A question about eligibility

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by Michael Hatley, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    I'm an EA studying the work with Brothers in the lodge now, so this is for the future - but I thought this might be an easy answer for someone here.

    I am interested in Scottish Rite, when the day comes that I am eligible. I know that my beliefs preclude me from at least some of the lights of York Rite, but I wonder if there is a part that I might take part in, when the time is right.

    I believe in a Supreme Being, but I cannot swear to believe in the Trinity. No offense intended. What I could swear to would be to uphold Christianity, as I would most religions. I was confirmed Episcopalian as a youth, and was an altar boy (acolyte). I respect the wisdom of Jesus very much, but I diverge some on the metaphysics.

    Any insight would be appreciated on if that would preclude me entirely from York Rite, or if a part might be available later on.

    Thanks much,
    Michael
     
  2. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    That's a very thoughtful question for one so new to masonry. You will do well in your travels. Not a York Rite member, but I think you might be able to progress through the first several degrees before the requirement of a vow might stay you.
     
  3. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Thank you sir. I am deeply enjoying the experience. I believe I've found something I can do all of my life. Thats very rare, and so I'm grateful to the institution.
     
  4. Friscopa

    Friscopa Registered User

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    I am a Knight Templar in the McKinney Commandry #32. You can proceed in the degrees of:
    1. Royal Arch
    a. Mark Master
    b. Past Master
    c. Most Excellent Master*
    d. Royal Arch Mason
    2. Cryptic Masonry
    a. Royal Master
    b. Select Master
    c. Super Excellent Master*

    * Some Jurisdictions do not provide these degrees

    The Holy Trinity is a requirement for taking the Orders of Knighthood. When I went through the York Rite degrees and orders, we had a Jewish Candidate. He received all the degrees and just didn't do the orders. York Rite isn't an all or nothing. You can be a member of Chapter and Counsel, without joining the Commandry.

    Hope this helps you!
     
  5. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    It does, heaps - thanks much Brother!
     
  6. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Everyone should aspire to become a Mark Mason. Some say Anderson was too new to Operative masonry and made a mistake by not including the fourth degree with the first three as the base to freemasonry.
     
  7. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Well, not all consider Mark as the 4th degree, if I'm correct. In England, the "4th degree" is considered to be the Royal Arch, which shall complete the craft masonry. I guess, it is all a matter of perspective and of tradition. For me, for example, freemasonry consists of 10 degrees, and taking just "the three" would be a more than incomplete view on the story.
     
  8. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Perspectives are very welcome brother. Light is diffused in many ways. I may have been a little off-target in my comment. Or, as you say, it could be a perspective issue. Either way, the more information we have the better for us all.

    Thanks for your post.
     
  9. Friscopa

    Friscopa Registered User

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    In England, there are Mark Master lodges, set aside from the regular blue lodges. Although I agree that the first three degrees are not the complete story, they are what they are meant to be. The foundation, strong and true. The three degrees are the most important and without them, there is no story. I am a Knight Templar (York Rite) and a Shriner (Hella Shrine), and hope to complete the Scottish Rite 32nd degree this summer, but I and all my fellow knights agree that the first three degrees are the most sacred and of the utmost import.
     
  10. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I have to say, having gone through the York Rite degrees, and while I did enjoy all of them (some more than others), I do still favor Blue Lodge, personally. As has been said it's the foundation for everything that came after it, and I think they are by far the most beautiful degrees.
     
  11. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    The Order of Malta and the Order of the Temple are thoroughly Christian, and include quite a bit of Bible verses on the career of Jesus. Strictly speaking, if you can answer yes to this question, you may become a Knight Templar: "If called upon to wield your sword in a religious cause, will you give preference to the Christian Religion?"
     
  12. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Well my initial reaction is that is a question I could answer yes to. After all, Christianity in my youth gave me much.

    I'd have to give it some serious thought to be able to swear to it though.

    Thankfully there is no hurry.

    Really appreciate the informative replies - this forum is great.
     
  13. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    This is the impression I get from some men, but any of the literature out there makes it sound like you must be a Christian in order to receive the Orders. There is a difference between a man who, for example, was raised Christian but is now Deist, swearing to pick up a sword to defend Christianity, and a man who is 100% Christian joining this organization.

    I get the distinct impression a non-Trinitarian Christian would feel uncomfortable as an initiate/member of this particular body (the Commandery). Am I wrong? I ask, because I genuinely want to know more.
     
  14. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I don't remember the knight Templar degree requiring a belief in the Trinity. As I remember it, it required a belief in Christ. These are two different beliefs. Can an active York Rite mason clarify the requirement.
     
  15. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    If you look at the back of the petition for the York Rite as provided by the Knights Templar Grand Encampment of the USA, under the Commandery portion there is a statement you have to sign declaring that you are a firm believer in the Christian Religion. Found here:

    http://www.knightstemplar.org/newsrelease/Back.pdf

    Seems pretty cut and dry to me.
     
  16. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I disagree. You can be a Christian and believe in Christ as your savior, but not believe in the Trinity. The question asked at the beginning of the thread was can you be a York Rite Mason and note believe in the Trinity. I would say yes, if you believe in Christ as your savior.
     
  17. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I didn't say anything about the Trinity. I still hold firm that the answer I provided is very straightforward.
    There are facets of Christianity that do believe in the Trinity, and some that don't. So long as you consider yourself a Christian in your own sense, I think that's all that matters. So, the document is, in my mind, very straightforward. Are you a Christian? Trinity doctrine is left to your personal beliefs/denomination. They don't inquire as to your denomination at all, as it is also personal. If they cared about whether or not you believed in the Trinity doctrine, they would ask. But they don't.
     
  18. Friscopa

    Friscopa Registered User

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    When I went through the degrees the question of belief in the Holy Trinity was questioned... The orders are set up to relive the knight experience of the three orders. The Christian belief in all three orders included and was founded on the Holy Trinity. I am not sure if it is required for the Grand Commandry.
     
  19. Friscopa

    Friscopa Registered User

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    I mistakingly said degrees, they are not degrees, they are orders... The distinction is on purpose.
     
  20. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Which order? I only recently went through and am still familiarizing myself with the work.
     

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