American (or even Texan) Freemasonry is Christian?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by ctp2nd, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. ctp2nd

    ctp2nd Premium Member

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    Howdy All,

    This may have been discussed previously, and if so, I ask the Mods to please remove the thread if they so desire. (not that my permission is worth the digital typography its given in)

    Being the devout ritualist that I feel that I am, it is impossible to ignore the overtly Judeo-Christian overtones present in, at the very least, the Texas Masonic Ritual (GLoT). Some have offered the opinion that, due to our observance of the Holy Bible (KJV?) as our primary VSL, our ritual has been necessarily painted with the Christian brush. Others have suggested that the prominence of Christianity at the birth of our nation as the impetus behind it while others maintain that the Hiramic Legend rooted in the Old Testament requires it.

    What do You think?

    I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    S&F,

    -ctp-
     
  2. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Yeah, we've kicked this one around a while back, but it is a good one, and worth bringing back up.

    I haven't found anything in our ritual that is Christian. As it is all based on Old Testament figures, one could say it was based on Judaism, if anything. The only arguement presented in favor of it being Christian is the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah," which didn't refer only to Christ, and can be found as a reference to others as far back as Genesis. As the ritual takes place in Old Testament times, logic would suggest that Christ was not a factor.

    The fact that the KJV Bible is on the altar is due to the fact that the men in the lodge are Christian, not the ritual.
     
  3. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    I would also pose another question: Does being Christian enable me to "appreciate" the ritual more than if I were a Muslim?

    I'll have to think on that one for a while.
     
  4. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    Hmmm, I am of Christian Faith, so it is Christian as far as I am concerned. Now, if there is another who wants to come in, I won't stop him, unless he is Atheist.
     
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    As a Christian myself, I felt comfortable during the ceremony because I was familiar with the numerous Biblical references. I'm not sure how I would respond if I were of another faith.
     
  6. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    Generally as words of infinite divine wisdom being spoken to you by brothers.
     
  7. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    The thought that this is purely for christians is from the lack of education on the ancient landmarks of the fraternity.
    Masonry is to conform to the major faith of the country of which it is in. From GL to Gl the ritual can differ greatly but will all be based on a tale from the Old Testament which most major religions are derived from.
    Masonry is to conform to your believes and strengthen them no matter what. It is not here for someone to beat another over the head with b/c they feel there version of Masonry is right. That is for religions and is why we do not allow religion in lodge.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  8. Payne

    Payne Registered User

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    I don't think that being Christian would enable you or anyone to "appreciate" the ritual more than if you were a Muslim or any other faith that believes in a supreme being.


    I believe Freemasonry is non-denominational and just plays off the historical facts in some religious text .
     
  9. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    +1.
     
  10. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately there are Brothers out there who disagree. Prop 9 for example...
     
  11. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    I am anxious to see just how far #9 gets at Grand Lodge.
     
  12. VirginiaPM

    VirginiaPM Registered User

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    There are many quotes and rituals that use biblical references in many fraternities, philosophies and discussions. This doesn't make them Christian. This fraternity evolved in a time and place where a man could be imprisoned, deported or killed because of his faith. As the masonic philosophy and ritual evolved and radical ideas such a mans right to follow his beliefs and faith became wide spread, there was a legitimate concern that the ritual would be exposed and the fraternity attacked. Which it was and still is. Some of these ideas were incorporated into ritual wrapped in biblical quotes and passages. This made it more acceptable to the uninitiated.

    As a brother who is not a Christian, the ritual means just as much to me as it does to you as a Christian.

    Proper prayers in a lodge do not refer to "Jesus", "Christ" or any other prophet or religious sect. I believe that the Supreme Architect hears all of our prayers and matters of religion are not a concern.

    Concerning Prop. 9, that's what church is for, not a lodge.
     
  13. Payne

    Payne Registered User

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    I could not agree more!
     
  14. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    And that's why it should go down in burning flames :33:
     
  15. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    As a Brother who is a CHRISTian, our ritual means that much more.
    Out of respect, if one does not believe in Jesus Christ, please try not to mention his name as a group of others.
    As i would do my best not to talk of another mans beliefs.
    To me as a Christian, Jesus Christ is the same as the G. A. o. t. U..
    I as well respect another mans belief and truly declare that his book of faith should be his obligation.
     
  16. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    You know the past few months I have been pretty worried about "Christianity" becoming a part of Masonry (in regards to resolution 9) thus taking the spirituality out of Masonry, but I am now confident that justice will prevail. I feel there are too many Masons that have worked to learn the early teachings, even that read you sit in ante room prepared for your initiation (read it again in the monitor), and even if it does passes. It will be met with opposition and "real" Masonry will still be practiced.
     
  17. Sam Whitley

    Sam Whitley Registered User

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    I would opine that Masonry BEGAN as a Christian fraternity (evidenced by fact that the prayer given just after reception of a new candidate ended with the words "in Jesus' name we pray." ...[3 Distinct Knocks (about 1750), I believe] It may or may not have been so in all lodges of the time, but seems to have been so in the lodge described in this very early "explanation" of Masonry. It was clearly (to me) a conscious act that made Masonry non-sectarian at some point. That said, there are clear indications of Judeo-Christian influences left today. And Texas ritual certainly contains its share of these. I will say that by and large, in lodges I have visited over the years, most do an admirable job of offering non-sectarian prayers in all cases. Obviously they do so in the lodge room.

    There are some hang-ons in ritual not fully removed from Judeo-Christian tenets. For example, in the Lightfoot manual, one of the Masonic funeral services includes the Lord's Prayer.

    This is IMO just one of the fascinating things about Masonry. I have read several places that at least some of the Georgia lodges have regularly introduced Christianity in their lodges' workings (against their own GL law).
     
  18. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Hmmm I have never read anything claiming Masonry was derived from Christianity. I have heard prayers end in Jesus Christ but that was an individual Brother giving the prayer, I have never even heard of a Masonic prayer ending that way though. I would be very interested in this read.
    As far as the 3 knocks and what they represent, this knowledge is way older than Jesus that goes back to the great Egyptian philosopher Hermes Trismegistus and probably further but that is about as far as history goes.
     
  19. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    quote:There are some hang-ons in ritual not fully removed from Judeo-Christian tenets. For example, in the Lightfoot manual, one of the Masonic funeral services includes the Lord's Prayer.

    I am not convinced that the Lords Prayer is referring to Jesus Christ.... God is also referred to as Lord by many people. Besides, we havent used the Lightfoots Manual since 1981.
    Brother Sam I respect your opinion, but I have to diagree with you on these two points.
     
  20. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I don't personally believe that Masonry began a Christian fraternity, but I believe that it started (at least the origins of our rituals) in a country (England, France, Scotland - you pick based on your opinions) where Christianity was the predominant/state religion. So, in a time when a man's broad knowledge was limited compared to ours today, it is natural that elements Christianity would have been included in the ritual.

    Simply having some of the elements of Christianity does not make it Christian. I am a big believer that Freemasonry is not religious, even though it has some religious references. That's important because if the lodge becomes competition for my own religious activities and beliefs, then I have a problem. One of the big claims of some the "Christian Antis" is that the lodge is a subsitute for the church or some Mason's believe that it is, therefore, members of that church should not be members of the lodge. I, of course, find this to be inaccurate.

    The Lord's prayer is called so, because Jesus said it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009

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