thanks Brother, wasn't sure exactly what "political beliefs" meant.
     
  17. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,900
    3,331
    183
    No, they don't require R or D or a party that lets you vote your conscience
     
    Warrior1256 and CLewey44 like this.

Share My Freemasonry