Church Objection?

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by nfasson, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    It is my understanding that Catholics and Protestants believe the philosophical foundation and methodology of Freemasonry is ecumenist - believing all religions lead to salvation/heaven/God. For Christians the exclusive claims of the Gospel and the exclusivity of Christ makes this branch theory, all religions are branches of legitimate faith, contrary to the Christianity. Also, some religions make truth claims that are contrary to the truth claims of other religions...and since both can't be right, one must be wrong. Sure, there is an element of mystery to all religious experience, but Christianity claims to hold to objective truth, not subjective or relative truth.

    I could be wrong and often am.
     
  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,275
    3,009
    133
    I would disagree and so would those churches that see Freemasonry as incompatiable with their dogma. Some research will set you straight, but at the same time, I would say a Fraternity is not a Religion, and hence their objections are something I reject :)

    Or they could all be wrong. I think God is a mystery, hence, despite some Church's claim to "divine inspiration" where God explains himself to mortals, he/she/it will always remain a mystery and is beyond human understanding...
     
  3. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    Thank you Brother for you comments. I would point out that you missed the meat of my post when you left out, "- believing all religions lead to salvation/heaven/God. For Christians the exclusive claims of the Gospel and the exclusivity of Christ makes this branch theory, all religions are branches of legitimate faith, contrary to the Christianity."

    To flesh this out a little more, I didn't mean ecumentist in a Christian sense, rather, I was referring to the idea that all religions are equal expressions of the mysterious. There is no hierarchy of beliefs since belief is subjective.

    Of course but what are reasons for your disagreement Brother?

    So mote it be! lol

    I am on a never ending journeying, a lifetime of learning if you will and having worked in a library for just shy of 25 years offering me the opportunity to read and research. I hope to learn a lot visiting this forum Br. Bloke and picking your brain from time to time.

    Yes, I would agree with you in most cases, however, some Fraternities have an underlying philosophy that crosses the line into religion or the realm of faith.

    Freemasons have a way of thinking about God and man (GAOTU, Fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man, making good men better, etc.) which is essentially a "theology." Without getting into too much detail the Rituals we use offer us instruction on how we should think about God and man, they are theological to a certain extent and since theology means "the study of God and man" I would surmise you reject the definition of terms and not really the objection offered by Christian institutions themselves.

    Absolutely. :)

    Yes Sir, this is a common belief. How is the unknowable known if it can't be known? It's a self defeating position since all Masons must believe in God - all Masons are presupposing that God can be known.

    If God is beyond human understanding than one person can't speak to another's faith (including their belief in divine inspiration) without creating an exception for themselves that allows them to judge universally. Like the old analogy of the elephant and the blind men. One man grabs the tusk, another the tail and all claim to have found elephant. You say, "that's not the elephant" assuming you have the best vantage point. It would be the same when it comes to God, to claim "he/she/it will always remain a mystery" assumes you are the exception and have the best vantage point. And that's not really an argument against religion but a personal, subjective opinion when it is claimed God "is beyond human understanding..."

    I mean this post to be understood in the best possible light, as two brothers talking about deep subjects, and with respect.

    Thank you.
     
  4. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,672
    507
    113
    >If God is beyond human understanding than one person can't speak to another's faith

    In the local Holy Royal Arch we sang that when we have seen God then faith and hope disappear and only love remains. This sentiment, if true, indicates that faith is a transitional phase. This could be a difficult proposition for a faith-based church.
     
    freemasonpha likes this.
  5. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,275
    3,009
    133
    So mote it be ! :)


    Thanks. The reason for my disagreement is some Churchs will refuse a funeral for a Freemason. That might not be the case in your parts, but it is so in Melbourne Australia.

    Religion and faith are not one in the same, they often go hand in hand, but not always.

    Do you think Freemasonry crosses the line into religion ? Not so here, but in other places, Freemasonry and, especially Christianity are linked; Swedish Rite being the best example, but the strong relationship between some Christian Churches and Freemasonry, espcially in America, is strong. For instance, we would never have a "Bible Bearer" in our Craft Lodges - because the Bible is a text to a specific Religion. Here, we open the Volume of the Sacred Law, which for most of our lodges, is a Bible, but not not always. My mother lodge has three VSLs open, a lodge I was a founding member has five. Such an idea apparently seems strange in some lodges in the Southern states of the USA... or am I wrong ? The issue with taking a Lodge into a religious sphere is, what religion ? That's left to each own man.... especially important when it's common to have three Faiths represented in our lodges; Christian, Islam and Judaism. I would assume you are likewise religiously diverse in your lodges ?

    I never describe Freemasonry as a "theology" - however I always often describe it as a philosophical system. I think out approach to the GAOTU is philosophical and not theological.. I think if you do the latter, you're sort of missing the point ? Particularly because Freemasonry is a Fraternity and not a Religion. I understand Craft Freemasonry looks religious to come, and indeed members have been known to embrace it as such, but, again, I reject Freemasonry when presented as a religion..

    Oh, and "Fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man" does not appear in our ritual...
     
    Ripcord22A and freemasonpha like this.
  6. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    Thanks brothers. I will think about what you wrote.
     
    Bloke likes this.
  7. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,387
    133
    That is normally phrased as Masonry taking a religious stance. We don't. Thus the rest of the claims based on that are to be rejected as being based on a false premise. This rapidly leads down a hole and is why we avoid religious discussion in our gatherings.

    Different Brothers make different religious choices. We let them because we're not in the business of religion or religious choices other than establishing that a candidate isn't an atheist. That's all there is too it.
     
    Bloke likes this.
  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,255
    3,289
    183
    A few days ago I was talking to the Master of a lodge that I frequent regularly. The Master is also an associate pastor at a church. I told him that my pastor had no problem with me being a Freemason but that if he departed and the new pastor gave me a problem about it I would simply find another church where I was welcome. The Master stated that he would do the same.
     
  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,275
    3,009
    133
    Well said. Missed you in your absence !
     
  10. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

    1,597
    1,505
    113
    That's very interesting. I've personally never met a Masonic clergyman. I'd love to pick their brain to get their perspective since they are religious experts but yet are accepting of other religious beliefs. Very cool.
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,255
    3,289
    183
    He's an extremely nice, humble and kind man. I admire him and am honored to be welcomed into his lodge.
     
    CLewey44 likes this.
  12. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    I would say, based on my Ritual work so far and my reading that Masons declare and make truth claims about God and therefore take a theological stance. A religious stance.

    the·ol·o·gy
    THēˈäləjē/
    noun
    1. the study of the nature of God and religious belief.
      • religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed.
        plural noun: theologies

    ex GAOTU - is a truth claim relating to God as creator, it's a belief

    According to The Ahiman Rezon (pub'd by GL of SC):

    It was the single object of all the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness, . . . to teach the immortality of the soul. This is still the great design of the third degree of Masonry. This is the scope and aim of its ritual. . . By its legend and all its ritual, it is implied that we have been redeemed from the death of sin. . . it has been remarked by a learned writer of our Order, that the Master Mason represents a man saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised to the faith of salvation. [end quote]​

    If the above is true we have a truth claim about the immortality of the soul, redemption, faith and salvation.

    I can understand why people would avoid the idea that Masons do have a kind of theology but it still exists even if it's denied.

    Thank you
    PS: I'm not sure how much I can reveal online from the ritual and writings of Freemasons so I'm limiting my responses until after MM.
     
  13. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    In Lodge I'm always reminded that faith and family must always come before the Lodge. If the Lodge is causing conflict with my faith, wouldn't it be due to theological differences? If I was able to choose so quickly, just how important is my faith and the tenets of my faith?

    Thank you
     
  14. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    Two brothers have stated how Freemasonry helped them become closer to God.

    If Freemasonry doesn't have a theological bent or theological religious element - how were they able to become closer to God through the Craft?

    Thank you
     
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,255
    3,289
    183
    The lodge causes no conflict in my faith. It may cause a conflict in some ministers' faith is what I am saying.
    It does have a theological bent as far as worshiping our Higher Power or Being.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  16. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,275
    3,009
    133
    Not necessarily a conflict due to theological differences - if Church is 9 am Sunday, and Lodge Rehearsal is 9 am Sunday, I think you are being consider your Religion before the Craft.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  17. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,275
    3,009
    133
    I would be cautious on answering for another brother, but I can say Freemasonry made me consider the Divine which brought me closer to God. If Freemasonry was a theology - then it has to be one of the thinnest around.... and don't confuse the reflective writings on a Brother on this topic, think of what's exactly in and implied by the Ritual.

    So you're not yet a MM ? I would say you're only looking a part of the picture then, but we should not dismiss you because you are not a MM

    I would assume you have been Initiated ?

    As you "how much you can reveal" - each brother must stay within due bounds and follow his own conscious and his obligations - I post things here which other Freemasons don't always like - but I have 14 years of experience, am involved heavily in multiple lodges and am a Past Master x 3... and I would say have never once broken any of my obligations... but I'm probably in a better position, based on experience, to make a call on what to post and what not to post - so for you, I suggest caution. In fact I would say the same to all, including myself :)
     
    Warrior1256, Ripcord22A and CLewey44 like this.
  18. freemasonpha

    freemasonpha Registered User

    31
    20
    8
    Not a MM yet and no date has been given.

    I am a Fellow Craft.

    Thank you for the advice. My Lodge is very tight lipped and will always defer to their example and exercise caution.

    Peace.
     
  19. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,275
    3,009
    133
    Thanks for the response.
     
  20. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    7,255
    3,289
    183
    Agreed!
    Welcome.
     
    freemasonpha and Bloke like this.

Share My Freemasonry